Mid-Atlantic Air Museum's P-61 'Black Widow' Recovery and Restoration Project - The Widow's Web - The Restoration

THE RESTORATION

UPDATED

LATEST PHOTOS DECEMBER 18, 2013  *

 HIT YOUR BROWSER'S REFRESH BUTTON TO SEE THE LATEST ADDITIONS

FOLLOW THE PROGRESS OF THE P-61 RESTORATION THROUGH THIS PHOTOGRAPHIC CHRONOLOGY

IF YOU ARE A RETURNING VISITOR AND WISH TO SEE ONLY THE LATEST PROGRESS PHOTOS,   CLICK HERE.

 

OCTOBER 6, 1991
FORWARD CREW NACELLE

OCTOBER 6, 1991
LEFT INNER WING


OCTOBER 6, 1991
RIGHT INNER WING

DECEMBER 15, 1992
CREW NACELLE


DECEMBER 12, 1992
CREW NACELLE INTERIOR

DECEMBER 15, 1992
NOSE


JULY 24, 1994
THE CREW NACELLE -AFT

JULY 24, 1994
RIGHT NACELLE AND INNER WING


JULY 25, 1994
THE CREW NACELLE - FORWARD

SEPTEMBER 7, 1994
THE CREW NACELLE- REAR


MARCH 24, 1996
CREW NACELLE

JUNE 2, 1996
NOSE


NOVEMBER 10, 1997
CREW NACELLE

JANUARY 12, 1998
INSIDE THE CREW NACELLE


JANUARY 12, 1998
RUDDER PEDALS

JANUARY 12, 1998
AUTOPILOT ACTUATORS


OCTOBER 11, 1998
RIGHT VERTICAL STABLILIZER


OCTOBER 11, 1998
HORIZONTAL STABILIZER

JUNE 7, 1999
MAIN GEAR TIRE


JUNE 7, 1999
RIGHT NACELLE

FEBRUARY 15, 2000
ENGINE MOUNT


FEBRUARY 15, 2000
LEFT NACELLE

FEBRUARY 15, 2000
RIGHT NACELLE


FEBRUARY 15, 2000
RIGHT NACELLE

FEBRUARY 15, 2000
WIRE CODING MACHINE OPERATION


FEBRUARY 15, 2000
HEATER INSTALLED

FEBRUARY 15, 2000
COCKPIT


MARCH 7, 2000
NOSE GEAR STRUT

 

 

MARCH 7, 2000
CREW NACELLE - FORWARD

   

