Questions tagged [airships]

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

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Cargo Capacity of an Interwar Period Military Airship

In my AH there are large airships which are more advanced than those in our time line, i.e. real history (hereafter known as "OTL"). Country A has invaded country B and B needs to get some '...
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8 votes
5 answers
3k views

Air(warships) and the 'wet navy'

My early 20th Century (ww1/interwar/early ww2) alternate world has armoured airships (I haven't fully worked out the physics but I assume some sort of handwavium to allow armoured ships not just ...
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  • 101
3 votes
1 answer
114 views

How would you construct an aerial trolley transport system? [closed]

I am researching alternative transport systems in a solarpunk setting. I am especially interested in systems where airships are pulled by the kinds of cables currently used in ski lifts and aerial ...
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2 votes
3 answers
168 views

How would anti-gravity airships change 1950s warfare?

The antigrav is a bedroom-sized cube of smooth sheet metal walls encasing complicated metallic machinery inside. When switched on, it generates an anti-gravitational field enough to lift a stone ...
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4 votes
3 answers
149 views

How to maintain large ships in hostile atmosphere?

The simplest effective method for maintaining large flying vessels is needed My society is a pirate haven which has low technology and resources. They have jury-rigged some system to keep the fleet ...
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  • 5,864
3 votes
3 answers
242 views

Replacing heavy cranes with airships for alien city building? Pros/cons?

We are doing construction on an alien world with unbreathable air This creates a very big problem for a growing city which needs to expand. Workers cannot go outside safely for long periods. Goal: ...
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  • 5,864
9 votes
4 answers
252 views

How to shield lighter-than-air towers from wind?

I’m building a colossal tower. This tower forgoes the use of steel and concrete completely in favor of cheap lighter-than-air modules. These modules have cube-shaped frames made of carbon fiber and ...
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  • 8,617
2 votes
1 answer
76 views

Maximum Possible Size for a Tethered Balloon?

I know that for airships, the maximum practical size could be limited by factors like air resistance, the danger of a collision with the earth when landing, the need to build huge hangars, etc. But ...
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10 votes
3 answers
220 views

Where (altitude, cloud type, etc.?) is it most safe vs. least safe for an airship to collect rainwater?

Context / technology level: I have a more-or-less Age of Sail airship. It is not intended to be entirely self-sufficient, but it should be able to make long trips with small stops to restock/repair; ...
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4 votes
2 answers
180 views

How large could a passenger airship be built with 1920s era technology?

I am writing a steampunk novel set in a human world without computer chips, heavier than air aircraft, or recyclable plastic. How large could a passenger airship be built using 1920s era technology? ...
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16 votes
11 answers
4k views

Medieval airship nomads

In a medieval society, an ethnic group lives most of their lives aboard airships. These airships are rudimentary, perhaps holding only enough room for a single family. They consist of slender wooden ...
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4 votes
1 answer
88 views

What are the buoyancy capabilities of super-heated Helium?

In some questions here (and in other sites), when the subject of a floating spaceship is addressed, I always see someone suggesting super-heated Helium of Hydrogen. However, I can't find anywhere ...
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9 votes
4 answers
2k views

What are some of the structural problems inherent to a kilometer-scale hydrogen airship?

Airships are interesting vehicles, in that they are, as far as I know, the only ones to turn the square-cube law to their advantage. For a proportional increase X in length, width, or height of the ...
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3 votes
4 answers
202 views

Sail Plan For A Flying Vessel

What precisely is the ideal sail placement for a ship that flies? Anti-Ballast which is basically a rock that pulls up is the key technology here, allowing the construction of a framework (essentially ...
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3 votes
1 answer
107 views

How fast could airships feasibly go? Modern or near-modern technology, but designed for speed

Most of the airships in my world are not speedsters. But just for niche applications, http://aeroscraft.com/fleet-copy/4580475518 claims top speeds of 120 knots (222 km/h). Is that marketing bullshit ...
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  • 353
3 votes
1 answer
121 views

Dragon sailing Airship Part II: Room Temp Superconductor Anti-Ballast

This is the second part of a two-part question. This part uses third-party worlds to illustrate a couple of points, but it is not in any way about them, therefore this question is not off-topic. So ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Dragon Sailing Airship Part I: Fire Air Balloon

