Life for the B-24 heavy bomber began in 1939, when the Army Air Corps initiated a request for a new bomber designed to exceed the performance of the B-17. Consolidated Aircraft responded quickly with its proposal, labeled Consolidated Model 32 and, on March 30 of 1939, was awarded the contract. One day short of nine months later, on December 29, 1939, the first flight of the XB-24 bomber prototype took place.
Slightly smaller than the B-17, the turbosupercharger-equipped B-24 flew farther with a bigger bomb load than the much more publicized Boeing aircraft. Of seven service-test YB-24s, six were sent to the Royal Air Force (RAF) under the export designation LB-30A. Because they lacked turbosuperchargers and self-sealing fuel tanks, the RAF found them unsuitable for combat duty over Europe. Instead, they were stripped of their armament and put into service as transports on the Trans-Atlantic Return Ferry Service, which had been established to send air crews to Montreal to take delivery of American aircraft consigned to the British war effort.
Flying for the Army Air Corps as the B-24, and the U.S. Navy as the PB4Y-1, the plane also saw service in the Royal Air Force where it was known simply as the Liberator. There was also a transport version known as the C-87, one of which was Winston Churchill's personal aircraft, carrying him to historic meetings at Moscow and Casablanca, among other locations.
This particular 1:72 scale replica of a B-24J Liberator heavy bomber, nicknamed "Michigan," was flown by the 64th BS, 43rd BG which was based at Clark Field, Luzon, Philippines in June 1945. Comes with a separate enlarged display panel depicting the aircraft's nose art. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 18 inches
Release Date: March 2005
Historical Account: "M Go Blue!" - The nose art on this model was done by the same artist who did "Dragon and His Tail." The art refers to The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is the US product development manager's alma mater, "M Go Blue!"