MARCH 7, 2000   
SCR 720 RADAR

JULY 22, 2000        
CREW NACELLE AND NOSE CONE


JULY 22, 2000     
REAR BULKHEAD

FEBRUARY 26, 2001
LEFT NACELLE


FEBRUARY 26, 2001
LEFT NACELLE

FEBRUARY 26, 2001
RIGHT NACELLE


FEBRUARY 26, 2001
RIGHT NACELLE

FEBRUARY 26, 2001
HYDRAULIC LINES AND CONTROL CABLES


FEBRUARY 26, 2001
REAR BULKHEAD


FEBRUARY 26, 2001
COCKPIT

FEBRUARY 26, 2001
COCKPIT


FEBRUARY 26, 2001
INSTRUMENT PANEL -LEFT SIDE

FEBRUARY 13 2003
20 MM CANNON


MARCH 13, 2003
LEFT NACELLE LOWER SPAR

APRIL 28, 2003
CREW NACELLE


MARCH 13, 2003
ONE OF THE VERTICAL TAIL FINS IN THE SHOP YARD

MARCH 16, 2002
CREW NACELLE INTERIOR


JUNE 9, 2003
RIGHT VERTICAL STABILIZER

JUNE 9, 2003
LEFT VERTICAL STABILIZER


MARCH 20, 2004
THE PLEXIGLASS TAIL CONE FOR THE RADAR OPERATOR'S COMPARTMENT

MARCH 20, 2004
MOLD FORM FOR THE CANOPY


MARCH 20, 2004
GENE STRINE WITH A PLEXIGLASS COCKPIT WINDOW

MARCH 20, 2004
PLEXIGLASS COCKPIT WINDOW


JUNE 5, 2004

JUNE 5, 2004
COCKPIT FRAME


JUNE 5, 2004
A 20MM CANNON IS INSTALLED

JULY 7, 2004
WORKING ON A TAIL BOOM


MARCH 19, 2005
COCKPIT

MARCH 19, 2005
COCKPIT


MARCH 19, 2005
THE UPPER CANOPY FRAME TKAES SHAPE


MARCH 19, 2005
LEFT NACELLE

MARCH 19, 2005
LEFT NACELLE


MARCH 19, 2005
PAPPY WORKS ON THE LEFT NACELLE WITH SKIN SHOWING OLD GRAFITTI

MARCH 19, 2005
LEFT NACELLE


MARCH 19, 2005
HYDRAULIC LINES RUNNING THROUGH THE BOTTOM OF THE NACELLE

MARCH 19, 2005
INSPECTION LEFT WITH OLD GRAFFITI FROM MT. CYCLOPS


JUNE 4, 2005
LEFT NACELLE

JUNE 4, 2005
LEFT NACELLE


JULY 23, 2005
LEFT NACELLE

AUGUST 19, 2005
THE CREW NACELLE IN ITS JIG


AUGUST 19, 2005
INTERIOR OF THE NACELLE

JAN 2, 2006
THE LEFT NACELLE


JAN 2, 2006
THE  GEAR WELL IN THE LEFT WING NACELLE

JAN 2, 2006
ONE OF THE ELEVATORS STANDS OUT IN THE SHOP YARD


JAN 2, 2006
REAR BULKHEAD TEMPLATE IN PLACE

JAN 2, 2006
THE NOSE LANDING GEAR IS MOUNTED


JAN 2, 2006
PAPPY AND JULIO WORKING ON THE INNER WING

JAN 2, 2006
CREW NACELLE INTERIOR


JAN 2, 2006
THE FOUR MOUNTED HISPANO 20MM CANNON MOUNTED IN THEIR BAY

JAN 2, 2006
FRONT "BULLET-PROOF" WINDSCREEN PROPPED IN PLACE


FEB 16, 2006
PAPPY WORKING ON THE MAIN GEAR

FEB 16, 2006
JULIO WORKING ON A SPAR


 

 


FEB 27, 2006
CREW POD AND RADAR NOSE

FEB 27, 2006
COCKPIT


MARCH, 2006
RADIO ANTENNA

MARCH, 2006
RON PRICE INSTALLS PLEXIGLASS INTO A COCKPIT WINDOW FRAME


MARCH, 2006
PLEXIGLASS PANELS READY FOR THEIR FRAMES

MARCH, 2006
THE RIGHT NACELLE WITH SOME OF ITS OXYGEN BOTTLES INSTALLED


MARCH, 2006
THE REAR OF THE LEFT NACELLE

MARCH, 2006
THE RADOME SITS IN ITS OWN CRADLE IN FRONT OF THE P-61


MARCH, 2006
A WHELL IS PRIMED AND READY FOR FINAL PAINT

MARCH, 2006
MIKE CORREL MACHINES YET ANOTHER PRECISION PART FROM SCRATCH



MOVING DAY

The Mid Atlantic Air Museum reaches a milestone on the road to fully restoring and returning its now famous Northrop P-61 “Black Widow” restoration project to airworthy condition.  During the last weekend in April, Museum crews move the three major components from the restoration shop where they have taken shape since 1991.  The left and right inner wing or engine nacelles were mated with the fuselage, after which the landing gear was lowered and locked for the first time since January, 1945.

