Northrop P-61A Viuda negra

Northrop P-61A Viuda negra

Northrop P-61A Viuda negra

El Northrop P-61A fue la primera versión de producción del caza nocturno Black Widow y la primera versión en entrar en combate. El P-61A era muy similar al avión de prueba de servicio YP-61. Los únicos cambios significativos fueron el uso de aluminio en lugar de aleación de magnesio soldada en el brazo trasero y un dosel de cabina modificado. En el XP-61 y el YP-61, el piloto y el artillero tenían parabrisas curvos sin marco, pero en el P-61A estos fueron reemplazados por parabrisas escalonados. Estos redujeron ligeramente la visibilidad, pero al mismo tiempo permitieron el uso de paneles de vidrio blindados.

Los primeros 37 aviones se produjeron con la torreta superior, pero las pruebas de vuelo revelaron que la torreta causaba un peligroso golpe de cola cada vez que se movía. Northrop también tuvo problemas para acceder a las torretas, que también se usaron en el B-29 Superfortress, por lo que, a partir del avión número 38, el P-61A se construyó sin la torreta. Esto no solo resolvió el problema de los golpes, sino que también ahorró peso, aumentando la velocidad máxima de la aeronave. Se modificaron varios aviones sin torreta en el campo para llevar al operador del radar hacia la posición del artillero, mejorando la eficiencia de las intercepciones. La pérdida de la torreta aún dejaba al P-61 con cuatro cañones de 20 mm fijos y agrupados de cerca, cañones más que suficientes para hacer frente a cualquier objetivo alemán o japonés.

Se asignaron números de bloque a tres modificaciones importantes. El P-61A-5 (comenzando con el avión número 46) recibió motores R-2800-65 de 2250 hp. El P-61A-10 tenía inyección de agua, lo que podía proporcionar breves ráfagas de potencia adicional. El P-61A-11 recibió pilones debajo de las alas, cada uno de los cuales podía llevar un tanque de combustible de 165 galones o una bomba de 1,000.

La primera unidad en recibir el P-61A fue el 481st Night-Fighter Operation Training Group, que se activó en Orlando Field, Florida, el 20 de julio de 1943. Todos menos dos de los escuadrones de combate nocturno en tiempo de guerra fueron entrenados por 481st, las excepciones siendo dos escuadrones (6º y 414º Escuadrones de Cazas Nocturnos) que ya estaban operativos.

Durante 1944, el P-61A se probó dos veces contra el mosquito de Havilland. El 5 de julio, la USAAF organizó un vuelo contra un Mk XVII en el que el Black Widow fue el ganador, pero a principios de año la RAF había realizado sus propias pruebas, con miras a llevar el P-61 en préstamo y arrendamiento. y lo había rechazado por falta de velocidad. Esto sugiere que la propia prueba de la RAF había sido entre el P-61A y el Mosquito Mk 30, que realizó su primer vuelo en marzo de 1944, y tenía una velocidad máxima de poco más de 400 mph. El P-61A tenía dos ventajas claras sobre el Mosquito: sus motores Pratt & Whitney podían funcionar casi a la potencia máxima durante períodos mucho más largos, y podía perder velocidad de manera mucho más eficiente que el Mosquito, habiendo sido diseñado con eso en mente. . Esto era esencial para un caza nocturno equipado con radar, como dejan en claro muchos relatos de primera mano de combates nocturnos: un caza que no podía reducir la velocidad rápidamente y sin perder posición tendía a sobrepasar su objetivo, lo que obligaba a la tripulación a comenzar su caza nuevamente. .

El P-61A hizo su debut en combate en Europa y el Pacífico durante el verano de 1944. La primera victoria confirmada se produjo en el Pacífico, donde el 30 de junio de 1944 una tripulación del 6º Escuadrón de Cazas Nocturnos derribó un G4M Betty. Con dos semanas de retraso, en la noche del 15 al 16 de julio, el 422º NFS consiguió la primera victoria del avión en Europa, derribando una bomba voladora V-1 sobre el Canal de la Mancha.

Motor: dos motores radiales Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10 o 65
Potencia: 2000 CV cada uno (temprano), 2250 CV (tarde)
Tripulación: 3 (con torreta), 2 (sin torreta)
Envergadura del ala: 66 pies
Longitud: 45 pies 10 pulgadas
Altura: 14 pies 2 pulgadas
Peso vacío: 20,965 lb
Peso máximo: 32,400 lb
Velocidad máxima: 372 mph
Techo de servicio: 34.000 pies
Alcance: 1,210 millas
Armamento: cuatro cañones de 20 mm más cuatro ametralladoras de .50 pulgadas en la torreta si está presente
Carga de bombas: dos torres debajo de las alas capaces de transportar bombas de 1,000 libras en aviones posteriores


Segunda Guerra Mundial: Northrop P-61 Black Widow

En 1940, con la Segunda Guerra Mundial en pleno apogeo, la Royal Air Force comenzó a buscar diseños para un nuevo caza nocturno para combatir las incursiones alemanas en Londres. Habiendo utilizado el radar para ayudar a ganar la Batalla de Gran Bretaña, los británicos buscaron incorporar unidades de radar de intercepción aerotransportadas más pequeñas en el nuevo diseño. Con este fin, la RAF dio instrucciones a la Comisión de Compras Británica en los EE. UU. Para evaluar los diseños de aviones estadounidenses. Entre los rasgos deseados, la clave era la capacidad de holgazanear durante unas ocho horas, llevar el nuevo sistema de radar y montar múltiples torretas de armas.

Durante este período, se informó al teniente general Delos C. Emmons, oficial aéreo estadounidense en Londres, sobre el progreso británico en relación con el desarrollo de unidades de radar de intercepción aerotransportadas. También obtuvo una comprensión de los requisitos de la RAF para un nuevo caza nocturno. Al redactar un informe, afirmó que creía que la industria de la aviación estadounidense podría producir el diseño deseado. En los Estados Unidos, Jack Northrop se enteró de los requisitos británicos y comenzó a contemplar un diseño grande de dos motores. Sus esfuerzos recibieron un impulso más tarde ese año cuando una junta del Cuerpo Aéreo del Ejército de los EE. UU. Presidida por Emmons emitió una solicitud para un caza nocturno basado en las especificaciones británicas. Estos fueron refinados aún más por el Comando de Servicio Técnico Aéreo en Wright Field, OH.


[1] ORÍGENES DE LA P-61

* Las raíces de la Viuda Negra se remontan a 1940, antes de que Estados Unidos entrara en la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Los oficiales del Cuerpo Aéreo del Ejército de los EE. UU. (USAAC) habían ido al Reino Unido para recibir información sobre la IA y el desarrollo de los cazas nocturnos, y cuando regresaron a casa presionaron para que se desarrollara un caza nocturno estadounidense, imaginando una máquina bimotor desde el año pasado. Las IA de la época eran voluminosas y pesadas.

El jefe de investigación de Northrop Aircraft, Vladimir H. Pavlecka, se enteró del cabildeo y trabajó con su jefe, Jack Northrop, para elaborar una propuesta para satisfacer la necesidad. El concepto general que le devolvieron al Air Corps era el de un caza nocturno de doble brazo, con una configuración general como la de un caza Lockheed P-38 Lightning, pero mucho más grande y propulsado por dos Pratt & amp Whitney (P & ampW) R- 2800 Double Wasp, motores radiales de 18 cilindros y dos filas refrigerados por aire.

Al Air Corps le gustó la idea, aunque se sugirieron algunas alteraciones, y se emitió un contrato para dos prototipos del & quotXP-61 & quot en enero de 1941, seguido de un contrato en marzo para 13 máquinas de evaluación & quotYP-61 & quot y un fuselaje de prueba estática. Una maqueta a gran escala estaba lista en abril. En febrero de 1942, 410 P-61 estaban bajo pedido de las Fuerzas Aéreas del Ejército de los EE. UU., USAAF, que había reemplazado al Cuerpo Aéreo en junio de 1941, aunque el primer prototipo aún no había volado: los EE. UU. y ayer se necesitaban nuevas armas.

El primer prototipo realizó su vuelo inicial el 26 de mayo de 1942, con el piloto de pruebas Vance Breese a los mandos. Estaba propulsado por radiales gemelos P & ampW R-2800-10 que proporcionaban 1.490 kW (2.000 HP) cada uno. El avión era una máquina descomunal y de aspecto siniestro, y aunque los prototipos volaban en metal natural, el avión fue nombrado & quotBlack Widow & quot.

