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Northrup P-61 Black Widow

F

Fredrocker

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The Northrop P-61 Black Widow, named for the American spider, was the first operational U.S. military aircraft designed specifically for night interception of aircraft, and was the first aircraft specifically designed to use radar. 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 1944. The last aircraft was retired from government service in 1945.

P-61-Black-Widow.jpg

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 F-61 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.

P-61s-547th_NFS_-_Lingayen_Airfield_-_Phillipines_-_1945.jpg

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 Air Force.

P-61_PHOTO1.jpg
 

Louis

FGM Lieutenant General
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Oct 11, 2010
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57
Location
Castelar, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina.
P-61 "Black Widow" being unloaded in the South Pacific, 1943.
hb2C533.jpg
 
I was in awe of this aircraft when I was a kid.
Made the Revell model and then hung it from my bedroom ceiling with sewing thread. My mother wasn't all that happy with multiple airplanes hanging from the ceiling, but Dad sided with me (he was a USAF Officer).
Do kids still make plastic models?
Realized I didn't really know all that much about it so this training video is interesting.


NxIpfYq.jpg


7cwGy3z.jpg
 
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Gnarly

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Oct 5, 2015
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1,775
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Melb, Oz
I was in awe of this aircraft when I was a kid.
Made the Revell model and then hung it from my bedroom ceiling with sewing thread. My mother wasn't all that happy with multiple airplanes hanging from the ceiling, but Dad sided with me (he was a USAF Officer).
Do kids still make plastic models?
Realized I didn't really know all that much about it so this training video is interesting.


7cwGy3z.jpg

Gah! Had the exact same one, but was always in 95% completion status. Pretty sure its still buried amongst a pile of my old stuff at the old mans somewhere. I think it was the windows that did me in!
 
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