APRIL 28, 2006
THE LEFT NACELLE IS READY TO MAKE ITS MOVE INTO THE HANGAR


APRIL 28, 2006
THE DOOR IS ROLLED UP IN PREPARATION FOR THE ROLL-OUT

APRIL 28, 2006
THE LEFT NACELLE JUST SQUEAKS THROUGH THE SHOP DOOR INTO THE HANGAR


APRIL 28, 2006
LEFT NACELLE ROLLS INTO THE HANGAR, FITTINGLY PUSHED BY GENE STRINE

APRIL 28, 2006
POSITIONING THE  LEFT NACELLE IN THE HANGAR


APRIL 28, 2006
 NOW ITS THE TURN OF THE RIGHT NACELLE TO BE WHEELED FROM THE SHOP

APRIL 28, 2006
THE RIGHT NACELLE JUST SQUEAKS THROUGH THE SHOP DOOR INTO THE HANGAR


APRIL 28, 2006
BOTH NACELLES  ARE IN POSITION IN THE HANGAR TO RECEIVE THE CREW POD

APRIL 28, 2006
THE P-61 CREW POD IS READIED FOR MOVE OUT OF THE RESTORATION SHOP

APRIL 28, 2006
GENE STRINE SMILES AS HIS P-61 CREW POD FINALLY DEPARTS THE SHOP

APRIL 28, 2006
MOMENTS LATER, THE CREW POD ENTERS THE HANGAR


APRIL 28, 2006
THE CREW POD IS IN THE HANGAR

APRIL 28, 2006
THE CREW POD AND RIGHT INNER WING ARE IN POSITION


APRIL 29, 2006
THE SLING FOR THE CREW POD IS READIED FOR THE LIFT


APRIL 29, 2006
BETSEY CARLISLE ADJUSTS THE SLING WHILE DAD DOUG AND T.J. RADWAY WATCH

APRIL 29, 2006
THE CRANE IS IN POSITION AND OPERATOR DOUG CARLISLE IS READY


APRIL 29, 2006
GENE "PAPPY" STRINE SUPERVISES THE OPERATION

APRIL 29, 2006
THE ASSEMBLY CREW CONSULTS


APRIL 29, 2006
T.J. RADWAY PREPARES WING BOLT

APRIL 29, 2006
JEFF ARENTZ PLACES A PART


APRIL 29, 2006
RUSS STRINE ADJUSTS WING BOLTS

APRIL 29, 2006
MIKE CORRELL MEASURES


APRIL 29, 2006
THE P-61 RESTS IN ITS CRADLE WITH THE INNER WINGS ATTACHED

APRIL 29, 2006
ALL THREE GEAR STRUTS ARE PARTIALLY EXTENDED


APRIL 29, 2006
CONSULTATIONS TAKE PLACE WHILE THE P-61 HANGS FROM THE CRANE SLING

APRIL 29, 2006
WITH THE P-61 SUSPENDED, THE CRADLE IS REMOVED


APRIL 29, 2006
RON PRICE SETS THE MAIN WHEEL BEARINGS


APRIL 29, 2006
THE MAIN WHEELS ARE MOUNTED ON THE GEAR STRUTS

APRIL 29, 2006
WITH THE P-61 ON JACK-STANDS, THE MAIN GEAR IS PREPARED


APRIL 29, 2006
THREE DOWN AND LOCKED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 61 YEARS

APRIL 29, 2006
RUSS STRINE 'PILOTS' THE P-61 FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME


APRIL 29, 2006
THE WIDOW IS POSITIONED FOR HER PHOTO-OP

 

APRIL 29, 2006
FRONT- QUARTER VIEW


APRIL 29, 2006
REAR- QUARTER VIEW

APRIL 29, 2006
FOUR 20 MM CANNON IN BELLY


APRIL 29, 2006
LEFT SIDE VIEW

APRIL 29, 2006
RIGHT SIDE OF THE P-61 GLEAMS IN THE SUN


APRIL 29, 2006
RADAR INSTALLATION EXPOSED TO THE DAYLIGHT

APRIL 29, 2006
AFTER HER MOMENT IN THE SUN, THE WIDOW IS RETURNED TO THE HANGAR


APRIL 29, 2006
IN PLACE AMONG HANGAR-MATES

APRIL 29, 2006
COME SEE IT YOURSELF


IN THE HANGAR, AS IN THE RESTORATION SHOP, THE WORK GOES ON

AUGUST 25, 2006
COCKPIT

AUGUST 25, 2006
CREW POD AFT FROM COCKPIT


AUGUST 25, 2006
FORWARD CREW POD

AUGUST 25, 2006
RIGHT ENGINE MOUNT


AUGUST 25, 2006
RADAR INSTALLATION IN THE NOSE

AUGUST 25, 2006
20MM HISPANO CANNON VIEWED FROM THE RIGHT SIDE


AUGUST 25, 2006
20MM HISPANO CANNON VIEWED FROM THE LEFT SIDE

AUGUST 25, 2006
TWO OF THE FOUR 20MM HISPANO CANNON HANGING IN THEIR MOUNTS


AUGUST 25, 2006
LEFT MAIN GEAR

AUGUST 25, 2006
NOSE GEAR WITH FENDER INSTALLED


AUGUST 25, 2006
RADAR OPERATOR'S COMPARTMENT

AUGUST 25, 2006
OXYGEN BOTTLES INSTALLED IN RIGHT NACELLE


AUGUST 25, 2006
RADIO INSTALLATION

AUGUST 25, 2006
LEFT MAIN GEAR WELL


  
AUGUST 25, 2006
WING FAIRINGS

AUGUST 25, 2006
AFT WINDOWS INSTALLED

AUGUST 25, 2006
RIGHT GEAR AND ORIGINAL SKIN PANEL


OCTOBER 31, 2006
ONE OF THE TAIL BOOMS IN A JIG, CLEANED AND READY FOR DENT REPAIRS

OCTOBER 31, 2006
THE OTHER BOOM AWAITS ITS TURN

OCTOBER 31, 2006
INTERIOR OF THE BOOM


OCTOBER 31, 2006
CANNON MUZZLE SURROUND PANEL

OCTOBER 31, 2006
ORIGINAL CANNON DOOR


OCTOBER 31, 2006
EXTERIOR VIEW OF THE CANNON ACCESS DOOR

 

