Questions tagged [airships]

For questions involving large flying objects that are lighter than air.

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3
votes
2answers
156 views

How high can a Victorian-era kite sail be flown?

A big problem with Steampunk airships is how to propel them. Steam engines tend to be too heavy to be useful. And sails cannot be used, because unlike sea-going ships, airships are in contact with ...
13
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9answers
3k views

Medieval flying castle propulsion

One day, on the faraway world of not-medieval-Europe, someone discovered that a type of stone could be made to float. A decade or two later, there are flying castles, built out of and/or on a ...
5
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1answer
167 views

How to attach and distribute suspended weight to multiple envelopes?

In my conworld I've got heavily armoured airships majestically floating through the skies with help of a science-defying lighter-than-anything material. While I don't mind introducing a pinch of ...
1
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1answer
77 views

A society built an airship. What else? [closed]

A steampunk society managed to develop functioning airships filled with helium, powered by a steam engine. They mine this helium from an underground reservoir along with other natural gas. What else ...
1
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3answers
233 views

Biggest possible Steampunk Airship? [duplicate]

I have noticed that one thing that is very common among steampunk airship art is that the size of the decks beneath the gas chamber is outrageously larger than that of the real world. Example: ...
2
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9answers
274 views

How would a fixed altitude magical Airship be propelled?

Background In my world, there are vehicles that can spatially "lock" themselves to a single altitude. The locking mechanism is a magical core, combined with runic metal bands extending around the ...
3
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2answers
128 views

Flywheels for high altitude airship control

Airships in RL are not very great in combat for various reasons. However in my setting there is Unobtanium that is repelled by gravity, instead of being attracted. A lump of Unobtanium can be used ...
4
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3answers
228 views

need help building a convincing Airship steam engine room [closed]

Building a world with airships that are powered by steam engines. Big boiler, water tank, lots of coal. Enormous engine room. Propellers, masts with huge sails. There are steam-powered automatons in ...
5
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2answers
163 views

General airship question: advantages and disadvantages of size?

Airships are cool, and one of the only vehicles that benefits of the square cube law as it can carry more weight if it has more volume of lifting gas. This got me thinking about what other advantages ...
9
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3answers
1k views

General airship questions: largest possible size?

Airships are cool, and I would love to use them and see them used outside of steampunk a lot more. One key aspect of Airships is that they seem to have the square cube law reversed. For other things ...
20
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10answers
3k views

What types of things could go wrong in an airship during a storm?

In the scene of one of my stories, an airship gets hit by a violent storm. Apart from exploding (which isn't helpful to the main character), what other things could go wrong that would be fixable? ...
0
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2answers
142 views

Airship Propulsion System [closed]

The airships that I have imagined use anti-gravitational engines to allow them to hover above Earth's surface. I was thinking of having four of the engines around the vessel's hull. Could these ...
4
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1answer
75 views

Steam-powered dirigibles in the late 17th to early 18th century

I want steam powered dirigibles in my world around the year 1700. As this is an alternate world, a new gas with the same essential properties as Hydrogen, apart from the whole exploding aspect seems ...
8
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7answers
1k views

Medieval airlocks, would they be possible?

In terms of context, this airlock would be used on airships which fly at a height in which oxygen levels are too low for humans to live. Within the hull of the airship, stored oxygen would be pumped ...
10
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11answers
682 views

How to correct aim in aerial airship combat?

Report! Correct aim 2-20 fore, figure in enemy speed at negative 15 knots relative decelerating. Ready? Fire in Sequence on my mark... MARK! LCDR Arnold Dering, Commander of the "X"-Turret, GKS-B-...
5
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3answers
221 views

Airships in a world with 1/3 gravity but 3 times the mass of atmosphere?

