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It's a bird...It's a plane...It's an X-Wing!


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Woah...brilliant recreation of my Rogue Sauadron 2: Rogue Leader mission. I really suck at that game :xp:

 

Anyways, anyone like to explain why a real-life X-wing can't be made? I mean, rocket propulsion is out of the question, but we have seen some pretty strangely shaped fighter jets out there.

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Anyways, anyone like to explain why a real-life X-wing can't be made? I mean, rocket propulsion is out of the question, but we have seen some pretty strangely shaped fighter jets out there.

 

Well, I'm no expert, but I think it would be theoretically possible. The main problem would be that you would have a lot of forces working against each other, and that means the power requirements would increase exponentially. It also means that the strain on the craft would require a very hardy material. Building a true "Star Wars X-Wing," is impossible, but a plane with the wings in an "X" configuration might not be.

 

I can say with certainly that it would be highly inefficient and require a lot of power.

 

As to why there are strangely shaped jets these days, a lot of it has to do with computers. For instance, the Stealth Bomber should not fly. The design is unstable because the whole craft is basically one giant wing. However, a computer can make the millions of calculations a second necessary to keep it flying but a pilot can not. Think about a piece of paper falling to the ground. It's impossible to predict exactly what it will do. Sure, if you drop it from a few feet while indoors, you can make a reasonable guess, but what about if you drop it off the roof of a house?

 

The Stealth Bomber has a gyroscope hooked up to the computer to allow it know if it's in the correct position. If it's not, the computer will make the adjustments to the wing flaps to keep it on course. A human is simply incapable of reacting fast enough and with the required precision.

 

So essentially, all the strangely shaped aircraft you see these days rely on gyroscopes and computers to stay in the air.

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Well, I'm no expert, but I think it would be theoretically possible. The main problem would be that you would have a lot of forces working against each other, and that means the power requirements would increase exponentially. It also means that the strain on the craft would require a very hardy material. Building a true "Star Wars X-Wing," is impossible, but a plane with the wings in an "X" configuration might not be.

 

 

The true Star Wars X-Wing's wings won't provide any lift. It lacks any kind of aerodynamics necessary for it to air worthy. It will just never take off.

 

For something to remotely look like an X-Wing to fly, the Star Wars X-Wing would need serious modifications. I'm not even certain an X configuration for the wings could bring it airborne.

 

Anyway, this is from what I know, I'm no expert either, I just like the Discovery channel >.<

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The true Star Wars X-Wing's wings won't provide any lift. It lacks any kind of aerodynamics necessary for it to air worthy. It will just never take off.

I rewrote my previous post a few times as I wrapped my mind around the physics of an X shaped craft, and somewhere I forgot to mention the wing shape. For it to work, the wings would certainly need to be shaped correctly.

 

 

For something to remotely look like an X-Wing to fly, the Star Wars X-Wing would need serious modifications. I'm not even certain an X configuration for the wings could bring it airborne.

I realize that most people already know all this, but I'm trying to explain my reasoning to the fullest extent possible. Also, as I'm writing this post, things keep coming to me. This post is as much about me trying to discern the possibility of an X-Winged craft as it is explaining it to others. Perhaps others will benefit from my madness? heh

 

I think a visual is in order! I know, these are very, very basic, but they will do the job.

 

First off, this is the lift of a real plane.

Plane2.gif

You can see that all the lift (indicated by the arrows) is in an upward direction. The two small arrows are the drag made my the dorsal wing. The dorsal wing adds stability because there is a flap on the back that allows the pilot to make small changes to its shape and keep the plane from rocking back and forth. Essentially, it makes the ride a lot smoother.

 

However, the lift on an X-Wing is quite different. (I know the angles are off, its not to scale.)

XWingflight2.gif

My first instinct was that the counteracting airflows would work against each other, but I'm not so sure...

 

Before I continue, anytime I mention the top or bottom of the plane or wings, I am referring to top or bottom as we normally see them. IE, if the plane was sitting on the ground.

 

I realized something that has me thinking this may be possible.

Giving what we know about how an aircraft achieves flight, we must assume that an aircraft would not be able to fly upside down. However, we know that many can. The reason they can is that their wings are symmetrical. They have the "bulge" at both the top and bottom of the wing. So how does it take off and fly straight? It's the angle of the wing that matters. By changing the angle of the wing, the longer airflow route can be moved from the top of the wing to the bottom. If the pilot wants to fly inverted, he or she rolls the plane in a 180º arc. When the inverted position is reached, the wings will configure themselves, sometime automatically by computer, so that the bottom "bulge" forces the longer airflow route. I mentioned this because it means that there is more than one possible shape for a wing.

 

Another thing that comes to mind is that there are planes with the wings angled upwards and planes with the wings angled downwards. The Japanese Zero and the Russian MiG-27 are two examples. So, neither the upper wings or the bottom wings, shaped correctly, are impossible for our hypothetical X-Craft.

 

I'm still not sure what the competing forces will mean, but I'm beginning to think that it will fly. I still think that efficiently is the biggest problem. I'm sure that if there was an advantage to this type of craft, someone would have made it. It should fly, but a two wing aircraft seems to be much more practical.

 

Anyway, I just hope some of that made sense...

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Bob - The more I think about it, the more I think you're actually right. The angle of the wings isn't really that much and if some minor modifications were made it could certainly fly. An X with four 90° angles, not so sure, but something like the actual X-Wing, which is about 45° could work.

 

 

I was thinking about something more like this:

 

X-Wing.jpg

This image has been brought to you by MS Paint

 

I'm sure I've seen planes like this. It's not exactly and X but still.

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anyone else ever make one of those balsa wood, scale x-wing models?

 

Ha, found one: http://cgi.ebay.com/Star-Wars-X-Wing-Fighter-Wood-Glider-OOP-Mint-LA_W0QQitemZ6500090449QQihZ015QQcategoryZ37887QQcmdZViewItem

 

I used to put these things together and they flew just fine. The only modification was a canard wing on the front since the main wings are so far back, but it flew quite well when put together properly.

 

Any reason why a model scaled up accordingly and given a mechanical mode of propulsion wouldn't work?

 

[edit] just bought the ebay X-wing. See if it flies as well as I remember.

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I used to put these things together and they flew just fine. The only modification was a canard wing on the front since the main wings are so far back, but it flew quite well when put together properly.

 

Any reason why a model scaled up accordingly and given a mechanical mode of propulsion wouldn't work?

 

Structural weight, engine weight, wind resistance, incapacity to provide sufficient lift from wings that aren't aerodynamic.

 

If it was truly possible for one to fly, which means taking off and landing, someone would have done it by now. A small scale model made for what essentially is gliding isn't subject to the same forces.

 

 

EDIT: They also made a Y-Wing

 

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/star-wars/y+wing-beats-x+wing-gold-squadron-finally-kicks-ass-308477.php

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