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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How to make a flying human

We are in a future where genetics has advanced to a point where arbitrary modifications can be done to living beings. Now a geneticist wants to make a flying human. That is, he wants to modify a human ...
celtschk's user avatar
  • 31.4k
79 votes
13 answers
16k views

Are flying plants possible?

Is it possible for a plant to have the ability to fly? More exactly, the plant would either need to live without having any roots (and it would never need to touch the ground), or with the ability to ...
Vincent's user avatar
  • 16.8k
37 votes
10 answers
3k views

Plausibility of Floating Whales

Ignoring the plausibility of their evolution and sources of food, could a whale-like creature which internally consists largely of hydrogen bladders/gasbags realistically stay aloft? If these ...
Gryphon's user avatar
  • 10.9k
42 votes
16 answers
15k views

How could a sail powered airship work?

I've been wondering if it's possible for an airship to fly by passive means - specifically, no engines (steam or otherwise). I'm thinking in terms of a world where lighter-than-air gas (and it's ...
Sobrique's user avatar
  • 3,689
21 votes
6 answers
3k views

Evolution of giant floating mammals

Whales are majestic creatures of the sea, as they glide more gracefully through the water than their size should seemingly allow. What kind of evolutionary path would it take for whales to glide ...
AndyD273's user avatar
  • 34.7k
8 votes
3 answers
19k views

What would humans wings need to be like to fly? [duplicate]

How would it work for a human to have wings and how would they be able to fly? What wings would make the most sense, feathered, webbed etc.? How would it make sense for it to connect to their own ...
Emma's user avatar
  • 81
35 votes
4 answers
84k views

How big would a pair of wings need to be to allow an adult human to fly in a given environment?

Lets indulge in a bit of Mad Science, here. Assuming the world described here: Making the Enterprise Fly (60% of earth's gravity, 50% denser atmosphere) what is the wingspan needed to allow an ...
Danny Reagan's user avatar
  • 6,056
50 votes
5 answers
4k views

How would the existence of large rideable flying creatures have changed the design of castles?

I'm thinking not only of the impact they would have had on how you would defend from an aerial attack, but also that they could be used for much more specific bombardment by dropping large rocks and ...
Mourdos's user avatar
  • 2,896
29 votes
7 answers
4k views

How can I make steampunk airships less flimsy?

I've been thinking about a steampunk style world where a lot of the transport is done with balloon powered airships. Obviously there are conflicts and I'm trying to think of ways these craft could be ...
Liath's user avatar
  • 18.6k
21 votes
14 answers
6k views

How to make a viable flying mount?

In the real world, humans have tamed horses and use them as mounts. Horses have very specific characteristics that make them a viable mount, such as size, back-strength, stamina, diet, behavior, etc. ...
Miguel Bartelsman's user avatar
55 votes
13 answers
8k views

In a society of flying beings, would the wheel ever be invented?

The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. -- Douglas Adams. Humans can't fly. Not themselves. Sure, we can climb aboard a plane, a hot air balloon, or a rocket ship. ...
SQB's user avatar
  • 1,087
18 votes
3 answers
3k views

Designing a traffic system for flying cars

Well folks, 2015 has come and gone, and we still don't have widely-available flying cars. While there is some promising work being done on "flying cars", which are more like road-capable airplanes, it ...
Seth's user avatar
  • 3,745
17 votes
4 answers
4k views

How to let a Whale urh... fly? [duplicate]

I have read about flying sharks that hunt birds and great monstrous flying whales, so I would like to know how a whale could conceivably start 'flying' in real life. I'm gonna just set Blue Whales as ...
Skye's user avatar
  • 10.2k
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the earliest that a civilization could develop airships?

Assuming a technological progression roughly similar to that of Europe in our world, what is the earliest that a civilization could have developed rigid-frame airships? For example, one could imagine ...
Nerrolken's user avatar
  • 3,558
5 votes
6 answers
2k views

A world with 1/3rd gravity but 1/2 atmospheric pressure. Would it be easier to fly?

Let's say on an alien planet called Thindor, the surface gravity is 3.27 m/s2 (which is 1/3rd of Earth's). But the atmospheric pressure is only 50 kPa (which is 1/2 of Earth's). Assume the same 20/80 ...
DrZ214's user avatar
  • 290
61 votes
10 answers
25k views

A Bird that Never Touches Ground

Birds, as we currently know them, build nests and lay eggs on the ground. People and things with sharp teeth live on the ground. There are also things with claws and beaks up in the air, but fewer. I ...
Serban Tanasa's user avatar
27 votes
25 answers
3k views

How could flying soldiers influence medieval battle tactics?

Two medieval armies are fighting one another. Their infantries are approximately equal, and their artillery pieces are well matched. During one battle, they enter what appears to be a stalemate. Then ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 101k
20 votes
15 answers
5k 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. ...
Arvex's user avatar
  • 3,034
19 votes
15 answers
4k views

Using physics - How can a character fly

I am writing a story in which the characters have some power over the physical world - literally able to transform their knowledge of physics into powers. I am trying to determine a good way for them ...
C Bauer's user avatar
  • 329
16 votes
9 answers
4k views

Could there be an atmosphere in which I could both be alive and float?

There an atmospheres in which I can live, like Earth's. There are atmospheres in which I can float, like if it were a really heavy gas. Is there some atmospheric composition where I could both be ...
Christopher King's user avatar
12 votes
6 answers
12k views

Could you make Bat wings shaped like the different kinds of Bird wings?