Los 13 YP-61, todos pintados de color verde oliva en la parte superior y gris neutro en la parte inferior, se entregaron en agosto y septiembre de 1943, y la producción inicial & quotP-61A-1-NO & quot; salió de la planta de Northrop en Hawthorne, California, en octubre de 1943. (El "NO" significa "Northrop / Hawthorne", pero dado que todos los P-61 se construirían en esa planta, ese sufijo no se usará más aquí.) Todas las producciones, excepto las primeras, fueron pintadas de negro brillante, lo que resulta mucho más difícil de ver por la noche que verde oliva.


Cazas clásicos estadounidenses: Northrop P-61 Black Widow

Aunque no poseía el rendimiento o la potencia de fuego de uno de sus homólogos alemanes, el caza nocturno Heinkel He 219 Uhu, la Viuda Negra seguía siendo un luchador nocturno inmensamente potente e impresionante con la ventaja adicional de poder emprender el combate nocturno. papel de intruso con una carga desechable muy pesada.

Los orígenes de este formidable caza e intruso nocturno se remontan al otoño de 1940, cuando un equipo de oficiales del Cuerpo Aéreo del Ejército de EE. UU., Que se convirtió en las Fuerzas Aéreas del Ejército de EE. UU. En junio de 1941, visitó el Reino Unido para aprender sobre los británicos. técnicas de intercepción nocturna utilizando el caza nocturno improvisado Bristol Blenheim Mk IF que estaba a punto de ser suplantado por el Bristol Beaufighter Mk IF con el radar de intercepción aérea AI.Mk IV. La USAAC se dio cuenta por primera vez de que la lucha nocturna estaba a punto de convertirse en un elemento importante en la guerra aérea de la Segunda Guerra Mundial y se propuso la creación de una capacidad estadounidense de lucha nocturna. A corto plazo, lo mejor que se podía conseguir era un tipo improvisado, el Douglas P-70 Havoc basado en el bombardero de ataque A-20, pero a largo plazo, la USAAC apreció plenamente que un tipo especialmente diseñado sería esencial. En octubre de 1940, se comunicó un requisito del esquema a John K. ubicado en las afueras de Dayton, Ohio, para presentar los resultados de su pensamiento inicial. Las discusiones con los oficiales apropiados de USAAC resultaron muy estimulantes, y en diciembre de 1940 Northrop ofreció un diseño completo al Comando de Material Aéreo. Esto resultó en un pedido de enero de 1941 de dos prototipos XP-61.

Diseño con visión de futuro
los N-8A El diseño era singularmente avanzado y se basaba en un motor bimotor y una estructura de avión totalmente metálica que era muy grande para los estándares de los cazas de la época. El núcleo de la estructura era la góndola central y la sección central del ala. La góndola era de construcción semi-monocasco de aleación ligera y transportaba a la tripulación, el radar de interceptación aérea y gran parte del armamento, el último consistía en cuatro cañones fijos de disparo delantero de 20 mm en los bordes de ataque del ala y seis Browning de 0,5 pulgadas (12,7 mm) ametralladoras con 500 disparos por arma en una barbeta dorsal de cuatro cañones accionada por motor y una barbeta ventral de dos cañones accionada por motor: las barbetas pueden bloquearse para disparar directamente hacia adelante bajo el control del piloto, o desbloquearse para su uso defensivo como armas entrenables bajo el mando a distancia del artillero. La sección central del ala de hombro / medio y ligeramente diedro era de aleación ligera con estructura de piel estresada y del tipo de cuerda constante.

Instaladas debajo de los extremos exteriores de esta sección central estaban las góndolas para los dos motores montados en las alas y su suministro de combustible, y estas góndolas se extendieron hacia atrás como brazos semi-monocasco de aleación ligera que sostenían la unidad de cola de dos superficies verticales, cada una con un timón, separado por una superficie horizontal de cuerda constante con un solo elevador. Las superficies de vuelo se completaron con los paneles exteriores de las alas, que se colocaron en un ángulo diedro menos agudo que la sección central, y se estrecharon en grosor y cuerda, prácticamente la totalidad de los bordes de fuga estaba ocupada por pequeños alerones externos complementados con spoilers, y aletas interiores de gran envergadura que originalmente eran del tipo Zap pero luego del tipo ranurado. La estructura del avión se completó con el tren de aterrizaje del triciclo, que comprendía una unidad de rueda de morro que se retraía hacia atrás en un compartimiento cubierto de puertas, la parte inferior de la góndola central debajo de la cabina, y dos unidades de ruedas principales que se retraían hacia atrás en bahías cubiertas de puertas en el góndolas detrás de los motores.

El motor seleccionado fueron dos Pratt & amp Whitney R-2800-A5G (o R-2800-25 en la terminología de USAAC) motores radiales de dos filas de 18 cilindros refrigerados por aire, cada uno con una potencia de 2000 hp (1491 kW) a una altitud óptima y con la intención de conducir una hélice metálica Curtiss Electric de cuatro palas del tipo de velocidad constante o, en espera de la disponibilidad de este tipo de hélice, una hélice metálica Hamilton Standard Hydromatic de cuatro palas del tipo de velocidad constante.

En abril de 1941, un equipo de USAAC inspeccionó la maqueta del XP-61 y solicitó varios cambios, incluida la reubicación del cañón desde los bordes de ataque del ala hasta la parte inferior de la góndola central y la eliminación de la barbeta ventral. El razonamiento del equipo de USAAC para la eliminación de la parrilla ventral fue que mejoraría el flujo de aire sobre esta parte del fuselaje y simplificaría el mantenimiento del caza nocturno, pero el cambio significó una revisión considerable de la estructura de la góndola central. Varias otras consideraciones agregaron más demoras, pero en septiembre de 1941 la USAAF ordenó un avión de producción inicial de 150 y en febrero de 1942, poco después de la entrada de los EE. UU. En la Segunda Guerra Mundial como resultado del ataque japonés a Pearl Harbor y Filipinas el 7 /. 8 de diciembre de 1941, contrato para 410 aviones más.

Dentro del Aire
El primer XP-61 registró su vuelo inaugural el 21 de mayo de 1942, y en las pruebas posteriores del fabricante reveló características de manejo generalmente buenas y un rendimiento impresionante, aunque se expresó una preocupación considerable por la confiabilidad del motor R-2800 incluso en su R-2800 mejorado. -Versión 10. El segundo XP-61 se completó en noviembre de 1942. El radar SCR-720 se instaló después de que la aeronave hubiera sido entregada para sus pruebas oficiales, y después de que se hubieran realizado una serie de modificaciones adicionales, el XP-61 fue aceptado como base para el modelo de producción.

Poco después de la emisión del contrato prototipo inicial, la USAAC había ordenado 14 YP-61 aviones (uno para pruebas estáticas y los otros 13 como máquinas de prueba de servicio), y estos se completaron entre agosto y septiembre de 1943. Los prototipos habían sido equipados con barbetes dorsales falsos ya que el tipo de General Electric no había estado disponible para pruebas de vuelo, pero el La unidad real se instaló en el avión YP-61. Las pruebas con esta barbacoa revelaron problemas importantes de golpes cuando se elevaban las armas o se atravesaba la barbacoa. Como medida temporal, a la espera de la finalización de las pruebas en el túnel de viento diseñadas para ceder como una solución a largo plazo al problema, la barbette fue despojada de sus dos cañones internos y reforzada estructuralmente.

Antes de que se pudiera encontrar la solución al problema del buffet, sin embargo, el primero de 200 P-61A Viuda negra Los aviones de producción salían de las instalaciones de construcción de Northrop. El primer avión se entregó a la USAAF en octubre de 1943, y mientras que los 37 aviones iniciales se entregaron con la barbette de cuatro cañones bloqueada para disparar en línea recta, los siguientes 163 aviones se entregaron como aviones de dos asientos sin la barbette, aunque esta unidad fue reequipado en algunos aviones después de que se encontró la solución al problema del buffet.

El P-61A era dimensionalmente idéntico a la variante definitiva del P-61B con la excepción de su longitud de 48 pies 11 pulgadas (14,91 m), pero difería en detalles como su peso vacío de 20,965 lb (9510 kg), toma normal. peso de 27,600 lb (12519 kg), peso máximo de despegue de 34,200 lb (15513 kg), velocidad máxima de 320,5 kt (369 mph 594 km / h) a 20,000 pies (6095 m) disminuyendo a 289 kt (333 mph) 536 km / h) al nivel del mar, velocidad máxima de crucero de 277 kt (319 mph 513 km / h) a 20.000 pies (6095 m), velocidad de crucero económica de 194,5 kt (224 mph 360,5 km / h) a 10.000 pies (3050 m), ascenso a 15.000 pies (4570 m) en 7 minutos 36 segundos, techo de servicio de 33.100 pies (10090 m), alcance máximo de 1.650 nm (1.900 millas 3058 km) con combustible externo y alcance típico de 877 nm (1.010 millas 1625 km) con combustible interno.

