P-61 Black Widow Engine

P-61 Black Widow Engine - Protected by two oceans, in the beginning the United States did not need a night fighter, so it began as a request of the British, who were suffering from the London Blitz. With the most experience of night fighting, the British had the most input.

British details are based on experience and not guesswork. On both sides of the war, air losses were too great to be sustained by day attacks and attacks were converted to night bombing. The British knew that before they could pursue the attackers, their bombs had already fallen, so speed was not the main concern.

P-61 Black Widow Engine

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A night fighter must hover for at least seven hours without causing pilot fatigue and still have enough reserves to meet the enemy in a heavy engagement.2 The first unit to receive a P -61 is the 348th Night Fighter Squadron.

Operational History

in Florida. A training unit, the 348th prepared crews for deployment to Europe. Additional training facilities are also used in California. As night fighter squadrons overseas transferred to the P-61 from other aircraft, such as the Douglas P-70 and British Bristol Beaufighter, many Black Widow units were formed from scratch in the United States.

In February 1944, the first P-61 squadrons, the 422nd and 425th, were sent to Britain. Upon arrival, they found that the USAAF leadership, including Lieutenant General Carl Spaatz, was concerned that the P-61 lacked the speed to engage the latest German fighters.

Instead, Spaatz ordered the squadrons to be equipped with British De Havilland Mosquitoes. P-61C-1NO d/n 1399 AAF, S/N 43-8353 is on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio.

It was marked P-61B-1NO 42-39468 and painted to represent the "Moonlight Serenade" of the 550th Night Fighter Squadron. Although concerns about the P-61's performance remained, it was shelved after the war because the USAAF lacked an effective jet-powered night fighter.

Later Service

The type was joined by the F-15 Reporter which was developed in the summer of 1945. Essentially an unarmed P-61, the F-15 carried multiple cameras and was intended to be used as a reconnaissance aircraft. Redesignated the F-61 in 1948, the aircraft began to be withdrawn from service that year and was replaced by the North American F-82 Twin Mustang.

Repurposed as a night fighter, the F-82 served as a temporary solution until the jet-powered F-89 Scorpion arrived. The last F-61s were retired in May 1950. Sold to civilian agencies, the F-61 and F-15 were produced in various roles in the late 1960s.

Although one might be critical of its overall contribution to the war effort, this is not the fault of the aircraft, the manufacturer or the aircrews. The development time was about the same as most other WWII aircraft, but it was too late in the game to be of any great consequence.

It was not fought until after D-Day and by the end of the war, the Allies had established air superiority in all areas. There were few enemy aircraft - especially at night, which accounted for the small number of victories, but that is not the whole story.

The Design Evolves

These aircraft require multiple crew members to fly the aircraft, operate the radar, and control the turret. Both planes lacked speed and the airborne radar performance they were carrying was not very good. However, the key design features of the Blenheim and Defiant - twin engines, power turret, belly-mounted gun, and large crew - found their place in the Northrop P-61 Black Widow design.

As the design progressed, the P-61's engines were changed to two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-25S Double Wasp engines with two-stage, two-speed mechanical superchargers. In addition, wider span flaps were used which allowed a lower landing speed.

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The crew is housed in the central fuselage (or gondola) with an airborne interception radar dish mounted within a circular nose in front of the cockpit. The rear of the central fuselage is surrounded by a plexiglass cone while the forward section has a stepped, greenhouse-style canopy for the pilot and gunner.

It has an advantage over previous Black Widow night fighters, but is nowhere near as fast as the North American XP-82 Twin Mustang. The XP-61E has a top speed of 376 mph (605 km/h) at 17,000 ft (5,182 m), while the XP-82 is 106 mph (170 km) faster with a top speed of 482 mph (776 km/

Northrop Responds

hour). ). ) at 25,100 ft (7,650 m). In 1940, with the Second World War, the Royal Air Force began looking for plans for a new night fighter to counter the German attacks on London. Using radar to help win the Battle of Britain, Britain attempted to incorporate smaller airborne interception radar units into the new design.

For this, the RAF ordered the British Purchasing Commission in the United States to evaluate American aircraft designs. Desirable features include the ability to loiter for around eight hours, carry a new radar system, and mount multiple gun turrets.

When Black Widow works, the results are amazing. It was the first dedicated night fighter aircraft, unlike the Douglas Havoc, Grumman F6F Hellcat, Bristol Beaufighter and de Havilland Mosquito which were adapted for the role. Service distribution began in May, 1944, when the 348th Night Fighter Squadron (NFS) of the 481st Night Fighter Group (NFG) received their Black Widows.

Although the P-61 was incredibly maneuverable as a large aircraft (thanks to the large, well-designed flaps), it remained cumbersome. In June, the supply increased to three a day. The first P-61 kill was recorded on June 30, 1944 (some sources say July 6), when a Black Widow of the 6th NFS shot down a 'Betty' bomber over the Pacific. In Europe, the crew continued to

In The Pacific

training while debates continued over the night fighting merits of the Black Widow, the Mosquito, and the Bristol Beaufighter. The terms of the design contract offered by Northrop to the Army Air Corps in January 1941 described the requirements for a fighter

night big enough to carry the SCR- radar 720 and a crew of three. He published Jack Northrop's discussions with the British Purchasing Commission, and Col.'s note. Craigie to Pavlecka, design of the XP-61 prototype. The twin boom fuselage supports a central pod that carries a three-man crew consisting of a pilot, a gunner to operate a power turret and a radar operator sp.

