Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

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.

0
votes
0answers
16 views

What is the minimum tech level for manned flight?

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
votes
4answers
572 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
votes
2answers
184 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
votes
3answers
200 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
votes
3answers
227 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 ...
1
vote
6answers
730 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
273 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
votes
2answers
121 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
votes
3answers
839 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
votes
4answers
180 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 ...
-2
votes
4answers
279 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
votes
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
107 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
109 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
vote
5answers
404 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
193 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
votes
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
98 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 ...
12
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
146 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
57 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
265 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
123 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
258 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
145 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
votes
10answers
1k views

Fixed-Wing Biological Flyers?

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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
116 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
votes
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
votes
4answers
216 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
votes
8answers
500 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
votes
1answer
120 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
votes
5answers
379 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
votes
3answers
240 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
votes
3answers
242 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
votes
2answers
182 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
votes
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
votes
5answers
380 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
668 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
286 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 ...
16
votes
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 ...
10
votes
7answers
745 views

Four legs vs two legs

How would a four-legged bird's flight differ from a regular two-legged one? Would it be slower in flight but have more power taking off? The bird in question is modeled on a bird of prey. (four legs ...
0
votes
1answer
179 views

Speed of flying bird [closed]

If you had a bird which was large enough to ride, how fast could it fly? I need this information to work out the scale for my maps as i know how long it takes for one of the birds to fly from A to B.
10
votes
1answer
222 views

Flight within the shared atmosphere of a Rocheworld, and between the planets, with low gravity wrinkle?

In a Rocheworld scenario where two planets are tidally locked and share an atmosphere, but where both the planets are so small that their gravity is very little (as low as one of the dwarf planets in ...
12
votes
1answer
252 views

How much thermal lift force can these pyromancers generate?

BACKGROUND The pyromancers described here have found some very tall cliffs to jump off of, and they'd like to perform some experiments with gliders. They believe, or at least hope, that being able to ...
5
votes
2answers
149 views

Can a dragon who can heat parts of its body at will use that to fly?

I have been working on a world which has a very limited type of magic. This magic almost necessitates a bird likes creature that I think I might be able to convert into a non-traditional dragon. ...
9
votes
10answers
419 views

What kind of planetary conditions would prevent or severely limit air travel?

So I have a planet that is slightly larger than Earth, orbits an orange star slightly closer than earth orbits the sun, has extreme weather patterns and volatile tectonics. It has bad storms, ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Building a drone for gas giant flight: Lightning considerations

A previous question's answer established that naturally occurring positrons could be gathered through positron-emitting isotopes. I've started looking into means that these isotopes could be gathered ...
0
votes
1answer
149 views

What would an artificial wing for a human be made from?

Background: Most of the population on earth has wings. Wingspans are normally around 13-19ft long depending on the person. Some have lost wings, but I don’t want them to be 100% crippled and unable to ...