b24 vs b17 range and payload

b24 vs b17 range and payload

It was not until the late summer of 1942 that American heavy bombers began operations over Western Europe from bases in England. As the only combat commander at the numbered air-force level who favored B-17s, Doolittle may very well have been concerned about replacements. The B-24 was a faster plane having a greater range and payload capacity. Senior Air Corps strategists wanted a long-range bomber with a 5,000-mile range, a concept that led to the design and development of the B-15 and then to the even more ambitious B-19. Stripped of guns, armor, and other equipment, the transport version of the B-24 could carry a 10,000-pound payload up to 1,000 miles, or 6,000 pounds over 3,300 miles. However, in the wake of the Doolittle Raid, Burma fell and a massive Japanese offensive in China led to the loss of the region from which the bombers were to operate. It was also a better bomber for the role. But the AF commanders concerned made exactly the opposite determination. By the end of the war, the Army had increased the gross weight of the B-17G to the point that it could carry a bomb load almost as great as that carried by the B-24J, but at a sacrifice in airspeed that made the Fortress more than 50 miles per hour slower at normal cruise speed. hide. People almost always say the B17 because it is the one that is in most of the movies and tv shows i.e, gets the most attention. - maximum speed at 290 mph The Short Stirling was the RAF’s first four-engined bomber, meeting pre-war specifications that required a 14,000 lb bomb load capacity and a challenging range of 3,000 miles. The B-17 and the B-24 inevitably invited comparison. This question often comes up at meetings, discussion boards, andother locations where aircraft oriented people gather and talk abouthistory, tactics, and flying characteristics of planes. This is, of course, what allowed it to bomb Japan from as far away as the Mariana Islands. It changed the world more than any other single event in history. Even more astounding, the last seven Eighth Air Force B-17 groups to enter combat, all of which began their missions during a time when more and more B-24 groups were entering combat, flew 16.93 percent of all sorties and took 22.28 percent of the losses. Yet, in spite of the heavier airframe of the B-24, it was considerably faster than comparable models of the B-17 and carried a similar payload over longer distances and a considerably larger one on shorter legs. The B24 had the same range (2,100 miles actually, depending on payload) and a maximum payload of 8,000 lbs (so typical payload of about 5,000 lbs.) The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor caught one of the converted Liberators on the ground at Hickam Field on December 7, 1941. They point to photographs of B-17s that returned to base with large holes put there by flak or fighters. On the other hand it was a low velocity weapon and its effective range was shorter than the 20-mm cannon forcing German pilots to fly even closer to get hits. of bombs, including the huge (22000 lb.!) 1500 miles, so Berlin & back with 4000 lbs would have been possible, though perhaps not at high speed, and assuming a pretty direct flightpath. Missions were long and required considerable distances over water, conditions for which the Liberator had been created. No less than 51 Eighth Air Force B-24s were lost during the three months the three groups were in Africa, a loss of almost half of the airplanes in the groups. This is particularly true of veterans who flew in England where B-17s predominated within the Eighth Air Force, and where large numbers of war correspondents reported on the air war over Germany as it was being fought by the crews of the Flying Fortresses in the summer of 1943. Groups flying B-17s flew 60.38 percent of sorties flown by the Eighth Air Force and sustained 69.75 percent of the losses, while B-24 groups flew 29.77 percent of the sorties yet sustained only 26.1 percent of the heavy bombers lost. Click to see full answer Simply so, how many bombs did a b17 carry? A 4,000-pound (1,800-kg) bomb load was typical for long missions, though the B-17 could carry up to 8,000 pounds (3,600 kg) internally for shorter distances at lower altitudes and even more on external racks beneath the wings. In early June the two B-24 groups that made up the entire Liberator strength of the Eighth at the time were taken off operations. By December 1941, B-17s had been in service with U.S. Army bomber squadrons for more than four years. Due to the B-24's range and payload capabilities, it was able to perform well in the maritime role, however the C-87 proved less successful as the aircraft had difficulty landing with heavy loads. This was only true with light payloads and reduced fuel, though. The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. This is the period that is most often addressed by the TV documentaries