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 Post subject: Consolidated B-24 Liberator
PostPosted: 10 Feb 2010, 18:48 
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Consolidated B-24 Liberator

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In order to achieve perfection, it is necessary to make adjustments. This is exactly what was done to achieve the Consolidated B-24 Liberator.

The design of the Liberator came from the tweaking of another flying boat model which has a proven airframe. The previous B-17 Flying Fortress design has been successful enough however; the enlargement of the fuselage and the mounting of the wing assembly to a much higher position would prove that the resulting B-24 design would out-perform it in all aspects. Because of this, the B-24 Liberator would become that most-produced WW2 US aircraft.

The high-wing design of the Liberator allowed it to have an increased drag and lift. This made this heavy bomber to reach greater speeds and have a wider range. The installations of four radial engines across its wings helped the B-24 to successfully reach these increased speed and range.

The Consolidated B-24 Liberator had various preproduction models which included seven “YB-24” designs and nine “A-model” designs. The preproduction models had a variety of armaments which were combined for a more effective defense or offense depending on the need of the operator. The armaments that were used by the B-24 series included 12.7mm and heavy machine guns of .50-caliber. The engines used by the different preproduction models also had varied ratings but the most commonly used were the 1,200 HP engines of the Pratt & Whitney radial engine series.

Out of all the preproduction model designs of the B-24, only the “J” series came out as the best. The B-24J models were able to accommodate a minimum of ten personnel that can be stationed in various positions to man the different armaments of the Liberator. The B-24J was also installed with an improved radial engine and had an autopilot function. Finally, the J series was able to carry almost 9,000 pounds of internal storage which made it adaptable to a variety of roles which include that of a fuel tanker, a reconnaissance plane and for patrolling the skies. The B-24J model of the Liberator had a production total of not less than 6,600 units.


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SPECIFICATIONS

Allied Codename: Liberator
Type: minimum ten-man crew multiple-role floatplane
Design: Boeing Aircraft Firm
Engine(s): 4 x 1,200 HP Pratt & Whitney R-1830-65 radial piston engines
Max Speed: 467 km/h
Ceiling: 28,000 feet
Range: 3,220 km
Length: 67.16 feet
Wingspan: 110.01 feet
Empty Weight: 16,556 kg
Loaded Weight: 29,484 kg


Armaments:

2 x 12.7mm machine guns in nose position
2 x 12.7mm machine guns in tail position
2 x 12.7mm machine guns in dorsal turret
2 x 12.7mm machine guns in ventral turret
1 x 12.7mm machine gun in left-waist fuselage position
1 x 12.7mm machine gun in right-waist fuselage position.

Up to 8,800lbs of internal ordnance

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 Post subject: Re: Consolidated B-24 Liberator
PostPosted: 11 Feb 2010, 21:05 
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Joined: 20 Dec 2005, 21:45
Posts: 514
Location: Tomcat Alley
Consolidated B-24 Liberator
1941


BOMBER



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When in 1939 Consolidated Aircraft Corporation began design of a bomber aircraft intended to be superior to the Boeing B-17, the company could never have imagined that more than 18,000 of these aircraft would be built (as the B-24A to -M for the USAAF and Liberator I to IX for RAF Coastal Command and Bomber Command). The aim of the design team was to achieve better load/range performance than that of the B-17, the basis of the design being a wide-span narrow-chord cantilever wing, mounted high on a deep-section fuselage.

Construction was conventional all-metal, but there were several innovations in addition to the new wing. For the first time on a large aircraft a retractable tricycle-type landing gear was introduced. The bomb bay was deep enough for bombs to be stowed vertically and wide enough to comprise two bays separated by a catwalk providing communication between the flight deck and rear fuselage. Instead of conventional bomb doors, which can affect flight characteristics when open, the bomb bay was closed by roller-shutter-type doors.

The prototype XB-24 flew for the first time on 29 December 1939, by which time the USAAC had ordered seven YB-24 for service trials and others had been ordered by Great Britain and France. These had the same engines as the prototype, but introduced pneumatic de-icing boots for wing and tail unit leading edges. The first production B-24A were delivered in 1941 to the USAAF (and others to Britain 4s LB-30A transports for transatlantic ferry flights). During the period of their construction the original prototype was re-engined with turbocharged Pratt & Whitney R-1830-4I, at the same time having the oil coolers mounted on each side of the engine. This was responsible for the unusual elliptical cowlings which, together with the large twin oval endplate fins, made the Liberator easily identifiable.

Subsequent Liberators had increased armament and armour protection. The first major production version was the B-24D, powered by R-1830-43 engines, of which the majority of more than 2,700 built went to the USAAF as bombers. A number were subsequently taken over by the US Navy as PB4Y-1 anti-submarine aircraft. RAF Bomber Command and Coastal Command also received 382 as Liberator III/IIIA and V. The major production version of the Liberator was, however, the B-24J with R-1830-65 engines, making up more than one-third of the total production. These were supplied to the US, British, Canadian and other air forces.

Although the B-24 was deployed alongside the B-17 in Europe, and flew in Africa and the Middle East, its major contribution to America's wartime operations was in the Pacific, where it was first flown in action against the Japanese in January 1942. In Europe it is best remembered for bombing Rome on 19 July 1943 and for a low-level attack by 177 aircraft on the Ploesti oil refineries in Romania on 1 August 1943, a 4,345km round-trip mission from Benghazi in Libya, during which 57 of these eight-ten-crew aircraft were lost.


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