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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6 votes
3 answers
373 views

Evolution of flying animals on a windy planet

I'm thinking about the evolution of flight on a tidally locked planet where winds normally are 70 km/h (45 km/h) and can easily reach 120 km/h (75 mph). I've recently asked about clothes humans wear ...
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8 votes
5 answers
3k views

What's a reasonable timeframe for civilian survivors to learn how to fly a helicopter on their own?

Post-Apocalyptic modern world, a group of civilian survivors about three dozen in number find themselves trapped in a military base. They have no way out except by air. The military base has a dozen ...
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14 votes
4 answers
2k views

If a dragon could fly without magical assistance, how much force could a dragon exert in directed air attacks using the force of its wings?

I plan to have dragons in my fantasy setting and wanted to figure out just how much force their wings would need to generate in order for them to fly. Rules for dragons in this setting: Dragons, and ...
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  • 2,776
3 votes
2 answers
191 views

Can a superhuman swim in air?

Assume the superhuman has no powers besides super strength, speed, durability and coordination. What would be the optimal way for them to fly without any assistance?(no gadgets, suits and additional ...
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  • 551
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is my character's wingspan designed well?

My question is simply whether my character as shown in the picture, Would it be able to fly and Would it look believable if it did fly? I have seen similar posts but all refer to wing types more ...
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16 votes
8 answers
2k views

Powering a fixed-wing aircraft in the upper Venusian atmosphere

I am writing a short story about a fighter pilot on Venus, I was advised on my other post to break up the post into multiple others. What are viable methods to power a fixed-wing aircraft in the upper ...
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  • 169
2 votes
4 answers
1k views

Why broom made of broomcorn flies higher than those made of straw? [closed]

There are many different materials suitable to make a broom, however only brooms that are made of broomcorn and straws are the most sought after. Note that all broom-squires are muggles and back then ...
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3 votes
2 answers
161 views

Could a creature use reptile scales to fly?

I know that feathers evolved from scales, but I was wondering if a bird could have feathers that kept the scales' "hardiness". For this scenario I want to go over a few things. Evolution ...
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3 votes
1 answer
88 views

What would realistic racing hovercraft look like in terms of aerodynamics?

This is a follow up to a previous question of mine: How do I keep my futuristic racing hovercraft from becoming airplanes? I'm in planning stages for a futuristic racing game and I'm trying to figure ...
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  • 2,776
9 votes
5 answers
4k views

How do migratory dragons avoid being blinded by sun?

These dragons are as big as double decker with wing span approaching 20m measuring from tip to tip, they migrate in large numbers and fly at an altitude between 10,000m to 20,000m above sea level. ...
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  • 46k
5 votes
3 answers
97 views

Powered flying baseball

Suppose you conceal a small flywheel in a baseball (something that spins very fast with a lot of momentum for its size and weight). The coupling between flywheel and the outer skin of the ball is ...
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5 votes
2 answers
171 views

Could membranous wings work along with an exoskeleton?

Essentially, my world has arthropod-like creatures with exoskeletons based on chitin, but while some are mostly like earth arthropods, one group specifically developed traits more observed in ...
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0 votes
3 answers
188 views

How much surface area would a dragon's wings need to let it fly?

The dragon is 350kg, and should be able to fly up to 2.5 km above sea level. Gravity and atmospheric pressure are normal. There isn't much of a limit for the muscle's strength and bone resistance, but ...
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  • 417
21 votes
7 answers
2k views

Riding Flying Animals, sitting or lying on them?

A long time ago I asked a question about dragon saddlery(Dragon Riding Question) and later on how to pilot flying animals(How to pilot flying animals?), but recently I saw a lot of art on the internet ...
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8 votes
1 answer
220 views

If a hawk-person teaches a peacock-person to fly, what kinds of maneuvers will the peacock-person be capable of?

Imagine two races, both of human-level intelligence: Hawklings are raptor-like (as in falcons, hawks, eagles, etc) flying humanoids who have six limbs: legs, arms, and wings. They live on high cliffs ...
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  • 1,002
3 votes
6 answers
842 views

Would there be any ways to theoretically have powered flight before the invention of an engine?

