The Consolidated B-24D Liberator, is an American heavy bomber, distinctive as the most heavily produced American bomber of World War II. The B-24D currently sits at Rank 4 in the American line with an upfront cost of 840,000 .
Design, Development & Operational HistoryEdit
The B-24 was used in World War II by several Allied air forces and by every branch of the American armed forces during the war. The B-24 saw service in most every theater of the war.
The B-24 was a more modern design than the popular B-17, with various improvements borrowed from British crafts. It had a higher top speed, extended range, and a heavier bomb load but was vulnerable to damage due to it's light-weight design and fuel placement.
The D variant was the first model produced on a large scale; ordered from 1940 to 1942, as a B-24C with better engines (R-1830-43 supercharged engines). The D model was initially equipped with a remotely operated and periscopically sighted Bendix belly turret, as the first examples of the B-17E Flying Fortress and some early models of the B-25 Mitchell medium bomber had used, but this proved unsatisfactory in service and was discontinued after the 287th aircraft. Production aircraft reverted to the earlier manually operated "tunnel" mounting with a single .50 caliber (12.7 mm) machine. The tunnel gun was eventually replaced by the Sperry ball turret, which had also been adopted by the later B-17E Fortresses, but made retractable for the Liberator as the ventral area of its fuselage was very close to the ground on landing. In late B-24Ds, "cheek" guns mounted on either side of the forward nose, just behind the famed "derp" nose glazing were added.