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B-wing starfighter
Production information
Manufacturer

Slayn & Korpil[1]

Model

B-wing starfighter

Class

Assault starfighter[2]

Cost
Technical specifications
Length

16.9 meters[4]

Maximum acceleration

2,390 G

MGLT

60 MGLT[4]

Maximum speed (atmosphere)

950 km/h (higher speeds possible with deflector shields on)[4]

Engine unit(s)

or

Hyperdrive rating

Class 2.0[4]

Hyperdrive system

Slayn & Korpil HYd-997 hyperdrive motivator[4]

Power plant

Vinop O2K cryogenic power cells and ionization reactor[5]

Shielding

Sirplex Zr-41 shield generator (Rated 125 SBD)[5]

Hull

Reinforced durasteel (Rated 60.0 RU)[5]

Sensor systems

Fabritech ANv-9q sensor system with PH-5s long-range phased tachyon detection array and PK-8f short-range primary threat analysis grid[5]

Targeting systems

Fabritech ANq 3.6 tracking computer with IN-344-B "Sightline" holographic imaging system[5]

Navigation system

Microaxial LpM-549 navigation computer[5]

Avionics

Narmox HG.6w flight control avionics[5]

Armament

Standard configuration:

Crew

B-wing:

B-wing/E:

Cargo capacity

45 kilograms[4]

Consumables

1 week

Usage
Role(s)
Era(s)
Affiliation
"You're among the best pilots in the galaxy. You'll have to be if you want to control this starship."
Admiral Ackbar briefing B-wing pilots prior to the Battle of Endor

The B-wing starfighter was one of the largest and most heavily armed starfighters/bombers in the Rebel Alliance's fleet. The name B-wing came from the craft's remote similarity in appearance to the lowercase letter "b", although its swordlike shape in attack mode has earned it the nickname "blade-wing", which may be another reason for the "b" prefix.

Known as "crosses" due to their distinct shape, the B-wing was designed by the Verpine company Slayn & Korpil in cooperation with then-Commander Ackbar as part of Project Shantipole. The B-wing, though difficult to fly, participated in numerous engagements across the galaxy during the latter parts of the Galactic Civil War, including the Battle of Endor and the liberation of Coruscant. The B-wing was used in its primary role of assault starfighter by both the New Republic and the Galactic Alliance throughout the Yuuzhan Vong War and beyond.

Later models included a two-man version that could be used as a small transport.

Contents

Characteristics

"Because the cockpit is surrounded by a unique gyro-stabilization system, the pilot always remains stationary, even as the rest of the ship rotates during flight."
General Carlist Rieekan
Rear view of a B-wing.

Somewhat reminiscent of the H-60 Tempest bomber, and using a wing configuration similar to Slayn & Korpil's earlier V-19 Torrent starfighter, the B-wing had a somewhat ungainly appearance resembling a top-heavy cross when fully unfurled.

The B-wing was a highly adaptable design, with modular hardpoints and other components. Its weapons could be reconfigured more easily than many other Alliance fighters. The B-wing also had a unique rotating cockpit module which was independently stabilized to allow the pilot to coordinate advanced flight and attack maneuvers. The fighter was powered by either of two engine systems: a Quadex Kyromaster engine with four thrust ports, or four Slayn & Korpil JZ-5 fusial thrust engines.

The B-wing was designed to replace the aging BTL Y-wing starfighter in the heavy assault role, as it had the advantage of more weaponry and stronger shields. However, the B-wing had several weaknesses, notably being difficult to fly and lacking speed and agility. Its large hull furthermore made it an easier target and it also had less armor protection. Consequently, it never fully succeeded supplanting the Y-wing as intended.

The cockpit module of a B-wing showing the groove allowing for rotation.

In particular, the rotating hull system made the B-wing a challenge to master. It also made the ship abnormally delicate; too many sharp turns could cause extreme strain to the spaceframe, and the cockpit rotation system could get stuck in one position. Only a few pilots were qualified to fly the ship before the Battle of Endor, resulting in a smaller number of B-wings present than expected. These difficulties forced the Rebel Alliance to invest in an upgraded Y-wing, rather than an entirely new ship, to fulfill their needs.

