|K e n s m e n : 4 3 r d B o m b G r o u p (H), 5 t h A A F|
HOW to "Keep 'em Flying"
The following comes from the Appendix of the formerly restricted "Flight Manual for the B-24 Liberator", the guidebook given to Liberator fly-boys during their training. This particular manual concerns itself with the B-24D and it notes that "This Manual is Correct as of September 15, 1942".
How to Start -- Taxi-- Warm Up-- Take-Off and Land the B-24D Airplane
THE B-24D AIRPLANE
The B-24 is a large airplane but it is neither difficult nor tricky to fly. The operation of any airplane, single or multi-engine, requires certain operations performed in a definite sequence. This sequence, as it applies to the B-24, is covered by a complete and explicit Pilot's Check-off List. This Check List must be followed exactly and intelligently. Even the most experienced Pilots can not remember a long detailed list. The Pilot's Check List, as included in the airplane and in this "Pilot's Flight Manual", is for the experienced B-24 Pilots as a reminder and a sequence check-off. Certain other ordinary routine operations, which the experienced Pilot does instinctively, must be performed in connection with this list and it is the purpose of this text to fill in these gaps so that the inexperienced Pilot who has never seen a B-24 can learn the entire operation in detail and follow the Check-off List intelligently. We will follow through each step from the time the crew first approaches the airplane until the airplane returns to the field from its flight.
OPENING THE BOMB BAY DOORS
As the crew approaches the airplane the Flight Engineer opens up by unlocking and opening a small access door on the right side of the fuselage. Reaching in through this door he opens the bomb doors by pulling outward on the handle of the auxiliary bomb door valve.
CHECKING REMOVAL OF THE PITOT COVERS
While this is being accomplished the seasoned and wise Pilot steps forward to make doubly certain that the covers on the pitot heads have been removed. He knows that these covers can not be removed in the air and that with them "ON" the Airspeed Indicator is inoperative. An airplane of this size can not be operated safely by guessing airspeeds. With the ship open, the Pilot and Co-Pilot enter first and go forward to the cockpit.
TURN THE FUEL VALVES "ON"
The Flight Engineer then enters. His first act is to turn on the four fuel selector valves, one for each engine. These are leveled to connect an engine to a corresponding numbered system or to the cross-connection to which all tank units and engines may be connected. These valves are located overhead, forward to the main center section spar, two on the right on the centerline controlling the flow to Engines 3 and 4, and two on the left side controlling the flow to Engines 1 and 2. They are so numbered 1, 2, 3, and 4.
CHECK THE QUANTITY OF FUEL IN THE TANKS
The Engineer next checks the fuel load. This is shown by the two visual gauges located on the left forward face of the bomb bay bulkhead at the rear of the flight deck. Each gauge is connected by a two-way valve with two of the four main fuel systems so that by operation of these valves the quantity of fuel in each of the four systems may be determined; 1 and 2 on the outboard gauge, 3 and 4 on the inboard gauge. In taking a reading the Inclinometer, located outboard of the gauges must read zero for accurate reading. A reading off zero can cause a high percentage of inaccuracy in the quantity of fuel aboard. The figures on the gauges read in the U.S. Gallons. Each system should have a minimum of 300 gallons, giving a total for the four systems of 1200 U.S. Gallons.
THE PILOT AND CO-PILOT SEAT ADJUSTMENT
The Pilot and Co-Pilot in their seats adjust them for maximum comfort by adjusting levers located outboard of each seat. The three levers permit adjustment fore and aft, up and down, and tilt. With the seats adjusted properly for comfort the rudder pedal adjustment for proper length is the next step. Each pedal adjustment ratchet is located between the pedals. Adjustment is accomplished by pushing the ratchet lever away from the pedal with the toe and moving the pedal fore or aft to the proper position. Be sure the latch is engaged properly.
