Consolidated B-24J Liberator

Pima Air and Space Museum Aircraft

Manufacturer
Consolidated
Markings
Right side: Indian Air Force, Number 6 Squadron, 1968. Left side: 446th Bomb Group, Bungay, England, 1944
Designation
B-24J
Registration
N7866
Serial Number
44-44175

Consolidated B-24J Liberator

In all, 18,482 Liberators were built during World War II, making it the most produced American aircraft of the war. They were used by every branch of the American military and by several Allied nations. The “J” model was the most produced version of the B-24 with a total of 6,678 built.

Over 1,000 of these ended up in the hands of the Royal Air Force who used them as both traditional bombers and as maritime patrol aircraft.

The major allied powers retired the B-24 very quickly after the war; in fact, only one was left in American service by 1951. The British abandoned many Liberators in India at the end of the war; upon gaining its independence, the Republic of India put a number of them back in service and used them very successfully until the late 1960s.

A few of the U.S. Navy PB4Y-2 Privateer variants saw service as firefighters in the United States well into the 1990s.

Specifications
Wingspan 110 ft
Length 67 ft 2 in
Height 18 ft
Weight 65,000 lbs (loaded
Max. Speed 290 mph
Service Ceiling 28,000 ft
Range 2,100 miles
Engines 4 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-65 radials, 1,200 hp each
Crew 10

Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer

Pima Air and Space Museum Aircraft

Manufacturer
Consolidated
Markings
Patrol Bombing Squadron 120 (VPB-120), Shemya Island, Alaska, 1945
Designation
PB4Y-2
Registration
N3739G
Serial Number
59819

Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer

The Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer was a United States Navy long range patrol bomber derived from the Consolidated B-24 Liberator. At the outbreak of World War II the Navy lacked any long-range land based patrol bombers to conduct search, anti-submarine, and anti-shipping missions. In 1942 the navy put in a request for 977 B-24s designated PB4Y-1. While PB4Y-1s distinguished themselves in the Atlantic and the Pacific, it was still essentially a B-24 designed for high altitude missions, not low altitude patrol missions

In 1943 the Navy asked Consolidated for a new patrol bomber based on the B-24. The PB4Y-2 design incorporated many changes including a single vertical tail, more armament, low level engines, and a stretched fuselage. The Privateer also had state of the art search radars and navigation equipment giving the aircraft an all-weather capability. In 1945 several squadrons Privateers were conducting operations from the Philippines to the Aleutian Islands. The PB4Y-2 stayed in navy service after the war where it took on additional missions such as weather reconnaissance, and the gathering of signal intelligence before being retired around 1955. After their retirement, several Privateers were modified and used as civilian air tankers used in fighting forest fires until 2002.

Specifications
Wingspan 110 ft
Length 74 ft 7 in
Height 29 ft 2 in
Weight 62,000 pounds
Max. Speed 300 mph
Service Ceiling 21,000 ft
Range 3,000 miles
Engines 4 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-94 radials with 1,350 horsepower each
Crew 11

Consolidated PBY-5A Canso

Pima Air and Space Museum Aircraft

Manufacturer
Consolidated
Markings
Royal Canadian Air Force, No. 5 (BR) Squdron, 1944
Designation
PBY-5A
Registration
N68740
Serial Number
9742

Consolidated PBY-5A Canso

The Consolidated PBY Catalina is the most successful flying-boat operated by the United States Navy during World War II and it is also the most produced flying boat in the world with more than 3000 being built in the United States, Canada, and the Soviet Union. The Catalina was ordered by the U.S. Navy in 1933 and the prototype flew for the first time in 1935. The PBY was used extensively by all the major Allied nations for anti-submarine, maritime patrol, and air-sea rescue duties. The PBY-5A version of the aircraft introduced an amphibious capability to the Catalina allowing it to takeoff from either land or water. Once they left military service many Catalinas were bought for civilian use and could be found all around the world as everything from private luxury flying yachts to firefighting aircraft.

Specifications
Wingspan 104 ft
Length 63 ft 10 in
Height 20 ft 2 in
Weight 35,420 pounds
Max. Speed 175 mph
Service Ceiling 13,000 ft
Range 2,350 miles
Engines Two Pratt & Whitney R1830-92 engines with 1,200 horsepower each
Crew 7 to 9