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Convair PB4Y-2/P4Y-2 Privateer

10 September 2014

Convair PB4Y-2/P4Y-2 Privateer

Convair PB4Y-2/P4Y-2 Privateer, Nicholas A. Veronico & Steve Ginter, 2012, ISBN 0-9846114-6-0, 241 pp.

Convair PB4Y-2/P4Y-2 Privateer by Nicholas A. Veronico & Steve Ginter (front cover)

Convair PB4Y-2/P4Y-2 Privateer by Nicholas A. Veronico & Steve Ginter (front cover)

The beginning of World War II saw long-range patrol aircraft possessing four chief characteristics: flying boat design, lengthy flight endurance, manual machine guns as defensive weapons and carrying as many eyes as possible for searching.

World War II provided the impetus to develop technologies at accelerated rates to say the least and over water patrolling was no exception. The PB4Y-2 (later designated the P4Y-2) Privateer possibly became the acme of  long-range patrolling  aircraft and it could hardly be more different from its ancestors. Aircrew numbers were still high at about a dozen (eyes are still significant in searches) but they also manned defensive gun positions which had evolved to powered turrets and more of them. Sophisticated radar and, at times, powerful search lights enhanced patrolling effectiveness. Perhaps most markedly the Privateer was not a flying boat as it was a a land based patrol bomber with the exponential increase of long runways where few existed at the war’s start.

The Privateer exploited the high lift Davis wing to maximum effect and was formidable when threatened by opposing aircraft with no less than six powered turrets. Lessons learned from the Privateer’s service would transfer later to the Martin P4M Mercator, Lockheed P2V Neptune and Lockheed P-3 Orion.

Veronico and Ginter’s book is the authoritative book on the dash two Privateer. Explanations of the various turrets, why the dash two exchanged its twin vertical fins for a single fin and how it affected performance and so much more. Drawings and photos abound and illustrate everything from ditching procedures to bomb loading. The history is complete with the Privateer’s dirty laundry such as quality control failures which led to aircraft losses due to missing rivets as well as poor redesign of the Privateer from patrol bomber to cargo aircraft. Unit histories, nose art, unit badges and images of details valuable to restorers complete the work of the authors.

Convair PB4Y-2/P4Y-2 Privateer is the authoritative book on this historically significant, though relatively unknown, aircraft. We have Nicholas Veronico and Steve Ginter for their efforts to commit this legend to paper.

Convair PB4Y-2/P4Y-2 Privateer by Nicholas A. Veronico & Steve Ginter (back cover)

Convair PB4Y-2/P4Y-2 Privateer by Nicholas A. Veronico & Steve Ginter (back cover)

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