REMOVE THE CONTROLS LATCH AND CHECK THE CORRECT SURFACE MOVEMENT AND CONTROLS VISUALLY
The controls lock which holds the locking lever "UP" in the locked position is removed and the strap is stowed securely in the overhead. It is wise to check the locking lever in the "FULL DOWN" position to make sure it has dropped all the way and that the lock is released. With the controls lock released, check the movement and direction of the controls in the normal manner by turning the wheel for the ailerons; by exercising the wheel fore and aft for the elevators; and by pushing each rudder pedal for the rudders. As the Pilot turns the wheel the Flight Engineer or Co-Pilot should check the movement of the controls visually and call out to the Pilot the direction or movement. This check might seem superfluous but controls have been found crossed after re-rigging.
ENGINES MUST BE PULLED THROUGH BY HAND BEFORE STARTING
Before beginning the actual starting sequence, each engine must be pulled through by hand to check the free turning of the engine, and to clear any oil or fuel which may have accumulated in the combustion chambers, which if present, would most certainly result in a damaged engine.
BE SURE THE IGNITION SWITCHES ARE "OFF" BEFORE ENGINEER APPROACHES ENGINES
Before the Engineer approaches the engines, ignition switches must be definitely checked "OFF" and the master ignition switch must be checked "OFF". A kick-back would result in serious injury to the Engineer. The Engineer must pull each propeller through six blades which completes two full revolutions or one complete cycle. Even with the ignition switches checked in the "OFF" position, the Engineer should be constantly aware of the possibility of a broken ground wire which would cause a kick-back. Keep clear of the propeller plane of rotation while the propeller is being pulled through. Do not become careless. The ignition switch "OFF" can be just like the famous unloaded gun.
SOURCE OF ELECTRICAL POWER FOR TURNING THE ENGINES
Power for starting the engines can be drawn (1) from the ship itself, making use of the batteries plus the Auxiliary Power Unit; or (2) from outside the ship, making use of a battery cart or other outside power unit. When the ship's batteries are used, the Auxiliary Power Unit must be running unless it is inoperative. Without it, the direct strain of starting is a severe load on the ship's batteries and shortens their life. It may even do immediate damage to the plates of the batteries. If the Auxiliary Power Unit is inoperative, never attempt to use low batteries---they will not start the engines and will cause fusing of the starting solenoids as soon as they are closed. The Auxiliary Power Unit is never used alone. It does not have enough capacity to take care of the starter surge and the power requirements of the starters. The main difference between starting with the ship's power and starting with outside power as far as operation is concerned is in the position of the battery switches located over the master switch on the right side of the cockpit. In case of a start with the ship's power, these are turned "ON" connecting the ship's batteries and the Auxiliary Power Unit with the main power circuit. In case of a start with outside power, these battery switches are turned "OFF" since the outside battery plug connects directly to the main power circuit. Connection for the outside source of power is a receptacle reached through the same small door on the right hand side of the fuselage forward of the bomb doors through which the auxiliary bomb door handle is reached in first opening the airplane.
For starting either with ship's power or with outside power.
1. BATTERY SWITCHES IN PROPER POSITION -- These switches located immediately over the master switch consist of three units in the earlier and two units in the later installations. All switches are turned "ON" when ship's power is used for starting and "OFF" when outside power is used.
2. GENERATOR SWITCHES "OFF" -- The generator switches located on the generator panel on the forward face of the bomb bay bulkhead on the left side are turned "OFF" to prevent vibration damage to the voltage regulator.
3. AUXILIARY POWER UNIT -- When the start is made on ship's power, the Auxiliary Power Unit is started. This unit is located on the left side under the flight deck. If ship's batteries are fully charged the unit may be started by priming and then pressing the started button on the unit. The generator then acts as a starting motor to turn the gasoline engine of the unit. If the ship's batteries are low, the Auxiliary Power Unit must be started by hand and in this case the starting is accomplished before the ship's battery switches are turned "ON". Starting procedure for hand starting is to prime the unit, wind the starter rope around the drum and pull to turn the engine over.
TURN "ON" ALL FOUR IGNITION SWITCHES AND THE MASTER SWITCH
The IGNITION SWITCHES 4, 3, 2, and 1 and the Master Switch, located on the right side of the cockpit at the Co-Pilot's right hand are turned "ON".