OCTOBER 31, 2006
INTERIOR VIEW OF THE CANNON ACCESS DOOR

 


OCTOBER 31, 2006
ALL THE PLEXIGLAS  WINDOWS ARE INSTALLED

OCTOBER 31, 2006
RELIEF TUBE SYSTEM ABOVE THE GUN BAY

OCTOBER 31, 2006
REAR COMPARTMENT GLASS


OCTOBER 31, 2006
DON YOUNGBLOOD SHOWS HYDRAULIC LINES & TRIAL FITS AN ARMOR PLATE

OCTOBER 31, 2006
UNFINISHED WING FILET IN PLACE

OCTOBER 31, 2006
WING FAIRING AND INSPECTION/ACCESS PANEL


OCTOBER 31, 2006
CANNON DOOR INSTALLED

OCTOBER 31, 2006
WING FAIRING


OCTOBER 31, 2006
ONE OF THE VERTICAL TAILS

OCTOBER 31, 2006
THROTTLE QUADRANT INSTALLED


OCTOBER 31, 2006
THE RADAR OPERATOR'S COMPARTMENT IN THE REAR OF THE CREW POD HAS ITS ENTRY HATCH AND LADDER INSTALLED, ALONG WITH ITS WARTIME RADIOS.

OCTOBER 31, 2006
 THE COCKPIT:   THE FLAP CONTROL LEVER IS ABOVE THE THROTTLE QUADRANT.  THE OXYGEN REGULATOR IS ON THE RIGHT SIDE AND ITS GAUGES FORWARD OF IT.
IN THE LOWER COCKPIT SHOT, AUTO-PILOT HYDRAULIC CONTROLS ARE ON THE LOWER RIGHT AND THE RED FUEL TANK SELECTOR LEVERS ARE ON THE LEFT.

 OCTOBER 31, 2006
DON YOUNGBLOOD IN THE FUSELAGE

OCTOBER 31, 2006
T. J. RADWAY  WORKS ON THE GLASS IN THE RADAR OPERATOR'S COMPARTMENT


JANUARY 3, 2007
THE GUNNERS SEAT WITH THE GUN CONTROL HANDLES IN THE SHOP

JANUARY 3, 2007
RIVETING SKIN ON A TAIL BOOM

JANUARY 3, 2007
THE INSIDE OF THE TAIL BOOM


JANUARY 3, 2007
WORK PROCEEDS ON THE GUN BAY

JANUARY 3, 2007
TEMPORARY NOSE ART


FEBRUARY 22, 2007
WORK IS UNDERWAY ON THE VERTICAL TAIL ASSEMBLIES

P-61 PILOT CAPTAIN ROBERT G. BOLINDER  POSES WITH THE P-61 MODEL UNDER THE REAL THING  AT MAAM'S  17TH ANNUAL WORLD WAR II WEEKEND, JUNE 1-3, 2007


P-61 AND ITS LITTLE SISTER ON DISPLAY IN THE HANGAR AT MAAM'S  17TH ANNUAL WORLD WAR II WEEKEND, JUNE 1-3, 2007


 

