Questions tagged [airships]

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

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4
votes
3answers
323 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
383 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 ...
7
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6answers
676 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 ...
12
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4answers
2k 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 ...
35
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6answers
5k views

How could 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. ...
7
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5answers
232 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 ...
21
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18answers
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 ...
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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4answers
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 ...
4
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10answers
343 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 ...
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 ...
6
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2answers
326 views

Consequences of Earth-like planet with denser atmosphere

Assumptions - atmospheric pressure is 3 atm, but partial pressure of oxygen is comparable to earth, the rest is mostly nitrogen. Planet is tidally locked and insignificantly heavier. (for simplicity ...
3
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2answers
162 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 ...
14
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8answers
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
votes
1answer
169 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
vote
1answer
95 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
vote
3answers
334 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: ...
11
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8answers
2k views

Airship weapons, gliders

Hello World Builders, In the world I'm designing, the most advanced nations chose to focus heavily on natural helium (readily available in this world) airships for reasons justified by the world (...
7
votes
11answers
458 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 ...
3
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2answers
130 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
votes
3answers
237 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
votes
2answers
177 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 ...
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? ...
6
votes
3answers
382 views

What ways are there to keep a steady altitude with large fluctuations regarding load?

Setting: In my world I've introduced some science-defying material. I use it to grant the ability of flight to airships that are less Hindenburg-y and more ship-y. They are not literally ships that ...
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
171 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
723 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 ...
2
votes
9answers
733 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 ...
14
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10answers
2k views

Realistic Airships

I'm looking for an answer concerning a steam powered airship. The steam is generated via coal burning. The ship is propelled by an X amount of steam engine propellers (think Besler steam plane). The ...
4
votes
1answer
77 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 ...
11
votes
11answers
736 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
votes
3answers
226 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 ...
9
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17answers
2k views

How could something fly (steampunk tech) without lifting gas?

In my universe the tech is steampunk and I want a better way of getting around in the air then lifting gas, helium or hydrogen. Bullets can easily puncture gas sacks and I really want something else ...
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
494 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 ...
31
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15answers
2k views

What geographic characteristics for a world would be needed/be most beneficial for airships to be a common mode of transportation?

Airships are a hallmark of countless steampunk and dieselpunk constructed universes. Of course, in our world, they were around for a short while. I want to know what effects geographical circumstances ...
3
votes
3answers
139 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
vote
3answers
220 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
109 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 ...
6
votes
8answers
391 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
votes
4answers
356 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, ...
17
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10answers
3k views

How to make the era of airships last longer?

Yet another airship question. We now all know that it would be impossible to build an airship of any practical size or effectiveness before the 19th century, and that once a civilisation is advanced ...
10
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5answers
1k views

Arctic Airships, Part 1 - Generating Electricity

This is the first question in my Arctic Airships series of questions. The second one is Arctic Airships, Part 2 - Navigation. The premise: An Earth-like planet plunged into an ice age roughly 2,000 ...
13
votes
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
votes
2answers
212 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
votes
3answers
409 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 ...
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 ...
9
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8answers
2k views

Airships without huge balloons/gas bags that can still “float” in air, using minimal or no energy

Making a world where you live in the air, as the surface is not survivable (Venus-like) but there are mountains which serve as islands. I'm gonna leave out the story of the planet as it's not ...
25
votes
7answers
3k views

How can I make steampunk airships less flimsy?

I've been thinking about a steampunk style world where a lot of the transport is done with balloon powered airships. Obviously there are conflicts and I'm trying to think of ways these craft could be ...