AUXILIARY HYDRAULIC SWITCH "ON"
As the Engineer leaves the airplane to stand by the starting engines he reaches overhead on the right side ahead of the spar and turns "ON" the Electric Switch. The auxiliary pump furnishes hydraulic power until No. 3 Engine is started.
Wheel chocks are always used if available and are placed in front of each wheel.
PARKING BRAKES "ON"
The Pilot sets the parking brakes, even though the wheel chocks are installed, as a further precaution to keep the airplane from rolling when the engines are being started.
A.C. POWER FOR INSTRUMENTS IS TURNED "ON"
The Alternating Current or inverter power switch located on the left rear of the pedestal is turned "ON" to either No. 1 or No. 2 Inverters. These inverters furnish the Alternating Current power for electrically operated engine instruments.
AUTOMATIC FLIGHT CONTROL
Automatic Flight Control must be turned "OFF" for take-off. If take-off is attempted with this unit connected, free operation of the controls is impossible. A slide bar on the top of the Automatic Flight Control Unit on the left side of the pedestal is pulled aft to turn "OFF" all the Automatic Flight Control Switches.
SET ALTIMETER FOR THE FIELD BAROMETRIC PRESSURE
The Altimeter is set for the proper barometric reading, as obtained from the flight operations control tower, by turning the adjustment below the face of the dial.
DE-ICER CONTROLS "OFF"
The De-Icer and the Anti-Icer Controls to the right of the pedestal on the Instrument Panel are turned "OFF". De-Icer operating during take-off would change the entire wing lift characteristic and would be a hazard.
INTERCOOLERS MUST BE "OPEN" FOR STARTING
The intercooler shutter switches located forward on the pedestal in the center are placed in the "OPEN" position. Closed intercoolers would cause overheating and detonation.
COWL FLAPS "OPEN"
Cowl flaps are "OPEN" for starting to prevent excessive temperatures. Cowl flap switches are located on the right side of the pedestal. To operate place them in the "OPEN" position and hold until the cowl flaps are fully "OPEN".
PROPELLERS ARE SET TO HIGH RPM TO REDUCE CYLINDER PRESSURES AND SHORTEN WARM-UP
High RPM's are desirable to hasten warm-up and to reduce cylinder pressures. The propellers are set for High RPM by moving the switch bar of the switch gang located on the forward left side of the pedestal to the "INC" position and holding it so until the four indicator lights on the center of the Instrument Panel flash "ON".
SUPERCHARGERS MUST BE "OFF"
All four supercharger controls are set in the "OFF" position. This opens the engine exhaust tail gate. If the engines are started with turbos "ON" and the tail gate is closed the exhaust system would in all probability be blown off by the usual "pop" or exhaust explosion when the engines are starting.
MIXTURE CONTROLS MUST BE IN THE "IDLE CUT-OFF" BEFORE STARTING THE BOOSTER PUMPS
Mixture controls are placed in the "IDLE CUT-OFF" position. If they are in any other position when the booster pumps are started the engines will become flooded. This will create a fire hazard and make starting difficult.
AIRPLANE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS ARE IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE IF NEEDED
The airplane fire extinguisher valves, located to the right of the Co-Pilot, should be checked for position so that they can be operated quickly if needed.
STAND BY THE STARTING ENGINE WITH A PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHER
The Flight Engineer or ground mechanic always stands by the starting engine with a portable fire extinguisher. A flooded engine could result in a fire which could be extinguished immediately but which might otherwise be very serious.
NOW THE ENGINES CAN BE STARTED
Engines are started in the order: 3, 4, 2, and 1. They are started in this order, which is from inboard to outboard, so that the Engineer does not have to walk through or toward a moving propeller when standing by with the portable fire extinguisher. The No. 3 Engine is started first because it has the only hydraulic pump attached to it. The Co-Pilot, who usually starts the engines, checks visually to see that all personnel and obstructions are clear of the propellers, calls "ALL CLEAR" and is check answered "ALL CLEAR" by the Engineer.
