Video: Luke Skywalker’s final flight

posted at 10:15 am on October 8, 2007 by Allahpundit

Last week Bryan called it the coolest model rocket ever.

This week the Empire finally struck back. Click the image to watch.

xwing2.jpg

Update (Bryan): I refuse to believe the video evidence. We need an X-Wing Truther movement!

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Jek Porkins was unavailable for comment.

Bad Candy on October 8, 2007 at 10:17 AM

The force was with them, but they lacked structural integrity.

Tennessee Dave on October 8, 2007 at 10:21 AM

DOH! That was still cool. X-wing fighters are designed for zero gravity. Not to mention the fact that it is indeed fiction.

ThackerAgency on October 8, 2007 at 10:23 AM

Well that was dangerous

tomas on October 8, 2007 at 10:25 AM

The Rebellion is getting off to a shakey start.

Did I see a parachute?

Tony737 on October 8, 2007 at 10:30 AM

Is it true that the guidance system was an iPhone?

Limerick on October 8, 2007 at 10:32 AM

The close up video is way cool. Having said that, the video is the best argument I’ve seen yet against nationalized health care. The debris could easily have hit spectators and then we’re stuck paying for people who are too stupid live.

trubble on October 8, 2007 at 10:34 AM

That was better than the original movie.

meandchi on October 8, 2007 at 10:35 AM

Now they know the power of the Dark Side…

elgeneralisimo on October 8, 2007 at 10:37 AM

I think I remember reading that the engineers were concerned something like this would happen…that the thrust would tear it apart.

Ahhh well…it sucks that it went FUBAR, but at least they were reaching for the stars ;-) Kudos for that.

Better luck next time fellas!

Ochlan on October 8, 2007 at 10:38 AM

Truther: “It’s a conspirocy! I saw the green lazer shoot the plane outta the sky! Bush is Darth Vader! Google it! Cheney is the Emperor! He used a Halliburton lazer! It was an inside job! Google it!”

Tony737 on October 8, 2007 at 10:38 AM

I thought it was a Thompson campaign commercial at first.

Bradky on October 8, 2007 at 10:42 AM

Hah hah hah Please…………..I cant stop laughing…a 21 foot tall balsa wood model rocket, and the idiot didn’t know ahead of time that it would never withstand the at least 5 different vector torque stresses that it would be subject to???

doriangrey on October 8, 2007 at 10:45 AM

Oh.

OHHHH. The pain. The suckage of that must sting like hell.

“Eject!”

MadisonConservative on October 8, 2007 at 10:46 AM

Maybe they’ll have better luck with a Y-Wing.

Yakko77 on October 8, 2007 at 10:47 AM

doriangrey on October 8, 2007 at 10:45 AM

There was more to it than just balsa…some aluminum frame etc…but yes, somebody really failed to carry the one somewhere ;-)

Ochlan on October 8, 2007 at 10:48 AM

This is an object lesson in why aerospace engineers don’t just add wings onto things to make them look cool.

The parachute opening just off the ground was precious.

jdpaz on October 8, 2007 at 10:49 AM

It wasn’t the Force that failed Luke, but the Resistance.

Dusty on October 8, 2007 at 10:50 AM

Hey, it got off the launch pad.

Vanguard[tv3] didn’t even do that.
[Two feet doesn’t count]

rockhauler on October 8, 2007 at 10:50 AM

Too much rocket. He should have used a two stage setup with less thrust on the first stage.

csdeven on October 8, 2007 at 10:51 AM

That failure kind of reminds me of when my soapbox careened out of its lane and hit a tree.

Dusty on October 8, 2007 at 10:52 AM

Quick, someone recover the R2 unit!

Bigfoot on October 8, 2007 at 10:57 AM

the idiot didn’t know ahead of time that it would never withstand the at least 5 different vector torque stresses that it would be subject to???

doriangrey on October 8, 2007 at 10:45 AM

Wonder what that femlib babe who spoke 5 languages to waiters would think of that.

JiangxiDad on October 8, 2007 at 11:00 AM

Carbon fiber, fellers, carbon fiber is your friend. Lose the balsa.

What size SF rocket engines did they use? Those were pretty spectacular.

El Cazador on October 8, 2007 at 11:03 AM

Carbon fiber, fellers, carbon fiber is your friend. Lose the balsa.

What size SF rocket engines did they use? Those were pretty spectacular.

El Cazador on October 8, 2007 at 11:03 AM

Yes it is…Oh and I’m guessing those were customs engines and I am also guessing that in order to get that really bright red, they used a heavy iron/magnesium based oxygenator in their fuel.

doriangrey on October 8, 2007 at 11:23 AM

w00t!!! Yeah! Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving rocket.

JinxMcHue on October 8, 2007 at 11:32 AM

Yes it is…Oh and I’m guessing those were customs engines and I am also guessing that in order to get that really bright red, they used a heavy iron/magnesium based oxygenator in their fuel.

doriangrey on October 8, 2007 at 11:23 AM

Opp’s should have researched that before posting………Class M Rocket motor used…

doriangrey on October 8, 2007 at 11:32 AM

“Nice shooting Wedge”

srhoades on October 8, 2007 at 11:36 AM

The parachute didn’t seem to help much.

nottakingsides on October 8, 2007 at 11:39 AM

This wouldn’t have happened if they made a TIE-Fighter…

Number 2 on October 8, 2007 at 11:43 AM

Reminds me of my model rocketing days in my youth many decades ago. Someone made an Estes Saturn V rocket. It had 5 or 6 rocket motors in the first stage. On launch one or two of them failed to light, causing uneven thrust. There was enough thrust to get it off the pad, but it immediately pitched to one side and became a dangerous projectile. Fortunately nobody was hurt.

