Skyships

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Re: Skyships

Postby Wussel » October 5th, 2016, 10:29 am

Going against the wind needs water as lever for sailing ships. It would not work in midair. You need an "engine". Than you will have a lot of draft. Try a motorbike. :D

EDIT:
(Hint: There was the magic wind bubble mentioned before. Can be done by crystal, scroll or mage. Works as "engine" just better.)
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Re: Skyships

Postby Celtic_Minstrel » October 5th, 2016, 11:06 pm

Ah, I didn't know that, thanks. :D

Okay, yeah, you could have an engine, but that's not really very fantasy-like which is why I didn't bring it up. Maybe you could think of a way to make it fantasy-like.

(I guess there's nothing wrong with an airship driven by magical crystals though.)
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Re: Skyships

Postby Tad_Carlucci » October 6th, 2016, 1:37 am

Airships require lift, propulsion and control of roll, pitch and yaw while maneuvering.

Lighter-than-air

Balloons, blimps and dirigibles obtain lift by being lighter than air.

Balloons, of course, provide no propulsion and rely solely upon the winds for maneuvering.

Blimps are a form of dirigible which has no hard structure, but gains it shape from the pressure of the gasses within it. Most dirigibles, however, have a hard interior frame. Dirigibles provide a limited form of propulsion by using large, rotating fans, usually human-powered.

While many suggest maneuvering control might be improved with better propulsion, the lack of such a system, coupled with the success and availability of alternatives, render lighter-than-air craft to be little more than curiosities.

We will not discuss lighter-than-air ships further other than to mention the one notable exception to airships of this class. I am, of course, referring to Prince Filburd's Dragon Chariot. Many argue, however, than this device should not be considered an example of a successful lighter-than-air design since, while the dragon did, in fact, pull the blimp with remarkable speed and accuracy, it did also, at the conclusion of the maiden flight, consume Prince Filburd. As a result, while brilliantly conceived, the Dragon Chariot was largely considered impractical due to the lack of volunteers for follow-up research.

Air Elementals

Summoning an air elemental is quite easy. Many aspiring mages are, in fact, self-taught; and all Mage Colleges include the practice as part of their introductory Summoning 101 courses.

Air Elemental are, however, quite capricious and hard to control; even more so if the mage is inexperienced. Most mages are quite capable of summoning and controlling an Air Elemental for a short while, maybe an hour or two for, say, for a quick jaunt across a valley to a nearby town. Only the most experienced mages have developed the strength of mind and singleness of purpose needed to control them for the days and weeks required for long distance travel.

For this reason most Airship lines using Air Elementals make frequent, short hops, much like stage coaches. Just as with stages, their Airships will stop every hour or two to change to a rested mage and a fresh Air Elemental. Lower-priced lines do not have a huge staff of mages and, often, each stop will last several hours while the mage rests and prepares for the next leg. Higher-priced lines follow much the same model, but shorten the layovers by having rested mages waiting at each stop along the way. How ever the line operates, travelers regularly complain about the frequent, long layovers. Such complaints are, of course, not without merit since, while a trans-continental trip could, theoretically, be completed in little over a day, the typical trip with a high-priced line takes nearly four days and, for the smallest, lower-priced lines, can take nearly three weeks.

This need for frequent stops makes inter-continental travel problematic, of course.

Attempts have been made to station barges as layover stops but, due to the difficulty of maintaining a fixed station, and considering the frequent losses due to weather (or, as some claim, the occasional Sea Serpent [even considering the fact that the lack of survivors makes such clams difficult to prove]), such attempts have largely been abandoned.

Nonetheless, inter-continental trips, while extremely expensive, are possible. The most common approach is to carry a staff of eight to twelve mages on-board. This, of course, severely limits the space and carrying capacity.

In addition to complaints about frequent stops, another common complaint among Air Element Airship travelers is the constant rolling and bobbing. For this reason, most Airships reserve the forward areas for passengers and relegate the rear to cargo. This unbalanced load, of course, increases the bobbing motion. To combat this, the line either packs more passengers into the forward areas, or severely limits the cargo. The most noticeable effect of the rolling and bobbing, however, is the wide rear railing, with loops of safety ropes, which most Airships feature. This problem has gave rise to the phrase "a real downwind passage," which has come to mean an extremely unpleasant event.

Occasionally, a truly great and powerful mage will arise who can be prevailed upon to undertake a long journey with an Air Elemental-powered Airship. Of course, should mages of sufficient power and experience exist, the wages demanded to entice them to interrupt their research and undertake a long and, probably, life-threatening trip mean that only the more wealthy nation states can even consider financing such an expedition.

