YouTube - B-24 Liberator
4 x 1,200 hp ea.
67 ft. 2 in.
10 - .50 cal.
The B-24 Liberator from Consolidated is an example of the power of American manufacturing during World War II.
In March of 1939 the U.S. Army Air Corps placed an order with Consolidated Aircraft Corp. for a single prototype high flying, long range heavy bomber.
Consolidated used their proven PBY flying boat design as the basis for the new bomber, designated the XB-24. The prototype aircraft made its first flight from Lindberg Field, San Diego, California on December 29, 1939.
The XB-24 prototype used a tricycle type undercarriage, a first for a U.S. heavy bomber. It was powered by four 1,200 Pratt & Whitney radial engines. Its internal bomb ordnance capacity was 8,000 lbs. Defense against enemy fighters was by six .30 cal. Browning machine guns.
After seeing the first prototype, the U.S. Army Air Corps ordered an additional seven prototypes. These would have turbo superchargers on their engines for high altitude flight. For increase stability the length of the horizontal stabilizer was increased by 24 inches.
Consolidated delivered nine production B-24 Liberator aircraft to the U.S. Army Air Corps in May of 1941. Nine additional aircraft, designated B-24C soon followed. These had the addition of three powered gun turrets.
The B-24D, primary production model, followed with design modifications made from lesson learned flying earlier models. It had a heavier take off weight, more powerful engines, and a longer range. Defensive armament became a total of ten .50 cal. machine guns and bomb ordnance capacity 8,800 lbs.
During World War II some 3,800 B-24 Liberator aircraft joined the Eighth Air Force flying from England. A total of 19,256 B-24 aircraft of all types were produced by five factories. No other bomber was produced in such numbers.
Robert Pinkston, pilot for the Collings Foundation, a nonprofit group that restores and keeps World War II aircraft airworthy, flies the B-24J “Witchcraft”. It is the last J model of the B-24 still flying. He says it is his favorite aircraft to fly. However its also the most challenging, due to being hard to control and extremely unstable in pitch in roll. This is primarily due to a relatively crude airfoil design. Constant input is necessary to keep it flying correctly. Pinkston reflects as to how these characteristics make the B-24 interesting to fly today, but “it must have been incredibly taxing to fly for 10 hours at a time, in formation, while being shot at.”
B-24 Liberator - photo by Stephen Davies
The scratch built B-24 Liberator is powered by four speed 400 brushed motors geared 3:1. 2S LiPo 2000 mAh battery plus separate Rx battery. It is made from foam and brown paper. Retracts are included. Span is 183 cm. (72 in).
B-24 Liberator - photos by Gregg Kirkwood
The B-24 from Wowplanes has a wingspan of 62 in., is 37 in. long, and weighs around 3 1/2 lbs. Power comes from Speed 370 size motors.
If you are looking for another source for the B-24 Liberator from Don Smith Plans, you may want to check out Kit Cutters.
The B-24 Liberator from Palmer Plans has a wingspan of 110 in., and is 66 in. long. Recommended power is by O.S. .25 engines. Weight is around 18 - 20 lbs.
There are Don Smith plans for a B-24 Liberator. Its wingspan is 146.5 in. and its length is 89.5 in. It needs at least .91 engines 2C engines.