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Lockheed M-21 (A-12) doodles by Hydrothrax Lockheed M-21 (A-12) doodles by Hydrothrax
Cygnus and a friend: in part to go with the D-21 post, and in part because I’ve had a few people ask me about what a “Blackbird” would look like as an aerosaur, so here we go. 


This one is technically an A-12 but the Sr-71 is almost identical in external appearance. (M-21 is the specific designation of the modified A-12 used to carry the D-21 drone - it has a second seat behind the cockpit for the launch control officer.) Went with the Cygnus since:

 a) it’s underappreciated in the shadow of the Blackbird, 

b) tiny drone friend, and 

c) I just LOVE the bare titanium color scheme they had.)

A-12s and SR-71 are strange - in some angles they’re beautiful and badass, in others, they’re just…downright weird! (they have such an extreme airframe design - they’re literally all engine with a narrow fuselage, the rest is just wafer thin wing spread over them..!) 

For the peeps a little familiar with paleontology, you probably caught the inspiration I took from azharchids - weird long gangly pterosaurs are GREAT I love them. I also felt like it’d be fitting that these things would be incredibly awkward and uncomfortable on the ground but have a striking silhouette when in their element, much like the real thing ;)

Also, the jaws - the goblin shark thing was for fun and would help something with such a long flat nose grab things, but the way the jaws tuck up and away (and the teeth that rotate back) are common to all aerosaurs in some degree, to allow their jaws to tuck in flush with their fuselage.

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:icondracophobos:
DracoPhobos Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2017  Student Filmographer
Yep A-12 and SR-71 are still my favorites=p
I will admit i like this colour scheme a bit better than the bare black one, i kept the black colours on Cath just so the blue flames and green slime and crap stood out~

I like the more sharky mouth you went for too, I was so infatuated with the whole 'bird' thing i had to make it beaky=p

i hope you throw one of these in whatever story thing you're making!
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:iconhydrothrax:
Hydrothrax Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
"Bird" actually works real well and is arguably more functional as actual jaws, I just run into the problem that it would get in the way of where the radar randome needs to be...!
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:icondracophobos:
DracoPhobos Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2018  Student Filmographer
yeah that made it a bit awkward i guess, but it just helps make her snoot more pointy leik birb =p
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:iconwildernessexplor3r:
WildernessExplor3r Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
This isn’t the cutest concept design ever made, I am forever touched. 
ps. Love the baby X-15.
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:iconhydrothrax:
Hydrothrax Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Tiny plane friend!

and the little one is a D-21! (It was a real thing! A drone designed to piggyback on the A-12! upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia… )
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:iconluxx-fuxx:
LuxX-FuxX Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2017
I love his long neck ahhh

Would you be mad if I got a bit inspired off your dragon airplanes ;v;?
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:iconhydrothrax:
Hydrothrax Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
A noodle neck!

And it's always fun to see other peoples' take on this kind of idea for fun. Go for it! (I only ask for credit if you're 1:1 using something. It's cooler to see people coming up with their own unique ideas on the airplane monster/living machine concept though!)
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:iconluxx-fuxx:
LuxX-FuxX Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2017
The cutest danger noodle neck ;v;

And thank you a lot, it's really kind of you! I can show you what I'll come up with if you would like as well ;v;
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:iconhydrothrax:
Hydrothrax Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Sure thing!
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:iconblakgryf:
Blakgryf Featured By Owner May 11, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hehe, now I'm curious how a YF-12 would look...
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:iconaniutqaart:
AniutqaART Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awww! I love this design so much! That's light and dark colors :la:
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:icondracophobos:
DracoPhobos Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2016  Student Filmographer
I love how the long body gives it a 'swan' appearance, ahhh I really wanna make one of me own creature blackbirds;p
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:iconsuntwilig:
suntwilig Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2016
looks the strong
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:icondarkgrayskies045:
DarkGraySkies045 Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2016  Student General Artist
yes!!! this is amazing!! people we need more art of the A-12 and its beautiful livery!
this looks so great!!
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:iconhydrothrax:
Hydrothrax Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Moar A-12! I'm seriously surprised that not many other artists have painted the bare titanium A-12, considering how popular its cousin is. It's a beautiful machine.

Thanks! :)
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:icondarkgrayskies045:
DarkGraySkies045 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2016  Student General Artist
This is true! I only recently (recently as in a few months) discovered or found their had been more to the blackbird family then just the SR-71 itself and I have to say the A-12 is a beaut! The YF-12 also my fav, the way the nose is, is very interesting uwu and look he has a smol drone friend you cant beat that XD
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:iconhydrothrax:
Hydrothrax Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
It's always worth digging into the history of these things. Not only does it give you the how and why these things were engineered within the greater context of history, but also what interesting things may have preceded or been derived from them.

As cool as the D-21/M-21 combination is, it was unfortunately doomed to fail. One of the M-21s was lost when its drone was launched at supersonic speeds - it bounced off the shock cone and crashed back into its mothership, causing the thing to violently break up. Afterwards they would only launch a few more D-21s from subsonic aircraft like the B-52.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMyC2u…

image.tuku.china.com/tuku.mili…
atomictoasters.com/wp-content/…
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:icondarkgrayskies045:
DarkGraySkies045 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2016  Student General Artist
I have actually seen a A-12 before without knowning at the time really, I wasnt to much into aircraft at the time so I didnt really know. But one sits outside of the California science center in Los Angeles, I would go there to see the shuttle "Endeavor" but never noticed the A-12 right outside XD
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:iconhydrothrax:
Hydrothrax Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Oh my god I know the exact one. Endeavor is a relatively new addition as well! I remember they made a pass with the shuttle mounted atop the 747 over my school about 4 years ago (the design college is right near the NASA JPL!)

