fi 103


Flying Heritage Collection Part 4 or 5, I don’t know.

1 & 2) Avro 683 Lancaster B. Mk. I (F/E). Lancaster TW911 was built to serve with the RAF’s Tiger Force in the Far East, but was completed too late for combat service. The aircraft was converted for use as a flying test bed and used to test the Armstrong Siddeley Python engine. Later the nose section was grafted onto the body of an Avro Lincoln.

That aircraft carried out extensive flying tests for the Napier & Son engine company before it was retired to the British Historic Aircraft Museum in 1968. After the closure of the museum the aircraft was sold and the nose section was acquired by the FHC in 2001.

3) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-79 Radial Engine. The Pratt & Whitney R-2800 “Double Wasp” engine powered some of the best American combat aircraft of WWII. The 18-cylinder air-cooled radial was so sturdy that it achieved almost mystical reverence among army and navy flyers. Seemingly no matter the damage it took, the “Double Wasp” kept on going.

Powered the P-47 Thunderbolt, F6F Hellcat, F4U Corsair, B-26 Marauder and C-46 Commando.

Pictured is the R-2800-78 “B series” power plant, primarily used in Douglas A-26B Invader light bomber/ground attack aircraft.

4) Fiedler FI 103 V-1. The V-1 was the first guided missile used in war. V-1s were usually launched from catapult ramps or were dropped from aircraft. They used a simple pulse engine propulsion which gave it a distinctive sound which earned it the name “doodlebug” or “buzzbomb”

The V-1 was manufactured at many different sites, but main production occurred at the notorious underground complex known as Mittelwerk at Nordhaus in the Hartz Mountains. Here around 35,000 V-1s were assembled by slave laborers, of which 10,000 were launched at Britain. If that number, only 2,419 actually hit London; a 20% success rate.

5 & 6) Fiedler FI 103R Reichenberg. Late in the war several piloted V-1s were built. The plan was that a pilot would guide the missile into position and then bail out at the last moment (note the cockpit was right in front of the pulse jet’s intake). This manned V-1 was tested several times, killing every pilot on landing. It was never used in combat.

7) Me 163 “Komet”. This Komet’s first flight occurred on December 18, 1944c, when the partially finished plane was towed as a glider between factories. It was later delivered to Jagdgeschwader 400. It is unknown if it ever flew in combat.

The plane was captured by the British in 1945 and was shipped to the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough, England for evaluation. In 1946, it was turned over to the RAF College in Cranwell. In 1961 it became part of the Imperial War Museum collection and was later displayed at Duxford. The aircraft was purchased by the FHC in 2005.

8) View of Building 1 of the FHC from the Lancaster exhibition.

Submitted by the awesome @cavalier-renegade, which I hope this damn site will someday let me properly tag him!