The Mid Atlantic Air Museum reached a milestone on the road to fully restoring and returning its now famous Northrop P-61 “Black Widow” restoration project to airworthy condition. During the last weekend in April, 2006, Museum crews move the three major components from the restoration shop where they took shape since 1991. The left and right inner wing or engine nacelles were mated with the fuselage, after which the landing gear was lowered and locked for the first time since January, 1945.
Cockpit 8/25/06Crew Pod Aft From Cockpit 8/25/06Forward Crew Pod 8/25/06Right Engine Mount 8/25/06Radar Installation in the Nose 8/25/0620MM Hispano Cannon Viewed From the Right Side 8/25/0620MM Hispano Canon Viewed From Left Side 8/25/06Two of the Four 20MM Hispano Cannon Hanging In Their Mounts 8/25/06Left Main Gear 8/25/06Nose Gear With Fender Installed 8/25/06Radar Operator’s Compartment 8/25/06Oxygen Bottles in Right Nacelle 8/25/06Radio Installation 8/25/06Left Main Gear Well 8/25/06Wing Fairing 8/25/06Wing Fairing 8/25/06Aft Windows Installed 8/35/06Right Gear and Original Skin Panel 8/25/06One of the Tail Booms in a Jig Cleaned and Ready for Repair 10/31/06Tail Boom 10/31/06The Other Tail Boom Awaiting Repair 10/31/06Interior of Tail Boom 10/31/06Cannon Muzzle Surround 10/31/06Original Cannon Door 10/31/06Exterior View of The Cannon Access Door 10/31/06Interior View of The Cannon Access Door 10/31/06Plexiglass Windows are Installed 10/31/06Plexiglass Windows are Installed 10/31/06Plexiglass Windows are Installed 10/31/06Relief Tube System Above the Gun Bay 10/31/06Rear Compartment Glass 10/31/06Don Youngblood Shows Hydraulic Lines 10/31/06Don Youngblood Trial Fits Armor Plate 10/31/06Unfinished Wing Filet in Place 10/31/06Wing Fairing and Inspection Panel 10/31/06Canon Door Installed 10/31/06Wing Fairing 10/31/06One of the Vertical Fins 10/31/06Throttle Quadrant Installation 10/31/06Radar Operators Compartment Ladder 10/31/06Radar Operators Compartment 10/31/06Radar Operators Compartment 10/31/06Radar Operators Compartment 10/31/06Oxygen Regulator and Gauges 10/31/06Cockpit 10/31/06Flap Control Lever 10/31/06Cockpit 10/31/06Don Youngblood in the Fuselage 10/31/06T.J. Radway Works On The Glass In the Radar Operators Compartment 10/31/06The Gunners Seat With Gun Control Handles 1/3/07Gunners Seat 1/3/07Riveting on a Tail Boom 1/3/07Inside of a Tail Boom 1/3/07Work Proceeds on the Gun Bay 1/3/07Temporary Noseart 1/3/07Work Underway on Vertical Tail Assemblies 2/22/07Work Underway on Vertical Tail Assemblies 2/22/07Work Underway on Vertical Tail Assemblies 2/22/07Work Underway on Vertical Tail Assemblies 2/22/07P-61 Pilot Robert G. Blinder With The P-61 Model at MAAM’s 17th Annual World War II Weekend 6/1/07P-61 and Model P-61 on Display 6/1/07P-61 on Display at World War Weekend 6/1/07P-61 and Model P-61 on Display 6/1/07P-61 and Model P-61 on Display 6/1/07Unrestored Rudder Tests Against a Tail Boom 6/28/07T.J. Surveys His Work on the Tail Fin 6/28/07T.J. Works on the Tail Fin Tip 7/9/07Luke with Fin Number One 7/9/07Original and New Parts Joined in the First Tail Fin Frame 7/9/07Original and New Parts Joined in the First Tail Fin Frame 7/9/07The Tip of the Tail Fin Frame 7/9/07Gene Strine, Shows T.J. Radway How It’s Done 9/18/07The First Tail Fin Tip Ready For Installation 9/18/07T.J. Readies a Complex Leading Edge Skin Section For Attachment 9/18/07T.J. and Luke Work on the First Fin 9/18/07The First Tail Fin Takes Shape as the Majority of the Skin is Done 9/118/07TJ and Luke Work on the First Fin Under the Watchful Eye of Gene Strine 9/18/07Work Begins on the Second Fin 12/5/07Don and Luke Work On The Frame of the Second Tail Fin 12/5/07Don, Luke, And TJ Gang Up on The Second Tail Fin 12/5/07TJ Radway Working on the Second Tail Fin Frame 12/5/07Don Youngblood Works on the Second Tail Fin Frame 12/5/07Don and Luke Work Together on a Tail Fin 12/5/07A Bell Crank Installed in the Tail Boom 12/5/07Right Hand Fin Takes Shape in