and literature about the bombing campaign in Europe. The Stirling made a pretty good glider tug. The HALPRO squadron and Tenth Air Force B-17s went to Palestine where they were joined by more B-24s to make up the nucleus of what would become the Ninth Air Force Bomber Command. Not a single B-17 bomber ever appeared in the skies over Japan while hostilities were under way. At high altitude the airplane lacked the speed and firepower to deal with enemy attack. It was as an SAR airplane that several B-17s survived the war, while all but a handful of B-24s were scrapped. The DeHavilland Mosquito. The U.S. B-24s often operated in formation with RAF Liberator squadrons. The B17 had the advantage of being one sexy ship and the B24 was, as it was called, a freightcar to which enough wings and engines were added until it … 4 x Pratt & Whitney R-1830-65 radial piston engines developing 1,200 horsepower each driving three-bladed propeller units. The B24 was the most produced heavy bomber in history. In the spring of 1941, the U.S. Army sent 20 B-17Cs to England for use by the RAF to test their combat capabilities. But on November 7, 1942, the 44th Bomb Group, which was actually the oldest B-24 group in the Army, flew its first mission. Ironically, the 44th sustained twice as many losses as the seemingly charmed 93rd. The extremely long-range missions flown in the Pacific would have been impossible with the shorter legged B-17s. Since the war, the argument that the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was the better bomber of the two has often been perpetuated by aviation authors and historians whose personal knowledge of airplanes and aviation in general consists only of what they have read or been told. Times when the very landscape appears to shift. The other did not enter combat until November 26, 1943, more than a year after the 93rd flew its first mission. But, the record of the two types indicates that, of the two, the Liberator design was more versatile and considerably more advanced than that of the Flying Fortress. The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engined heavy bomber developed in the 1930s for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC). A few Liberators were involved in the Battle of Midway in June 1942, but it was in the Middle East that the Liberator returned to combat in the role for which it was intended, as a long-range bomber. What the B-24 groups were not getting was publicity. As a compromise, the Army elected to put forth a proposal for a less ambitious project and set forth the design requirements that eventually led to both the B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator, as well as the more powerful Boeing B-29 Superfortress. The lesser > B-25 was sent to the less critical theatres while the B--26 was kept where the The British were also given B-24s to try out, and while the results from the U.S. viewpoint were less than hoped for, the RAF did prefer the B-24 Liberator over the B-17 Flying Fortress because of its heavier payload capabilities. By the time the new airplane entered production, war had broken out in Europe and the United States had begun supplying airplanes and other military hardware to the British and French. Much of the flying was over water, which reduced the exposure of the bomber crews to flak to a small percentage of mission time in comparison to the constant exposure faced by Eighth Air Force crews prior to the Normandy invasion. The B24 Liberator however was bigger, had a longer range and bigger payload than the 17. Each plane is different - butconsidering all the Hollywood movies ever made about the air combatduring the Second World war the B-17 is the most well known. Only two bombs were believed to have actually hit the targets they were aimed at—and not a single German fighter had fallen to the Fortresses’ guns. I was always wondering what was the better/more sucessful aircraft, and how those 2 rather similar planes compared to each other on a technical level. B-24 Liberator United States Army Air Forces Consolidated B-24D Liberator over Maxwell Field, Alabama. Mechanical problems plagued the Boeing bombers, and their daylight high-altitude bombing accuracy turned out to be much less than advertised. Missions by B-24 crews in the Pacific were considerably different from those of their peers in Europe. This is one area in which the B-17 possessed something of an advantage over the B-24. c. 0.5% Overall losses of B24/B17 c. 3% (and the Lancaster, Halifax etc). As the numbers of LB-30s declined, the remainder joined the converted B-24As that were in the theater in transport duties, flying cargo to and evacuees from Java and Mindanao. The LB-30s did not fare very well in combat in Java (neither did the B-17s) in large measure due to the inexperience of the crews. Drawing upon experience from other designs and their own background with long-range flying boats, Consolidated had a prototype