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PB4Y-1 Navy Liberator

PB4Y-1 Navy Liberator
PB4Y-1 Navy Liberator
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Was: $219.95
Now: $159.95
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PB4Y-1 Navy Liberator
Model Description

This collectible PB4Y-1 is an example of one of the unsung heroes of World War II – an aircraft that helped win the U-boat war and helped patrol countless miles of ocean during World War II. Painstakingly built from Philippine mahogany by our skilled craftsmen with a wealth of detail, this 1/66-scale model PB4Y-1 makes a great aviation gift for any pilot or history buff.

Based on the Consolidated B-24 Liberator, the Navy sought its use as a very long range patrol bomber. The PB4Y-1 is essentially an unmodified B-24, while the PB4Y-2 Privateer is a new design, based on the Liberator.

The B-24 Liberator didn’t grab the public attention the way its stablemate, the B-17 Flying Fortress did. The Liberator was a more modern design than the B-17, with greater speed, range and bomb load. However, it was tough to fly, requiring a heavy hand on the controls and was difficult to fly in formation. Its “Davis” wing, with its high aspect ratio, was very efficient, but the Liberator could not tae as much damage as a B-17 and keep flying.

Despite its drawbacks, the B-24 Liberator was produced in great numbers than any other American military aircraft, before or since, with more than 18,400 built by September 1945. About 12,000 Liberators were used by the Army Air Forces, with about 1,800 used by the U.S. Navy as the PB4Y-1 and PB4Y-2 Privateers for its ability to conduct very long range maritime patrols.

The B-24 and PB4Y-1 were 67 feet, 8 inches long, with a wingspan of 110 feet. With a maximum takeoff weight of 65,000 pounds, the Liberator could carry up to 8,000 pounds of bombs on short flights. The crew of seven to 10 men could defend the bomber with 10 machine guns – four pair in powered turrets and two waist gun positions.

The B-24 first flew on Dec. 29, 1939 after the Army Air Corps had ordered a design as an improvement on the B-17 Flying Fortress. Over its long production run, improvements included the addition of more powerful engines, the addition of ball turrets and nose turrets, and upgraded systems.

The Army Air Forces took delivery of its first B-24s in 1941. The Liberator eventually became the standard heavy bomber in the Pacific, thanks to having a longer range than the B-17. IN Europe, Liberators comprised about a third of the bomber strength of the Eighth Air Force. Operating from Italy, the Ninth and Fifteenth Air Forces also launched Liberators against targets in occupied Europe.

The PB4Y-1s greatest contribution came as very long range patrol bombers operating on both sides of the Atlantic. By sacrificing some armor and adding fuel tanks, the maritime Liberators were able to cover the mid-Atlantic gap, where U-Boats were able to operate without fear of attacks from the air.

The PB4Y-2 Privateer grew from the Navy’s desire to have a “navalized” version of the Liberator. Easily distinguished by its single tail rather than the Liberator’s twin tail, the Privateer operated into the 1950s.