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.
| ENGINE||4 x P+W R-1830-43, 880kW|
| Wingspan||33.6 m||110 ft 3 in|
| Length||20.2 m||66 ft 3 in|
| Height||5.5 m||18 ft 1 in|
| Wing area||97.4 m2||1048.40 sq ft|
| Max. speed||487 km/h||303 mph|
| Ceiling||9750 m||32000 ft|
| Range w/max.fuel||4580 km||2846 miles|
| ARMAMENT||10 x 12.7mm machine-guns, 5800kg of bombs|
|Mark, mark=citroen.com, 20.09.2012|
Πρόκειται για ένα βαρύ βομβαρδιστικό της αεροπορίας των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών. Εμφανίστηκε πρώτη φορά στις αμερικανικές δυνάμεις το 1941, αλλά η μαζική του παραγωγή ξεκίνησε το 1943, με μέγιστη παραγωγή 650 βομβαρδιστικών ανά μήνα το 1944. Ήταν το μεγαλύτερο σε παραγωγή βαρύ βομβαρδιστικό των Συμμάχων κατά τον 2ο Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο, αφού κατασκευάστηκαν συνολικά πάνω από 18.000 τέτοια αεροπλάνα και παραμένει μέχρι σήμερα το μεγαλύτερο σε παραγωγή στρατιωτικό αεροσκάφος της Αμερικής. Χρησιμοποιήθηκε από σχεδόν όλες τις αεροπορικές και ναυτικές δυνάμεις των Συμμάχων, κερδίζοντας ένα ρεκόρ συμμετοχής στις επιχειρήσεις του πολέμου, στη Δυτική Ευρώπη, στον Ειρηνικό, στη Μεσόγειο και στην Ασία. Η ονομασία Liberator δόθηκε αρχικά από τη RAF και υιοθετήθηκε αργότερα από τη USAAF, ως επίσημο όνομα. Η παραγωγή του σταμάτησε το 1945 με το τέλος του πολέμου
Είχε πλήρωμα 7-10 ανδρών, μήκος 20 μέτρων, άνοιγμα φτερών 33.5 μέτρα, μέγιστη ταχύτητα 470 χλμ/ώρα, ακτίνα δράσης 3.400 χλμ και μέγιστο φορτίο πυρομαχικών 3.6 τόνους. Μπορούσε να μεταφέρει 3.6 τόνους πυρομαχικών ενώ διέθετε μια συστοιχία πολυβόλων 12.7 χιλιοστών M2 Browning σε 6 θέσεις για άμυνα σε αεροπορικές επιθέσεις. Σε σχέση με το πιο γνωστό B-17 Flying Fortress, είχε πιο σύχρονη τεχνολογία, μεγαλύτερη ταχύτητα, μεγαλύτερη ακτίνα δράσης και μετέφερε μεγαλύτερο όγκο πυρομαχικών, αλλά μικρότερη ευελιξία και μεγαλύτερο κίνδυνο πυρκαγιάς ή έκρηξης από εχθρικά πυρά, λόγω της θέσης των δεξαμενών καυσίμου. Το B-24 αποτέλεσε το 1/3 της δύναμης αεροπορικού βομβαρδισμού της USAAF, ένω τα άλλα 2/3 αφορούσαν τα B-17. To B-24 κατασκευάστηκε σε πάρα πολλές εκδόσεις τόσο από τις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες, όσο και από τη Μεγάλη Βρετανία, δίνοντας του και άλλους ρόλους όπως αναγνωριστικό, μεταγωγικό cargo, καυσίμων, προσωπικού και για περιπολίες
|Jennifer, jendejean=yahoo.com, 01.05.2012|
My grandfather, Felix DeJean, was a pilot or co-pilot of a b24. He was in the 514 squadron, 376 group. I'm looking for any information that anyone may have. thank you.
|jim vail, james.vail=comcast.net, 24.04.2012|
My brother claude Vail pilot of the no 1 crew 451st bomb group 724 squadron shot down mar 11 flying lead on a mission over Toulan france bombing the submarine base. Loved flying the B24. His stateside plane was Adolph&Tojo the the plane they had in Italy was the Peacemaker
|greg lauer, glgto1966=gmail.com, 02.04.2012|
my grandfather was in b 24 in ww2. was downed serveral times but we have no idea what planes. only have a photo marked korea and a b24 with 939 on the nose.
his name was samuel parker shelley. he was from milton ky and inlisted in ohio i think. honorably discharged in july of 45 where it is listed section 1 112th army air corps.
any help is more than i have
|Herb Guiness, actllc=hotmail.com, 28.03.2012|
I was the command pilot of a B-24 H model that we ditched in the Adriatic Sea in June of 1944. The plane didn't ditch very well and the tail broke off, but 8 of us survived and were rescued in our life raft by the RAF..
|Alice Soliwoda, asoliwoda=hotmail.com, 24.03.2012|
My father-in-laws brother was a tail gunner in the 790 Bombardment Squadron 467th Bombardment group. I know he came back on the RMS Queen Mary from Scotland on July 11 1945. He past in 1966 and do not have much info other than that. If any one has any info that you can share, it would be greatly appreciated.
|Wayne, wmchatton=aol.com, 02.02.2012|
I have a friend that has a complete original set of manuals in the leather case. They are in perfect condition and have the name CH Hane imprinted on them.
|Bruce Parker, turnbeam=gmail.com, 21.01.2012|
My father, Thomas Parker, was an inspector at the Willow Run assembly plant - thus my birthplace of Ann Arbor. My cousin, TH Canady, was a B-24 pilot in Europe and went on to a distinguished career with the Air Force. I was lucky enough to get to Oshkosh in 2008, had a chance to get inside the B-24 - and recognized hardware bits my dad had in the shop, little bakelite pulleys, etc.; I still have an exhaust valve [unfilled and uncapped]. The form-follows-function beauty of the B-24 is still stunning; add the heroism of the flight and ground crews, and this is a stirring episode of man's endeavors.
