Consolidated B-24C Liberator

The B-24C was the final development version of the Liberator, introducing a number of important developments into American production that would become standard on most of the aircraft to follow. Like the British Liberator IIs they featured a longer nose than earlier models, increasing the overall length of the aircraft from 63ft 9in to 66ft 4in. At the time this change was made for aesthetic reasons, but it would later provide very valuable space as more and more equipment was installed on all combat aircraft.

Consolidated B-24C Liberator from the left
Consolidated B-24C Liberator
from the left

More importantly they were the first American B-24s to feature self-sealing fuel tanks. These reduced the range of the aircraft slightly, but British and French experience against the Luftwaffe had proved that aircraft without self-sealing tanks were very vulnerable to fire.

The defensive firepower of the aircraft was dramatically increased. A Martin A-3 power operated turret carrying two .50in Browning M-2 machine guns was installed just behind the cockpit, increasing the forward firepower of the aircraft. The twin manually operated tail guns were replaced with a powered Consolidated A-6 turret. A single downward firing machine gun was carried in the rear fuselage. The aircraft also carried two waist guns and one gun in the nose

The nine B-24Cs were powered by the Pratt & Whitney R-1830-41 engine, with the first turbo-supercharger in production aircraft. This required a change in the engine cowling shape to the familiar oval shape with an intake on each side of the engine.

The nine aircraft were produced between December 1941 and February 1942. Although they were effectively combat ready, they did not see active service. Instead they were used as training aircraft, as the RB-24C (restricted flight). The last B-24Cs overlapped with the first B-24Ds on the production line.
 Consolidated B-24 Liberator (Crowood Aviation), Martin W. Bowman. A well balanced book that begins with a look at the development history of the B-24, before spending nine out of its ten chapters looking at the combat career of the aircraft in the USAAF, the US Navy and the RAF.
cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (14 December 2007), Consolidated B-24C Liberator , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_B-24C.html

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