Star Wars: The X-Wing Breakdown
From Red 5 to Rogue Squadron, one starfighter stands head and shoulders above the rest. Today we breakdown the T65-B X-Wing Starfighter.
In all the galaxy, no starfighter is as iconic as the T65-B X-wing Starfighter. Heavily armed, and versatile enough to compete with the overwhelming weight of the Imperial Navy, the X-Wing leaves its mark on Galactic history. This starfighter helped turn the tide for the Rebel Alliance during the Galactic Civil War. In the ensuing years, it came to represent the strength of the New Republic.
Its signature S-foils herald daring pilots and heroic battles. And yet, the X-Wing almost wasn’t. Our story begins in the early days of the Clone Wars.
The Creation of the X-Wing
As the Republic warred with the Confederacy Independent Systems, secretly manipulated by the machinations of Darth Sidious, the Republic needed starfighters. The Separatists had struck swiftly, catching the Republic on the back foot. It was one of the massive advantages the CIS had in the early days of the Clone Wars. But, the Republic turned to the engineers of the Incom Corporation. The Incom Corporation could trace its roots back to the High Republic.
And theirs was a reputation for excellence. They delivered in spades for the Clone Wars. Their first wave of starfighters proved their versatility. One can look at the design of the Z-95 Headhunters and the Aggressive ReConnaissance-170 starfighter to see it in action.
However, the engineers at Incom strove to build a well-rounded snubfighter with no exploitable weakness. To that end, they designed a new craft, one capable of being self-sufficient, including a hyperdrive.
That craft was the X-Wing. But it was almost a weapon of the Imperial Navy.
The Chosen Ship of Rebel Pilots
Originally, the X-Wing had been intended for the Imperial Navy. However, the Galactic Empire chose the cost-effective (and decidedly more fragile) TIE Fighter. They could produce more for a fraction of the cost.
But Incom still had X-Wing prototypes built and operational as early as 1 year before the Battle of Yavin. Thanks to action by Rebel operatives and Rebel sympathizers within Incom, a shipment of the fighters was stolen from the Empire.
And the Rebels put them to good use. Starting with the T-65B X-Wing, these fighters first saw action over the attack on Lothal. It was a fast and furious battle around the planet where the TIE/D Defender Elite was being developed. Though the battle had heavy casualties for the Rebel forces, the X-Wing proved its usefulness. And they quickly spread throughout the Alliance.
Saw Gerrera used them, they were used in the Battle of Scarif where Rogue One went and captured the plans for the Death Star. And of course, the X-Wing became known as the premiere starfighter in the galaxy when a lone starfighter made its way down the meridian trench and destroyed the entire station.
From that point on, X-Wings became a mainstay of the Rebel Alliance. When it became the New Republic, more sophisticated X-Wings replaced them. It paved the way for T-70 X-Wings and T-85 varieties which featured heavier shields and armor respectively.
The T-65B though, was special. It was a single-seat craft that could punch well above its weight. The original X-Wing was highly maneuverable and heavily shielded, with a streamlined profile that made it harder to hit. Incom even designed the starfighter for atmospheric flight. An X-Wing could outmaneuver a TIE Fighter in atmosphere.
The secret to all this rested in the X-Wing’s wing-like strike foils, or S-Foils for short. The S-Foils could lock in place for more maneuverable flight, or could lock open in attack position, giving it a greater spread of fire.
An X-Wing typically carried four Taim & Bak KX9 laser cannons placed at the tip of each S-Foil. They could be fired singly, in alternating pairs, or in a devastating quad-burst, with a default convergence point 500 meters in front of the X-Wing.
Two Krupx MG7 proton torpedo launchers rested in grooves near the middle of the underside fuselage on either side of the T-65B.
But just as important, the X-Wing carried a heavy deflector shield generator that could be adjusted around the craft. As well the ship had four 4L4 fusial thrust engines giving it a top speed of 1050 kph.
And thus, the X-Wing earned a place in galactic history.