Did Canadians Invent the VLR Liberator?

I’m busy reading Paul Kennedy’s new book, Engineers of Victory: The Problem Solvers Who Turned the Tide in the Second World War. Still marshaling my thoughts—I’ll write a review eventually—but some of the most enjoyable parts of the book are the tidbits of technical exotica that Kennedy passes along. Having seen him speak several times about the Merlin-engined P-51 Mustang, it’s no surprise that that story is one of the best parts of the book.

One throw-away line early in the book is about “the team of chiefly Canadian air engineers” who put extra fuel tanks in a B-24 Liberator to create the first Very Long Range (VLR) maritime patrol airplane. I’d never heard that there was a Canadian connection to the story. No footnote, sadly.


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