|Tim Daley(MI) ||
Posted 07-12-2013 at 10:00:42 [URL] [DELETE]
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B24 Liberator Plant -Willow Run
This u-toob video has been around and probably viewed a zillion times but thought I'd post it here. What I find Fascinating is that Charles Sorenson, Henry’s right hand man (excluding his thug Harry Bennett) went to California to see how they were building bombers at Consolidated Aircraft Corporation in San Diego. Unimpressed after seeing their methods, back in his hotel room, using his brilliant mind, Mr. Sorenson sketched on a few napkins his vision of what an airplane manufacturing company floor plan should look like. This is what eventually became the Willow Run plant. Consolidated was building planes one at a time, with main parts like fuselage and wings setting out in the hot sun and getting distorted. This meant that each plane was built by craftsmen and each part custom fitted to fit. No two planes were identical, in that you couldn't take a wing off one and slap onto another. The method reminded Sorenson of how they first built Model T’s back in the Piquette Avenue plant –one at a time using skilled craftsmen, not production workers. This method was unacceptable to Sorenson. He was used to mass production and knew how to accomplish that. Credit him and Edsel Ford with the success of Willow Run. Along with Edsel, both made it their pet project and failure was never an option. Edsel had many positive ideas and often was scorned by Henry for thinking ‘out-of-the-box’. If I had to go back in history to chat with anyone it would be Sorenson. Edsel would be second choice. In the video, there us a short scene showing a B24 being pulled by a Moto Tug. Tugs were first used in the Willow Run Plant as a testing ground. This is when they discovered it was too light and thus added a second model, the BNO-40 with dual rears and heavier weights. The BNO Moto-Tug is another WWII success story. Enjoy.
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