TURN "ON" THE FUEL BOOSTER PUMPS FOR PRIMING PRESSURE
The four electric fuel booster pump switches, located under the Instrument Panel to the left of Co-Pilot's Control Panel, are turned "ON". The booster pump pressure is required for priming the engines, in order to force fuel through the carburetor when the electric priming solenoids are "OPEN" for the priming switches, as the engine driven pumps are not operating until the engine starts. The booster pumps are further required on take-off, on landing, and at altitudes after the fuel pressure has dropped two pounds. Booster pumps insure a positive flow of fuel to the engine pump because they are located directly on the tank outlets.
ENERGIZE THE STARTER
While the No. 3 Engine is being primed with one hand, the Co-Pilot holds the No. 3 Starter Energizer to "ACCEL" with his other hand; this Starter Energizing Switch is located below the priming switch.
PRIME THE ENGINE CAREFULLY FOR STARTING
Open the No. 3 Throttle approximately 1/3; prime the No. 3 Engine. The primer switches are located below the Instrument Panel to the left of the Co-Pilot's Control Column and are numbered corresponding to the engines. To prime, press the switch intermittently. By doing this the fuel is driven into the engine intake in spurts and priming is much more effectively accomplished than by holding the switch "ON" for a fixed interval. From one to ten such "shots" are required depending upon the temperature of the engine and the outside air.
With the engine properly primed and the starter energized the Co-Pilot now throws the meshing switch to "CRANK". There are two types of starters on the B-24: The earlier type where the Energizing Switch is held to "ACCEL" for thirty seconds then released before pressing the meshing switch, and the new type which is held to "ACCEL" for twelve seconds and then continued in the "ACCEL" position while the meshing switch is thrown to "CRANK". The latter type starter is a constant energizer and keeps the engine turning as long as the Energizing Switch is held to "ACCEL".
PLACE THE MIXTURE CONTROLS IN "AUTO-LEAN" WHEN ENGINE FIRES
After the engine definitely fires on the priming charge, throw the mixture controls from the "IDLE CUT-OFF" to the "AUTO-LEAN" position. "AUTO-LEAN" is used for starting, warm-up, and taxiing, as "AUTO-RICH" or "FULL-RICH" will cause the plugs to become fouled and the engine to load up because of the too rich mixture. When the mixture control is in "IDLE CUT-OFF" there is no flow of fuel to the carburetor jets. As soon as the mixture control lever is moved from "IDLE CUT-OFF" a valve is opened and fuel under the booster pump pressure flows to the carburetor jets. Therefore, if the engine does not start immediately, the mixture control must be returned to "IDLE CUT-OFF" to prevent flooding of the carburetor and the entire induction system. Do not exceed 1400 RPM in :"AUTO-LEAN" on the ground as higher speed, increased temperature and manifold pressure will cause detonation.
On arriving at the head of the runway or the designated warm-up area, stop the airplane and set the parking brakes.
EXERCISE THE PROPELLERS TO CHECK THEIR FULL RANGE OF OPERATION
With the throttles set for 1000 RPM on all engines exercise the propellers throughout their entire range. The Propeller Indicator Lights will come "ON" when the propellers reach the limit of travel. Exercise all the way to Low RPM high pitch and return to High RPM low pitch. Leave them in this position for the run-up and take-off.
ADJUST THE CONTROL TABS FOR TAKE-OFF
The control tabs are adjusted during the run-up for the best take-off positions; the elevator tabs are set for 1o tail heavy; aileron tab is set in neutral; rudder tabs are set for 1o to 2o right udder. These are the settings for normal conditions and loading. At this time it is wise to check the Automatic Flight Control and De-Icer again as well as controls for freedom of movement. These checks become automatic with experience as they affect the control and performance of the airplane.
"AUTO-RICH" MIXTURE POSITION IS ALWAYS USED FOR TAKE-OFF AND FOR FULL POWER REQUIREMENTS
Preparatory to the run-up the mixture controls are moved from "AUTO-LEAN" and set in the "AUTO-RICH" position. In "AUTO-LEAN" the engines will detonate under full power. Completely detonating engines will stop completely and suddenly.
