The Incom T-65 X-Wing starfighter has become a symbol of the Rebellion's starfighter corps. Pressed into service time and again, the typical Alliance X-Wing shows the scars from previous engagements, though the fact that it still performs as an advanced vessel of space superiority is indication of the ruggedness of the craft.
The sleek fuselage of the X-Wing starfighter is 12.5 meters long. The long, narrow spaceframe is flanked in the aft quarter by four massive realspace engines. Each engine has an aerodynamic S-foil mounted on it. The wings not only serve as stabilizer surfaces in air travel, but also distribute deflector shield energy and serve as weapons mounts. The surface of each S-foil bears squadron and fighter markings.
The Rebel Alliance's X-Wing starfighter was one of the most advanced fighters of its day when Luke Skywalker flew it into battle against the first Death Star. Many fighters have come along which are faster and more heavily armed, but the X-Wing has been assured its place in history because of its role in that stunning Alliance victory.
Yet it's a miracle that the Alliance has the fighter at all. The T-65 X-Wing was the last starfighter design produced by Incom Corporation before its seizure by the Empire. When the X-Wing was in its final design stages, ISB (Imperial Security Bureau) agents began to suspect that members of Incom's design staff might have sympathies for the Rebel Alliance. A Rebel commando team helped Incom's senior design staff defect to the Alliance; the designers took with them all the plans and prototypes of the X-Wing.
The X-Wing was directly descended from the old Z-95 Headhunter, built by Incom and Subpro, with lessons learned from the ARC-170 starfighter. After 4 prototypes were extracted from Fresia during the Battle of Fresia, it first encountered Imperial forces in the Battle of Turkana.
Like its predecessor, the Incom/Subpro Z-95, the X-Wing fighter has a reputation for being able to absorb damage, but is also quite fast and maneuverable. In response to the X-Wing fighter threat, the Empire designed the new TIE interceptor to be its space superiority fighter. The X-Wing would become the mainstay fighter for the Alliance for much of the Galactic Civil War.
The X-Wing takes its name from its pair of double-layered wings, deployed into the familiar X formation for combat. During normal sublight space flight, the double-layered wings are closed, giving the fighter the appearance of having only two wings. Each wingtip has a high-powered Taim & Bak KX9 laser cannon. The four cannons can be fired simultaneously, in sequence, or in pairs.
A pair of Krupx MG7 proton-torpedo launchers are located midway up the main spaceframe. Each carries a magazine of three torpedoes; those specialized weapons allowed the Alliance to destroy the Death Star. The battle station had thermal exhaust vents, unshielded against particle weapons such as proton torpedoes, meaning that a well-placed shot could cause a chain reaction to destroy the Death Star.
The X-Wing is a small single pilot fighter. An Industrial Automaton R2 astromech droid, housed in a snug droid socket behind the pilot, handles many in-flight operations, such as damage control, astrogation jumps, and flight performance adjustment.
Behind the cockpit, accessible from both behind the pilot's chair and a belly hatch, is the cargo compartment. It has a capacity of two cubic meters, and is rated for 110 kilograms. Pilots generally store survival and repair gear in this compartment. The newer T-65AC4 can carry 150 kilograms of cargo.
The X-Wing's controls are reminiscent of those of T-16 airspeeders and other common 'sport' vehicles found on frontier worlds. Bush pilots train their reflexes on such vehicles and easily make the adjustment to the X-Wing's familiar controls.
The X-Wing is known for its durability, with a reinforced titanium-alloy hull and high-powered Chempat shield generators. It is a forgiving fighter and normally can take minor hits without a serious loss of performance. It has a full ejection system, and Alliance pilots have fully sealing suits and helmets.
Like the older Alliance Y-Wing, X-Wings have a hyper-drive for travel to other systems (the specific drive is an Incom GBk-585 unit). The R2 astromech unit can store up to ten sets of jump coordinates and handles all astrogation duties, because the X-Wing lacks a navigation computer.
Throughout the Galactic Civil War, the Alliance always had precious few
X-Wing fighters compared to the Empire's seemingly endless arsenal of TIE craft. As a result, the Alliance
X-Wings were often in a state of constant use. A "new" X-Wing is a rare sight, as the starfighters showed the wear and tear that their pilots would subject them to. Common models of fighters in the Galactic Civil War included the T-65B and the T-65C-A2.