1. The B-24 was developed in 1938 by Consolidated Aircraft
Consolidated Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin legacy company, designed the iconic American heavy bomber. It was called “Model 32” within the company circles and featured a ‘modern’ design with its highly efficient Davis wing.
2. A total of 18,482 Liberators were produced, more than any other American combat aircraft
The B-24 was highly favored by military staff due to its capability to cover a wide variety of roles. Because of this, the heavy bomber holds the record for being the most produced bomber, heavy bomber, multi-engine aircraft, and American military aircraft in history.
3. It could travel between 290 and 303 mph for 1,700 miles while carrying a 5,000 lb bomb load
B-24s were known for their extensive combat range and long-range anti-submarine warfare capabilities. Its capacity to do its role well can be partially attributed to its four Pratt & Whitney R-1830-35 engines. These turbosupercharger radial piston engines are capable of outputting 1,200 hp each – that’s almost 5,000 horsepower!
4. B-24s were used in every theater of WWII
Liberators were liberally used in WWII. It served in every branch of the American armed forces and was an essential part of the US strategic bombing campaign in Europe and the Pacific.
5. Some Liberators were painted black to supply resistance fighters during Operation Carpetbagger in 1943
Modified B-24Ds painted in glossy black anti-searchlight paint were flown at night to provide French resistance fighters in German-occupied parts of Europe. The mission also called for the participation of C-47s, A-26s, and de Havilland Mosquitos.