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Allies examining a captured Mistel flying bomb, a Focke-Wulf Fw-190 piggybacked onto a Junkers Ju-88 bomber. The bomber would be filled with explosives and controlled by the fighter pilot, France, 4 May 1945.

Caption     Allies examining a captured Mistel flying bomb, a Focke-Wulf Fw-190 piggybacked onto a Junkers Ju-88 bomber. The bomber would be filled with explosives and controlled by the fighter pilot, France, 4 May 1945. ww2dbase
Photographer    Unknown
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Army
More on...   
Ju 88   Main article  Photos  
Fw 190 W├╝rger   Main article  Photos  
Photos on Same Day 4 May 1945
Added By David Stubblebine

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
12 May 2015 06:41:09 PM


Good photograph showing a trooper of the 439th
Troop Carrier Squadron look over a captured Mistel (Mistletoe) combination, better known as the Beethoven-Great/Beethoven-Device and Vati und Sohn.


The Germans came up with the idea in 1943, to use surplus Junkers Ju-88 twin-engine bombers loaded with explosives and controlled by its piggy back fighter, once the aircraft were near the target the pilot of the fighter released the bomber and controlled it toward its target. About 250 Ju88 bombers were converted However, attacks were of limited success.


First Junkers Ju88s had the cockpits packed with explosives, 1,800kg/3,960lbs, but later variants were modified having their cockpits removed, and replaced with a specially designed aerodynamic hollow-charged warhead with 3500kg/7720lbs of
high explosives.


The Luftwaffe flew missions to destroy bridges and
other targets, but failed to stop the Allied ground advance many Mistel aircraft were shot down by anti-aircraft fire others were caught in the air loaded down with its Ju88 the pilot of a FW190 or Bf109 wouldn't maneuver from Allied fighters, and were shot down.
Another far out idea was to fly Mistel controlled Ju88 bombers into Allied bomber formations and
blow them up However, the idea wasn't workable and scrapped.


Last mission of the Mistel was on April 25,1945
with orders to destroy the bridges along the Oder river. Seven were launched and only two fighters returned. Some bridges were destroyed, but the
Soviet steam roller couldn't be stopped, and built pontoon bridges and continued its advance toward Berlin.
At wars end, surviving Mistel aircraft were captured intact by the Allies, many on airfields lined up as if ready for inspection. No surviving
Mistel aircraft escaped the scrapping frenzy by the Allies.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
1 Dec 2015 06:45:08 PM


Did you know the Italians had a program that was
something like the German Mistel program older Junkers Ju 88s carrying a warhead guided to the target by single-engine fighter. The Italian version was the original UAV or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.


Aeronautica LF Lombarda AR-1/UAV was a remote controlled aircraft designed to attack military targets. Built of plywood construction w/
salvaged aircraft engines, propellers and landing gear it was equipped w/basic flight instruments for the pilot.
However, it was an expendable design with five prototypes built codes MM 75576 to MM 75581 for the project. Called AR Assalto Radioguidato or
Assault Radio-Controlled.


The AR-1 described single-engine, driving a three-bladed propeller, long slender fuselage, w/ bomb bay, landing gear that would be jettisoned after take-off, square wings, with square horizontal and vertical tail assembly. In manned tests, it carried one or two cockpits for the crew.

Powered by 1 x Fiat A-80 RC.41 Radical Air-Cooled Engine of 1,000hp able to carry 2 x 1,000kg bombs w/mounts for two additional bombs under the wings.


First tests were carried out using older three-engine Savoia-Marchetti SM79 bombers. They were equipped with radio-control equipment, to be guided to the target after the crew baled out, by the second aircraft.

In manned tests two-pilots flew the aircraft and
landed without radio-control. Testing continued with unmanned flights it was radio-controlled near the target by a second aircraft the pilot would bale out aircraft, under radio-control, it would drop its bombs and return to base.
When Italy surrendered on September 8,1943
under the Armistice the program was halted.
All AR aircraft had been destroyed, documents that were captured planned an AR airframe w/a MC.202 single-engine fighter similar to the German Mistel Program.

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