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B 24 Liberator Nose Art

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The B-24 had a shoulder mounted high aspect ratio Davis wing. This wing was highly efficient allowing a relatively high airspeed and long range. Compared to the B-17 it had a 6-foot larger wingspan, but a lower wing area. This gave the B-24 a 35% higher wing loading. The relatively thick wing held the promise of increased tankage while delivering increased lift and speed, but became unpleasant to fly when committed to heavier loadings as experienced at high altitude and in bad weather. The Davis wing was also more susceptible to ice formation than contemporary designs, causing distortions of the aerofoil section and resulting in the loss of lift (unpleasant experiences drawing such comments as 'The Davis wing won't hold enough ice to chill your drink'. ) The wing was also more susceptible to damage than the B-17's wing, making the aircraft less able to absorb battle damage. The wing carried four supercharged radial engines mounted in cowlings borrowed from the PBY Catalina (except being oval in cross-section, with oil coolers mounted on each side of the engine), turning 3-bladed variable-pitch propellers.



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