Profile Publications No. 19 The Consolidated B-24J Liberator

9tli Air Force B-24J attacks I wo Jinia. were given the British designation Liberator Mk VI, while the remainder of the Fort Worth products became Mk VII Is, a designation that also applied to the following Ford built B-24Ls when B-24 pro­duction ceased at Fort Worth. The Mk VI designa­tion also embraced B-24G Hand models that found their way to the R.A.F. Twelve Liberators overtaken from the U.S.A.A.F. in Italy early in 1945 for special duties (i.e., agent dropping) over the Balkans, were half B-24Gs and half B-24H and J models yet all were identified as Mk Vis in the R.A.F. Both Mks VIand VIII appeared indifferent forms to meet the needs of various commands and combat theatres. The bomber versions, the B VIand B VIII, were used in the Mediterranean and SouthEast Asia, principally for night attacks. In Coastal Command GR Vis GRand VII Is existed for long-range ocean patrol, many fitted with various sea-search radars and sprouting antenna from wings and fuselage, with the underwing Leigh light for anti-submarine operations at night. aWhile number of transport Liberators were procured in the U.S. as Mk C. VII, some Mk VIand VIII deliveries were given a transport configuration in the U.K. with faired noses, added tail cones and seating for 24 passengers. Over forty R.A.F. squadrons Hew Liberators at onetime or another, and the Liberator endured longer in R.A.F. than U.S.A.A.F. service although all Marks except transport GRand VIII were with­drawn by June 1946, and the last Coastal Command squadrons with the GR VIII converted to Lan­ casters a year later. Some transports were overtaken by B.O.A.C. and continued in use for a few years, taking part in the Berlin Airlift of 1948. Examples of the transport version also found their way to other nations during the immediate post- PRINTED IN ENGLAND ©Profile Publications Lt P.l., Printed by Hills &Lacy Ltd., London and Wntford war years, and a few true bomber models were used by the Indian Air Force until quite recently. Although far more Js were built than any other B-24 model, none—as far as can be ascertained— are instill existence. The U.S.A.A.F. has preserved two Liberators, a B-24D and a B-24M. While the B-24J Liberator was not the easiest of bombers to fly, it gave valiant service and was held dear by those who took it into battle. In addition to an outstanding record through use against the Japanese, the best piece of U.S.A.A.F. precision bombing against a single target over Europe was achieved with Liberators—mostly B-24Js. ©Roger A. Freeman, 1965. The author wishes to acknowledge the help o f Messrs. P. Moves, B. Robertson, J. Rabbets, and particularly that o f Allan G. Blue. SPECIFIC A T ION Wingspan: 110 ft. Total wing area: 1,048 sq. ft. Wing root chord: 1 4 ft. Fuselage length: 67 ft. 2 in. Overall height: 1 8 ft. Tail span (fin centre lines): 26 ft. Wheel tread: 25 ft. 7± in. Wheelbase (fore and aft): 1 6 ft. Ground clearance fuselage: I ft. 8 in. Engines: Four turbo-supercharged Pratt &Whitney R-1830-65*. Propellers: Hamilton Standard. II ft. 7 in.dia., three-blade fully feathering Hydromatic. Engine rating: 1,200 b.h.p. at take-off and at operating altitudes. Max. Speed: 300 m.p.h. at 30,000 ft., at 56,000 lb. take-off weight. Usual combat operating speed range: 180-215 m.p.h. between 10,000 and 25,000 ft. Landing speed: 95 m.p.h. light— 125 m.p.h. loaded. Rate of climb: 25 minutes to 20.000 ft. at 56,000 lb. take-off weight and Military power. Service ceiling: 28,000 ft. at 56,000 lb. take-off weight. Take-off run: 34,000 ft. to gain 50 ft. altitude. Landing run: 26.000 ft. from 50 ft. altitude. Fuel capacity: 2,364 US gls. main tanks. 450 gls. auxiliary wing tanks. 800 gls. in auxi­liary bomb bay tanks if required. Bomb capacity: 5,000 lb. maximum internally was normal load. 12,800 lb. could be carried for short distances utilising wing racks. Range: 2,100 miles at 215 m.p.h., 25,000 ft., and 64,500 lb. loading including 2,814 US gls. fuel and 5,000 lb. bombs. Empty weight: 36,500 lb. Loaded weight: 56,000 lb. Combat loads were often around 65,000 lb. Max overload weight: 71,200 lb. *Some R.A.F. a/c re-engined with R-1830-90. O. Box 26, 1a North Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, England. ,England. U.S. 2nd Class Mailing Rates applied for.
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