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
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2answers
511 views

Foldable, multipart helicopter blades

What would it take to build helicopter blades that can fold in several parts? This is the continuation of a question on Aviation. Unfortunately, there have been no use case for this for existing ...
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2answers
290 views

Wings for orbital transfer bioships? - The ascent

I've been looking at the altitude boosted SSTO designs from the 90s that were designed to be lifted to launch altitude by modified jetliners and thinking about bumblebees and wondering if bioships ...
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3answers
130 views

Power of flight vs weight of object in free fall

In my story there are people with super powers, but they only get to have one. So, if someone’s power is to start a fire, then they can’t also control it once it starts. My problem currently is with ...
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8answers
399 views

What limitations can I put on wings for more tense/risky action scenes?

This is my first post on Stack Exchange, so I'm not sure if this follows the right format. Let me know what I can change to make this more helpful on the site. Anyways, let's get to the backstory of ...
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2answers
122 views

How can a medieval-era village keep out aerial intruders? [duplicate]

In my fantasy world, I have humanoid beings who are as adept in the air as they are on the ground. They can walk around just as humans do, but they can also just as easily float into the air or shoot ...
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6answers
363 views

Why would a bird have split wings?

On my world there is a creature that has a 'split' in the plumage of its wings and tail. Instead of having a singular D-shaped surface (when viewed from above, the bird facing to the left), it is ...
2
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9answers
275 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
160 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 ...
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4answers
118 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
770 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 ...
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0answers
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How could my “tumbler field” steer projectiles away from its user? [closed]

In order to allow melee weapons, firearms, (and dragons) to exist side by side, I need the wheel of fortune that can turn the battle's tide to favor one over the other, then spin it. One such wheel ...
4
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1answer
121 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 -> ...
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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
80 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
752 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
232 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
228 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
288 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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2answers
172 views

Alternate aircraft configurations - would any of them be valid substitutes for conventional tailplanes?

So I'm incubating a few alternate histories in my head. Many of them will butterfly away the Wright Brothers and many other familiar parts of history, and at least one has aircraft development as a ...
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6answers
745 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
315 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 ...
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2answers
142 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 ...
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0answers
35 views

How would humans adapt to be better suited to flight? [duplicate]

My main OC, I was thinking, could have some sort of jet pack/ propulsion device to be able to fly etc. But having recently read some articles about the barriers and the obstacles preventing humans ...
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3answers
848 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, ...
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4answers
233 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
300 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
121 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 ...
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2answers
125 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 ...
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5answers
410 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 ...
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3answers
209 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 ...
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2answers
102 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
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1answer
112 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
181 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 ...
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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
61 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
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5answers
280 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 ...
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3answers
140 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
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2answers
317 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
174 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, ...
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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
119 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
251 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
658 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
123 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
455 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' ...