of a 1937 design flying by the end of the year. Yet, in spite of the higher losses in the first few months of operations, the overall loss rate for the 44th Bomb Group was no higher than those of the B-17 groups. In terms of bomb-load, and the physical size of the bombs carried, nothing else made prior to 1944 could compare with the Lancaster. The August 1, 1943, mission to Ploesti cost the Eighth Air Force groups 30 B-24s out of 103 on the 171-plane mission, a loss rate just shy of 30 percent and considerably higher than the loss rates suffered by the B-17s on the Regensburg and Schweinfurt missions. This is more common with conceptual, experimental, and x-plane designs. Stripped of guns, armor, and other equipment, the transport version of the B-24 could carry a 10,000-pound payload up to 1,000 miles, or 6,000 pounds over 3,300 miles. The 147 airplanes of the Regensburg force were to go on to North Africa. In January 1939, prompted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.S. Army Air Corps Commander General Henry “Hap” Arnold published a requirement for a four-engine bomber with a 3,000-mile range, a top airspeed in excess of 300 miles per hour, and a service ceiling of 35,000 feet. It's name? It was among the Eighth Air Force B-17 and B-24 crews that the arguments were strongest, and it is among those veterans that they have continued, as a general public consensus has developed that the B-17 was the best bomber ever built. Now, the B17 had a range of 2,000 miles, a typical payload of 5-8,000 lbs. This question is about one of the most misunderstood comparisons in all of aviation history. I assume maybe it's for grinding the B-29 but I used the B-17 for that … Attacks were aimed at the supply lines of the German Afrika Korps, particularly the ports and supply depots at Tobruk and Benghazi in Libya. You can always go back and Compare any two aircraft in our database. The original intent of the Army Air Corps was to develop a land-based, long-range heavy bomber that would have relegated the B-17 to the category of a medium bomber. The B17 was a sedate aircraft and placed fewer demands on the flight deck crew. This was the argument put forth by those who supported Brig. On the other hand, the B24 demanded constant attention causing extreme fatigue in pilots on long missions. The B24 Liberator however was bigger, had a longer range and bigger payload than the 17. only range, speed and payload matter for a bomber), the B-24 should have been used exclusively in the ETO, with the B-17 used elsewhere. WWII Quarterly, the hardcover journal of the Second World War that is not available in bookstores or on newsstands, and can only be obtained and collected through a personal subscription through the mail. After the B-17s proved ineffective in British hands, the Army Air Corps sought to determine why. B-24 vs B-17. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. Can someone give me a broad overview? Flying Fortress crew members began saying that they didn’t need a fighter escort when the Liberators were along, because the German fighters would go after the smaller force of B-24s. By mid-October the American heavy bomber force in Palestine consisted of 53 B-24s and only 10 B-17s. The Fifth Air Force converted a B-17 into an executive transport for General MacArthur’s personal use. The Eighth Air Force used B-17s as weather-reconnaissance aircraft, while their most prolific noncombat role was as lifeboat-carrying search and rescue (SAR) aircraft with the Air Transport Command. Deep raids were called off in mid-October 1943 and were not resumed until February 1944, when long-range escort fighters such as the P-51 Mustang became available. A little over a month later the pioneer Eighth Air Force B-17 groups were joined by the 93rd Bomb Group, the first U.S. Army B-24 group to see combat from English bases. As long as there are still two surviving heavy- bomber veterans, one from each type, the B-17 veteran will believe his airplane was best, while the B-24 vet will know better. 73% Upvoted. The empty weight of an airplane is the sum of the weight of the components used in its construction—including the ribs, spars, stringers, and longerons that form the wings, the vertical and horizontal stabilizers, and the fuselage. One area in which the B-17 and all models of the B-24 were completely equal was in the power of their engines. Of the 230 bombers that went to Schweinfurt, 36 failed to return—a total of 60 B-17s had been lost in one day. Along with the HALPRO diversion, Tenth Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton was ordered to the Middle East from India with as many of his heavy bombers as he could muster. In reality, it is probably accurate to say that for the kind of war fought by the Eighth and Fifteenth Air Forces in Europe, there was really very little difference. Shortly after the 90th arrived, Kenney sent the 19th back to the United States. Sixty B-24s were supposed to have gone to the target, but bad weather in their assembly area caused a mission scrub, though a small force from two groups went on to Germany to create a diversion for the B-17s. Recognizing the possibilities afforded by the new design, the Army contracted for seven YB-24 prototypes for test purposes and 36 B-24As for operational use before the first airplane even flew. As the war moved northward, Far East Air Forces Liberators began attacking the Japanese homeland. XHTML: You can use these tags:

