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Consolidated LB-26 (Medium Liberator)

Medium Bomber Proposal

United States | 1940

"The Consolidated LB-26 became a footnote medium bomber project aircraft of the early World War II period."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Consolidated LB-26 (Project) Medium Bomber Proposal.
2 x Engines of unknown power output to be provided from Wright (R-2600) or Pratt & Whitney (R-2800 or R-1830 series) each driving three-bladed propeller units in counter-rotating arrangement.
326 mph
525 kph | 283 kts
Max Speed
20,997 ft
6,400 m | 4 miles
Service Ceiling
2,796 miles
4,500 km | 2,430 nm
Operational Range
1,200 ft/min
366 m/min
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Consolidated LB-26 (Project) Medium Bomber Proposal.
55.3 ft
16.85 m
O/A Length
70.0 ft
(21.35 m)
O/A Width
21.3 ft
(6.50 m)
O/A Height
22,487 lb
(10,200 kg)
Empty Weight
35,494 lb
(16,100 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Consolidated LB-26 (Medium Liberator) Medium Bomber Proposal .
4 x 0.50 caliber Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) at the wing leading edges (two at the roots, two outboard of the engine nacelles).
2 x 0.50 caliber HMG in a powered dorsal turret.
2 x 0.50 caliber HMG in a powered ventral turret.
2 x 0.50 caliber HMG in a powered tail turret.

Internal bombload (conventional drop bombs) of unknown limit, possibly around 4,000lb or less.
Notable series variants as part of the Consolidated LB-26 (Medium Liberator) family line.
LB-26 - Base Project Name.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/01/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

The Consolidate "LB-26" exists as a little-known medium bomber proposal of the early World War II period. At the time of the outbreak of war in 1939, the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) already possessed the war-winning North American B-25 "Mitchell" and Martin B-26 "Marauder" types (both detailed elsewhere on MilitaryFactory.com) but interest remained strong in possible successors and contenders from other providers like Consolidated - who had already delivered their own war-winning four-engined heavy bomber design in the B-24 "Liberator" series. One such endeavor became the short-lived LB-26 which attempted to satisfy a twin-engined, medium-class, high-speed bomber role within the inventory of the USAAC/USAAF.

For all intents and purposes, engineers essentially drew up plans for a dimensionally smaller version of their existing B-24 heavy. This led to deletion of the outboard engines within a shortened wingspan centered on a shortened, more streamlined fuselage. A twin-rudder configuration was retained at the tail as was a powered turret emplacement to protect the aircraft's vulnerable "six". Unlike the stepped nose arrangement of the B-24, a rounded He 111- / B-29-like nose section was developed with liberal use of windows for excellent viewing from-the-cockpit. The mainplanes were mounted high (as in the B-24) and each held an underslung engine nacelle emanating from the leading edges. Each engine was to turn three-bladed propeller units in counter-rotating fashion to naturally cancel out torque effects while provide the needed power and performance. The wings were straight in their general shape, though tapered from root-to-wing-tip while being set slightly ahead of midships.

The fuselage was made long and slender, certainly aerodynamically-refined, and raised ever-so-slightly at the empennage to allow for clearance of the tail unit during take-off and flaring landing actions. A bomb bay was reserved at the aircraft's center (ventral line) and rectangular doors gave access to the fuselage for the crew. A retractable, tricycle undercarriage was to be featured for ground-running - the same novel concept first utilized in the B-24.

Beyond the ability to carry bombs, the aircraft would be armed through 4 x 50 caliber heavy machine guns in fixed, forward-firing mountings in the wing leading edges (one at each wing root and one outboard of each of the engine nacelles). Turrets were to be featured at the dorsal and ventral lines as well as the aforementioned tail position - each to mount a battery of twin 0.50 HMG weapons mainly for defensive purposes.

The plans for this aircraft were known to be in existence as early as February 1940 but nothing became of it and the B-25 and B-26 both went on to see storied careers in the war years - leaving little need for another medium type in the inventory of the USAAF.

As drawn up, the LB-26 had an overall length of 55.2 feet with a wingspan of 70 feet. Gross weight reached 22,500lb. Power was to stem from two engines offered from Wright (R-2600), Pratt & Whitney (R-2800 or R-1830) though a final selection was never made. Estimated maximum speed was 325 miles-per-hour.

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Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Consolidated LB-26 (Medium Liberator). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): Consolidated Aircraft - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States (cancelled) ]
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Going Further...
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