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P-61 BLACK WIDOW UNITS OF WWII. Features all the frontline users of the mighty P-61, and includes many first-hand accounts from pilots and gunners who saw action in the Pacific, Mediterranean and Western Europe.
P-61 BLACK WIDOW UNITS OF WWII:
The first aircraft to be purposely designed as a radar-equipped nightfigher, Northrop's P-61 Black Widow was heavily influenced by early RAF combat experience with radar-equipped aircraft in 1940/41. Built essentially around the bulky Radiation Laboratory SCR-720 radar, which was mounted in the aircraft's nose, the P-61 proved to be the largest fighter ever produced for frontline service by the USAAF. Twin-engined and twin-boomed, the Black Widow was armed with a dorsal barbette of four 0.50-in Browning machine guns and two ventrally-mounted 20 mm cannon. After initial structural and radar problems, the aircraft was finally issued to a frontline unit [the 481 st NFG] in March 1944, and both ETO and Pacific squadrons went into action almost simultaneously that spring - the honour of scoring the first kill [a Japanese 'Betty' bomber] went to the 6th NFS on 6 July 1944. Some 704 Black Widows were built in three distinct variants by Northrop, and the type saw action as a night intruder operating against ground targets as well as in its designated role. This volume features all the frontline users of the mighty P-61, and includes many first-hand accounts from pilots and gunners who saw action in the Pacific, Mediterranean and Western Europe.
Northrup's P-61 Black Widow was designed to be the first radar-equipped nightfighter, and it was the largest fighter ever procured for front line use by the USAAF. It was also one of the briefest: introduced in 1944, and they were all inactivated by 1947. This book features one of the most intriguing aircraft designs of the war. 96 pages, many rare photographs, 41 full color plates showing various configurations and paint designs, plus full color nose art plates. A must book for the true warbird buff.