I've been designing an an intelligent, bat-inspired avian race, and I've been struck with a question that I need answered. Now, I want to have these bats to fulfill different types of ecological ...
Lot-Of-Malarkey's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can a horse-sized flying creature grab and carry a human's weight while flying?

As you know, mythical animals like the gryphon, dragon, wyvern, roc, etc can carry things as they fly. For a big creature to fly, it either needs to massively increase the spread of their wings or ...
Li Jun's user avatar
  • 8,899
8 votes
10 answers
2k views

How can a vertebrate animal evolve for extended flight before living on land?

How could a vertebrate animal evolve for extended flight before evolving land adaptations? Is that even possible at all? By extended flight, I mean breathing air and spending most of their time in ...
lijat's user avatar
  • 1,120
6 votes
8 answers
889 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 ...
sinteredmetals's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
586 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 ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 47.9k
5 votes
2 answers
276 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 ...
ProjectApex's user avatar
  • 14.2k
5 votes
2 answers
329 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 ...
QUESTER42's user avatar
  • 170
3 votes
2 answers
562 views

Would cold-blooded dragon be suitable for flying?

I am designing a cold-blooded dragon about the size of a house cat with a wingspan of 3 metres from tip to tip. It will climb on top of rocks at noon when there is ample sunlight overhead. I need it ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 47.9k
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

What planetary conditions would make flight easiest for both lighter than air and heavier than air craft?

What planetary conditions would make flight easiest for both lighter than air and heavier than air craft together? The planet is earth like and habitable, but the conditions can be adjusted to suit ...
Slarty's user avatar
  • 37.3k
0 votes
3 answers
527 views

Sky Train Blimp Plane?

Can using blimps to hold power lines and implement laser filamentation of ablout 7 meter span from the source of power for a contact free power supply to power an electric engine (designed to run on ...
Muze's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
2 answers
336 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 ...
Lucas A.'s user avatar
36 votes
19 answers
6k views

How do I prevent flight in a cyberpunk future?

~200 years into the future, most of mankind has been wiped out by war. The remainder lives in walled supercities, to protect them from the hazards of the wastelands - including a nation of machines ...
Lu22's user avatar
  • 3,190
31 votes
13 answers
10k views

What clothes would flying-people wear?

What clothing would people who have wings, and weren't prone to just being naked, choose to wear that wouldn't interfere with their flying? Note: I am assuming arm-wings like a bird, but I know some ...
Master Chef's user avatar
28 votes
8 answers
6k views

How do massive starships levitate?

This scene is commonly seen: A huge starship levitates over the surface of a planet or a moon, staying effortlessly in one place, or moving slowly around at the fixed height. But how? Required ...
Danijel's user avatar
  • 2,395
28 votes
5 answers
4k 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 ...
Govinator's user avatar
  • 431
22 votes
12 answers
4k views

Minimum tech level needed for a flying vehicle

What is the lowest, most basic technology level needed for a human population to be able to develop a reliable flying machine capable of transporting people over medium-short distances (at least a few ...
Miguel Bartelsman's user avatar
19 votes
11 answers
3k views

What if Santa does not want Norad to track him?

The North American Aerospace Defense Command track Santa Claus' position each year as he delivers presents. Santa has mostly been cool with this (it's made him a little nervous in the past), but he's ...
Christopher King's user avatar
18 votes
15 answers
6k 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 ...
Arvex's user avatar
  • 3,034
18 votes
6 answers
4k views

Making the Enterprise Fly

No, not that one. This one. I want to see the USS Enterprise fly, but I'm curious how it would be accomplished in any realistic fashion. Now, the world I'm building that needs a flying Enterprise ...
Danny Reagan's user avatar
  • 6,056
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 ...
Wizard King's user avatar
  • 2,694
15 votes
9 answers
3k views

Dragon breaking sound barriers unaided

Taking several notable real life inspirations from the animal kingdom I like to design a realistic Dragon towering any creature ever lived but has a nasty habit of generating sonic boom every where in ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 47.9k
14 votes
23 answers
7k 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,...
Argent Hellion's user avatar
14 votes
9 answers
5k views

Is there a reason a flying species can't use lighter than air gas to help provide lift? [duplicate]

I was generally considering the idea of a flying species that uses lighter than air (LTA) gas to help provide lift, allowing it to have a larger mass than flying species can usually attend. I used ...
dsollen's user avatar
  • 33.5k
12 votes
7 answers
5k views

How to make a superhero with electrical powers fly?

I'm writing a novel in which one of the characters has the ability to control, manipulate, and produce electricity. I'm having issues working about scenes which require him to fly around without ...
unimaginativewriter's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
3k views

What are the consequences of using limited anti-gravity for steampunk-style airships?

The Scenario: Airships are awesome, but in the real world airship design is greatly constrained by the problem of lift. It seems like this, above all else, is what makes the elegant and compact ...
Random's user avatar
  • 5,996
11 votes
7 answers
2k 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 ...
Ajnatorix Zersolar's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
1k views

How would castles be built in a medieval setting where some humans can fly?

In my world a lot of people can fly. It isn't everyone and it isn't all to the same skill level. Some people can only float around a bit, while a master can break the sound barrier. There are enough ...
MissingPear's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
607 views

So, how do I put the extra muscle, needed for flight, into a large flying creatures like dragons?

I've been thinking about this the whole day. At first I thought it was an easy fix, given my dragon's bones have a tensile strength of 3-6.5 GPa and an elastic modulus of 50-140 GPa, depending on the ...
Mephistopheles's user avatar
11 votes
9 answers
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 ...
tox123's user avatar
  • 885
11 votes
5 answers
5k 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 (...
Jayssa's user avatar
  • 111