One of the signs accompanying the buzz bomb. It reads
An Ingenious Jet Engine
The Argus 109-014
pulse jet engine was one of the V-1's most unique features. It
simplicity and efficiency could only be described as ingenious.
The pulse jet was capable of propelling the flying bomb at speeds of more than
400 miles per hour, but yet had very few moving parts. The engine essentially
was no more than a steel stovepipe with a spark plug and a set of flaps that
opened and shut like venetian blinds on a window.
The flaps, located at the front of the engine, were spring operated to normally
remain open. Fuel was injected into the engine's small combustion chamber and
ignited with a spark plug. The fuel explosion would slam shut the flaps at the
front of the engine which forced the exhaust gas out the back of the stovepipe,
As the pressure in the combustion chamber returned to normal, the spring
operated flaps would reopen, allowing fresh air to enter the engine. Fuel
would again be mixed with the air, the spark plug would ignite, the flaps would
slam shut, and a giant
flame of thrust would belch out the engine's exhaust pipe. The engine
would complete as many as 500 of these ignition cycles each minute, eventually
propelling the V-1 to speeds
that could only be reached by the Allies' best fighter aircraft.
This ignition sequence also resulted in one of the V-1's most remembered characteristics -
its unusual "duv-duv-duv"
sound that somewhat resembled a badly-tuned motorcycle. This distinctive
sound gave rise to the flying bomb's enduring nickname - the "BUZZ BOMB."