Is a star Wars LSA possible to build & fly?

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CobraCar11

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Star Wars has entertained and inspired people for generations. It has impacted sci-fi, special effects, and even had a place in politics (Star Wars Defense program). It has inspired other movies, TV shows, books, toys, and even technology. Geeks and non-Geeks have enjoyed it.

Could it be possible to design and build an aircraft from the movies? Or an aircraft inspired by the Star Wars movies?

I got this idea from talking with my kids - they asked me if it was really possible for the aircraft (spacecraft?) from the movies to fly. I told them there are already some hobby/toy radio controlled airplane and quad copter versions that could fly, but was unaware of any full size versions.

If it were possible to design and build an aircraft from the movies or inspired by the movies, would it be commercially successful? Would lots of people want to buy one?

Also, could it bring lots of non-pilots into the aviation market, potentially boosting the aviation industry? Could it inspire a new generation of youth to want to be able to fly when they grow up?

I think an LSA version would be a great candidate.

I think it`'s an interesting idea. Thoughts?
 

CobraCar11

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Wow. That''s pretty amazing to draw that many examples that fast!

I hadn't thought of the X-wing fighter as an example, but I like it.

I think a better tie-fighter could be made. Maybe the main fuselage could be stretched out, and the outer "wing tips" of the tie fighter could be kept. Something like an unusual Velocity aircraft?

I think the death star example is hilarious! I had never thought of that comparison. I grew up in Albuquerque, NM with the whole "Albuquerque Int'l Balloon Fiesta" event, and I will never, ever look at a hot air balloon the same way again!!!

I love the flying pancake comparison for the millenial falcon. It is one of my all time favorite aircraft. I wish that more had been done with this type of aircraft. The Arup is something along those lines as well.

The Facetmobile is a good candidate for a star destroyer. I also think that another great candidate would be the lifting body aircraft that NASA and the Air Force used, like the HL-10.

So, do you think that today, could an aircraft be built in the LSA category that could attract more people to aviation? I would be excited to see something along the lines of a facetmobile, but something that looks more closely like it was from Star Wars.

Thanks for the reply!
 

Dana

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So, do you think that today, could an aircraft be built in the LSA category that could attract more people to aviation? I would be excited to see something along the lines of a facetmobile, but something that looks more closely like it was from Star Wars.

I would have to say no. Some people (mainly young people) would look at it and think it's cool, but the young people can't afford it and older folks will choose something that looks like an airplane. The shapes required for a good flying airplane are not the shapes required for an exciting Hollywood space epic.

Dana
 

CobraCar11

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I think those are so cool. I wish more lifting body aircraft would make it to the aviation market. There are some R/C aircraft that can use lifting body designs, but there are also some flying bricks! Case in point - flite test has built a flying microwave and a flying cinderblock! I guess anything will fly when you put a big enough motor on it!

I noticed a story a while back about military aircraft using a fuselage with "walls of pulsejets" for VTOL capabilities. Maybe some more interesting lift/cruise concepts will come out since so many groups seem to be working to come out with personal aircraft, such as the tri-fan.
 

Victor Bravo

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Prolific model airplane designer Bill Evans (Silent Squire slope glider, Saracen and Scimitar flying wings) built an X-Wing fighter model years ago. It was a classic example of the Bill Evans formula, the NACA 23012 airfoil, reflexed ailerons, and nose heavy enough to be controllable. I think he had a .40 size engine mounted on the back, this was long before the "electric revolution".

Sure you could build a iconic Star Wars LSA vehicle, but the performance would be marginal if you needed to make it look like an X-Wing. If you really wanted to do something that had reasonable flying qualities, take Wainfan's Facetmobile and use the surface detail and visual treatment from the Star Wars universe, and you would wind up with something passable.
 

ScaleBirdsScott

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The Z-95 Headhunter (with the concession of canards most likely) would be doable.

The A-wing could make a decent aircraft with modern analysis I bet. You'd have to tweak a few things but by and large the thing isn't too far off from some examples already posted here like the facetmobile.

The real zinger is could we get a B-wing? Lets get Rutan on that.

And I think the market for people who would want a close to full-scale, actually flying star wars aircraft today would at least match the demand for something niche. The real problem is to be accurate enough to be marketable and desirable as a replica, it'd have to be licensed with Lucasfilm and that would not likely go down at all because of money and liability mostly. They aren't going to sign off on a thing that probably will fly like crap and kill some rich nerd. So it would basically remain a one-off at best. So you have to find someone with the skills to do it and the motivation to do it for themselves or a person so loaded they can hire an engineer to one-off it.

And the most famous ones just aren't going to work good. But an A-wing? Or a Headhunter (aka an X-wing that doesn't have movable s-foils) Yeah I could see it.

At the very least Lucasarts could just make a new X-wing vs TIE-fighter for modern Windows...
 

bmcj

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In about 1970, I built an RC Starship Enterprise. Unlike most of the models you see coming out today, I did not cut a prop slot in the disk. I mounted the engine to the front of the main hull... much cleaner and less distracting. I have to admit that it was not a good flyer in its original form, but when the first movie came out with the flare engine pylons, I immediately tore off the skinny pylons and replaced them with the wider flared design. That gave me more control and stab surface and the craft flew much better.

(Prior to that, I had built a hand/catapult-launched canard glider that looked very much like an engineless Beech Starship; it flew very well. This was several years before Burt introduced the VariViggen and VariEze.)
 

Dana

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I've seen R/C Star Wars models with extra clear plastic surfaces where they were needed. Not something you could do with a full size aircraft, though. Of course with the insane power to weight ratio of most R/C models, nearly anything is possible.

Dana
 

cluttonfred

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The Star Wars types are tough because they don't have basic things like enough wing area or any control surfaces. The Archon is a great example of a low-cost fun flyer made to look vaguely like a modern jet fighter that might provide you with some inspiration.

 
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CobraCar11

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I loved that plane from the first time I saw those videos!!! I thought it would be super popular, and sell really well. The design seems less complex and easier to build than other aircraft out there - lots of flat surfaces. It always looks like it's so much smaller to me than it really is!!! Weird.....

I showed it to my wife too!..... first thing she said was, "well, that guy's going to be shot down!" :gig: ha ha.

I wonder if any military aircraft have ever been scrambled because of him..........?
 

cluttonfred

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Yes, it did occur to me that a colorful, non-threatening paint scheme might be a good idea with anything pseudo-military these days, maybe something like a Thunderbirds scheme but in Mardi Gras purple, green and gold. ;-)
 
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