Warbirds – B-24 Liberator Heavy Bomber
In all our discussions about the Pacific, we must never forget our flyboys!
December 29th marks the anniversary of the first-flight of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator. Designed by Consolidated under the name Model 32, in 1939 the proposal was offered to the War Department as the highest flying, fastest, and most advanced heavy bomber that American forces would have at their disposal. Though having a shorter hull and less wing area, the innovative design features of the B-24 resulted in a lighter aircraft with substantially greater carrying capacity. Only nine months after the awarding of the contract, the first prototype took flight.
Often forgotten alongside the more famous B-17 Flying Fortress, the Liberator is still the most produced American military aircraft of all time. More than 18,400 units were delivered by war’s end; over half coming produced at the Ford Motor Company Willow Run plant at Belleville, Michigan. At peak, this purpose-built production plant rolled out B-24s at a rate of one per hour. Over 1000 crewmen slept in cots at the facility…
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