Kevin Boyle

  • The Factory Front

    EDSEL FORD FIRST saw the B-24 Liberator in January 1941. The supervisors of the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation’s plant invited him to climb aboard. So he clambered into the claustrophobic cockpit, through the extended belly of the plane, past the massive bomb bay, and back into the San Diego sunlight. Then he took his hosts aside and told them what they were doing wrong.

    It wasn’t the plane itself that Ford objected to. At the time the B-24 could fly farther and carry a larger payload than any other bomber in existence. But Consolidated made each plane individually, carefully crafting it