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Roy Alba of AlbaPaintings.com

      Black Widow

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18" X 24" X 5/8", stretched canvas, oil & acrylic, $300, free shipping in USA & Canada

The painting is entitled Black Widow. This aircraft is also known as the P-61. The painting is accompanied the song "Straighten Up and Fly Right". During the Battle of Britain in 1940, Britain suffered nightly German air raids that particularly targeted large cities. At this time, British fighters have difficulty moving at night because of the absence of landmarks. American industrialists supporting Britain’s defense are involved in the development of a new aircraft and are drawing inspiration from the work for the Royal Air Force to develop a fighter for their own Air Force. Jack Northrop, an American aerospace engineer, proposes the creation of an interceptor plane capable of evolving in the dark while detecting other aircraft. In 1941, the design work of the first prototypes began: this fighter, which had three crew members (pilot, gunner and radar operator), had a dorsal turret with four 12.7 mm Browning machine guns. the firing control is directly related to the onboard radar, an SCR-720 transceiver located in the nose of the aircraft. The operating mode of the radar is to broadcast the echoes of other devices on a first screen, to adapt the tracking, then apply specific lights by following the target on another screen. The radar operator read the information he transmitted in real time to the pilot and eventually to the gunner. The first P-61 of the 422nd Night Fighter Squadron are deployed in Normandy. Yet it is in the Pacific, where the hunters are also deployed, that they know their baptism of fire: June 30, 1944, a Japanese Mitsubishi G4M is shot down by a device of the 6th Night Fighter Squadron. The P-61 Black Widow did not have a decisive operational career as its development period was particularly long given the high degree of technological complexity it represented at the time. Lacking speed and range to remain competitive until the end of the Second World War, he nevertheless participated in revolutionizing air combat with his new navigation and detection instruments. More than thirteen different versions were produced and made operational compared to the original model during the war. August 9, 1954 marks the end of service of the P-61 Black Widow with the US government.   Maximum speed: 365.99 mph Maiden flight: May 26, 1942 Length: 49 feet 7 inches Wingspan: 66 feet 0 inches Introduced: 1944 

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