For the last couple years I been trying to find a semi realistic way of flight for my story's world compared to the 'normal' way of doing it (Say like using jet engines).

Mind you these is a world were most people flying around in air ships (If you're not sure just looked up Steam punk/ steam punk air ship to get the idea.) so these source has be powerful and hopefully reliable.

I was thinking of using electrohydrodynamic thrust but a more powerful version created by using a special crystal as either as a fuel source or as part of the engines. But feel this would not be that reliable.

But I'm to any other ideas.


First I just want to say thank you to sphennings, L.Dutch, Separatrix, Frostfyre, MichaelK for responding and to apologize for not making my question clear.

For Vashu giving a answer.

But hopefully this helps.

Now the air ship I was imagining was more like the USS Missouri thin the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin. Not a airship with a huge balloon of hydrogen over head but one massive, will built machine/vehicle that since we're using the USS Missouri as a example is about as heavy.

58,000 tons with a full load and 45,000 tons unloaded.

Now I could just add wings and jet engines and call it a day. But I feel like that would be taken the easy way out since I also imagine that trying to move anything with this weight over long span of time and distance realistic going cost a crap ton of cash.

That's including the money and resources to build the thing in the first place.

But what I'm hoping there's a batter way of dealing such a problem. For all of the great things about oil, jet fuel they got two big problems.

  1. There's only so much oil in the world. Now I don't know me or anyone to day will live to see the day when we run out of oil. But does not change the fact it's a finite resource.

  2. Oil in the many ways we use it is polluting the environment. Yes people global warming is real and I think we're responsible for it.

That's why I'm looking if there's any other way to get something flying through the air. For I imagine that there's this country that saw this problem before everyone else and develop the technology to fix it.

Now I have mention electrohydrodynamic engines. There a great idea and work will in space. But here's the thing I'm sure that own farts give more force than the engines on earth. But in space given enough time you be surprised how those little guy can go.

So I came with this idea that these a special Crystal that give the electrohydrodynamic engines the kick they need by over charging them. But when was the last time you heard someone powering there car with a massive Crystal?

So if anyone has ideas, it either be magnets, electricity, or something else realistic I'm open.

Oh don't mention propellers, I mean really there's a reason we replace our attack plans with jets engines, also have you seen how big there were in the Adventures Marvel movie?

You don't need to be HawkEye to hit those things for sure with a missile.

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    $\begingroup$ Why isn't the special "crystal" reliable? Why would an airship need especially "powerful" engines? Historical airships used reasonably-powered engines -- for example, LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin used 5 engines of 410 kW (550 hp) each for a grand total of 2000 kW (2700 hp), about half the power of the a mid-20th century twin-engine turbopropeller aircraft Antonov An-24. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Aug 29 '17 at 1:36
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    $\begingroup$ Why does it need to be different? What are the restrictions that make it necessary to do things differently? $\endgroup$
    – jdunlop
    Aug 29 '17 at 6:12
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site, Andrew. Please note that the Worldbuilding SE is dedicated to providing detailed answers to specific questions about issues you are having in the world you are developing. If you could edit this to indicate why existing mechanisms are insufficient to meet your needs, and what those needs are, the community would appreciate it. Otherwise, this is likely to be put on hold until such an edit is made. Feel free to take the tour to get a better understanding of the site. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Aug 29 '17 at 12:32
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    $\begingroup$ This is a request for idea-generation. Voting to close. $\endgroup$
    – MichaelK
    Aug 29 '17 at 12:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Andrew You could change your question to ask specifically about one idea you had, such as if one type of alternate flight, i.e. Electrohydrodynamic thrust, is possible or not. I think that's what your asking, but its still not terribly clear. Just ask the question you want answered at the top. It helps a lot. $\endgroup$ Nov 2 '17 at 4:12

Electrohydrodynamic thrust idea sounds good. If you have some magical source of high-voltage electricity, then the rest of the ship can be made ridiculously simple - thrusters would be just a 2 nets of wires and if your source is powerful enough then you don't need to care about aerodynamics and weight much.


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