JUNE 28, 2007
UNRESTORED RUDDER RESTS AGAINST A TAIL BOOM

JUNE 28, 2007
T.J. SURVEYS HIS WORK ON THE TAIL FIN


JULY 9, 2007
T.J. WORKS ON THE TAIL FIN TIP


JULY 9, 2007
LUKE "LAYING DOWN ON THE JOB" WITH FIN NUMBER ONE

JULY 9, 2007
ORIGINAL AND NEW PARTS JOINED IN THE FIRST TAIL FIN FRAME


JULY 9, 2007
ORIGINAL AND NEW PARTS JOINED IN THE FIRST TAIL FIN FRAME

JULY 9, 2007
THE TIP OF THE TAIL FIN FRAME


SEPTEMBER 18, 2007
GENE STRINE, THE MASTER, SHOWS JOURNEYMAN T.J. RADWAY HOW IT'S DONE

SEPTEMBER 18, 2007
THE FIRST TAIL FIN TIP READY FOR INSTALLATION


SEPTEMBER 18, 2007
T.J. READIES A COMPLEX LEADING EDGE SKIN SECTION FOR ATTACHMENT

SEPTEMBER 18, 2007
T.J. AND LUKE WORK ON THE FIRST FIN


SEPTEMBER 18, 2007
THE FIRST TAIL FIN TAKES SHAPE AS THE MAJORITY OF THE SKIN IS ON THE FRAME

SEPTEMBER 18, 2007
T.J. AND LUKE WORK ON THE FIRST FIN UNDER THE WATCHFUL EYE OF GENE STRINE


SEPTEMBER 18, 2007
T.J. AND LUKE SKIN THE FIRST TAIL FIN

DECEMBER 5, 2007
WITH THE FIRST TAIL FIN DONE,  THE TEAM  WORKS ON ITS MATE'S FRAME IN THE JIG


DECEMBER 5, 2007
DON AND LUKE WORK  ON THE FRAME OF THE SECOND TAIL FIN

DECEMBER 5, 2007
DON, LUKE, AND T.J.  GANG UP ON THE SECOND TAIL FIN


DECEMBER 5, 2007
T.J. RADWAY WORKING ON THE SECOND TAIL FIN FRAME

DECEMBER 5, 2007
DON YOUNGBLOOD WORKS ON THE SECOND TAIL FIN FRAME


DECEMBER 5, 2007
DON AND LUKE  WORK TOGETHER ON A TAIL FIN

DECEMBER 5, 2007
A BELL-CRANK INSTALLED IN ONE OF THE TAIL BOOMS


APRIL 26, 2008
RIGHT-HAND FIN TAKES SHAPE IN THE SHOP BESIDE A TAIL BOOM

APRIL 26, 2008
END-ON SHOT OF ONE OF THE RUDDER FRAMES IS SET UP IN ITS JIG


APRIL 26, 2008
ONE OF THE RUDDER FRAMES IS SET UP IN ITS JIG

APRIL 26, 2008
DON YOUNGBLOOD WORKS ON THE TAIL BOOM FRAME


APRIL 26, 2008
CONTROL SURFACE BELL CRANK

APRIL 26, 2008
T.J. RADWAY WORKS ON THE TAIL BOOM SKIN


APRIL 26, 2008
LEFT FIN IN ITS CONSTRUCTION FRAME

APRIL 26, 2008
ONE OF THE TAIL BOOMS IN A TEMPORARY CRADLE


APRIL 26, 2008
NEW SKIN JOINS OLD ON ONE OF THE TAIL BOOMS IN ITS CONSTRUCTION FRAMES

APRIL 26, 2008
NEW SKIN JOINS OLD ON ONE OF THE TAIL BOOMS IN ITS CONSTRUCTION FRAMES


APRIL 26, 2008
ONE OF THE VERTICAL STABILIZERS IN ITS CONSTRUCTION FRAME

APRIL 26, 2008
FRONT VIEW  OF THE VERTICAL STABILIZERS IN ITS CONSTRUCTION FRAME


APRIL 26, 2008
NEWLY DONATED MODEL STANDS BENEATH BIG SISTER'S LEFT ENGINE MOUNT

SEPTEMBER 2, 2008
COMPLETED LEFT VERTICAL FIN IN THE HANGAR



SEPTEMBER 2, 2008
COMPLETED RIGHT  VERTICAL FIN IN THE HANGAR

SEPTEMBER 2, 2008
20 MM CANNON REMOVED IN PREPARATION FOR THE  GUNSMITH'S RESTORATION


SEPTEMBER 3, 2008
LUKE JONES AND T.J. RADWAY  WORK ON THE HORIZONTAL STABILIZER IN THE SHOP YARD

SEPTEMBER 3, 2008
THE COMPLETED STABILIZER FIXTURE IS READY TO RECEIVE THE HORIZONTAL STABILIZER


SEPTEMBER 3, 2008
ONE OF THE RUDDER FRAMES BEGINS TO TAKE SHAPE

SEPTEMBER 3, 2008
MOST OF THE REMAINING PARTS ARE READY TO BE INSTALLED


FEBRUARY 13, 2009
ASSEMBLY OF THE HORIZONTAL STABILIZER

FEBRUARY 13, 2009
BOTTOM SIDE OF STABILZER FRAME IN ITS CUSTOM-BUILT REWORKING FIXTURE


FEBRUARY 13, 2009
TOP SIDE OF HORIZONTAL STABILIZER FRAME

FEBRUARY 13, 2009
WATER LASER MACHINE CUT-OUT OF FOUR H-STAB ATTACHMENT FITTINGS


FEBRUARY 13, 2009
