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Published on Dec 14, 2008
The JB-2 was a U.S.-made copy of the famous German V-1 surface-to-surface, pilotless flying bomb first used against England in June 1944. The Republic Aviation Corp. built the airframe for the JB-2 from drawings prepared at Wright Field, using dimensions taken from the remains of several V-1s brought from Germany. The Ford Motor Co. built the engine, which was a copy of the V-1's 900-lb. thrust Argus-Schmidt pulse-jet.
Republic and Ford built 1,000 JB-2s for the Army and Navy. Production delivery began in January 1945, but the U.S. Army Air Forces cancelled further production when World War II ended. The first JB-2 test flight in took place at Eglin Field, Fla., in October 1944. Just before the end of the war, an aircraft carrier en route to the Pacific took on a load of JB-2s for possible use in the planned invasion of the Japanese home islands. Although never used in combat, the JB-2 provided valuable data for the design and construction of more advanced weapons.