Would there be any ways to theoretically have powered flight before the invention of an engine? I am trying to design some way to power a plane before the invention of the engine. I need the plane to ...
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13 votes
4 answers
321 views

How Big Can An Ancient Bird Powered Glider Get?

What are the practical limitations of a glider made of bronze age materials and pulled by well trained birds? Due to psychics able to control animals, and a cultural fixation with domestication, ...
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4 votes
2 answers
103 views

Is it effective for a dragon to have a bat-like wing structure with feathers?

To elaborate further, is it possible to fly if a creature has the wing structure of a bat, but instead of membranous skin, they have feathers?
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4 votes
2 answers
114 views

What adaptations would a winged humanoid species have to be able to live on a mountain peak?

Okay, so I have a species that are humanoid but have wings, and live up on mountain peaks, like where all the snow is. They are sentient like humans, and have the same level of intelligence. I'm ...
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7 votes
4 answers
828 views

What if large pterosaurs like Quetzalcoatlus had survived as isolates in New Zealand and ended up domesticated by the Maori?

The question. Let's say a pterosaur like Q. Northropi survived as an isolate and thrived as apex predator in New Zealand for millions of years. Without much evolutionary pressure its species remained ...
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  • 777
5 votes
1 answer
99 views

Winged jetpack vs palm repulsors, which has more mobility in air?

Winged jetpack comes with 2 set of fixed thrusters and a pair of foldable wings with adjustable aileron. (You put on the jetpack like a schoolbag) Palm repulsors are heavy duty gloves each is equipped ...
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  • 46k
4 votes
3 answers
146 views

How would slimy scales help a dragon to fly faster?

Fish scales consist of glycol-proteins - the kind of mucus that is supposed to reduce drag in the water - but in the air, prolonged exposure from UV would destroy this slime and I seriously doubt it ...
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  • 46k
4 votes
2 answers
181 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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  • 4,100
3 votes
1 answer
118 views

Would this be able to glide?

On my planet there is a fish that acts as a pollinator. It has 2 fins, one on each side. When it jumps from the water both it’s fins spilt into two revealing a web of skin. The reason it does this ...
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17 votes
7 answers
3k views

How to pilot flying animals?

I made a post a while ago about how to saddle a dragon. I recently remembered that, and another question came up: how to pilot a flying animal? Land animals tend to run in the direction their heads ...
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0 votes
5 answers
229 views

Gas lighter than air

I'm in the process of creating flying creatures big enough to be mounted, but there's a problem: the bigger the size, the heavier the weight, the heavier the weight, the more difficult (or even ...
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  • 2,664
6 votes
1 answer
173 views

Strong flying creatures

I'm in the process of creating flying animals big enough to carry a human being on their back, the problem is that if it's too big, the wingspan also has to be and muscle will be needed for the wings ...
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  • 2,664
2 votes
2 answers
155 views

Sprinting Downforce on Titan

Since Titan has high air pressure, but low gravity, could settlers there wear wings or other methods of downforce (passive or active) on their suits/clothes to keep themselves grounded while they run? ...
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  • 1,392
4 votes
2 answers
110 views

What is the advantages and disadvantages of a creature capable of splitting sections of their wings apart?

I was trying to make a creature for a fictional dimension that is extremely hot and has many cliffs and difficult to maneuver areas, leading me to the conclusion that flying creatures would be ...
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3 votes
1 answer
94 views

How should a balloon alien’s gas bladder work?

How do floating aliens work? They are portrayed as having a large gas bladder or sack that keeps them neutrally buoyant while they propel themselves through the air. A notable example of this is ...
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  • 8,617
6 votes
6 answers
1k views

Flight in Zero Gravity

In short: my last post was about a world of flying islands. The world is like a huge gaseous sphere (with the same gases as the Earth's atmosphere, but without the effects of pollution) with several ...
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  • 2,664
1 vote
2 answers
196 views

Might this animal be able to fly?

This animal is a hybrid creature with a strange form that seems incapable of flight They have a streamlined, mammalian head, and the neck is long and flexible like a bird. However, it is much thicker ...
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  • 11.8k
1 vote
1 answer
163 views

Using winged-quadruped anatomy for many-winged fliers

There are many depictions of winged quadrupeds (tetrapods with 4 legs and wings as well), such as griffins, dragons, and Pegasus. Often they have a rather plausible-seeming shoulder anatomy Could this ...
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  • 11.8k
2 votes
1 answer
110 views

Can I make a functional wingsail out of pre-industrial materials?