Many publications during the war referred to the radar operator as a "radio observer" to protect the secrecy of airborne radar technology. 6. A list of materials is put together to start building the control cables for the engines and airframe.

We expect to order materials for this part of the project in the 1st quarter of 2018. Afterwards, the P-61s were painted in the gloss black that has become Black Widow's trademark. Three paint schemes were tested olive drab with a flat black base, all flat black and gloss black.

Over Europe

During the searchlight tests, when the olive and flat black painted plane passed through the searchlight beams, they were easily spotted. However, when the gloss black plane flew across the beam it was almost invisible. The basic design was approved by the USAAC and a contract for prototypes was issued on January 10, 1941. Designated the XP-61, the aircraft was powered by two Pratt & Whitney R2800-10 Double Wasp rotary engines from Curtiss

C5424-A10 four - automatic, feathered propellers. As the construction of the prototype continued, several delays quickly occurred. This includes the difficulty of getting a new propeller as well as equipment for the upper turret. In the latter case, other aircraft such as the B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator, and B-29 Superfortress received mainly turrets.

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The problems were finally overcome and the first prototype flew on May 26, 1942. Carrying a crew of three (pilot, gunner, and radar operator), the design proved to be very unusual for a fighter. This was necessary to accommodate the weight of the airborne interception radar unit and the need for long flight times.

The design was submitted to the USAAC on November 8, it was approved by the Douglas XA-26A. In refining the design, Northrop moved the turret locations to the top and bottom of the fuselage. Most pilots like to fly at night.

After sunset, the air becomes silky smooth as the bumps and jumps of chaos caused by the uneven heat of the Earth's Sun give way to calm. The plane appears to be suspended by a rope while the world moves around it.

The smooth night air did not give either attacker or defender an advantage during World War II, but the inability to see dark objects at a distance presented unique challenges. In daylight, sharp-eyed pilots could spot other aircraft miles away and protect each other by flying in close formation.

At night, the dangers of collision and friendly fire forced the night crew to fly like an airplane without wings. To successfully engage enemy aircraft, they must locate and positively identify them as enemy aircraft before attacking.

The P-61C is essentially the same airframe, but with more powerful turbocharged R-2800-73 radiators offering a maximum WEP of 2,800 hp (2,088 kW). It is heavier than the A or B models and is said to be less maneuverable.

External differences of the XP-61C are a large air scoop under each engine and paddle blade A.O. Smith pushes to tap into more power. The XP-61 was as large as the B-25 Mitchell and B-26 Marauder medium bombers, and Northrop needed powerful engines so that the Black Widow could quickly pursue enemy aircraft.

Engineers chose two air-cooled Pratt & Whitney R-2800 18-cylinder radials that each produce about 2,000 hp. These engines lack turbosuperchargers which is why performance suffers at high altitudes. Most of the P-61As went to USAAF Night Fighter Squadrons in the Pacific.

After securing Guadalcanal in late 1942, it was realized that the American stronghold was within striking distance of the many Japanese bases in the surrounding area. It quickly became clear that the American bases needed night protection.

The P-61 was still a long way off and the American night fighter program began using modified B-25s, P-40s, P-38s and P-70s as night fighters. It was not until May 1944 that the P-61 was finally assigned to the Pacific squadrons.

The 6th NFS was the first to receive the new P-61A fighters. They were finished in an olive tail and were also fitted with a long turret, which was later removed due to tail buffet problems.

Subsequent negotiations with the USAAC led to a request for more firepower. As a result, the lower turret was abandoned in favor of four 20 mm cannon mounted on the wings. It was later reinstalled on the underside of the aircraft, similar to the German Heinkel He 219, freeing up space in the wings for more fuel while also improving the airfoil of the wings.

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The USAAC also requested the installation of flame arresters on engine exhaust pipes, modification of radio equipment, and hard points for drop tanks. The first production P-61C flew off the line in early 1945 and was extremely fast with a top speed of 430 mph (692 km/h) at 30,000 ft (9,144 m).

Perforated air brakes were located above and below the wing, but were closed after a serious crash during a high speed test. It has four underwing pylons that can carry four 310 gallon (1,174 litre) drop tanks.

The first P-61C was received by the UDAAF in July 1945, but it was too late to see combat. Forty-one P-61s were completed on January 28, 1946. A major problem that arose was the failure of the Plexiglas tail dome which had previously broken during a high speed dive.

The tail cone was strengthened by replacing the prototypes' welded magnesium alloy booms with more conventional aluminum alloy booms. This solves some problems with tail cone failures but not completely. In late October 1940, Colonel Laurence C. Craigie of the ATSC contacted Northrop's head of research, Vladimir H. Pavlecka, detailing the type of aircraft they were looking for.

