The forerunner of the modern cruise missile, the V-1 was an inertial guided missile, which flew in a set direction for a set time and crashed into its target. It was powered by a pulse-jet engine that made a very distinctive popping sound, giving the weapon its nickname. The engine would stop when the set flight time was reached, and the missile would then glide and crash in about ten seconds. The V-1 is credited with completely destroying 24,000 homes and public buildings in the London area during the war. More significantly, another 760,000 dwellings were sufficiently damaged by "buzz bombs" as to render them uninhabitable.

From June 13th to September 5th, 1944, the Germans launched 1771 V-1 missiles at England. Hawker Tempest Mk V's are credited with knocking 638 of them down. The Spitfire Mk XIV was also fast enough to be an effective interceptor against the V-1, the first variant in that series to do so.

Fiesler Fi.103 V-1

Wingspan: 17 ft. 6 in.
Length: 25 ft. 4 in.
Engine: Argus pulse-jet
Loaded Weight: 4,858 lb.
Maximum Speed: 420 mph.
Service Ceiling: 8,000 ft.
Combat Radius: 120 miles
Armaments: 1,870 lbs. of high explosive