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Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer

The reference aircraft for the “Valiant in Service” painting.

This is the plane that inspired the painting, “Valiant in Service.” I saw one in action, many years ago, dropping retardant on a fire in mountainous terrain near the Walker River Gorge in Western Nevada. The sight was awe inspiring and stayed with me all these years and is now being expressed on canvas. The following regarding this type of aircraft is from Wikipedia:

The Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer was a World War II and Korean War era patrol bomber of the United States Navy derived from the Consolidated B-24 Liberator.

The Privateer was externally similar to the Liberator, but the fuselage was longer to accommodate a flight engineer’s station, and had a tall single vertical stabilizer rather than the B-24’s twin tail configuration. The defensive armament was also increased to 12 .50-in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns in six turrets (two dorsal, two waist, nose and tail), with the B-24’s belly turret being omitted. Turbosuperchargers were not fitted to the engines since maritime patrol missions were not usually flown at high altitude.

Privateers in aerial firefighting P4Y-2 Tanker 123 BuNo 66260 N7620C, of Hawkins & Powers in service supporting the CDF, at Chester Air Attack Base in the late 1990s—crashed 18 July 2002. PB4Y-2 BuNo 66261 marked as BuNo 66304 in the collection of the National Museum of Naval Aviation at NAS Pensacola, Florida.A limited number of refitted PB4Ys continued in civilian service as airtankers, dropping fire retardant on forest fires throughout the western United States. On 18 July 2002, one such refitted PB4Y, BuNo 66260 seen in picture to right operated by Hawkins and Powers Aviation of Greybull Wyoming, broke up in flight while fighting a wildfire near Rocky Mountain National Park. Both crew members were killed in the accident, and the Federal Aviation Administration temporarily grounded all large air tankers in the region.[6] Following the accident, all remaining Privateers were retired. See 2002 airtanker crashes.

via Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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