86

No intersections. You want your paths to be like interstate highway lanes. No direction changing or maneuvering - passing slow traffic at most. If you want to change direction you need to get off the interstate and change course out of the flow of traffic. When rocket paths going different directions get close to each other, you want everyone to stay in ...


48

Adjust each cars approach speed such that you always get a clear path. You know those action movie cliche where a car runs a red light and, despite crossing traffic, the timing is so precise that the car gets through without hitting anything? You can use a central server to allocate slots in space and time for each car. The cars are high tech - so some ...


38

You have three main options: violence, deterrence and countermeasures. Violence: If you kill them, they can't kill you. Archers are the simplest and most readily available form of attack at a distance, but will probably struggle to hit anything. Repeating crossbows (Cho-Ko-Nu) are a bigger, heavier option but should give a higher chance of hitting them. ...


24

Use a roundabout Whilst Ash's answer is excellent when some form of automation is involved (as our current tech is leading towards already), I feel the question implies a lack of such technology. Instead I will suggest something that every British driver is intimately familiar with, the roundabout. In this case, all vehicles will drive in a circle until they ...


22

Do what city traffic engineers do today to solve super massive congestion problems. One way streets You solve half your problem by reducing the intersection to just three directions of traffic and using several other nearby intersections (between one and nine) for the complementary directions. The use of one-way streets means traffic control (or, in your ...


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 ...


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-...


16

Stabilization by gyroscopic effect, plain and simple. A gyroscope (from Ancient Greek γῦρος gûros, "circle" and σκοπέω skopéō, "to look") is a device used for measuring or maintaining orientation and angular velocity. Any space probe we have sent into space use rotation for the very same reason.


15

Possible with minimal hand waving Every few years, there's breathless coverage of the some airship startup that heralds lighter-than-air craft as the next big thing in aviation. A quick search of Popular Mechanics turns up articles like "4 New 'Blimp' Designs Bring Return of the Airship" (2009) and "Why the Return of the Airship Makes More ...


14

Possible counter measures: Archers Ballista Catapult/cannon Launched net (you can disable their wings too) Flamethrower (Byzantines are reported to have a primitive equivalent) Flak - the ancient Chinese did have gunpowder for fireworks. same concept only you add bits of sharp metal as shrapnel inside the firework which acts as a flak round (common anti ...


14

You're all going to die There's a saying that applies to GEVs/WIGs as much as it does to hovercraft. If you can see something in front of you you're going to hit it. GEVs are not suitable for traffic situations, as they require a minimum speed rather than a maximum. They're not really suitable for use over land due to the fact they corner like aircraft and ...


13

winged serpents with the intelligence of wolves Domesticate the dang things. Call them snogs (snake + dog) You don't even have to fully domesticate them, if they're super territorial. You just have to coax a decent-sized group into claiming your ship as 'theirs' in such a way that they defend it from other flying serpents but let your people load, unload, ...


13

Whilst the sci-fi "sky full of zeppelins" is awesome, I highly doubt lighter-than-air (LTA) craft are going to replace the automobile on a day-to-day transport level. They have several key disadvantages: Helium is really expensive - and only likely to get more so. You could switch to hydrogen, but then everyone is driving around highly explosive pockets of ...


13

Could a star exist with this cloud similar to earth atmosphere around it where a person could breathe without much effort? Nope. The solar wind and radiation pressure and a combination of planetary and stellar gravity would either blow away or hoover up all the gas cloud in relatively short order. That's why there's a fairly hard vacuum between planets in ...


13

NO. Not by flapping wings, that's for sure. Problem the first: Flyable air only goes up from the surface a short distance. Let's be extremely generous, and call this 10 miles. Your bird has a wingspan of 160 miles. If it flaps its wings more than 1/16th of their span, it slams them into the ground! 1/16th, that is barely a wiggle, not a flap. Problem the ...


12

You want to hit as many gas bags as you can, so something that spreads out once fired would be better than a single shot. Grapeshot would be like a cannon sized shotgun, making a large cloud of pellets. Like a shotgun, you have the disadvantage of having to be pretty close because each pellet doesn't weigh much and so will lose momentum and piercing power ...


11

Camouflage seldom truly attempts invisibility, instead aiming to break up patterns so that what you see isn't recognizable as a threat. In that vein, Diffused lighting camouflage has been in use for aircraft since World War II, and is seen in submarines and squid underwater. For aircraft, the common system was Yehudi lights. Because it is difficult to ...


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

I don't see how this can work. If I have understood your design concept, you put two magnets (or magnet cores) close-by in the same assembly. They will either attract or repel each other, but in neither of the two cases they will counter the gravitational force acting on the assembly. Your device will simply fall on the ground. Don't forget that the ...


9

A Peculiar Sort of Cape The character wears a sort of rigger's harness under his clothing with a large billowing cape-like garment attached to it. Instead of fabric the cape is thousands of sturdy threads. While thread seems weak, if enough of them are spreading out his body weight over a large enough area no single thread would need to be bearing much more ...


9

If you want the highest possible flow, you need to split lanes and merge them together afterwards. You have 18 lanes. Split them in 5 possible directions thats 3,6 lanes per direction. Prioritizing the straight, thats 6 lanes straight and 3 lanes in every other direction. That could be splitted like so: As for the interchange design, there are a lot of ...


8

Tactics The most common weapon would be explosive or incendiary missiles - this would devastate your airship's armour and/or burn through it. These are the same missiles used today. These can be fired from any position, ground or air. However if you don't have missiles, you mentioned cannons. Again, explosive shells seem the best bet to disable an airship -...


8

You basically have to turn it into a plane. Or have it turn into a plane. Retreating blade stall is an inherent flaw that comes with the shape of a helicopter and its rotors; there's no way to completely remove it from the equation. The "shape" problem that I'm referring to is the hull shape - a helicopter does not generate lift from forward movement. ...


8

The only true way to eliminate a shadow would be to cover the airship in a "metamaterial cloak". These are carefully engineered materials which force light to refract or reflect in ways the engineer intended, rather than following the simple optical pathway (this works with other waves, metamaterials can be engineered to refract microwaves or even sound). A ...


8

We have more than 100 years of zeppelins under humanity belt. We made quite a technology leap with materials. Yet there are no smallish ones filled with hydrogen. And hydrogen is so easy to get that we have car engines producing it in cars that use hydrogen. EDIT - why use Hydrogen and not helium. Helium is produced from natural gas. So in a plant that ...


8

If you're writing about a large, mostly empty, magnetic sphere, which in its interior holds a smaller and also magnetic sphere, then yes, the small sphere could in principle float in the magnetic field containing it. It would immediately try to rotate and move from the center of the field in order to be attracted to one of the inner walls, but if the outer ...


8

There is practical problem: microwaves is also what radar uses A radar system consists of a transmitter producing electromagnetic waves in the radio or microwaves domain, a transmitting antenna, a receiving antenna (often the same antenna is used for transmitting and receiving) and a receiver and processor to determine properties of the object(s). To power ...


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-...


8

Plausible Airships are the dream of many a sci-fi / futurist / what-if worldbuilding project! I think you hit on the main points, materials, high enough tech, nuclear power source, all electrics. Just about every detractor of airships points to the Hindenburg disaster and the airships that were designed in the 1920s and 1930s. That was a century ago! ...


7

There are two separate problems with this: The first is the difference between helicopters and the vessels in your pictures. The fantasy pictures show craft with lots of small rotors, largely or entirely pushing air down onto the deck of the ship. This does no good at all: the upward thrust on the rotors from pushing air downwards is mostly cancelled out by ...


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