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However, despite being the most produced American wartime aircraft, the Liberator was not as popular as its contemporaries. The media and many airmen preferred the B Flying Fortress, which was supposedly inferior to the B So, what made this destructive heavy bomber deserve an ugly duckling reputation?


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Ironically, the attribute that gives the Liberator its strength is also its greatest weakness. However, there was a tradeoff.

Statement from the Collings Foundation

Flak was the bane of the Liberators. Having a lower service ceiling compared to the Bs meant that the Liberators were more likely to be targeted by flak.

Consolidated B-24 Liberator

With the increasing efficiency of the Germans and rapid development in radar systems, more and more Liberators were shot down from the skies. In the fall of , Diamond Lil returned to the skies after a three-year restoration. Today, Diamond Lil is one of two airworthy Bs. The Consolidated B Liberator, first flown in , began active service in and was the most produced American aircraft of World War II, with 18, built.

Consolidated B-24J Liberator

The Liberator was used in every theater of the war and for a variety of missions from long-range bombing and submarine patrol, to transporting high priority cargo and VIPs. Nearly all the aircraft are kept in flying condition, enabling people to experience firsthand the sight and sound of vintage military aircraft in flight. The CAF is dedicated to honoring American military aviation through flight, exhibition, education, and remembrance. To learn more about the Commemorative Air Force, please visit www. Member Login. News Events Contacts.