The A5 was a scaled-down test model of the A4 which replaced the former unsuccessful A3 in this role. It was flown from 1938 to 1942, and played a vital role in testing the aerodynamics and technology of the A4. It had the same rocket engine as the A3, but had a new control system plus its shape more closely resembled that of the A4. 25 were launched, some several times; it was fitted with a parachute recovery system, plus it could float for up to two hours before sinking, so allowing recovery by boat. Variants were constructed both with no propulsion system and monopropellant engines for air drop testing.
The A5 was 5.825 m (19.11 ft) long, with a diameter of 0.78 m (2 ft 7 in) and a takeoff weight of 900 kg (2,000 lb), and like the A3 was fueled with alcohol with liquid oxygen as an oxidant. The first launch of the A5 took place in the summer of 1938 at Greifswalder Oie and the first successful guided flights were made in October 1939 in order to test the control systems planned for use in the A4. The A5 reached a ceiling of up to 12 km (7.5 mi).