Los primeros 45 aviones se entregaron con el propulsor de dos motores R-2800-10, cada uno con una potencia de 2.000 hp (1491 kW) a una altitud óptima, pero los siguientes 35 se completaron con el propulsor de dos motores R-2800-65, cada uno con un clasificación de contingencia de combate de 2.250 hp (1678 kW) a 1.500 pies (760 m), y los últimos 100 aviones se completaron con una planta motriz de motores modificados con un sistema de inyección de agua. Entre estos últimos 100 aviones había 20 con dos puntos rígidos debajo de las alas, cada uno capaz de llevar una bomba de 726 kg (1,600 lb) o un tanque de caída de 1173,5 litros (310 gal EE.UU.).

En servicio
El P-61A entró en servicio a mediados de 1944 en Florida, donde se estableció el 481st Night-Fighter Group como el padre de los 348th, 349th y 420th Night-Fighter Squadron, y en el Reino Unido donde el 422d y 425th Night-Fighter Los escuadrones se volvieron a formar en el tipo. Las primeras salidas se realizaron desde el Reino Unido en julio de 1944, pero fue en el Pacífico donde el P-61A extrajo sangre por primera vez en el mismo mes cuando un P-61A del 6 ° Escuadrón de Combate Nocturno reclamó un bombardero Mitsubishi G4M 'Betty'. de la fuerza aérea de la Armada Imperial Japonesa en el Pacífico central. Un aumento constante en el número de escuadrones operativos fue posible a medida que se eliminaron los problemas iniciales con el caza P-61A y su radar temperamental, y pronto el tipo estuvo operativo en Europa, el Pacífico, Nueva Guinea y China.

Incluso antes de que el P-61A entrara en servicio operativo, sin embargo, Northrop había comenzado las entregas en julio de 1944 del P-61B Viuda Negra con una serie de mejoras que incluyen un alargamiento de la nariz de 0,203 m (8 pulgadas). Las entregas ascendieron a 450 aviones, y las mejoras progresivas efectuadas durante el transcurso de la producción del P-61B incluyeron cuatro puntos rígidos debajo de las alas, cada uno capaz de transportar una bomba de 1.600 lb (726 kg) o un tanque de caída de 310 galones estadounidenses (258.1 Imp gal 1173.5 litros) en el bloque P-61B-10 en adelante, la parrilla dorsal de cuatro cañones desde el bloque P-61B-15 en adelante, y una nueva parrilla General Electric con un sistema de control de fuego revisado en el bloque P-61B-20 en adelante. Unos 12 de los aviones fueron transferidos posteriormente al Cuerpo de Marines de los EE. UU., Que los utilizó como entrenadores de combate nocturno con la designación revisada. F2T-1N.

Modelo definitivo
Aunque los pilotos operativos estaban contentos con la potencia de fuego, la agilidad muy considerable y el buen rendimiento en general del P-61A y P-61B, también fueron algo críticos con la velocidad y el ascenso de estas dos variantes. Por lo tanto, Northrop desarrolló el P-61C Viuda Negra con la planta motriz de dos motores R-2800-73, cada uno con una potencia de 2.800 hp (2088 kW) con turbocompresores General Electric CH-5 e impulsando una hélice Curtiss Electric con cuatro palas huecas. Este motor mejorado resultó en una velocidad máxima de 373 kt (430 mph 692 km / h) a 30,000 pies (9145 m) y un techo de servicio de 41,000 pies (12495 m) a pesar de que los pesos de despegue normal y máximo habían aumentado a 32.200 y 40.300 lb (14606 y 18280 kg) respectivamente. El aumento en la velocidad máxima fue particularmente notable y generó temores de que el P-61C podría revisar sus objetivos demasiado rápido y, por lo tanto, no podría disparar antes de pasar el avión enemigo, por lo que el tipo estaba equipado con frenos de aire por encima y por debajo del avión. alas. Unos 41 de esta versión se habían completado en el momento de la derrota de Japón, después de lo cual se cancelaron otros 476.

Esto puso fin a la producción de la serie P-61.

los XP-61D Viuda negra era un modelo de desarrollo con el propulsor de dos motores turboalimentados R-2800-77.

los XP-61E Viuda negra fue creado en un esfuerzo por ser pionero en una variante del Black Widow para operaciones diurnas con mayor rendimiento y mayor alcance. El XP-61E fue, por lo tanto, una versión experimental del P-61B con el radar de nariz reemplazado por cuatro ametralladoras Browning de 0.5 pulgadas (12.7 mm) para una potencia de fuego inalterada a pesar de la eliminación de la barbeta dorsal. La parte superior de la góndola central también se redujo al nivel de la superficie superior del ala, se incorporó un tanque de combustible adicional en las partes central y trasera de la góndola central, y el alojamiento se modificó para dos hombres en tándem en una cabina. encerrado por un dosel de vista despejada: en la primera de las dos conversiones del prototipo XP-61E del estándar P-61B, el dosel se abatió para abrirse lateralmente, y en el segundo (cancelado en un accidente de despegue durante abril de 1945) el dosel fue diseñado para deslizarse hacia atrás.

Los datos para el XP-61E incluyeron un tramo de 66 pies 0,75 pulgadas (20,14 m) con una relación de aspecto de 6,59 y un área de 662,36 pies cuadrados (61,53 m²), una longitud de 49 pies 7 pulgadas (15,11 m), una altura de 14 pies 8 pulg. (4,47 m), peso en vacío de 21,350 lb (9684 kg), peso normal de despegue de 31,425 lb (14254 kg), velocidad máxima de 326,5 kt (376 mph 605 km / h) a 17,000 pies (5180 m) , suba a 20,000 pies (6095 m) en 13 minutos 0 segundos y alcance normal de 2,214.5 nm (2,550 millas 4104 km).

los XP-61F Viuda negra era una versión experimental del estándar P-61C a XP-61E.

La designación P-61G Viuda Negra fue asignado a 16 conversiones P-61B para el papel de reconocimiento meteorológico desarmado.

Desarrollo de reconocimiento
los Reportero XF-15 era la versión de reconocimiento fotográfico desarmado del Black Widow con el propulsor de dos motores R-2800-C, cada uno con una potencia nominal de 2.100 hp (1566 kW) en condiciones normales, pero con 2.800 hp (2088 kW) disponibles para uso de emergencia. Al igual que los motores R-2800-10 del P-61, cada una de estas unidades impulsaba una hélice de metal Curtiss Electric de cuatro palas del tipo de velocidad constante, aunque en este caso el diámetro de la hélice se incrementó desde la cifra de 12 pies. 2 pulg. (3,71 m) en el P-61 a 12 pies 8 pulg. (3,86 m). El tipo se evaluó en forma de una única conversión de prototipo XF-15 del estándar XP-61E.

los Reportero XF-15A era una conversión de prototipo del estándar P-61C en la línea del XF-15, y al igual que el XF-15 tenía seis cámaras (de hasta 11 tipos en un máximo de 24 arreglos para las tareas de fotografía frontal, vertical y oblicua) en una nariz modificada y alargada.

El éxito de los dos prototipos de máquinas en los programas de pruebas de vuelo que comenzaron en enero y febrero de 1945, respectivamente, allanó el camino para la Reportero del F-15A modelo de producción, de los cuales 36 se completaron y 139 más se cancelaron de un pedido original de 175 aviones. El F-15A era dimensionalmente similar al P-61 en todos menos en su longitud total de 50 pies 3 pulgadas (15,32 m), y por lo demás se diferenciaba en su acomodación solo para el piloto y el copiloto / navegante en tándem en una cabina cerrada. por un toldo largo de visión clara con una gran sección deslizante hacia atrás para el acceso y la salida, peso cargado de 28,000 lb (12701 kg), velocidad máxima de más de 382 kt (440 mph 708 km / h) a una altitud óptima, techo de servicio de más de 35.000 pies (10670 m) y un alcance máximo de más de 3474 nm (4.000 millas 6437 km) con tanques de caída.

