Diagram of a Fernlenkboot
|Length:||17 m (55 ft 9 in)|
|Speed:||30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)|
|Armament:||700 kg (1,500 lb) explosive charge|
The FL-boat (Fernlenkboot, literally "remote controlled boat") was a weapon used by the Imperial German Navy during World War I. It was a remote-controlled motorboat, 17 m long, carrying 700 kilograms (1,500 lb) of explosives, which was intended to be steered directly at its targets - initially the Royal Navy monitors operating off the coast of Flanders.
FL-boats were constructed by Siemens-Schuckertwerke. They were driven by internal combustion engines and controlled remotely from a shore station through spooled wire unwound behind the boat. The wire was 20 kilometres (12 mi) long and the spool weighed 800 kilograms (1,800 lb). An aircraft could be used to signal directions to the shore station by radio. The commands available to the boat operator were:
- System test
- Engine start, engine stop
- Set Rudder position
- Turn on a light, to enable the boat to be tracked at night
- Detonate the warhead, to prevent capture of the boat if it missed its target
Planned developments were to use a control station carried on a ship, in an airship or use a radio-control system. The boats could attain speeds of 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph).
- MT explosive motorboat, similar Italian boats of World War II
- Karau, Mark D. (2003), Wielding the Dagger: The Marinekorps Flandern and the German War, Praeger/Greenwood, p. 91, ISBN 0-313-32475-1
- Lightoller, C.H. (1935), Titanic and other ships, I. Nicholson and Watson
- Williamson, Gordon (2002), German E-Boats 1939-45, Osprey Publishing, p. 3, ISBN 1-84176-445-0