The Army ordered 38 B-24As in 1939 as an improved version of the XB-24. However, only 9 aircraft were actually built to -A model specifications. The B-24A had better overall performance than the XB-24 mainly due to aerodynamic improvements in the design.
Nine aircraft (of the original 38 -A models ordered) were converted on the assembly line to B-24C and the remaining 20 to Liberator Mk. I (LB30B) for use by the British in a coastal patrol and defense squadron. France ordered a version of the B-24 in May 1940, but these aircraft were diverted to Britain as LB30 after France was overrun by the Axis.
The B-24A was actually ordered into production before any version of a B-24 flew because of the immediate need for bomber aircraft. Also, the Army General Staff reversed the trend of the late 1930s prefering many medium bombers over fewer heavy bombers. The need for a 4-engine heavy bomber was clearly demonstrated in the early stages of World War II.
Only 9 actual B-24As built
Span: 110 ft. 0 in.
Length: 63 ft. 9 in.
Height: 18 ft. 8 in.
Weight: 46,400 lbs. max.
Armament: Six .50-cal. and two .30-cal. machine guns, plus 8,800 lbs. of bombs (max.)
Engines: Four Pratt & Whitney R-1830-33 radials of 1,200 hp. each (take-off power)
- Hits: 831
Ferry/Transport Command Liberator Mk I'sSeveral of the original 20 Liberator Mk I to the RAF were used for Ferry Command (later renamed Transport Command) including AM911, AM913, and AM922 (not inclusive). One, AM927, crashed in Kansas enroute to the UK and was never delivered. It later became "Diamond Lil" in the Commemorative Air Force.