In the first question I posted here on Worldbuilding Stack Exchange, I asked if lifting gas would be more effective on a world with 1/3 of Earths gravity but with the same atmospheric composition as ...
18
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13answers
5k views

Comfortable way of entering and exiting Airships anywhere at will

Imagine that the taboo around Airships and dirigibles is broken. Besides some cargo, passenger and tourism Airships there's one company that focuses on the super-rich by selling what are essentially ...
13
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5answers
2k views

Smallest possible size for a manned airship

As far as I know airships, specifically rigid-airships, do not have an upper size limit other than what is required by practicality and how willing you are to build gigantic airship sheds. But one ...
2
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3answers
490 views

Lifting Gas in a world with 1/3 of earth's gravity

As many of us probably know airships were one of the great forms of transportation in the 20th century but a great hindrance to their development was weight. In a world I am currently constructing the ...
3
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3answers
133 views

Would Be Possible To Build A Small, Lightweight Boiler For Airships

I am wondering if it would be possible to make very lightweight and small steam engines for airships. Said airships engines are actually electric, but the boiler generates the electricity (via a ...
1
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3answers
209 views

How could an airship made of magic wood propel itself through the sky without an engine?

Okay, so, here's the deal: one of the characters in my story is a sort of crazy hermit with the power to magically manipulate wood. Just by touching it, he can alter the physical properties of wood in ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

How can I ride a balloon in a hurricane? [closed]

Like the famous Annie Edson Taylor who went off Niagara Falls in a barrel. I would like to be the first to ride out in a hurricane at least from the inside out in the air in an unpowered craft. Could ...
7
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11answers
439 views

Making airships\blimps\dirigibles the dominant form of air transport

While similar to other questions they mostly focused on what impacts required in the past to keep airships as a popular air transport method today, this question is about how to make airships the ...
6
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8answers
382 views

Is it possible to keep secret such a technological discovery?

Welcome to my fantasy, late-medieval world. For the sake of the question, we can divide it up in two major continents: Continent A is considered the birthplace of my humans and features a solid ...
10
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10answers
2k views

Dirigibles: Feasibility as (Effective) Aircraft Carriers

The flying aircraft carrier has been in the imaginations of many a writer and engineer, but to date the only true flying aircraft carrier has been USS Akron (and to a lesser extent, her sister ship, ...
8
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4answers
343 views

With current or near-future technology, how plausible is an aircraft-based civilization?

A large group of billionaires, engineers, pilots, and volunteers come together to announce the creation of an aircraft-based civilization. Here, people spend most of their lives aboard an aircraft, ...
6
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5answers
689 views

How viable is a creature that floats through the air like a living hot air balloon

My idea for a creature within my fantasy story is that of a creature which floats through the air like a living hot air balloon. It would do this through the intake, storage and regulation of gases ...
16
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11answers
1k views

What sort of rules / limitations could govern and affect a crystal resource that is both anti-gravity and energy-producing?

I apologise if this is rather vague but I'm struggling with creating a concept that would allow a Victorian (steampunk) civilisation to have antigravity ships and floating islands through the use of a ...
12
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15answers
2k views

Armament for airships filled with non-flammable gas

In my Fantasy/sci-fi universe there exists a lighter than air gas, that is non-flammable, while having density similar or even smaller than hydrogen (I will post some questions related to this gas in ...
3
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2answers
206 views

Could a blimp be powered using thunderstorms?

Could a untethered blimp be built strong enough to with stand a thunderstorm? Could wind generators be placed on it to transfer turbulence of shifting wind into wind power? Rain could be collected ...
7
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3answers
405 views

How high in the sky are you safe?

I understand that there is wide range of bullet calibers. I am interested in the ones that is 50 caliber or less, and if you can be high enough in a blimp to be safe either by to far to see or to far ...
12
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9answers
3k views

LED light or heating element?

To generate heat electrically inside a balloon for lift would a 20 watt LED light or a 20 watt heating element make more heat to lift a small closed hot air balloon droid and solar cell? Having a ...
21
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11answers
5k views

Airborne 18th century soldier: Feasible?

All right, in this fiction there are airships, they're not like blimps or zeppelins, they're much more like the fantasy-esque "age of sail ship that floats", cool and dandy. With their creation, some ...
5
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5answers
351 views

What do airships look like in the 1800s?

