Skip to comments.The Freeper Foxhole Enjoys an Almost Lazy Sunday- A B-24 Liberator Walk Around
Posted on 09/03/2005 9:24:33 PM PDT by alfa6
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A Color, mostly, look at a B-24
Design of the B-24 was started in 1939 when the U.S.Army Air Corps started a request for a new bomber with performance better than the B-17. Consolidated Aircraft was awarded a contract on March 30, 1939 for the Consolidated Model 32. On December 29, 1939 the B-24 prototype took flight.
The B-24 was designed around the high lift Davis wing, an airfoil that was 20% more efficent than the contemporary airfoils that were in use at the time. Also notable on the B-24 was the first use of the tri-cycle landing gear on a heavy bomber and the unique roll-up bomb bay doors. The oval shaped engine cowlings were necessitated by the placement of the turbosuperchargers.
Of the first 7 YB-40s 6 were sent to Great Britian under the designation LB-30A. The British found that they were not suitable for combat operations due to the lack of self sealing fuel tanks and turbosuperchargers. The 6 aircraft ended up be used as transports in the Trans-Atlantic Return ferry Service.
Like the earlier B-17 the B-24 was subjected to a number of modifications. Two of which stand out are the C-87 cargo version and the C-109 flying tanker version. Winston Churchill had a specially outfitted C-87 as his personal aircraft.
18,188 B-24s were produced by the end of WW-II and the B-24 soldiered on till 1953 with the United States Air Force. The B-24 was produced not only by Consolidated Aircraft but by Ford at the Willow Run plant, were 6,600 were built. Other producers of the B-24 were North American Aviation at the Dallas plant and Douglas had a plant in Tulsa Oklahoma as well.
Currently out of the over 18,000 B-24s produced there are only three flyable B-24s in existence. There are two B-24Js and an LB-30 that are still flyable. As an interesting side note the Indian Air Force flew the B-24 untill 1968 and this is the source of the two remaing flyable "J" models.
What follows will be a short walk around and a few interior views of a B-24.
Everything I have read states that only the B-24 had a "designed" retractable ball turret.
Here ia a link to a page by a former ball turret gunner on B-24s that is rather interseting.
Thanks for the info. I just googled "12 O'Clock High" and it appears the movie used B-17's.
In best W.C. Fields voice..."Ah yeesss my boy"
Probably a field modification of a "D" model B-24 in order to increase thge frontal gun power
I had the good fortune in my yoot to know a gentleman who had piloted both B-17's and B-24's over YerUp late in the war. IIRC he much prferred flying 17's.
The Navy used the B-24 in two versions the PB4Y-1 which was a regular twin tailed B-24 and the -2 version. ABout 850 -2 models were made mostly at the end of WW-II. The single tail version of the B-24 was slightly more efficent than the twin tail version but not enough to go thru the trouble of changing the production lines in the middle of the war.
Almost forgot, the reason for the two top turrets was the Privateers were used in a lot of low level attacks on shipping. If enemy fighters appeared the PB4Y would drop down to the surface of the ocean or land. This tactic put the attacking fighters at a disadvantage and would of course negate the need for ventral protection.
Ah what the heck, I went and found a PB4Y-2 pic from 1949 showing the top two turrets and this one has Emerson nose and tail turrets, I think. A small number of PB4Ys are still in service, I think, as Fire Bombers. Hawkins & Powers in Wyoming operated about half a dozen Privateers as recently as 2002.
Hi miss Feather
How's Bittygirl today??
what's Spiderboy doing, he is growning up so fast.
We went family reunioning yesterday. Bittygirl got to meet a half dozen cousins under 2. It's a big family Msdrby has. Spiderboy got his semi-annual cousin fix.
Ah, I just bet the kids charmed the cousins. :)
two turret guns on top. Wonder why?
Probably because they were flying singly on recon/intel grathering and needed to extra firepower.
And for the ladies Mr. Howell, or the Professor?
Well, that's a picture of Maryann which isn't showing. ;-(
I had an uncle who was Nav/Bom on a Catalina.
Sounds like another subject for a thread.
Great pics! Thanks Alpha6.
Not as "classy" as the B-17 but still a good plane.