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40

Magic is a dense material. Magic is quite dense. It tends to fall down with gravity, and tends to cling to the earth. As such, if you get too far above the ground, there tends to be little magic left. Many have attempted to fly, and you can get a bit off the ground, but soon you find your magic drains, any magical storage devices fail, and you crash into the ...


25

You don't need explain why there is no flight. Just write your book or whatever you are doing without flight. If when you are done you think you need an explanation, check out the other great answers here. For example, I read somewhere (on this site I think) that the creators of Groundhog Day tried to explain the repeating day with some voodoo witch stuff. ...


24

If you're just looking for a way to ensure they can't take off, ground effect is a good starting point. Without the interaction with a surface, at most a couple of meters below the craft, lift is negligible. Think of it as if you were creating a high pressure region of air that your craft sits on top of. Take away the ground and that pressure doesn't build, ...


22

No, that would be like an improved walking apparatus for us, not like a bicycle. Flying creatures are already evolved to pretty derive much optimum performance from their muscles for flying. Note that a bike does not stand on its own. We can only use it because we have roads. (Also, evolving wheels is hard). We walk on legs because typical terrain is uneven ...


20

There is no oil In your world, it can lack the power of oil, or knowledge how to make powerful fuel from it. In our world, oil was seen as a bad thing for a long time. It took time before they found a use for the black sludge of dead plant organisms. Without such a powerful energy source at your disposal, it is difficult to get alternatives that are strong ...


20

You train the animal to respond to commands. Compare to riding a horse: if you are a decent rider, you don't* direct the horse by yanking its head around. You give it very gentle cues, either a short tug on the rein, or neck reining: https://www.equisearch.com/articles/direct-approach-neck-reining-17386 You also use leg & weight shift cues. If you're ...


18

Wings are simply not allowed Regulations, regulations, REGULATIONS! Sometimes the easiest solution is the best. Since you stated this is a racing game, every game must have its rules and the most rational solution is to take the first page of every racing sport ever conceived and simply form the proper regulations to which all the racers must abide. The ...


18

It was mentioned, but in passing by and there seems to be no interest in. Gliders You'd basically want some kind of a wing prothesis, initially without a motor. The tricky part is: to source light-weight construction materials (balsa wood, silk / artificial materials), look into early gliders. All this developed rapidly, a nice source of inspiration are pre-...


17

I'd suggest a slightly different approach with the same effect. Tom Holland's scientific explanation of the origin of the myths surrounding the Thunderbird is that it arose with the discovery of a Pterosaur fossil. The ever popular Quetzalcoatlus Northropi with it's 50 foot (15.5 meter - estimates vary about maximum span), its weight being as much as 250Kg (...


16

Damage to the flight control surfaces (Or the hydraulics / electronics used to control them) I'm referring to rudder, ailerons, stabilizers, etc. The big hydraulic surfaces that move into and out of the airstream in order to manoeuvre the aircraft. (China Airlines flight 006 nearly didn't make it) The damage needed to cause an absolute emergency situation ...


16

Follow the mouse. The rider of this flying mount has gotten its attention with the mouse toy. By positioning the toy above, left, right or below the mount, this intrepid rider can induce his mount to take flight and then follow the toy.


15

The brief answer is “no”. At fighter-jet speeds, overheating from atmospheric drag is also an enormously important issue, so even if you have an engine that needs no fuel at all, you still have to be aerodynamic.


15

Perhaps the hovercrafts do not have a powersource of their own, but are instead somehow electromagnetically powered through the racing track/area, similar to our modern induction chargers. They cannot go offtrack, or fly too high, as the range of the power delivery system is pretty limited. They can have some form of power storage, providing limited power ...


13

The ‘knockout’ is really caused by a skin-contact neurotoxin. This bird has quite an effective self defence strategy. When startled it flies away while simultaneously doing it’s business (as many bird species do). It’s faeces, however, contains a neurotoxin which can cause a range of effects from sudden death (in small predators) up to mere unconsciousness ...


13

Totally possible - Your energy abundance results in you travelling MUCH slower than current space missions. Space isn't that high up. The ISS is 408km above the ground. If it was horizontal you could get there in a car at highway speeds in 4 hours. Space as we know it isn't high, its FAST. That ISS is travelling at 7.6km/s. It needs to do that speed to ...


