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Thread: Liberator vs LB-30

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    Default Liberator vs LB-30

    Gents
    Liberator I was designated LB-30A and LB-30B, depending on batch, but what was the designation of Liberator II?
    TIA
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    Hi Franek, I would say

    LB-30 was Liberator II

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    I imagine your answer would be in here:

    http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_bombers/b24.html

    maybe not, I think the LB-30 is the LB-30A in the above refer
    Last edited by dennis_burke; 13th October 2017 at 13:21.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Well, the reason of the confusion is, that the first six Liberator Is delivered were LB-30A, while the reminder - LB-30B, I guess due to some changes introduced on the production line. Liberator II logically should have been LB-30C, though of course it is possible that the LB-30A and LB-30B designations were backdated to make them different from LB-30.
    The web seems to not to provide a clear answer.
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    Hi Franek:

    According to Phil Butler in Air Arsenal North America, his tome on Allied purchases and Lend-Lease, the Liberator IIs were still LB-30s, the export designation for the B-24. The Liberator IIs were the remainder of Contract F-677 for 165 aircraft purchased by the Anglo-French Purchasing Commission and later taken over by the British. After subtracting six YB-24s (LB-30As) and 20 B-24As subsequently acquired by the British, which became the Liberator I (26 aircraft), this left 139 Liberator IIs. Simple! :-)

    I don't see a reference to the LB-30B in Phil's book or in AB's The British Air Commission and Lend-Lease, although Arthur Pearcy refers to the 20 B-24As as LB-30Bs in his Lend-Lease book.

    Robert
    Last edited by robstitt; 13th October 2017 at 15:21.

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    Hi Franek,

    This is the short story after reading some books.

    The Consolidated factory located at Lindbergh Field in San Diego, had a French contract for 175 LB-30MFs.

    From there came the design term LB-30 = "Land Bomber" and the next open number "30" (after LB-29). Then MF = "Mission Francais".

    Caused the fall of France in 1940 the French order was cancelled, but 165 aircraft from the original contract was earmarked for delivery to the British.

    First six borrowed USAAF YB-24's, which were re-named LB-30A's (AM258-263), twenty borrowed USAAF B-24A's, which were re-named LB-30B's, also called Liberator Mk I's (AM910-929), and 139 new build Liberator Mk II's (AL503-641). The 139 Liberator Mk II's, they are called LB-30.

    Bruce Robertson has the serial nos. (AL503-AL667), which include the BOAC deliveries, one withheld from delivery and the Prime Minister aircraft.


    Sources: 7th Bombardement Group by Robert Dorr, The Encylopedia of Aircraft of WW II by Paul Eden, British Miilitary Aircraft Serials by Bruce Robertson.

    Best regards

    Finn Buch
    Last edited by Argus; 13th October 2017 at 18:02.

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    Hi Finn:

    Perhaps just semantics but I gather from the Phil Butler's account that the six service-test YB-24s were purchased from the US as LB-30As rather than 'borrowed', as were the 20 Liberator Is. These 26 aircraft were then deducted from the original cash purchase of 165 aircraft to arrive at 139, although a significant proportion of these was retained by the USAAF.

    I notice that William Green also does not refer to the LB-30B in his Famous Bombers of the Second World War. Do we know for sure LB-30B was a real designation for what became the 20 Liberator Is?

    Robert

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    Hi Robert,

    Authors of books and internet sources, they have some conflicting descriptions in order and delivery of the six and twenty aircraft. "Borrowed", Lend-Lease program and purchased.

    "Back in August 1939,the USAAC ordered 38 examples of the Consolidated B-24A. From this order, 20 aircraft (serial numbers 40-2349 to 40-2368) were released for direct purchase by the RAF where it was given the service name Liberator B.Mk.I (from 'Bomber Mark 1').

    The twenty Liberator B.I were delivered to the RAF starting in mid 1941 and were given serial numbers AM910 to AM929.

    The 27th Liberator built - and also the last of the batch of 20 B-24A's ordered by the US Army was in fact released to the British who designated it a Liberator I and assigned the serial number AM929. In Consolidated's books the aircraft was Model LB-30B, Number 20. Taken over from Manufacturer on 26 May 1941."

    ..........

    The first delivered six LB-30A (arrived UK on 14 March 1941. They were unarmed and used in the North Atlantic Return Ferry Service.

    AM929 from the batch of twenty ordered aircraft, were undergoing technical British modifications in Prestwick, Scotland. Then to Boscombe in England, for a serials of trials. Found to be unsuitable for combat in Europe. But the long range and heavy bomb load, made the Liberator a perfect choice within the RAF Coastal Command.

    ..........

    "The Liberator II's, which, for purposes of this story, will be called LB-30's hereafter, came with a fuselage stretch ahead of the flight deck and a deepend rear fuselage to provide adequate room to place a power turret aft of the tail section.

    This increased the fuselage length from 63 ft 9 in to 66 ft 4 in. (19,43 m to 20,21 m). The aft section change also permitted a better fairing between the fuselage and horizontal stabilizer."


    Sources: The books - Consolidated B-24 Liberator by Graham Simons, 7th Bombardement Group by Robert Dorr - and internet sources.

    Regards

    Finn Buch
    Last edited by Argus; 14th October 2017 at 09:33.

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    Thanks, gents!
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    And thanks, Finn, for the feedback on the LB-30B model number.

    Robert

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