My kingdom has developed a new flying ship powered by a new air-magic engine. As near as my scholars and engineers are able to tell, it's the first of its kind. Three working prototypes ply the skies over the remote test range. We are very proud of them and look forward to how they will speedily destroy our enemies.
I'm looking for a process to go searching for new ways of using these flying ships as weapons of war. I do not want descriptions of how this platform might be used; doing so would require greater disclosure of the capabilities of these new airships than I'm comfortable to divulge. I know of the usual pattern of "build something. test it. evaluate performance. repeat." I know about that pattern but would like something more detailed/nuanced if I can get it that accounts for more factors involved in developing a weapons platform.
Like any real project, unlimited funds and infinite time aren't available. Here are a list of constraints on this program.
- Isolated test areas where experiments can be done in relative secrecy.
- New construction and testing facilities are under construction near the testing grounds.
- A collection of 50 naval architects drawn from the Royal Navy Shipyards.
- 500 assistants to the naval architects. This group includes draftsmen and people holding other required skills.
- 10 Master shipwrights.
- Sufficient Royal mines, foundries, forests and mills to supply raw materials for a modest number of these airships per year.
- Some magic is available but assume it won't be used for any construction tasks. Magic use is very expensive in my world.
I operate under the following technical constraints:
- The best computing machines I have are the minds of my naval architects and scientists.
- We don't know what the table of elements looks like or even to look for such a thing.
- Optics are limited to 10x magnification.
- Our foundries can create bulk high quality low carbon steel. Wood is still the preferred structural material.
As king, I have the authority, manpower and material resources to make this project go. I'm also aware that these kinds of programs can bog down quickly in in-fighting, cost overruns and such like. Help me design a program to improve these new airships as fast a possible.