|This page is about the American bomber PB4Y-2. For other versions, see B-24/PB4Y (Family).|
The PB4Y-2 Privateer is a rank III American heavy bomber with a battle rating of 5.0 (AB), 5.3 (RB), and 5.7 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.69 "Regia Aeronautica".
Historically a maritime patrol/reconnaissance aircraft derived from the B-24 Liberator, the Privateer performs the function of a heavy bomber, optimized for dumping large amounts of high explosive on enemy bases.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 7,620 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
Since it is a heavy four-engine maritime bomber, the Privateer's manoeuvrability is unsurprisingly poor, it is also agonizingly slow, at nearly 100 km/h slower than the B-17E Flying Fortress (only 404 km/h top level speed). Its maximum speed in a dive is 580 km/h, and it has absolutely no chance of evading any of the fighters it might face using its speed or diving away. As a maritime patrol aircraft, the engines are optimized for low-level performance, thus its performance will suffer noticeably above 6,000 m while it can retain its energy gained form a dive reasonably well at below 3,000 m.
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 200||< 180||< 180||> 300|
Survivability and armour
- 38 mm Bulletproof glass in front of nose gunner
- 12.7 mm Steel plate in front of nose gunner
- 9.5 mm Steel plate underneath nose gunner
- 9.5 mm Steel plates behind pilots
- 9.5 mm Steel plates inside fuselage x 3
- 9.5 mm Steel plates behind and under radial engines
- 12.7 mm Steel plates behind dorsal gunners
- 38 mm Bulletproof glass in front of beam gunners
- 9.5 and 6.35 mm Steel plates in front of beam gunners
- 55 mm Bulletproof glass in front of the tail gunner
- 9.5 mm Steel plate in front of the tail gunner
Modifications and economy
The PB4Y-2 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- 20 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs (2,000 lb total)
- 8 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs (4,000 lb total)
- 4 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bombs (4,000 lb total)
- 8 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bombs (8,000 lb total)
- 4 x 2,000 lb AN-M66A2 bombs (8,000 lb total)
- 4 x Type A Mark I mines
- 8 x Type A Mark I mines
When stock, the Privateer is loaded with 20 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs, which are near useless at anything other than picking off light stationary targets. Fortunately, the Privateer gets its best payload option once you've researched the "Mk 13 Mod 0" modification at rank II: 8 x Type A Mark I naval mines, with 508 kg of TNT equivalent each (compared to 4 x 2,000 lb AN-M66A2 bombs). This is the most potent payload for any American bomber until the B-29 Superfortress. These will do more damage to a base than the equivalent weight in 2,000 lb bombs that the B-17 Flying Fortress or B-24 Liberator can carry. Against ground targets, the Type A naval mine will work like an ordinary bomb (will explode upon ground contact after the fuse timer is up). Due to quantity of bombs and explosives, the Privateer can be used to either destroy the base or destroy a column of heavy vehicles.
Against naval targets, however, the naval mines will not explode when missed but instead armed itself underwater and wait for enemy contact. This reduces the overall effectiveness against stationary naval targets (as it requires a direct hit to trigger a detonation) but provides an additional use in naval battles, as you can lay these mines on various choke points and capture zones, as well as trapping any moving enemy vessel that comes too close to it.
The PB4Y-2 is defended by:
- 2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, nose turret (600 rpg = 1,200 total)
- 2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, 2 x dorsal turrets (380 rpg = 1,520 total)
- 2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, 2 x beam turrets (400 rpg = 1,600 total)
- 2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, tail turret (400 rpg = 800 total)
The PB4Y-2 features a large amount of .50 cal heavy machine guns as defensive armament. However, even when all of them can be brought to bear, it may not be sufficient to protect the bomber against determined or skilled fighter opposition. Only the tail turret can engage enemies attacking directly behind the Privateer, as the vertical stabilizer blocks the dorsal turrets (gunner dead-zone).
Usage in battles
There are two ways to play the Privateer. One of them is as a conventional heavy bomber, attempting to gain as much altitude as possible while utilizing cloud cover to evade enemy fighters. Unfortunately, the Privateer does not have very good high altitude performance, and it will struggle to climb to high altitude. This approach will also expose the aircraft to attacks from below, against which the Privateer has very little protection.
The other approach is to fly at very low altitude. This has two advantages: it makes it extremely difficult for enemies to attack from below, and the engines are optimized for this altitude. It will also tempt enemy fighters to dive on an "easy" target, which will, in turn, make them easy targets for your own fighters. Unfortunately, flying at low altitude will make the aircraft very vulnerable to anti-aircraft guns.
Diving is probably the most risky way of trying to bomb but it is the quickest if you do it right. Start by spawning in then dive at about -10 degrees. This will make sure you will not overspeed before reaching the bombing point. However enemy interceptors with air spawn can potentially catch you in a head on, which is an extremely dangerous situation.
Upon spawning, dive at an angle of about -40 degrees. The PB4Y will gradually pick up speed to around 500 km/h. Once you reach 580 km/h, cut throttle to avoid over speeding. If you are close to the bomb base, turn into shallow diving or level out and prepare for the bombing. Once bombs are out, bank towards your airfield while keep diving, you should fly at no more than 100 m above the ground.
During an encounter with enemy aircraft, if you have time to adjust your position, try putting the enemy plane at your 10 / 2 o'clock. This way you can utilise up to 8 M2 Brownings scattered across your fuselage (2 x dorsal turrets, beam turret & nose turret) against the enemy, at the price of presenting a huge silhouette to it. This is a very dangerous tactic, but sometimes it is worth a try.
