Consolidated (Model 32) B-24 Liberator.
Consolidated (Model 32) B-24 Liberator
Heavy bomber Consolidated B-24 Liberator (Liberator – Liberator) did not have beautiful shapes, was looking clumsy and slow, as it remained in the shadow of such aircraft as the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress (Flying Fortress – Flying Fortress), but nevertheless it was he who was the most widely built the planes in the United States in wartime. Roots aircraft Liberator extend to the beginning of 1930. When projects Boeing XB-15 (Voeing HV-15), Douglas XB-19 (Douglas XB-19) and inputs to the B-17 gave a deep understanding of the concept of “heavy bomber” . Airplane Liberator represents the next generation, its evolution is driven primarily tense political situation in Europe and the growing threat of Japanese militarism. In January of 1939. U.S. Army Air Corps proposed company Consolidated (Consolidated) to prepare a project proposal to a heavy bomber with performance, superior data B-17. Company Consolidated in January 1939. spent very little time for preparation of project proposal, designated as the Consolidated Model 32 (Consolidated Model 32). He had a high aspect ratio wing design with rounded ends Davis, first employed before on Model 31 flying boat, a prototype of which was almost completed. Reaching a decision on the continuation of the design aircraft model 32, representatives of the military customers from the U.S. Army had a high rate of work proposed by the company. 30 March 1939. contracted. The prototype, designated XB-24 first flew on 29 December 1939. To achieve the maximum capacity of the aircraft fuselage was made under the scheme vysokoplan, and to provide good handling characteristics at low speeds and acceptable landing speed, the wing was fitted with Fowler flaps large scale. Usually on the fuselage structure had a height that allowed equip bomb bay with vertical stacking up to 3629 kg (8000 lb) bombs. Compartment was divided into two parts, a beam along the axis of the fuselage, which was used as a working platform for the movement of crew between the front and rear sections of the fuselage. The most interesting design solutions in the bomb bay leaf were bombolyukov. During the bombing at the opening of hatches on the leaf roller guides were drawn into the fuselage. This design had less drag than conventional bombolyukami. Tail unit with easily recognizable oval shape of the keel and rudder as a whole was like a flying boat developed for the Model 31. The plane had retractable tricycle landing gear with a nose strut, and the power plant included four engines Pratt & Whitney R-1830-33 Twin Recol (Pratt & Whitney R-1830-33 Twin Wasp). Even before the first flight of the prototype the company began to receive orders for its new bomber. They included 7 cars YB-24 for flight tests, 36 aircraft B-24A first production model for the U.S. Army Air Corps, as well as 120 cars with a drawing sheet “for French buyers. For XB-24 during 1940. followed by operational testing of seven aircraft YB-24, differed from the test sample the presence of air-thermal de-icing system on the leading edge of the wing and tail. By the time the first production aircraft left the assembly line in San Diego, France has already surrendered and its order for 120 machines was transferred to Britain. Planes were performed in accordance with UK requirements specified in the received earlier order for 164 aircraft. To make the British aircraft orders, the company gave them the designation Consolidated LB-30A. Next party received in mid-1941. under the designation Liberator Mk I, began to serve in the Coast Guard of the Royal Air Force. These aircraft were equipped in the UK in the early version of the radar detection of surface targets ASV and supplemented the standard armament of five machine guns 7.72 mm (0.3 inches), ventral arms unit, housed four cannons of 20 mm and located in front bomb bay. Liberator Mk I aircraft began arriving in the squadron number 120 of the Coast Guard in June 1941. They were the first aircraft of the Royal Air Force, had the range and duration of flight, will close the ‘Atlantic gap’, ie that region of the ocean, where sea convoys were not available to provide air support from both North America and from Britain. The first is a real option was a Liberator bomber Mk II (Consolidated LB-30), who had no counterpart in the U.S. Air Force. It differed from the Mk I aircraft primarily to the fact that he had lengthened to 0.79 meters (2 feet 7 inches) by inserting an additional bay bow and a crew of 10 people. In addition, in the middle and rear of the fuselage were installed electrified turret mounting the firm Paul Bolton (Boulton Paul), each of which consisted of four machine guns 7,7 mm (0.303 inches). Royal Air Force had 139 aircraft of this version. One plane was the personal transport of the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, this machine was given the name “Commando” ( “Commando”). Meanwhile, the prototype XB-24 was subjected to regular modification. In his set of puncture-proof fuel tank with the hole rubber, other weapons and, most importantly, the new engine R-1830-41 turbo. After this new prototype received the designation XB-24V. As part of the armament, in addition to the structures located in the middle and forward fuselage machine guns were mounted nadfyuzelyazhnaya and tail turret mounting with the coaxial machine gun, caliber 12,7 mm (0.5 inches). The new engine has resulted in changing the shape of the cross section of the engine nacelles (it became an oval) and a rearrangement of oil cooler. In this configuration, nine aircraft were produced for the U.S. Air Force, received the designation B-24C. Was followed by modification of aircraft B-24D – first production version and the first aircraft, adopted for service in the bomber squadrons of the Air Force United States. They differed only engine was originally R-1830-43, but subsequent production batch had heavier armament, an additional supply of fuel in the end wing and a larger bomb bay to accommodate a separate heavy bombs, and large total bomb load. In some later production models in the lower part of the wing between the engine and fuselage were also sites for the outer suspension of two bombs at 1814 kg (4000 pounds). The Royal Air Force UK aircraft B-24D identified as Liberator Mk III, and the designation Liberator Mk IIIA were given such planes obtained by the Lend-Lease with American weapons and equipment. 