The P-61 Black Widow how it looked like in June 2103. Accordingly to the museum's director Russ Strine the aircraft looks the same now as they are working on the internal systems.

The P-61 Black Widow in June 2103. According to MAAM’s director, Russ Strine, the aircraft looks much the same externally today as the museum is working on the outer wings and systems.

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.

The P-61's right-hand outer wing panel in MAAM's workshop undergoing initial disassembly in November, 2013. (photo via MAAM)

The P-61’s right-hand outer wing panel in MAAM’s workshop undergoing initial disassembly in November, 2013. (photo via MAAM)

The beautifully restored Radio Operator's compartment . ( Image credit MAAM)

The beautifully restored Radio Operator’s compartment . ( Image credit MAAM)

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.

So please do visit the Kickstarter site sometime soon, and contribute if you can.

Click HERE to find the link.   


  1. Harold Morris says:

    I fly a radio control P-61 with a 114 inch wing span, it is an awesome plane and very fast. I love the plane, I talked to a neighbor to the pilot that crashed the one you are restoring. Very interesting story he told me, sad ending as the guy took his own life according to the guy I talked to.

  2. Patrick Carnerie says:

    MAAM exceeded there Kickstarter funding goal and then some. Glad to see this project’s continued success, Way to go!!!!

  3. Mr. K. Holcomb says:

    Can hardly wait to see her in the air again! I try keep my Dad updated on the progress. He would love to see a 61 in the air just one more time. Dad was a crew chief on a 61, with the 427th NFS…CBI. I grew up hearing all about the P-61 and have always hoped to see one in the air. Hopefully, Dad will still be around to see it with me too!

  4. Wow! Hey guys, it’s been over a year since your last update. How are those outer wing sections coming, and the rest of the aircraft?

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