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Questions tagged [flight]

For questions related to the act or process of flying through an atmosphere. Includes any means of propelling oneself through the atmosphere of a world, including biological or technological. Does not include flight outside an atmosphere (compare [space-travel]). Compare [aircraft] and [airships], which are about the machines themselves.

2
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9answers
251 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 ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Air bladders in bat-like skin wings for better lift?

Answers to this question note that human (and by extension mammal) wings would use naked skin instead of feathers, as we see on bats. However, with feathers, birds can have wings with shaped more like ...
5
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2answers
150 views

Hot air balloons lifting bridges in volcanic areas are possible?

In this world, there is a land isolated by a lava line, and the only way to get in there, is across a bridge levitated by hot air balloons. I had the idea of making a wooden bridge being supported by ...
8
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4answers
112 views

How to define operational altitude on other planets?

Since different planets have different gravity, atmospheric pressure, air density and composition, it's obvious that a definition of operational altitude based on earth sea level is inadequate for a ...
3
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5answers
1k views

Could an aircraft fly or hover using only jets of compressed air?

In a world with practically unlimited energy and advanced technology they have no need to burn fuels for energy or even use fire. To travel around their huge planet cities they use aircraft and hover ...
8
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2answers
760 views

Could a dragon use hot air to help it take off?

So a friend of mine came up with an interesting question. Considering the fairly universal following facts about western-style fantasy dragons: a) dragons can breath fire b) dragons themselves are ...
4
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1answer
118 views

How can I increase wingbeat frequency for large flying creatures?

Flapping flight bumps into a size limit after a while because of wingbeat frequency. My knowledge on birds is rather limited, so here's how I interpreted that: A longer wing is a longer lever -> ...
22
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11answers
3k views

Biological Blimps: Propulsion

A while back, I asked this question about the plausibility of giant floating whales and received an excellent and high-scoring answer from Dubukay demonstrating that, given the assumptions that ...
2
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0answers
76 views

What is the minimum tech level for manned flight? [closed]

For instance, a hot air balloon is really pretty simple; I suspect that even thousands of years ago, it would have been possible to make - steam engines existed in 1AD, after all. So, just how far ...
6
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5answers
738 views

Can a medieval gyroplane be built?

A hang-glider or a gyro-glider would suffice also, with the purpose of actually working. I was hoping it wouldn't require a motor, because I doubt a motor could be built in medieval times. If it ...
6
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2answers
217 views

What is the science of fairy flight?

Assume these homo super-dwarf aka fairy and homo sapiens come from a common ancestor, and somehow they evolved a pair of wings and can do vertical takeoff. The average adult is approximately the ...
6
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3answers
222 views

Optimal proportions for flying humans?

There exist humans on a world with 35% the gravity of Earth and air five times denser. These people have invented wingsuits with extensions that go past their arms and enable them to fly by flapping ...
6
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3answers
265 views

How do marine dragons evolve flight without any feathers and no hollow bones?

These dragons spend most of their lives in the ocean, however during the mating season they will migrate inland and gather together on a mountain top. Throughout the journey they will cease feeding ...
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6answers
741 views

Stone-age air-force

Story-based background (not essential for question) The Helawi live at the top of a small plateau with steep cliffs all around. There is a carved stairway from top to bottom that allows only one ...
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3answers
307 views

Gadget: Insect wings

(Related to Human Dragonfly wings) Context The mutant thread is back. For more context, see my previous questions. One of my character is a "subtle" mutant (no outward sign) that has an affinity ...
0
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2answers
134 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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3answers
845 views

How many litres of gaseous helium would it take to lift 80 kg on Earth?

I have dragons in mind for my world, but I'm trying to find logic in how would a medium-sized anything fly off and still be a danger to humans. So far, I have a lizard-like cheetah with wings, ...
3
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4answers
217 views

Could Argentavis be Ridden?

In my book series, there is a planet called Aurea that is home to all sorts of strange fauna. Not only does it have animals from the real world, but it also has prehistoric and mythical creatures as ...
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4answers
290 views

Would breasts make human powered flight harder?

I don’t have breasts. Ok, in all seriousness, when I look up how much breasts weigh all I get in answers like “30,000 bees per bong” and all my female friends don’t know the answer. Could removing ...
28
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5answers
3k views

How could a lightning magic user fly?

My first post on Worldbuilding, hello all! So my question is what could be some interesting logic or thoughts behind having a lightning magic user being able to fly? To quote another user who wanted ...
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3answers
115 views

Effective strategies for aerial melee combat?

Given that melee combat usually requires that one have at least a semisolid footing in order to be able to exert significant force against one's opponent (instead of merely pushing the two combatants ...
2
votes
2answers
120 views

Human Shoulder Motion & Powered Flight

I have an idea for a story where human live on world with low gravity and a dense atmosphere. These humans have developed artificial wings that are attached to their arms so they can fly. Since the ...
1
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5answers
406 views

Magical flight competitions [closed]

In a civilization where a portion of the population is capable of flight, I'm trying to imagine what kind of competition would be organized. Details as follows: Skills measured are speed and ...
1
vote
3answers
202 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 ...
0
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2answers
100 views

Foul Smelling Flatulence Flyers

I am trying to flesh out the details of an interesting animal (for D&D) that will both disgust my players while at the same time have them think the animal is a "useful" creature. I want the ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

How heavy can a dog-sized creature be with wings about 2-3 times its size?

The creature I have in mind is more or less the size of a large dog (think Great Dane). It will have wings on its back similar to a dragon. Now I'm struggling with how heavy these creatures can be for ...
11
votes
9answers
3k views

What would a medieval war against an air-borne race look like?

