The X-wing is scheduled to go on display later this year, soaring next to the planetarium at the main museum. But before it can go on display, conservationists and curators had to figure out how to hang it up safely. “As a screen-use vehicle, it was designed for shots where it’s standing on its [landing] gear,” says Weitekamp. “We’re interested in hanging it, which puts all the stresses on the vehicle from the opposite direction.”
Conservation teams carried out test hangs by suspending the X-wing a few feet off the floor. This showed how much weight the cables could hold and how stable the vehicle was. “You do a test and see how it looks under conditions where the object stays safe,” says Weitekamp.
The conservation team also touched up the X-wing itself. They were careful not to remove any details that made the vehicle feel like it was used. But some muck made sense to remove, such as grease and dust on the X-wing’s windshield. “Even in a galaxy far, far away, a pilot wants a good line of sight,” says Weitekamp.