Boeing might be taking the last important steps to plan for its first crewed Starliner capsule spaceflight, but it’s also fully dedicated into turning sci-fi into reality right here on Earth — by helping Disney build X-wing large-scale starfighters to mark the opening of the “Rise of the Resistance” ride at Disney World in Florida.
When the ride opened this week during an evening ceremony, X-wings “roughly the size of a family van” flew over the event, as described by The Drive, which first recognized earlier spy shots of the vehicles as possibly being based on Boeing’s aerial cargo drone. Boeing has since confirmed its involvement, but they aren’t giving more info than that the X-wings were really their aircraft.
In the video below, you can see the X-wings rise vertically into the night sky, then fly and rotate before heading out. Don’t go squinting to see if you can spot Poe Dameron at the controls, however — these are drones based most likely on the Cargo Air Vehicle design Boeing has recently shown off, which comes with six rotors.
Astute observers and Star Wars fans will see that the X-wings feature the split-engine design included in the T-70 variant that is flown by the Resistance in the current trilogy, as opposed to the full cylinder engine design on the T-65 from the original trilogy. That makes absolute sense since the Rise of the Resistance ride takes place during an encounter between the Resistance and the First Order during the current trilogy timeline.
As for Boeing’s CAV, it recently created a three-minute test flight during which it showed the forward movement, after flying outdoors during a hover test for the first time earlier this year. The cargo drone is created for industrial applications and can carry up to 500 lbs of cargo… but it’s still in the trial phase, which makes this Star Wars demo even more exciting.