Aviation of World War II

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Transport Aircraft


C-109 Consolidated

C-109 - transport version of the B-24 long-range bomber as an air tanker. Unlike the cargo-passenger C-87, all C-109s were manufactured by alteration of the finished B-24 bombers. All weapons and bomber equipment were removed, the nose and tail turret mounts were also removed and their installation sites were covered with fairings made of sheet metal. The rear windows were not sealed. Eight fuel tanks were installed inside the fuselage, with a total capacity of about 11,000 liters of gasoline.

Most C-109s were equipped with a dual ADF (Automatic Direction Finder) system with two antennas on top of the fuselage. (This is the aircraft shown in the top photo, above the cockpit you can see the fairing of the second loop antenna.) The system, based on the principle of a radio compass, made it possible to determine the position of the aircraft with low accuracy from two heading angles of different radio stations. * On some aircraft, the defensive armament was not completely removed, which can be determined from the surviving photographs.

A total of 218 Liberators were converted into C-109s. The aircraft proved to be very difficult to control when landing at full load, especially with a runway length of less than 1800 meters. In addition, low longitudinal stability during flight with a full front tank in the fuselage forced the crew not to refuel it, which reduced the volume of transported fuel to 9600 liters.

* - Note. - When manually determining the position of the aircraft using two KUR-am, the accuracy is 6-9% of the distance to the localization radio station).

C-109 Specification
Crew 4
Wing span, m 33.53
Wing area, m² 97.36
Length, m 20.21
Height, m 5.45
4×PE Pratt Whitney R-1830-43 Twin Wasp с ТН, h.p. 4×1200
Weight, kg:
Empty 14,200
Loaded weight 28,700
Maximum speed, km/h 483
Cruising speed, km/h 346
Time to climb 6100 m, min 60
Service ceiling, m 8534
Service range, km 2,253
Ferry range, km 5,311
Payload of 8 fuel tanks, total l: 10,977

Combat use. C-109s were originally used by the 20th Air Force in the Indochina-Burma theater of operations to support B-29 operations from China. It was originally planned to produce 2,000 C-109s, but the order was canceled after the B-29 Superfortress bases were moved from China to the Mariana Islands, where they were supplied with fuel by US naval seaborne tankers. In late 1944, the C-109s were transferred to Air Transport Command. Several C-109s were in limited use in Europe.

Photo Description
Drawing C-109 Consolidated

Drawing C-109 Consolidated


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