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.

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2
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2answers
43 views

Feasibility of a sand gliding creature?

Would it make sense for a desert creature to glide along the sand to traverse long distances? There's a number of gliding animals in nature, most of which use it as an efficient travel option for long ...
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14answers
5k views

How do I keep my futuristic racing hovercraft from becoming airplanes?

I'm working on a science fiction racing game that is centered around hovercraft that will race through various environments, both natural and man-made. I'm trying to establish a design language for ...
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1answer
63 views

How much thermal energy, in joules per centimeter squared, is required to ignite common aerospace materials?

How much thermal energy, measured in joules per centimeter squared, would be required to: melt (or ignite, if possible) commonly-used commercial airliner paint melt (or ignite, if possible) commonly ...
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7answers
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Could a combination of cheap energy and powerful thrusters turn good aerodynamic design into something that isn't always worth the cost?

For a science fiction setting I'm working on, I'm trying to make a clear division between ships made exclusively for space flight, atmospheric flight and dual-purpose ships that can fly in both. The ...
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1answer
170 views

Perpetual motion machines and supersonic flight

Related to Perpetual motion machines and rocketry. In my current worldbuilding project, people commonly employ enigmatic Clarkean machines called "spinners". They are two adjoined cubes, ...
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23answers
6k views

How to prevent the evolution of human flight?

The more I look at it, the more my world seems to resemble the world of Avatar the Last Airbender, but instead of benders I have casters which are capable of unique talents (combat magic, enhancements,...
6
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5answers
394 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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3answers
240 views

Would a bat's wing be improved with feathers?

Bats and birds have very different wings, but if you were to combine them, giving bats feathers on top of their membranous wings, would that improve their flight? Or would it just be a useless, maybe ...
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8answers
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Realistic way of damaging a plane to lead to a survivable crash

I'd like to approach this in a sort of hard sci-fi way, where the following is grounded in something plausible. Suppose we want to take a plane down at a reasonable speed where there is a 30% chance ...
9
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5answers
449 views

Can a “knockout bird” fly?

For an alternate Earth I am trying to develop a type of flying creature which poses an unusual threat model for the unaware explorers wandering in their habitat: when the creature is flying above 10 ...
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4answers
344 views

Scaling up the bat wing: still a good alternative for a large flying animal or inferior to a pterosaur wing?

My creature is an alien roughly 3 meters tall while standing (roughly 2,5 meters at the shoulders, with arms that can touch the ground while standing upright) and weights roughly 220 kg (roughly 485 ...
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5answers
319 views

How Could my People Avoid Altitude Sickness While Riding Giant Birds?

In my book series, some of the people of the planet Aurea use giant vultures called Argentavis for transport and aerial combat. These domesticated, selectively bred birds are far larger than their ...
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1answer
143 views

How would dragons utilize ships?

I'm writing a fantasy novel with a race of intelligent and technologically advanced dragons. now, if we pretend that they can somehow fly, How would they utilize boats and ships in order to traverse ...
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4answers
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Boom of the Thunderbird

Could wings and feathers be capable of creating a sonic boom like whips do? The thunder bird of native American myths was a large raptor that was often accompanied by bad weather and the sound of ...
3
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2answers
191 views

How would a four (or more) winged dragon fly? what would the wingspan be?

it has an elongated body, and the wings are 2 pairs and 2 pairs behind those, at a sufficient distance so they do not get in each other's way, unless the dragon wants them to, also not too far apart, ...
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4answers
313 views

Vacuum airships

Airships fly thanks to their weight. The m3 you occupy should be lighter than the m3 of whatever you want to float around in (bit of a simplification). To achieve this they make a big balloon and fill ...
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6answers
199 views

could a helium balloon be large enough to hold up an island?

I'm wondering if its possible to make a helium blimp large enough to hold up an island (big enough to lift the island of Nauru) at an altitude of about 4500 feet above sea level. how much helium would ...
8
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6answers
272 views

What changes to planetary atmosphere, available materials or technology could make biplanes and triplanes remain dominant?

