by Simon Barraclough
On Earth the work of organisations such as SETI lead to the discovery of historical evidence of great space empires far far away and the technology used by these people. Based on information on alien fighter designs, aerospace engineers applied new design features to the next generation of fighters. The X-Wing configuration provided greater manoeuvrability in space using the OMS pods on the ends of the lower wing. New exo-atmospheric propulsion system mounted on the low wing, with waste heat rejection from the inner surface of the lower wing, exposed in the deployed wing configuration. Closed wing provides efficient flight within an atmosphere. With the alien anti-gravity technology still in development the fighter relies on air breathing engines on the upper wing for atmospheric propulsion as well as a scramjet engine to propel the fighter beyond the atmosphere. Additionally with artificial intelligence in its infancy, a rear navigator is required to assist with the complexities of operating a craft in multiple environments.
This first generation “star-fighter” is one of the first examples of the alien/human hybrid designs, being equally capable in an atmospheric and space environment.
This project started with an old X-Wing model I never got around to building. Never having done a real scratch build before I thought I try my first attempt with an aerodynamic X-Wing (the Star Wars craft are great but they can be a bit blocky). The X-Wing had the wings cut and the cockpit removed and bits added from other aircraft models. The cockpit, jet engines, front undercarriage are from an F-14 while the tails, rear undercarriage, weapons and wing are from an F-18.