The Consolidated B-24 Liberator, America’s First Long Range Bomber

 The Liberator was America’s first long range bomber and Consolidated delivered a similar long range maritime patrol and strike aircraft to the US Navy called the Privateer. The Liberator featured a twin tail rear control surfaces and the Privateer featured a typical tail assembly. The Liberator fought for primacy with the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. But almost 20,000 Liberator/Privateers were made. That would make this the most numerous aircraft model ever manufactured by the US for warfare alone. There were numerous versions made from the heavy bomber to the long-range reconnaissance, transport, and tanker variants. It weighed 16 tons empty and could carry an extra 14.5 tons fully loaded. It flew at 480 miles per hour and could stay aloft for almost 3000 miles. It took ten men to man a Liberator, including two bombardiers who each controlled one of two Bombay doors that rolled into the fuselage like a garage door. This reduced drag during attacks. It carried a .50 caliber machine gun in the nose and twin .30 caliber guns on dorsal mounts, starboard and port and two ball turrets forward above and aft.

Consolidated B-24 Liberator 15th Air Force Over Railyards In Muhldorf Germany, 3-19-45
Consolidated B-24 Liberator And Ground Crew

1 thought on “The Consolidated B-24 Liberator, America’s First Long Range Bomber”

  1. According to some pilots memoir that I read somewhere, when empty, and all cables under the right tension, it could turn inside a P51 fighter.

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