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Yet Another Mail Fail.

This is the opening of a Fail article on the restoration of an aircraft…

150 V1 rockets were fitted with cockpits so they could be steered into targets before pilots attempted to bail out.

And this is the end…

The rocket is 28ft long, has a wingspan of 22ft and is fitted with an Argus 109-014 pulse jet engine.
The museum is due to take delivery of it later this week.

Epic face-palm! You spotted the cock-up yet?

The V-1 was a jet not rocket as the frankly self-contradictory final line states. Who writes this drivel? Why do they employ such numpties? Why does basic factual accuracy on matters of aerospace not matter (and the Mail are far from alone here). And is it just aerospace where they just casually display complete pignorance and lack of basic fact-checking? I know a lot about ‘planes and stuff, not so much about other things. Should I be worried?

That’s rhetorical by the way.


  1. Mr Ed says:

    I went the RAF Museum Cosford (near Wolverhampton) yesterday, they had an exhibition of rockets down the years and it was a chilling reminder of the extent of German rocket technology in WW2. There was talk of suicide planes in the Luftwaffe towards the end, I recall reading somewhere that a General stopped the plans, but I digress.

    The ignorance shown is depressing, it should be understood by the age of 12 what a rocket is and what a jet engine is. Worse is an attitude of indifference to error, no pride in one’s work. What could possibly have knocked that attitude into someone’s head?

  2. “Epic falm-palm! You spotted the cock-up yet?”

    Yes. The first quote from the Mail is clearly marked as such, indented with a big speech mark, but the second quote is not so marked and seems to be part of what you wrote.

    Pay a bit of attention to the old presentation and so on.

  3. And what’s a “falm-palm”? Is that the same as a “face palm”?

  4. Julie near Chicago says:

    Um, Nick, wait! Before you commit suicide (beset as you must be by agony over your grevious [sic] errors), remember this:

    “Typos happen.”

    Mark: Just teasin’. We take your point. :)

  5. RAB says:

    I saw a movie once, wish I could remember the name of it, which was the only time I saw someone attempting to fly a V1. It was about RAF reconnaissance spotting the V1 launch sites but nobody knowing what they were, or for. Then you cut to the Germans testing them, and they keep going wrong and crashing.

    So this very fit Teutonic bird, supposedly Hanna Reitsch, Adolph’s favourite pilot, flying one. It starts to go wrong again and she manages to crash land it, but figures out it was that the trim was all wrong. Well it’s a movie right, so at least semi fictional, so look what I just googled up…

    Hitler favourite Hanna Reitsch, a record-breaking glider and test pilot before the war, flew every Luftwaffe plane and helicopter. Denied permission to organize a women’s flight squadron, she organized a suicide squadron that would use V-1 rockets modified with seats to hold pilots to attack British industrial centres. The program was eventually dropped. In the final days of the war, she flew a Luftwaffe general through Soviet artillery fire and fighters to land on a road in central Berlin and meet with Hitler just days before he killed himself.

  6. Julie near Chicago says:

    RAB, that’s interesting–I’ve never heard of her. Just goes to show you what mischief these wimmin will get up to if they don’t have a bunch of good men around to keep ‘em in line. :)

  7. NickM says:


  8. Lynne says:

    I read very recently, over the last two or three days but can’t remember where, that some stoopid journo (could have been the Fail or the Wailygraph, maybe the Graun) described the Spitfire as a jet.

    I think it is they who should be worried. They are as thick as the pigshit produced by chronic constipation.

  9. Eddie Bromhead says:

    Rather than getting hung up about what the engine was (pulse jet rather than turbojet or ramjet) it is better to think of V1 as a cruise missile, and V2 as a ballistic missile – and thus the ancestors of modern weapons. The quantities of each fired are rather staggering. The V1 was eminently stoppable, and the V2 unstoppable (once launched). Neither was accurate enough, their range too short, and the payload was too small, to be a decisive weapon: a big RAF or USAAF raid put the same quantity of explosive on a German city as the entire V1 and V2 campaigns combined.

  10. Roue le Jour says:

    RAB, I vaguely remember something similar. Possibly this?

  11. RAB says:

    Yep, I think that’s the one, ta Roue.

  12. Paul Marks says:

    American newspapers employ “fact checkers” – but they are just as filled with errors.

    Do not trust the newspapers and magazines – or television and radio.

    They sneer at the internet – but there is just as much error in the old style media as there is on many internet sites.

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