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Consolidated B-24 Liberator

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Old July 31st 16, 02:52 PM posted to alt.binaries.pictures.aviation
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Default Consolidated B-24 Liberator


The Consolidated B-24 Liberator is an American heavy bomber, designed by
Consolidated Aircraft of San Diego, California. It was known within the company
as the Model 32, and some initial models were laid down as export models
designated as various LB-30s, in the Land Bomber design category.

At its inception, the B-24 was a modern design featuring a highly efficient
shoulder-mounted, high aspect ratio Davis wing. The wing gave the Liberator a
high cruise speed, long range and the ability to carry a heavy bomb load. Early
RAF Liberators were the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic Ocean as a matter
of routine. However, the type was difficult to fly and had poor low speed
performance. It also had a lower ceiling and was less robust than the Boeing
B-17 Flying Fortress. While aircrews tended to prefer the B-17, General Staff
favored the B-24, and procured it for a wide variety of roles.

The B-24 was used extensively in World War II. It served in every branch of the
American armed forces, as well as several Allied air forces and navies, and saw
use in every theater of operations. Along with the B-17, the B-24 was the
mainstay of the US strategic bombing campaign in the Western European theater.
Due to its range, it proved useful in bombing operations in the Pacific,
including the bombing of Japan. Long range anti-submarine Liberators played an
instrumental role in closing the Mid-Atlantic Gap in the Battle of the Atlantic.
The C-87 transport derivative served as a longer range, higher capacity
counterpart to the Douglas C-47 Skytrain.

Heavy bomber
Anti-submarine warfare
Maritime patrol aircraft

Consolidated Aircraft

First flight
29 December 1939


1968 (Indian Air Force)

Primary users
United States Army Air Forces
United States Navy
Royal Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force


Number built
19,256[citation needed]

Unit cost

$297,627 ($4.79 million in today's dollars)

Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer
Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express
Consolidated Liberator I

Developed into
Consolidated R2Y

The B-24 had a shoulder mounted high aspect ratio Davis wing. This wing was
highly efficient allowing a relatively high airspeed and long range. Compared to
the B-17 it had a 6-foot larger wingspan, but a lower wing area. This gave the
B-24 a 35% higher wing loading. The relatively thick wing held the promise of
increased tankage while delivering increased lift and speed, but became
unpleasant to fly when committed to heavier loadings as experienced at high
altitude and in bad weather. The Davis wing was also more susceptible to ice
formation than contemporary designs, distortions of the aerofoil section causing
loss of lift (unpleasant experiences drawing such comments as 'The Davis wing
won't hold enough ice to chill your drink'.) [9] The wing was also more
susceptible to damage than the B-17's wing, making the aircraft less able to
absorb battle damage. The wing carried four supercharged radial engines mounted
in cowlings borrowed from the PBY Catalina (except being oval in cross-section,
with oil coolers mounted on each side of the engine), turning 3-bladed variable
pitch propellers.

The tail plane featured two large oval vertical stabilizers mounted at the ends
of a rectangular horizontal stabilizer. As early as 1942, it was recognized that
the Liberator's handling and stability could be improved by the use of a single
vertical fin. The single fin was tested by Ford on the single B-24ST and an
experimental XB-24K, and was found to improve handling. All Liberators were
produced with twin oval fins, with the exception of eight preproduction B-24N
aircraft. The B-24N was intended as a major production variant featuring a
single tail. Over 5000 orders for this version were placed in 1945, but were
cancelled due to the end of the war. The single fin did appear in production on
the PB4Y Privateer derivative.[

Specifications (B-24J)

General characteristics
Crew: 11 (pilot, co-pilot, navigator, bombardier, radio operator, nose turret,
top turret, 2 waist gunners, ball turret, tail gunner)
Length: 67 ft 8 in (20.6 m)
Wingspan: 110 ft 0 in (33.5 m)
Height: 18 ft 0 in (5.5 m)
Wing area: 1,048 ft (97.4 m)
Airfoil: Davis 22% / Davis 9.3%
Empty weight: 36,500 lb (16,590 kg)
Loaded weight: 55,000 lb (25,000 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 65,000 lb (29,500 kg)
Powerplant: 4 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-35 or -41 turbosupercharged radial
engines, 1,200 hp (900 kW) each
Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0406
Drag area: 42.54 sq ft (3.952 m2)
Aspect ratio: 11.55

Maximum speed: 290 mph (250 kn, 488 km/h)
Cruise speed: 215 mph (187 kn, 346 km/h)
Stall speed: 95 mph (83 kn, 153 km/h)
Range: 2,100 mi (1,800 nautical miles (3,300 kilometres))
Ferry range: 3,700 mi (3,200 nmi (5,900 km))
Service ceiling: 28,000 ft (8,500 m)
Rate of climb: 1,025 ft/min (5.2 m/s)
Wing loading: 52.5 lb/ft (256 kg/m)
Power/mass: 0.0873 hp/lb (144 W/kg)

Lift-to-drag ratio: 12.9


Guns: 10 .50 caliber (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns in 4 turrets and two
waist positions
Bombs: Short range (400 mi): 8,000 pounds (3,600 kg)
Long range (800 mi): 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg)
Very long range (1,200 mi): 2,700 pounds (1,200 kg)



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