Like its predecessor, the Y-wing, the cockpit could be detached from the rest of the ship, but unlike the Y-wing, the B-wing's cockpit could be ejected into space and support atmospheric re-entry.[7]

The B-wing would go on to participate in many battles throughout the Galactic Civil War, and would lend design elements to other vessels. Sometime after the Battle of Hoth, the hull of a wrecked B-wing was used as the design prototype for the AHS-1 heavy assault airspeeder, and later models followed the same general design.

Variants

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B-wing/E "Expanded" starfighter

Main article: B-wing/E starfighter

The B-wing/E starfighter, or B-wing Expanded, was a modification to the original Slayn & Korpil B-wing design. The B-wing Expanded had an elongated cockpit that allowed a gunner to assist the pilot on missions. This allowed the pilot to concentrate on piloting, and resulted in the B-wing accounting for an increased number of kills in battle. It was faster and tougher than the original B-wing, but was somewhat less maneuverable. There were two models of B-wing/E—the first was simply a military ship, while the second generation (known as the B-wing/E2) was designed as a personal military shuttle. Ackbar used one of these E2-designs as his own shuttle, which he was forced to crash on the planet Vortex after it had been tampered with by Terpfen.

B-wing shuttle

The B-wing shuttle was another variant of Slayn & Korpil's B-Wing fighter which was given a larger cockpit allowing it to house a pilot along with two passengers.[8]

Armaments

A B-wing in attack configuration.
"One of the Rebellion's most well-armed starfighters, the B-wing has been personally designed by Admiral Ackbar. The B-wing supports an array of weapons including ion cannons, proton torpedo launchers, and laser cannons."
General Carlist Rieekan

The B-wing carried an unusually high payload for its size, due to its designation as an assault fighter. As originally designed, the B-wing carried three ion cannons, two proton torpedo launchers, one laser cannon, and two auto-blasters. Most B-wings had their two auto-blasters replaced with laser cannons to improve survivability and firepower, though some B-wings had four auto-blasters. The B-wing was originally designed with a unique fire-control system which fires low-power lasers at a target to give the computer range and vector information for the torpedoes and ion cannons.

While its strong deflector shields and great firepower allowed it to be somewhat survivable in fighter engagements, it usually required an escort on the way in. However, with the firepower of many naval corvettes, it fulfilled its purpose as a dangerous foe against many light capital ships.

History

B-wing schematics.

The development of the B-wing began shortly after the Battle of Yavin. The small-unit starfighter tactics of the Rebellion were having a greater effect on the forces of the Imperial Navy than many Imperial commanders thought possible. As a response to this threat, the Empire began to produce and deploy more capital ships with a primary role of anti-starfighter defense. The primary vessel used for this strategy was the EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate, a starship with which the Alliance was already quite familiar.

The Rebels couldn't afford to field the kind of overwhelming space forces that the Empire could bring to bear in fleet engagements. The Alliance's primary assault fighters, the outdated Y-wings, took large losses in capital ship assaults. A new tactic was needed if the Rebel Alliance Fleet was to continue having any impact on the galaxy.

B-wings retrofitted for firefighting duty on Endor.

Fortunately, one advantage the Rebels had over the Empire was their people. Approximately a year before the Battle of Yavin, the Rebels executed a raid on an Imperial Lambda-class shuttle carrying Wilhuff Tarkin and Bevel Lemelisk near Eriadu. The Alliance rescued the renowned Mon Calamari tactician Ackbar, in a military operation the Empire might not have bothered to commit for one of their own personnel.[9] As a commander in the Alliance Fleet, Ackbar revolutionized the strategy and tactics of the Alliance.

Ackbar knew that the only solution to the Empire's new convoy defense plan was to either use equally powerful starships, which the Alliance could not afford to waste, or to create a starfighter especially for this purpose. Alliance High Command agreed, and placed Ackbar in charge of Project Shantipole. Ackbar went to the Roche system and enlisted the aid of the Verpine colonies of Slayn & Korpil.

Working under Ackbar's direction, Slayn & Korpil produced the first prototypes of the B-wing starfighter in the Roche asteroids. They were delivered to the Alliance despite Imperial interference. Imperial District Commander Bane Nothos was aware of the project, and decided to allow development to proceed so he could capture the fighters for the Empire. The Empire's efforts to capture the blueprints of the B-wing were actually foiled by the first combat flight of the original prototypes. A squadron of these prototypes was quickly put into service and christened Dagger Squadron.[10]

B-wings flee from an exploding Star Destroyer during the Battle of Endor.

