The Consolidated B-32 Dominator was a heavy bomber that was made for the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) during the Second World War. It was developed alongside the Boeing B-29 Superfortress but served only as a backup design should the Superfortress becomes unsuccessful during the war. The reason for this was because the USAAF first choice was the Superfortress to serve as the heavy bomber against the campaign against the Japanese Empire during the final months of World War II. The Superfortress was also the bomber that carried the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In total, there were 3,960 B-29 aircrafts built against only 118 for that of the B-32 design.
Despite being only insurance in case the favored Superfortress failed, the Consolidated B-32 Dominator earned the distinction of being the last Allied aircraft to be engaged in combat during the Second World War.
The B-32 Dominator’s design was that of a four-engine heavy bomber. This WW2 allied aircraft was powered by four R-3350-23 Duplex Cyclone 18-cylinder radial piston engines which were manufactured by the Wright Company. The engines were air-cooled and have two turbochargers.
The Dominator could accommodate up to 10 crew members that could be positioned to operate the heavy weaponry installed on it. This WW2 aircraft was equipped with up to ten 12.7mm M2 heavy machine guns which were mounted in turret pairs. Mounted in its nose was a Sperry electric-hydraulic ball turret accompanied with two Martin dorsal fuselage turrets. Two other Sperry retractable turrets were positioned in the ventral and the rear positions. The initial units of B-32s were delivered on September 19, 1944. Production of additional Dominator units however, was plagued by problems such as delays and mechanical problems that included fatalities coming from engines burning and landing gears collapsing. The problems were soon corrected however; the superior performance of the B-29 Superfortress eventually caused the production of this WW2 aircraft to stop entirely.
|Type:||ten-man crew heavy bomber|
|Design:||Boeing Aircraft Company|
|Engine(s):||4 x 2,200HP Wright R-3350-23 Duplex Cyclone 18-cylinder air-cooled turbocharged radial piston engines|
|Max Speed:||575 kilometers per hour|
|Max Range:||4,815 kilometers|
|Empty Weight:||27,000 kilograms|
|Loaded Weight:||45,000 kilograms|
|Armaments:||2 x 12.7mm M2 machine guns in nose turret
2 x 12.7mm M2 machine guns in forward dorsal turret
2 x 12.7mm M2 machine guns in rearward dorsal turret
2 x 12.7mm M2 machine guns in tail position
2 x 12.7mm M2 machine guns in ventral turret position
Up to 20,000lbs of internal ordnance