P-61C-1 Black Widow

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Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

General info

The P-61C-1 Black Widow in the Garage.

The P-61C-1 Black Widow is a Rank III American twin-engine fighter with a battle rating of 4.0 (AB/RB) and 4.3 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.57 "Battle March".

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

The P-61C-1 is a heavy twin engine strike fighter. It is designed to deliver as much damage as possible, and therefore makes a great ground attack aircraft and bomber-hunter.

It has four cannons placed are under the belly of the aircraft with an additional four Browning machine guns in the upper turret. The cannons combined with the gunner and turret these are able to make quick work of any plane which stands in your way. The machine gun turret can be used, defensively and offensively by the gunner. It is excellent in bomber hunting and it excels when used with boom and zoom tactics. However, it does not have a decisive defensive armament which can provide essential protection from low rear or belly attacks. It also is unable to turn fight, it is extremely large, slow and loses any advantages it has easily.

Turret defensive angles are limited, it can not aim any lower than the elevator. If an enemy plane is lower than the elevator, you will need to put the plane into a steep climb or dive. It also offers very weak crew protection from head-on attacks.

Vehicle characteristics

The P-61C-1 has Four AN/M2 with 800 rounds in total this is 200 rounds per gun. It also has a turret with four Browning machine guns it has 2120 rounds in total. This is 530 rounds per gun.

Its armament is exceptionally powerful for it's battle rating, being essentially slightly faster firing Hispano Mk. 2s. Additionally, its firepower is exclusively mounted on the fuselage, making it very accurate for long range shooting. However, note that unless the new 20mm cannons upgrade are researched, they are somewhat inaccurate (especially in a head on pass). However this is nowhere near as visible as on planes where the cannons are wing mounted, like the F4U-1C. Like with all other AN/M2 cannons, it is recommended to use either the default or stealth belts due to their higher composition of HEFI shells.

The most notable aspect of the P-61C-1's armament is that the 4x 12.7mm machine gun turret is mounted on the roof of the aircraft and is capable rotating a full 360 degrees on the horizontal axis and almost 90 degrees upwards. Not only does this give the plane an effective defensive armament if an enemy plane is above the P-61, it also makes the gunner able to actively fire at the same target as the pilot, or fire at planes that the pilot cannot get an immediate gun solution on. Keep in mind however, that the turret cannot aim downwards at all, leaving the belly of the aircraft all the way up to wing level unprotected.

Tactics

The below tactics are recommended for all game modes:

How to offensively engage an enemy aircraft: Climb to high altitude and keep on a straight heading once you have seen the enemy. Overshoot the enemy plane, then perform a 180 degree turn. Make sure you stay on his tail and gradually descend. It is recommended to do something similar to a shallow descent, where you can keep speed and height to your advantage in case the enemy aircraft changes course and altitude. Do not perform a dive which requires you dive straight down, since you will rip the wings off and crash. Once you are within firing range, fire a short salvo from your cannons. A couple bursts from the Black Widow are sufficient to easily rip an enemy plane to shreds.

How to perform defensive fighting: When you are being engaged by an enemy fighter, make sure you keep descending. Very Important: Do not allow enemy aircraft to get lower than your elevator on the tail boom. You have no defensive armament to cover the belly or full-rear of the plane; these are your weakest defended parts.

  • Tactic one: Descend slowly. Put the plane in a steep dive that does not exceed your structural limit. However it must be steep enough to provide the turret gunner full visibility of the enemy plane. The four Browning machine guns will take care of the enemy plane.
  • Tactic Two: Put the plane in a steep climb and make sure you set the throttle to at least 70%. Jump into the gunner turret and operate it. This will be the most accurate and fastest way of shooting down the hostile plane. When you operate the turret, make sure you try and perform defensive manoeuvres when operating it i.e. sharp turns, rapidly decreasing in height as well as gaining height and changing the speed of the plane in an irrational way. This will give you higher chance of survival against the enemy.

Specific enemies worth noting

Counter-tactics

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • The offensive armament is mounted under the belly of the plane, this provides excellent accuracy.
  • Powerful offensive armament with 4 x AN/M2 cannons with a total amount of 800 rounds.
  • Powerful defensive armament with 4 x Browning machine guns in a rotating turret with a total amount of 2120 rounds.
  • Defensive armament is able to be used offensively by the gunner.
  • Very stable climb rate.
  • Engines are able to cool down very fast.
  • Able to perform sharp movements at low and high speed.
  • Excellent bomber hunter.
  • Very strong and rugged airframe; is able to fly with wing tips missing.
  • Can keep a lot of momentum from a gradual dive.
  • Can carry 4 x 1000 lb Bombs: enough to fully destroy one base or four light pillboxes.
  • Air brakes installed, allows you to slow down faster for a bomb run or landing.
  • Powerful engines when upgraded giving great acceleration.
  • Can fly on one engine.
  • Fairly good roll rate at high speeds thanks to spoilers.
  • Very little adverse yaw effect thanks to spoilers (SB).

Cons:

  • Slow acceleration when not upgraded and requires a long airstrip to take off due to weight.
  • Uncompetitive roll rate at dogfighting speeds.
  • Bad turn rate.
  • Not recommended to dive upon your enemies due to structural damage speed which will be exceeded in a steep dive.
  • Only has one turret that cannot cover the bottom.
  • Large body airframe, makes dogfighting almost impossible.
  • Dorsal turret might hit friendlies when active under AI control during furballs or when you're behind friendlies chasing an enemy.

Specifications

Armaments

Offensive armaments

  • 4 x 20 mm AN/M2 cannons, chin-mounted (200 rpg = 800 total)

Defensive armaments

  • 4 x 12.7 mm Browning machine guns machine guns, dorsal turret (500 rpg inside + 560 rpg outside = 2,120 total)

Payloads

  • 4 x 500 lbs AN-M64A1 bombs
  • 4 x 1000 lbs AN-M65A1 bombs

Engine & mobility

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator


Engine

Name: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-73 18-cylinder radial x2
  • Cooling type: Air
  • Max power: 1774 hp (Stock), 2547 hp (Upgraded)
  • Takeoff power: 2474 hp (Stock), 3247 hp (Upgraded)
  • Mass: 1070 kg
Name: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-73 18-cylinder radial x2
  • Cooling type: Air
  • Max power: 1750 hp (Stock), 2100 hp (Upgraded)
  • Takeoff power: 2450 hp (Stock), 2800 hp (Upgraded)
  • Mass: 1070 kg
Name: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-73 18-cylinder radial x2
  • Cooling type: Air
  • Max power: 1750 hp (Stock), 2100 hp (Upgraded)
  • Takeoff power: 2450 hp (Stock), 2800 hp (Upgraded)
  • Mass: 1070 kg

Stat card

Stock
  • Max speed: 655 km/h
    • at height: 7,100 m
  • Max altitude: 9,143 m
  • Turn Time: 26.7 s
  • Rate of Climb: 10.0 m/s
  • Takeoff run: 457 m

Upgraded

  • Max speed: 736 km/h
    • at height: 7,100 m
  • Max altitude: 9,143 m
  • Turn Time: 23.5 s
  • Rate of Climb: 25.0 m/s
  • Takeoff run: 457 m
Stock
  • Max speed: 642 km/h
    • at height: 7,100 m
  • Max altitude: 9,143 m
  • Turn Time: 27.5 s
  • Rate of Climb: 12.0 m/s
  • Takeoff run: 457 m

Upgraded

  • Max speed: 692 km/h
    • at height: 7,100 m
  • Max altitude: 9,143 m
  • Turn Time: 25.0 s
  • Rate of Climb: 16.0 m/s
  • Takeoff run: 457 m
Stock
  • Max speed: 642 km/h
    • at height: 7,100 m
  • Max altitude: 9,143 m
  • Turn Time: 27.5 s
  • Rate of Climb: 12.0 m/s
  • Takeoff run: 457 m

Upgraded

  • Max speed: 692 km/h
    • at height: 7,100 m
  • Max altitude: 9,143 m
  • Turn Time: 25.0 s
  • Rate of Climb: 16.0 m/s
  • Takeoff run: 457 m

Performance

Warning this is still in the test phase and is probably incorrect. Take information with a grain of salt (data taken from 1.55)



0
1.2
2.4
3.6
4.8
6
7.2
8.4
9.6
10.8
12
0
1.12
2.24
3.36
4.48
5.6
Horsepower in 1000hp
Altitude in 1000m

Supercharger Stage #1: 100%

Supercharger Stage #1: WEP



Modules and improvements

Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair, Radiator Turret 12 mm
II Compressor Airframe New 12 mm MGs (turret), FMBC mk.1
III Wings repair, Engine Offensive 20 mm
IV Engine injection Cover New 20 mm cannons, FLBC mk.1

Recommendation:
The P-61C-1 is a thorough bred BnZ aircraft. However when the plane is first unlocked the flight performance will be very lackluster to support this tactic. As such, the initial priority should be to improve the aircraft, by researching the upgrades that improve flight performance the most, namely compressor, engine and engine injection. When the flight performance has reached a satisfactory level to allow for effective BnZ tactics, the priority should be switched towards researching the New 20mm cannons upgrade in order to improve the accuracy of the cannons. After this is done, either finish upgrading the flight performance or focus on the turret upgrade. The bomb racks should be left to research last, as they are not critical to the P-61's main role as a fighter.