Despite its limited numbers at the time, it was a key Rebel craft in the Battle of Endor, where a squad of these fighters took down an Imperial II-class Star Destroyer. After the battle, the B-wing's modular design allowed it to be retrofitted with sprayers for firefighting duty on Endor, to extinguish the fires caused by the falling debris.[11]

B-wings continued to serve in the Rebel Alliance and later the New Republic and Galactic Alliance fleets as a heavy assault starfighter. B-wings were present in the Battle of Bakura.[12] The B-wing fighter also featured significantly in the campaign against Warlord Zsinj, where the B-wings of Nova Squadron were instrumental in defeating Razor's Kiss[13] and Iron Fist.[14] General Salm's Defender Wing was partially retrofitted with B-wings during the campaign against Zsinj. Also, at least one squadron of B-wing starfighters was present at the liberation of Coruscant.[15] A wing of B-wings would also serve against Delak Krennel and his Ciutric Hegemony.[16]

B-wing squadrons were present at the Battle of Almania,[17] the Battle of Adumar,[18] and in the defense of Mon Calamari during the Second Battle of Mon Calamari.[19] Luke Skywalker flew a B-wing into Nam Chorios.[20] As it was designed by Admiral Ackbar, the B-wing seems to have enjoyed high popularity among Mon Calamari pilots since Ackbar and Terpfen used expanded versions as their personal shuttles. Furthermore, there was a squadron present when Admiral Daala attacked Dac,[19] and a Mon Calamari pilot flew a B-wing as part of the Second Battle of Borleias.[21][22] Another group besides the New Republic noted for its use of the B-wing was the Verpine, who preferred to use the craft in high-speed bombing runs if defending their territory was necessary.[23]

A B-wing pilot's helmet.

Some B-wings would be modified to have a YT series cockpit and a turbolaser cannon, making them uglies. These were called Corellian/B-wing uglies.[24] These modified B-wings were used by the Sacorrian Triad during the First Corellian Crisis, but were largely unsuccessful against the Bakuran fleet that opposed them.[25]

B-wings continued to play the vital role of heavy assault fighter for the New Republic and its successor, the Galactic Alliance, throughout the Yuuzhan Vong War in all major engagements, including the First[26] and Second Battles of Coruscant,[27] the Battle of Ebaq 9,[28] and the Second Battle of Borleias. In a particular unique use during the latter instance, a Twin Suns pilot named Beelyath and his gunner, Sharr Latt, launched the decoy Goddess missile from his B-wing, luring several coralskippers to their doom.[22]

The B-wing fighter continued to serve in the Galactic Alliance Fleet through the Dark Nest Crisis/Swarm War and the Second Galactic Civil War. It is the predecessor of the Besh-type personal starfighter.

Known B-wing units

Behind the scenes

B-wing concept art by Ralph McQuarrie.

The craft's unusually thin shape was problematic for blue-screen photography; the model tended to blend into the starfield. As a consequence, some planned sequences with the B-wing were cut from Return of the Jedi, and the B-wing is not explicitly shown in action during the Battle of Endor in RotJ. In fact, after the ships fly away from the still-active Death Star II shield at the start of the battle, the B-wing is hardly seen at all. The rotating cockpit design of the B-wing was based on early concept art for the Millennium Falcon[29]

The craft derives its name from the fact that the crew labeled the two new Rebel starfighter models in Return of the Jedi as "A fighter" and "B fighter". While the A-wing looks similar to a capital A, the B-wing, on first glance, does not resemble its namesake. However, when viewed upon from a certain angle, it looks like a lowercase b. The in-universe answer is that "B" stands for "Blade", making the craft's full name "Blade-wing starfighter".

The appearance of the B-wing in the Star Wars: Droids episode "The New King" is disputed, as the B-wing may not have been manufactured by that time.

