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Consolidated B-24 Liberator
Technical Information

Wartime History
The common perception of the Liberator initially was that it was less durable than the B-17 Flying Fortress. In fact, the Liberator was superior to the B-17 in terms of speed, range and bomb load. In the Pacific, they gradualy phased out Fortesses. Each B-24 cost the US goverment aproximatly $297,627 to build.

Production
A total of 18,482 were built by several factories in the United States. The majority were built at Consolidated in San Diego, coded CO. Others were built at Consolidated at Fort Worth (CF), Ford at Willow Run (FO), North American (NT) and Douglas at Tulsa (DT).

PB4Y-1 Liberator in US Navy and Marine Corps Service
B-24s operating with the US Navy and Marine Corps were known as PB4Y-1s.

LB-30 (Liberator II)
"Land Bomber" (Liberator II) was the designation assigned to a version of the Liberator ordered for the RAF in 1941 directly from the Consolidated production. The USAAF requisitioned fifteen LB-30's to the Pacific to serve in Java during early 1942 to reinforce the 19th Bombardment Group. By late February, the position of Allied forces in Java had become untenable, and the surviving LB-30s were evacuated to Australia. Two LB-30s survived in Australia until 1944 after been converted to C-87 transport configuration.

C-87 Liberator Express & C-109
B-24's modified as transports were designated C-87 "Liberator Express" by the US Army. A total of 287 C-87s were factory-built alongside the B-24 at the Consolidated Aircraft plant in Fort Worth, Texas.

RY-2
United States Navy designation for three former USAAF C-87As fitted for 16 passengers.

RY-3
A C-87 with the single tail and seven foot fuselage stretch of the PB4Y-2 Privateer. 39 were built, and were used by the RAF Transport Command No. 231 Squadron, U.S. Marine Corps, and one was used by the RCAF.

SB-24 Radar Equipped 'Snoopers'
Radar equipped Liberator, with an extra crew member to serve as radar operator. In the Pacific, they are used for low-level attacks and shipping strikes at night, and for pathfinder operations. the 13th AF activated the 868th 'Snooper Squadron' flying SB-24 on January 1, 1944. The 5th Air Force activated the 43rd BG, 64th BS as a 'Super Snoopers'.

F-7 Photographic Reconnaissance Version
The F7 was a modified B-24 for photo reconnaissance.The initial batch of F-7A's had all been B 24Js, which left the Consolidated factory at Fort Worth, Texas, and proceeded to the Northwest Airlines modification center at Holman Field, Saint Paul, Minnesota for conversion to F-7A specifications.

The 5th Air Force's first multi-engine reconnaissance unit, the 20th Combat Mapping Squadron was equipped with converted F-7A Liberators, and deployed to New Guinea in March 1944, painted in blue color schemes. After May 1944 all F7's were natural aluminum finish only.

Of the 19,286 B-24s that were manufactured during the Second World War, only around 20 examples remain in existence today, mostly in museums, but with a scant few still flying.

Technical Details
Crew  Eight-Ten (pilot, co-pilot, navigator, bombardier, engineer, radio, waist gunners, tail)
Engine 4 x Pratt & Whitney R-1830 radial engines driving three bladed propeller
Span  110'
Length  56' 4"
Height  17" 11"
Maximum Speed 303 mph
Range  3,200 miles
Armament  10 x .50 caliber Machine Guns
Bomb Load  12,800 lbs (maximum load)

Last Updated
August 27, 2014

 

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