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 ...
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6 votes
2 answers
414 views

How big would my airship have to be to fit a modern VLS system

For my factions anti-occult paramilitary force, I decided to give them large, armoured airships for their main form of transport and attack, which do not use gas bags for lift, but rather a magical ...
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  • 521
5 votes
3 answers
215 views

Additional applications for advanced airships in my earth-like world

Recently I have asked a question about assessing the viability of airships in the scenario of my world, concentrating mainly on their usage as cargo haulers. The answers have been pretty positive and ...
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13 votes
12 answers
3k views

Could an Earth-like world use airships as heavy cargo haulers?

I'd like to have freights transported across my world by airship heavy cargo haulers with some passenger variants as well. Imagine the scene with such airships soaring above the land, floating ...
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8 votes
7 answers
338 views

How would air-nomads catch food in the sky?

The world: sky nomads in solar-powered airships, roaming planet earth The technology level: 2030s or 2040s. The airships are similar to the IRL designs LCAT60T airship by Flying Whales, Airlander 10, ...
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  • 353
3 votes
3 answers
123 views

Could sky-nomads construct static depots?

The world: sky-nomads cruising the skies in solar-powered airships The question: could they make some sort of static depot in the sky to stockpile food etc.? how would it work? They live in the clouds,...
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  • 353
5 votes
5 answers
833 views

All the crew of an airship drop dead, how long does it remain airborne?

I’m currently working on a scene for a book where the heroes stumble across a seemingly abandoned Age of sail airship. After a brief investigation they find that the entire crew seems to have ...
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  • 1,885
0 votes
3 answers
119 views

How advanced could air power get without engines?

In my world, humanity was put on a Earth-like (but not Earth) planet thousands of years ago by an alien species for reasons. Before these aliens left, they created a field around this planet that ...
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3 votes
1 answer
98 views

How do I get Ironclads/Submarines lifted into an in-atmosphere wormhole that leads into another identical one?

I am working on some lore for an overhaul mod, but I want to try to stay away from handwavium as much as I can, at first. There's two terran planets connected by many stable wormholes, the most ruckus ...
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6 votes
5 answers
494 views

How to Explain the Use of Sails in an Airship Powered By Crystals

I recently got back into the Shannara series by Terry Brooks and it has me wanting to take a shot at adapting the material into a TTRGP setting. One of the things that I'm hung up on is how to explain ...
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28 votes
26 answers
4k views

How to limit the usefulness of an anti-gravity mineral to airship construction in steampunk?

Airships are awesome, but making them realistic while retaining the awesome factor is hard due to how relatively little weight they can realistically carry. I was thinking about ways to mitigate that ...
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36 votes
24 answers
6k views

Would oceans filled with long-lived, omnivore, intelligent Krakens make sea travel impossible?

Let's say the oceans' apex predator on a planet similar to Earth is a species of Kraken (octopus, just big huge ones) that live 200 years in average (so they have plenty of time to develop their ...
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  • 777
13 votes
5 answers
2k views

Can we build a safe hydrogen airship?

Airships went out of fashion for a variety of reasons including: Materials science level made constructing gas bags difficult. Cow-intestine were used to make the bags Filling the airships with gas ...
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7 votes
4 answers
371 views

What would be the effects of changing the composition of air in order to increase its density?

In another question, I asked how airships could be made more viable. The first (and so far only) promising solution I came up with is to increase the density of air. In the real world, air (on Earth) ...
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5 votes
2 answers
151 views

Which physical laws or attributes would have to be changed to increase the buoyancy of an airship?

As I came to realize from a previous question of mine, my vacuum airships are apparently not as good as I hoped they would. I still do want to use them more or less how I envisioned them, and I'm ...
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8 votes
8 answers
2k views

How functional/versatile would airships utilizing perfect-vacuum-balloons be?

tl;dr: My world has airships using vacuum spheres made out of a super-strong and lightweight material. I'd like to know how versatile such airships could be used, and how big the spheres would be ...
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4 votes
6 answers
379 views

What armament would be best for a 21st century airship?