En la noche del 14 de agosto de 1945, a un P-61B del 548 ° Escuadrón de Lucha Nocturna llamado Lady in the Dark se le atribuyó extraoficialmente la última victoria aérea aliada antes de que el Día VJ terminara la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Después de la guerra, Black Widow, redesignada de la categoría P-for-Pursuit a F-for Fighter como la Viuda Negra F-61, sirvió en la USAAF (desde el 18 de septiembre de 1947 en la Fuerza Aérea de EE. UU.) como interceptor de largo alcance, todo clima, día / noche, en manos del Comando de Defensa Aérea hasta 1948, y la Quinta Fuerza Aérea hasta 1950.

Northrop P-61B Viuda negra

Escribe: luchador nocturno e intruso

Alojamiento: piloto, operador de radar y operador de radio / artillero en tándem en la cabina de vuelo cerrada

Armamento fijo: cuatro cañones fijos de disparo delantero Hispano M2 de 20 mm con 200 rondas por arma en la parte inferior del fuselaje delantero, y cuatro ametralladoras entrenables Browning M2 de 0.5 pulgadas (12.7 mm) con 560 rondas por arma en el General Electric operado a motor con control remoto barbacoa dorsal

Armamento desechable: hasta 6,400 lb (2903 kg) de suministros desechables transportados en cuatro puntos rígidos (todos debajo del ala con cada unidad nominal de 1,600 lb / 726 kg), y generalmente comprenden cuatro 1,600, 1,000, 500, 325, 250 o 100 lb (726 , 454, 227, 147, 113 o 45 kg) bombas de caída libre

Equipo: equipo estándar de comunicación y navegación, además de radar de interceptación aerotransportado y miras de pistola reflectora

Planta de energía: dos motores Pratt & amp Whitney R-2800-65 de pistones radiales de dos filas de 18 cilindros refrigerados por aire, cada uno con una potencia de 2.000 hp (1491 kW) para el despegue y 1.930 hp (1439 kW) a 17.000 pies (5180 m)

Combustible interno: 640 gal EE.UU. (532,9 gal imp 2422,7 litros)

Combustible externo: hasta 1240 gal EE.UU. (1.032,5 gal EE.UU. 4693,9 litros) en cuatro tanques de caída de 310 gal EE.UU. (258,1 gal EE.UU. 1173,5 litros)

Dimensiones: tramo 66 pies 0,75 pulg. (20,14 m) relación de aspecto 6,59 área 662,36 pies cuadrados (61,53 m²) longitud 49 pies 7 pulg. (15,11 m) altura 14 pies 8 pulg. (4,47 m) tramo del plano de cola 16 pies 8 pulg. (5,08 m)

Pesos: vacío 23,450 lb (10637 kg) despegue normal 29,700 lb (13471 kg) despegue máximo 38,000 lb (17237 kg)

Rendimiento: velocidad máxima de nivel 'limpia' 318 kt (366 mph 589 km / h) a 20.000 pies (6095 m) disminuyendo a 286,5 kt (330 mph 531 km / h) a nivel del mar velocidad de crucero, máxima 260,5 kt (300 mph 483 km / h) h) a 10.000 pies (3050 m) y económico 199 kt (229 mph 368,5 km / h) a 10.000 pies (3050 m) velocidad de ascenso inicial 2.550 pies (777 m) por minuto ascenso a 20.000 pies (6095 m) en 12 minutos Techo de servicio de 0 segundos 33.100 pies (10090 m) alcance máximo 2.605 nm (3.000 millas 4828 km) con tanques de caída alcance típico 1.172 nm (1.350 millas 2172.5 km) con combustible estándar y una carga de bomba de 2.000 lb (907 kg)

Totales variantes: XP-61 (2), YP-61 (13), P-61A (200), P-61B (450), P-61C (41), XP-61D (2 conversiones del estándar P-61A), XP- 61E (2 conversiones del estándar P-61B), P-61G (16 conversiones del estándar P-61B), F-15A (36), F2T-1N (12 conversiones del estándar P-61B)

Números seriales:
XF-15-NO: 42-39549
XF-15A-NO: no disponible
F-15A-1-NO: 45-59300 / 59319 F-15A-5-NO: 45-59320 / 59335 XP-61-NO: 41-19509 / 19510
YP-61-NO: 41-18876 / 18888
P-61A-1-NO: 42-5485 / 5529
P-61A-5-NO: 42-5530 / 5564
P-61A-10-NO: 42-5565 / 5604, 42-5607, 42-5615 / 5634, 42-39348 / 39374, 42-39385 / 39386 y 42-39388 / 3939
P-61A-11-NO: 42-5605 / 5606, 42-5608 / 5614, 42-39375 / 39384 y 42-39387
P-61B-1-NO: 42-39398 / 39401, 42-39403 / 39405, 42-39407, 42-39409 / 39411, 42-39412 / 39414, 42-39415 / 39417, 42-39419 / 39423, 42- 39425, 42-39427, 42-39429, 42-39431, 42-39433 / 39451, 42-39457 / 39460, 42-39463 / 39465, 42-39467 / 39470, 42-39474, 42-39476 / 39477, 42- 39481/39482, 42-39491, 42-39494 y 42-39496 / 39497
P-61B-2-NO: 42-39402, 42-39406, 42-39408, 42-39412 / 39414, 42-39418, 42-39424, 42-39426, 42-39428, 42-39430, 42-39432, 42-39452 / 39456, 42-39461 / 39462, 42-39466, 42-39471 / 39473, 42-39475, 42-39478 / 39480, 42-39483 / 39490, 42-39492 / 39493 y 42-39495
P-61B-10-NO: 42-39498 / 39572, 42-39612, 42-39615, 42-39617, 42-39619, 42-39634 / 39636, 42-39640 / 39641, 42-39643, 42-39643, 42-39645, 42-39647, 42-39650, 42-39652, 42-39654, 42-39656, 42-39658, 42-39662 y 42-39666 / 39667
P-61B-15-NO: 42-39573 / 39611, 42-39614, 42-39616, 42-39618, 42-39631 / 39633, 42-39637 / 39639, 42-39642, 42-39644, 42-39646, 42-39648 / 39649, 42-39651, 42-39653, 42-39655, 42-39657, 42-39659 / 39661 y 42-39663 / 39665
P-61B-16-NO: 42-39622, 42-39624, 42-39626, 42-39628 y amperio 42-39630
P-61B-20-NO: 43-8237 / 8320
P-613-25-NO: 42-39613 y amplificador 43-8231 / 8236
P-61C-1-NO: 42-8321 / 8361
XP-61D-NO: 42-5559 y amperio 42-5587
XP-61E-NO: 42-39549 y amperio 42-39557
F2T-1N: 52750/52761


Northrop P-61A Black Widow - Historia

Lista por número de serie
P-61A-1-NO
P-61A & quotBlack Widder / Moonhappy & quot 42-5527 condenado el 31 de agosto de 1945
P-61A & quotDame de la Nuit & quot 42-5516 desguazado el 31 de diciembre de 1945
P-61A-5-NO
El piloto de P-61A 42-5515 Daniel se estrelló el 18 de noviembre de 1944
P-61A 42-5562 piloto King se estrelló el 2 de febrero de 1945, 1 desaparecido
P-61A-10-NO
P-61B & quotMoon Light Serenade & quot 42-39368 desguazado 1948
P-61A-11-NO
P-61A & quotBat Outa Hell & quot 42-5609 desguazado 1946
P-61B-1-NO
P-61B 42-39417 exhibido en el Instituto Aeronáutico de Beijing
P-61B 42-39445 piloto de Southfield se estrelló el 10 de enero de 1945 recuperado 1991 en restauración en MAAM
P-61B-2-NO
P-61B 42-39455 piloto? MIA 31 de marzo de 1945
P-61B-10-NO
P-61B 42-39641 piloto Knapp se estrelló el 21 de diciembre de 1947
P-61C-1-NO
P-61C 43-8330 exhibido en NASM Udvar-Hazy Center
P-61C 43-8353 exhibido Museo de la USAF

Contribuir Información
¿Tiene fotos o información adicional para agregar?


Northrop P-61 Viuda Negra

El P-61A fue la primera versión de producción del Black Widow que fue diseñado específicamente para peleas nocturnas. Fue uno de los primeros en Estados Unidos en utilizar el radar. La Batalla de Gran Bretaña en Europa había demostrado el éxito de la tecnología Radar. Los ingenieros de Northrop lo diseñaron como una plataforma fuertemente armada construida específicamente para el cielo nocturno. Su primer modelo salió a la luz en octubre de 1943. Desde que apareció en el frente de combate a mediados de 1944, los objetivos se habían reducido en número. Entonces, aunque no se usó tanto como podría haber sido, era un luchador muy capaz y dinámico.