12

Yes, but it will make no significant difference to the weight of the animal. The gas that immediately springs to mind is methane with a molar mass of 16.04 g compared to air at 28.97 g/mol. One mol occupies 22.4L at standard temperature and pressure, so 22.4 litres of methane would be 13g lighter than air. An albatross weighs 7Kg, I have failed to find an ...


11

According to some paleontologists, Apatosaurus could produce a sonic boom with its tail When an Apatosaurus dinosaur slapped its impressively long tail onto the ground, other beasts likely listened. Turns out, the long-necked dino may have broken the sound barrier with its tail whips more than 150 million years ago. Paleontologists have all but gone back in ...


11

Paragliders A few others have suggested gliders of one kind or another, but I think paragliders have a lot to recommend them. The wing is high above the user, so it won't interfere with the user's own wings. The paraglider wing can handle the lift, leaving the user free to provide thrust and control using their own wings, turning it into a powered ...


10

So They Can Always Face the Sun Having tall masts with a giant piece of material attached is going to create massive drag on a vessel We already do this a lot with real solar panels where we put them on masts so that they can be rotated to maximize surface exposure and angle to the sun. A mast allows the sails to turn axially, and the rigging allows you ...


10

I'm afraid their "uses in warfare" just aren't "readily apparent" in a "Modern Airforce" In a world that also has jet fighters armed with missiles (or even just helicopter gunships) griffins, pegasi & hippogriffs are going to be about as useful as horse cavalry on a modern battlefield, even if you give the riders machine ...


10

The problem is mass. Large pterodactyls like Q. Northropi evolved only at the expense of having to shed every gram of unnecessary weight possible. Their bones were full of air spaces that saved weight at the expense of load bearing capability. And their muscle mass was restricted to the minimum needed to get them airborne and up to altitude. After that like ...


9

They dive from great heights Your hydra spends all day flapping, flapping.... flapping. It gets high in the air. Then it soars for hours, heads blowing flaccidly about. When it sees a flock far beneath it, it dives like a squidly peregrine falcon. Each head is on its own as it traverses the flock, grabbing a bird each. The hydra is invulnerable of course ...


9

Railguns! https://www.universetoday.com/73536/nasa-considering-rail-gun-launch-system-to-the-stars/ Railguns are electric. They are appropriately sited in places where giant fields of solar panels might be. And railguns are old tech! The above image is from 2010! https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/35139/what-is-the-possibility-of-a-railgun-...


9

Land animals tend to run in the direction they are looking, You assumption is wrong. Horses, which are the epitome of ridable animals, have 146 degree of monocular vision on each eye, and just 65 degrees of binocular vision. They look well on their sides while they move forward. And the first reaction to a stimulus like the one given by reins is to move ...


8

Using modern materials, at what kind of atmospheric pressures could we make an airship that can function? Aerographene is porous but less dense than helium, and while different sources report different structural properties, it seems that it can withstand compressive forces almost as well as steel. So, it would be possible to have a sphere with a diameter ...


8

Yes its possible. there are no placental mammals with beaks but that does not mean much, there are no crocodiles, snakes, or amphibians with beaks either. Beaks evolved several times so they can't be that hard, and structurally they are fairly simple and utilize materials mammals produce. Beaks are lighter but also less effective than teeth. Beaks may have ...


8

It is crazy windy all the time. Your world is always windy and especially at sea. Sails are great and they do have flight in the form of manned kites. But in a world where you can count on 30 mph winds it is hard to take those first baby steps towards flight, even if you have all the fixings in place. The closest your world comes to flight is fixed wing ...


8

Hovercrafts have skirts. https://www.neoterichovercraft.com/hovercraft-parts/skirt.php https://morgridge.org/blue-sky/how-do-hovercrafts-work/ A hovercraft has what’s called a skirt to contain the air. When the air blower is turned on, this skirt creates a pocket that traps the pressurized air. That pressurized air is what gives the lift to make a ...


8

Wing Extenders/Artificial Feathers Larger wings give more lift/speed, so if the species can increase the size of their wings, it will give more lift and/or speed (with probably some cost in the form of agility). If your species have wings like a bird, they may add some extra feathers (or perhaps replace their existing feathers with longer ones). Either (semi-...


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