Say in the later 1700s/early 1800s handwavium is discovered. It's a metal that when heated causes more way more upward lift than hot air or hydrogen/helium produces in similar volumes. Air travel (and ...
2
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5answers
241 views

Living on a high altitude floating city in a fantasy world

In my fantasy world, much of the society takes place in floating cities or airships which rest at 30,000 feet in the air. As you may know, humans can have trouble breathing at such heights, so how ...
4
votes
2answers
292 views

How to sail into the wind on an airship? [duplicate]

Traditional sailing vessels use their keel to counteract the force of the wind. This allows them to move in any direction except directly into the wind. Imagine a world where there is a material that ...
7
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8answers
2k views

Siege defences for a floating city

Say there is a floating city that rests high in the air, it has the area of around New York City and has massive hydrogen tanks under it to keep it afloat, (I am aware the physics of this is ...
4
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8answers
275 views

Siege technology for floating city

Say there is a floating city that rests high in the air, it has the area of around New York City and has massive hydrogen tanks under it to keep it afloat, (I am aware the physics of this is ...
6
votes
6answers
589 views

What communication methods would be used on military steampunk aircraft?

In a steampunk world with airships and airplanes, but which lacks radio, how would different aircraft communicate, and how would they communicate with the ground? Would a form of semaphore, using ...
34
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6answers
5k views

How do steampunk civilizations get lifting gas?

Steampunk airships typically use either helium or hydrogen as a source of lift (depending on the world). However, the source of the gas is often not fully explained, or even not mentioned at all. ...
2
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9answers
703 views

Technology for a sci-fi airship

Sometimes old, discredited or impractical ideas come back to favor, because a new technology has evolved. Let us imagine a future Earth-like world (not early 20th century or steampunk) that would ...
1
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4answers
408 views

Saucer-shaped airship: Is it stronger lighter and better?

The classical rigid airship uses a heavy envelope which accounts for the large buoyancy balloon. This comes on account of aerodynamics. My first concept was a thin and long "cigar" where the cockpit, ...
13
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14answers
3k views

Airship lifeboats, design alternatives

At sea lifeboats are a pretty straightforward affair, a small seaworthy boat that one uses to get away from a doomed vessel. In space the same basic principles apply although the requirements are far ...
2
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2answers
381 views

What planetary conditions would make flight easiest for both lighter than air and heavier than air craft?

What planetary conditions would make flight easiest for both lighter than air and heavier than air craft together? The planet is earth like and habitable, but the conditions can be adjusted to suit ...
-2
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4answers
197 views

How much energy would be required to eliminate a shadow from an airship? [closed]

Building on my previous question would an actively camouflaging airship cast a shadow, how much energy would it take to have the airship's shadow disappear? Some metrics you might want to know: The ...
4
votes
2answers
295 views

Will this anti-gravity airship balloon give me a working vacuum airship?

This is a self-contained follow-up to a different previous question. Based on the answers I got there I've taken a different approach to my original idea, and now want to try using antigravity on the ...
12
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4answers
712 views

How do I map aerial trade routes for my airship economy?

Background: I'm continuing to work on the economy of my industrial age world. As background info, it's a fantasy world, with loose basis in western Europe, 1870-1914; though the presence of (...
2
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2answers
586 views

Floating airships in planet with helium layer? [closed]

A planet's lowest atmospheric layer is breathable for humans, with approx 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen or other stable gas. The next atmospheric layer has large amounts of helium. On this planet could ...
-2
votes
2answers
471 views

Steam powered airships [duplicate]

So is it possible that an airship could actually fly using a steam engine? For example a blimp like airship that could carry a dozen or so people, as well as coal for a fuel source, and obviously a ...
10
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4answers
1k views

What are the consequences of using limited anti-gravity for steampunk-style airships?

The Scenario: Airships are awesome, but in the real world airship design is greatly constrained by the problem of lift. It seems like this, above all else, is what makes the elegant and compact ...