Back in February, I took a lot of crap from Star Wars fans when I questioned the usefulness of X-wing fighters' x-wings. Well, if the travails of the Polecat Aerospace club--and the video of their grand scale x-wing flight experiment--are any reliable indication, my lack of confidence has been vindicated. In the real world, those wings shear right off. (Found via SciFi Scanner.)
What you see here is perhaps the greatest model rocket project ever undertaken in the name of fanboy pseudoscience. (Found via SFSignal.) Polecat Aerospace built a 21-foot reproduction (about one-half scale) of an X-wing and designed it to fly--rocket style--with the aid of four M-class solid rocket engines. It even had radio-controlled pivot wings and dome-spinning R2-D2. And fly it did--for about 10 seconds, before the whole laser-cut birch wood-and-steel design disintegrated and crashed into the desert (in California, not Tatooine).
They probably should have tried an A-wing starfighter instead. At least it looks like it incorporates some form of blended-wing lifting body. I'm not saying it would have made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs, but at least it might have survived liftoff.
Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can also follow him on his personal blog.