The Only Color Footage Of WWII’s P-61 Black Widow
This Short Documentary Footage Will Show You One Of The Rarest Fighters Of WWII
This great looking plane is the P-61 Black Widow, the first military aircraft which was specifically designed for nighttime interception of enemy aircraft. Its most notable feature was the use of radar among its instruments, as it was in the works for quite some time. The SCR-720 as it was named, was put in the nose of the Black Widow and was used as a homing device, navigational aid as well as a target tracking device.
The SCR-720 as it was named, was put in the nose of the Black Widow and was used as a homing device, navigational aid as well as a target tracking device.
Their armament included:
- Four 20 mm Hispano M2 cannons
- Four .50 in. M2 Browning Machine Guns which were remote-controlled
Unfortunately, only 706 of these warbirds were produced, and as of this writing, none of them are airworthy. Four examples do survive however, two in the Beijing Air and Space Museum in China and one in Chantilly, Virginia.
To get your hopes up however, the last one in under restoration to flying condition by the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania. This Black Widow crashed in 1945 in Papua New guinea, and after almost half a century was recovered by the above-mentioned museum.
Fun Fact: Every Northrop P-61 Black Widow has three crews: pilot, gunner, and radar operator.
Starting a slow restoration process over the next few decades, it is said that over 70% of this plane will be new construction. As of 2010, about 80% of the work is done with the museum awaiting funds to complete the restoration.
It’s a gorgeous aircraft but still terrifying for all that. She may be a beauty but she’s also nasty and downright deadly – no one wants to mess with her.