New answers tagged

1

I've thought about space sailing before, as a sailor myself it's something interesting to be able to sail in 3 dimensions. For something to be in the sky I assume you have a solution to keep the boat afloat in the sky already without the use of sails itself. One of the major problems in this is the vertical control and without capsizing. Changing direction ...


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I imagine its sails and overall design would very much make it end up looking like some sort of fish, with its tail section being its rudder which would also be one of its sails. You're going to need more than one steering wheel if you don't have more advanced technology allowing a single pilot to control the sails, with each steering wheel manipulating each ...


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Similar to an Airplane A sailboat generates power from the interface between the air and water, not just from the presence of wind. If the water were moving in the same direction and at the same speed as the air above, a sailboat would be at rest relative to the air, and wouldn't be able to extract any power from sails. Similarly, a fully airborne craft will ...


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Lots of good advice pointing out the big flaw where do they get the gas? So, to make this interesting, I'm going to give your world one big difference - it already has floating sky animals. (Am possibly inspired a bit by the Gossamers in Wen Spencer's Elfworld). These sky cows have different intestinal flora that generate hydrogen and there's an equivalent ...


1

It depends how easily they can change elevation/land, and at what cost. Without effective propulsion they can still change direction by picking up different air streams moving in different directions at different levels, or land and take off for trading etc... but to do that they need to be able to change elevation cheaply and easily. That basically means ...


1

By Landing Unless I'm missing something, what is stopping your airship nomads from landing? Historic nomads followed wild herds or shepherded their own, and gathered wild produce from the land. This means moving mostly with the seasons- not every week, or necessarily every month. This also meant their movements were cyclical. Airships are good for travel, ...


3

Nomads Can Not Survive This Way The biggest problem with this scenario is that the nomads have no control over where they go. They could have a perfectly good method for feeding themselves in their preferred biome, but then get blown into a desert or mountain range or tundra and then all starve to death because their method of feeding themselves become ...


4

Trade And they could live as Kings. Trade was important in the Middle ages (specially in the second half). But it was hard, slow, and dangerous. Roads were poor, mountains, rivers, marshes, etc, were huge obstacles, make trade hard and dangerous. The Middle ages lacked good infrastructure. Being able to move through air means many natural obstacles aren't ...


11

However, a significant issue with this lifestyle presents itself: food. I like airships as much as the next person[1], but all the numbers involved in them are against your medieval society. Especially if "pastoral" and "nomadic" implies "poor", as shepherds traditionally are. Estimate a person at 150lbs, then a family of four ...


19

Hunting birds bring nearby food sources back to the airships Falcons for migrating birds Cormorants for fish Falconry is a Eurasian hunting method dating from the 13th Century BCE and well into the Late Medieval Period c. 1500 CE. The falcons fly out to catch small game and bring it back to the handler. In your scenario, each airship has one or more of ...


7

Aerial Trawling! Your pastoral airships often pass over large bodies of water - many wind patters hug the coasts of continents. When they're feeling hungry, drop the nets! Trawling nets can catch huge amounts of fish and other sea creatures, and fish (unlike migratory animals) are almost always a reliable source of food year-round near the coastlines. Your ...


10

Pastoralists Follow Herds Depending on the specific region of the aetherial seas you're looking at, Skyherd folk might follow any one of several great flockbeasts of the sky! In the warm lands of Irinsurea, skyherd folks follow after the air buffalo as they wander from current to current, wallowing in the warmdraughts of the midverticals. These creatures are ...


3

You only leverage the square/cube law in certain areas, in others, it will bite you. Plus: Have a bubble of lifting gas with a membrane around, double the size. The gas now has eight times the lift, and the membrane now only weighs four times as much (given that it has the same thickness. in reality, you might choose to scale the thickness even by more ...


5

They can follow/search for migrating birds and use them as food supply. Ducks and geese, for example, are already used by humans as food. They could stock on them when they get the chance, so to build storage for meager times. Together with that, when the winds bring them above the sea, they could throw nets or lines and fish. Last but not least, they could ...


6

(Assuming your okay with altering the world slightly) add some animals in the surrounding area to eat. Like various birds(or just increase their numbers in the area to make it work). Or change a few migrational behaviors and have those birds ALSO follow the wind, same as your airships (idk if they already do, some birds, I assume more often no). Also, make ...


5

The most lift would be for a vacuum balloon. This is covered in this question: Could a Super-Light Gas Improve Heavy Armor? A balloon provides lift because the mass of the volume occupied by the balloon is less than the mass of the atmosphere it displaces. The difference between those two masses is the amount of lift the balloon provides. A cubic meter of ...


4

Speed of sound in metal is very different than in gas. For example the speed of sound in air at room temperature is 330 m/s, while in aluminum is about 6000 m/s. Speed of sound is also the velocity at which mechanical solicitations propagate into a medium. This means that a mechanical solicitation, for example a strong wind gust in the nose of the ship, will ...


15

Zeppelins were "rigid" airships with an internal frame for a very good reason. Besides all the points mentioned by "the Square-Cube Law" there is the matter of structural integrity of your huge air-ship. A structure that long is subject to external pressures (of weather) that can vary greatly from one end to the other. Consider rain/snow: ...


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Flamability Any hydrogen container in an O2 rich atmosphere is a ticking bomb. To counter this, a zeppelin should not contain hydrogen as a single blob, but rather hold many smaller containers inside. This reduces the chances of an explosion, and makes explosions more survivable. Unfortunately for you this reduces your gains from scaling. Serviceability The ...


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When I first read your question I immediately imagined a kind of dart shaped craft with the sails at the rear in a kind of fanned effect and every surface of the craft designed to provide lift in some way, and or shape the airflow so it goes around the sails as the craft moves forward and not into them so it does not degrade the sails effectiveness. A set of ...


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