I like aircraft with multiple wings stacked atop each other; in an alternate world (undergoing a similar technological history to our planet but with a different aesthetic) I would like them to remain ...
3
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2answers
159 views

Could A Dragon Really Survive Given the Right Conditions?

So I have been trying to design a dragon that is somewhat realistic and I wanted to see if it was plausible in the our real world, despite dragons being very unrealistic. I also wanted to know what ...
4
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3answers
286 views

How Would a Six-Winged Angel Fly?

This image by the DeviantArtist "jerica128" presents what I believe to be the best demonstration of angel anatomy: Source for the image above That said, they are actually not the only ...
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2answers
239 views

How far would a goblin-powered plane go?

There are a few flying questions lately and this got me thinking. Someone suggested that a centaur might power a plane via a bicycle. I don't think this would work out, since the centaur would be very ...
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18answers
6k views

Could you design a fighter plane for a centaur?

It's the Great War, and all the nations are having a good time of it, painting their biplanes flashy colours, as they shoot into their own propellers! But over in the corner, lonesome and dejected, ...
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5answers
319 views

How fast would I have to flap my arms in order to fly?

Suppose I am a super-being. From the outside I look and act exactly like an ordinary human. My flexibility of limbs is the same as that of a human so I can't shape-change or bend my arms unnaturally. ...
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1answer
587 views

Could falcons evolve to be flightless?

I am writing a science-fantasy book series for adolescents (or people aged from 10 to 24 years old if you want) about a weird creature called Céleste Bizarre. One of their friends is an ...
4
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1answer
244 views

Humanoids with wings, how do they take off?

Remember when I said that flying creatures are a nightmare to design? Well, looks like dragons and gryphons were just the beginning, we still have two other species to cover, and they're worse. ...
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2answers
216 views

How would a dragon fly, give it all you got, the dragon has 4 wings, and has an avarage (edited) 300Kg weight

The dragon's weight can be reduced, by a mixture of lighter than air gases, heated air, vacuums etc. I have done some research, but I forgot the equation, this was for a 6000 kg bird, how large does ...
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4answers
85 views

Wind Powered Air Sailing Vessel

Using just one fantastical element (a rock that under certain conditions produces a strong buoyant force) how would sail ships in the air be designed? It doesn't need to look like a traditional naval ...
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1answer
42 views

Giant, flying fish? [duplicate]

I have this idea of giant, literal flying fish. About the size of a megalodon (if impossible, it can be smaller, I just want them to be really big), they fly at speeds of 70 miles per hour (again, you ...
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1answer
102 views

World conditions for Flying Humanoid Like a Human

Okay, so this is unrelated to every question I've made so far except a select one. I want to see how a race of sapient, flying humanoids that are essentially humans, but with wings and tails. Here are ...
6
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4answers
260 views

Unique take-off strategies for six-limbed creatures?

So, dragons, gryphons, what have you. They're usually (before Skyrim and Game of Thrones in the dragons' case) depicted as six-limbed, quadrupedal creatures. Now, the thing is, staying aloft is much ...
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2answers
65 views

Can a robot which flies like a bat have telescopic wings?

Working as a continuation of the concept I mentioned in my previous question, my character is building a flying robot, which has wings which function much like those of a bat. The robot in question ...
4
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1answer
220 views

What's the scalability of this flying strategy?

So, a quick rundown: Giant pterosaurs lived during the Cretaceous period before some a-hole wiped the server clean. These pterosaurs ranged in appearance and lifestyle from sorta-scavengers, like the ...
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6answers
375 views

Materials preferably available up to early 1900s ideal for mechanical wings

My universe is focused on a steampunk-esque atmosphere although with more modern technologies up to the early 2000s (yes I am aware of dieselpunk, atompunk etc, but in here the steampunk aesthetic is ...
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2answers
132 views

What is the smallest a planet can be whilst retaining a Venus-like atmosphere?

