P-61 Black Widow Modelers’ References

Whereas previous night fighters had been adaptations of existing aircraft, Nothrop’s P-61 was intended for the role from the start. Almost as large as a B-25, the Black Widow had a maneuverability that belied its size and a fearsome punch, although many aircraft flew without the dorsal turret.

Just over 700 P-61s were turned out, with the much revised P-61E long range escort fighter variant being cancelled, although some three dozen F-15A / RF-61C Reporter recon models were built.

P-61 Black Widow picture

Preserved P-61 on display at the NMUSAF

Northrop ad, with color artwork depicting a P-61 destroying an Me 210 Flying February 1945 p.69

Photo: frontal shot of a P-61C with brakes extended Aviation News September 10, 1945 p.7

Photo: color shot of P-61 N30020 as a firebomber Warbirds International Jan/Feb 2000 p.61

Michael O’Leary “Out of the Black” The Aviation Historian #04/July 2013 Postwar civilian Black Widows, including a large color shot of firebomber N30020

Michael O’Leary “Front-Line Reporter” The Aviation Historian No.7/April 2014 The career of the first Northrop F-15A, including a large color shot of the aircraft as a firebomber, and right/left side color profiles.

Photo: a lineup of Operation Thunderstorm P-61s The Aviation Historian #8 p.9

Bill Norton U.S. Experimental & Prototype Aircraft Projects: Fighters 1939-1945 p.203: photo of a Black Widow with the radome removed; p.153: overhead and in-flight views of the XP-61E.