Las Vegas, NV
P-61b Black Widow
Digital Art - Color Print
The P-61 was the first U.S. aircraft designed from the beginning as a night fighter, the Black Widow was a result of the experience of the RAF with radar equipped fighters. The first P-61's entered service with the 18th Fighter Group in the South Pacific and sooned gained successes there as well as in Europe. The P-61 was the first US aircraft specifically designed as a night fighter. As large as a medium bomber, it was actually very maneuverable. The key to the P-61's success was the Western Electric SCR-720 airborne intercept radar. In 1946, 36 aircraft of a slightly modified design were built as the F-15 Reporter photoreconnaissance aircraft. P-61s were also used for ejection-seat tests and for a research program that studied the effects of thunderstorms on aircraft structures after the war. In 1946, a dozen P-61Cs were transferred to the Marines as trainers and were designated F2Ts. This P-61B-15 was one of the few attrition replacements that actually made it to the 422nd NFS following the unit's movement closer to the frontline in France. "Little Audrey" was also unusual in that she had additional nose art-most P-61s within the squadron boasted names only.The P-61 was phased out of USAF service in 1952, and the last F-15 was retired in 1955. A C-model that never saw combat, is on display at the US Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson, in Dayton, Ohio. Another is on display at the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Washington DC. Limited Edition Color Print, Signed and Numbered by the Artist.
April 11th, 2011
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