Consolidated's Fort Worth assembly plant. The first and third aircraft (right assembly line) are B-24E-25-CF S/N 41-29074 and 41-29075. The second aircraft is B-24D-10-CF S/N 42-63858. Note the PB4Y-1 for the U.S. Navy being assembled on the far assembly line. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Consolidated B-24D formation flight. Near aircraft is B-24D-75-CO (S/N 42-40597). Note the different national insignia; these aircraft were probably part of a visibility study testing the insignia combinations. (U.S. Air Force photo)
The Consolidated B-24D was the first Liberator model to enter large scale production -- 2,698 were ordered in 1940-1942. The B-24D was essentially a B-24C with improved engines and some minor production differences. The first 20 D models built were from a block initially ordered as B-24A (40-2349 to 40-2368).
Initially, the B-24D was armed with eight .50-cal. machine guns: the A-6 tail turret, Martin top turret, and one each at the nose (some aircraft had two nose guns positions), waist (left and right) and tunnel positions. The tunnel gun (lower aft fuselage) was replaced by a remote-controlled Bendix belly turret, and it was soon replaced by a Sperry ball turret. The single nose gun was augmented by left and right cheek mounted guns for late model B-24Ds.
The museum has a B-24D on display with some artifacts from the ill-fated Lady Be Good are on display nearby.
Production B-24C; improved engines
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: 11 .50-cal. and 8,000 lbs. of bombs (eight or nine .50-cal. machine guns on early models) Engines: Four Pratt & Whitney R-1830-43 supercharged radials of 1,200 hp each (takeoff power) Maximum speed: 303 mph Cruising speed: 200 mph Range: 4,600 miles (max ferry range); 2,850 miles with 5,000 lbs. bomb load Service ceiling: 32,000 ft. Span: 110 ft. 0 in. Length: 64 ft. 4 in. Height: 17 ft. 11 in. Weight: 56,000 lbs. loaded