Flight Manual

"How to Fly the B-24D Airplane"
First and of foremost importance, you are the Pilot, the lives of your crew and successful completion of your mission is in your hands. Use good judgment and common sense. The airplane is a piece of machinery and will react exactly as you direct. It will not fight back nor argue with you, so do not get mad at it, it only affects your own reactions and corresponding ability to fly.

The following text on flying the B-24 airplane is based on experiences of Consolidated Pilots with many thousands of hours flying time in cooperation with officials of the U.S. Army Air Corps with their wide experience in flight training procedure.

The B-24 airplane is not difficult to fly. It has no vicious characteristics and when the Pilot learns the difference in "feel," due to its size, weight, and speed range, flying it is no more of a problem than flying a trainer. A large bomber is a highly complicated piece of equipment containing many compartments. Learn your airplane; study the functional operations of the several systems and the mystery of imagined complexities will become surprisingly simple. A little time devoted to the fundamentals of what makes it "tick" will pay amazing dividends in psychological reaction and peace of mind.

Master the airplane, don't let it master you, but - never lose respect for it.

Inspect your airplane before take-off or be sure competent hands have accomplished the pre-flight check. The importance of following the Pilot's Check-Off List carefully before every flight cannot be overemphasized. This check-off list specifies all the details that must be covered to insure safe flight.

When engines reach the proper operating temperature use discretion in taxiing away from the line. Sharp turns should be avoided. Sharp turns grind off rubber and apply serious stresses to nose and main gear. Use the engines for steering, and save the brakes. Taxi slowly; it is a simple matter to keep full control of the airplane with the engines.

Before take-off, run up engines, check magnetos, propeller control, and set superchargers in accordance with Pilot's Check-Off List. To avoid fouling plugs, idle engines at 800 to 1000 RPM. Close cowl flaps to one-third open. Extend wing flaps one-fourth for best normal average; one-half for shortest take-off. Head into wind, open throttles slowly and full out to stops. Hold brakes on until manifold pressure reaches 25" Hg. Use full power for take-off; it lessens the take-off run and corresponding wear and tear on landing gear, tires, and entire airplane. Have Co-Pilot hold throttle against stops and adjust superchargers so as not to exceed manifold pressure operating limits (consult operating chart before take-off to determine this). On take-off, maintain straight course with rudders. Do not use brakes.

As the plane picks up speed, lighten the nose and help it take-off at a safe minimum speed; this is 110 MPH at 45,000 pounds to 130 MPH at full load. Do not hold the airplane on the ground when it is ready to fly. any idea of picking up extra speed on the ground as a safety margin is quite the reverse. Help your airplane.

Raise landing gear when definitely clear and air borne, and reach 130 MPH airspeed as soon as possible to be in the best condition in the event of engine failure. After take-off, maintain airspeed under 150 MPH until flaps are raised. The best average climb is 150 MPH. Consult performance chart for exact figure for specific load conditions. As long as the required minimum airspeed for stall is exceeded, the airplane is fully maneuverable with the flaps in any position. Stalling speed varies with loading, landing gear, cowl flaps, and flap setting. Maintain engine head temperature within limits given by control of cowl flap opening. The cowl flaps cause buffeting between the one-third and two-thirds open position which should, therefore, be avoided.

If anything other than an airport flight is to be made, turn off auxiliary hydraulic master switch.

After reaching cruising altitude, level off, get "ON THE STEP" and pick up speed before power is reduced to cruising requirements. If power is reduced too soon and before the airplane has picked up full momentum for cruising it would mush along in a high attack, high drag attitude in trying to gain speed under reduced power and would probably be quite sluggish. Approach the cruising condition from the top, both speed and altitude, NEVER FROM BELOW.

The air handling of the airplane is conventional and normal. Stability is excellent and high maneuverability is possible. Primary instruction in flying has made the Pilot aware of load factors. Keep this in mind when banking or maneuvering so as to not exceed the safe limits.

When you have squared away on a mission, check wheels, flaps and cowl flaps. Check the fuel supply frequently lest an unexpected leak or excessive consumption place you in a difficult position.

Two inches of boost gain by use of turbos is recommended as the best operation. Too much boost will lean the mixture, evidenced by rise of head temperature. Too little boost will enrich the mixture with resulting loss of power and excessive fuel consumption.

Before entering the airport area, accomplish Pilot's Check-Off List. Allow ample time to slow down to 150 MPH; turn on auxiliary hydraulic power; turn on booster pumps; lower landing gear and check the latches before making the final turn to enter the landing lane. Turbo superchargers "OFF" as the waste gate closes with reduced exhaust pressure when engines are throttled back. On entering the final landing lane slow to 140 MPH; extend flaps one-half. Extended flaps not only increase lift and drag but change the glide angle and attitude of the airplane in a manner to greatly increase visibility. Speed to be maintained in a glide varies, depending upon load, flap setting, and use of power. Under 45,000 lbs. loading glide should be maintained at 120 MPH slowing to 110 MPH with full flaps on leveling off for landing.

The airplane is fully maneuverable with flaps extended. Maintain sufficient RPM to continue at a rate of descent of 400-600 feet per minute. At any time during the glide (but allowing ample time before crossing boundary of field to adjust to change of attitude before final stage of landing) extend the flaps fully. After crossing the boundary and over runway, close throttles fully and have Co-Pilot hold them to prevent creeping. As the pilot begins to settle, hold it off the ground as long as possible. The exception to this is an emergency when it is necessary to use brakes immediately on touching the ground, which, too, is the only excuse for a three wheel landing. Hold the nose wheel off as long as possible and let the nose of the plane settle slowly and without shock, onto the nose gear. Do not "slap" the nose forward nor allow it to do so and do not apply the brakes with the nose wheel clear of the ground. (Crew aft will facilitate keeping the tail down, but do not exceed allowable C.G. limits for landing.) In case of emergency or of faulty brakes, a nose high landing with tail skid dragging (retractable type only) will enable the Pilot to land on any normal airport without using brakes.

Open cowl flaps immediately after landing and raise the wing flaps when convenient, but preferably before taxiing to avoid possibility of rocks or mud being thrown into the tracks.

Again taxi slowly and steer with the engines. Use brakes only when absolutely necessary. Enter parking area carefully. The wing span is 110 feet. There is no excuse for the carelessness of a collision on the ground or ground crash. Stop the engines with the mixture cut off. Leave cowl flaps open until engines cool. Set landing gear lever in the "DOWN" position, after No. 3 Engine has stopped. Do not set parking brakes until brake drums have cooled.

On parking the airplane, align the nose wheel to coincide with the center line of the airplane.