TWO H-STAB ATTACHMENT FITTINGS BEFORE MACHINING
 

FEBRUARY 13, 2009
PROOF TEST SAMPLES OF SPAR EXTRUSION JOGGLES.
DIES WERE CUT TO PRESS JOGGLES INTO THE NEW EXTRUSIONS


FEBRUARY 13, 2009
ONE OF THE TOP-CENTER ENGINE MOUNT BRACES WHICH MOUNTS ON TOP OF THE MAIN FUEL TANK BAY

FEBRUARY 13, 2009
RADAR OPERATOR'S SEAT AND THE AFT GLASS BUBBLE


FEBRUARY 13, 2009
THE FORWARD ENTRY LADDER AND NOSE-WHEEL ENCLOSURE

FEBRUARY 13, 2009
SWING MOUNT FOR THE #2 SCR-720 TRANSMITTER/RECEIVER THAT MOUNTS IN THE LOWER CANNON BAY


FEBRUARY 13, 2009
THE FIRST NEW SKIN IS CUT FOR THE HORIZONTAL STABILIZER

MARCH 5, 2009
GENE STRINE CHECKS THE FIRST PIECES OF SKIN FITTED TO THE HORIZONTAL
STABILIZER


MARCH 9, 2009
DON YOUNGBLOOD WORKING ON THE HORIZONTAL STABILIZER

MARCH 9, 2009
WORK CONTINUES ON THE HORIZONTAL STABILIZER


APRIL 23, 2009
ENGINE COWLINGS READY FOR INSTALLATION

APRIL 23, 2009
LEFT VERTICAL TAIL FIN IN THE HANGAR


APRIL 23, 2009
20MM CANNON UNDERGO SURFACE RESTORATION

AUGUST 26, 2009
RADOME REMOVED FOR MORE RADAR WORK


AUGUST 26, 2009
HORIZONTAL STABILIZER SKIN AND RIBS

AUGUST 26, 2009
LUKE JONES WORKING ON THE HORIZONTAL STABILIZER


AUGUST 26, 2009
RADIO OPERATOR COMPARTMENT OBSERVATION BUBBLE

AUGUST 26, 2009
RADIO OPERATOR COMPARTMENT OBSERVATION BUBBLE


AUGUST 26, 2009
RADIO OPERATOR COMPARTMENT UPPER SHELF

AUGUST 26, 2009
RADIO OPERATOR COMPARTMENT LOWER SHELF


AUGUST 26, 2009
PAIR OF COWLING SPEED RINGS READY FOR EVENTUAL INSTALLATION

AUGUST 26, 2009
TWO NEW 47" SC TIRES FOR INSTALLATION


AUGUST 26, 2009
WORK PROCEEDS ON THE HORIZONTAL STABILIZER

AUGUST 26, 2009
WORK PROCEEDS ON THE HORIZONTAL STABILIZER


DECEMBER 8, 2009
THE HORIZONTAL STABILIZER IS COMPLETE

DECEMBER 8, 2009
THE HORIZONTAL STABILIZER IS COMPLETE


MARCH 5, 2010
THE ORIGINAL ELEVATOR FRAME STANDS BENEATH THE FINISHED HORIZONTAL STABILIZER

MARCH 5, 2010
THE GUNNER'S SEAT FRAME WITH SIGHT PEDESTAL

APRIL 4, 2010
THE ELEVATOR TAKES SHAPE


MAY 13, 2010
THE LEFT BOOM IS MOVED INTO POSITION
MAY 13, 2010
TWEAKING THE LEFT BOOM POSITION

MAY 13, 2010
GENE STRINE INSPECTS THE JOIN

MAY 13, 2010
LEFT BOOM IN PLACE


MAY 13, 2010
RIGHT BOOM IN PLACE

MAY 13, 2010
THE RIGHT BOOM IN POSITION


MAY 13, 2010
LUKE JONES WORKS INSIDE THE BOOM

MAY 23, 2010

THE VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL STABILIZERS ARE MATED TO THE TAIL BOOMS AS THE P-61 IS READIED FOR ROLL-OUT AT WORLD WAR II WEEKEND
 


JUNE 2, 2010

THE BLACK WIDOW, WITH TAIL BOOMS, AND VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL STABILIZERS ATTACHED, IS PULLED OUT OF THE HANGAR BY RUSS STRINE AND HIS GROUND CREW.

JUNE 2, 2010

THE BLACK WIDOW TAKES ITS PLACE UNDER THE TENT FOR DISPLAY AT THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY WORLD WAR II WEEKEND
 


JUNE 3, 2010

THE AUTHORS OF  "FORGOTTEN WIDOW" AUTOGRAPH COPIES OF THE NEW BOOK AT WORLD WAR II WEEKEND.  FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, SHARON WELLS WAGNER, GENE STRINE, STEVE WAGNER, AND RUSS STRINE.


 

OCTOBER  25, 2010

THE P-61 WITH HORIZONTAL STABILIZER, VERTICAL STABILIZER AND TAIL BOOMS INSTALLED.
IN THE BACKGROUND, ENGINE COWLING SPEED RINGS AND NEW TIRES AWAIT THEIR TURN FOR INSTALLATION.

