How I Built a RC Star Wars Tie Fighter

Posted on 24/04/2018 by acarver in Prototypes
What do you do with two wheelchair motors, a welder, and a desire to learn robotics? You build a freakin’ Tie Fighter. At least, that's what Allan Carver does. Allan is one of our loyal customers and is sharing with us some details about his latest project that went viral a couple of weeks ago.
A Work in Progress shot of the Tie Fighter in Allan's workshopA Work in Progress shot of the Tie Fighter in Allan's workshop

Building an RC Tie Fighter and becoming an Internet sensation

The response to the finished product continues to blow my mind. No sooner did I post the video below and interview requests started pouring in.Even Daily Planet from the Discovery Channel wanted to know more about it and why:

How did you build it?

I try to upcycle whenever and wherever I can. So much of the materials are left over from other projects.
A Work in Progress shot of the Tie Fighter in Allan's workshopA Work in Progress shot of the Tie Fighter in Allan's workshop
The frame is steel that required shaping and welding. The skin on the center pod is L200 foam, the wings have 2-inch thick rigid insulation that you can find at any building supply store, and the detail bits are my wife’s old yoga mats (which she discovered after they were glued in place).

How do you control it?

Now for the juicy robotic bits! I have never built an RC project from scratch, so I picked a robust transmitter and receiver. But the secret bit that made that whole project even possible was the Sabertooth 32 Amp Dual Motor Driver from It was just plug-n-play! The motor driver lets me turn on a dime even though this tank of a Tie Fighter is 6-feet wide.
The Tie Fighter ready to roll outThe Tie Fighter ready to roll out
For the finishing touch, I loaded the Empire music and Tie Fighter sound effects onto a soundboard and pumped it through a 30-watt amplifier.

What's next for you and your Tie Fighter?

Next up on the project list is an electric Batmobile go-kart, the 90s animated version… the cool looking one. Stay tuned!
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