Category:Northrop P-61 Black Widow

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Northrop P-61 Black Widow.

The Northrop P-61 Black Widow, named for the American spider, is the first operational U.S. military aircraft designed specifically for night interception of opposing aircraft, and was the first aircraft specifically designed to use radar. The P-61 had a crew of three: pilot, gunner, and radar operator. It was an all-metal, twin-engine, twin-boom design developed during World War II. The first test flight was made on 26 May 1942, with the first production aircraft rolling off the assembly line in October 1943. The last aircraft was retired from government service in 1954.

Although not produced in the large numbers of its contemporaries, the Black Widow was effectively operated as a night-fighter by United States Army Air Forces squadrons in the European Theater, the Pacific Theater, the China Burma India Theater and the Mediterranean Theater during World War II. It replaced earlier British-designed night-fighter aircraft that had been updated to incorporate radar when it became available. After the war, the P-61 was redesignated the F-61, and served in the United States Air Force as a long-range, all weather, day/night interceptor for Air Defense Command until 1948, and Fifth Air Force until 1950. It was armed with four 20 mm (.79 in) Hispano M2 forward-firing cannons mounted in the lower fuselage, and four .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns mounted in a remote-controlled dorsal gun turret.

On the night of 14 August 1945, a P-61B of the 548th Night Fight Squadron named "Lady in the Dark" was unofficially credited with the last Allied air victory before VJ Day. The P-61 was also modified to create the F-15 Reporter photo-reconnaissance aircraft for the United States Army Air Forces and subsequently used by the United States Air Force.


This page contains all films, TV series, and video games that feature any variant the Northrop P-61 Black Widow.

See also

Pages in category "Northrop P-61 Black Widow"

The following 4 pages are in this category, out of 4 total.