The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum is famous for exhibits like the historic 1903 Wright Flyer, the sleek Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird and the Space Shuttle Discovery, all very real flying machines. Starting this week, visitors will get an eyeful of something fictitious: a full-size Star Wars X-wing starfighter.
The starfighter's wings stretch for 37 feet (11 meters). It doesn't fly, but it was built for the 2019 film undergoing conservation at the museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia.. It's currently
"If you see Poe Dameron around, let him know work on his X-wing is coming along nicely, and it'll be ready for display soon," the museum tweeted on Tuesday in honor of , a day for Star Wars celebrations.
The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center will reopen to the public on May 5, giving fans a chance to see the X-wing while staff work to preserve it. It will be moved to the National Air and Space Museum's facility on the National Mall in Washington DC for display in late 2022.
The starfighter is on a long-term loan from Lucasfilm, the Disney production company responsible for the Star Wars franchise.
Margaret Weitekamp, the museum's space history chair, said, "All air and space milestones begin with inspiration, and science fiction so often provides that spark—the iconic X-wing displayed amid our other spacecraft celebrates the journey from imagination to achievement."