The P-61 has the distinction of being the first US aircraft to be designed as a night fighter. Sporting two engines and twin booms like the P-38 Lightning, the Black Widow was massive for a fighter. Despite teething problems with its radar, the P-61 proved to be a very versatile and effective weapon. A photographic reconnaissance version was also created, and was known as the F-15 Reporter.
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(updated February 2009)
Northrop P-61 Black Widow
Type: Fighter Crew: 3 Armament: four 20mm cannon, four .50 cal machine guns in optional dorsal turret Specifications: Length: 49' 7" (15.11 m) Height: 14' 8" (4.47 m) Wingspan: 66' (20.12 m) Gross Weight: 35853 lbs (16260 kg) Max Weight: 35855 lbs (16260 kg) Propulsion: No. of Engines: 2 Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Horsepower: 2100 hp each Performance: Range: 1200 miles (1932 km) Cruise Speed: 275 mph (442 km/hr) Max Speed: 425 mph (684 km/hr) Ceiling: 46200 ft (14081 m)
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