Questions tagged [flying-machines]

For questions involving flying objects that are heavier than air. This includes airplanes, helicopters and other types of aircraft. For questions about rocket-propelled craft, consider [rockets]. For questions about lighter-than-air craft, use [airships].

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17 votes
7 answers
4k views

A better way to do a planetary invasion?

Planetary invasions are usually depicted using drop-ships which come straight down from the sky. Pretty much armoured Apollo Era capsules. These can be bigger, for example Warhammer40k has company ...
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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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4 votes
2 answers
180 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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7 votes
2 answers
257 views

Self-sufficient Airship

Self-sufficient Flying Vessel Let's assume that something has happened to the Earth. I won't be going into detail about this, but assume that if any living organism comes within 2 miles above the ...
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3 votes
4 answers
202 views

Sail Plan For A Flying Vessel

What precisely is the ideal sail placement for a ship that flies? Anti-Ballast which is basically a rock that pulls up is the key technology here, allowing the construction of a framework (essentially ...
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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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13 votes
12 answers
3k views

Could an Earth-like world use airships as heavy cargo haulers?

I'd like to have freights transported across my world by airship heavy cargo haulers with some passenger variants as well. Imagine the scene with such airships soaring above the land, floating ...
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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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7 votes
5 answers
1k views

Could a mechanical bird with the wingspan of Vermont be able to fly?

I know it sounds kinda stupid, but I’m trying to create a really ominous figure that would always watch the player in this a hypothetical video game that I’m writing with my dad. We both agreed that ...
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4 votes
2 answers
375 views

Air vehicles for birds

I want to make a race of sapient birds,they are starting their own industrial revolution. Is it possible for them to develop air vehicles even though they can fly without them??
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2 votes
4 answers
105 views

Wind Powered Air Sailing Vessel

Using just one fantastical element (a rock that under certain conditions produces a strong buoyant force) how would sail ships in the air be designed? It doesn't need to look like a traditional naval ...
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32 votes
7 answers
6k views

How could a 6-way, zero-G, space constrained, 3D, flying car intersection work?

Built within an asteroid belt (near convenient resources) is a densely populated human settlement. While not a "planned city", the settlement has expanded in a organised, grid like fashion ...
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3 votes
2 answers
97 views

Can a robot which flies like a bat have telescopic wings?

Working as a continuation of the concept I mentioned in my previous question, my character is building a flying robot, which has wings which function much like those of a bat. The robot in question ...
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3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Would it be possible for humans to fly with mechanical wings?

This is something I’m thinking about. Now, these would be wings that are not powered by the person themself, since we do not have the strength for it (and I don’t want to use legs). They’d be powered ...
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9 votes
4 answers
601 views

Why do flying saucers have to spin while flying?

Set during the Cold War period, the then-president rented five (5) flying saucers from the extraterrestrial aliens and a few training exercises were conducted in the air space above Roswell. My father ...
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6 votes
4 answers
290 views

How would you design Turn-Signals on a Flying Car?

When designing a flying car intended for congested city routes with slow traffic, should turn signals indicate all possible directions. In most sci-fi, I've seen designs that have no turn-signals or ...
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6 votes
3 answers
180 views

Flying commercial airliners with ground power?

A thought occurred to me, and I wondered if it could be made practical... This video talks about the possibility of electrical battery powered planes, and in short, while it may be practical to build ...
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0 votes
1 answer
67 views

Aerodynamics of propeller vs screw/fin based aerial propulsion

Would it make sense to use screw- and fin-like bending surfaces for propulsion (like what eels or the king of herrings have but in the atmosphere) instead of regular propellers or even flapping wings ...
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3 votes
3 answers
634 views

Could a vehicle levitate through use of ultrasonic sound waves?

This is a bit of a continuation of my previous question, could a form of acoustic levitation be used as artificial gravity? In that question, I referenced how some scientists use acoustic levitation ...
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  • 2,703
9 votes
4 answers
574 views

Horizontal lane separation for flying cars?

