The P-61 Black Widow was the first U.S. military aircraft designed explicitly as a night fighter, the first fighter designed with radar, and the first U.S. warplane named after a living organism. The P-61 is also MotoArt’s first aircraft of 2023, and we are elated to share one Black Widow’s story with you - introducing 42-39445, a Northrop P-61B recovered and restored by the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum.
42-39445 is one of four remaining P-61s left in the world, and once its restoration is complete, it will be the only Black Widow capable of flight. While on a test flight in New Guinea during World War II, it collided with a mountain; amazingly, all members onboard survived. It remained forgotten but largely intact for over 45 years until it was recovered in 1991 and brought back to the U.S. through the hard work and sheer will of Eugene and Russ Strine and the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum. Since its recovery, the Strines and the Museum have devoted their efforts to restoring the aircraft to flying condition and sharing its incredible story with the world.
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