Dado que fue hecho a medida para su uso en completa oscuridad, podría rastrear y finalmente destruir cualquier avión enemigo entrante sospechoso. Sus arreglos de brazo gemelo contenían los dos motores turbocargados Pratt & amp Whitney. A ellos se unieron en la parte trasera un avión grande y una formación de timón gemelo. Cualquiera de los brazos se extendía por los lados de las áreas de la tripulación. La tripulación incluía a 3 personas para pilotar, rastrear y participar. El avión estaba pintado de negro para evitar que fuera visible a simple vista en la oscuridad. El asiento del piloto estaba ubicado en la cabina delantera, mientras que el artillero se sentaba justo detrás de él. La posición de Gunner & # 8217 fue ligeramente elevada para dar una mejor visibilidad. El operador del radar estaba situado en la parte trasera aislada de la góndola. El radar utilizado fue el sistema de radar de la serie SCR-720 que se montó en la nariz. Un recinto aerodinámico separado tenía el motor instalado cerca de las raíces del ala. Este diseño generó un centro de gravedad muy sólido cuando ambos motores estaban en plena potencia. Todas las variantes de P-61 y # 8217s en realidad no estaban equipadas con las torretas dorsales. De hecho, más de la mitad de todos los P-61A construidos tenían esta torreta eliminada. Una de las razones es que el mecanismo de torreta de control remoto de General Electric se necesitaba con urgencia para el programa B-29.

Desde su creación en 1944, el P-61 tuvo bastante éxito. El Black Widow siguió haciendo más apariciones en combate hasta 1950. El Black Widow finalmente fue reemplazado como el caza nocturno de primera línea de la Fuerza Aérea de los EE. UU. Por los North American F-82F / G Twin Mustang después de 1948. El último F-61 Black Widow se retiró oficialmente desde el servicio en 1952.


Northrop P-61A Black Widow - Historia

Las marcas personales aparecieron en aviones de todas las nacionalidades. Varían desde rayas de colores o marcas de acento, hasta creaciones espeluznantes que cubren la mayor parte de un marco de aire. La forma más típica estadounidense de personalizar aviones era el arte de la nariz.

Hay una serie de trampas interesantes para recrear tales obras de arte. Después del salto, veré un ejemplo favorito.

Casi todos los escuadrones tenían un artista o dos que ganaban dólares extra haciendo arte personalizado, generalmente arte de nariz, para los aviones / tripulaciones de su escuadrón. Cuando el sexto escuadrón de combate nocturno se basó en Saipán en 1944, contaba con los servicios del sargento LeRoy F. Miozzi, un artillero del escuadrón. Es responsable de varias creaciones espectaculares, espero presentar algunas de ellas en los próximos años.

El piloto se sienta al frente y al centro entre esas enormes hélices, el operador del radar se sienta detrás de él.

Mi primer ejemplo de su trabajo es & # 8220Nightie Mission & # 8221. Este avión se ha perfilado innumerables veces en los libros desde la guerra, por lo general con una belleza vestida de azul. Dado que la mayoría de las fotografías de la época de la guerra eran en blanco y negro, nadie sabía nada mejor. Pero hace varios años, Warren Thompson escribió el libro Osprey & # 8220P-61 Black Widow Units of World War 2 & # 8221 y pudo contactar al Sr. Miozzi. Dejó las cosas claras en varios de sus trabajos de pintura, incluida su costumbre rosado color que usó para Nightie Mission.

To this day, this aircraft is a popular subject for after market decal printers (no surprise!). But blue remains the most common color for the gown. So I chose this Superscale Decal sheet because the artwork looks most like that described by Mr. Miozzi. And I caused myself another problem that I did not expect. Army Air Force camouflage orders required Insignia Yellow serial numbers on camouflaged aircraft. So I used the nice yellow numbers on the sheet and thought nothing of it.

Funny thing though. When the first Black Widows were delivered the Army Air Force was in the process of writing a new order for night flying aircraft, and shortly, the Black Widow would indeed be all black as its name suggested. Part of that new order included rojo serial numbers, as this was known to have lower visibility in the dark. Northrop was forward thinking enough, and casual enough about Army Air Force regulations, that those first few P-61s delivered in Olive Drab, received the red numbers that would be required in the not yet issued night colors order. I’ve seen the color photographs to prove it. Doh.

The main battery, four 20 mm cannon in the belly behind the nose gear

The top turret gunner sits in back. He has his own entry hatch separate from the front crew members.

The top turret contains four .50s and can be controlled by the gunner at the rear of the fuselage. Or it can be locked forward to fire along with the main battery.

This subject is from the Monogram kit. This is another of those 1970s vintage kits. It has good detail, and is a good likeness of a P-61. But it has fit problems, I again used a lot of filler and did a lot of sanding. A couple of funny things about this kit. It is clearly meant to display the canopies and port engine cowling wide open. Wouldn’t want to hide all that nice detail! Well, I’m more interested in the clean look, so much time was spent trying to finesse (or force!) parts into a “buttoned up” condition. I’m mostly satisfied with the result. Except for the cowl flaps. For some reason, the kit’s starboard side cowl flaps are molded open, while on the port side they’re closed. It makes me laugh to think of the thousands (tens of thousands!) of Black Widow kits built all over the world that feature a well ventilated starboard engine but a closed up port one.


Didn't the P-61 have a range of like 1,500 nm? The 600 nm range figure seems quite small. AVKent882 (talk) 18:25, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Maybe "Combat Range" has been confused with "Combat Radius?" 199.30.157.148 (talk) 14:48, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

Brandon T?Moriori 01:25, July 31, 2005 (UTC) That would be my name. Set it as my auto-sig eons ago and forgot to change it--I've been doing my sigs by hand the whole time. o_O Just changed it in my preferences and decided to fix it here.GarageBay9

While I can fully understand why, to somebody who reads the article in it's current state, the text that covers the progress of nocturnal air combat might seem more appropriate there, I have found as a P-61 researcher that the aircraft's history is much easier both to understand and to explain when a parallel precis as well as important aspects and milestones of nocturnal air warfare are presented in key places. Several significant events and effects concerning the P-61 and its service were intimately tied to the state of evolution or the character of night fighting at the time. Omitting that crucial context and reference makes the conveyance of the P-61's history much more difficult to successfully undertake, and to understand.

Said sections may not be in the article yet, but the passages about night fighting will click into place once they are. Until then, they don't really detract, either--it's a solid link to the aircraft's early origins.GarageBay9 22:52, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Section 'To fly and wage war in the dark' should definitely be merged into Night fighter, with a link to the latter article placed in this former's 'References' section.


The last sentence in the opening paragraph doesn't make sense-"It was the first American – and only Allied – purpose-built aircraft to serve as a radar-equipped night fighter." If there was a later American purpose built aircraft to serve as a radar equipped night fighter then the P-61 would not be the only Allied fighter to server in that capacity. The sentence should be something like "only American and only Allied. "

What about the Beaufighter? Greg Locock (talk) 02:29, 2 February 2008 (UTC) Or the de Havilland Mosquito N.F. models? They were purpose-designed modifications of the existing airframe and not ground-up designs, but they were still mass-produced as new variants. Duncan Jaques (talk) 22:48, 30 August 2008 (UTC) I've replaced the contested sentence with It was the first aircraft designed specifically as a radar-equipped night fighter to be used operationally., and provided a print source. This should be less ambiguous, and emphasizes that the P-61 was the first aircraft to be designed, built, and used as a night fighter, by any country. This will exclude the Beaufighter and Mosquito NFs, as they were both variants of existing designs. - BillCJ (talk) 03:04, 31 August 2008 (UTC) The P-61 was designed around the then state-of-the-art British centimetric Airborne Interception radar system that had been brought to the US by the Tizard Mission, as such, it was the first aeroplane anywhere to have been designed to incorporate radar for the specialised night fighting role. All the other aircraft had been converted from other uses. The earlier metric wavelength British AI radar systems had the aerials (antennae) distributed on various parts of the aircraft, fuselage, wings, etc., whereas the centimetric system used a single parabolic scanning aerial, (a dish) and this meant that it could be installed in one unit in the ideal place in the nose of the fighter under a radome. This meant that it became possible to design an aeroplane with the radar and armament in a logical arrangement, the guns being positioned under the nose, because British experience had shown that guns (cannon) mounted anywhere else dazzled the pilot at night with their muzzle flash, temporarily destroying his night vision. If it (the P-61) had been used in its originally intended role of defending against attacking enemy bombers it would probably have had more success than it did, unfortunately, the types of aircraft it was coming up against when it entered service were not the slow Heinkel 111s and Dornier 217s that it had been designed to shoot down, but rather the higher-performance single-engined fighter bombers such as the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, and the German twin-engined night fighters such as the Me 110 and Junkers Ju 88. The only other German bombers that made any sort of impact (if you'll pardon the pun) on the Western Allies at that stage of the war where the smaller ones such as the Me 410s that were used at night in small numbers, and the P-61 was not really fast enough to catch any of these reliably, as you need a fair margin of speed over your target to get into position to shoot it down. The P-61, and Northrop, was just a bit unlucky in its timing, if the Luftwaffe had been in any sort of position to mount a serious heavy bomber offensive in 1944-45 the P-61 would no doubt have been very useful. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.4.57.101 (talk) 21:54, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Sorry about that time lapse, folks. Other stuff came up and I had my hands full. I'll get the rest of the article and references up as soon as I can.