I am designing a science fiction world that involves the speculative evolution of large flying bat-like organisms with intelligence who are blind as their planet has an atmosphere like Venus, or at ...
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2answers
236 views

Logistics in a World of Floating Islands Sans Airships

The World The setting is an endless sky of naught but pillowy white clouds and floating islands scattered across the skyscape. In such a world, how would the various nations, from small city-states to ...
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4answers
310 views

Would reducing drag be a good reasons for bird people not to wear much besides a loincloth when in civil?

I feel that most of my non-human civilizations are somewhat samey. While I could justify it with the fact that they were all the creations of the same two white fixers, I thought I should emphasize ...
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3answers
82 views

Why would adipose tissue be the most essential ingredient in achieving flight?

Witches have two means of achieving flight. One is through enchanting items such as broomsticks. The other is through a liquid referred to as "flying ointment". This ointment is made by ...
8
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4answers
647 views

Is my idea of Wyverns realistic?

I am an aspiring fantasy writer, and I wanted to include rideable Wyverns in my world. There will be a magic system in my world, but I still want to make them as scientifically possible as I can. Now, ...
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14answers
4k views

Would an evolutionary predecessor for winged quadrupeds start with four legs and gain wings? Or start with two legs and wings and gain extra legs?

Background For a pair of games I am working on, I'm trying to work in a VERY basic evolutionary timeline for a lot of the more mythical creatures to set up design language of some of the creatures. ...
4
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2answers
304 views

How to build an airport at 30,000ft?

What differences might an airport runway and landing differences have on Mount Everest for airplanes at 30,000ft? The drawn line in the pictures is about 2 miles. This would be practical for hand ...
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3answers
152 views

How do I give human fighters a chance when fighting much faster and technologically advanced alien craft?

Human fighters in this instance are six WWII Spitfire Vs and one B-17 Bomber modified with two extra turrets. Each of these planes has been refitted with shields, which can protect from 2 shots on the ...
0
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1answer
122 views

Assuming the wing is strong enough to handle the forces, would allocating wing area towards the tip of a creature's wings help with flapping flight?

When it comes to pushing against fluids (such as water and air) you gotta get speed, demon speed! Speed is what we need! We need greasy-fast speed! It's rather apparent that slow-moving objects tend ...
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8answers
379 views

Humanoid avians with six limbs, how to modify their bodyplan so that their ribcage won't constrain certain movements?

Thundercats 2011 was great. I mean, it even had Thanos and infinity stones before it was cool. Such a good remake simply couldn't survive in final-stage capitalism, as those who worked on it didn't ...
2
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2answers
196 views

A missile that's launched from "small' flying dragons. How can it take advantage of that?

So, when I say small dragons, they're still around the size of a Clydesdale horse, of course. While this might seem small, that's because you're watching them on a small screen and because people ...
4
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1answer
201 views

Is there any way to estimate the carrying capacity of large fliers?

When it comes to the usefulness of large fliers in modern combat, the most important question is: "How much can they carry before they can't take off anymore?" It would be beneficial if you ...
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18answers
7k views

Parachute equivalent when there is no ground

In this world wandwavium machines fly around with glee. But, between one flying island and another, there is no ground. Beneath your flying machine the air only gets denser, and denser, until ...
2
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1answer
67 views

How would a horse-like animal fly using artificially engineered wings?

This animal is built similar to a earth horse. The bone structure is more like a deer or gazelle then a horse. The artificial wings were made by the people in my fantasy world, and they're more like a ...
3
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2answers
169 views

How could six-limbed dragons launch like vampire bats and giant pterosaurs?

So, birds have a rather significant disadvantage, Tthey "jump" into the air, which requires beefy legs that become dead weight in flight. Bats and giant pterosaurs circumvented this problem ...
3
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2answers
215 views

A flying animal that would experience little to no drag?

I wanted to design a huge alien organism that resembles something like a jet. It lives on a low gravity planet that has 60% earth’s gravity and a similar atmosphere to earth. It would fly by ...
2
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1answer
182 views

Quadrupedal Flight

Ok, so, there is a character of mine that is a quadrupedal fox-rabbit-hybrid creature, and it has the magical power to sprout out wings of magical energy from their shoulders. In order to make ...

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