CHECK THE FUEL PRESSURE AND THEN TURN "ON" THE BOOSTER PUMPS
Check the fuel pressure with the booster pumps "OFF" -- The normal reading should be from 14 to 16 pounds and then turn then booster pumps "ON" for run-up and take-off. The booster pump switches are the top row of switches under the Instrument Panel to the left of the Co-Pilot's Control Column. The engines are run-up with at least 105o C. head temperature but not over 205o C. Engines are run-up one at a time.
CHECK BOTH MAGNETOS AT 2000 RPM
During the run-up when the engine reaches 2000 RPM both switches are checked. A maximum of 75 RPM drop on either magneto is allowable. After this check, open the throttles wide against the stop. The engine supercharger will give approximately 36 to 37 inches manifold pressure at sea level.
SET THE SUPERCHARGER FOR THE TAKE-OFF REQUIREMENTS
With the throttle wide open move the supercharger control forward slowly to "ON". The manifold pressure increased from the engine supercharger boost to the final sea level take-off setting of 49 inches. The turbo-supercharger increases the boost 12 inches by creating a pressure, or ram, on the inlet air to the carburetor. The turbo control stops are set at the factory for a 49 inch sea level reading. This same run-up procedure is carried out for all four engines.
EXTEND THE FLAPS FOR TAKE-OFF ON NO. 3 RUN-UP
On the run-up of No. 3 Engine we take advantage of the hydraulic power supply, and extend the wing flaps to the take-off setting: either 10o or 20o depending on take-off conditions. The Fowler flaps are set to 10o for the best average take-off. This setting gives maximum performance in case of engine failure. Flaps extended 20o is the setting for maximum take-off lift. For normal operation, however, the 10o setting is recommended. To stop the flaps in any position before "FULL DOWN" return the operating lever to neutral manually. In the extreme positions the lever returns automatically to neutral. After run-up it is better to maintain 800 to 1000 RPM idling speed so that the engines will not foul up. Low idling speeds cause sooty and malfunctioning spark plugs.
TURN GENERATORS "ON" AFTER RUN-UP
The four generators are cut in at the panel, located outboard of the fuel gauges on the left forward face of the bomb bay bulkhead. As each switch is turned to "ON" increase the revolutions of the same numbered engine slightly to check the charge. The generators are left "OFF" during warm-up. If the generator switches are turned "ON" the voltage regulator points become badly mutilated due to the excess vibration during warm-up.
CLOSE DOWN THE COWL FLAPS FOR TAKE-OFF
The cowl flaps are closed to "1/3 OPEN" for take-off. Normally this gives ample cooling with a minimum of resistance for take-off. For normal temperature conditions, less than "1/3 OPEN" will not provide sufficient cooling. It is a point to remember that on average the cowl flaps reduce the airplane speed eight-tenths of a mile per hour at cruising speed for each degree of cowl flap opening. With the cowl flaps open more than 1/3, tail buffeting results. A wider opening, therefore, is not recommended for take-off nor in flight unless absolutely necessary due to extreme heat conditions.
LANDING LEVER PLACED IN "DOWN" FOR CHECK
After the run-up, move the landing gear lever to the "DOWN" position again and check the kick-out pressure. It should read from 825 to 875 p.s.i. on the Main Hydraulic Gauge. This is located above the Pilot's Control Column. Glance at the instrument for a last look. Check the crew aboard and be sure that the Nose Wheel Compartment is clear. Now all is in readiness for the take-off run.
Release the brakes, swing into the wind and open the throttle slowly and evenly against the stops. Have the Co-Pilot hold them in this position so there will be no chance of creeping closed. The throttle frictions are usually set lightly for take-off and landing to permit free movement if necessary. During the take-off run the Co-Pilot must check the supercharger pressure carefully and make any adjustment to hold the supercharger pressures equalized at 49 inches. As the plane accelerates the Pilot should apply a gentle back pressure on the controls to assist in lifting the plane on the gear. The plane, with a moderate load, leaves the ground easily at 110 MPH. This take-off speed increases up to 130 MPH for a plane with a full load. After leaving the ground the nose of the plane should be held down and the take-off course maintained until the indicated airspeed reaches 135 MPH. At this speed full control is available in the event of an outboard engine failure, under average conditions.
