Aviation of World War II

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B-24D "Liberator"

Heavy bomber



The first large-scale modification of the aircraft was the B-24D (2738 machines), almost similar to it are the B-24E (791 machines) and B-24G (430 machines with a remote electric drive of the front turret). The B-24 received its baptism of fire in June 1942 during a long-range raid (from an Egyptian airfield) on Romanian oil depots.

"LIBERATOR" III. This designation was given to the B-24D by the British Air Force. The British were supplied with 366 aircraft of this type. These vehicles carried a mixed armament of 12.7 and 7.69 mm machine guns. The latter were located in the nose and in pairs along the sides. A Martin A-3 turret with two heavy machine guns was mounted on top. The planes were delivered with Consolidated A-6 stern turrets, but in England they were removed and put their Boulton-Pol with four 7.69-mm machine guns.

On some Liberators, the British attached small planes in front with launch beams of 5-inch HVAR rockets - four on each side. Under the right wing, these machines carried a Lee Light searchlight of five million candles. Such "Liberators" were used by the Coastal Command to hunt for submarines.

In 1942, when the Allies were actively fighting German submarines in the Atlantic, the United States additionally transferred 11 conventional B-24Ds to the British. These vehicles, which retained the original American weapons, were called the Liberator IIA.

Several B-24Ds in the UK have been fitted with ASV radar in a radome under the nose or in a retractable container in place of the ball turret. Such aircraft were designated the Liberator GR V. 19 aircraft of this type were handed over to the Canadian Air Force, which also used them to patrol over the North Atlantic.

B-24D B-24J-CO PB4Y-2 B-32A
Crew 10 10 11 10
Wing span, m 33.52 33.52 33.52 41.14
Length, m 20.21 20.61 22.72 25.32
Height, m 5.46 5.48 8.86 9.80
4хPratt & Whitney R-1830-43 R-1830-65 R-1830-94 R-3350-23А
Power, h.p. 1200 1200 1350 2200
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 14,744 16.566 17,130 27,340
Maximum takeoff weight 27,215 29,480 28,120 45,720
Maximum speed, km/h 487 466 394 574
Service ceiling, m 9,750 8,530 6,460 9,350
Service range, km 4,580 3,380 4,230 4,830
Machine guns, 12.7-mm 11 10 12 10

B-24D Crush

LIBERATOR EXPRESS C-87. The Liberator Express was an unarmed military transport version of the B-24D. It was intended to carry passengers, cargo or fuel. The first such aircraft was converted from a wrecked bomber during repairs in just three weeks. Ladden decided to take advantage of the San Diego plant's refurbishment to try and build an aircraft that would meet the new specification for a heavy, long-range transport.

All small arms and bomb weapons were removed. The nose glazing was replaced with a metal fairing. When loading and unloading, he leaned back on the hinges to the side. The stern turret was eliminated by mounting a tail spinner with a plexiglass window. In the former bomb bay, a floor was laid and windows were cut along the sides. A large cargo door appeared on the left side. The crew of the transporter consisted of five people, 20 passengers were accommodated in the cabin.

The alteration was considered successful and the S-87 was put into production. In Fort Worth, 291 aircraft of three variants were assembled. The main one was actually S-87. It was supplied to the US Army Air Force and to the UK (as the Liberator C.VII). 25 machines went to England.

The C-87A was distinguished by the presence of berths. Only six of these aircraft were made. The first one was made for President Roosevelt. In the fuselage there were four compartments with two beds in each (one above the other), and under the wing there was a compartment with one berth. The designers provided two toilets and a small kitchen. To increase the range on the C-87A, a fuselage gas tank from the C-54 was installed. Roosevelt never flew this plane, but his wife used the Express once in March 1944.

Five aircraft were assembled in the training version of the flying class as AT-22.

In addition to the production in Fort Worth, the San Diego plant produced 34 transport vehicles for naval aviation, where they were called RY-3.

"Expresses" of all variants were widely used in various theaters of operations, in particular, for urgent transportation across the Atlantic.

Photo Description
Drawing B-24D

Drawing B-24D


Liberator B-24D


Liberator B-24D

Liberator Salbani RAF Operations in the Fwr East, 1941-1945


  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/
  • "American warplanes of World War II" /under cor. David Donald/