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Northop P61-B "Black Widow"

Discussion in 'Aircraft' started by Gebirgsjaeger, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Erich, please write your book!! And in the next 14 days i control read it!;)

    Is there a detailed pilots report to get from an nightfight no matter if it was against a German or a Japanese aircraft? And were they able to used as an interceptor with qicktime take off?

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  2. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    it would be at NARA for the Widow's of the ETO and am assuming it would be for the squadrons in the PTO as well all under their very own individual units -paperwork of microfische rolls

    the book am working on is one of about 5-6 . "Moskitojagd über Deutschland"
    many first person accounts. the role of the P-61 as played in the book will be one of LW crews and their thoughts of engaging and perceptions of what they may have thought about the Widow overall. will say the LW was not very impressed. the Ju 87D-3 and D-5 crews of NSGr 1 and 2 may have thought differently for those that played the ground attack game in north Germany and in the Bayern . You may be interested Ulrich in what I will share in regards to one Widow crew whom nearly lost their lives when they drove down the butt of a Ju 87D and felt the return fire of the twin mg 81.

    As a quick time interceptor really not because this is not the role that was allowed for the US 9th AF, which to me was a waste, yes it should of been given full reign in the night skies like the Mossie XIX and XXX
     
  3. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Erich, i am very interested, and in the moment i am acting like a sponge, soaking up all information i can get! Sad that this great aircraft wasn´t the first choice to the high command. Technically it was a big step in front of all others and in the hands of an experienced an highly motivated crew a deadly tool to use! So why were the Mosquito´s seen as the much better planes, lower costs and enough of them on hand?

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  4. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    yes more of the wooden crates all over, issued to US units but stubborn people we are Ulrich the need for our own individuality thus the P-61 was born from Northrop, the Mossie was needed elsewhere and for other roles. the Widow was used effectively in the rols it undertook, not enough of them and not enough crews trained, the biggest prob to me was not enough spare parts as the ETO units for one flew them till they fell apart.
     
  5. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    thats explains much. But why not let die other,older aircrafts and took newer better ones. OK easier to build, cheaper, more experiences with older ones and so on!
    Not enough spare parts to have is a dangerous thing. So the ground crews will say" hmm, normally we would change it, but...." and you are in deep troubles during action for using an old worn out part. Mad! We had not enough supplies and it seems that the other side had the same problems.

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  6. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    One must also remember that the P-61 was purpose built as a night fighter, not a plane which was adapted to the role. This also made a difference in "how many" were made by war's end, since they didn't see the absolute need for a "mission specific" aircraft until the war was underway.

    This plane had some unique characteristics, one being a very low stall speed so that it could be landed on small, rough, strips at under 100 mph. I think they landed at about 70 (don't hold me to that).
     
  7. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Here is another article from the old Popular Science magazine archives. This one deals with five "new" aircraft in August of ’44. One mentioned is the P-61, and while the blurb on it is short it does point out some of its unique construction and flight abilities.

    Goto:

    Popular Science - Google Books

    And I was remembering that speed correctly, landing at about 70mph. For that big an aircraft, with that kind of top speed (425), that is an amazing ability.

    Here is a rather dry link to the USAF about the aircraft.

    Goto:

    http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=2216
     
  8. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Thanks Clint, i appreciate any information i can get to this amazing aircraft. And pssst was in the city looking for a kit and found one in 1:48. Maybe that i´ll buy this.

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  9. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    mosat likley 425 unloaded, avg's about 350 like the LW fighters.

    interesting on stall speeds in the ETO the Widow it appears from recorded accts could not keep up with the Ju 87D's at night at such a slow speed I have to check on the noted speed ratio but the US birds overshot their targets continually
     
  10. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Erich, the top speed of the JU 87-D was at 408km/h and the Widow had 585km/h. So as you said, the overshot is normal for their higher speed they had to come closer.

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  11. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    yes but stated earlier the Widow was suppose to have dive brakes that even in level flight was suppose to counteract the speed difference to slow the Widow down to abnormal SLOW speeds. well it really did not work that way as was hoped. the Ju 87D could loiter in the air like a slug something that showed the effectiveness of the old girl though useless later in 44-45 and made a note for itself in the night ground attack role
     
  12. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    The JU87-D was over her date of expire but sometimes not bad. If you ever have the chance to fly with an aircraft in the night, try to estimate the distance to another aircraft its really hard work and as wrote above the last miles they had to fly by sight. So if they had highspeed the last 5 miles were only seconds to fly and a short time to react. Maybe that they wanted to come closer quick and dissapear as quick as they came, than it was not enough time to slow down and shot very accurate.

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  13. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    well Ulrich the nights that Ju's were intercepted were not that dark they just got onto their tails too quickly the Ju rear gunner responded and in many cases but not all the pilot thought quickly dropped it's bombs sometime prematurely and banked off, like I said I will include some rather interesting stories soon from both sides of the fence so we do not come up with perceptions which is easy to do. in the case of attacking Ju 87's it was during the Bulge operation and then in March of 45 for claims for the 422nd. speaking of improper ID two different Widow pilots claimed Do 217's at night during spring of 45 which appears need to be dis-allowed as non claims/kills as we still do not know what they engaged but it was not Dorniers and there are NO losses reecords for any LW A/C those eve of March 20/21, 1945. In reality and it is very sad to state this but 2 RAF Hudson III's were shot down by the two Widow pilots..........

    such is the night war for both sides.

    ~ will say the Ju D-3/D-5 for night ground attack were very effective not so much as accuarte night dive bomers as total nuisance raiders, slow methodical and with twin 2cm a dread on soft skinned vehicles for the Allies.
     
  14. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Erich, thats right! Wait till you have the correct info´s. Thats often happened that someone shot down the own ones! Bad thing!

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  15. uksubs

    uksubs Member

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    Photo of 1/48 scale Black widow
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Great uksubs, is it yours? Is it from Revell?

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  17. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    looks like a museum setting. note the white nose cap the ETO birds as well as the PTO birds were experimenting with different paints as well as fabrics to increase the rang e/reception of the A-I. the same thing applied to the LW Nachtjagd when they released the Berlin 240A-1 though few set some 35 and time limitations, what they did usually was experiment with the length of the nose cap cover instead of paint applications

    Junkin Judy #42- 5564 later had a black nose cap and a sharks mouth and eyes painted on the nose, faded D-Day markings was typical of the squadron......... the 422nd nfs. She was a P-61A-5
     
  18. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Erich, thanks for the extra information to the kit. If i´ll build this as an kit, have you pictures of an good painting of an Widow with an very successful crew? Have seen some on the internet but no original pic of them. And are there some detailed coloured pics of the radar operators and the pilots place to find?

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  19. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    not sure on colours of the interior, as to crews yes several b/w fotos and of course the nose section of the Widows, not so much full length views but there are some of course, again in b/w. no paintings
     
  20. uksubs

    uksubs Member

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    Yes it is mine & it is the Revell kit
     

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