NORTHROP P-61 BLACK WIDOW

P-61 SERVICE

Manufacturer: Northrop Aircraft Inc., Hawthorne, California, USA
Model: NS-8A
Designations: P-61; F-15, F-61, F2T, R-15
Names: Black Widow; Reporter (F-15)
First official flight: (XP-61) 26/05/1942
Factory production period: 1942 - 1947
Primary service period: 1943 - 1949
Last official flight: (RF-61C) 1952

P-61 VARIANTS

1942 Model NS-8A XP-61 2  
1943 Model NS-8A YP-61 13 Total: 015
         
1943 Model NS-8A P-61A 200  
1944 Model NS-8A P-61B 450  
1945 Model NS-8A P-61C 41 Total: 691
         
1946 Model NS-8A F-15A 36 Total: 036

Grand Total: 742

P-61 PRODUCTION

XP-61
Prototype night-fighter, twin engine, twin boom.
Produced 1942

Northrop Hawthorne, California (NO)

41-19509, 41-19510 ?

Total: 002

YP-61
As XP-61, service test aircraft, engine upgrade.
Produced 1943

Northrop Hawthorne, California (NO)

41-18876 / 41-18888 ?

Total: 013

P-61A
As YP-61, revised canopy, last 155 with engine upgrade,
last 163 without top turret, combat modifications.
Redesignated as F-61A in 1948.
Produced

Northrop Hawthorne, California (NO)

42-5485 / 42-5634 ?  
42-39348 / 42-39397 ?

Total: 200

P-61B
As P-61A, longer nose - radar upgrade, top turret
re-installed on later airframes.
Redesignated as F-61B in 1948.
Produced

Northrop Hawthorne, California (NO)

42-39398 / 42-39757 ?  
43-8231 / 43-8320 ?

Total: 450

P-61C
As P-61B, engine / prop upgrade, air-brakes.
Redesignated as F-61C in 1948.
Produced

Northrop Hawthorne, California (NO)

43-8321 / 43-8361 ?

Total: 041

551 additional airframes cancelled.

F-15A Reporter
As XF-15A, photo reconn. version, redesigned
nose section for cameras, unarmed.
Later redesignated R-15A, then RF-61C in 1948.
Produced 1946 - 1947

Northrop Hawthorne, California (NO)

45-59300 / 45-59335 3201 / 3236

Total: 036

139 additional airframes cancelled.

 

Grand Total: 742

P-61 CONVERSIONS

USAAF

XP-61D 2 P-61A(42-5559, 42-5587), 1944-1946, major engine upgrade.
Original designation was XP-61C.
Conversions by Goodyear Aircraft Corp., Ohio.
XP-61E 2 P-61B(42-39549, 42-39557), 1945, major redesign of center section
and cockpit (bubble canopy), armament altered for day-fighter tests.
(XF-15) 1 XP-61E(42-39549), 1945, conversion with 6 cameras in modified nose.
XP-61F - Proposed conversion similar to XP-61E, cancelled.
P-61G 16 P-61B, 1945, weather reconnaissance conversions, unarmed.
Conversions by Douglas Aircraft Co., Oklahoma.
XP-61H - Proposed long-range conversion with fuel tank in place of gun turret.
Many P-61's field converted to this standard with same designation.
XF-15A 1 P-61C(43-8335), 1945, prototype conversion with XF-15 fuselage.
ZF-61A 1+ F-61A, redesignation as "obsolete".
EF-61C 1 F-61C(43-8357), conversion as electronics test aircraft.

US Navy

F2T-1N

12

P-61A, 1945-1947, crew trainers in service with the USMC.
Assigned BuNo. 52750 / 52761.

CIVILIAN SERVICE
 - Some P-61's sold on the civil market post WW2 as fire-bombers,
   private executive transports and circuit racers etc.

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