Manufacturer: Lockheed

Model: AF-12

Name: Whitebird

Type: Stratospheric high-speed fighter

Date: 1984

Status: Operational use

Country: United States of America

Service: U.S. Air Force

Designation: NF-12A


Lockheed's famous spyplane (A-12, F-12, SR-71) came to be known as the "Blackbird" as a reference to their characteristic color. But what if a special variant had been painted white? Well, quite logically it would have become a Whitebird...

The technique used here is simple: turn the image to negative, then rework into positive a few details such as the shock cones, windows and markings (actually some of the latter had to be redone). Interestingly, the mountains in the background almost look better in negative! The original photo can be seen below right for comparison purposes.

Viewers' comments:
  • Nice idea!! :) I like it!! :) (dinobatfan)
  • Reminds me of the white anti-flash radiation paint scheme that is on the 'doomsday' plane the US government flies (PatronZero)
  • Wow this crazy.When i was a child my mother bought me a model SR-71..I was about 7 years old and i can remember painting it white :-) (edwardio1973)
  • It's Great!  A white paint was used in very high flying, very fast supersonic jets of the 60's like the XB-70 Walkyrie or his also cancelled companion the XF-108 Rapier. Also the high profile missiles like the AGM-28 "Hound Dog".  The British RAF painted white several nuclear bombers as a mean of "reflect" as much radiation as possible from the nuclear blast they was supposed to have created in an operative mission, like the "Victor", the "Vulcan" or the TSR.2. (CUTANGUS)

My comments:

Thanks a lot CUTANGUS for this valuable technical explanation.

Stilll, one could also imagine this paint scheme as a perfect camouflage for aircraft stationed in some Alaskan base, right? ;)