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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7 votes
3 answers
366 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 votes
3 answers
539 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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-1 votes
2 answers
216 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 ...
1 vote
6 answers
847 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 ...
-1 votes
3 answers
439 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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0 votes
2 answers
324 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 votes
0 answers
56 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 ...
4 votes
3 answers
4k 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 votes
5 answers
1k 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 ...
-2 votes
4 answers
403 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 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 ...
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1 vote
4 answers
362 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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3 votes
2 answers
273 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 ...
1 vote
5 answers
432 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 vote
3 answers
468 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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0 votes
2 answers
123 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
302 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 ...
  • 901
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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
506 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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32 votes
19 answers
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 votes
1 answer
96 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 ...
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8 votes
5 answers
422 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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1 vote
3 answers
307 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 ...
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10 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
416 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, that a ...
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27 votes
11 answers
2k views

Viability of 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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-2 votes
2 answers
135 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 votes
4 answers
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 votes
4 answers
803 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 votes
8 answers
2k 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/...
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6 votes
1 answer
166 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 ...
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2 votes
5 answers
990 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' ...
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4 votes
3 answers
375 views

Is this aircraft plausible?

I'm thinking of constructing a flying machine in the comic story I'm working on. Since I'm not an aviation expert, I'll try my best to describe this aircraft and you guys can tell me if this machine ...
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8 votes
3 answers
510 views

If I made a plant that could float between clouds, what would it look like?

If I had complete control over the plant's appearance, what would be the best shape for it? I need the plant to be able to float between the clouds. It doesn't have to spend its whole life cycle ...
8 votes
2 answers
375 views

Fantasy Royal Flying Doctor Service

Regular people are too big and heavy to fly on their own (i.e. without magic or internal combustion), but I'd like to have the fantasy equivalent of the Royal Flying Doctor Service so... Could ...
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11 votes
6 answers
1k views

What ecosystem changes would be observed if all flighted creatures were grounded?

I'm about to kick off a game of Dungeons and Dragons. My setting is magic-medieval and the plot is that the power of flight has been suppressed by an avenging god. How long would it take before the ...
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1 vote
7 answers
1k views

Could powered exoskeletons enable humans to fly?

I have seen people saying that humans can't fly even with wings because our arm muscles aren't strong enough. Given that one of the uses of powered exoskeletons is to increase strength, would this ...
13 votes
9 answers
4k views

LED light or heating element?

To generate heat electrically inside a balloon for lift would a 20 watt LED light or a 20 watt heating element make more heat to lift a small closed hot air balloon droid and solar cell? Having a ...
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0 votes
1 answer
3k views

Humanoids with Wings ~ How Would it Work? [duplicate]

I need help with figuring out how two different types of wings would work for two different types of human-like creatures. This includes how they would fly [flapping, wing length, other things that ...
7 votes
2 answers
944 views

What would the changes necessary for powered flight using rib-derived "wings" look like?

I'm working on a humanoid vertebrate species that I'd like to be capable of true, flapping flight, but still have arms and legs completely separate from the wings. I also wish to avoid a "six-limbed ...
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17 votes
9 answers
3k views

How does a castle have sufficient anti-air defenses while still looking like a castle?

Castles, particularly Concentric Castles, are great to have against the technology of the time; swordsmen, crossbowmen. They're less great against ornery wizards and capricious dragons. The lords ...
user avatar
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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
216 views

Speed of flying bird [closed]

If you had a bird which was large enough to ride, how fast could it fly? I need this information to work out the scale for my maps as i know how long it takes for one of the birds to fly from A to B.
10 votes
1 answer
356 views

Flight within the shared atmosphere of a Rocheworld, and between the planets, with low gravity wrinkle?

In a Rocheworld scenario where two planets are tidally locked and share an atmosphere, but where both the planets are so small that their gravity is very little (as low as one of the dwarf planets in ...
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13 votes
1 answer
443 views

How much thermal lift force can these pyromancers generate?

BACKGROUND The pyromancers described here have found some very tall cliffs to jump off of, and they'd like to perform some experiments with gliders. They believe, or at least hope, that being able to ...
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5 votes
2 answers
264 views

Can a dragon who can heat parts of its body at will use that to fly?

I have been working on a world which has a very limited type of magic. This magic almost necessitates a bird likes creature that I think I might be able to convert into a non-traditional dragon. ...
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9 votes
10 answers
494 views

What kind of planetary conditions would prevent or severely limit air travel?

So I have a planet that is slightly larger than Earth, orbits an orange star slightly closer than earth orbits the sun, has extreme weather patterns and volatile tectonics. It has bad storms, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
128 views

Building a drone for gas giant flight: Lightning considerations

A previous question's answer established that naturally occurring positrons could be gathered through positron-emitting isotopes. I've started looking into means that these isotopes could be gathered ...
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0 votes
1 answer
350 views

What would an artificial wing for a human be made from?

Background: Most of the population on earth has wings. Wingspans are normally around 13-19ft long depending on the person. Some have lost wings, but I don’t want them to be 100% crippled and unable to ...
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4 votes
3 answers
261 views

Detecting the mythical superman (Or a 100kg sack of meat)

Lana Lang (Because no one really gives Lana enough love) is the newest recipient of the superhero lottery. Boasting an impressive repertoire of powers, yes, but there are only a couple of ones we ...
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