RAISE LANDING GEAR
As soon as the airplane is well clear of the ground and definitely air borne the landing gear is raised. If the landing gear fails to retract immediately the cause is probably air in the system, which can be eliminated by working the operating lever through sufficient "UP" and "DOWN" cycles to bleed it off.
REDUCE THE POWER TO SAVE ENGINES
After take-off reduce the manifold pressure to 45.5 inches (the maximum allowable continuous power rating for one hour) by retarding the turbo control lever.
REDUCE PROPELLER REVOLUTIONS TO 2550 AND SYNCHRONIZE PROPELLERS
Reduce the revolutions to 2550 with the propeller control switches.
RAISE THE FLAPS
After the landing gear lever has returned to neutral the flaps may be raised. Do not attempt to operate the landing gear and the flaps simultaneously; with the open center system the valve nearest the engine pump cuts off all other units.
Airspeed of 155 MPH must not be exceeded with flaps extended.
FUEL BOOSTER PUMPS "OFF"
The fuel booster pumps are turned "OFF" as their auxiliary pressure is not again needed until the fuel pressure drops 2 pounds due to altitude or until landing.
ADJUST COWL FLAPS
Cowl flaps are adjusted as necessary to control engine head temperatures not to exceed 260o C. in climb (or under maximum power) with Mixture Controls in "AUTO-RICH".
The maximum head temperature allowable for cruising in "AUTO-LEAN" is 232o C. Check the engine instruments:
Oil pressure 75 to 80 pounds;
Fuel pressure 14 to 16 pounds;
Maximum oil temperature for "AUTO-LEAN" cruising 75o C.
For full rate of power in "AUTO-RICH" a maximum oil temperature of 85o is permitted. For military power for five minutes 100o C. is the maximum allowable.
To reduce the drag the cowl flaps should be kept as nearly fully closed as possible. High airspeed cools better than open cowl flaps. The use of cowl flaps reduces lift as well as increases drag; therefore, use minimum opening which will maintain proper cooling. Do not allow head temperature to exceed 260o for full power or high speed in "AUTO-RICH" or 232o C. for continuous operation in "AUTO-LEAN"
TURN THE AUXILIARY HYDRAULIC MOTOR "OFF" ON EXTENDED FLIGHTS
The auxiliary hydraulic motor is turned "OFF" when other than a purely local flight is being made. Thy hydraulic pump on No. 3 Engine is capable of furnishing all the necessary power for flight operations. The auxiliary pressure switch has maximum and minimum setting such that the unloading valve will not function and the electric pump when "ON" will supply all of the accumulator charge.
As the plane approaches the field and enters the pattern the Pilot retards the throttles and reduces the speed to 155 MPH.
NOTIFY THE CREW SO THEY CAN PERFORM THEIR DUTIES
As speed is being reduced the Pilot notifies the crew that the airplane is coming in for a landing and receives a report that the Nose Wheel Compartment of clear of the crew and that all is in readiness for a landing.
TURN "ON" HYDRAULIC ELECTRIC SWITCH FOR AUXILIARY POWER
The auxiliary hydraulic switch is turned "ON" as the full supply of main hydraulic power will not be available when No. 3 engine is throttled.
CHECK ACCUMULATOR PRESSURE TO BE SURE OF BRAKING POWER
Check the accumulators for proper pressure. The gauge is located on the left of the Pilot's Control Column and should read between 850 and 1125 p.s.i.
TURN "OFF" A.F.C. OR "AUTOMATIC PILOT"
Make sure that the "Automatic Flight Control" or "Pilot" is turned "OFF". Landing would be hazardous attempting to overpower the automatic controls.
CLOSE THE COWL FLAPS TO REDUCE DRAG AND RETARD ENGINE COOLING
Cowl flaps are closed on the approach to prevent rapid engine cooling in the glide and to cut down head resistance in the event landing is refused. Open cowl flaps also lower the lift of the wing surface directly behind them which is a considerable area.
PLACE THE MIXTURE CONTROLS IN "AUTOMATIC RICH"
The mixture controls are placed in the "AUTO-RICH" position in the event full power might be needed. (Full power is available only with the mixture controls in "AUTO-RICH.")
