Category Archives: Cargo

Cargo

Consolidated RY-3 “Liberator (Privateer) Express”, (Matchbox)

TYPE: Personal and cargo transport

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of four plus 25 troops or up to 4,500 kg cargo

POWER PLANT: Four Pratt & Whitney R-1820-94 radial engines with General Electric turbo-superchargers, rated at 1,350 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 300 mph at 25,000 ft

COMMENT: The Consolidated RY-3 was a troop and cargo transport aircraft built for the United States Navy on the basis of the patrol bomber Convair PB4Y-2 “Privateer”. This, on the other hand, was a US Navy derivative of the famous USAAF Consolidated B-24 “Liberator” heavy bomber.
In 1942, an urgent need was recognized for a heavy cargo and personnel transport with longer range and better high-altitude performance than the Douglas C-47 “Skytrain”, the most widely available USAAF transport aircraft at the time. So the Consolidated Aircraft Company hastily designed a cargo and transport variant of the “Liberator” bomber under the designation Consolidated C-87 “Liberator Express”. Production began in 1942 and a total of 287 C-87s were built alongside the B-24 at the Consolidated Aircraft plant in Fort Worth, Texas. The C-87 could be fitted with removable seats and racks to carry personnel or litters in place of cargo. In its final configuration, the C-87 could carry between 20 and 25 passengers or 4,500 kg of cargo. Because of war production bottlenecks and shortages, many C-87 aircraft were fitted with turbo-superchargers producing lower boost pressure and power than those fitted to B-24s destined for combat use, and ceiling and climb rate were accordingly adversely affected.
Despite its shortcomings and unpopularity among its crews, the C-87 was valued for the reliability of its Pratt & Whitney engines, superior speed that enabled it to mitigate significantly the effect of head and cross winds, a service ceiling that allowed it to surmount most weather fronts, and range that permitted its crews to fly “pressure-front” patterns that chased favorable winds. The C-87 was never fully displaced on the air routes by the Douglas C-54 “Skymaster” and Curtiss C-46 “Commando”, which offered similar performance combined with greater reliability and more benign flight characteristics.
One of the last developments of the basic USAAF Consolidated B-24 “Liberator” bomber design was a Navy contracted, single tail version with an extended fuselage. Built in San Diego its USN designation was Consolidated PB4Y-2 “Privateer” and the aircraft’ design based on the Consolidated PB4Y-1, the US Navy version of the B-24 “Liberator”.
The “Privateer” was externally similar to the “Liberator”, but the fuselage was longer, and had a tall single vertical stabilizer rather than the PB4Y-1’s twin tail configuration. The single vertical tail was adopted from the USAAF’s canceled B-24N design (and was slightly taller on the “Privateer”) because it would increase stability at low to medium altitudes for maritime patrol.
39 out of totally built 739 „Privateers“ were converted for transport duties as Consolidated RY-3, and were used by the RAF Transport Command No. 231 Squadron, U.S. Marine Corps, and one was used by the RCAF (Ref.: 24).

Consolidated PB2Y-5 “Coronado” (Contrail Models, Vacu-formed)

TYPE: Patrol bomber flying-boat

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of ten

POWER PLANT: Four Pratt &Whitney R-1830-92 Twin Wasp engines, rated at 1,200 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 213 mph at 20,000 ft

COMMENT: In June 1935 and July 1936, respectively, the US Navy ordered prototypes of large four-engine flying-boats in patrol bomber category from Sikorsky and Consolidated. The Consolidated design, Model 29,  made use of retractable wingtip floats similar to those on the Consolidated PBY “Catalina”, but in all other respects it was a wholly new design with high-mounted wing and a capacious hull with accommodation for a crew of ten.
The XPB2Y-1, as designated by the Navy, took-off first time on December 1937, but orders for the big new aircraft was delayed until mid 1939. First six production PB2Y-2s were delivered December 31, 1940, after a production contract for 210 PB2Y-3s was placed a month before. These “Coronados”, as the type was named, often carried ASV radar in a fairing just behind the cockpit. Several aircraft were redesigned and became PB2Y-5 and PB2Y-5R depending on the engines used. All “Coronados” were withdrawn from active service before the end of 1945. (Ref.  22)