This is the first part of a two-part question.

This question is actually related to a question I asked earlier about Ancient Temple Booby Traps Designed for Dragons (link here Ancient temple booby traps designed for dragons)

Now this question deals with the same dragon civilization dealing with their main method of transportation.

Originally I wanted to use old-fashioned sailing ships, but the major problem is that it is noticeably slower than flapping wings and flying to the destination. But after a bit of thought and reading, I came upon an unorthodox solution. Dragons by their nature know that flight is possible, why not make their ship fly too.

enter image description here Now the real question is how the heck do we get the ship airborne in the first place? Lighter than air gas was out of the question because of the tech level, and the nature of the passengers would turn every vessel into a powder keg waiting to go off. One alternative that I thought might have some merit was to essentially make the ship a hot air balloon.

A dragon crewman stands under the mouth of the balloon and breaths a quick stream of fire up the throat, that fire heats the air inside the balloon, the ship rises. Nice and simple. But even with a lower gravity (0.8 G) and denser atmosphere (1.5 earth standard), I have questions about how well an airship of this type can stay airborne.

So my question is: How feasible is a large airship held aloft by dragon fire breath heated air balloon?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You will need a much larger balloon or smaller passenger/cargo compartment: Recall that it takes a hot-air balloon the size of a house to loft a basket with perhaps three passengers and no cargo and no supplies and minimal fuel for a brief morning excursion. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Sep 21, 2021 at 1:46
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    $\begingroup$ On earth, one cubic meter of hot air at 100 °C lifts 250 grams, assuming that the ambient air is at 20 °C. In your world, it would lift about 450 grams. There rest is 2nd grade arithmetic. You are welcome. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Sep 21, 2021 at 11:36
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP that would make a great answer. $\endgroup$ Sep 21, 2021 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica: The help center exorts us to answer well-asked questions. I my opinion, this question shows no prior research, as even on this site the size of airships has been discussed many times. But that is my opinion. If you want to answer it, answer it. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Sep 21, 2021 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


I would say this all depends up on your technological level and your creature design. Using the dragons as the engine for hot air balloons sounds feasible - but does seem like exhausting work. This seems to me as, unless you're doing much smaller airships as the majority, a vehicle of the wealthy.

It should be considered that the first hot air balloon was invented in the late 1700s. You'd want to consider what technologies are needed for your balloon, such as fire resistant material for the balloon - as the dragons with their more uncontrolled fire would be a very important piece.

I think that research in hot air balloon history and construction would help greatly.

I think that the current level of description though is apt, especially pointing out that dragons are already capable of flight, so it seems reasonable they would seek to mimic it through engineering. Looking into into the history of flight however could likely yield interesting limitations of the balloons. Control in the air I think would be something to focus on, which was not really mastered until the invention of the airplane.


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