Gary created the topic: Consolidated B-24J Liberator
The B-24J was very similar to the B-24H. Because of shortages of Emerson nose turrets, Consolidated re-engineered the basic Liberator design to accept a modified version of the A-6 tail turret in the nose. Consolidated which became Consolidated-Vultee in March 1943--used the basic (late model) B-24D design as a starting point for the -J model. Improvements in the Ford-built -H model were not incorporated into the initial -Js. For example, the defensive improvements gained by the staggered waist gunner position and the 'High-Hat' top turret did not appear in early Consolidated B-24Js.
Late model B-24Js were similar, but slight variations between assembly plants required repair facilities to carry up to 5 different sets of parts. The B-24J was built by Consolidated at their San Diego and Fort Worth plants, by Ford at Willow Run, Douglas at Tulsa and North American at Dallas. The B-24G, -H and -J models were all very similar and difficult to distinguish in some cases. Without a visible serial number, identification is almost impossible for certain subtypes. For example, Ford supplied B-24H subassemblies to Consolidated to build at their Fort Worth plant, but these aircraft were given B-24J serial numbers.
The B-24J had an improved auto pilot (type C-1) and bomb site (M-1 series). When B-24H and B-24G-1 aircraft were retrofitted with these improvements, they were redesignated as -J models which also makes absolute identification difficult.
Number Built/Converted 6678
Remarks Improved B-24H
2792 built by Consolidated at their San Diego plant in 43 production blocks.
1587 built by Ford at their Willow Run plant in 4 production blocks.
1558 built by Consolidated at their Fort Worth plant in 25 production blocks.
536 built by North American at their Dallas plant in 3 production blocks.
205 built by Douglas at their Tulsa plant in 3 production blocks.
Span:110 ft. 0 in. Length: 67 ft. 8 in. Height: 18 ft. 0 in. Weight: 65,000 lbs. (max.) Armament: Ten .50-cal. and 12,800 lbs. of bombs Engines: Four Pratt & Whitney R-1830-65 supercharged radials of 1,200 hp. each (take-off power) Crew: Ten
Maximum speed:290 mph. Cruising speed: 215 mph. Range: 3,700 miles (max. ferry range); 2,100 miles w/ 5,000 lbs. bomb load Service Ceiling: 28,000 ft.
'Yea, Though I Fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 50,000 Feet and Climbing.'