I really hope you're planning to break up that giant paragraph at the bottom there. Also - have you considered shifting some of the content aquí to bulk up a separate article like night fighter? Some of the information about background, while intriguing, doesn't seem to quite 'fit'. Also, the section on the dangers of flying seem very far removed from the actual aircraft and better suited to yet another article on, say, Air combat in World War II or something like that.

Don't get me wrong - the stuff is good, it's just not what I'm used to seeing in a detailed aircraft article and so it feels a bit out of place. I'll check back when you're done, though, and maybe it'll fit more solidly then. -eric ✈ 09:16, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

In addition to being rather garishly colored, the infobox looks horrendous in (at least) Firefox - not sure about other browsers. Superfluous couple-pixel-wide table columns, strange blank spaces, etc. — ceejayoz ★ 16:50, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

A lot of great information in this article but when you go so in-depth, references are doubly appreciated for that "polished" look. I can provide citations for some general military aviation books and a nice publication in Polish (which I can barely read but it has great photos). Great job on the article everyone! - Emt147 Burninate! 05:59, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

My original plan was to write much, much more, covering the Widow until the P-61C's and F-15's retirement, with a footnote covering surviving examples and restoration projects. Obviously, it's taken me longer than I expected. :) Either way, I do have all my references noted down for the portions I've posted, and sooner or later, I will get them up here. GarageBay9

Forgive me, ahead of time, if I do not place this in the correct form. I am just learning how this all works. I recently added a short paragraph under a heading that has since disappeared called "In the Media" concerning a great book I became aware of on one of the squadrons which flew the P61s in the Pacific Theater. I got a nice note which appeared briefly and which I have not been able to resurrect, that kindly and graciously slapped my hand for advertising - stating that it is out of place on this page. While I am very willing to play by the rules, I wonder should there not be a place where various articles and and books written about the Black Widow can be listed and information provided as to the contents? Short, concise book reviews can be a great source of information for those of us who are trying to learn what we can about this fantastic plane and the men who flew on it. My interest in the book I mentioned centers around the fact that my father wrote most of the squadron history for the Air Force upon which the book is based. For a number of years the author could not locate my father (now deceased), and when he finally located him and I read the book, I found information about the Black Widow in combat that I have been unable to find no other place. I am certain that there are other instances of the same sort of thing occurring. Again, I am in no way interested in commercializing the site, but feel that a place where books can be listed and reviewed might perform a valuable service for people, such as myself, who want to learn more about the P61 and the great men who crewed her.

I am not certain what exactly what is meant by signing this post with four tildes (yes I know what tildes are, just not certain how I can use them to sign my name. So, I can be reached at [email protected] —Preceding unsigned comment added by MelsSon (talk • contribs) 07:16, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

The tildes is a keyboard accent that is usually found on the extreme top left of a keyboard. Using four of these automatically identifies your name and the current date/time. Read my message in edit mode to see what tildes look like: [

] FWIW Bzuk (talk) 07:21, 2 March 2008 (UTC).

Gracias. MelsSon (talk) 07:27, 2 March 2008 (UTC)--MelsSon (talk) 07:27, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

What's this about WWII fighters being unstable? Most were fairly stable, the unstable ones almost never made it into production. Check any website on German X-planes, most were unstable and almost none ever went into production. If you mean engine torque, that wasn't an intentional part of the design, that was the laws of physics. LWF 22:43, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

There's lots about the development not almost nothing about the plane in service. How did the performance match up with the expectations? Anybody? KarlM 06:38, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Done!!-Ken keisel 17:10, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

In general, the P-61's performance was marred for several reasons. The turret caused buffeting which they never really were able to fix The propellors caused buffeting between 1450 and 2200 rpm therefore limiting the range that the plane could be flown in the engines were, for a 28000 pound aircraft, underpowered. It wasnt until the advent of the P-61C model that there was really enough power for the big plane to fully realize its potential, but by that time, the war was nearly over, and very few P-61C's saw service. Cruising speed on the p-61B's was approx 225 mph, the same as a B-25, but its intercept speed was approximately 376 mph ( when using war emergency power ) and 421 mph and faster in a dive.. The main drawback in the P-61B was that there was only enough coolant on board for 20 minutes of war emergency power. In the P-61C which in order to achieve the 2800 hp its engines delivered, had a greater coolant usage, the time in WEP was reduced to 14 minutes. Stability and maneuverability in the p-61 were both excellent. Many pilots as well as Johnny Meyers himself have stated that it could turn tighter than an F-6F. Stability wise, it was one of the most stable aircraft to be conceived and developed during world war two. With a minimum maneuvering speed of only 110 mph, the P-61 stands out as one of the easiest to fly aircraft ever developed..

67.204.156.22 (talk) 04:27, 1 January 2012 (UTC)Pam Brooker

I failed this article partially because of the lack of references, and also because of the lists that occur in the article. Some P. E rson 14:03, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

The info box states that the P-61 was retired in 1952. I seem to remember that it was used in the early part of the Korean War. It would be nice to read about the later part of the Black Widows operational life.--TGC55 14:27, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

There are no records of any F-61 being used in the Korean War It was replaced in the night fighter role in Korea by the F-82. The last F-61 unit in Japan (347th FG (AW)) retired their last F-61 in May 1950, less than a month before the Korean War began.

Whether it was used in the Korean war or not, the Korean War started in 1950 and ended in 1953. If the design was retired in May 1950, it would have been retired prior to the start of the war if it was around in 1952, it would have been used during the early to mid parts of the war AVKent882 (talk) 18:27, 18 September 2010 (UTC) Actually maps made from aerial photography taken by RF-61Cs of the 8th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron were used extensively by United Nations forces in Korea, as they were the most accurate maps of the peninsula, However those aircraft were retired in 1949. The F-61Bs in Japan before the Korean War were sent to Tachikawa Air Base where they were cut up for scrap as soon as the F-82 Twin Mustangs arrived to replace them. It was cheaper for the Air Force to dispose of them there than to fly them back to the States. When the Korean War broke out in June, the ones at Tachikawa were assigned to the 6401st Field Maintenance Squadron, Far East Air Material Command (FEAMCOM), which was, basically, a scrapping unit. If any were operational, I'm certain that FEAF would have used them. An F-61C that was retired from ADC in 1948 were loaned to NACA for research until early 1950s, but it wasn't performing combat duties. It was carried on AF inventory rolls until it was returned (1953). Bwmoll3 (talk) 19:57, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

It wasn't me that tagged it but every time I read the first paragraph under "Origins" the tone nags me.GraemeLeggett 09:25, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I tagged it. This article is terrible from an encyclopedic standpoint—it's written like someone's love letter to the P-61. ericg ✈ 14:38, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I found the serial number of the surviving plane in China and added it. Also, Chinese sources says that it's a P-61B (instead of P-61A) Finally, the university's site says that this plane belongs to the 426 night fighter squadron and no the 427th. Who wrote that it was in poor condition and there could be two more planes. No source claims that. Maybye I will remove that later. Atchom 17:36, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

This site [1]gives a different s/n and confirms that it was a P-61A. There are two s/n cited:42-2234 (all the chinese sites) 42-39417 (this[2]site only) I<m a bit confused now. Atchom 17:46, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

jbaugher/1942_1.html) shows the following for Northrop P-61B-1-NO Black Widow 42-39417..

