66

Land and wait Don't go anywhere near a place that has the capability of bringing you down. You'll be detected flying in their airspace soon enough, you don't need to go to their military base. Simply land your airplane on an empty highway or similar location where you'll be able to land without causing major damage, get out, wave a white flag around and ...


64

I’m going to address this as a general question about using airplanes to stop meteors, rather than the very plot specific way the question is worded. Nope. For one very simple reason: Speed. Meteors are not the slow moving flaming behemoths of Hollywood. In reality they’ll be moving at or above Earth's escape velocity (11km/s) when they hit the atmosphere,...


62

Cross into hostile airspace, but don't go towards anything. Keep on a level course, away from anything that could be construed as a strategic target. Set the transponder to whatever the most visible setting is; if it's a modern Mode 3, set its ident to 7600 ("distress - lost communications"), or to an equivalent military code. Disarm the craft as completely ...


54

Yes, they would fly. Once dropped, a plane would pitch nose down, and fall, once it got above stall speed, you could pull the stick back, and enter level flight. Here is video of a similar idea, in this case a "parasite fighter" dropped from a blimp https://youtu.be/DTGBFY82Gik?t=100 Here is a more modern one, of a plane actually pitching off of a ...


42

In a last ditch effort to prevent extinction (possibly one that worked, after all people are still here) a team of scientists released a swarm of nano-machines into the atmosphere. They form a slight (insert colour of choice) haze in the air at a height of X meters above (insert sea level/ground level/some other measure/do you want to allow skyscrapers or ...


36

Vulnerability The defector knows that the flight pattern of one wanting to attack is going to be evasive and attempt to avoid retaliation. The defector also doesn't want to be mistaken for a kamikaze. To communicate that his intentions are not to attack or self-destruct, he deliberately slows down the plane to minimum flying speed and directly towards an ...


31

The crew do not want to die, nor do they want to be forced down and captured. So they decide to send out a message to any US or Russian radios that are receiving them that the intrusion was an accident, that they will be reversing course and heading back to the arctic circle, and if they are attacked or if US planes approach too closely, they will in no ...


30

Not possible because meteorites move with 11 to 72 km/s. The best chemical explosive octanitrocubane create shockwaves with 10 km/s. This means if the shockwave of the entering meteorite is not powerful enough to disintegrate it (as it often happens), chemical explosives can't do it. When the hit would trigger the explosives immediately (which it cannot), ...


22

No, this will unfortunately (?) not work as advertised. The basic problem is lift. There are three basic ways I can see a chainsaw mechanism generating lift, and all have insurmountable issues. One is basically using the mechanism of the saw itself to push air down with, effectively, little scoops instead of teeth. This might work in water, which is a lot ...


21

The answer is no. And if you really feel like it, you can ignore the explosives entirely. In physics, we can always choose our frame of reference to simplify the problem. Let's take our frame of reference to be that of the meteor. If it is traveling at 6km/s with respect to the earth (a conservative estimate made by Joe Bloggs that I like), that means ...


20

It is already possible, with some limitations. Currently drones are used to research sperm whales, airplane research is costly, invasive and impractical. Large planes cannot be flown closely to the mammals without altering their behavior. Much smaller, quieter drones, on the other hand, are inexpensive and can be flown almost directly overhead. ...


18

Yes. In fact, it has (essentially) already done in actual history. Granted, the "parasite aircraft" experiments of the 1910-1930 were launched from "rigid airships" rather than floating platform cities, but the concept is the same. You will still have to work out a landing plan, however, as early "parasite aircraft" designs relied on a ground-based runway ...


18

A plane won't be able to do it because wings are not meant to take the shock of an impact. You would also be risking a lot by trying to mow down a person: you'd have to fly too low and you risk bits ending up in the turbines. If you ever read news about what birds do to airplanes, you'll see that never ends well for the plane. However! Did you know that ...


17

1) Fuel permitting, put the gear down. That's a clear indication of non-hostile intent and in general will disable the aircraft's weaponry. If you don't have the fuel to reach the intended target keep it up until intercepted. 2) Unlike what some other posters say, do not jettison ordinance. Having your external stores gone says nothing, but if you ...