JUNE 3, 2010

PROGRESS REMAINS STEADY EACH WEEK.  HERE, FUSELAGE WIRING HARNESSES ARE BEING INSTALLED.

 


JUNE 3, 2010

A P-61 R2800-65 QEC ENGINE IS BEING READIED FOR TEMPORARY INSTALLATION ON THE AIRCRAFT.
THE ENGINE WILL BE REMOVED FOR OVERHAUL AND THEN RE-INSTALLED AS A REAL TIME COMPLETION DATE IS ESTABLISHED. MEANWHILE, IT WILL SERVE AS A MUCH NEEDED COUNTERWEIGHT AND PATTERN AS MORE EQUIPMENT IS INSTALLED ON THE AIRFRAME.  MAAM ACQUIRED THE QEC IN "WWII NEW" CONDITION SOON AFTER BEING BROUGHT HOME FROM AN INDIVIDUAL IN VERMILLION, SOUTH DAKOTA.

JUNE 3, 2010

THE P-61 IS A BIG ATTRACTION AND AN IMPRESSIVE SIGHT AS IT SITS IN THE MUSEUM DISPLAY HANGAR.  VISITORS CAN WATCH AS THE ACTUAL RESTORATION PROCEEDS IN PLAIN VIEW.


JUNE 3, 2010

THE P-61 ELEVATOR DRAWS NEARER TO COMPLETION.  EACH RIB HAS FACE PLATES SPOT WELDED TO ITS FLANGES.  THESE PLATES HOLD THE CLIPS WHICH WILL ULTIMATELY ATTACH THE FABRIC COVERING.

JUNE 3, 2010

 THE PROCESS OF FITTING AND DRILLING THE NEW SHEET METAL FOR THE ELEVATOR'S LEADING EDGE BEGAN WITHIN HOURS AFTER THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN.


MARCH 23, 2011

Wiring installation proceeds on the P-61

MARCH 23, 2011

Cowl-flap ring, ready for installation on the P-61


MARCH 23, 2011

One of the P-61's Pratt & Whitney R-2800-65 Double Wasp 18-Cylinder engines stands ready for installation.


While the recovery and restoration of MAAM’s rare P-61B 42-39445 has been a daunting task, there have been some extremely challenging tasks within the project itself. Rewiring it is one of those! We’re trying to do it right, however it is super time consuming to do so. When we say “right” not only do we mean that all circuits are returned to what they once were, we also mean that we have utilized all of the correct cannon plugs, junction blocks, relays etc. In the majority of cases you just can’t go to the parts store and pick up what you need. Some items Northrop had made especially for the P-61.

In a number of cases we have had to make the part, or a piece of a part or connector. We are lucky to have an extraordinary machine shop and a seasoned machinist with experience in the microprocessor industry who is able to reverse engineer what we need to have made.

While we do have the P-61 drawings on 17 reels of microfilm, that does not include parts Northrop procured from vendor suppliers – which included nearly all electrical items!

So please, enjoy the newly posted photos of the P-61 electrical installation, but be patient – there’s obviously still a lot more electrical work to do.

 


OCTOBER 23, 2011

wiring harnesses going into right side pilot's compartment wiring harnesses and connectors on right side turret compartment

the SCR 720 radar antenna sitting on the electrical bench turret compartment buss bar junction box wiring

recently refinished gunner's cockpit seat recently acquired night binoculars

pilot's end of night binoculars front side of night binoculars

radar operator's seat installed in entry position power junction box and one of the turret amplidynes

pilot's night binocular mounting frame pilot's lower instrument panel and wiring

pilot's generator control panel inboard side left-hand wheel well wiring

more connectors and harnesses in lower right turret compartment near lower rear spar left-hand nacelle battery wiring , relay, and AN style battery connector

left hand side pilot's compartment wiring installation left hand nacelle firewall and engine wiring harnesses

heater installation and wiring in right rear gunner's cockpit gun turret control box and shielded wire harnesses

general view looking aft from gunners cockpit toward radio operators compartment junction box and wiring right upper turret compartment

external power receptacle and wiring in left-hand aft wheel well circuit breaker panel on pilot's right side

  a view of the electrical shop bench with enlarged electrical drawing spread across it another view of the electrical bench

another right side turret compartment junction box radar wiring harness in left-hand lower fuselage, must be installed before skin can be riveted in place

SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

Pappy Strine, shown here bucking rivets on the P-61 elevator. Luke Jones and Pappy Strine install rivets on the elevator leading edge.