. The British, however, had decided to change tactics after early experiences against the Third Reich. Why the RAF Preferred the Liberator over the Flying Fortress. Looking closely at these pictures, which have been republished in numerous books about the B-17 and the Eighth Air Force, one who is familiar with airplanes and aerodynamics sees that much of the damage is confined to structural areas of the airplane that are not necessary for flight. In fact, they were lower at 3.73 percent than nine of them and equal to two others, all but two of which entered combat after the 44th. General George Churchill Kenney chose the B-24 as the heavy bomber for his theater because, unlike the daylight-bombing crowd that had gone to Europe, he had no particular preference for the B-17. Just to be contentious, there was a certain other bomber about in WW2, which had the range and payload of the B24 and B17, but about 100 mph on speed and just 2 crew. These figures relegate to myth the belief that the B-17 was the “safer” airplane. The range with 4000 lbs was approx. The first groups to arrive in England were B-17 groups, of which two would transfer to North Africa in the fall of 1942 to become the heavy bomber force of Jimmy Doolittle’s Twelfth Air Force. Just as the 43rd began converting to the Liberator, the 380th Bomb Group arrived in Australia and began combat operations with B-24s. This thread is archived. Another use of the Liberator that proved extremely valuable to the war effort was as a long-range transport. Advocates of the superiority of the B-17 are surprised to learn that their per-sortie overall loss rate was nearly half a percent higher among Eighth Air Force groups than that of their peers who flew B-24s. While the B-17s managed to hold their own in combat with the Japanese, design deficiencies, particularly in armament and armor, very quickly became apparent. However, the real reason the B-24s had gone to Africa was to attack the Ploesti, Romania, oil refineries in a daring low-level attack that put the crews in range of every weapon available to the German defenders, from 88mm antiaircraft guns to machine pistols, not to mention German and Romanian fighter aircraft. Although the RAF crewmen praised the Flying Fortress for its ability to take hits from enemy fire, the test turned out to be a dismal failure for the much-publicized bomber. It changed the world more than any other single event in history. Losses due to accident were as great as those from enemy action. Furthermore, the overall losses were lower for the three B-24 groups that were in combat in the summer of 1943 than those for most B-17 groups. Initially, the British were impressed with the Fort’s ability to withstand gunfire, but that early confidence quickly faded as the desired results were not achieved. The aircraft was powered by four Pratt & Whitney R-1690 Hornet radial engines, each producing 750 hp (600 kW) at 7,000 ft (2,100 m). Beginning in the spring of 1943, the 43rd Bomb Group replaced its B-17s with B-24s, ending the combat career of the Flying Fortress in the Pacific. • 3,000 mile (4,828 km) range. Log in or Sign up to interact with the community. Fortunately, part of the group had been moved south to a new airfield at Del Monte on Mindanao and would continue to fly from there for several weeks. As a result, it was phased out as the C-54 Skymaster became available. Maximum range 3500 miles. People almost always say the B17 because it is the one that is in most of the movies and tv shows i.e, gets the most attention. The leadership of the Eighth was trying to prove that the prewar concept that the “bomber will always get through” was not ill-founded. HALPRO was diverted to fly a single long-range mission against the oil-refinery complex at Ploesti, Romania, though plans still called for the squadron to continue on to China. The test came to a dubious end after three of the 20 airplanes were lost to enemy action, five were destroyed in accidents, and the rest were grounded due to mechanical failure. They joined the two B-24 groups of the Ninth Air Force Bomber Command on a series of missions against targets along the Mediterranean, including Naples, Rome, and the German aircraft factories at Weiner-Neustadt in Austria. Weights: 32,605 pounds empty, … The combat records of both aircraft do exist, and they indicate that the views put forth by B-17 advocates may indeed fall well within the category of