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
215 views

Nonflammable flight gas

What would be a lighter-than-air gas that is also not flammable, and would be fairly easy to produce in a modern-style world?
8
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1answer
112 views

Can a feathered wing be also compliant?

So, to quote pterosaur.net: Unlike the wings of birds, the wings of pterosaurs would have tended to change shape under aerodynamic load - something often referred to as 'passive cambering'. ...
5
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1answer
114 views

How fast could a bird-like human fly under optimal conditions?

So I have a race of people who look mostly like humans, but share a lot of traits with birds, most notably: Wings placed midway down the back, roughly double their armspan (varies by species) Hollow, ...
4
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1answer
143 views

Could a living tube kite creature evolve/ exist?

On Deviantart I found a sketch of this creature: It's called a "flying tube beetle" or more often a "flying lampshade". Think of it like a living tube kite that makes its own tether and catches what ...
2
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3answers
260 views

Actual scientific requirements for human flight

I want to make a human able to fly, much as Superman or any other superhero can (meaning without wings or any other non-human physical characteristics), but respecting the physical laws otherwise. ...
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5answers
2k views

How big would my character's wings realistically be?

I'm not a professional at world building or character building, still starting out, but I do want to make an attempt at having my fantasy character be somewhat realistic. He's 11 years old, 4.8 ft (...
4
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2answers
197 views

Can you actually swing, shoot, throw while suspended in the air with a jetpack?

Disclaimer: I don't know a single thing about aerodynamics but I'm hoping to get a little pointers in where to start. I'm currently writing a fantasy story where jetpacks are a very practical and ...
6
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5answers
190 views

Armor design for bird people? | Gliding

So, there are birdpeople/birdfolk in my setting. They're ~170 cm tall bipedal humanoids with a pair of functioning wings, slightly below the shoulders. They're covered with feathers, except for the ...
14
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6answers
5k views

Can birds evolve without trees?

I wonder whether the birds or other flying animals heavier than air could evolve without trees of other protruding objects?
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11answers
7k views

What clothes would flying-people wear?

If there were people with wings, who didn't want to be naked all the time, what clothing could they wear, without it interfering with their flying? Note: I am assuming arm-wings, like birds, but you ...
8
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2answers
554 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 ...
8
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2answers
295 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 ...
10
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3answers
139 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
452 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
125 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 ...
5
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6answers
398 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 ...
4
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10answers
342 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
163 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
120 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 ...
8
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2answers
773 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
96 views

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
127 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 ...
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0answers
83 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 ...
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5answers
765 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
254 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
237 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
298 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
180 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
750 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
327 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
168 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 ...
0
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0answers
38 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
853 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
251 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
305 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
125 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
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2answers
129 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
412 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
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3answers
220 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
103 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
113 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
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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 ...
2
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2answers
190 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
6k 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
64 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 ...
8
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5answers
313 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 ...