Saturday, November 18, 2017
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The B-24H was the result of a design effort to improve the defensive firepower of the basic B-24D design. Combat experience showed even the late model B-24Ds with three nose mounted .50-cal. machine guns were vulnerable to head-on attacks. Some B-24Ds had power nose turrets (modified Emerson A-6 tail turrets) added at depot facilities and had greater success fending off frontal assaults.

The Army Air Force wanted this improvement incorporated into the B-24s coming off the production lines, so Emerson and Consolidated engineers redesigned the aircraft to accept the turret. The results were sent to the Ford Willow Run plant for manufacture. The nose turret addition required more than 50 airframe changes including a new bombardier compartment. Other improvements incorporated to improve the defensive strength of the aircraft included a new tail turret design with larger plexiglass windows, a higher top turret bubble for increased visibility and offset waist gunner positions (starting with block 20 aircraft) to prevent the waist gunners from interfering with each other in battle.

The -H model design was sent to North American which built it as the B-24G. Ford also sent B-24H subassemblies to Consolidated and Douglas for final assembly.

 

TYPE
B-24H

Number Built/Converted
3100

Remarks
Imp. for greater def. firepower

Notes:
  • Serial numbers: 41-28574 to 41-29006; 41-29116 to 41-29608; 42-50277 to 42-50451; 42-51077 to 42-51225; 42-52077 to 42-52776; 42-64432 to 42-64501; 42-7465 to 42-7769; 42-94729 to 42-95503
  • 1780 built by Ford at their Willow Run plant in 7 production blocks
  • 738 assembled by Consolidated at their Fort Worth plant.
  • 582 assembled by Douglas at their Tulsa plant.

SPECIFICATIONS
Span:
110 ft. 0 in.
Length: 67 ft. 2 in.
Height: 18 ft. 0 in.
Weight: 56,000 lbs. design gross weight
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

PERFORMANCE
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.

  

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