Consolidated B-24 Liberator Four-Engined Heavy Bomber Aircraft
The Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bomber was produced in greater numbers than any other American aircraft during World War 2.
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The Consolidated B-24 Liberator became a major player for Allied forces during World War 2. Its exploits ranged the world over - as did her users- and she saw action in a variety of roles in all major theaters. Designed to overtake the mythical Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and appearing as a more modern design in 1941, the Liberator fell short of this goal but instead operated side-by-side with her contemporary to form a powerful hammer in the hand of the Allied bombing effort. Though the B-17 ultimately proved the favorable mount of airmen and strategic personnel, one cannot doubt her impact in the various roles she was assigned to play in. The Liberator went on to become the most produced American aircraft of the entire war.
The United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) issued a new specification in 1935. This specification required the development of a new multi-engined, long-range heavy bomber capable of exceeding a top speed of 300 miles per hour, besting a range of 3,000 miles, maintaining a service ceiling of at least 35,000 feet and taking on an internal bombload minimum of 8,000lbs. Production of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was well underway and, in 1938, Consolidated was requested to help in its production. As part of the production initiative, Consolidated executives were brought to Boeing's plant in Seattle, Washington to visit the factory. It was this meeting that prompted Consolidated to submit their own heavy bomber design with a more modern flair. The USAAC granted Consolidated a design study in January of 1939 under C-212 with the intent that this new aircraft exceed the performance specifications (speed, range and ceiling) of the B-17 and be ready in time for production before the end of the war.