If you're local, a trip worth making at some point is to the Blackbird AirPark out in Palmdale. They've got a bunch of the NASA Dryden test aircraft, along with an SR-71, A-12, D-21 and U-2 all in the same area!

(There are plenty of other gems around here - if you want to continue chatting you're welcome to PM me if you don't want to get too location-specific on a public page. Cali is full of hidden nuggets when it comes to aviation!)
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:icondarkgrayskies045:
DarkGraySkies045 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2016  Student General Artist
Ues it is good to find out about the history of popular aircraft just to find more aircraft to love uwu

Ah yeah I remember in the video I watch about the B-bird family the person talked around that crash with the mothership and it was discontinued.
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:iconflaming-lambo:
Flaming-Lambo Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
-flaps and flails- IT'S THE THING MY GRAMMA USED TO TALK ABOUT. 

My dad's mom worked in the Skunkworks for...50 years? She rarely talked about her job, and when she did, it was usually badmouthing some past coworker (she was very, very bitter) but a few times she talked about her work with the Blackbird and the 'Silver Blackbird'. I guess she either forgot the designation because she was 80+ when she talked about it, or figured I wouldn't care. 

And yes, Blackbirds are REALLY COOL from some angles, and fucking wierdass from others. I tried to do an anthro SR-71 years ago, but never could get it to look right. :/

Your Aerosaur looks great, though.
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:iconhydrothrax:
Hydrothrax Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
YO She worked with these aircraft? That's the most awesome fucking thing. Would love to hear any nuggets you might have gotten from her about the program, though I doubt she was allowed to say much.

Haha! And I think the trick is working with how weird the proportion and highlight that rather than play it down. My Azhdarchid approach is just one of many ways this could be done though!
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:iconflaming-lambo:
Flaming-Lambo Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
By the time I was old enough to ask more about the stuff she worked on, we'd stopped talking. She was a very hateful, racist, bitter old lady. I regret that she couldn't let go of the fact that her son (my dad) had married a 'dirty Mexican'. I would have loved to talk to her more about this sort of thing, especially as an adult after it had all been declassified and such. The woman was a fount of knowledge wrapped in spite and legendary grudge-holding.
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:iconhydrothrax:
Hydrothrax Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Ahh, that's a pity. Family politics is always such a ridiculous thing!
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:iconflaming-lambo:
Flaming-Lambo Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Ayup. 
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:icontrytix:
Trytix Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I wonder when you make something wich doesn't look impresive.
Since at the current moment, i don't think you will. ;)
It's amazingly awsome as usual, you never disapoint!

Trytix approves! :D
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:icontyphoon2400:
typhoon2400 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
I love it!!! :D So fluid and wonderful!
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:iconsolarstrings:
SolarStrings Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2016  Student General Artist
Probably the most interesting concept I've seen in a while.
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:iconfoolythecat:
FoolytheCat Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
It's a dragon!!🎂😱✨✨👏🏾👏🏾
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:iconzgerken:
Zgerken Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2016
Looks brilliant and I agree with you whole heartedly! Perhaps when you do another train perhaps you could do the mallard? It still holds the title of fastest steam powered locomotive! It be cool to see how you would portray her!
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:icongloomshroom:
GloomShroom Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, i must say this is one of my favs =D
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:iconchaosphantom444:
ChaosPhantom444 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Neat machinal terror.
I'm curious When did you first start making these machine beasts and why?
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:iconhydrothrax:
Hydrothrax Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Long time ago. The aerosaurs go back to '07 or so I think, I'd have to dig them up.

I always loved the idea of personifying the inanimate (vehicles especially,) and finding ways to visualize the "character" of these machines. Over time I got carried away with some ideas and built a headworld around these things!

It's not just for the sake of arbitrarily making "cool monsters" either, though I do love concepting. I'm very much into the history of engineering and how things work, and it bleeds into my artwork ;)
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:iconchaosphantom444:
ChaosPhantom444 Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Those vehicles do look cool.  
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:icongoldenhorizons:
GoldenHorizons Featured By Owner Edited Oct 15, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Props to you for another great design!!
I especially love the incorporation of the various animal species, actually recognised them immediately, but they fit very well with the overall design of this unique bird.
And what you said involving the appearance of A-12s and SR-71s form different angles; I couldn't agree with you more. I myself have a Blackbird character and trying to make a piece more interesting by not always using the same repetitive sideview vexes me sometimes. 

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:iconhydrothrax:
Hydrothrax Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
This one brought all the Blackbird fans out of the woodwork, haha!!

A+ for spotting the references

And it can be tricky! But the SR-71 can be broken down into simple forms. It boils down to three tubes with the super thing wing draped and stretched between them!
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:icondracophobos:
DracoPhobos Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2016  Student Filmographer
Those jaws are so awesome, and i love the cute long snoot^^ Also the little drone sitting on top is adorable XD nice one!You're on a roll :heart:
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