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December 29, 1939 - The Consolidated B-24 Liberator (left) flies for the first time. The idea for the B-24 originated when Consolidated was approached regarding producing the Boeing B-17 under license. Creating a more modern design of their own, Consolidated received a contract from the US Army Air Corps for the new aircraft in 1939. Entering service in 1941, the B-24 Liberator was dubbed the "Flying Boxcar" by its air crews due to its squared-off appearance. During World War II, the B-24 served as one of the US Army Air Force's primary heavy bombers. Not as rugged as the B-17, the Liberator was also more difficult to fly. Despite these issues, the aircraft was praised for its long range and heavy payload. In addition, the B-24 was versatile and both cargo and maritime patrol variants were used during the war. The aircraft was retired in late 1945.

World War II - Bombers:

Photograph Courtesy of the US Air Force


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