So I am writing a story with 21st century airships. They replace all heavier than air flight and there are extensive “sky navies”. The airships are able to carry 150,000 pounds of whatever you want ...
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  • 2,063
4 votes
2 answers
226 views

Would a Liquid-Metal battery be practical for powering an airship

So, I know that battery powered planes aren't practical, because there just isn't enough power to weight. However, What about an airship? Airships don't have to move to stay aloft. How would this work ...
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  • 5,349
18 votes
4 answers
2k views

Air-traffic control for medieval airships

In my medieval fantasy world, airships are efficient and entrenched in the economy of trade and commerce. However, coordinating air travel on certain routes and prevailing winds seems difficult, ...
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11 votes
11 answers
2k views

How to best use my hypothetical “Heavenium” for airship propulsion?

The inhabitants of my Earth similar world have a preindustrial society, but have managed to create airships. These use plywood, hot air and relatively thick material for the envelope. But these ...
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6 votes
7 answers
2k views

Preindustrial airships with minimalist magic

I want to create a world where there are large airships, but the technology available is still basically pre industrial. I don’t think there is any way to achieve this without using magic (if you can ...
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  • 31k
6 votes
2 answers
336 views

Plausibility of a habitable gas giant atmosphere

So I was watching Issac Arthur videos recently, about colonizing the other planets of our solar system. And it was pointed out that Neptune and Venus have atmospheres and gravity such that an airship ...
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6 votes
4 answers
325 views

Would lack of petroleum oil help make planes impossible, or uncompetitive to airships?

In my steampunk world (developed to roughly 1870-1910 levels of technological development), there are no oil deposits and flatlands are highly valuable due to their relative rarity (the entire thing ...
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5 votes
7 answers
2k views

In a world without fossil fuels, would air travel ever really be developed?

In a world without fossil fuels, would air travel ever really be developed? Without fossil fuels, the most likely path that could lead to the development of a proper industrial revolution would ...
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1 vote
3 answers
272 views

What is the viability of this airship using modern technology?

I want to design an airship using modern-day technology. I have read around the stack exchange and while there are many questions on airships they do not completely answer my questions. My main idea ...
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5 votes
8 answers
4k views

How could a pre-gunpowder army challenge the enemy's air superiority?

Imagine I'm a time traveller or someone, who has been transported to an alternative reality. Against all odds I established myself as a respected inventor, teacher and noble in one of the local ...
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4 votes
2 answers
320 views

General characteristics of an "aircraft" for gas-planet atmospheres?

In the future gas giants, ice giants, mini neptunes and gas dwarfs have been colonised. The colonisers use either hot hydrogen or vacuum in rigid ballons to keep their cloud cities up in the endless ...
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6 votes
6 answers
500 views

How could an Earth-like planet support all-metal airships?

When I say all-metal airships, I'm referring to something like the above from Jakub Rozalski's artwork - the design is more akin to a naval destroyer or battleship and less like a zeppelin. We've seen ...
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  • 1,649
5 votes
5 answers
311 views

How to Justify Less Developed Air Power Despite Modern Tech?

I am writing a story where the technology of the time could be roughly characterized as akin to ours back in the 90's, if not quite the history that led to it being that way. So you'd see things like ...
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2 votes
3 answers
137 views

What materials and what shapes should be used for struts inside a vacuum airship's envelope?

What materials and what shapes should be used for struts inside a vacuum airship's envelope? The vacuum airship is a theoretical dirigible design were you replace the hydrogen/ other lifting gas with ...
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7 votes
5 answers
482 views

What are some ways an airship could be landed without people on the ground?

In my novel, an experimental airship needs to land in a field but it's in a foreign country where there was no coordination ahead of time to have people on the ground help tether it. Is is still ...
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  • 399
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Post-apocalyptic aircraft

I have a post-apocalyptic scenario, set in the ruins of an American metropolis with flooded streets. Boats are used most of the time, but aircrafts have advantages, for battle or if you have to get on ...
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22 votes
18 answers
4k views

Quick destruction of a helium filled airship?

I am writing a steampunk novel and am working on a scene where an enemy quickly overwhelms and destroys a US airship. The enemy has flying gyro sleds and a large airship of their own that is armed ...
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3 votes
2 answers
295 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 ...
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