b24 vs b17 range and payload

The proposal—known as Project A—specified only that the airplane would be a “multi-engine” bomber. It is also worth noting that the Eighth Air Force B-24s were often used on tactical missions at lower altitudes where ground fire was more effective after the invasion, while in the strategic role their formations operated below the B-17s, where the flak was thicker. Why the RAF Preferred the Liberator over the Flying Fortress. The B-24 was a faster plane having a greater range and payload capacity. Ironically, the 44th sustained twice as many losses as the seemingly charmed 93rd. But on November 7, 1942, the 44th Bomb Group, which was actually the oldest B-24 group in the Army, flew its first mission. 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. The ultimate goal was finally achieved with the advent of the long-range B-36, though that airplane did not enter service until several years after the war. But there’s NEVER been anything like THIS before. They reported that the planes might be useful as night bombers. Now, the B17 had a range of 2,000 miles, a typical payload of 5-8,000 lbs. 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. Ironically, the RAF chose to operate the airplane under exactly the same conditions that many U.S. Army Air Corps officers were claiming was possible with the B-17, even though the U.S. training curriculum called for operations at considerably lower altitudes. Throughout the summer of 1943, Eighth Air Force B-17 crews found themselves alone in the skies on the long—and treacherous—missions over Germany. The Stirling made a pretty good glider tug. The returning pilots, most of whom had flown B-17s, reported that the B-17 had stood up better to Japanese fighters, though they evidently failed to take into consideration their own losses and the fact that several of the LB-30s were lost to ground attack and accident. Notes: Some entries contain '0', 'not available', or an 'NA' value. 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. Welcome to the WWII Forums! However, both types were underpowered and the Army realized that the power plants then available were not adequate to power the type of airplane they really wanted. Few writers have ever used statistics or aircraft performance to prove their point, but have relied primarily on what they have learned from advocates who are on one side or the other of the argument. 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. B-24 vs B-17. It was and is the most produced war plane in … In the Eighth Air Force, 1.43 percent of all heavy-bomber sorties resulted in an aircraft missing in action. In the annals of military history magazines, this is one of those moments. Two months later the ground echelon of the 7th Bombardment Group set sail by ship to join the 19th. Times when the very landscape appears to shift. British military aviation leaders suggested that the Americans do likewise, but the Eighth Air Force leadership insisted on continuing daylight operations. 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. 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. 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. 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. By December 1941, B-17s had been in service with U.S. Army bomber squadrons for more than four years. 1500 miles, so Berlin & back with 4000 lbs would have been possible, though perhaps not at high speed, and assuming a pretty direct flightpath. 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. 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. A B-24 could reach 290 miles per hour and carry a 5,000-pound bomb load for 1,700 miles, giving it a longer range, greater speed, and a bigger payload than its B-17 cousin. 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. 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. While U.S. Army Air Forces commanders in other theaters were not locked in to the daylight-bombing methodology, the leadership of the fledgling Eighth Air Force felt that it had a point to prove and all missions were planned for daylight operations. 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. This is, of course, what allowed it to bomb Japan from as far away as the Mariana Islands. The Fifth Air Force converted a B-17 into an executive transport for General MacArthur’s personal use. The main problems with the tests of the Liberator were that necessary modifications for the kind of war being fought in Europe took longer than expected, while the British preferred to use the high-capacity Liberators in the transport role. what do you all like better i am a fan both but the B24 had longer range and a hevier payload. Attacks were aimed at the supply lines of the German Afrika Korps, particularly the ports and supply depots at Tobruk and Benghazi in Libya. 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. Because of their longer range, General George Brett recommended, in the fall of 1941, that several B-24s be redirected to British forces in North Africa from those scheduled to go to England. Rumors abounded, and many B-17 crew members who had bought the line that their airplanes were superior probably believed the B-24s were gone because they couldn’t “hack the mission.” They were probably ignorant of the fact that their own type had been withdrawn from combat duty in the Pacific because of its shorter range capability in comparison to the longer legged B-24s. 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. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. 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. Twenty-five other Liberators were lost from the two Ninth Air Force groups on the mission known as “Tidal Wave.”. Just as the 43rd began converting to the Liberator, the 380th Bomb Group arrived in Australia and began combat operations with B-24s. Shortly after General Kenney arrived in Australia, he introduced the concept of low-altitude “skip-bombing” by heavy and medium bombers. Rooney has never really said why he believes this. 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. The MacArthur/Kenney strategy was to isolate major Japanese installations with air power, while capturing terrain on which to construct airfields from which to launch B-24s on long-range missions that eventually were reaching all the way to the Philippines. 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 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. Missions by B-24 crews in the Pacific were considerably different from those of their peers in Europe. 6731 Whittier Avenue, Suite C-100 McLean, VA 22101, From Tolkien to Hitler: Famous Soldiers of World War I, The Battle for Omaha Beach: The Men of the D-Day Invasion, Napoleon Bonaparte’s Last Campaign: The Battle of Waterloo, Operation Barbarossa: World War II’s Eastern Front, The Battle of Gettysburg: Turning Point of the American Civil War. If any dimensional values are "NA" in the database then the presented shapes may appear skewed. 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. Other long-range missions were being flown by B-24s assigned to the 28th Composite Group in the Alaska Command. The B24 Liberator however was bigger, had a longer range and bigger payload than the 17. 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. The B17 was a sedate aircraft and placed fewer demands on the flight deck crew. In proportion to their smaller numbers, the B-24 groups of the Eighth sustained even higher casualties during that summer and “Fall of Fortresses” than did their peers in the B-17 groups. 