Photo by Mark Avino, Smithsonian
X-Wing at National Air and Space Museum

Boeing CV2 Cargo Air Vehicles tricked out to become Star Wars X-Wings are now on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia.

Photo by Mark Avino, Smithsonian X-Wing; Boeing CV2 Cargo Air Vehicle (CAV) (A20240204000) on display n the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA. May 3, 2024.

Guests who attended the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening ceremony at Walt Disney World in 2019 got to see with their own eyes, X-Wings in flight! Only these weren’t real X-Wings, but rather large drones: The Boeing CV2 Carto Air Vehicles wearing X-Wing outer shells. Take a look!

From the Smithsonian:

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum has welcomed a Boeing CV2 Cargo Air Vehicle (CAV) to the collection. This CAV was the first remotely piloted large eVTOL (electrical vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft to be flown in support of a commercial operation in the United States. For this flight, Boeing partnered with Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development to mount X-wing “body shells” on two CAVs for the opening events of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The themed CAV is a gift from Boeing and Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development and will go on display at the museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

“While lightweight delivery drones are being tested at a number of locations around the nation, the development of heavier vertical takeoff and landing cargo drones for military and commercial use is one of the most promising areas of autonomous aircraft development,” said Roger Connor, vertical flight curator at the museum. “The Boeing Cargo Air Vehicle was the first of these allowed to perform a commercial flight in the United States—in this instance, carrying a Star Wars X-wing shell that was used at Walt Disney World.”

In 2017, Boeing began development of all-electric uncrewed CAVs designed to carry 225 kilograms (500 pounds) of cargo. The company used them as testbeds to understand the opportunities and challenges of applying advances in batteries, electric propulsion and autonomous flight. In December 2019, when Boeing partnered with The Walt Disney Co., a crowd of spectators watched as two X-wing-outfitted CAVs flew over the Walt Disney World event. Ultraviolet spotlights illuminated the drones so that only the X-wing frame was visible.

“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.

The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Virginia, near Washington Dulles International Airport. It is open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free, but there is a $15 fee for parking.

14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, Virginia 20151

10:00 am to 5:30 pm
Open every day except December 25

Free admission
No tickets required
Parking $15

David Yeh
A long time fan of both Disney and Star Wars, he has a hard time resisting the temptations of Disney’s merchandising force. If you see pictures of the toys and pins, you can bet they are from Dave, our resident collecting guru.