The F-15 Reporter was a photographic reconnaissance version of the P-61 Black Widow. In the summer of 1945, the last XP-61E was modified as an unarmed photographic reconnaissance aircraft. All the guns were removed, and a new nose was fitted, capable of holding an assortment of aerial cameras. The aircraft was redesignated XF-15 (in the pre-1948 F-for photo recon series, not to be confused with the post-1948 F-for-fighter series). It flew for the first time on July 3, 1945. Even before the first flight of the XF-15, the USAAF had shown enough interest in the recon version of the Black Widow that in June of 1945 they ordered 175 production F-15As. These were given the popular name "Reporter". The F-15A was basically the P-61C with the new bubble-canopy fuselage and the camera-carrying nose. The fighter brakes on the wing were eliminated. The first production F-15A-1-NO was accepted in September 1946. However, the contract was abruptly canceled in 1947, possibly because the performance of the Reporter was rapidly being overshadowed by jets. Only 36 F-15As were accepted before the contract was cancelled. (This information is from the Joe Baugher website.)
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Additional information on this aircraft can be found at Wikipedia here.
(updated February 2009)
Northrop F-15 Reporter
Type: Photo reconnaissance Crew: 2 Armament: none; capable of carrying 6 cameras Specifications: (see data for Northrop P-61)
(go to Northrop page)
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