First these are ground effect vehicles, not true aircraft. While Star Trek, Star Wars, Blade Runner, The Jetsons, and every scifi I can think of has "magically hovering" private transportation, I am ...
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  • 5,864
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

Could a solar system exist inside of a nebula which is made of breathable gases?

Far, far away from the Earth, there is a nebula. An enormous cloud made of 78% nitrogen, 20% oxygen and 2% other non-lethal materials. These gases swirl around a star, and the pressure around it is ...
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8 votes
2 answers
688 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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  • 4,600
6 votes
5 answers
671 views

What is the earliest time a pulsejet could be built?

Let's assume that some wealthy characters somehow find the plans for a valveless pulsejet. How is not important. Maybe there was a time travel incident, or some Atlantean book was unearthed, or ...
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  • 4,600
3 votes
2 answers
256 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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-2 votes
3 answers
213 views

In a world where flying cars exist, what kind of features would the cars need to have? [closed]

Designing a sort of cyper-punkish, futuristic megacity where flying cars have been adopted as opposed to land-based cars to create more space on land and to reduce traffic issues. It can be assumed ...
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5 votes
2 answers
221 views

Combining Wingsuits and Steampunk

I'm creating a city that uses wing suits to get from high elevated areas to lower areas. It's not a "steampunk" world, but they do rely on steam power. I wanted to create a way for them to land ...
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  • 133
0 votes
6 answers
1k views

Can a Magnetically Held Sphere Levitate in the Air [closed]

I have a Sphere like device in my book that floats around doing whatever stuff it does. But I wanted a different implementation than your typical thrusters for it to levitate. So, I designed two ...
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  • 3,574
10 votes
8 answers
3k views

Can Zeppelins and Blimps replace cars in the future?

It would be cool if this entire planet could use zeppelin roadways instead of tarmac roads. Especially for countryside transport away from cities. A zeppelin for one person is about the size of a ...
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14 votes
15 answers
2k views

Armament for airships filled with non-flammable gas

In my Fantasy/sci-fi universe there exists a lighter than air gas, that is non-flammable, while having density similar or even smaller than hydrogen (I will post some questions related to this gas in ...
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6 votes
1 answer
160 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
2 answers
199 views

How much will I have to modify my helicopter to have it fly supersonic?

As explained in this question, current rotary wing aircraft cannot surpass the speed of sound because of retreating blade stall and the fact that the sonic boom would literally rip off the rotor. ...
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18 votes
10 answers
3k views

Airship defence against pack of flying creatures

In my fantasy world, airships are the main way of transportation. These airships have the hull of a regular 12 century medieval liner. This liner has two leather horizontal gliders on either side (...
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5 votes
5 answers
1k views

Would an actively camouflaging airship cast a shadow?

I am currently writing about a military society that enforces its subjects using Acer-class airships. Picture the USS Iowa, except flying and with enough supplies for a year in the air. The only ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Steam powered airships [duplicate]

So is it possible that an airship could actually fly using a steam engine? For example a blimp like airship that could carry a dozen or so people, as well as coal for a fuel source, and obviously a ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
104 views

What would be the most efficient design for a ship that is propelled telekinetically [closed]

Suppose you possess a great level of telekinesis capable of molding steel into almost any shape just by concentrating. And you could use it to both create a ship and propel it at almost any speed you ...
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0 votes
1 answer
155 views

What type of an engine malfunction would make a good plot device? [closed]

I am writing a book that follows a colony of people living above Venus, in an Airship. At the beginning of my book, a major engine malfunction is discovered that, if let left uncorrected, will result ...
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5 votes
3 answers
483 views

Mechanically correct rotorcraft aerial ship

I am taking a page from the Anatomically Correct Series here. But instead of a living organism, I'd like to ask about a special kind of vessel. I like ships. They are big and confortable. They have ...
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6 votes
4 answers
241 views

Will hypersonic planes be common on Mars?

It's well known that SpaceX has a long term goal of getting people on Mars. Let's assume some time has elapsed since humanity's transition to Mars. Due to lack of transport infrastructure and hostile ...
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