Specifications for the
Northrop P-61 / F-61 Black Widow
Nightfighter / Reconnaissance Aircraft
Focus Model: Northrop P-61B Black Widow
Country of Origin: United States
Manufacturer: Northrop - USA
Initial Year of Service: 1943
Length: 49.57 ft (15.11 m)
Width: 65.98 ft (20.11 m)
Height: 14.67ft (4.47 m)
Weight (Empty): 23,451 lb (10,637 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 36,200 lb (16,420 kg)
Powerplant: 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-65 Double-Wasp 18-cylinder radial piston engines developing 2,000hp each.
Maximum Speed: 366 mph (589kmh; 318 kts)
Maximum Range: 1,350 miles (2,172km)
Service Ceiling: 33,005 ft (10,060 m; 6.3 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 2,090 feet per minute (637 m/min)
4 x 12.7mm Browning M2 machine guns in radio-controlled dorsal turret (some models feature 2 x machine guns; still others delete the turret altogether).
4 x 20mm Hispano M2 cannons in ventral position (fixed forward-firing).
2 OR 4 x 1,600lb bombs underwing (1 x inboard, 1 x outboard of engine to each wing).
6 x 5-inch HVAR unguided rockets underwing
1 x 1,000 bomb centerline fuselage (some models)
PROPOSED LONG-RANGE ESCORT:
4 x 12.7mm Browning M2 machine guns in nose assembly (in place of radar).
XP-61 - Prototype Designation; two units produced.
YP-61 - Pre-Production Models; 13 produced.
P-61A-1 - Initial Production Model; 45 produced; fitted with R-2800-10 engines of 2,000hp; final 7 in series produced sans turret.
P-61A-5 - Fitted with R-2800-65 engines of 2,250hp; 35 produced; sans turret.
P-61A-10 - 100 produced; water-injection implemented for improved engine output.
P-61A-11 - 20 produced; two underwing hardpoints introduced for bomb-carrying capability.
P-61B-1 - 62 produced; nose lengthened by 8 inches; SCR-695 tail warning radar introduced.
P-61B-2 - 38 produced; two underwing hardpoints introduced for B-series as in P-61A-11 model.
P-61B-10 - Underwing hardpoints increased from two to four; 46 units produced.
P-61B-11 - Turret Implemented but with only two 12.7mm machine guns; 5 production models built.
P-61B-15 - Turret expanded to 4 x 12.7mm machine guns; 153 produced.
P-61B-16 - Turret reduced to 2 x 12.7mm machine guns; 6 produced.
P-61B-20 - New General Electric turret implemented now with the 4 x 12.7mm machine gun array; 84 produced.
P-61B-25 - APG-1 gun-laying radar introduced for computerized automatic firing of turret; 6 produced.
P-61C - Fitted with R-2800-73 turbocharged engines of 2,800hp each; improved performance; 41 produced; a further 476 cancelled due to war's end.
TP-61C - Dual-Control Trainer Conversions of P-61C models.
XP-61D - Fitted with R-2800-14 series engines; cancelled with introduction of P-61C series; 2 converted from P-61A-5 and P-61A-10 models.
XP-61E - Converted Daytime Long-Range Escort Fighters; sans turret; increased fuel capacity; 4 x 12.7mm machine guns added to nose in place of radar operator's position; 2 converted; cancelled at war's end; one prototype lost to accident whilst other prototype became the basis for the XF-15 model series.
XP-61F - Single conversion model similar to XP-61E.
P-61G - Meteorological Research Platforms; 16 converted as such.
F-15A "Reporter" - Photoreconnaissance Variant; fitted with supercharged R-2800-73 engines as P-61C model series.
F2T-1 - United States Navy Trials Planes; two such converted.