Consolidated B-24 Liberator Bomber Plane
The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was a WW2 American heavy bomber designed by Isaac M. Laddon and first flew in December 1939. In many respects the Consolidated B-24 Liberator was a more advanced aircraft design than the more famous B-17 Flying Fortress, it carried a larger bomb-load faster and further but was less rugged and easily damaged by enemy action, this often resulted in the aircrafts extensive upper fuselage fuel tanks to catch fire, in consequence the B-17 Flying Fortress became the more desirable bomber with both flight crews and the USAF command.
|Initially referred to as the "Flying Boxcar" due to it's flat sided design by it's flight crew, as the B-24 Liberator tendency to succumb to enemy action and catch fire combined with the difficulty in bailing out of the bomber became obvious it gained the less affectionate nickname of "The Flying Coffin" with it's aircrew.|
When Liberator production ceased in 1945 a total of 18,482 aircraft had been built resulting in the B-24 Liberator holding the record for the most produced military aircraft in the world, they served primarily with US, Canadian and British armed forces until the end of WWII and then with numerous other air-forces, the last to operate the Liberator in a military role being the Indian Air Force who operated them until December 1968
It is of note that the ex-RAF Liberator B.VIII (B-24L) pictured on this page was produced in December 1944 and served with the RAF under the Lend-Lease program in Bengal from June 1945 in air-sea rescue and bomber roles until the Indian independence of August 1947' The aircraft then passed to the Indian Air Force and was converted in 1948 to a maritime patrol role by Hindustan Aircraft, it remained in operational use by the Indian Air Force until December 1968 when it was Placed into open storage at Poona.
In February 1970 it was allocated by the Indian Air Force to the RAF Museum, in mid 1974 it was overhauled in Poona by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and flown to Lyneham in the the UK in July 74. The aircraft was displayed at the RAF museum at Cosford until 2005 when it was moved to the RAF museum at Hendon where it is currently on display.
Liberator engine nacelle
|B-24J Specifications: |
- Crew: From seven to ten aircrew depending on application.
- Length: 67 ft 8 in (20.6 m)
- Wingspan: 110 ft 0 in (33.5 m)
- Height: 18 ft 0 in (5.5 m)
- 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)
- Engines: Four 1,200 hp (900 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830 turbo-charged radial engines
- Maximum speed: 290 mph (250 knots, 470 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 215 mph (187 knots, 346 km/h)
- Stall speed: 95 mph (83 knots, 153 km/h)
- Combat radius: 2,100 mi (1,800 NM, 3,400 km)
- Ferry range: 3,700 mi (3,200 NM, 6,000 km)
- Service ceiling 28,000 ft (8,500 m)
- Rate of climb: 1,025 ft/min (5.2 m/s)
- Ten .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machineguns ( Four twin gun turrets and two single gun waist positions
- 1,200 kg to 3,600 kg of bombs dependent on mission range
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