 When the elevator is finally finished the fixture will be modified and reused for rebuilding the wings. One of the drop tanks.

Another one of the drop tanks awaits restoration. Wiring and hydraulics in the right rear of the turret compartment. The fuselage carry thru spars can be seen at right.

The gun compartment showing the two lower 20mm cannons and LH upper gun A view of the cannons.

View of the area behind the instrument panel with the armor plate removed Nose gear wiring to control switches and taxi lights

Gunner's turret control box is mounted on the RH gunners cockpit wall. The landing gear selector handle is mounted left of center on the pilot's sub panel

The flap control handle on the left cockpit wall Bail out bell on LH side between pilot and gunner

Ammeter s and circuit breaker box on RH pilots wall. RH gunners folding armor plate. Cockpit heater is installed in the right rear corner.

Gunners LH folding armor plate. Propeller switch box ready for installation on the left cockpit wall.

he throttle quadrant awaits being strung once the wiring is in place. Mounts for elevator, rudder, and aileron trim wheels. More wiring at the instrument panel. Completed harnesses have cannon plugs installed which are wrapped in plastic.

ilot's instrument panel. The bok to the left contains the main switch panel. Directly in the center is the autopilot rack. The voltage regulator box installed on the bulkhead at the aft end of the gunner's compartment.

RH turret compartment wiring. Once each bundle is complete it will be combed out and laced in place Wiring on the LH turret compartment buss is in process.

Wiring harness inside the lower right fuselage. This is mostly radar wiring. Right hand nose gear door being fitted

Fitting the new leading edge skin to the elevator

AUGUST 11, 2013
Left side gunners movable armor plate Night binoculars in their stored position along the left pilot's window

Left side lower fuselage wiring harness forward of gun bay Completed elevator structure

Pilot's electrical panel and electrical harness Ongoing wiring on the right side of the turret compartment

Ongoing wiring on the lower pilot's instrument panel Nose bulkhead forward of instrument panel behind armor plate

Ignition light panel, O2 panel air pressure and autopilot hydraulic pressure gauges on RH side of pilot's compartment Pilot's view of the rare night binoculars

Right hand wing root pulled out of storage in preparation of rebuild Right side of gunner's compartment wiring harness

Right wing and spoilers Right wing leading edge shows where Ironwood trees were hit

Right wing outboard showing aileron mount and spoilers Right wing root and Ironwood tree damage

Sliding track for pilot's night binoculars Ongoing wiring harness' on left side of cockpit

View into the R.O.'s compartment from the aft boarding ladder View into the RO's compartment from the boarding ladder

View of nose wheel well and forward entry area from gunners compartment View of pilot's night binoculars in stowed position looking to left rear from pilots seat area

Voltage regulator panel at aft end of gunners compartment The RH wing disassembly begins

RH wing of the P-61 being disassembled. The leading edge and damage from hitting multiple Ironwood trees

The trailing edge and outboard spoilers (inboard spoiler removed). View of the aft side of the inboard spoiler.

Volunteer cleaning 40 years worth of debris out of the oil tank and oil cooler bays Inboard spoiler section removed. Spoilers are .250 thick magnesium alloy plate.

Cleaning out the oil tank bay with the self sealing oil tank removed. Workman is drilling off the last outboard skin panel on the wing's top side.

The spoilers, inboard in foreground, outboard sections still in wing in backround. The small 22 gallon self sealing oil tank shown here after being removed.

RH Nose Landing Gear Door. Completed and Ready for Installation Lots of progress in just two weeks. The entire trailing edge section has been removed as well as the top center wing skins.

PRESS RELEASE!

FORGOTTEN WIDOW  a new book by Sharon Wells-Wagner & Steve Wagner with Gene and Russ Strine has been published.

Read the full PR, here.


With the amount of work remaining to be accomplished (several years’ worth) and the variables involved, no completion date can be set at this time. 

The P-61 project is worked on daily by a full-time professional restoration staff.  When a completion date comes within a predictable timeframe, it will be promptly posted on this website.


The Museum's members and its many friends and supporters are determined to see this fascinating plane restored to flying status.   We ask all of you who share their love of aviation history and would like to see this unique aircraft fly again to help with a donation toward its restoration. 


 Here's how you can become a part of this historic project.


As with the Black Widow itself, we are constantly in the process of rebuilding and updating the Widow's Web.  As work progresses on the aircraft there will be new photos and features about our P-61 Restoration Project.  Please check back in soon, and don't forget to hit your browser's refresh button to see what's new since your last virtual visit.


PHOTOS BY MAAM MEMBERS CHARLES TRAINOR. BILL RAMBOW, AND MAAM