Appearances

A landed B-wing.
  • Star Wars: Droids - "The New King" (Disputed)
  • Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds: Clone Campaigns
  • Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
  • Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption
  • Star Wars: X-wing vs. TIE Fighter: Balance of Power
  •  Strike Force: Shantipole
  • The Farlander Papers
  • Star Wars: X-wing
  • Star Wars: X-wing Tour of Duty: B-wing
  • Star Wars Rebellion: My Brother, My Enemy
  • Star Wars Rebellion: Small Victories
  • Star Wars Rebellion: Vector
  • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
  • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike
  •  Star Wars Galaxies – Jump to Lightspeed
  • Star Wars: X-wing Alliance
  • Star Wars: TIE Fighter
  • Star Wars: TIE Fighter: Defender of the Empire
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (First appearance)
  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi 3: Mission to Endor
  • Star Wars Infinities: Return of the Jedi (Non-canonical appearance)
  • Mara Jade: By the Emperor's Hand (Appears in flashback(s))
  • The Truce at Bakura
  • Free Memory (Ambiguously canonical source)
  • Lando's Commandos: On Eagles' Wings
  • X-wing: Rogue Leader
  • Star Wars: Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire
  • X-wing Rogue Squadron: The Warrior Princess (Appears in flashback(s))
  • X-wing Rogue Squadron: In the Empire's Service
  • X-wing: Rogue Squadron (Mentioned only)
  • X-wing: The Krytos Trap
  • X-wing: The Bacta War (Mentioned only)
  • The Courtship of Princess Leia
  • X-wing: Solo Command
  • Heir to the Empire
  • Dark Force Rising (Mentioned only)
  • The Last Command
  • X-wing: Isard's Revenge
  • Dark Apprentice
  • Champions of the Force
  • I, Jedi
  • Crimson Empire
  • Crimson Empire II: Council of Blood
  • Darksaber
  • Planet of Twilight
  • X-wing: Starfighters of Adumar
  • The New Rebellion
  • Young Jedi Knights: The Emperor's Plague
  • Vector Prime
  • Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial
  • Balance Point
  • Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
  • Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
  • Ylesia
  • Destiny's Way
  • Force Heretic II: Refugee
  • The Unifying Force
  • Dark Nest III: The Swarm War
  • Betrayal
  • Exile (Mentioned only)

Sources

Wookieepedia has a collection of images related to B-wing starfighter.

Notes and references

B-wing cross-section.
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Star Wars: Complete Cross-Sections
  2. 2.0 2.1 Star Wars Gamemaster Screen, Revised
  3. Starships of the Galaxy (2007)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Star Wars: Behind the Magic
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 The Stele Chronicles
  6. The Official Star Wars Fact File
  7. Star Wars: Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire
  8. Starships of the Galaxy - Saga Edition
  9. Darksaber
  10. Star Wars Rebellion 14: Small Victories, Part 4
  11. X-wing: Rogue Leader
  12. The Truce at Bakura
  13. X-wing: Iron Fist
  14. X-wing: Solo Command
  15. Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds: Clone Campaigns
  16. X-wing: Isard's Revenge
  17. The New Rebellion
  18. X-wing: Starfighters of Adumar
  19. 19.0 19.1 Dark Apprentice
  20. Planet of Twilight
  21. Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
  22. 22.0 22.1 Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
  23. The Courtship of Princess Leia
  24. Ambush at Corellia
  25. Showdown at Centerpoint
  26. Star by Star
  27. The Unifying Force
  28. Destiny's Way
  29.  B-wing starfighter in the Databank

External links


This article uses material from the "B-wing starfighter" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Star Wars Fanon

Up to date as of February 04, 2010

The Star Wars wiki of fan invention.

B-wing starfighter
Production information
Manufacturer
  • Slayn & Korpil
  • Kraechar Arms
Class
  • Assault starfighter
Technical specifications
Length

16.9 meters

Width

10.5 meters

Height/depth

3.3 meters

Maximum acceleration

2,390 G

Maximum speed (atmosphere)
  • 950 km/h without shields
Engine unit(s)
  • Quadex Kryomaster engine
  • Repulsorlifts
Hyperdrive system

Equipped

Shielding

Equipped

Hull

Reinforced durasteel

Countermeasures
  • Missile lock warning system
  • Targeting jammers
Armament
  • 3 laser cannons
  • 3 light ion cannons
  • 2 proton torpedo launchers (x8 missiles)
Crew

