US Army Air Forces Training Documentary Film

“This is an instruction film covering certain of the more fundamental procedures surrounding the handling of the B-24 four engine bomber in flight.” Produced by Consolidated Vultee Aircraft, Otto Menge, Chief Photographer.

Originally a public domain film, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consolid…
Wikipedia license:

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b…

The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was an American heavy bomber, designed by Consolidated Aircraft of San Diego, California. It was known within the company as the Model 32, and a small number of early models were sold under the name LB-30, for Land Bomber. The B-24 was used in World War II by… every branch of the American armed forces during the war, attaining a distinguished war record with its operations in the Western European, Pacific, Mediterranean, and China-Burma-India Theaters.

Often compared with the better-known Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-24 was a more modern design with a higher top speed, greater range, and a heavier bomb load; however, it was also more difficult to fly, with heavy control forces and poor formation-flying characteristics. Popular opinion among aircrews and general staffs tended to favor the B-17’s rugged qualities… The B-24 was notorious among American aircrews for its tendency to catch fire. Moreover, its high fuselage-mounted “Davis wing” also meant it was dangerous to ditch or belly land, since the fuselage tended to break apart. Nevertheless, the B-24 provided excellent service in a variety of roles thanks to its large payload and long range, and was the only bomber to operationally deploy the United States’ first forerunner to precision-guided munitions during the war, the 1,000 lb. Azon guided bomb.

The B-24’s most infamous mission was the low-level strike against the Ploiești oil fields, in Romania on 1 August 1943, which turned into a disaster because the enemy was underestimated, fully alerted and attackers disorganized.

The B-24 ended World War II as the most produced heavy bomber in history. At over 18,400 units, half by Ford Motor Company, it still holds the distinction as the most-produced American military aircraft…

Development

The Liberator originated from a United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) request in 1938 for Consolidated to produce the B-17 under license… Consolidated decided instead to submit a more modern design of its own.

Specifications

The new Model 32 combined the Davis wing, a high efficiency airfoil design created by unorthodox means by a lone inventor named David Davis, the twin tail design from the Consolidated Model 31 flying boat, and mated both together on a new fuselage. This new fuselage was intentionally designed around the twin bomb bays, each one being the same size and capacity of the B-17…

The program was run under the umbrella group running “Project A”, an Air Corps requirement for an intercontinental bomber that had been conceived in the mid-1930s… Project A led to the development of the Boeing B-29 and Consolidated’s own B-32 and B-36.

Contract

The contract for a prototype was awarded in March 1939… Compared to the B-17, the proposed Model 32 had a shorter fuselage and 25% less wing area, but had a 6 ft (1.8 m) greater wingspan and a substantially larger carrying capacity, as well as a distinctive twin tail. Whereas the B-17 used 9-cylinder Wright R-1820 Cyclone engines, the Consolidated design used twin-row, 14-cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-1830 “Twin Wasp” radials of 1,000 hp (746 kW)…

Design

The B-24’s spacious, slab-sided fuselage (which earned the aircraft the nickname “Flying Boxcar”) was built around a central bomb bay that could accommodate up to 8,000 lb (3,629 kg) of ordnance in each of its forward and aft compartments. The equal-capacity forward and aft bomb bay compartments were further split longitudinally with a centerline ventral catwalk just nine inches (23 cm) wide, which also functioned as the fuselage’s structural keel beam…The B-24 was sometimes disparaged as “The Flying Coffin” because the only entry and exit from the bomber was in the rear…

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