Airplanes of the Past Home Page B-24 Liberator bomber of World War II



B-24 Liberator Models, Production and Assembly Plants

The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was a 4-engine, twin-tail heavy bomber designed by Consolidated Aircraft of San Diego. Its first flight was on December 29, 1939, and it began service in 1941.

The B-24's spacious, slab-sided fuselage was built around a central bomb bay with two compartments that could accommodate up to 8,000 pounds of ordnance each. The B-24 provided excellent service in a variety of roles due to its large payload and long range.

B-24 Liberator Production Recap by Model and Assembly Plant

A total of 18,493 Liberators were built, more than any other aircraft in World War II. Several factories produced the Liberator:

  • Original Consolidated plant in San Diego
  • A second Consolidated plant in Fort Worth
  • Ford Motor Co. at Willow Run, Michigan
  • North American Aviation in Dallas
  • Douglas Aircraft Co. in Tulsa

The table shown below represents a recap of B-24 Liberator production by model, and by manufacturing plant. Numbers represent our best research on the subject; there are minor variations in numbers reported by other sources and outlets.

B-24 Model
Consol-idated
San
Diego (CO)
Consol-idated
Fort
Worth (CF)
Ford
Willow
Run (FO)
North American
Dallas (NT)
Douglas
Tulsa
(DT)
Total
Number
Built
Early Models
(XB-24, YB-24,
B-24A, etc.)
34
B-24D
2,381
305
10
2,696
B-24E
144
490
167
801
B-24G
430
430
B-24H
738
1,780
582
3,100
B-24J
2,792
1,558
1,587
536
205
6,678
B-24L
417
1,250
1,667
B-24M
916
1,677
2,593
Liberator I
20
Liberator II
139
Liberator III
260
LB-30
75
Knock-Down Kits
1,901

 

TOTAL
6,506
2,745
8,685
966
964
18,493

Consolidated B-24 assembly line at Fort Worth
B-24 assembly line

Willow Run Plant in Michigan

Status of the Willow Run Plant

The Yankee Air Museum announced in June, 2014 that it signed an agreement to buy a 144,000-square-foot slice of the Michigan factory where the original Rosie the Riveter worked during World War II. The museum, through the Save the Willow Run Bomber Plant campaign, raised close to $8 million. Organizers want to convert the factory — where Rose Will Monroe and other workers built B24 bombers — into the new home of the Yankee Air Museum, dedicated to aviation and all the Rosies who toiled at U.S. plants to aid the war effort.

For more information visit the Save the Willow Run Plant website
www.SaveTheBomberPlant.org

The Willow Run manufacturing plant, located between Ypsilanti and Belleville, Michigan, was constructed during World War II by the Ford Motor Company for the mass production of the B-24 Liberator.

The architect was Albert Kahn, who worked along side Ford designer Charles Sorensen. Six months and $47 million dollars later, the Ford Willow Run B-24 Liberty Bomber Plant was ready for training a work force. With 3.5 million square feet of factory space, it was one of the largest factories in the world. The plant featured an assembly line which was a mile long and included a unique 90 degree turn.

On October 1, 1942, the first plane was completed and christened "The Spirit of Ypsilanti."

The Willow Run Airport, with six runways to test planes, was also completed in 1942. At the peak of production, the assembly line was producing a Liberator an hour.

On June 28, 1945 production ceased, after 8,685 planes had been manufactured.

Read more about the history of the Willow Run Assembly Plant and view photos of the plant

 


B-24 Liberator Model Evolution

XB-24 Liberator
XB-24 Liberator in flight
YB-24 Liberator
YB-24 Liberator on tarmac
B-24A Liberator
B-24A Liberator in flight
B-24D Liberator 123828
B-24D Liberator 123828 in flight
B-24E Liberator
Consolidated B-24E

B-24G Liberator 278349
Consolidated B-24G
B-24H Liberator 264435
B-24H Liberator 264435 in flight
B-24J Liberator 269949
B-24J Liberator 269949 in flight
B-24L Liberator 44-1661
B-24L Liberator 44-1661
B-24M Liberator 44-42151
B-24M Liberator 44-42151 in flight