Most of our readers will be aware of the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum’s Herculean efforts to restore Northrop P-61B Black Widow 42-39445 back to flying condition. The museum and its volunteers have been working on this project since their epic 1991 recovery of the Black Widow from its crash site atop Mt. Cyclops, Indonesia, where it had lain since January, 1945. It’s a complex beast indeed, and the original, overly-optimistic 3 year restoration plan has stretched somewhat. But today, the aircraft is roughly 70% complete. The fuselage, tail booms, and wing center section stand upon their own undercarriage and the outer wing panels are the last major hurdle in completing the structural restoration work.
In November, museum volunteers modified the center-section wing jig to fit the 20 foot long, 12 foot deep right-hand outer wing. They are currently disassembling the wing panel, but need to raise roughly US$35,000 to cover the cost of rebuilding its spar. As such, they have chosen to try a Kickstarter Campaign to raise the necessary funds. There’s always a very tight time limit on Kickstarter Campaigns, and the museum won’t receive any campaign pledges unless they at least reach the $35,000 target.