So I've been inspired by this question to ask what would a medieval war against an airborne hominid (let's call them harpies) be like? Basically most of the assumptions about the meerfolk of the ...
2
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2answers
168 views

How would a creature fly without wings? [duplicate]

I am sorry if this is not the right place to ask, but I have tried to ask this question everywhere and the only answer I’ve gotten are examples of animals like the flying squirrel and such, which does ...
29
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19answers
5k views

How would one attack or lay siege to a flying castle?

So we already know that flying creatures are good at attacking castles. But what about a flying castle attacked by ground creatures? Let's say we have ourselves a medium-sized castle built on a ...
3
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1answer
59 views

High-atmosphere wind dangers on a rocky planet

What would be a good way to explain dangerous winds on a rocky planet like mars? I'm looking to create a dangerous situation for atmospheric pilots trying to land, specifically for sudden changes in ...
9
votes
5answers
275 views

How would it be possible to fly with Talaria (winged sandals)?

The talaria is the name of the winged sandals or shoes famously worn by Hermes in Greek Mythology. If someone were to make a high tech gadget which the attached beating wings to a pair of boots, how ...
1
vote
3answers
132 views

Functional mechanical wings allowing to fly and to go underwater?

In my world, there is a race of small humanoids (average : 1.3m for 40kg) living on cliffs, they have designed mechanical wings that can make them fly or that can fold, and turn around their body ...
6
votes
2answers
288 views

Keratin wings: would they work?

Bird wings are made mostly of feathers, and there's about a million articles out there on that subject. Bats, on the other hand, have wings made largely of skin and bone. These are flexible, giving ...
7
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1answer
164 views

Metal-Feathered Macaw Viability Part 2: Best Wing Shape?

More posts from this thread are here: Metal-Feathered Macaw Viability Part 1: How Can It Fly? Info See this previous question to learn about the premise. We now know, via this amazing answer, ...
22
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10answers
1k views

Fixed-Wing Biological Flying Creatures?

How plausible are naturally-evolved, biological, fixed-wing flying creatures? Could such a creature plausibly evolve in Earth-like conditions? If so, what method would it be most likely to use for ...
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2answers
118 views

Traffic using personal airplanes? [closed]

Technology has advanced to the point where personal airplanes cost \$20,000 to \$30,000 (new). They can go as fast and as far as today's typical jet airplanes. For this question, you can assume that ...
10
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4answers
3k views

What atmospheric density would be required to allow a human being to fly without wings?

How dense would an atmosphere (that's presumably non-toxic) need to be in order for a human being (without wings, artificial or otherwise) to achieve unassisted flight (without killing said person ...
3
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4answers
238 views

What type of mechanics/required secondary powers would be needed to explain how a superhero might use pyrokinetic flight/propulsion?

A character in the novel that I'm working on is capable of pyrokinesis, and one of the applications in which he was experimenting on is using fire control to propel himself upwards in the air like a ...
2
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8answers
561 views

how would a spaceship helm “user interface” (flying controls) be designed in detail

When flying a big spacecraft, one needs to keep several things in mind when designing the "user interface" used to control the spacecraft's flight path, or ultimately, the output of the thrusters/...
6
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1answer
121 views

What would be a viable “Throne” for my human to be lifted by an army of house flies?

I have this character in my story who controls insects and I wanna have him travel in swarms of house flies. why house flies? you ask? Well, two reasons: When I was younger they were my favorite ...
2
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5answers
415 views

Winged Humanoid Physics

I'm working on a race called the Veznir for a story, and as much as I'd like to day they're very fast flying humanoids, it's not very scientific. Only the females have wings, and they average about 6' ...
4
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3answers
242 views

Is this aircraft plausible?

I'm thinking of constructing a flying machine in the comic story I'm working on. Since I'm not an aviation expert, I'll try my best to describe this aircraft and you guys can tell me if this machine ...
8
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3answers
255 views

If I made a plant that could float between clouds, what would it look like?

If I had complete control over the plant's appearance, what would be the best shape for it? I need the plant to be able to float between the clouds. It doesn't have to spend its whole life cycle ...
8
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2answers
186 views

Fantasy Royal Flying Doctor Service

Regular people are too big and heavy to fly on their own (i.e. without magic or internal combustion), but I'd like to have the fantasy equivalent of the Royal Flying Doctor Service so... Could ...
11
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6answers
1k views

What ecosystem changes would be observed if all flighted creatures were grounded?

I'm about to kick off a game of Dungeons and Dragons. My setting is magic-medieval and the plot is that the power of flight has been suppressed by an avenging god. How long would it take before the ...
0
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5answers
465 views

Could powered exoskeletons enable humans to fly?

I have seen people saying that humans can't fly even with wings because our arm muscles aren't strong enough. Given that one of the uses of powered exoskeletons is to increase strength, would this ...
12
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
851 views

Humanoids with Wings ~ How Would it Work? [duplicate]

I need help with figuring out how two different types of wings would work for two different types of human-like creatures. This includes how they would fly [flapping, wing length, other things that ...
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2answers
304 views

What would the changes necessary for powered flight using rib-derived “wings” look like?

I'm working on a humanoid vertebrate species that I'd like to be capable of true, flapping flight, but still have arms and legs completely separate from the wings. I also wish to avoid a "six-limbed ...
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7answers
2k views

How does a castle have sufficient anti-air defenses while still looking like a castle?

Castles, particularly Concentric Castles, are great to have against the technology of the time; swordsmen, crossbowmen. They're less great against ornery wizards and capricious dragons. The lords ...