The P-61 was the United States' first dedicated night fighter and the first such aircraft specifically designed to use radio detection and ranging ( radar ). It was an all-metal construction with a double radial engine and double tail. The P-61, named after the venomous black widow spider found in South America, was developed during World War II and made its maiden flight on May 26, 1942. In October 1943, the first series aircraft left the production facilities, and the last aircraft was in service with the USA until 1954.
The B variant was armed with four 20mm cannons in the lower fuselage and four 12.7mm Brownings in a rotating mount on the fuselage spine. In addition, 2,900 kg bomb load or six launch tubes for rockets and additional tanks could be carried under the wings.
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