Snidely Whiplash on October 8, 2007 at 11:53 AM

It was sabotaged by the Jooooos.

infidel4life on October 8, 2007 at 11:54 AM

Here’s a better angle.

http://www.geekologie.com/fastsearch?tag=flying

It makes it appear that the force vector they failed to account for was gravity on the still-wet glue holding the wings on.

pedestrian on October 8, 2007 at 12:02 PM

We’re never going to get the attention of the Vulcans now! (Huh? What? Wrong canon?)

…nevermind.

geckomon on October 8, 2007 at 12:04 PM

As soon as I saw those widely-extended plywood rocket motor mounts in the original clip, I had me a big “Hmmmmm…..”

eeyore on October 8, 2007 at 12:07 PM

I refuse to believe the video evidence. We need an X-Wing Truther movement!

At 13 seconds into this clip. You can clearly see a red flash in the middle of the x-wing. Obvious signs of thermite in an attempt to thwart the rebellion.

http://www.geekologie.com/fastsearch?tag=flying

lorien1973 on October 8, 2007 at 12:19 PM

(We’re never going to get the attention of the Vulcans now! (Huh? What? Wrong canon?)

I don’t know…. The YouTube footage might be on Vulcan’s Funniest Videos someday.

Speaking of YouTube and canon…. How about this canon?

The Monster on October 8, 2007 at 12:20 PM

Thanks for the link pedestrian, a much better view, and some backstory…

“It will be launched in a fashion similar to traditional model rockets, but after liftoff the wings are going to open to attack position, through the use of a motor the team installed.”

I think I know what failed…

gekkobear on October 8, 2007 at 12:30 PM

“I find their lack of engineering skills disturbing.” Darth Vader

VikingGoneWild on October 8, 2007 at 12:32 PM

lorien1973 on October 8, 2007 at 12:19 PM

Obvious evidence of a controlled demolition.

infidel4life on October 8, 2007 at 12:39 PM

I wish I had enough time on my hands to build something so completely useless. I think the flight sorta represented the last four films of the series. Crash…and…burn.

robblefarian on October 8, 2007 at 12:58 PM

So while American geeks occuply themselves with poorly conceived replicas of ancient special effects, the Japanese nerds are doing this:

http://www.geekologie.com/2007/10/robot_suit_makes_you_strong_lo.php

Note the cover of “helping the elderly” as a way to fund the robot army.

pedestrian on October 8, 2007 at 1:01 PM

Note the cover of “helping the elderly” as a way to fund the robot army

Love the nips ;-) I for one am happy to bow down in front of my cyber-enhanced nihonjin masters…

Ochlan on October 8, 2007 at 1:16 PM

“Coulda got someone hurt, even kilt”

Sgt Stricker
Sands of Iwo Jima

TheSitRep on October 8, 2007 at 1:24 PM

It was simply poor construction quality of the motor mounts. At least it wasn’t the failure of 2 of 5 ignitors like what happened to me many, many years ago.

steveegg on October 8, 2007 at 1:37 PM

Let be a lesson: This is why you don’t go to light speed before you clear Earth’s atmosphere…..;-)
The force definitely wasn’t with them!

PB

Planet Boulder on October 8, 2007 at 1:58 PM

Did I hear a dirty word?

Kini on October 8, 2007 at 1:58 PM

It’s not about how hard you crash, it’s all about how quickly you build the next one.

T J Green on October 8, 2007 at 3:10 PM

6 months of work,
2 seconds of beauty,
Enough nerd street cred to last a lifetime.

Not bad.

John on October 8, 2007 at 3:18 PM

I saw the squib charges go-off, obviously an inside job. I bet it was Cheney that pushed the button.

Maxx on October 8, 2007 at 3:46 PM

I am an Aerospace engineer. And have been chief engineer of Real Aircraft, not some Hollywood special effects creation.

This event is an example of the Nutroots mindset in action. If Hollywood produced it, it is close enough that we can make it real.

Look at the wing thickness of the wings on the X-Wing fighter, particularly at the root. Not any thicker than any other part of the wing. George Lucas, Hollywood, Nutroots, don’t have to obey any law of physics, or any of the 100 years of aeronautical science that goes into every true, certified aircraft.

The wings (one probably started it) ripped off at the root, when the airpseed (Dynamic Pressure) got high enough to create big wing loads (and root bending moment) into the wing structure. The other wings, and rest of it, failed, when the resulting angle of attack went way up, as it started to cartwheel, making even higher loads, and the whole thing comes apart.

None of this appears to be caused by the rockets at all, though I seriously doubt whether any real engineering analysis was done on any of this.

Suggestion: Try to build models based on real products, not Hollywood crap.

‘Deal with Reality, or Reality will deal with you.’

Jimmy Doolittle on October 8, 2007 at 5:06 PM

Hmph.

It only failed because they forgot to add Corbomite to the frame. From the looks of the exhausts, I’d also wager they hadn’t properly calibrated the Dilithium crystal mounts.
Besides, everyone knows the X-wing launches from the horizontal position. Probably threw off the inertial compensators.
At least they had the sense not to arm it with live proton torpedoes, that would’ve been disasterous.

Live long and-er, I mean, May the Force be with you.

Lancer on October 8, 2007 at 7:50 PM

Han shot first!!

Wuptdo on October 8, 2007 at 8:11 PM