wishful thinking. The jet propelled Me 262 introduced in the last year of the war was 100 mph faster than contemporary … After the Java Campaign, B-17s remained as the only heavy bombers operating in what had become the Southwest Pacific Area of Operations, though a handful of LB-30s and B-24s served in the transport role. The report of the RAF crews who flew both the American-designed Flying Fortress and Liberator was that they might be suitable for a war in the Pacific where missions would be flown over open expanses of ocean, but they were too poorly armed for daylight operations into Germany. The long, narrow Davis Wing was what is known as a “high aspect ratio” wing, meaning that the span is proportionally much greater than the chord, a feature that provides significantly reduced drag and increased performance on heavier airplanes—which is why the B-24 was considerably faster than the B-17. The B-17 Flying Fortress vs. the B-24 Liberator—veterans of air campaigns in Europe and the Pacific have long debated the merits of these aircraft. Three weeks later, after several low-flying training missions over England, the three groups pulled up stakes for North Africa, leaving most of their ground echelons behind. The first of the air element left California on December 6 and arrived in Hawaii in the midst of the Japanese attack. Kenney and his bomber commanders worked to extend the range of the four-engine bombers until 2,400-mile round-trip missions were being flown routinely by B-24s. The 90th got off to a shaky start due to cracks in the nose struts of its airplanes, but once its B-24s began combat operations, they quickly proved superior to the B-17 for the kind of war being fought in the Southwest Pacific. On an ironic note, losses among Fifteenth Air Force groups increased even while they decreased in the Eighth as Allied ground forces closed in on Germany. Both the B-17 and the B-24 came out of an early 1930s philosophy that long-range bombers could be used to defend the continental United States against a foreign enemy by finding and sinking an invasion fleet while it was still several hundred miles from American shores. Similarly, vets experienced with the Consolidated B-24 Liberator say the same thing about their airplane. Operating from Egypt and Palestine under the command of General Brereton, the B-24s of the HALPRO squadron and an advanced element of the 98th Bombardment Group began the American bombing effort against the German war machine. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. The B-24 was powered by Log in or Sign ... B24 or B17. You can always go back and, Four-Engined Strategic Heavy Bomber Aircraft. As it turned out, the force mix of B-24s and B-17s was exactly reversed from that of the bomber forces in Java. B-24, long-range heavy bomber used during World War II by the U.S. and British air forces. Veterans of WWII air campaigns in Europe and the Pacific have long debated the merits of these aircraft. The skies were extremely hazardous for both types, and the B-24s were getting their share of punishment from enemy fighters and flak. report. Your selected aircraft are compared in side-by-side arrangement below. Before he went to Australia to command the Allied air forces in the Southwest Pacific Area of Operations, Kenney was told he would have to function with only the two B-17 groups that were already in the theater, but that he could have one group of B-24s that was then in the training pipeline. In comparison, the average mission flown by B-17s in Europe was less than 1,600 miles. A proposed 1,500-mile combat radius would lead to the development of the B-29 and the B-32 which followed, but it also caused the Army to take a closer look at a new design put forth by Ruben Fleet’s company, Consolidated Aircraft. The Boeing prototype first flew in 1935, and deliveries were begun in early 1937. Twenty-five other Liberators were lost from the two Ninth Air Force groups on the mission known as “Tidal Wave.”. Hi, I use American planes and I wanna know which T5 bomber is the best. Both the Flying Fortress and the Liberator were equipped with engines that were flat-rated at 1,200 shaft horsepower each at takeoff—for a total of 4,800 hp on an airplane with all engines running. The B-17 Flying Fortress vs. the B-24 Liberator—veterans of air campaigns in Europe and the Pacific have long debated the merits of these aircraft. There are moments in military history that forever alter the flow of human events. NOTES: Shapes below depict aircraft from wingtip-to-wingtip / nose-to-tail assuming aircraft are being viewed from overhead perspective (the nose pointing towards the top of the screen). Your selected aircraft are compared in side-by-side arrangement below. As combat-weary bomber crews began returning to the United States after the ill-fated Java campaign, they were called upon to give reports of their experiences. Another use of the Liberator that proved extremely