Friday, February 12, 2010

Black Widow

The P-61 Black Widow was a night fighter designed at the end of WWII. It's massive weapon load and radar made it a formidable combat machine. It is claimed that the last kill of WWII was made by a P-61. Now, only 4 remain, none of them flying. The Chinese have one that is structurally unsound resting on the lawn at a museum, the Air Force Museum has one and the Air and Space Museum has one. The last was recovered by the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum, a non-profit in Reading, PA. It was resting on a mountainside in New Guinea. It's taken a number of years to get to this point, but their goal is to make it airworthy. Personally, I can't wait!

(A post-war example of the P-61)

(The aircraft will be 70-80% new, most of the original parts are used as templates)

(The work is obviously very professional, and very precise)

(The cockpit may not have instruments, but hangar flying is not out of the question)

(This twin engine aircraft uses Pratt and Whitney R-2800s)

(The 4 20MM cannons located in the bay on the belly)

(This looks to be the horizontal that fits between the two tail booms)

(The aft end of the fuselage. The radar operator would sit facing aft in this section)

(The forward fuselage held the radar equipment, the pilot, and in the upper greenhouse, the gunner)

(I found it interesting that the nose gear has a mud-flap)

(The craftsmanship is astounding... I can't wait to get a closer look!)

(For more info, and the full story on this terrific project, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment