Northrop F-15 Reporter

Northrop F-15 Reporter

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Northrop F-15 Reporter

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The Northrop F-15 Reporter (later RF-61) was an unarmed photographic reconnaissance aircraft. Based on the Northrop P-61 Black Widow night fighter, it was the last piston-powered photo-reconnaissance aircraft designed and produced for the United States Air Force. Though produced in limited quantities, and with a relatively short service life, the F-15's aerial photographs of the Korean Peninsula would prove vital in 1950, when North Korea invaded the south.

Design and development

The F-15 Reporter was created when the guns were removed from the experimental XP-61E, the last fighter variant of the P-61 Black Widow. With less than six months flying time, the first XP-61E was taken back to the Northrop modification shop where it was converted into an unarmed photographic reconnaissance aircraft. All the guns were removed, and a new nose was fitted, capable of holding an assortment of aerial cameras. The aircraft, redesignated XF-15, flew for the first time on 3 July 1945,...
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