The RY-3 was the transport version of the PB4Y-2 Privateer. It was assigned the company designation of Model 101. The RY-3 differed from the PB4Y-2 in having no armament and in having a series of windows cut into the sides of the fuselage. A large loading door was cut into the side of the rear fuselage, and fairings were installed where the nose and tail turrets had been. A crew of four and 28 passengers could be carried. 16,641 pounds of cargo could be carried in the all-freight configuration. A hinged nose allowed up to 1600 pounds of cargo to be carried in the forward section.
The Navy ordered 112 RY-3s in March of 1944, but only 34 RY-3s were actually built. Only a few of these planes actually ended up serving with the Navy, primarily being operated by the Marine Corps. Most of the RY-3s were delivered instead to the Royal Air Force. 26 RY-3s were delivered to the RAF as Liberator C.IX starting in February of 1945. RAF serials were JT973, JT975/JT998, and JV936). They were assigned to Nos. 231 and 232 Squadrons of RAF Transport Command. The famous Commando, which was LB-30 AL504, was also converted to single-tailed RY-3 configuration in 1944.
At the end of the war, the remaining RY-3s on the original order were cancelled, including 63 more Liberator C.IXs intended for the RAF (JV937/JV999). Also cancelled was a version for the USAAF designated C-87C.
The RAF's experience with the Liberator C.IX was not a happy one. Three (including Commando) were lost in fatal crashes, and there were speculations that there was something basically wrong with the structural integrity of the aircraft. All surviving RAF Liberator C.IXs except one were struck off charge in April of 1946 and either returned to the US Navy or else were scrapped. The sole remaining Liberator C.IX (JT973, ex BuNo 90021) ended up flying ice-research missions with the Royal Canadian Air Force under the auspices of the National Research Council. It was given the name Rockcliffe Icewagon. It was kept flying by scavenging spare parts from the Liberator stores, and later from the U.S. Navy's PB4Y-2 inventory. Rockcliffe Icewagon flew her last mission in late 1948, when it was replaced by a Canadair North Star (Merlin-powered DC-4) and scrapped.
Serials of Consolidated-Vultee RY-3 Privateer:
90020/90050 Consolidated-Vultee RY-3 Privateer 90021/90047 to RAF as JT973/JT999 90048 to RAF as JV936 90049/90050 to RAF as JV937/JV938 but never delivered 90051/90056 cancelled contract for RY-3 Privateer Were to have gone to RAF as JV939/JV944 90057/90059 Consolidated-Vultee RY-3 Privateer Were to have gone to RAF as JV945/JV947 but were never delivered 90060/90131 cancelled contract for RY-3 Privateer 90060/90111 were to have gone to RAF as JV948/JV999 90132/90384 cancelled contract for R2Y-1
Disposition of Liberator IX, delivered between Jan & July 1945
JT973 (BuNo 90021) 20/9/48 SOC JT975 (BuNo 90023) 28/2/46 SOC JT976 (BuNo 90024) 28/2/46 SOC JT977 (BuNo 90025) - JT978 (BuNo 90026) returned to US Navy 16/4/46 JT979 (BuNo 90027) Overshot landing at Whenaupai, New Zealand 4/7/45 JT980 (BuNo 90028) - JT981 (BuNO 90029) returned to US Navy 16/4/46 JT982 (BuNo 90030) Crashed in the Atlantic 4/7/45 JT983 (BuNo 90031) returned to US Navy 16/4/46 JT984 (BuNo 90032) returned to US Navy 16/4/46 JT985 (BuNo 90033) Hit hill in bad weather, Dorset, 15/6/45 JT986 (BuNo 90034) 28/2/46 SOC JT987 (BuNo 90035) 28/2/46 SOC JT988 (BuNo 90036) 28/2/46 SOC JT989 (BuNo 90037) returned to US Navy 16/4/46 JT990 (BuNo 90038) 26/2/46 SOC JT991 (BuNo 90039) returned to US Navy 16/4/46 JT992 (BuNo 90040) returned to US Navy 16/4/46 JT993 (BuNo 90041) 28/2/46 SOC JT994 (BuNo 90042) 28/2/46 SOC JT995 (BuNo 90043) - JT996 (BuNo 90044) - JT997 (BuNo 90045) returned to US Navy 16/4/46 JT998 (BuNo 90046) JT999 (BuNo 90047) JV936 (BuNo 90048) Returned to US JV937 to JV999 not delivered
Specification of Consolidated-Vultee RY-3 Privateer:
Four Pratt & Whitney R-1830-94 fourteen-cylinder unsupercharged air cooled radial engines rated at 1350 hp. Performance: Maximum speed 248.5 mph at 12,000 feet. Cruising speed 158 mph. Initial climb rate 1180 feet per minute. An altitude of 10,000 feet could be reached in 16.3 minutes. Service ceiling 18,300 feet. Dimensions: wingspan 110 feet 0 inches, length 75 feet 5 1/4 inches, height 29 feet 0 inches, wing area 1048 square feet. Weights: 31,000 pounds empty, 60,000 pounds gross. A crew of four and 28 passengers could be carried. 16,641 pounds of cargo could be carried in the all-freight configuration. A hinged nose allowed up to 1600 pounds of cargo to be carried in the forward section.