This guy made a flying TIE Fighter with an off-the shelf toy and some spare drone parts

Ahead of this month’s release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, an enthusiastic fan has converted a Star Wars Tie fighter toy into a realistic flying model of the Imperial starfighter. The build used only the stock toy, 3D printed mounts, and some spare drone parts that allow the toy vehicle to take flight. The building process is detailed in step-by-step photos on image-sharing site Imgur.

As created by Imgur user woodpiece, the base of the spacecraft is a $169 Star Wars The Black Series First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter. The 6-inch scale model of the starfighter with working cockpit is sold by Hasbro and is designed for kids and kids at heart. The replica is an accurate representation of the Tie Fighters from the movies, but it lacks electronics and is a basic model that adults can put on display or kids can run around with while they pretend to fly like Darth Vader.

Building a flying version of the Tie Fighter was a surprisingly simple job that took advantage of the open cockpit and roomy interior of the larger-sized replica. The first step was the installation of the 250 quad motors and its rotors, which were installed at the front and the back of each Tie Fighter wing. This step required both the removal of the Tie Fighter wings and their wing brackets, which were Dremeled to make room for the long motor sticks that connect the front rotor to the rear rotor. The drone motors were installed using 3D printed mounts, and the wiring was run inside the body and frame of the toy, making for a very clean-looking overhaul. Each wing also was notched to allow the rotors to spin freely.

All four rotors were installed in the same square arrangement as a standard quadcopter, making it easy to control the flight of the Tie Fighter model. The flight controller for the drone, a third-party Flip multiwii 1.5, was installed inside the base of the Tie Fighter cockpit, which opens for easy access. Also placed inside the cockpit body were the motor controllers and the drone’s 1000mAh battery. All the components fit comfortably inside the Tie Fighter Model with no additional modifications other than the initial Dremel holes for the motor sticks. The only thing missing from this fantastic mod is a video of the Tie Fighter’s maiden flight — we can only hope the first flight was as good as we imagine it to be.


‘Marvel’s Spider-Man: Turf Wars’ sees Spidey confront the villainous Hammerhead

The second part of Marvel's Spider-Man's The City That Never Sleeps DLC swings into action on November 20. Titled Turf Wars, the new storyline is focused on Hammerhead, who is waging war across New York City.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Movies & TV

Cassian Andor series and 'Mandalorian' details expand Star Wars' future

Disney has sky-high expectations for its Star Wars universe, with plenty of plans for the franchise on the big screen and television over the next few years. Here are all the upcoming movies and TV shows, both rumored and confirmed.
Movies & TV

Second live-action Star Wars series will star Diego Luna’s ‘Rogue One’ character

Diego Luna will reprise his role from 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story for an upcoming television series on Disney's streaming video platform. The series will explore rebel spy Cassian Andor's early adventures.
Emerging Tech

Quantum-based accelerometer can locate objects without GPS

Researchers have created a quantum "compass" that allows navigation without satellites. The instrument, technically called a standalone quantum accelerometer, is small enough to be transportable and has a very high level of accuracy.
Emerging Tech

Ancient continent discovered beneath the ice of Antarctica

Antarctica could be hiding the remains of a long-lost continent. Scientists created a 3D map of the crust beneath the Antarctic ice sheet which shows a similarity to the crust in Australia and India, suggesting they used to be joined.
Emerging Tech

Michigan’s former transportation chief has some advice for wannabe smart cities

After 31 years as Michigan’s transportation director, Kirk Steudle has seen it all, particularly with smart city projects. He spoke with Digital Trends recently about what makes smart cities work, and offers advice along the way.
Emerging Tech

Rocket Lab steps into spotlight with its first commercial rocket launch

Rocket Lab has deployed multiple small satellites into orbit in its first notable commercial launch. Its New Zealand-born boss said the success means "rapid and reliable access to space is now a reality for small satellites."
Emerging Tech

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sale smashes online shopping records

The annual online shopping frenzy that is Singles' Day this year raked in $30.8 billion, up from $25 billion last time around. The Alibaba-organized event generates more in sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
Emerging Tech

Watch this lab-grown heart tissue beat just like the real thing

A team of researchers in Germany have used stem cells to create a lab-grown human heart tissue which actually beats, as well as responding to drugs in the same way as the real thing.
Emerging Tech

Shipping crate filled with 3D-printing robots may be the future of construction

Autodesk has created a robot-filled shipping container which may represent the future of construction work. The crate contains two robots able to 3D print custom components for building sites.
Emerging Tech

Sticking these tiny needles in your eye may help fight blindness

An eye patch covered in tiny needles sounds like a torture device. In fact, it's a potential new medical treatment for eye diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Bottle-flipping robots may be the most millennial thing we’ve ever seen

Until drones start vaping, you're unlikely to see anything more millennial than a recent contest in Japan in which robots competed to pull off some seriously impressive bottle-flipping feats.
Emerging Tech

New simulation shows how Elon Musk’s internet satellite network might work

Elon Musk has the dream of building a network for conveying internet traffic via thousands of satellites. A new simulation created by a computer scientist looks at how feasible the idea is.