Anti-flash white is a brilliant white color commonly seen on United States, British and Soviet nuclear bombers. The purpose of the color was to reflect some of the thermal radiation from a nuclear explosion, protecting the aircraft and its occupants.
Anti-flash white was used on the Royal Air Force V bombers force and the Royal Navy Blackburn Buccaneer when used in the nuclear strike role. British nuclear bombers were given – though not at first, until the problem was considered – pale pink and blue roundels and fin flash rather than the traditional dark red, white, and blue.
Anti-flash white was applied to several British prototype aircraft, including the British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2. Paint used on the British Avro Vulcan was manufactured by Cellon, and that on the Handley Page Victor by Titanine Ltd..
Many Strategic Air Command nuclear bombers carried anti-flash white without insignia on the under side of the fuselage with light silver-gray or natural metal (later light camouflage) on the upper surfaces.
Like the United States, some nuclear bombers had the under side of the fuselage painted anti-flash white with the upper surfaces painted light silver-gray. The Tupolev Tu-160 of the 1980s was the first to be painted anti-flash white all over.
Some variants of the Xian H-6 had the under side of the fuselage painted anti-flash white.
In addition to these military aircraft, Concorde was painted white to protect the aluminium skin from aerodynamic heating.
Aircraft with at least part of the fuselage painted anti-flash white on nuclear delivery variants:
- V bombers
- Blackburn Buccaneer
- English Electric Canberra (experimental)
- BAC TSR-2 prototype
- Saunders-Roe SR.53 interceptor prototype
- Convair B-36
- Boeing B-47 Stratojet
- Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
- North American A-5 Vigilante
- North American XB-70 Valkyrie prototype
- Rockwell B-1 Lancer prototype
- CF-105 Arrow Prototypes
- Royal Air Force roundels
- List of colors
- The House in the Middle - Film that demonstrates the thermal flash protective effects of the related white wash paint.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Anti-flash white.|
- Gunston, Bill (March 1981). "The V-Bombers - The Handley Page Victor - part 3". Aeroplane Monthly.
- "B36 in "anti-atom" finish over Kent" (PDF). Flight: 741. 11 November 1955.
- "Titanine aircraft finishes are used on the Handley-Page Victor". Flight: 1. 1 January 1954.
- Philip J. R. Moyes (1964). Bomber Squadrons of the R.A.F. And Their Aircraft. MacDonald. p. 98.