In a follow-up story to our recent story about Disney's secretive endeavor to create flying X-Wings to soar over their Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge theme park, we have now confirmed with Boeing that they were indeed part of the endeavor. The X-Wings appeared in front of a huge crowd at the park for the opening of the highly-anticipated Rise Of The Resistance ride's grand opening last evening in Orlando, Florida.
We were first to point out that judging by spy shots of the X-Wings, which are roughly the size of a family van, the craft appeared to be based on Boeing's Cargo Air Vehicle (CAV) drone. In an email response to our inquiry, Alison Sheridan, a communications official for Boeing's future-technology NeXt initiative, stated the following:
"We can confirm that those were Boeing aircraft that flew last night at the Rise Of The Resistance dedication, and we were excited to be part of their event, but that’s all we’re sharing right now."
It is a very novel application of one of Boeing's still experimental future-facing aerospace technologies. In fact, flying a pair of CAVs in a highly modified form at a very high-profile event like this that is associated with one of the world's largest brands and entertainment franchises speaks to the stability and maturity of the CAV design.
You can read all about these vehicles, Disney's recent track record of pulling off grand illusions in the air on a not so a grand budget, and how such illusions have major tactical takeaways in our recent feature on the topic linked here.
The collaboration between Disney's Imagineering team and Boeing is an interesting one, to say the least. It will be great to hear the backstory about how this idea came to be, how the platform was selected, and how its X-Wing structure was added and flight tested. Hopefully, we will have those details in the not so distant future.
In the meantime, check out what all the fanfare was about with these videos from Rise Of The Resistance. An incredible amount of technology went into making this "Deathstar" of dark rides happen. New effects include blaster bolts that fly across hangar bays and damaging the surrounding structure to lightsabers burning through ceilings. The Disney Imagineering team is pretty much the Skunk Works of the theme park universe, they can pull off most any illusion they are challenged to do. This ride, the most complex on our own planet, proves that.
SPOILER ALERT! If you don't want to see the ride before actually going on it, read about stealth cruise missiles instead!
Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com