The first aircraft to be purposely designed as a radar-equipped nightfigher, Northrop's P-61 Black Widow was heavily influenced by early RAF combat experience with radar-equipped aircraft in the years 1940/41 of World War II (1939-1945). Built essentially around the bulky Radiation Laboratory SCR-720 radar, which was mounted in the aircraft's nose, the P-61 proved to be the largest fighter ever produced for frontline service by the USAAF. Twin-engined and twin-boomed, the Black Widow was armed with a dorsal barbette of four 0.50-in Browning machine guns and two ventrally-mounted 20 mm cannon. This volume features all the frontline users of the mighty P-61, and includes many first-hand accounts from pilots and gunners who saw action in the Pacific, Mediterranean and Western Europe.
About the Author
Warren Thompson has written three books on the Korean War for Osprey in the past, including the best-selling Korean War Aces in the Aircraft of the Aces series. He is also an official historian of the P-61 aircrew association.
Mark Styling has previously written Aircraft of the Aces 8 - "Corsair Aces of World War 2," He has been researching the B-26 Marauder for more than 15 years, and in that time has unearthed a wealth of new information and photographs. Styling has illustrated many titles for Osprey including the Aircraft of the Aces, Combat Aircraft and Elite Units series since 1994. Now based in Bridport, Dorset, he creates accurate illustrations of any chosen aircraft type. He produces some of the best artwork available to Osprey. The author lives in Dorset, UK.
"The P-61 Black Widow is one of the most interesting aircraft of WWII. Although it did not serve in great numbers, this technologically advanced aircraft had a pioneering role as a night fighter using radar and heavy armament to intercept enemy planes... The book has an appendix of P-61 victories, units and specifications of the different variants. Illustrated with many waritme photographs, the book also includes an extensive color plate and aircraft profile section." -www.pacificwrecks.com