Disney's X-Wing Drone from Star Wars Galaxy's Edge opening now on display at National Air and Space Museum

May 03, 2024 in "Star Wars Galaxy's Edge"

Disney's X-Wing Drone on display at National Air and Space Museum
Posted: Friday May 3, 2024 1:56pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum is now home to a unique piece of Disney theme park history - an X-Wing drone.


The heavily modified Boeing CV2 Cargo Air Vehicle (CAV) is now being displayed at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. This CAV, notable for being the first large remotely piloted eVTOL (electrical vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft used in a commercial operation in the U.S., played a unique role in the opening of Star Wars Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World.

In a collaboration between Boeing and Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, the CAV carried X-wing "body shells" to complete the illusion of an X-Wing flying over Batuu. The drone's flight, which took place in December 2019, featured the CAVs flying with X-wing frames illuminated by ultraviolet lights, creating a spectacular visual effect for the audience.

In 2017, Boeing began developing all-electric uncrewed CAVs designed to carry 225 kilograms (500 pounds) of cargo. The company used these as testbeds to understand the opportunities and challenges of applying advances in batteries, electric propulsion, and autonomous flight.

"As Disney Imagineers, we leverage new and emerging technology in service of the story-driven experiences we create," said Scott Trowbridge, senior creative executive for Walt Disney Imagineering. "Our work to bring a 'real' X-wing to the skies above Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge for the opening of a new attraction was not only spectacular, but a moment representative of the immersive Star Wars experience coming to life."

The X-wing CAV has a wingspan of 20.2 feet and 128-kilowatt direct-drive electrical motors. It will be displayed with the vertical flight collection at the museum's Udvar-Hazy Center beginning May 3.

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monothingieMay 06, 2024

Imagine the drone or drones being a permanent nightly thing with some type of pyro and laser effects. Oh well.... enjoy projections on a building with scaled back sparkers.

mutekiMay 06, 2024

It....uhh....doesn't belong in a museum? :P

larryzMay 05, 2024

I wonder how long that CV2 can stay in the air with all that framework and scrims attached...

larryzDec 16, 2019

Not where I was going, but certainly a possibility...

JoeCamelDec 15, 2019

Blast all the trash out of the parks?

larryzDec 15, 2019

Imagine what the Imagineers could do with a surplus Harrier jump jet...

LiterallyNobodyDec 15, 2019

Yep, they are gone. I hear they will be back in a few months though. But once again, nothing permanent...

RteetzDec 14, 2019

LittleGiants'16Dec 10, 2019

Fascinating. Thank you!

ABQDec 10, 2019

There are a number of reports citing their risk management policies, here's one: https://www.propertycasualty360.com/2018/04/04/managing-risk-at-the-happiest-place-on-earth/?slreturn=20191110075540

LittleGiants'16Dec 10, 2019

I’ve never heard this before. Can you cite a source on this?

NottamusDec 09, 2019

I followed your posts....had no reasons to doubt... because of this post, we were able to get to see the drones fly from 5 different vantage points 1- by Baseline Taphouse 2- Dahlia roof top bar 3- parking lot of HS 4- next to RoR 5- some unknown spot in Swge. really didn’t plan on seeing them 5 times...just happened thanks for the information!

Castle Cake ApologistDec 08, 2019

As you've been told multiple times, the issue was not that anybody doubted your information. Your information was obviously solid. People primarily had an issue with the Spirited click-baity way you went about sharing it. Not to mention the several pages of incredulous passive aggressive posts that followed.

larryzDec 08, 2019