Another Question about building an R/C X-wing Fighter

I receintly posted a question about the possibility of building an operational R/C X-wing fighter that I can’t seem to locate. Several people responded to that posting and I am really grateful for it. :cool: I’ve done some digging around and managed to find a line controlled X-wing that looks like it could be something to start with This is what I was looking at. I couldn’t help but notice the clear plastic canard wings mounted on the front. If these actually stabalize this fighter in actual line controlled flight, How well do you think it wuold work on an R/C plane in freeflight? I’d also have to develop some method of steering and controlling her. Tell me, do you think that this model would be a good start, or am I just wasting my time?

Just a nit to pick on terminology but if a planed is in free flight then it isn’t radio controlled.

The X-wing as shown in star wars isn’t a practical airplane design with all of the mass in front of the wings, that’s why the version you saw required canards. At that point you just have a canard biplane with dihedral on the top wings, anhedral on the bottom wings. I’m not sure what you mean by “I’d also have to develop some method of steering and controlling her.” Did you intend for it not to have normal flight controls? You’d have elevators on the canard and ailerons on the wings. If you didn’t want to have a rudder you’d need a different arrangement for yaw control. Maybe clamshell type speed brakes at the wing tips.

If you want to design one that is configured like the movie version with no canards you have a real problem. Modern military aircraft are described as being inherently unstable but this is a different matter altogether. Computerized flight controls won’t change the fact that the center of lift is not remotely in the same region as the center of mass. In fact an intentionally unstable design that is made for maneuverability will have the center of mass somewhat behind the center of lift/pressure. The X-wing would have center of mass grossly in front of the center of lift. It would probably make it too stable. Unfortunately the only stable flight attitude might be going straight down.

I don’t see why that has to be the case. Make the front extremely light (plastic drinking straws with mylar skin), and it would be back-heavy. Not to say that X-Wing could ever be a practical design.

Then you have a plane that is just garden variety unstable in pitch axis. Pitch control will have to be with elevons on the wings. That puts them extremely close to the center of gravity which will make them hypersensitive. FWIW this is one of the first things the Wright brothers learned about their 1903 flier. The canards were so close to the center of gravity that hypersensitive control made it nearly impossible to fly the plane without it porpoising wildly. Look at the model B flyer, the one they used upright seats on so they could carry a passenger. The front framework is longer so the canards are farther away from the C.G. Compare films of flights of the original flyer to the later models.

Also that long nose will have an aerodynamic effect but without canards it can’t be used for control and will probably make things more unstable by putting the center of pressure in front of the center of lift.