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3

Assuming we do want an actual blackpowder weapon, the key criterion is relatively light weight. For that reason multi-barrel contraptions like the Gatling or Mitrailleuse are out; banks of a dozen shotguns even more so. You should pick a single-barrel, multi-shot device: either the the Puckle gun or the Agar gun. Both are primitive and have problems that ...


5

Just do the same as the drakes, you're more effective. Assuming that there's a reason other than the plot demands it for the meager amount of arrows and other equipment on the drakes that lends itself for aerial combat; you can just copy them. Your biplanes should be strong enough to easily carry two people - even if that means their top-speed drops closer ...


4

It depends a bit on the exact vulnerabilities of the target but assuming they had bat-like wings I think a large shot gun would be quite effective At spoiling their aerodynamics and ruining their ability to fly. Since it doesn’t have to be carried by human you can use something like a “punt gun” which is more akin to a small cannon than a normal shot gun. ...


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 ...


4

Your initial aircraft have much greater value as scouts, observers, and secure messengers than as active combatants. Skip the hassle of the gun entirely until your smokeless powder is ready. Survival is about speed and maneuverability: Your aircraft is faster than a drake, and should be able to break contact at need. As anti-air combatants, your craft ...


1

There's a way to beat Concord -- by a big margin, on both speed and range. Get rid of the wings. There have been proposals since the Apollo era for suborbital transport. Launch a rocket, go anywhere on Earth in under an hour, and land vertically (now we'd say "like a Falcon 9" but such things didn't exist when SASSTO was proposed). This is one of the ...


3

Economics is rather simple - but for the Concorde there was one major fatal flaw All put aside - the Concorde was a wonderful plane. It could have been our 'default' way of travelling. It was easily conceivable that its success could have brought more planes in production and more routes everywhere. However Supersonic transport had one fatal flaw: Sonic ...


2

The premise really works when political externalities and incentives are different. Had it been possible to build a Concorde in 1950, then it likely would have been since there would be no opposition due to environmentalism. Had the American aviation industry embraced supersonic transportation first, then there would not have been the political opposition ...


7

I could imagine combination of factors that would help: already mentioned cheaper oil - keep Arabs happy or at least too internally divided to create OPEC; ignore or even embrace global warming, (there can be made good arguments that a mild one would actually boost our crop yields) embrace some less redistributing economic system - you would have on average ...


1

The main reason why the Concorde never really took off was that it was designed during the time of cheap oil and had to operate right after the oil crisis, when prices went high up. Burning 17 liters per passenger per 100 km, it was not exactly cheap to fly. Add to that the noise produced during its supersonic operation, and you have a clear picture. If ...


3

In the real world, "Contact Patrol" aircraft moving to engage line of sight targets have been pretty much obsolete since the 1990's. Russian Spetsnaz operators have essentially swept the sky of Ukraine SU-25 ground attack aircraft (the Soviet era analogue of the A-10) with MANPADS and spotting for heavier GBAD systems in the "Frozen conflict" in Eastern ...


0

Tiny, slow and cheap. source As things get smaller they get harder to detect with radar. Wavelengths and all. They are also harder to distinguish from normal environmental things, like birds. Your future battlefield full of fast moving, fast reacting hyperactive AA AI will be countered by slow, tiny, dirt cheap drones. One could perch and detonate ...


3

I think the role of air defense suppression can be filled with super-sonic (or hyper-sonic) cruise missiles. Advanced electronics lets them fly low and follow the terrain, lack of pilot allows high-G turns to avoid point defenses, and low cost (relative to a full vehicle) let you shoot a lot of them.


2

In this setting, is space travel possible? If it is, then orbit is the ultimate high-ground. You can destroy AA installations with precision "rods from god" or, if your setting is advanced enough, energy weapons like LASER or MASER beam satellites. Stealth in space is easier than stealth on the ground or in atmosphere, mostly due to how big and empty it is. ...


7

You can't armor your attack craft to stand up to point defense; not and still have them fly. Your described point defense weapons are equivalent to the US Navy's Phalanx point defense emplacement. It can take down anything that can fly, with any armor you can lift with wings or rotors. Your lasers must be roughly similar, or they wouldn't be worth ...


3

You are looking for surface effect vehicles. Taking the advantage Pelicans use to glide efficiently above the surface, ground effect vehicles are very common in military operations. They are difficult to steer, however. The Ekranoplane pictured above was a great test of this concept. I really suggest you visit this page to see the advantages and ...


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