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2

I'm going to consider hydrogen/helium rich warm gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn, here. Things are different for cooler ice giant worlds, so I'll leave those for another day. I'll use "gas" instead of "air" to refer to the planetary atmospheres, and hence "gascraft" instead of "aircraft", etc. The biggest problem you'll have with hydrogen-rich gas giants ...


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Here's a great place to start: Interplanetary Cessna - XKCD What If? As a human on Earth, you have a great advantage in determining what you need, in that the Sol system has 4 gas giants of its own, each fairly well-studied and visited by numerous probes. Randall Munroe's What If question focused on using an ordinary Earth airplane, the Cessna 172 (one of ...


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The US Navy had an intense interest in lighter than air vessels right up until the 1950's (giant blimps used as airborne radar platforms), and commissioned an all metal blimp in 1929, the ZMC-2 ZMC-2 in front of a hanger However, like all LTA craft, it works by displacement and it's relatively small size suggests that a larger envelope would rapidly reach ...


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Add some fantasy I think in order to solve this problem without changing the technology you will have to introduce some substance we don't have in our own universe (that we know of yet). I am unable to come up with any reasonable explanation that is entirely scientific, however if you introduce some new materials to make the ships lighter, assist with an ...


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Someone once asked Randall Munroe whether a submarine could float within Jupiter's atmosphere. His response includes the passage below. TL;DR: buoyancy depends only on density, but by that time any atmosphere is dense enough to support a ship it also has a pressure high enough to crush it. Buoyancy depends on density, not pressure. There's a point in ...


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You have to have air as heavy as water. If these things have an average density similar to the sea faring battle ships they look like, they could only float if the air were about as dense as water. My assumptions: These things fly like blimps, using buoyancy, not anti-gravity or jet propulsion, or helicopter blades or any other kind of active lifting ...


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I love the concept, but don't see anything that big and made with armor that heavy (iron/steel hull as per your references to tanks and warships) being able to be held afloat with technology of the early 20th century, even in a much denser atmosphere. Using the HMS Dreadnought as my example of the early 1900s battleship, as it revolutionised battleship ...


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You mention magical abilities of ground forces. Make one of their abilities be to change air pressure and wind direction within some range of their location. That would make early aircraft very dangerous, delaying development. To be safe and useful, aircraft would have to fly high enough to need pressurization, and each airport would need a wide security ...


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I think the biggest plausible change to reality you could engineer is a difference in the development of energy production technology to remove oil and natural gas as fuel options. Your alternate-reality 1990s society developed through an Industrial Revolution in which liquid fossil fuels were never tapped on a wide scale as a source of energy; humans ...


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Fuel From the background I am not entirely certain what abundance there is of fossil fuels on your world. But if your world is strapped in this particular resource flight, especially commercial flight will be severely stunted/restricted and horribly expensive. Whereas cars can drive electrically, I don't see any electrical commercial airplanes flying any ...


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Toil Without Oil A solution (which would definitely have more knock-on effects than just crippling air travel) would be to make petroleum virtually nonexistent on your world. Since you've got magic involved, maybe that somehow degraded what would otherwise have been petroleum deposits, making the petrochemical industry impossible. Without oil, plastics ...


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If helium was very plentiful the cost of large airships might be quite low and this might mean that airships become the accepted means of transportation being able to carry fairly high loads very cheaply and faster than ships at sea. They would not need the extensive runways required by conventional jets and could drop loads at remote locations when needed. ...


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