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Consolidated LB-25 (series)


Heavy Bomber Design Study / Proposal


United States | 1940



"LB-25 were a series of heavy bomber design studies carried out by aircraft-maker Consolidated prior to the American involvement in World War 2."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/24/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Consolidated LB-25 were a series of design studies undertaken by Consolidated Aircraft to fulfill a United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) heavy bomber requirement before American involvement in World War 2 (1939-1945). The design period also produced the short-lived XB-32 bomber form (detailed elsewhere on MilitaryFactory.com). Like the XB-32, the LB-25 was envisioned with a four-engine arrangement, split-rudder tailfins, and shoulder-mounted (straight) wing mainplanes. None of the proposed studies were furthered beyond the paper or wind tunnel testing stage.

Work on the LB-25 series was first unveiled in March of 1940 and eventually encompassed four distinct forms: LB-25-1, LB-25-2, LB-25-3, and LB-25-4 - differing mainly in the powerplant type and brand to be featured.

In keeping with the design approach of the day, a tubular / cylindrical fuselage was selected to house all pertinent working spaces and armament (including the bomb load). As in the B-24 Liberator before it, the nose of the aircraft was stepped and glazed for the bombardier / pilots (the pilots sitting high and behind the bombardier's position. The shoulder-mounting of the mainplanes gave excellent views of the twin engine arrangement to each side of the cockpit, pilots able to assess the working order of the powerplants in short order. The mainplanes were fitted noticeably forward of midships to maintain proper balance. As in the B-24 before it, the LB-25 was to carry a tricycle undercarriage with short-strut nosewheel and main legs housed under each mainplane.

The bomb bay was positioned slightly ahead of midships with four total doors marking this area externally. The fuselage tapered slightly towards the extreme rear of the aircraft where the twin horizontal planes (each capped by rounded vertical fins) were set.

Armament was assumed to be defensive in nature, made up of medium and large caliber machine guns as well as cannon. The cannon was to be installed at the tail unit to protect the aircraft's vulnerable "six". A network of machine guns (in both 0.30 and 0.50 caliber) would have defensed the aircraft from fighter assault. Their actual positions about the airframe are unknown though the assumption can be had for nose and ventral mountings as well as beam fittings for all-around protection.

The bombload was limited to 8,000lb of internal ordnance.

LB-25-1 was showcased with a running length of 77.7 feet and a wingspan of 135 feet. Power would come from 4 x Wright R-3350 turbocharged air-cooled radials of 2,200 horsepower each driving four-bladed propeller units. Estimated maximum speed was nearly 400 miles-per-hour with a range out to 5,335 miles and a service ceiling up to 32,000 feet (requiring crew oxygen supplies). Gross weight was rated at 85,620lb.

LB-25-2 was slightly lighter while LB-25-3 and LB-25-4 were both heavier designs incorporating Wright and Pratt & Whitney radials (including experimental models). Performance was nearly equal to the LB-25-1, some designs exceeding 400mph while others falling just under. All surpassed the 30,000 foot operating ceiling.

In any event, the LB-25 series was not furthered. 188 B-32 Dominator bombers were built from the XB-32 work but these failed to make much of an impression on history, particularly as the war wound down in 1945. And jet age soon took center stage.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the LB-25-1 Heavy Bomber Design Study / Proposal.
4 x Wright R-3350 turbocharged air-cooled radial piston engines developing 2,200 horsepower each driving four-bladed propeller units in tractor arrangement.
Propulsion
391 mph
630 kph | 340 kts
Max Speed
255 mph
410 kph | 221 kts
Cruise Speed
32,005 ft
9,755 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
5,331 miles
8,580 km | 4,633 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the LB-25-1 Heavy Bomber Design Study / Proposal.
8
(MANNED)
Crew
77.6 ft
23.65 m
O/A Length
135.0 ft
(41.15 m)
O/A Width
88,185 lb
(40,000 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Consolidated LB-25 (series) Heavy Bomber Design Study / Proposal .
PROPOSED:
2 x 0.30 caliber machine guns.
8 x 0.50 caliber heavy machine guns.
1 x 20mm Automatic cannon in tail fitting.

Up to 8,000lb of internal, air-droppable stores (conventional drop bombs) held in the bomb bay.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Consolidated LB-25 (series) family line.
LB-25 - Base Project Designation.
LB-25-1 - Initial study; 4 x Wright radials; 85,600lb weight; 390mph top speed; 4-bladed propeller units.
LB-25-2 - Second study; 4 x PW radials; 84,000lb weight; 375mph top speed; three-bladed propeller units.
LB-25-3 - Third study; Wright Tornado engines; 91,000lb weight; 398mph top speed.
LB-25-4 - Fourth study; 4 x PW radials; 96,000lb weight; 415mph top speed.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Consolidated LB-25 (series). 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) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (391mph).

Graph Average of 300 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
1 / 1
Image of the Consolidated LB-25 (series)
consolidated-lb25-heavy-bomber-proposal-usaaf

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
GROUND ATTACK
X-PLANE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Consolidated LB-25 (series) Heavy Bomber Design Study / Proposal appears in the following collections:
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