Taking his notes to Northrop, the two men concluded that the new request from UDAAC was almost identical to that from the RAF. As a result, Northrop did the work that had been done earlier in response to the British request and immediately began to gain an edge over his competitors.

From Northrop's initial design, the company produced an aircraft with a central fuselage suspended between two engine nacelles and tail booms. The armament is arranged in two turrets, one in the nose and one in the tail.

4. The task of creating pattern templates for the four fuel bladders is underway. Both internal tank standards have been completed and placed in the test. Initial standards for both Outboard tanks will begin in January 2018. The XP-61D is identical to the P-61C and is powered by a R-2800-77 turbosupercharged engine with a WEP of

2800 hp (2,088 kW). It has four wing pylons, two inboard engine booms and two outboards. The flight test program for two XP-61Ds was completed in the fall of 1945. Top speed was 430 mph (692 km/h) at 30,000 ft (9,144 m), and an altitude of 30,000 ft could be reached in 13.5 minutes.

The service ceiling is 43,000 ft (13,106 m). After the P-61C went into production, the priority of the XP-61D was reduced and when the war in the Pacific ended, the XP-61D project was dropped entirely. Both aircraft were scrapped.

The 418th NFS was based at Morotai, Halmaheras, Dutch East Indies and was the top P-61 scorer with 18 kills. The 418th captured three Kawasaki Ki-61 Hein Tonys in one night. Tony is a new fighter that destroys B-29 Superfortresses.

The 421st shot down two Tonys on November 10, 1944. When the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) began conducting small night raids on Britain in June 1940, Royal Air Force (RAF) crews flying twin-engine Bristol Blenheims attempted

intercept them. The Blenheim carried four .303 caliber machine guns mounted on the belly of the aircraft and pointed towards the front of the aircraft. The RAF switched to Boulton Paul Defiant fighters in August. The Defiant is a unique design with a powered turret, housing a gunner and mounting four guns, mounted behind the pilot's seat.

Northrop P-61B Black Widow N550nf / 42-39445 (Cn 964) A Rare Look Inside Of  The Cockpit Of A P-61. This Aircraft Is Under… | Wwii Aircraft,  Interceptor, Flight DeckSource: i.pinimg.com

The Blenheim's belly guns and the Defiant's turret were invisible to the pilot, so he was not blinded when he fired them. It's a beautiful looking plane, but there's a mystery to it. One can imagine this mysterious night guard, lurking in the depths of the night and claiming victims who don't even know what has hit them.

She is a toxic black woman. Hence the name, Black Widow. In the final design, the pilot and gunner were located at the front of the aircraft while the radar operator occupied a remote space towards the rear.

Here they operate an SCR-720 radar set which is used to direct the pilot to enemy aircraft. As the P-61 closes in on an enemy aircraft, the pilot can see a small radar scope mounted in the cockpit.

The aircraft's top turret is remotely operated and aimed with the aid of a General Electric GE2CFR12A3 gyroscopic fire control computer. Mounted four .50 cal. machine gun, can be fired by the gunner, radar operator, or pilot.

In the latter case, the turret will be locked in the forward firing position. Ready for service in early 1944, the P-61 Black Widow became the first night fighter designed by the US Army Air Forces.

Night vision binoculars were introduced on the B model for target sighting and were later retrofitted to many P-61As already in the field. An APS-13 tail warning system was added and some P-61As and many early P-61Bs were retrofitted in the field.

Four underwater pylons were installed for a 258-gallon (977 liter) discharge tank or four 1,600-pound bombs. The General Electric Type A-4 dorsal turret was replaced on the 201st P-61B after correcting the buffet problems.6 We would like to thank the many followers and donors of our P-61 because of their requests for more development photos.

We are happy to post new pictures as there is new material to show you, but posting pictures of electrical wiring or drilled hole metal or rivets can be repetitive, especially when the new pictures appear to have

posted by others. So, to bring you up to date, let's explain where we are with the restoration. The surviving XP-61E was modified as a photographic reconnaissance aircraft and designated the XF-15 Reporter. All the guns were removed and a new nose fitted to house a series of aerial cameras.

Its maiden flight was on July 3, 1945. The P-61C was also modified as the XF-15 and was similar to the converted XP-61E, except for the R-2800 turbosupercharged engine. It had a new bubble canopy fuselage and the wing airbrakes were eliminated.

In June 1945, 175 production F-15As were ordered, but the F-15A was canceled in 1947, as jet aircraft entered service. Only 36 F-15As were completed. We rely on the generous support of donors, sponsors, members, and other benefactors to share the history and impact of flight and spaceflight, educate the public, and inspire future generations.

With your help, we can continue to preserve and protect the world's most comprehensive collection of artefacts representing the great achievements of flight and space exploration. Although the recovery and restoration of MAAM's rare P-61B 42-39445 was a daunting task, there were some extremely challenging tasks within the project itself.

Rewiring it is one of those! We are trying to do it right, however, it is a big time to do it. When we say correct we don't just mean that all the circuits are restored to what they were before, we also mean that we have used all the correct cannon plugs, junction blocks, relays etc.

. In most cases you cannot go to the parts store and get what you need. Some items that Northrop has are made specifically for the P-61.

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