Consolidated B-24J Liberator

The Consolidated B-24J Liberator was built in larger numbers than any version of the aircraft, with a total of 6,678 aircraft being built by all five factories involved in the Liberator Production Pool. Originally the B-24J referred to aircraft produced by Consolidated at San Diego and Fort Worth, using modified Consolidated A-6 tail turrets in place of the Emerson turret used on the B-24H. In the spring of 1944 the remaining three factories in the Liberator Production Pool switched over the B-24J, but most of these aircraft used the Emerson turret, while both San Diego and Fort Worth changed over the Emerson turret when enough were available.

Factory

Number produced

CO – Consolidated, San Diego

2792

CF – Consolidated, Fort Worth

1558

DT – Douglas, Tulsa

205

NT – North American, Dallas

536

FO – Ford Motor Company, Willow Run

1587

All B-24Js had a number of features in common. They were all powered by the R-1830-65 engine, used a new C-1 automatic pilot and a modified M-series bomb sight. However all five factories produced slightly different aircraft, making maintenance very awkward.

B-24J-CO (San Diego)

Lt Stults and Crew, 38th Bombardment Squadron
Lt Stults and Crew,
38th Bombardment Squadron

B-24J production began at the Consolidated factory at San Diego in August 1943. By this point Consolidated had merged with Vultee, and the combined company is normally referred to as Convair.

The B-24J-CO featured the Consolidated A-6 nose turret. In other ways it was less advanced than the B-24H, which had featured a new Martin A-3D “high hat turret” and enclosed staggered waist guns, while the San Diego produced B-24Js retained the earlier lower upper turret and open windows, at least until late in the production run. Eventually enough Emerson turrets were available for them to be used at San Diego, either with the 181st aircraft or with production block 190 (sources vary)

B-24J-CF (Fort Worth)       

Production of the B-24J began at Fort Worth in September 1943. As at San Diego the aircraft carried the A-6 nose turret, until either the 41st aircraft or block 45 (sources vary). The B-24J-CF was equipped with the “high hat” turret and staggered and enclosed waist guns.

B-24J-FO (Ford, Willow Run)

Consolidated B-24H or J Liberator from the right
Consolidated B-24H or J Liberator from the right

Ford at Willow run began production of the B-24J-FO in April 1944. These aircraft also featured the “high hat” turret and staggered and enclosed waist guns.

B-24J-NT (North American, Dallas)

North American at Dallas began production of the B-24J-NT in May 1944. These aircraft also featured the “high hat” turret and staggered and enclosed waist guns.

B-24J-DT (Douglas, Tulsa)

Douglas at Tulsa began production of the B-24J-DT in May 1944. These aircraft also featured the “high hat” turret and staggered and enclosed waist guns.

Statistics (for aircraft with A-6 nose turret)
Wingspan: 110ft
Length: 67ft, 7 5/8in
Empty weight: 36,500lbs
Maximum weight: 65,000lbs
Engine: Four Pratt & Whitney R-1830-65
Horsepower: 1,200 each
Armament: Ten .50 calibre machine guns (two nose, two tail, two dorsal, two ventral and one in each waist position)
Maximum Speed: 290mph
Service Ceiling: 28,000ft
Range: 2,100 miles

 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 (1 February 2008), Consolidated B-24J Liberator , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_B-24J.html

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