Comparative Study of B-17 vs B-24

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by WorkinStiff, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. WorkinStiff

    WorkinStiff New Member

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    1944 AAF study: "It would be desirable to increase B-17 production and decrease that of the B-24 because the former airplane (B-17),is a much more effective combat weapon".....www.uk-us.org/stinet/warproduction.pdf
     
  2. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    That document looks oddly familiar, I think I have a copy of it somewhere. There was more to it than what you mention:
     
  3. SM79Sparviero

    SM79Sparviero Member

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    All these problems would have been easily and intuitively overcome simply if Consolidated had accepted to build the B17 under Boeing licence, for a much lower gain of course.At the place of the 20.261 Liberators built ( VS 12.700 B17s from Boeing) they could build the same number of Flying Fortresses , and we are overlooking here the production of spare components of the aircraft with the consequent economical and uniformity operational advantages...Reuben Hollis Fleet , president of Consolidated was invited in 1938 together with his Chief Engineer to visit Boeing factory in Seattle under proposal from USAAC, and asked to get the licence for the production of B17, but after a superficial look to the Fortress he answered that"he could build a better aircraft".

    THE VOICE THE CREWS:
    -nicknames for B17:Jeep,Flying Fort,The Queen,Air Destroyer,Space Ship..
    -nicks for Liberator: Liquidator,Constipated Libertine,Convulsive Leviathan,Compulsive Lumberer and others ( unrepeatable).

    In my opinion US Air Force and Gouvernment had to impose to the industrial leaders to build the best aircraft simply for impelling war necessities.

    On the contrary someone in the headquarteers probably had very good motivations to give a balanced fair gain for each industrial corporation so that nobody were disappointed.

    this situation is not very different from the Italian public competition for a up-to-date interceptor in 1938 , when 4 (!) aircrafts were chosen , the highest numbers for FIAT G50 and (up-to-date?) CR42, then Macchi C200 while the worst option was left to the best, Reggiane Re-2000!
     
  4. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    geez just go ask a B-17 vet or a B-24 vet as to which one is better. No don't I have almost been punched out. Talk about a rivalry between these combat veterans. Both bombers did the job well. The Lib did not have the altitude and on may craft no belly turrets which the Lib vets thought the Luftwaffe took advantage of.........
     
  5. P38 Pilot

    P38 Pilot Active Member

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    Erich is right. Talking to a Veteran is better than a documentary. If you ask me, both bombers were good for their time. The B-17 was useful in Europe. The B-24 was useful over in the pacific.
     
  6. SM79Sparviero

    SM79Sparviero Member

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    My nickname remembers an ugly unchbacked wood-made aircraft that was born to carry mail and passengers, and sacrificed itself to strike HMS Rodney by a torpedo.How can you think that I don't share this opinion with you?

    Some of the main deficiencies of B24:High wing load that caused troubles in take-off and landing and forced the pilots to keep a rigorous up-and down limit in speed;a chaotic arrangement of the cockpit ; a bad visibility for the pilots that could see in take-off/landing mainly the barrels of the front two 12.7 Brownings ( except for the first series, without the turret); a bad stabiliy when it dropped bombs, so that some pilots that had previously flown with B17 called Liberator "a swinging chair"

    Much worse, if compared to B17 it couldn't bear heavy damages in battle.

    It is exclusively for respect to those gallant airmen that didn't come back home if I wonder why B24 was chosen at the place of a stronger and more reliable bomber.
    I hope it was not only for the profit of Consolidated .
    Exactly as I have always wondered why Fiat G50 was chosen over a much better but not "politically supported" fighter.
     
  7. SM79Sparviero

    SM79Sparviero Member

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    I agree. Maybe B17s would have had more chances to come back from the sky of Ploesti.
     
  8. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    according to Luftwafffe veterans in mid 1944 till wars end the US bombers were on even keel with taking punishemnt. New more powerful German HE ammo could take out either bomber without problem and they were both considered fairly easy tagets granted if US P-51's were not out and about
     
  9. P38 Pilot

    P38 Pilot Active Member

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    Yeah. But the B-17 probably proved a tougher challenge for the German pilots who attacked them. The B-17 had more gunners than the B-24.
     
  10. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    nope !

    the time period I am talking about constitutes a rear facing attack on all US bombers. A bomber without Allied escorts was toast. Both bomber types brewed up equally
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  12. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    The B-24 dropped just as much tonnage, if not more, than the B-17 in Europe. It obviously was doing something right! It dropped more tonnage in the entire war than any other bomber.

    From a grand stand-point, if not a pilot point, the B-24 was superior to the B-17. With some field modifications the RAF in the CBI managed to get their Liberators carrying 8000 lbs worth of bombs over 1,100 miles!

    I will give detail when I find the name of the chap that discovered that through the use of extra fuel tanks and playing with cruise control.
     
  13. WorkinStiff

    WorkinStiff New Member

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    B-17 crewman said that the best escort was to be flying on a mission with B-24s as the German fighter pilots would ignore the B-17s and go after what they regarded as easier kills; the B-24s.....
    I believe that B-24s were chosen for the initial Polesti raids because of their longer range...They were flying from Libya....
     
  14. mosquitoman

    mosquitoman Active Member

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    The B-24 is better IMO, it has longer range, larger bombload and faster. At the right altitude a B-24 on 3 engines could overtake a B-17 on all four
     
  15. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    the Germans would not ignore the B-17's and go ater the B-24's. This is a typical Ww 2 US mythical statement. The Germans were vectored in and then up to the individual Staffelkapitäns as to which bomber pulk's would be selected for the attacks
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  17. Monkeysee1

    Monkeysee1 New Member

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    The B-24 was faster by 15 kts or so and I think it could indeed carry more bombs but it did not have as high of a ceiling as the B-17 and the B-17 was able to absorb more damage. Although, the most accurate bomb group at the end of the war was a B-24 bomb group, this done through damage assesment etc... Probably being forced to drop from a lower altitude helped.

    So.. if you were a German fighter pilot flying an overweight pig of a wilde sau and you had to choose between the bombers at 25,000 ' or those at 17,000 ' you are probably going to choose the lower ones... the B-24's. Plus why not go after the ones who carry more bombs, and have the added bonus of being easier to shoot down?

    So yeah, the statement that German fighter pilots intentionally went after B-24's first seems pretty contrived at first but in the end its pretty logical when you think about it.
     
  18. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    Wilde sau during the day........nope.

    ok guys let me explain some things

    the German Air force in Reich defence was vectored to their targets from the ground and no preference was made at all by Staffel or Gruppenkommandeurs during an attack. It was all set up from the ground beforehand from 1943 till war's end even with the demise of radar installations in France. to presume that the B-24's flying at lower alt. was the subject of more attacks or the preference of such is all myth propagated by US bomber crewmen as established fact. Sorry too many gun cams of B-17's getting smeared from the rear all over the skies of Germany.

    v/r E ~
     
  19. Graf

    Graf New Member

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    From a General's point of view, yes, it would be smarter to produce more B24s than 17s. More bombload, longer range. On paper the war in Europe should be won far easier with the B24.

    But as a crewman aboard either aircraft, the B17 was the mount of choice. More durable, more armament for your protection. And of course you have to throw in morale.

    In my opinion I think they complemented each other quite well. Both were a necessity in the war over Europe.

    In the Pacific, B24 all the way. :)
     
  20. mosquitoman

    mosquitoman Active Member

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    I'll agree with that, in the Pacific, range was everything
     
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