The Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer was a United States Navy long range patrol bomber derived from the Consolidated B-24 Liberator. At the outbreak of World War II the Navy lacked any long-range land based patrol bombers to conduct search, anti-submarine, and anti-shipping missions. In 1942 the navy put in a request for 977 B-24s designated PB4Y-1. While PB4Y-1s distinguished themselves in the Atlantic and the Pacific, it was still essentially a B-24 designed for high altitude flight, not low altitude patrol missionsIn 1943 the Navy asked Consolidated for a new patrol bomber based on the B-24. The PB4Y-2 design incorporated many changes including a single vertical tail, more armament, low level engines, and a stretched fuselage. The Privateer also had state of the art search radars and navigation equipment giving the aircraft an all-weather capability. By 1945 several squadrons of Privateers were conducting operations from the Philippines to the Aleutian Islands. The PB4Y-2 stayed in Navy service after the war where it took on additional missions such as weather reconnaissance, and the gathering of signal intelligence before being retired around 1955. After their retirement, several Privateers were modified and used as civilian air tankers used in fighting forest fires until 2002. [ https://pimaair.org/museum-aircraft/consolidated-pb4y-2/ ]
Pima Air & Space Museum: Consolidated PB4Y-2 “Privateer”.
SPECIFICATIONS:Wingspan: 110 ftLength: 74 ft 7 in.Height: 29 ft 2 in.Weight: 62,000 lbs (loaded)Maximum Speed: 300 MPHService Ceiling: 21,000 ftRange: 3,000 milesEngines: Four Pratt & Whitney R-1830-94 radials with 1,350 horsepower eachCrew: 11Manufacturer: ConsolidatedMarkings: Patrol Bombing Squadron 120 (VPB-120), Shemya Island, 1945Designation: PB4Y-2Registration: N3739GSerial Number: 59819
The following photos were provided by George Villasenor, an Aleutian WWII Navy Combat Photographer working out of Attu, circa 1945. Aircraft reference information from “Jane”s Historic Military Aircraft.Consolidated PB4Y-2 "Privateer" WWIIThe U.S. Navy made heavy use of their USAAF Service configured B-24D-derived PB4Y-1 Liberators from August 1942 onwards in the Pacific and over the Atlantic. In early 1943, the Navy placed a contract for an aircraft based on the original B-24D Liberator design with enhancements for their use as a dedicated naval long-range patrol bomber. Three B-24Ds were taken off the San Diego production line and modified with a lengthened fuselage (by 7 feet), navalized interiors, greater defensive armament, modified engine cowlings, and a distinctive vertical tail similar to that fitted to the final Liberator transport variant.The Navy ordered 739 aircraft in a single production run, with 286 delivered in 1944 and the remainder in 1945. Few had reached the front lines by VJ-Day, although VP-24 did achieve operational status with the Bat anti-cruise missile in the weeks prior to Japan's surrender. The Privateer went on to perform its best work during the Cold War era as a radar and electronic countermeasures platform. It was re-designated as the P4Y in 1951. After service with the U.S. Coast Guard, the final units were retired in the early 1960s.First Flight Date: 20 September 1943Powerplants: Four Pratt & Whitney 1350-hp R-1830-94 Twin Wasp enginesMax Speed: 237 mphRange: 2,800 milesWeight: Empty 37,485 lbs; Max (Take-off) 65,000 lbsDimensionsWingspan: 110 ft 0 inchesHeight: 30 ft 1 inchLength: 74 ft 7 in
This photo of a Navy PB4Y Privateer on Attu was taken by George Villasenor. This aircraft was originally derived from the Army Air Force's B-24D. Attu, AK. Circa 1945.
Another view of the Navy PB4Y Privateer by George Villasenor. Attu, AK. Circa 1945.
Current Update: 09 Dec 2021Last Updated: 04 Jan 2013 11:53