Flying bomb

Flying bomb

A flying bomb is an unmanned aerial vehicle or small aircraft carrying a large explosive warhead, a precursor to contemporary cruise missiles. In contrast to a bomber aircraft, which is intended to release bombs and then return to its base for re-use, a flying bomb crashes into its target and is therefore itself destroyed in its attack.

The term flying bomb is most frequently associated with two specific Second World War weapons, the German V-1 and the Japanese Ohka. The former was unpiloted, the latter carried a pilot on a kamikaze mission.

Perhaps because of these Axis connotations, the term cruise missile is more commonly used in English for modern munitions that might otherwise fit the definition of a flying bomb.


The first attempt to build a flying bomb (alternatively called an "aerial torpedo" in the Navy) was undertaken by Elmer Sperry in 1916, called the Hewitt-Sperry Automatic Airplane, and was based on a Curtiss N-9 seaplane. This led to a mission-specific Curtis design, the Curtiss-Sperry Flying Bomb, which was almost completely unsuccessful. The US Army also tried to develop a flying bomb in World War I, the Kettering Bug, but the war ended before the program could mature. The most famous example of a flying bomb is the German V-1, many of which targeted London in 1944 during World War II.


Flying bombs may be powered or unpowered, piloted or unpiloted, although unpowered flying bombs such as the United States Navy Bat and German "Hagelkorn" ("Hailstone") and Fritz X designed during World War II are usually referred to as glide bombs. Flying bombs differ from missiles in that a flying bomb is equipped with wings to provide lift over a long distance, where missiles are launched on ballistic trajectories and do not rely on lift to reach their targets.

External links

* [ V1 Flying Bomb]
* [ Curtiss/Sperry "Flying Bomb"]
* [ Developing the Flying Bomb]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • flying bomb — noun a small jet propelled winged missile that carries a bomb • Syn: ↑buzz bomb, ↑robot bomb, ↑doodlebug, ↑V 1 • Hypernyms: ↑guided missile …   Useful english dictionary

  • flying bomb — n. robot bomb, small pilotless jet propelled aircraft laden with explosives which descends as an aerial bomb …   English contemporary dictionary

  • flying bomb — fly′ing bomb n. mil robot bomb • Etymology: 1940–45 …   From formal English to slang

  • flying bomb — noun Date: 1944 chiefly British buzz bomb …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • flying bomb. — See robot bomb. [1940 45] * * * …   Universalium

  • flying bomb — /ˈflaɪɪŋ bɒm/ (say fluying bom) noun a gyroscopically steered, winged bomb, powered by a pulse jet, used in World War II …  

  • flying bomb. — See robot bomb. [1940 45] …   Useful english dictionary

  • flying bomb — noun any early guided missile, but especially the V 1 …   Wiktionary

  • flying bomb — noun a small pilotless aircraft with an explosive warhead …   English new terms dictionary

  • V-1 flying bomb — Buzzbomb redirects here. For the song by the Dead Kennedys, see Buzzbomb (song). For other uses, see V1 (disambiguation). V 1 flying bomb Fieseler Fi 103 Flakzielgerät 76 (FZG 76) V 1 flying bomb …   Wikipedia

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