History of creation and combat usage

In 1940, the British Purchasing Commission wanted a high-altitude, high-speed interceptor to shoot down Luftwaffe bombers when they raided British cities. This called for a high-endurance heavy fighter with Aerial Interception(AI) radars and specified gun armament mounted in a 360 degrees gun turret. The requirements have been sent to many aircraft manufacturers, one of them is Jack Northrop. The USAAC accepted his proposal, resulting gin one of the most deadly and large fighters in world war two. The prototype YP-61, had a long fuselage gondola in between two engine nacelle. The tail was the new radical twin-boom design. Full span flaps were fitted on the wings and had two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10 Double Wasp 18-cylinder radials, producing 2,000 horsepower each. The plane is mounted on a tricycle landing gear and has a three-man crew. A radar operator, gunner, and pilot. Armament includes four Browning 12.7mm heavy machine guns mounted in a four-gun powered turret. The original design had a ventral turret, but that was replaced by Hispano M2 cannons. Some versions also had air brakes so the pilot will not overshoot its target.

Screenshots and fan art

download skins and share you own creations or just check out images of the plane from: http://live.warthunder.com/

Additional information (links)

[Devblog] P-61: The American "Flying Tank"

References


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p-61c_1.png

Icon-country-usa.png P-61C-1 Black Widow
Nation USA
Type Heavy fighter
Air defence fighter
Strike fighter
Fighting style Boom & Zoom
Ground Attack
Bombing

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Characteristics
Empty Weight ~11580 kg
Empty Weight + fuel ~13536 kg
Takeoff Weight ~15422 kg
Wing Area ~62 m²
# Flap Positions 3
Number of Engines 2
Air Brakes yes
Arrestor Gear no
Statistics
Power per Engine 2100 hp
WEP Duration 13.44 minutes
top speed ~692.28 kph at 9143 m
Climb Rate ~16.00 m/s
Turn Time ~25.00 s
Wing loading (Empty) ~188.00 kg/m²
Characteristics
Empty Weight ~25529 lb
Empty Weight + fuel ~29842 lb
Takeoff Weight ~34000 lb
Wing Area ~662 ft²
# Flap Positions 3
Number of Engines 2
Air Brakes yes
Arrestor Gear no
Statistics
Power per Engine 2100 hp
WEP Duration 13.44 minutes
Top speed ~430.16 mph at 29997 m
Climb Rate 52.49 ft/s
Turn Time 25.00 s
Wing loading (Empty) ~38.51 lb/ft²
Main Weapons
4 x AN/M2 200 RPG
2 x M2 Browning 500 RPG
2 x M2 Browning 560 RPG
Payload Option 1
Nothing Loaded Clean Plane
Payload Option 2
4 x 💣 500 lbs Bomb
Payload Option 3
4 x 💣 1000 lbs AN-M65A1 Bomb
Limits
Max Speed limit 726 kph
Gear limit 350 kph
Combat Flaps 340 kph
Max static +G's ~3
Max static -G's ~1
Optimal Velocities
Ailerons <530 kph
Rudder <420 kph
Elevators <450 kph
Radiator >240 kph
Limits
Max Speed limit 451 mph
Gear limit 217 mph
Combat Flaps 211 mph
Max static +G's ~3
Max static -G's ~1
Optimal Velocities
Ailerons <329 mph
Rudder <261 mph
Elevators <280 mph
Radiator >149 mph
Manual Control
Mixer is controllable
Pitch is controllable
no automatic pitch
Radiator (water) is controllable
Radiator (oil) is controllable
Oil and water uses different radiator control
Supercharger is not controllable
Turbocharger is not controllable
Compressor settings 1
Optimal Altitude
8000 m
26247 ft
100% Engine power 4200 hp
WEP Engine power 5544 hp
* Warning this is still in the test phase and can be incorrect. Take information with a grain of salt (data from 1.57 initial release)