The Aerodynamics of Star Wars Fighters

Mmmmmm. Teach you about aerodynamics, I will. Learn something, you may…


Happy Star Wars Day


Hello everyone, as many of you may or may not know, today is May 4th. It means it is Star Wars day! So why not celebrate by making a pointless topic about aeronautical sciences concerning fictional space fighters?!

Jokes aside, I think it would be an interesting lesson to learn about aeronautical engineering and how much we actually know about making things that can fly! So let’s get right into it with the two biggest ships in Star Wars, the TIE Fighter and the X-Wing.


Let’s start with the T-56B X-Wing.

Utilizing four Incom 4L4 Fusial Thrust Engines, the T-56B X-Wing is a versatile starfighter primarily used by the Rebel Alliance, New Republic, and other smaller groups such as crime syndicates. It utilizes Four S-Foil style wings, which can lock into a flight and attack position. The X-Wing is armed with Taim & Bak KX9 laser cannons (4) and Krupx MG7 proton torpedo launchers (2). It additionally utilizes a Chempat “Defender” deflector shield projector and generator, Titanium armor alloy, and a Bertriak “Screamer” sensor jammer. It is additionally hyperspace capable.

So how is this aerodynamic? Simply put, it’s not, can’t ever be, and will never be. According to Syfy, “The X-wing fighter, though, is not a very aerodynamic design . All those intersections at the fuselage will create a ton of drag due to interfering aerodynamics. The engines and wingtip pylons are not helping in that regard, either, as they are not well blended in.”

Additionally, when NASA, in conjunction with Adobe ran a simulation on an X-Wing fighter. They found that despite the massive powerplant and utilization of thrust from the engines, they found that the sheer weight and wingspan would not be enough to even lift it off the ground. Earth’s atmosphere varies differently, however, displayed in Star Wars are earth-like planets as well. In order to factor this in, similar simulations were run with the suspected dimensions and conditions of atmospheres of said Earth-like planets in coordination with the official canon.

In all, the X-Wing is terrible aerodynamically. However, it pails in comparison to the monstrosity that is the Sienar Fleet Systems TIE Fighter.


The Sienar Fleet Systems TIE Fighter is a fighter utilized by the Galactic Empire, First Order, and their respective umbrella groups such as the Mining Guild. It is propelled by two SFS P-s4 Twin Ion Engines, and is not hyperspace capable (however, some of its variants are (such as the TIE Defender (but this is the baseline model (also this is a lot of these messages)))). It is armed with SFS L-s1 laser cannons (2) and can also be armed with warhead launchers. It was produced in mass by the Galactic Empire, and additionally had many variants of it made in order to meet certain needs of both the Empire and the First Order respectively.

In comparison with the X-Wing, the TIE Fighter shouldn’t even be considered a flying object. According to SyFy, “Well, apparently you’d almost rather be flying a brick than a TIE Fighter, which has a laughable drag coefficient of just 0.98. And even with its more aerodynamic wing configuration, the TIE/IN Interceptor didn’t fare much better, with a rating of 0.78. Granted, Rogue One’s TIE Striker took advantage of its stealthy atmospheric mission redesign to score a 0.48.”

Additionally, the TIE Fighter utilizes very weak engines. The Ion Propulsion could not even get them off of the ground, let alone give them maneuverability. Additionally, having no real wings and weaker thrust gives this thing no aerodynamics to speak of. By that point, it wouldn’t even be considered an aircraft.


In Conclusion


Comparing these two fighters is like trying to determine a brick vs a cinder block. Neither of them would really be able to fly, and pail in comparison to our hyper aerodynamic modern fighters. Despite their space capabilities, in the real world where physics exist, these would be obsolete before they could even fly.

I hope you have enjoyed this little piece I made. Happy Star Wars day, and may the Force be with you!

Edit 1: Also. I know I could have made this longer, but I couldn’t really find much more on it. If you would like, google it.

Also, if you liked this topic, vote your opinion below. I always like to know if I can improve.

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Edit 2: Thanks for all of the love and support guys! I’m glad to know people enjoy what I make sometimes.

22 Likes

I think baby today made them, if they can defy gravity

I know they are in space I feel so dumb

Since sound cant be heard in space, they should just make a Star Wars movie, but all the fighting is muted.


And now apparently the fighters cant fly.

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In a nutshell, yes.

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Very cool, May the 4th be with you.

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And with you as well.

And I thought the X-Wing would be somewhat aerodynamic…

This was a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. I’m sure the laws of physics were changed by the physics gods to make sure the events of the Star Wars saga didn’t happen a second time, and that is why these simulations failed.

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Great Topic! Very informative!

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I also should note, these were just two fighters. The A-wing is much more aerodynamic, if not the most aerodynamic.