The Fliegerfaust was a German
close-range anti-aircraft weapon
devised in 1944
as World War II
ground to a close in Europe
. The Homo Erectus
to today's Stinger Missile
It consisted of nine 20mm tubes bound together and mounted so that they could be fired from a man's shoulder by electric pulse. Each tube was loaded with a rocket made from a 20mm cannon shell fitted to a steel tube, packed with propellant, and cut with angled vents. On firing, the angle of the vents caused the projectile to spin rapidly, stabilizing flight.
The weapon was fired in two salvos, one of 5 rockets, and another of 4. These were normally fired in quick succession and then the weapon was reloaded using a special clip holding another 9 rockets. Like duck hunting, but much more dangerous.
Maximum range was listed at 6,000 feet, but effective range was more realistically in the area of 1,500 feet.
Production began in February of 1945, but very few were ever made due to the tightening noose around Germany's throat. Even with this last ditch effort to design a cheap alternative to the expensive anti-aircraft artillery of the time, the oncoming rush of Allied forces could not be stopped. The bombers this weapon was designed to stop, destroyed the factories designed to build it.