19 May 2017
PB4Y-2 Privateer: Pirate of the Skies
The PB4Y-2 Privateer is a heavy naval patrol bomber, a major redesign of the B-24 Liberator. A new tail, new engines, more powerful and re-arranged defensive armament! Who could seriously question its pirate manners?
The PB4Y-2 Privateer was a serious redesign of the B-24 Liberator heavy bomber to suit the needs of maritime aviation. The first prototype was ready by September of 1943. The aircraft’s length was extended and it gained a completely new tail design with a single tall fin that improved handling. The engines were also upgraded, becoming more powerful but also losing their turbochargers, which were not necessary for low-altitude maritime aircraft. The aircraft’s armament increased by two large-caliber M2 Browning machine guns (12 guns instead of the 10 on the B-24), turrets were re-arranged to strengthen defences from above.
The PB4Y-2 Privateer first saw action as part of Patrol Bomber Squadron 119 in March 1945. The squadron was based in the Philippines, from where they executed “offensive search” missions along the Chinese coast occupied by Japanese forces. In its combat career, this aircraft also participated in the Cold War, the Korean War, and the First Indochina War as part of the American and French Naval forces. After being withdrawn from service in the US fleet, the PB4Y-2 Privateer continued to be used by the US Coast Guard well into the 1960s. Several units remained in service until very recently (2002) and were deployed to combat forest fires.
In the game, this low-flying but heavy naval bomber will be of interest to every fan of maritime aviation. Six turrets with twin large-caliber Brownings, which securely cover the whole upper hemisphere, will easily calm the ardor of any enemy fighter on your tail. It’s best not to expose the lower hemisphere and keep it close to the water, as there are no turrets on the belly.
The variety of bomb set-ups is very useful for clearing both enemy bases and convoys. The arrival of this aircraft in War Thunder is somewhat unprecedented, as it will be the first naval heavy bomber specially designed for this purpose.
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The PB4Y-2 Privateer will make an excellent addition to rank 4 of the US aviation tech tree, so load your machine guns and add some Jolly Roger decals - the “Privateer” goes hunting!!
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