Truck-Sized Star Destroyer Takes Flight

While some of you may have been to see the new Star Wars movie, you might be sad that everything happened a long time ago in a galaxy far away. But there’s a group of RC enthusiasts called [Flite Test] who are trying to bring at least a little bit of that fantasy into real life. They’ve created a truck-sized Star Destroyer that actually flies. It looks kind of terrifying, too.

While it’s not as big as a “real” Star Destroyer, it’s certainly one of the biggest we’ve ever seen in real life. Built out of foam, this monstrosity is 15 feet long and powered by two huge electric motors and a large lithium polymer battery. Of course they didn’t start out by building this huge flying spaceship; they created a smaller model as proof-of-concept and flew that one around for a while to make sure everything was shipshape. While it’s exciting to see the small model in flight, it’s another thing to see the 15-foot version swooping around.

We’re sad to report that the Star Destroyer did meet a similar fate as the one that Rey was scavenging at the beginning of the movie (spoilers: it crashed), we hope that the RC team rebuilds it so it’s space worthy again. Maybe they can even add a real-life ion drive or a few lasers to make it even more real.

27 thoughts on “Truck-Sized Star Destroyer Takes Flight

    1. Taped before the empire forced the sticker I think,
      I wonder if the empire will develop a large anti-drone device looking like a small moon. That will destroy the homes of rebel drone users.

          1. Exactly, styrofoam (or should I say EPS) is not exactly a dangerous impact material. And in fact it often goes airborne on accident when it’s removed from a delivery and stacked outside, all without the magical sticker of compliance with the empire. Shocking, I know.

  1. Interesting how it wobbles. Would be funny if if it had had the bay at the underside it would not wobble.

    (Did you notice the double double words and it still making sense there? And now I did it again)

    1. Noticed it and it made me stumble. Just because the brain can still process something doesn’t mean that it’s transparent with no effect on efficiency.

      Writing with tricks like that kicks the brain into ‘gist’ mode and makes it more prone to missing small details that may be present while scanning for the general idea. One thing those facebook posts dont ask people to assess is how much more work their brain did vs. a plainly written passage or if it might have taken a half second longer per sentence.

      Most of the time I have to read it twice because my brain processes this big long string but only comes back with this short bit of data so it assumes that it missed something along the way.

  2. Awesome and funny how it keeps flying even after losing some pieces. Loved it!
    It would be worth trying to put a couple propellers in the rear, then three props in the wings edges and nose, all 3 facing down, to attempt VTOL operation, ie no more need for a truck for launch.

    1. Anything that is big enough to hold enough helium to give it lift also ends up having a ton of drag on it, and its size compared to that drag makes pushing it a rather slow and boring event.
      But because of that starting the movement with a propeller would be an issue because the propeller is spinning like crazy but not yet moving so much causing interference with itself I’m guessing. So now I’m wondering if this kind of drive has a better capability of giving push at low speed of what it’s trying to push compared to a traditional propeller. I have a feeling it would, since if a propeller moves slow it can’t grab enough air and give it direction (it would sooner just create turbulence I think), whereas this thing should at lower RPM already be able to start pushing air is my guess.

      This reminds me that they also experimented with waterjets as drive for boats/submarines, and they do have their own advantages like less noise underwater. And what is noise? turbulence. But water is of course much much denser and not compressible like air so it’s not quite comparable.
      But I’m wildly guessing.

      Feel free to explore this idea NASA and civilian researchers, but don’t use it for killer/military blimps please :)

    2. Any amount of helium would work to offset some of the weight, the question comes down to how close to positive buoyancy you get and the effect that would have on maneuverability. Weight gives something for the thrust to act against so as you decrease the weight through added buoyancy the craft would handle more like a blimp and have an increased chance of overpowering during more aggressive manuvers.

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