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The Arsenal of Democracy
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B-24 Liberator Bomber

The nose of a B-24 bomber extends over the Arsenal of Democracy gallery.Our department worked around the clock. If there were no squawks, an airplane could be accepted on the first flight. Our preflight inspection took one and a half to two hours. In the air, we checked out all instruments and the long-range radios, feathered the props [shut off the engines that powered the separate propellers], and recorded the time required to extend and retract both the flaps and the loading gear. On some of the airplanes we test-fired the machine guns over Lake Huron with live ammo and dropped dummy bombs.

Wiley Reel, flight test copilot, Willow Run

B-24 Specifications

290 miles per hour
Engine Four 1,200-horsepower Pratt & Whitney engines built by Buick
Top altitude 28,000 feet
Length 67 feet
Wingspan 110 feet
Crew Six to ten men
Fuel capacity 2,400 gallons
Bomb capacity 8,000 pounds

Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Engine

Pratt and Whitney aircraft engine in exhibit case behind the WWII JeepBuick Motor Division in Flint built a record-breaking 310,000 automobiles in 1940. Even before the United States entered the war, some Buick plants retooled to make Pratt & Whitney air-cooled radial aircraft engines. Buick produced 133,000 aircraft engines by the war's end. The Pratt and Whitney aircraft engine can be seen in the exhibit case behind the Jeep.

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