Black Widow: America’s P-61 Night-Fighter

Sep 18, 2022 | Aviation, Videos

Nowadays, for many people, the name “black widow” is associated with the Marvel female superhero character. Scarlet Johansson has portrayed the deceiving character to perfection, and thanks to the success of Marvel movies, the “black widow” name has become an iconic and cult name.

But for people in the military industry, “black widow” is associated with the first ever aircraft designed by the US Military to use radar. The Black Widow had a crew of three members, and was designed as a night interceptor.

With a maximum speed of 366mph at 20,000 feet, the P-61 had a range of 610 mi. The documentary shows the Black Widow in its full glory with the all-metal body and twin-engine. The Black Widow made its first flight on May 26, 1942. The aircraft was in service for more than 10 years, with the government retiring the P-61 in 1954.

The Black Widow was used widely by the US military in the Pacific, the European front, and the Mediterranean area. The black widow was actually part of the last allied air victory before VJ Day.

For those keeping score, the Black Widow Marvel character debuted in 1964, 10 years after the retirement of the popular aircraft.

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Riyan H.