the Shop Beside a Tail Boom 4/26/08End On Shot of the Rudder Frame In Jig 4/26/08Rudder Frame in Jig 4/26/08Don Works on the Tail Boom Frame 4/26/08Control Surface Bell Crank 4/26/08TJ Radway Works on the Tail Boom Skin 4/26/08Left Fin In Its Constructed Frame 4/26/08Tail Boom In A Temporary Cradle 4/26/08New Skin Joins Old One On Tail Boom 4/26/08New Skin Joins Old On Tail Boom 4/26/08Vertical Stabilizer in Construction Frame 4/26/08Front View of Vertical Stabilizer in Construction Frame 4/26/08Newly Donated Model Stands Beneath Left Engine Mount 4/26/08Completed Left Vertical Fin In The Hangar 9/2/08Completed Right Vertical Fin In The Hangar 9/2/0820MM Cannon Removed in Preparation for the Gunsmith Restoration 9/2/08Luke Jones and TJ Radway Work on the Horiztonal Stabilizer in the Shop Yard 9/3/08Completed Stabilizer Fixture is Ready to Receive the Horizontal Stabilizer 9/3/08One of the Rudder Frames Begins to Take Shape 9/3/08Most of the Remaining Parts are Ready to Be Installed on Rudder 9/3/08Assembly of the Horizontal Stabilizer 2/13/09Bottom Side of Stabilizer Frame In Its Custom Built Fixture 2/13/09Top Side of Horizontal Stabilizer 2/13/09Water Laser Machine Cut Out of Four H-Stab Attachment Fittings 2/13/09Two H-Stab Attachment Fittings Before Machining 2/13/09Proof Test of Spar Extrusion Joggles 2/13/09Top-Center Engine Mount Braces 2/13/09Radar Operator’s Seat and Aft Glass Bubble 2/13/09Forward Entry Ladder and Nose Wheel Enclosure 2/13/09Swing Mount for the #2 SCR-720 Transmitter That Mounts in The Lower Cannon Bay 2/13/09New Skin is Cut for the Horizontal Stabilizer 2/13/09Horizontal Stabilizer is lifted into Place 3/5/09Don Youngblood Working On The Horizontal Stabilizer 3/9/09Work Continues On The Horizontal Stabilizer 3/9/09Engine Cowlings Ready For Installation 4/23/09Left Vertical Tail Fin In The Hangar 4/23/0920MM Cannon Undergo Surface Restoration 4/23/09Radome Removed For More Radar Work 8/26/09Horizontal Stabilizer Skin And Ribs 8/26/09Luke Jones Working On The Horizontal Stabilizer 8/26/09Radio Operator Compartment Observation Bubble 8/26/09Radio Operator Compartment Observation Bubble 8/26/09Radio Operator Compartment Upper Shelf 8/26/09Radio Operator Compartment Lower Shelf 8/26/09Pair of Cowling Speed Rings Ready For Installation 8/26/09Two New Tires For Installation 8/26/09Work Proceeds On The Horizontal Stabilizer 8/26/09Work Proceeds On The Horizontal Stabilizer 8/26/09Finished Horizontal Stabilizer 3/5/10Finished Horizontal Stabilizer 3/5/10Original Elevator Frame 3/5/10Original Elevator Frame 3/5/10Gunner’s Seat Frame With Sight Pedestal 3/5/10Elevator Takes Shape 4/4/10Left Boom Is Placed in Position 5/13/10Left Boom Being Placed 5/13/10Gene Strine Inspects The Joint 5/13/10Left Boom In Place 5/13/10Right Boom In Place 5/13/10Right Boom 5/13/10Luke Jones Works Inside The Boom 5/13/10Vertical and Horizontal Stabilizers Are Mounted 5/23/10Vertical And Horizontal Stabilizers Are Mounted 5/23/10Vertical And Horizontal Stabilizers Are Mounted 5/23/10The Black Widow With Tails Attached is Pulled Out Of The Hangar By Russ Strine 6/2/10The Black Widow With Tails Attached is Pulled Out Of The Hangar By Russ Strine 6/2/10The Black Widow With Tails Attached is Pulled Out Of The Hangar By Russ Strine 6/2/106/2/106/2/106/2/106/2/106/2/10The Black Widow On Display For The 20th Annual World War II Weekend 6/2/10The Black Widow On Display For The 20th Annual World War II Weekend 6/2/106/2/106/2/10R2800-65 QEC Being Readied For Temporary InstallationJohn Works On Wiring 3/23/11Cowl Flap Ring 3/23/11Wiring Harnesses Right Side Pilot’s Compartment 10/23/11Wiring Harnesses And Connectors On Right Side Turret Compartment 10/23/11SCR 720 Radar Antenna 10/23/11Turret Compartment Buss Bar Junction Box Wiring 10/23/11Gunners Cockpit Seat 10/23/11Night Binoculars 10/23/11Night Binoculars 10/23/11Night Binoculars 10/23/11Radar Operator’s Seat 10/23/11Power Junction Box And One of The Turret Ampliidynes 10/23/11Pilot