The PB4Y-2 Privateer was the Navy’s modified version of the Consolidated B-24, designed as a low-altitude, long-range patrol bomber for anti-shipping, anti-submarine, ground-attack, reconnaissance and rescue missions.
The PB4Y-2 replaced the PB4Y-1, the Navy’s essentially unchanged version of the B-24.
The Privateer’s single vertical tail provided improved low-altitude stability. Its front fuselage is eight feet longer, to make room for a flight-engineer’s station, and its Pratt and Whitney R-1830-94 engines lack the B-24’s turbochargers, which were unneeded at low altitude.
Because the Privateer was often sent on long, unescorted missions, its armament was increased to 12 .50 caliber Browning machine guns in two top turrets, nose and tail turrets, and the distinctive, tear-drop-shaped, dual-gun ERCO waist turrets, which could be deflected down to converge 30 feet below the airplane. The B-24’s lower ball turret was deleted.
Privateers were used throughout the Pacific Theater, including ground-attack missions supporting the invasion of Iwo Jima.
|DISPLAY STATUS||COUNTRY OF ORIGIN||CURRENT LOCATION|
|PURPOSE & TYPE||MATERIALS||ERA & DATE RANGE|
|Bomber, Patrol||Steel||World War II
1939 – 1945
First Produced: 1943
Number Built: 3,290 total; 736 PB4Y-2 models
Armament: (12) .50 caliber machine guns in turrets and waist mounts and up to 8,000 lbs of bombs
Acquired by Yanks in 2006, this ex Coast-Guard airplane was making a living as a fire-fighting water bomber until its retirement in 2002.
Wing Area: 1,048 sq ft
Empty Weight: 37,485 lbs
Gross Weight: 65,000 lbs
Powerplant: (4) Wright R-2600 Cyclones
Cruise Speed: 140 mph
Maximum Speed: 237 mph
Range: 2,800 miles
|Delivered: Delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard as BuNo 66300
1959 – Sold as surplus
1959 – Converted to “Super Privateer” specs, using 1700-hp Wright R-2600 Cyclone engines
1959 through 2002 – Operated as a forest-fire “water bomber” by Avery Aviation and Hawkins and Powers Aviation