Warbird Tech 01 - Consolidated B-24 Liberator
English | 99 pages | 50MB | PDF
When the XB-24 first lifted from San Diego's runway on December 29, 1939, it embodied Consolidated Aircraft's vision of a warplane; a super bomber riding on a promising new airfoil. Though subsequent combat information pointed up vulnerabilities in early Liberators, the intent was obvious:The B-24 was a serious bombardment airplane possessing great range and load-carrying capability. The Liberator was a proactive response from Consolidated Aircraft when asked by the Air Corps in 1938 to consider building Boeing B-17s under contract. After inspecting the Boeing product in Seattle, Consolidated's corporate view was ambitious, yet succinct: A totally new Consolidated product could be designed and built in the same amount of time it would take to adapt the existing B-17 to production in San Diego. Consolidated's Frank Fink was given the task of fleshing out a mock-up of the proposed bomber in January 1939, before it had been designed. The key points were incorporation of the promising Davis airfoil and the basic wing planform of the Model 31 flying boat, the use of four PBY-style engine packages, and the use of two bomb bays, each of which could match the B-17's single bay for capacity.