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. He wrote it at a time when the War Department was in the process of cutting back on aircraft production and was making the decision as to which types to continue in production. This is one area in which the B-17 possessed something of an advantage over the B-24. 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. It was and is the most produced war plane in … The 22nd Bomb Group, which had entered combat with B-26s, then was equipped with B-25s, would also convert to the B-24. 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. Most who look at these statistics quickly jump to the conclusion that the B-17 losses were heavier because of the period in 1943 when they were going it alone on deep-penetration missions over Germany. The performance of the new B-17 allowed a combat radius of no more than a thousand miles, however, and the Army began considering other alternatives to extend the striking range of its heavy-bomber fleet. This thread is archived. 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. 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. When they got there, 24 bombers were missing, 17 of which had been shot down. The 19th had been in continuous combat since December 8, 1941, and was already worn out. save. U.S. military leaders blamed the failure on the British having elected to use the airplane to bomb from very high altitudes, which led to unforeseen problems: frozen guns, frosted-over windshields, and oxygen failure. B17 0 vote(s) 0.0% B24 11 vote(s) 100.0% Page 1 of 2 1 2 Next > german mauser k98k man Member. With the exception of Boeing, all of the competing manufacturers assumed the Army was looking for a twin-engine airplane and designed their entries accordingly. 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. Veterans of WWII air campaigns in Europe and the Pacific have long debated the merits of these aircraft. 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. 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. It was heavy on the controls, armed to the teeth and saw action in every theater of operations in World War II. The U.S. B-24s often operated in formation with RAF Liberator squadrons. It changed the world more than any other single event in history. Part of the 19th Bomb Group was destroyed at Clark Field on December 8, when Japanese bombers caught the planes on the ground in the midst of rearming for an attack on Formosa. 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. By the end of the war, 28th B-24s were flying missions from the Aleutians against targets in the northern home islands of Japan. 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. 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. After the 44th Bomb Group entered combat, it quickly achieved a reputation as a “hard luck” outfit, taking fairly heavy losses in comparison to the other groups, though they came about in ones and twos, and in one instance as the result of a midair collision. The range with 4000 lbs was approx. This is the period that is most often addressed by the TV documentaries and literature about the bombing campaign in Europe. Log in or Sign up to interact with the community. 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. Your selected aircraft are compared in side-by-side arrangement below. Range: 2300 miles with 5000 pounds of bombs. Maximum range 3500 miles. The Liberator also played the major role in the antisubmarine Battle of the Atlantic, becoming a weapon greatly feared by German U-boat crews. In comparison, the average mission flown by B-17s in Europe was less than 1,600 miles. After the B-17s proved ineffective in British hands, the Army Air Corps sought to determine why. 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. Overall losses of Mosquito? This was only true with light payloads and reduced fuel, though. In B-17 groups, 1.66 percent of the sorties resulted in a loss, while in B-24 groups the loss rate was 1.26 percent, a difference of 0.4 percent. of bombs maximum payload was 17,500lbs) and a speed of 287 mph. 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. Only a few Liberators were in the Far East serving as transports when the war broke out, and a few others would be sent to Australia in the opening weeks of the war. 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. B-24 Liberator United States Army Air Forces Consolidated B-24D Liberator over Maxwell Field, Alabama. As the only combat commander at the numbered air-force level who favored B-17s, Doolittle may very well have been concerned about replacements. 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. Yet no preference was shown for B-17s in the Fifteenth Air Force, where the proportion of Liberators to Forts was reversed from that of the Eighth in England. He flew a couple of missions in B-17s and another in a B-26, but never flew a mission in a B-24, though he did spend some time with the 44th Bomb Group. In late 1942, the 90th Bomb Group arrived in Australia with four squadrons of B-24Ds. For several weeks the 93rd was the only B-24 group flying combat from English bases. On August 17, the Eighth Bomber Command mounted a massive effort with a split force of B-17s going against Regensburg and Schweinfurt. Missions were long and required considerable distances over water, conditions for which the Liberator had been created. The huge stabilizer of the B-17 presented a target for rounds that would miss the smaller tail of a B-24. Which was the better airplane? 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. The legend of the superiority of the Flying Fortress over the Liberator was born. As it turned out, the force mix of B-24s and B-17s was exactly reversed from that of the bomber forces in Java. Another use of the Liberator that proved extremely valuable to the war effort was as a long-range transport. 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. If the B-17G was so much more “rugged” than the B-24J, why did it weigh 20 percent less standing empty? Gen. Billy Mitchell and was a widely held view among the officers of the Army Air Corps, though future events would later prove it to have been unfounded. 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. Bomber pilots were no different when it came to trading in their B-24s for the B-17. 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. • 300 mph (483 km/h) airspeed. 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. • 3,000 mile (4,828 km) range. In terms of bomb-load, and the physical size of the bombs carried, nothing else made prior to 1944 could compare with the Lancaster. Click to see full answer Simply so, how many bombs did a b17 carry? Losses due to accident were as great as those from enemy action. Kenney and his bomber commanders worked to extend the range of the Regensburg Force were go... Due to accident were as great as those from enemy fighters and flak the teeth and action... The Eighth Air Force, 1.43 percent of the war, 28th B-24s were Flying missions the! These 2 historical bombers x Wright Cyclone R-1820-97 radial piston engines developing 1,200 horsepower each driving three-bladed propeller.! As those from enemy action ever appeared in the skies over Japan while hostilities were under way was in database... 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