Turning quadcopters into vehicles from the Star Wars universe isn’t new: Everything from TIE Fighters, to the Falcon, to even R2-D2 have taken flight. But none have been as convincing as Adam Woodworth’s Imperial Shuttle quadcopter with wings that actually retract.
Woodworth used a popular technique in which a printed paper model of the Imperial Shuttle is glued to lightweight sheets of stiff foam, assembled, and then upgraded with the necessary electronics and hardware to take flight.
The Imperial Shuttle’s retracting wings proved to be a bit of a challenge since when raised by a servo they end up sitting too high for gravity to simply pull them back down after. So Woodworth had to design a simple spring mechanism to help push them back down as the craft transitions from take-off to flight.
The results are perfect, though, because at times it’s hard to distinguish this Imperial Shuttle from the special effects used to bring it to life in the original Star Wars trilogy.