Hobby Boss Aircraft 1/32 P-61B Black Widow Kit

Accepting Back Orders - Will Ship When Available

$155.99 $199.99
SKU: HBB-83209

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Accepting Back Orders - Will Ship When Available

Even before the United States entered WWII, the importance of the still-secret RADAR (radio aids for detection and ranging) was impressed upon American planners as the British not only wanted to share the technology, they looked to the Americans to mass-produce the technology from the safety of their shores. The RAF had aircraft in the pipeline that could employ the first generations of airborne radar sets but their industry was already stretched to the limits and beyond. Together the US and Britain evolved radar technology to help them achieve greater air superiority of the night skies over the UK and the continent. In those early days before the US entered the war, US Army Air Corps planners wanted to get their own design for a dedicated radar fighter into production and Jack Northrop's concept was accepted for development. The design was radical as the resulting aircraft weighed more than some of the medium bombers in service. With an empty weight of over 23,000 pounds, the P-61 weighed a ton more than an empty B-25 Mitchell. The P-61 was powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney R2800 engines rated at 2250 horsepower (each) and carried a crew of three. The engines not only made the P-61 as fast as a de Havilland Mosquito, they could also produce the electrical power needed for the huge radar set and other on-board equipment.

The P-61 was armed with four 20mm cannons mounted in the belly of the fuselage similar to the Mosquito and the Heinkel He 219. A turret was mounted on top of the fuselage that could accommodate four .50 caliber machine guns that could be aimed 360 degrees around the aircraft or locked in boresight with the 20mm guns. Because the guns were mounted in the aircraft centerline (vice out in the wings) they didn't have the convergence problem that wing-mounted guns have and simply fire where they're aimed. To help the aiming further, the Black Widow had innovative roll control designed into the wing. The aircraft had nearly full-span flaps for improved low-speed performance with only two very small ailerons at the wing ends. To make the aircraft turn, Northrop employed spoilers in each wing which also eliminated the problem of adverse yaw as you're turning into a target.

The P-61 saw service in Europe, Pacific, CBI, and Mediterranean theaters during the war and would continue to provide US air defense support through 1948 and air defense in the Pacific through 1950.

  • Detailed cockpits (front, center, and rear)
  • Rear cockpit as detailed radar set that will be seen through the clear rear cone
  • Control console details provided as decals
  • Vinyl parts for oxygen hoses and cooling duct
  • Positionable crew entry doors
  • Metal nose ballast
  • Detailed ventral gun bay with vinyl ammo chutes
  • Positionable ventral gun bay doors
  • Detailed dorsal gun turret with vinyl ammo belts
  • Detailed radar set under radome
  • Positionable canopies
  • Positionable spoilervators
  • Positionable elevators
  • Positionable rudders
  • Positionable flaps
  • Detailed landing gear
  • Detailed engines (that you won't see if you paint the clear cowlings)
  • Detailed leading edge engine intake ducts
  • Choice of open or closed cowl flaps

Markings are provided for two aircraft:

  • P-61B-2-NO, 42-39414, 6 NFS, 1945, 'Sleepy Time Gal II'
  • P-61B-15-NO, 4239713, 547 NFS, 1945, 'Lady in the Dark'

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