|Joe, j.hubbard=cmiak.com, 27.11.2011|
My father in law George Insley piloted 53 missions on B24s out of England during the war. I am very PROUD to have him as a father in law.
|Judi (Beaney) Dudley, angeltwo=rochester.rr.com, 08.11.2011|
My Dad, Elroy W. Beaney was the pilot on "Perils of Pauline." He passed away May 29, 2000. He never spoke of
the war. If there's anyone with any info on him during that time...I'd love to hear about it. Always, Judi (Roy
Beaney's middle daughter)
|Leonard V. Porter, Jr, Lt Col , lporter2=kc.rr.com, 08.11.2011|
I flew a B-24J in Combat in WW II. We were in the 7th AF,30th BG, 38th Sq. We flew 40 Combat missions out of Saipan against the Japanese, Primarily IWO JIMA and CHICHI JIMA. Our aircraft, Ruff Knights, was hit by Flac and/or fighters on 29 of those missions. On one mission after bombing Iwo Jima, we were hit by flac and after bombs away shadowed another B-24 who had been hit and lost altitude down to about 500 feet. We visually picked him up, descended so we could keep him in sight and escorted him back to Saipan. We were both low on fuel due to weather and damage. He landed ahead of me and ran out of fuel on touchdown and ran off the runway. I touched down almost on his heels and ran out of fuel after turning off runway. We had been in the air 12 hours and 55 minutes.
I loved flying the B-24 and never considered it difficult to fly. I felt I could do almost any maneuver with it and capped off a single acft mission with an approved fighter pass and pull up tight turn turn and landing. After combat and return to states I flew the B-17 and felt it to be "Mickey Mouse" Not for me. Pilots who complained the B-24 was hard to fly apparently did not know about trim tabs.
|T-SGT H.G.GERHARD, harrisg446=aol.com, 02.09.2011|
CAPT.BILL WETZEL'S CREW OF 10..FLEW 32 MISSIONS..IN THE EIGHT AIR FORCE..SECOND AIR DIV..446 BOMB GROUP..705 SQDRN..FLIXTON AIR BASE..BUNGAY,ENGLAND..IN "THE BATTLE DRAGON"..B24J..AND THEN FLEW HER BACK TO THE STATES. NOT A BETTER BOMBER WAS MADE FOR OUR JOB.
|Louis Piazza, lapiazza=cox.net, 02.08.2011|
My 91 year old brother in law flew the fuel and cargo version of the B-24, called the C-109 and C-87 as a hump pilot from November 1944 to Sept 1945. This area was known as the worst flying weather in the world, as heavy loads of fuel and cargo were being carried over the Himalayan Mountains from India to China to support the Flying Tigers as well as the Chinese Army fighting the Japanese.
|Steve Wellen, wellensj2002=yahoo.com, 17.06.2011|
My Dad was a B24 pilot and instructor I still have many manuals and flight instruction books. He always said they had the gliding angle of a rock. Landed one at Lunken Airfield here in Cincinnati during WWII
|Greg Janusz, gregdrum=mcfi.com, 28.05.2011|
My Dad Was in the Jolly Rodger 90th Bomb Group in Nadzab, New Guinea in late 1941. He flew the " Yankee Doodle Dandy " / " Twin Nifty's" / " Dinky " and a few other planes from that group. I was sent a Mission Report from one of his missions which was very interesting.
A historian sent it to me while I was researching my Dad's time in the Army Air Corps. I hope this site will stay available to all who seek information and the history about this remarkable aircraft, but especially for their Remarkable Crews....
|Ross Rainwater, r-rainwater=juno.com, 24.05.2011|
My late father, Tsgt Roy L. Rainwater, was an original crew flight engineer on "Perils of Pauline" in the 790th Squadron 467th BG, flying a few missions on the famous "Witchcraft." After successfully flying the "Southern Route to the UK, the pilot, Elroy Beaney, landed downwind (!) and cracked up on the end of the runway. Dad finished his 35 missions before "The Pauline" (as he always called her) was shot down with only two survivors (one of them, the flight engineer).
|C J Leleux, cjleleux=hal-pc.org, 23.05.2011|
I was an aircraft and engine mechanic on B-24's from late 1942 until July 1945. I served in the 448th BG, 715th BS and in the 491st BG, 855th BS. I am a retired Chemical Engineerliving in Houston, Texas.
|John R. Weyler, jackweyler=yahoo.com, 19.05.2011|
I was a lead pilot in the 791st bomb squadron of the 467th bomb group out of Rackheath in East Anglia, England. My crew and I were very lucky that none of us were injured although our aircraft took a lot of flac. The B-24 was much harder to fly than the B-17 until the B-24 M was manufactured with a hydraulic booster control.
|John Blair, jb7200=comcast.net, 10.05.2011|
I was the nose turret gunner/ordnanceman on a PB4Y1 in Patrol Bombing Squadron 107, an ASW squadron, flying out of Natal, Brazil, Ascention Island, & Dunkswell/Uppottery, England. Not many of us left.
|Janet Convertini, Pops-Jezebelle=webtv.net, 05.04.2011|
My Dad, Harold Straub, was the Flight Engineer on a B-24 named Jezebelle. He was in the 529th Squadron, 380th Bomb Group. Spent 1943 flying out of Darwin, Australia.....I have a love affair with this plane, in my eyes it is the most beautiful plane ever flown, it brought my Dad safely back through every mission flown......
Pop has been gone for 8 years, but I am so very proud of him and all those that have served their country and are serving now......We should give our complete support and gratitude to each and everyone of them......
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?