In general, when engaged by fighters, one should attempt to force them to attack from oblique angles from above. This will allow the largest amount of machine guns to engage the attacker. Only the rear turret can engage aircraft directly behind the Privateer; thus, one should turn the Privateer or use the rudder to "wag the tail" which will allow other gunner positions to engage tail-chasing fighters. Under no circumstances should the belly be exposed to enemy fire; it usually becomes quickly fatal for the bomber.
Enemies worth noting:
- Do 335: this interceptor posts a huge threat to the PB4Y due to its destructive firepower. An experienced Do 335 player might open fire from a far distance of 2.5 km away, at this range its MK108/MK103 shells still have adequate accuracy and damage to cripple the PB4Y, while the PB4Y's Browning M2 can barely do any damage. The PB4Y's tail is also prone to being blown off by a few HE cannon shells.
Manual Engine Control
Auto control available
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Pros and cons
- Best payload of any American bomber before the B-29
- Side turrets can fire down giving 360° coverage in all directions, meaning full coverage of the bomber, with no blindspots whatsoever
- Waist turrets can swivel nearly 180° vertically and horizontally
- Nose and tail turrets have excellent fields of fire
- Large amount of .50 cal machine guns, the same as the B-29
- No fuel tanks in the fuselage and fuel tanks are self-sealing
- All payload options are internal, barely affecting performance
- Has two pilots who are protected by multiple layers of armour behind, meaning it is hard to pilot snipe it from behind
- Tricycle landing gear allows continuous braking until full stop, without having to worry about flipping over
- Critical parts such as gunners/cooling systems are quite spread out, which helps to soak up damage
- Extremely slow, even for a heavy bomber
- Near-useless stock payload
- No ventral turrets
- Very poor climb rate
- Easily damaged, a large vertical stabilizer which blocks (gunner dead zone) the dorsal turrets from firing directly to the rear
- Poor engine performance at high altitude (optimized for low altitude)
- Gear retraction and lowering is rather slow
The Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer was a heavy bomber & maritime patrol aircraft used by the United States Navy developed from the PB4Y-1, a minor modification of the B-24 Liberator used by the United States during WWII. The aircraft was a fully-navalized version of the B-24 featuring a taller single vertical stabilizer, a flight engineer's station and modified armament. The aircraft were used towards the end of the Second World War, and were used after the war as patrol aircraft by various countries. Some converted Privateers served as firefighters into the early 2000s; all aircraft are now retired from service, though two airframes are still fully airworthy.
The PB4Y-2 Privateer was a heavy modification on the previous PB4Y-1, which had been developed from the B-24 Liberator for the United States Navy and featured only minor changes from its air force cousin. The navy had been seeking a fully-navalized version of the B-24, and as a result, the aircraft featured numerous improvements over the previous PB4Y-1. The aircraft was similar in appearance to the B-24 but featured several defining features: first, the aircraft had a single vertical stabilizer compared to two smaller stabilizers on the B-24. The aircraft also had a longer fuselage accommodating a flight engineer's station, and a rebuilt armament suite consisting of twelve .50 caliber machine guns in two beam & dorsal turrets and one fore & aft turret. The ventral "ball" turret of the B-24 was removed, considering that the PB4Y was designed for low-altitude operations; the engine's superchargers were also removed for this purpose.
The Navy would eventually acquire 739 PB4Y-2 Privateers, though most of these aircraft arrived after the end of the war. The few aircraft that did serve during WWII provided maritime patrol and bombing capabilities. Notably, the aircraft dropped the ASM-N-2 Bat guided-bomb, similar to the German Fritz-X guided weapon, and was used with some success against Japanese vessels. For example, the Japanese coastal defence ship Aguni was damaged from a distance of 37 km by a Bat guided bomb dropped from a PB4Y Privateer. Effectively, the Bat was the first guided missile in United States service.
Following the end of the Second World War, the remaining PB4Ys were used as maritime patrol aircraft, patrol bombers and even hurricane hunters (several aircraft were lost in this role). The aircraft was used once again during the Korean War as a patrol bomber, and sold to both France and the Republic of China. All American PB4Ys were retired by 1954; small numbers of these aircraft were used as firefighting aircraft all the way until 2002, when a converted PB4Y disintegrated in mid-air while firefighting; as a result, the last of the firefighting PB4Ys were retired as well. Eight PB4Y-2 Privateers survive to this day, mostly in museums in the United States. Two aircraft are fully airworthy and a third is under restoration to become fully airworthy.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the aircraft;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
- [Devblog] PB4Y-2 Privateer: Pirate of the Skies
- Official data sheet - more details about the performance
|Consolidated Aircraft Corporation|
|Bombers||PBY-5 Catalina · PBY-5A Catalina|
|Export||▄Catalina Mk IIIa · ▂PBY-5A Catalina · ␗PB4Y-2 · ▄PB4Y-2|
|Dive||SB2U-2 · SB2U-3 · SBD-3 · SB2C-1C · SB2C-4|
|Torpedo||TBD-1 · PBY-5 Catalina · PBY-5A Catalina · TBF-1C · BTD-1|
|Medium||B-10B · B-18A · B-34 · PV-2D · B-25J-1 · B-25J-20 · A-26C-45 · A-26C-45DT · B-26B|
|Heavy||B-17E · B-17E/L · B-17G-60-VE · PB4Y-2 · B-24D-25-CO · B-29A-BN|
|Hydroplanes||OS2U-1 · OS2U-3 · PBM-1 "Mariner" · PBM-3 "Mariner"|