INTERCOOLER SHUTTERS MUST BE "OPEN"
Intercooler shutters are checked for "OPEN" unless they are needed because of carburetor icing; in which case the head temperatures must be watched carefully and the Co-Pilot on the alert to open them immediately.
TURN "ON" THE BOOSTER PUMPS
Booster pumps are turned "ON" to insure positive flow of fuel to the engine pumps.
THE DE-ICERS MUST BE "OFF"
The De-Icers must be turned "OFF" -- Be sure to check this. When the De-Icers are operating the inflated shoes act as spoilers as the wing approaches the stall and change the landing behavior of the airplane.
CHECK FOR LANDING KICK-OUT PRESSURE WITH LANDING GEAR LEVER IN "UP" POSITION
Move the landing gear lever to the "UP" position to check kick-out pressure; which should be from 1050 to 1100 p.s.i.
LOWER LANDING GEAR WHEN SPEED IS REDUCED TO 155 MPH
Move the landing gear lever, located on the left side of the pedestal, to the rear and downward to the "DOWN" position. Lever will return to neutral when the gear is down. As the gear is lowering check this sequence of operation: The hydraulic pressure on the main gauge to the left of the Pilot's Control Column builds up suddenly and then drops; the warning light in front of the Pilot on the Instrument Panel turns "ON"; landing gear control handle returns to neutral. The warning horn sounds when the throttle is closed unless the gear is latched properly in the "DOWN" position. The return of the handle to neutral does not mean that the latches are engaged. A surge as the gear bottoms could cause a premature kickout.
INSPECT ALL LANDING GEAR LATCHES VISUALLY
A crew member must check the gear latches to be absolutely certain they are engaged. The nose gear latches may be inspected from the Nose Wheel Compartment. Each of the main landing gear latches can be seen from the rear window on each side. They are painted a bright yellow for immediate identification. The main landing gear latches can not be seen with the flaps extended.
LOWER THE WING-FLAPS HALF-DOWN FIRST
After the landing gear lever has kicked back to neutral and the gear has been checked; with the speed still reduced to 155 MPH, enter the landing lane and extend the wing flaps 20o by moving the flap lever on the right of the pedestal to the rear. When the flap indicator reads 20o return the flap control lever to neutral manually. This stops the flaps in the 20o" "DOWN" position. The flap lever only returns automatically from the extreme positions "UP" and "DOWN". Half-down flap is recommended for the beginning of the approach. With the flaps in this position the lift and drag are both increased and the attitude of the airplane affords a greater angle of vision during landing. With the flaps partially or completely extended the airplane is fully maneuverable but not so responsive.
TURBO CONTROLS ARE TURNED "OFF"
Turbo controls are turned "OFF" normally. When landing at altitude they are left in a position to furnish the required manifold pressure. Handle the throttles carefully. With the turbo controls "ON" a backfire may blow off the exhaust manifold as the tail gate is closed and the turbo outlet restricts free exhaust.
PROPELLERS HIGH RPM
Place the propeller control switches at "INC" RPM. This throws the propellers in low pitch High RPM so that maximum power will be available in case landing is refused.
FLAPS "FULL DOWN"
When approaching the boundary of the landing field the flap lever is placed in the "DOWN" position and flaps fully extended. The lever will return automatically to neutral and the indicator will show 40o extended flap. When the flaps are extended fully always allow sufficient interval of time before the final level-off, or flare, for the airplane to settle into its new attitude to avoid confusing the Pilot at the last minute before the flare for landing.
CHECK THE LANDING GEAR "DOWN" AGAIN
Move the landing gear lever again to the "DOWN" position for final check.
CLOSE THE THROTTLES AND LAND
When the airplane reaches the proper position over the runway, with the throttles closed, begin the flare with ample altitude for control response. Remember, the B-24D Airplane has great momentum due its weight and resists sudden change of direction. Adjust the elevator tabs to assist in the landing and hold the airplane off the ground as long as possible. The best landing position is the conventional one for airplanes not equipped with tricycle gear. Never land in a position which will allow the nose wheel to make contact first. A three-wheel landing should be made only when brake application is necessary immediately upon touching the ground.