Star Wars X Wing

by rcspaceflight | July 7, 2013 | (10) Posted in Projects


I thought it would be cool to build an X Wing (from Star Wars) and the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea.

* It would be stable because I would add an airfoil to the top wings, which have dihedral.

* It would be a pusher style plane which means it will be difficult to break a prop. Trust me beginners, this is a huge deal. Nothing worse than going threw 5 props in a matter of minutes and then having to order more and waiting for them to arrive.

* It would be easy to build because it is basically made out of four identical pieces.

* I also like that it's a 'bank and yank'. I had bad luck with the J3 Cub Old Timer I got from Hobby King because it only had rudder and elevator. I would turn too sharp, tilt it too much, and the rudder can't correct that. Only ailerons can.

Photos of completed plane:

I want to mention that these are all photos of the first X Wing that I built. The test one. The one I used to figure stuff out on and make sure that this plane is actually worth building.

I never tested the plane without the canard. But I took photos of it before I added one to see what it looked like. I almost like the look of having the canard better. Not to mention that I'm sure it flies a lot better with one.

I personally think the plane looks bad from this angle. It's too flat looking.

I strongly recommend storing the plane in this position without the battery on it. There is less stress on the wings this way. I will also mention that after I broke/cut off the "guns" on this plane, I could still have it balanced this way without the added weight of the battery mounted on the plane.

With the canard.

Maiden flights:

I muted parts of the audio in this video because I didn't like what I was saying while flying. It was just dumb stuff that I wanted out. I tried to keep the plane slow and low so the camera could see it better, but I'm not a very good pilot.

This video also has parts where I talk about the plane because I felt that it was important information.

Material list (for airframe):

This is the list of what I used for the airframe. Feel free to use different materials.

2 - sheets of Dollar Tree foam board

6 to 10 - BBQ Skewers

2 - Flite Test control horns

1 - Flite Test firewall

2 - Paper clips (for control linkages)

Packing tape

Hot glue



I am not going to even bother listing what I used for the electronics. I over heated a motor, probably from burning out an ESC. I have a 5x5 prop on it which is meant for speed and that is NOT what you want as a beginner.

I am going to recommend using what Flite Test recommends for their planes. That way you already have what you need for your next plane. You probably want an 8x4 prop. Something slow.

I just used what I had and I may look into taking my own advice and using what Flite Test recommends.


These plans are NOT meant to be printed out and traced onto the foam board. Just do what I did, use a ruler and some sort of 90degree triangle or T-square or whatever. You need perfect 90degree corners for all of the measurements. These plans are to scale, but it's not worth wasting the paper.

I recommend drawing the main part of the plane out onto a sheet of poster/tag board and then use it as a stencil to trace it onto the foam board. Not only would it be nice to use for all four pieces when making one plane, but then you have it for when/if you want to make another. Or if a friend wants to make one too. I used the first piece of foam board I cut out to trace out the other three, but I was going to use poster board except that the poster board sold at Dollar Tree is smaller than their foam board.

I hope this is self explanatory. The red lines are used for measuring, do not cut them out or even draw them. I made the "gun" blue because it is optional. I didn't mark the angles, but if it looks 90degrees, it is. I have all of the numbers the same color as the corresponding line. This is all in inches. Sorry, but you'll have to make your own conversions to metric if that's what you prefer.

This picture is to show the placement of the plans. You get two pieces from one sheet of foam board and the center part is then used for the KF step and the canard.

This picture is to show the measurements for the control surfaces. Only cut this out for the bottom wings. I made the lines purple so show that it's a difference step/piece.

This horribly not to scale picture is to show the angle of the wings. Viewed from the back, the center of the plane is 3 and a half inches off of the table when the wing tips are touching the table.

This picture is to show how far back the canard goes. Five inches back. I probably didn't need a picture of it.

The canard is two pieces of foam board cut at 5" x 3".

The KF step/airfoil is two pieces of foam board cut at 14" x 2". It's okay if they are just a little under 14". It is barely 14" between the wings of the two pieces cut out of the foam board and it is between the wings where you cut the KF steps out.

Again, use the center 'scrap' part of the foam board to cut these out. The KF steps from one sheet, and the canard from the other.

The KF Steps are only installed on the top wings.

The Center of Gravity is right at the leading edge of the wing. I show it in all three videos.

Build video:

I tried to keep this short but it still ended up a little over 20 minutes. I think I covered everything that I wanted to and this video is geared more towards beginners. I want to mention that I completely cut out the part where I drew out the plans because I felt like it was unnecessary, boring, and made the video too long.

Sorry for the low quality, but it takes a lot of time to upload a twenty minute video on to YouTube.

I realize that I forgot to mention how to connect the electronics and I forgot to mention that this plane needs Delta mixing to work. Hopefully that is stuff you already know and/or can find elsewhere.

Bonus video:

This video covers the importance of Center of Gravity. This is the maiden videos I took of my first X Wing, which was the test plane. I nearly destroyed the plane just trying to figure out where the CG is!

If you don't check your CG, you're going to have a bad time.


I think this is a great plane, especially for beginners. If you make one, feel free to make any changes to it. I only made two and I'm sure there are still a few improvements that could be made. Especially since I'm a beginner myself.


dammuozz on July 8, 2013
Awesome build!! Try again with another motor/prop/esc and it will fly like an arrow!
Little tip: better not use hot glue to hold the motor, 4 little screws or at least zip ties will do the job. Motors can get hot even in normal usage!
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rcspaceflight on July 9, 2013
Since I'm done with trying to get really good footage of it flying, I think I'm going to keep the current set up until I finish off the plane. I think it's too fast for me with too much throws, so I'll probably destroy the plane quickly. Especially since in all the footage I was flying it at about a third throttle, this time I'll use full.

But yeah, next one I build I will use a reasonable set up. 8x4 prop on a 1300kv motor instead of 5x5 on a 2100kv. And I will use screws to mount the motor. This motor didn't line up with any of the holes on the FT firewall and I was too lazy to drill holes into it.

Oh, and I should mention that I think the motor got hot from using an ESC that couldn't handle the amps I was drawing. I think it's fine with the bigger ESC I have on it now.
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Flying Penguin RC on July 8, 2013
Very Nice build. I may have to try and build one myself.
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LordVader on July 8, 2013
Awesome build, I love Star Wars. I'm going to build this when I'm done with the Spitfire. Really nice work:)
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mattplaneflyer on July 8, 2013
Wow, that looks awesome! Great build and videos.
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Balsa to Foam on July 9, 2013
Great build. Could you make it a swappable.
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rcspaceflight on July 10, 2013
Unfortunately that would complicate the build too much to be worth doing. I would have to build a fuselage to hold the power pod and it would be difficult to mount the wings onto it with the correct angles. It would also make the plane heavier which would mean you'd have to fly it faster.

Even just adding a power pod onto the bottom of the wings would be bad. The motor needs to be pushing the very center of the plane with no thrust angle.
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Bacon8tor on May 1, 2015
Hey Hope Im not going to step on any toes but I am going to try and design this to be swappable and to fix the thrust angle I plan to give where the power pod sits a bit of an angle to counter act that. But for the moment I am going to sketchup. I also am trying to figure a way to make the wing retract and extend
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Star Wars X Wing