16

How about active volcanism? Clouds of volcanic ash can make long-distance air travel essentially impossible. Like they did in Europe a few years back. There are definitely geologic processes which can supply volcanic ash indefinitely. For example, mantle trap eruptions. You can also blame a lot on them in the area of climate change, ecological disarray, ...


16

I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but let's say it's nowhere near the coast and rust does not play an issue, then if the engine had oil or fuel in those would turn to sludge. Battery would be long dead, it would need maintenance. Dust would clog up every other moving part too. If your character can do basic maintenance, maybe. But the storage ...


15

I'm somewhat grinding my teeth with all this handwavium around, because it's just as easy to handwave the reason for using pilots if you're going to do everything else by handwavium. Anyhow ... Pilots have only two advantages in practice in your world : They're the only way to give your aircraft independent control when comms break down or are jammed. ...


15

He fakes it with his dimensional powers To answer your question NO he will not make it in time; and even if he did blow up the meteor the fallout would kill everybody anyway BUT IF the dimensional traveler could just use his powers to take a huge part out of the meteor into another dimension. then blow what’s left up with his plane and make it look like ...


13

So if just people aren't flying, then the machine nation can use EM cannons to knock down any form of powered flight. You could also have rival cities knocking each other down using EM cannons. If you want to go REALLY crazy, you can design an aerial supercity, built solely by a rogue, but benevolent AI, that leaves everyone else alone until they enter a ...


12

During the war thousands of orbital laser weapon platforms were launched. They target any aerial technology such as aircraft, drones, helicopters, missiles and rockets. These satellites were primary antiballistic missile systems but also possessed the capacity to destroy aircraft as well. Since this two centuries the laser orbiters are extremely advanced. ...


11

A much more stable world, and no climate crisis The biggest change here is not on warfare. It is on energy. Essentially you have just discovered the holy grail of ridding us of fossil fuels: high density energy storage. We keep using fossil fuels for a few very tangible reasons: they hold lots of energy per unit of weight and volume they are storable ...


11

If those platforms are flying at an altitude where there is breathable air, and stationary over the ground, then the wind speed at the platform might well be enough to provide stall speed for the plane. Turn the platform into the wind and launch or recover your planes. Aircraft carriers do the same at sea level, which could be a constraint on maneuvers. If ...


10

No. Before powered sustained flight was invented, scientists and engineers were sometimes sensationalized in the newspapers as saying it’s impossible. The real story is a power vs weight relationship. Locomotives existed. Early research showed that using steam engines to fly was off by orders of magnitude. Technology had to advance before such craft were ...


10

I think that delaying aircraft is not all that difficult, even for an earthlike world. Assume that a conflict with the technology and scope of WWI comes about 10 years early and another one is 10 years late. World War 0.5 proves and improves the technology of Dreadnought-style battleships. Navies get operational experience, they find out how to fight other ...


10

A modern military force will curb-stomp any militia no matter how good their infantry weapons are, a modern military does not fight fair, they'll use drones to spot (and attack) the rebels, the rebels might shoot the drones down with surface to air missile launchers (assuming they have those) but that won't stop the incoming artillery shells. That's not ...


10

We can ignore the gun law part of the argument, and focus on how rebels can fight an asymmetric war. Modern militarizes have made great advancements in fighting asymmetric wars (for better or for worse), but they're still a challenge. To succeed at asymmetric warfare one must understand that one is The Other to one's enemies. You are the thing that needs ...


10

Physical Concerns If you have already read about lighter than air vehicles (LTAV) in the 1930s, you know that they are very vulnerable to weather. This is why, to my understanding, they were abandoned. However, predictive weather radar has improved significantly in resolution and accuracy. I can imagine the floating civilization always moving to stay in ...


10

LIDAR is being used to observe lots of different ocean animals from the air. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lidar Lidar (also called LIDAR, LiDAR, and LADAR) is a surveying method that measures distance to a target by illuminating the target with pulsed laser light and measuring the reflected pulses with a sensor. Differences in laser return times ...


10

Use Shotguns What exactly does a Gatling Gun do? It spits out a lot of bullets quickly. Why do you want to spit out a lot of bullets quickly? Because hitting a fast moving target is hard and if you fire a lot of bullets the chances of one hitting increase. So your real goal is to crate a hail of projectiles. Why not use a gun which can create such a hail ...


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