1

Minimum crew

1

Cargo capacity

45 kilograms

Consumables

1 week

Usage
Role(s)
  • Assault starfighter
  • Bomber
Affiliation
  • Yanibar Guard
  • Rebel Alliance
  • New Republic
  • Verpine

Description

Compared to many of the later model Yanibar Guard designs, the B-wing starfighter was unique in that it was not designed by Kraechar Arms. Instead, the design was "acquired" by Yanibar Guard Intelligence during the height of the Galactic Civil War in order to fill a glaring weakness in the Yanibar Guard Fleet's arsenal: a heavy, survivable strike fighter. Once acquired, though, the B-wing rapidly became one of the most popular craft in the Yanibar Guard arsenal.

The cross-shaped fighter was built around a long vertical spacefoil. On top was a circular cockpit with dual laser cannons, while the bottom of the spacefoil mounted a weapons pod carrying another laser cannon and a light ion cannon. Two horizontal S-foils folded out from the fuselage in combat form, each carrying a light ion cannon. Two proton torpedo launchers with eight missiles each rounded out the arsenal of the B-wing, giving it a formidable payload of ordnance for use against capital ships. While Rebel Alliance and New Republic B-wings carried customizable hardpoints allowing the lasers and ion cannons to be swapped out, Kraechar Arms opted to hardwire the weapons configuration in place, limiting versatility in exchange for cost.

The B-wing was already a complex starfighter. The entire craft could rotate around the gyroscopically mounted cockpit and the aerodynamic qualities of the design made it tricky to fly in-atmosphere, particularly the windy skies of Yanibar. Just to fly the B-wing in the Yanibar Guard required six months of flight training in simulators before being allowed to step inside the cockpit. Pilots with Force-sensitivity were preferred in order to ensure fliers with enough control to handle the difficult craft.

However, the B-wing was survivable, if slow. Unlike its predecessor, the Valkyrie starbomber, it could take punishment due to its de-centralized construction, reduced forward profile, and a capable shield generator. Kraechar Arms technicians were also able to add anti-missile counter-measures and targeting jammers to improve survivability on attack runs.

History

The B-wing design was first "acquired" by Yanibar Guard Intelligence, along with an actual starfighter, in 4 ABY, by Yanibar Guard Intelligence agent Hasla Almani. Almani sent back not only the technical specifications and the starfighter, but also manufacturing techniques that she had stolen from the Rebel Alliance. Having also logged numerous hours of combat flight time in the B-wing, she was one of the first B-wing squadron commanders. Kraechar Arms immediately diverted most of their starfighter construction to division as soon as the information was obtained.

In a short time after the B-wing plans were obtained, Kraechar Arms had already built 24 of the new starfighters. It was a colossal effort that involved workers going nonstop for weeks to produce the complex craft, but it paid off. All of the new B-wings saw use in the Battle of Yanibar when the Zann Consortium attacked. They were flown by the most experienced Valkyrie pilots and acquitted themselves well. Their launchers were used to deploy space mines and they also participated in attack runs against the Zannist fleet, causing heavy damage.

Elated with the success of their new starfighter, YGF placed an initial order for 120 more B-wings, which was filled over the next several years. Another measure taken to exploit the potential of the fighter was the establishment of Paladin Squadron, an elite of the dozen best B-wing pilots, led initially by Hasla Almani, who was YGF's first B-wing ace. Paladin Squadron quickly established itself as a formidable unit by undertaking numerous strike missions on remote Imperial convoys and pirates, forming a reputation for knocking out successively larger ships. In 7 ABY, they participated in a mission to hijack an Imperial bacta convoy in order to help Yanibar combat an outbreak of the Krytos virus. They ran into the New Republic's elite Rogue Squadron, but though there were some tense moments with the famed X-wing unit, the two units avoided a shooting match thanks to Almani's diplomacy and returned to Yanibar with the bacta.

B-wings continued to see service with the Yanibar Guard for the next decade.

Characters Chronology Droids
Vehicles and Vessels Weapons and Technology Appendices

Appearances


This article uses material from the "The Essential Guide to Force Exile/B-wing starfighter" article on the Star Wars Fanon wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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