Real-Life X-Wing Set to Fly

No, really.

Andy Woerner and his crazy rocketeer friends have built a 21-foot long X-Wing model that can actually fly. Yes, this is a real X-Wing powered by four solid-fuel rocket engines complete with radio-controlled moving wings. It blasts off in California next week, and we talked with Andy about the project, and how they expect it will do.

The X-Wing model is huge. At 21 feet long and with a wingspan of over 19 feet it is, in fact, big enough to fly a kid in. However, knowing that it will be powered by solid-fuel rockets, they wouldn't put a kid, dog, monkey or Gizmodo editor inside, even if it uses three full parachutes to land.

After drawing the plans using CAD software, Andy's team and his friends at Polecat Aerospace (with the help of RMS Laser and Aerotech Consumer Aerospace) used laser cutting to make the pieces out of Baltic Birch wood. They also used solid aluminum for some parts, like the rods which are the pivot point for the wings.

full story with more pics

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gmoon10 years ago
They've added a second video. A little hard to tell (with tele lenses), but it appears one of the film crews isn't much more than 100 ft (maybe 150 ft) away from the launch... Given how close to the pad it crashed, none of those spectators were very safe...('course, if I had a chance to be there too, I would have. ;-) )
gmoon10 years ago
Awww, I must admit I'm disappointed:

Video of the launch (and the spectacular failure...)
fungus amungus (author)  gmoon10 years ago
I was hoping it would go farther than that.
It looked just like a real American rocket launch...

(and the announcer said a naughty word!)
OMG! I'm tellin!
Easy Button10 years ago
Awesome! But like one of the comments said 'I see this blowing up and being a huge hit on you tube.' That may happen as it's made of wood.
Well, it didn't =blow up= per se` but certainly didn't put up with the stress of forward thrust long either.
fungus amungus (author)  Easy Button10 years ago
If the rockets explode a metal construction won't save it. Still, it'll be cool to see a flight or an explosion. Either way it'll be fun.
Ya, true.
KentsOkay10 years ago
Totally awesome, to bad it failed, not enough fin root strength and too top heavy.
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