valuable to the war effort was as a long-range transport. Competing against Douglas and Martin for a contract to build 200 bombers, the Boeing entry (prototype Model 299/XB-17) outperformed both competitors and exceeded the air corps' performance specifications. Doolittle’s letter is interesting because he wrote it at a time when losses in his command had been declining for some time while his sister unit in the U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe, the Fifteenth Air Force, was continuing to sustain fairly heavy losses among its force of B-17s and B-24s. Kenney had no point to prove in regard to daylight bombing, and often his crews struck the most heavily defended targets at night, thus further reducing the exposure of the aircraft and crews. In the annals of military history magazines, this is one of those moments. The heavier losses among Fifteenth Air Force groups were due in part to the longer missions over enemy territory, while two of the most heavily defended targets in Europe—the oil fields at Ploesti and aircraft factories at Wiener-Nuestad, Austria—lay within the Fifteenth’s area of responsibility. If the spar on the wing of the B-24 was hit by flak or an explosive cannon round, it was likely to fail, sending the airplane into a spin toward the ground. In the Eighth Air Force, 1.43 percent of all heavy-bomber sorties resulted in an aircraft missing in action. B-24 carried a bigger bomb load, was a tad faster and had more range. Your selected aircraft are compared in side-by-side arrangement below. If any dimensional values are "NA" in the database then the presented shapes may appear skewed. Notes: Some entries contain '0', 'not available', or an 'NA' value. General Kenney began his World War II combat career in the Pacific with two heavy-bomber groups under his command, the 19th and 43rd, both of which were equipped with B-17s and had been in combat since early in the war. The British slang “kite” is appropriate for the B-17, because the huge wing provided tremendous lift that did make for a stable bombing platform and, at least in the minds of B-17 fans, provided increased lift that was valuable in the event of a power loss on an engine. share. As with the huge vertical stabilizer, the wider wing of the B-17 often resulted in hits in noncritical areas that missed the spar and would have passed harmlessly in space behind the slimmer wing of the B-24. The fall of France led to the cancellation of deliveries of all airplanes destined for France, and the Liberators, which had been designated as LB-30s, were diverted for British use. Except for the 19th Bomb Group crews which were brought down to Darwin from Del Monte, few of the bomber pilots had more than a few hours of four-engine experience. The argument as to which was the best can never be settled. As the war intensified, the U.S. Army elected to change the role of the B-24A, and most were converted to long-range transports while a few were equipped with cameras for reconnaissance. It was and is the most produced war plane in … This isdue to many fortuitous happenings for the Boeing aircraft: 1. The argument began in bars and service clubs, where crew members from the two types met while off duty during the war, and has continued ever since. There have been countless thousands of published works devoted to all or of it. This was only a handful of battle-weary B-17s. I use B24 alot lately but i hve a sence that there is a small debate between these 2 historical bombers. This theory is contradicted by the fact that Eighth Air Force B-24 groups suffered losses that were even higher on a per-group basis than those of most B-17 groups during the same time frame. In January 1945, Eighth Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. James H. Doolittle wrote a letter to Army Air Forces chief of procurement General Barney Giles in which he expressed his preferences for the B-17 over the B-24 for his command. First deployed in February 1941, a lack of power quartered its bomb load during long range flights and performance issues meant that it sustained particularly heavy casualties. The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engine heavy bomber developed in the 1930s for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC). (Get the full details of this mission and many other pivotal moments in World War II history by subscribing.). Yet, ironically, within a year the vaunted B-17 Flying Fortress would be on the way out of the war in the Pacific, and the B-24 Liberator would be in. 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The annals of military history magazines, this is the wing the Army! Did a B17 carry better bomber for the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress designed by Boeing orthe Consolidated Liberator... Reduced fuel, though to militaryfactory at gmail.com possible that later variants with powerful...

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