"39417 condemned salvage Apr 23, 1947. To reclamation Nov 19, 1947"

Serial 42-2234 was a Beechcraft AT-10-BH (42-2064/2413).

P-61 1942 serial numbers begin at 42-5485 and end at 42-39397 for P-61As, 42-39398 to 42-39419 for P-61Bs.

However it also shows that P-61B-15-NO 42-39715, construction number N1234 is on display at the Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Engineering, China. The plane was left in China at the end of the war and was seized by Communist troops.Bwmoll3 18:21, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Added photographic proof that Chinese P-61 is 42-39715 - should put this to restDavegnz (talk) 15:30, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

. this could be a good article! Problems that really draw my eye are 1) few sources cited, and 2) excessive passive voice. I didn't see too many lists, which the GA Failure person noted above, so we may consider that addressed, IMHO. Outstanding features of the article include the in-depth description of the physical characteristics. This is the first aircraft article I've seen on Wikipedia that goes into such minute detail, and I love it. JSC ltd 14:44, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

I have had a go at standardising the headers and organising paragraphs into the correct sections. It certainly needs more inline refs and more wikilinking (not a lot of blue in there). I agree about the technical description but in a review it would almost certainly be deemed too long. Might be worth a read through just to make sure I have not got things out of order and that it all makes sense. This article might be a good candidate for project peer review. Salud. Nimbus227 (talk) 19:12, 28 February 2008 (UTC) Did some rearranging to bring article to wikiaircraft standards I think I got the order correct - did a lot of merging and rearranging for clean-up but think some more work is needed - maybe a seperate section on the P-61A / P-61B with the P-61C & F-15 sections following.Davegnz (talk) 16:40, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Jack got his start with Lockheed and according to Northrop employees who knew him said that Jack contributed to the P-38 wing design as he was considered the best at wings. Certainly Jack understood the advantages of the P-38 form. Saltysailor (talk) 19:56, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I just thought airframe design similarity was just coincidence, even though the F-15A/RF-61, especially, looked basically like a gigantic P-38 AVKent882 (talk) 18:19, 18 September 2010 (UTC) Yet the wings are among the least similar features of the two aircraft. We'd need more than an uncited claim to add anything about a relationship between the two designs. Saying that he "understood the advantages of the P-38 form" proves absolutely nothing beyond the fact he appreciated the advantages of a pod and twin boom design, but it doesn't make the designs "related". - BilCat (talk) 18:27, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Does this article really need a paragraph on Convergence - seems to me it would either be better as a stand alone article or deleted - breaks up the flow. Davegnz (talk) 16:37, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I was wondering why an editor chose to replace Image:P-61 Black Widow NMUSAF.jpg with Image:P-61C-1NO 43-8353.jpg to depict the aircraft that is displayed at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Yes, I took the former image, but I feel that it is a more interesting image and it depicts the way the aircraft is currently displayed at the museum. The side view image is a little washed out and only shows a straight side view. --rogerd (talk) 22:21, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Felt the other image was much too dark - liked the view but the lighting was horrible. Davegnz (talk) 14:37, 20 May 2008 (UTC) I had no problem with either image. I put one of the two images up at the 550th Sq section to illustrate their livery. Binksternet (talk) 17:53, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

User:Davegnz has reverted my changes to external links made under the External Link guidelines that External links should not normally be used in the body of an article. I cant see any reason why this article should be different then any other aircraft article. Any comments please. MilborneOne (talk) 18:44, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Also brought up at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Aircraft. MilborneOne (talk) 18:55, 2 June 2008 (UTC) Agreed - and I'm not sure whether Warbirdregistry.org counts as a WP:RS anyway.Nigel Ish (talk) 19:06, 2 June 2008 (UTC) I agree too - and this isn't even an "aircraft" convention - it's a Wikipedia-wide one. I also agree with Nigel that the site doesn't appear to qualify as reliable - we should see if it can be replaced. --Rlandmann (talk) 20:18, 2 June 2008 (UTC) Please elaborate on why Warbirdregistry.org is not a reliable source. I was just looking at it and it seems like a good source of information on surviving aircraft. --rogerd (talk) 17:47, 3 June 2008 (UTC) This relates to the requirements of WP:RS - which does not necessarily relate to the quality of the source - it appears to be a comprehensive site ran by two or three dedicated Enthusiasts - none of which are published in the field and so may not meet the strict requirements of WP:RS. Self published websites of similar quality (such as Joe Baugher's site) have been rejected as Reliable Sources when other articles (e.g. F-4 Phantom) have gone to Featured Article review. As the article clearly aspires to that sort of quality -(see the GA failure), if possible we should try and replace non reliable sources with ones that pass WP:RS. Certainly the site is still entirely suitable as an external link.Nigel Ish (talk) 18:06, 3 June 2008 (UTC) User Rlandmann does not appear to like any reference on the internet - why don't we all give up and leave wikipedia to him - he does not seem to like anyone elses input. Quite honestly, I am getting sick and tired of this nitpicking and other crap people like him keep throwing in the paths of people trying to serious articles on wiki. No wonder so many people just give up and leave. pretty soom it will just be Rlandmann 24/7 Davegnz (talk) 16:58, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Davegnz please read Wikipedia:Civility and refrain from commenting on other editors and address the content of the article and related policy and guidelines only. If you have an issue with any guidelines and policy quoted then your are welcome to comment on the related talk pages. Gracias. MilborneOne (talk) 19:16, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Actually, for whatever it's worth, I personally think that the Reliability policy as it applies to internet sources is a little too strict (you can read my comments on the subject during the F-4 FA review saga). Furthermore it's ludicrous to suggest that I don't like internet references when I make such extensive use of them myself in my contributions. Anyway, whether I like them or not or you like them or not isn't the issue here. Nigel has already explained why (as a privately published website) warbirdregistry.org fails Wikipedia's reliability standards. Like Joe Baugher's website, it has the virtue of (most of) its information being properly sourced, and therefore there's no way I'd support removing information from articles simply because it's been sourced from warbirdregistry. All I'm saying is that if and when someone gets the chance to check this material against the source that warbirdregistry cites (Chapman & Goodall's Warbirds Directory), a reference to this reliable source should replace a reference to an unreliable source. --Rlandmann (talk) 00:43, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Maybe it's just my ignorance in these matters, but the term "deactivated" seems more fitting than "inactivated". Is that official terminology?

IMHO a slight change of format would improve the appearance of each of the sections within "Operators". p.ej. de:

426th Night Fighter Squadron Activated 1 January 1944, Madhaigani, India. Assigned: 14th AF – Served in India, and China to protect B-29 Superfortress bases from attack. Inactivated 5 November 1945, Shwanglu, China 427th Night Fighter Squadron Transferred from Pomigliano, Italy in October 1944. Stationed at Barrackpore, India. Assigned: 14th AF – Served in India, Burma and China. Inactivated 29 October 1945 at Kisselbari, India

Just a suggestion – any comments? --Red Su ns et 22:15, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Deactivated is the correct term. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 22:20, 16 June 2008 (UTC). ¡Salud! --Red Su ns et 22:30, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

I've deleted the reference to the B-32 air combat on August 18th, 1945. The paragraph clearly states that a P-61 is credited with destroying the last two Japanese aircraft destroyed BEFORE the end of WWII. The B-32 combat took place three days after the Japanese surrender, and is not appropriate in this context, particularly since it detracts from the object of the article. I also wish to point out that "Moonlight Serenade" did NOT actually shoot down the last aircraft it claimed as a kill, rather it flew it into the water without firing a shot. The crew were still credited with the kill, though, making this the last official U.S. of WWII. This is all described in Gary Pape's marvelous book "Queen of the Midnight Skies". Ken keisel (talk) 00:51, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

The article says that the P-61 lacked ailerons. Esto está mal. Primary roll control was achieved through spoilers, as stated (not "spoilerons, though), but it did have small ailerons.