122 vehicles were subjected to extensive modifications in the UK. They established radar detection of surface targets, including the antenna in the lower forward fuselage and retractable bottom antenna in a fairing; install floodlights for lighting purposes at night (especially submarines, located at the surface), and has increased fuel capacity (due to the removal of small armament, protection and reduce the bomb load). They got the designation Liberator GR. Mk V. Some of them were equipped with small wings in front of the fuselage for the suspension of eight rockets. As part of the U.S. Air Force were anti-aircraft B-24D, and in 1942. The Navy United States began receiving a small number of aircraft of this option under the designation PB4Y-1. However, in late August 1943. Air Force United States disbanded its anti-submarine unit and the aircraft transferred to the navy in exchange for the same number of bombers built at the expense of outstanding orders of the Navy United States. These ex-aircraft B-24 Air Force United States were retrofit radar ASV and also marked PB4Y-1. The U.S. Navy later purchased a specially designed aircraft PB4Y-2 Prayvetir (PB4Y-2 Privateer), which was equipped with new odnokilevym tail, elongated front part of the fuselage, the twelve-caliber machine guns, 12.7 mm (0.5 inches) and the formulation of the engines Pratt & Whitney R-1830-94 Twin Recol (Pratt & Whitney R-1830-94 Twin Wasp) without turbonag-netateley. B-24 aircraft were built in a large number of companies, Consolidated (Consolidated) in San Diego and Fort Worth, Douglas in Tulsa and Ford at Willow Run, Ran. In mid-1942. began to appear first transportation options without nose and tail guns, but with a large cargo door on the left side of the fuselage and equipped for the carriage of passengers and cargo. U.S. Army Air Force purchased 276 cars P-87, which were designed for 20 passengers and had a crew of five people. Twenty-four similar aircraft Libereyter C. Mk VII, but with windows, were used in military transport aircraft the UK, and copies that flew in the U.S. Navy, had the notation RY-2. The same aircraft, but with engines R-1830-45 and equipped to transport a particularly important persons, designated in the U.S. Navy as RY-1, and in the Air Force, U.S. Army – C-87A. In addition, the Navy purchased 46 more transport aircraft RY-3, and in early 1945. 27 such machines were delivered to the same military-transport aviation Britain. Flying C-109 tanker was used for regular lift through the Himalayan mountain range of aviation fuel capacity of 10,977 liters for the bombers, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress (Boeing B-29 Superfortress). In 1943. released prototype reconnaissance version XF-7, which has no knots suspension bombs in front of the bomb bay accommodated additional fuel tanks. He kept the standard defensive armament and could carry up to 11 cameras. Later versions had the designation F-7A and F-7B and differed in some places installing cameras. The first serial aircraft fired at the Ford plant at Willow Run, Ran, were the B-24E, in general, similar to variant B-24D, except for minor changes and use other screws. This version was built as factories Consolidated and Douglas, some cars have engines R-1830-65. This was followed by variant B-24G, all copies of which, except for the first 25 cars had ring-machine gun on top of the elongated 0,25 m (10 inches) forward fuselage. These aircraft were produced in the new assembly lines deployed by North American Aviation (North American Aviation) in Dallas, Texas. Similar machines are in the factories Consolidated in Fort Worth, Douglas, and Ford, have had the designation B-24H. The main production version was in-24J (built 6678 cars), which differed from the B-24H in minor details. B-24H and B-24J delivered to the RAF under Lend-Lease and equipped for maritime reconnaissance and antisubmarine operations in the shore-based aircraft had the designation Libereyter GR. Mk VI, but if used as heavy bombers in the Middle and Far East, the designated Libereyter B. Mk VI. Those planes, which operated in the U.S. Navy, had the designation PB4Y-1. The latest production version were B-24L and V-24M. The first of these was similar to the variant B-24D, but without a tail turret, which was replaced two light machine guns 12.7 mm (0.5 inches). Company Consolidated in San Diego has built 417 of these vehicles and Ford – 1250. Option B-24M differed from B-24J presence of other tail turret. Company Convair (Convair) in San Diego built 916 copies of such aircraft, and Ford – 1677 cars. Unusual options include: single-24D aircraft in the experimental thermal de-icing system and designated XB-24F; prototype XB-24K was a traditional odnokilevoe plumage, it was assumed that it will be commercially produced in large quantities as B-24N, but only one was built prototype XB-24N and seven cars YB-24N for the operational trials by the end of production on March 31 1945. and the only pilot a bomber escort XB-41, armed with 14 caliber machine guns, 12.7 mm (0.5 inches) and transformed into a trainer AT-22 (later TV-24) for the preparation of flight engineers. There were built more than 19000 machines Libereyter.
Convair Model 39: it was an attempt to break into the post-war market of transport aircraft, vehicle had the shape of the wing, engine and chassis of the B-24 tail of the PB4Y-2 and a new fuselage, housed 45 passengers or 5443 kg.