Latest By

Artificial Intelligence
Data Storage
Input Devices
Living Space
Space Tech
Virtual Person

" fiction is sort of like a sociological genome. It's a huge range of possible futures, most of them useless; some vital. You never really know in advance."
- Peter Watts

T.I.E. Fighter (Tie Fighter)  
  A highly maneuverable fighter spacecraft using an ion drive propulsion system.  

The distinctive T.I.E. fighters (Twin Ion Engine) were the bane of the rebel resistance fighters; highly maneuverable, they swarmed like hornets in defense of Imperial space fortresses. The Star Wars Databank describes them as follows:

The hexagonal solar panels supply power to a unique propulsion system. Microparticle accelerators propel Ionized gasses at a substantial fraction of lightspeed. These gasses are then expelled from rear vents to generate thrust. The ion streams can be directed along amost any vector, allowing for the TIE's incredible velocity and maneuverability. The twin ion engines have few moving parts and require comparably less maintenance to the starfighters of the Alliance.

Let's pick up the action at the Deathstar...

"I've got one! I've got one! came a less restrained cry of triumph over the open intercom. Luke identified the voice as belonging to a young pilot known as John D. Yes, that was Blue Six chasing another Imperial fighter across the metal landscape. Bolts jumped from the X-wing in steady succession until the Tie fighter blew in half, sending leaflike glittering metal fragments flying in all directions.
From Star Wars, by George Lucas.
Published by Del Rey in 1976
Additional resources -

I'm betting those "leaflike" fragments were bits of solar panel. And yes, in my 1970's vintage copy of the novel Star Wars, they are called "Tie (not T.I.E.) fighters."

(From Star Wars T.I.E. Fighter)

Who among us can forget the thrilling climax in the first (okay, the fourth) movie in which Luke Skywalker uses the Force alone in outwitting both Darth Vader and two other pilots, all chasing his X-wing craft with their T.I.E. fighters. As I recall, Vader's fighter had some special modifications.

See the ion drive from Jack Williamson's 1947 story Equalizer for the earliest use of "ion drive."

Comment/Join this discussion ( 12 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Star Wars
  More Ideas and Technology by George Lucas
  Tech news articles related to Star Wars
  Tech news articles related to works by George Lucas

Articles related to Spacecraft
Laser-Powered Spacecraft To Explore The Solar System
SKYLON Space Plane Gets Boost
Europe's Cheops To Look For Habitable Planets
SpaceX Dragon First Private Craft To Dock With ISS

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.





Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.





More News

Harvard's Robobees Now 'Fly' Underwater
'...the Scarab buzzed into the great workroom as any intruding insect might, and sought the security of a shadowed corner.'

ADEPT Heat Shield Works For Mars
'...A synthetic which air-friction would erode away...'

Ultralight Origami Crane UAV Flexes Its Wings
'They began to flex their wings.'

UM Solar Car Now Also With IBM Research Power
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

Robot-Based Trash Collection
'Robots pick up the garbage and junk and load it in there...'

Warrior Web Exoskeleton For Soldiers Undergo Tests
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...'

Tesla Promises Fully Autonomous Cars By 2018
'It's been a criminal offense for at least a hundred years to drive manually on a public highway.'

Light Molecules (And Maybe Light Sabers, Someday)
'It will be matter, matter made of light...'

Telepresence In The Office
'That led to his development of robot probes; small devices with cameras and sound equipment which could move freely... under direct control.'

Piper, Google's 2 Billion Line Code Repository, Needs A Cool Display
'The student pointed a finger and as he did so, the line of equations marched down the wall...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.