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P-61 Black Widow

The Northrop P-61 Black Widow was the largest and heaviest fighter aircraft to serve with the USAAF during the Second World War, and the first American aircraft specifically designed from the outset for the night fighting role. The service life of the Black Widow extended into the immediate postwar period, and replacement of the Black Widow by F-82F Twin Mustangs night fighters began in early 1948. Most Black Widows were out of operational service by early 1950.


Span:66 ft (20.11m)
Length:49 ft 7 in (15.11m)
Height: 14 ft. 8 in (4.47m)
Weight: Empty: 23,450 lb (10637 kg)
Max. Takeoff: 36,200 (16420 kg)
  • 4 X 0.5 (12.7mm) Browning machine guns in dorsal barbette, 560 rounds each
  • 4 X 20mm M2 canon 200 rounds each
  • 1,600 lbs (726 kg) Bomb Load on four external pylons
  • Engines: two 2,000-hp (1678-kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-65 Double Wasp 18-cylinder radials
    Crew: three
    Maximum speed: 366 mph (589 km/h) at 20,000 ft (6096m)
    Cruising speed:
    Range:1,350 miles (2172 km) at 229 mph
    Service Ceiling:

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    Updated Tuesday, June 29, 1999 5:25:49 PM