The Commemorative Air Force
(CAF) Airpower History Tour
came to the Fargo Air Museum
. I was most interested in seeing the B-24A Liberator. I don't recall ever seeing one. It the most produced heavy bomber in World War II. "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." (Wikipedia)
Ever since reading "The Wild Blue
" and "Log Of The Liberators
" as a kid I've been interested in seeing one. The text below comes from signs set up around the bomber by the crew.B-24A Liberator 'Diamond Lil'
Contracted to be built for France in 1940 and later redirected to Great Britain as AM927, this Liberator was the 25th (Serial Number 18) built out of a total of 18,482 B-24s. It was accepted by the British in May 1941. Two days later, this aircraft was handed over to Trans World Airlines (TWA) to conduct training of RAF pilots out of Albuquerque, NM. The following month, the right main brake locked up during landing and aircraft departed the runway. Due to the extent of the damage, the aircraft would not be returned to service as a bomber. An arrangement was made between the British Ministry and Consolidated Aircraft Company for the company to keep possession of AM927 for logistic support and further B-24 development.
AM927 was immediately utilized as the C-87 Liberator Express prototype and returned to service in July 1942. Throughout the war, the aircraft was used to haul personnel and equipment between the five B 24 production plants and numerous vendors. AM927 was also used extensively for flight test purposes, developing such things as improved flight control characteristics for the later model Liberator bombers.Since 1968, Diamond Lil as a CAF Aircraft
In May 1968, the CAF purchased the aircraft from Pemex. In 1971, AM927 was painted in the colors of the 98th Bomb Group and given the name 'Diamond Lil
'. During the next 20 years 'Diamond Lil' traveled extensively throughout the US- and made an Atlantic crossing to England in 1992. Over the years, many hours and much talent has been dedicated to restoring Diamond Lil
to her configuration as a B-24A Bomber. Extra windows and interior items were removed. Bomb racks and equipment were installed. .50 Cal machine guns, the Tail Gun position, and the Greenhouse nose were completed. B-24A Liberator
(also designated as an RLB-30); FAA Registration is N24927
Manufactured by the Consolidated Aircraft Corp. in San Diego, CA
Serial Number 18; Delivered on May 18, 1941; and obtained by the CAF in 1968
Wingspan is 110' and is 66'4" x 17'11" W x H
Max Weight is 56,000 lbs; 29,282 lbs empty with a 8,000 lbs Design Bomb Load.
Max Speed at high altitude is 275 MPH; Max Altitude is 28,000 feet
Four Pratt & Whitney R-1830 (-75 or -94) engines develop 1200 hp each.
It was armed with six M2 50 Caliber Browning Machine Guns
8,000 lbs Bomb Load for a 400 mile missions; 5,000 lbs (800 miles); 1,200 lbs (1200 miles)
The Pilot sat in the Left Seat; Co-Pilot in the Right Seat
Flight Engineer in the Aft Cockpit; Radio Operator in the Upper Mid-Cabin
The Navigator in the Nose with the Bombardier.
Waist Gunners man the Left and Right Window guns.
The Tunnel Gunner on the Aft Cabin Floor with the Tail Gunner behind.