Definition of a wingsail, from Wikipedia: A wingsail, twin-skin sail or double skin sail is a variable-camber aerodynamic structure that is fitted to a marine vessel in place of conventional sails. ...
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0 votes
0 answers
79 views

Light Gas for Large Flyers [duplicate]

I'm kind of on a journey in search of how to scientifically explain fantastic creatures in a way that doesn't rely on magic, because I think that makes things more interesting. Currently my biggest ...
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5 votes
2 answers
210 views

Pegasus Flight Problem

I've been searching here at the WBSE (I hope this acronym is correct and doesn't offend anyone) for answers on how a pegasus could be scientifically correct and I found these post: Anatomically ...
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8 votes
3 answers
464 views

How would the anatomy of a bird that flies with its legs work?

I'm designing fauna for my story and I'd like to incorporate birds but with a twist! Instead of having wings adapted for flight their legs serve that purpose. Ordinary birds have most their muscle ...
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  • 8,617
5 votes
4 answers
213 views

How would you design a race of small humanoids such that they could ride a Quetzalcoatlus?

I would like to know whether it would be possible for a sufficiently small humanoid to ride a Quetzalcoatlus, a species of pterosaur alive during the late Cretaceous. Plausible adaptations to the ...
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  • 51
4 votes
2 answers
115 views

What would be the physical characteristics of a sapient, mountain-adapted, gliding mammal capable of magically producing thrust?

Introduction My question is basically about what a gliding mammal that can magically produce thrust would look like, whilst meeting these criteria: Can use tools to a sufficient level to develop ...
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  • 51
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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1 vote
1 answer
150 views

Viability of a jet modelled after a dragonfly?

Insects in the order Odonata have tow pairs of wings that can be moved independently, their compound eyes grand them full 360° vision and their bodies are elongated. They can flap their wings out of ...
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  • 8,617
1 vote
3 answers
129 views

Hycean world life questions

https://www.space.com/amp/new-class-habitable-exoplanets-hycean-worlds Hycean worlds are planets up to 2.5 the size of Earth with huge oceans and lots of hydrogen in their atmosphere. They're probably ...
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  • 2,640
1 vote
2 answers
91 views

How feasible would aerostat settlements be in my world?

For a while I have been considering adding aerostatic settlements within my world, which would be emblematic of the more advanced civilizations/societies/entities, hosting a number of people ranging ...
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6 votes
3 answers
771 views

Get out of the planet without fuel propulsion

Can electricity be used to propel aircraft out of the atmosphere and into space? If not, what other other options are there to get heavy stuff away from the planet? Why the question? Fuel is limited ...
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23 votes
21 answers
6k views

Are "bicycles" for flying species possible?

Flying is hard. Most flying species can lift comparatively minuscule amounts of mass in the air beside themselves. Flying is also exhausting, there are only so many species that can soar in the sky ...
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3 votes
4 answers
219 views

Is it possible to create a small aircraft drawn by flying creatures?

I would want to create a realistic spin on the "chariot drawn by flying creatures" as often seen in fantasy, such as Santa Claus' sled drawn by flying reindeer etc. My idea is for a vessel ...
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5 votes
5 answers
242 views

What type of safety features would a commercial nuclear jet aircraft have?

Let's say that you have a commercially/privately-operated jet aircraft. It's not something that's going to be used by a single pilot, or someone making mail runs, or a bush pilot; it's more of the ...
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  • 9,626
8 votes
11 answers
2k views

Uses for Griffins and Other Flying Creatures in a Modern Air Force?

My book series is set in a rapidly industrializing galaxy, and one of my planets (which has a sort of late medieval-early Renaissance tech level) has griffins, pegasi, hippogriffs, and other large ...
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3 votes
1 answer
106 views

My sapient race has the ability to fly. How would this affect their basic architecture? [duplicate]

I’m writing a fairy-like humanoid race that have the ability of flight through biological/magical means. They are in their equivalent of an early medieval era and are the sole sapient species in their ...
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5 votes
4 answers
160 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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