Side Binocular Mounting Frame 10/23/11Pilot’s Lower Instrument Panel and Wiring 10/23/11Pilot’s Generator Control Panel 10/23/11Inboard Side Left Hand Wheel Well Wiring 10/23/11Connectors and Harnesses In Lower Right Turret Compartment Near Lower Rear Spar 10/23/11LH Nacelle Battery Wiring And Connector 10/23/11LH Side Pilot’s Compartment Wiring Installation 10/23/11LH Nacelle Firewall and Engine Wiring Harness 10/23/11Heater Installation and Wiring in RR Gunners Cockpit 10/23/11Gun Turret Control Box and Wire Harness 10/23/11Looking Aft From Gunners Cockpit 10/23/11Junction Box and Wiring Harness RH Turret Compartment 10/23/11External Power Receptacle 10/23/11Circuit Breaker Panel Pilot RS 10/23/11Electrical Shop Bench With Drawings 10/23/1110/23/11RS Turret Junction Box 10/23/11Radar Wiring Harness 10/23/11Gene “Pappy” Strine Bucking Rivets 9/20/12Luke and Pappy Install Rivets On The Elevator Leading Edge 9/20/12Elevator 9/20/12Drop Tank 9/20/12Drop Tank Awaits Restoration 9/20/12Wiring And Hydraulics Right Rear Turret Compartment 9/20/12Gun Compartment Showing the Two Lower 20MM Cannons 9/20/12Cannons 9/20/12Area Behind Instrument Panel With Armor Plate Removed 9/20/12Nose Gear Wiring to Control Switches and Lights 9/20/12Gunner’s Turret Control Box Mounted on RH Gunners Cockpit Wall 9/20/12Landing Gear Selector Handle Mounted Left of Center on Pilots Sub Panel 9/20/12Flap Control Handle 9/20/12Bail Out Bell 9/20/12Ammeters and Circuit Breaker Box on RH Pilots Wall 9/20/12RH Gunners Folder Armor Plate and Cockpit Heater 9/20/12Gunner’s LH Folding Armor Plate 9/20/12Propeller Switch Box Ready For Installation on LS of Cockpit 9/20/12Throttle Quadrant Awaits Being Strung Once Wiring Is Complete 9/20/12Wiring at Instrument Panel 9/20/12Instrument Panel 9/20/12Voltage Regulator Box Installed on Bulkhead in Gunner’s Compartment 9/220/12Turret Compartment Wiring 9/20/12Wiring on LH Turret Compartment Buss 9/20/12Wiring Harness Lower Right Fuselage 9/20/12RH Nose Gear Door Being Fitted 9/20/12Fitting New Leading Edge to Elevator 9/20/12LS Gunners Movable Armor Plate 8/11/13Night Binoculars in Stored Position 8/11/13LS Lower Fuselage Wiring Harness 8/11/13Completed Elevator Structure 8/11/13Pilot’s Electrical Panel and Harness 8/11/13Wiring RS of Turret Compartment 8/11/13Wiring on Lower Pilot’s Instrument Panel 8/11/13Nose Bulkhead Forward of Instrument Panel 8/11/13Ignition Light Panel, O2 Panel and Autopilot Hydraulic Pressure Gauges RH Pilots Compartment 8/11/13Pilot’s View of Night Binoculars 8/11/13RH Wing Root Pulled From Storage 8/11/13RS Gunners Wiring Harness 8/11/3Right Wing and Spoilers 8/11/13Right Wing Leading Edge 8/11/13Right Wing Outboard Showing Aileron Mount and Spoilers 8/11/13Right Wing Root and Ironwood Tree Damage 8/11/13Sliding Track for Pilot’s Night Binoculars 8/11/13Wiring Harness on LS of Cockpit 8/11/13View Into RO Compartment From Aft Ladder 8/11/13RO Compartment 8/11/13Nose Wheel Well Forward Entry 8/11/13Night Binoculars In Stowed Position 8/11/13Voltage Regulator Panel 8/11/13RH Wing Disassembly 8/11/13RH Wing of P-61 Being Disassembled 8/11/13Leading Edge Damage From Ironwood Trees 8/11/13Trailing Edge And Outboard SpoilersView of the Aft Side of the Inboard Spoiler 8/11/13Volunteer Cleaning Debris From Oil Tank And Oil Cooler Bay 8/11/13Inboard Spoiler Section Removed 8/11/13Cleaning Out The Oil Tank Bay 8/11/13Workman Drilling Off The Last Outboard Skin Panel 8/11/13Spoilers 8/11/13Small 22 Gallon Self Sealing Oil Tank 8/11/13RH Nose Landing Gear Door 8/11/13Trailing Edge Section Removed 8/11/13Right Wing Oil Cooler Scoop 6/28/16Right Wing Trailing Edge Parts 6/28/16Right Wing Trailing Edge 6/28/16Right Wing Trailing Edge and Flap Well 6/28/16Right Rear Wing Spar In Fixture 6/28/16Right Rear Wing Spar Build 6/28/16Curtiss Electric Propeller Parts Prior To Assembly 6/28/16Curtiss Electric Propeller Blades After Black Anodizing Process 6/28/16Curtiss Electric Propeller Assembly 6/28/16