I didn't know it had small ailerons, I thought it was just spoilers. AVKent882 (talk) 18:21, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

It had tiny fairy wing ailerons located on the tip of the wings. their primary job was to provide tactile feedback to the pilot. It served no mechanical purpose otherwise.. Reference Miroslav Balous Northrop P-61 Black Widow 67.204.156.22 (talk) 04:45, 1 January 2012 (UTC)Pam Brooker

I don't see that the Credit for Kills section needs to be in the article. I think the content is obvious, and even if it is not, it is not sufficiently important to require its own section. Ronstew (talk) 23:43, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Acordado. DerbyCountyinNZ (Talk Contribs) 06:01, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

I added this nice old photo of a rocket-armed P-61, with the location from the SDASM archive. But the background of the photo looks like the ocean, and this airbase is far inland. . TIA, Pete Tillman (talk) 14:51, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

It's hard to tell, but if you look at the contrast between light and dark bands in the background behind the rudder, it sort of could be the outline of a forest in the distance, and there is a forest near the airbase. Link to satellite view. But then the soil in the foreground seems to be sand. The mayor of Yurp (talk) 15:25, 6 June 2011 (UTC) Thanks, hadn't noticed that. And the horizon-rise behind the photo-right wing could be a hill. See, forex, this photo and /this. Presumably the AA defends the air base. So location is probably OK? Cheers, Pete Tillman (talk) 16:30, 6 June 2011 (UTC) Remember that Étain-Rouvres Air Base wasn't constructed until the 1950s. It was new construction, not the World War II Airfield used by 9th Air Force. The World War II base is now Verdun-Le-Rozelier Airport and the 426th NFS operated from it starting in November 1944. Bwmoll3 (talk) 19:31, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

For any editors concerned, there is a proposed moved at the disambiguation page Black Widow. If you have anything to add to the discussion, please do. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Black_Widow#Proposed_move Weebro55 (talk) 04:00, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

The name of the engineer who invented "Zap flaps" was Edward Zaparka, not Edward Zap. And as far as I know, he was never a Northrop employee. He developed Zap flaps a couple of decades before the P-61 was designed. There are plenty of references to Edward Zaparka and his flaps in the literature, if you need a citation.173.62.12.218 (talk) 19:45, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

I see the Zaparka patent from 1934, so I made the suggested changes to the article. Binksternet (talk) 01:48, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

The following part of the article makes very little sense:

A brief assessment of the turret by the British Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment in 1944 found problems with the aiming and "jerky movement" of the guns,[11] and some authors claim that the turret had buffeting problems on the airframe, but any problems with the final designed turret were minimal and the turret was not installed for many production runs because the turret mechanism was unavailable due to priority use on the B-29 bomber.[citation needed]

It looks like it was written by two authors writing at cross-purposes. NotYourFathersOldsmobile (talk) 03:03, 31 January 2016 (UTC)

That's Wikipedia for you! - BilCat (talk) 03:53, 31 January 2016 (UTC) Bung a full stop after 'airframe' delete the 'but' and capitalize 'any'. Instant improvement.GraemeLeggett (talk) 20:41, 31 January 2016 (UTC) The turret buffeting was entirely due to the use of a non-symmetrical teardrop-shaped turret fairing, the deletion of which, and replacement with a normal circular fairing, would have eliminated.

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Northrop P-61 Black Widow/Comments , and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated if so, please feel free to remove this section.

This article is B-class, because in my opinion, it just failed its good article nomination. Some P. E rson 14:11, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Last edited at 16:53, 12 June 2010 (UTC). Substituted at 01:32, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

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The section on the fly-off between a tweaked P-61 and a Mosquito NFXVII (which was an old NFII with updated radar) gives a misleading impression. Even after that event, Gen Spaatz still wanted Mosquitos and not P-61s. See C Martin Sharp & Michael JF Bowyer, Mosquito, Faber, London, 1967, repr Crecy Publishing, 1995, ISBN 0-947554-41-6, p.379:- 'On 4 July 1944 the British Government informed the Americans that they could still not supply Mosquitoes to their Mediterranean based U.S. night fighter squadrons. General Spaatz responded by requesting help with re-equipping just two British-based P-61 night fighter squadrons. It was pointed out to him that if Mosquito production permitted it his Mediterranean squadrons would already have received Mosquitoes to relieve pressure on Beaufighter availability [the USAAF was operating Beaufighters in the night-fighter role in the Med] because those aircraft were needed by British and Allied squadrons.' The reason for the rather tough British position on this was that the Americans had been offered a licence to build their own Mosquitos and turned it down on the obvious protectionist grounds. In December the 416th NFS in Italy was re-equipped with a mix of Mosquito NFXIXs and new NF30s. These aircraft had the same radar as the P-61 and considerably better performance except in rate of climb, which was relatively unimportant in night-fighter operations because patrols were not ordered at short notice. Khamba Tendal (talk) 19:15, 5 November 2019 (UTC)

An interesting perspective on possibly why the US did not licence-produce the Mosquito here: [3]


P-61 "Black Widow"

The P-61 Black Widow was effective and powerful heavy-night-interceptor with a radar.

Modifications: The developing vehicles YP-61. At the end of 1943 began to flew the first P-61A of series, followed in July 1944 by the P-61B with sub-alar attachs for bombs and fuel tanks. The P-61С had more high-power engine R-2800-73, 2800 hp. Was also realized a long range recon version , named F-15A Reporter (after WWII, first flight at June 3, 1945).

Armament: Four fixed forward-firing .5in guns. Four 20mm cannon in remote-controlled dorsal turret (P-61B-15 and later).

Max bomb load: bombs underwing : 2900 kg

Total production (Variants): 741

-P-61A -215 P-61B - 450 P-61C - 41 F-15 - 36.

The cockpit of the Northrop P-61 Black Widow, night fighter of the Second World War.

Northrop P-61A Black Widow, back view. Two of the three crew pose for the camera which can be dated to no earlier than June 1944.

Northrop P-61A-1-NO Black Widow, 42-5526 'Nightie Mission' of the 6th NFS taking on 646 US-gallons (2,445 l) AN-F-48 100/130 octane fuel on Guadalcanal in August 1944.

P-61A-1-NO Black Widow, 42-5507 of the 419th NFS which was deployed to the South Pacific in February 1943 and was operational by April at Buka Airfield, Bougainville, Solomon Islands. 42-5507 was lost 'somewhere' in the South Pacific on April 10, 1945.


The Amazing Northrop P-61 Black Widow – The Story Of The First American Night Fighter

Northrop P-61, also known as Black Widow, was one of the largest aircraft in the fighter category and proved very effective, especially against the Japanese Imperial Air Force. However, in Europe, it was barely a match for its Luftwaffe equivalent, the Heinkel He 219.

During the Battle of Britain in 1940, the British needed a superior night fighter, one that could intercept the Germans at high speed. An idea was conceived to create an aircraft capable of carrying the latest invention in radar technology ― the Airborne Intercept (AI for short).

This compact device was made to fit into an aircraft, allowing it to operate independently from ground stations, leaving out the middleman. This radical shift also enabled aircraft to fly at night, as they were able to navigate in real time using the AI radar.

Photo Source

The Black Widow’s hull was made entirely of metal, and it ran on two engines both packing 2,000 horsepower. It was capable of developing a speed of 589 kph (366 mph). Considering its immense size, this was relatively fast. The aircraft was more than 15 m long and had a wingspan of 20.12 m. The P-61 had a three man crew a gunner, the pilot, and a new member ― the radar operator.

The P-61 was equipped with 4 × 20 mm (.79 in) Hispano AN/M2 cannons installed in its belly and 4 × .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning Machine Guns positioned in a remotely operated turret. This turret was controlled by a gyroscopic fire control computer worked by either the gunner or radar operator.

A P-61A of the 425th NFS (RAF Scorton, England)

Unfortunately, the Northrop Industry took its time to produce the prototype. The first P-61 made its maiden flight in 1942. There were flaws in its design, and it took several more improved versions before, finally, it entered service in May 1944.

By this time, the Germans had finished experimenting with jet engines, and the infamous Messerschmitt 262 was beginning to plague the Allied air force.

P-61A-1-NO Black Widow 42-5524, 6th Night Fighter Squadron, being readied for a mission, East Field, Saipan, Mariana Islands, September 1944.

The P-61 arrived too late. It was still more than capable of coping with anything the Japanese Air Force had, but in Europe, the design was considered obsolete.

The British Mosquito Mk XVII was considered to be a far better option. Slowly it began to suppress the Black Widow into the reserves where it mainly served as a training aircraft.

A P-61 squadron involved in the Ohio phase of the Thunderstorm Project, 1947

The designers of the P-61 tried to improve it as much as possible. A smaller AI device was installed, improving the remote controlled turret. Turbochargers were also added, but the aircraft was still lagging behind regarding speed.

P-61 continued to serve in the U.S. Air Force after the war, and it participated in a meteorological experiment called Operation Thunderstorm which focussed on exploration of thunderstorms. The test proved extremely valuable for future space program development.

The Black Widow was officially retired in 1954.


Ver el vídeo: P-61 Black Widow Night Fighter