There are few examples of long journeys by Air Elemental-powered Airships. Nearly everyone, though, will recall Tamelia Filburd-Earnard who, although completely inept at the magical arts, somehow became a close friend of an Air Elemental. Since Air Elementals have no know name in any known tongue, Tamelia took to calling her friend "Lucky Windy". The story (undocumented, but widely believed to be true) is she and her second cousin (thrice removed), Prince Filburd, were arguing about air ships and, to prove her point, Tamelia, with the assistance of Lucky, undertook an around-the-world trip. However it started, after making it over half way, the pair disappeared. Some say Lucky had had enough and simply abandoned Tamelia. Others say it was poor navigation and they went down in the ocean. But, by far, the most common theory is they were consumed by a Sea Serpent (but, as always, there were no survivors, so many dispute this).

Lift Crystals

By far the source of the fastest propulsion, the more reliable source of lift, and the finest maneuvering control comes from Lift Crystals.

These highly prized crystals form deep underground by as-yet-unknown processes. Finding them is complicated by the fact they are only found pressing hard against the roofs of large caverns; and, so, are often overlooked. Small crystals are relatively common (at least, in the caverns where crystals are found at all). This is mainly due to the brittle nature of Lift Crystals.

It is believed the largest Lift Crystals formed long ago, when the caverns were much smaller and, thus, formed against the roof. Later, crystals which may have been just as large were exposed by the slow erosion of the cavern but, when finally freed, flew into the roof with such force they shattered.

The greatest problem with Lift Crystals are their extreme cost. Some maintain the reason for the high prices are the Drawven monopoly of their mining.

Conceptually, mining List Crystals is not difficult. Once simply needs to snare the crystal, weigh it down until it floats, then simply push it through the air. For small crystals, this works well and huge quantities are easily obtained. This is complicated by the fact that the lift from a Lift Crystal increases with size. Truly large crystals can lift several thousand stone. Generally, pairs of lead ingots, connected by iron chains, are used to weigh down such crystals. But simply levering the crystal far enough down from the roof to place the chains can prove impossible.

Lift Crystals have two unique properties. By careful application and balancing of these properties a skilled handler can control the airship with amazing precision. These effects depend upon the size of the Crystal. Thus, the size of a List Crystal Airship is limited by its Crystals. The largest, most expensive Crystals are, in general, only used by the largest nation states.

When grouped close together, Lift Crystals can easily be pointed in any direction. When separated, a Crystal wants to hold direction. Airship designers use this property for stability and precise control of the airship's orientation. For example, to rotate left or right, one simply moves the "Z" Crystal away from the "X" and "Y" Crystals, locking the "Z" axis while allowing the ship free motion about the other two axes.

Applying an electric charge to a Lift Crystal causes it to move in the direction it is pointed. The greater the charge, the quicker the Crystal moves.

This later effect was only recently discovered. While the direction-holding properties of Crystals have been know for centuries, their reaction to electricity was not until discovered Hornbladder Filburd was riding upon a newly delivered 6000-stone Lift Crystal, parading it around Filburd Castle when a bolt of lightning struck the Crystal sending Hornbladder and his Crystal streaking off toward the horizon. The Crystal was never found (many suggest its speed exceeded escape velocity and it is now somewhere in inter-stellar space). Hornbladder's remains, however, were found several weeks later, some 11 Leagues distant, by an Elvish Hunter.

----

This brief introduction into the basics of Airships and their history has been brought to you by Filburd Airships. Purveyors of the best-built Airships on the planet for both commercial and military use.

Remember, "Nothing flies like a Filburd!"
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Re: Skyships

Postby skeptical_troll » October 6th, 2016, 8:10 am

Wussel wrote:Going against the wind needs water as lever for sailing ships. It would not work in midair.


Why that? I thought it was just lift force as for airplanes, but in horizontal direction.

EDIT: I guess I found it, keels are the answer.

another possibility is this one
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotor_ship

although it seems to require some advanced knowledge incompatible with a medieval setting, but since we are also talking about electricity, why not?
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Re: Skyships

Postby Eagle_11 » October 6th, 2016, 8:21 am

:lol:
You could expand that lore about preperation of an Lift Crystal with an tiny bit about how larger ones need to get their strength sapped by an Mage specializing in the element of Air as they would simply rip-off the thing they get attached to otherwise, unless its an solid mountain, with that also being found debattable as there had been the ocassional odd story of an floating mountain being sighted by the air-mariners, ofcourse without no confirmation whatsoever just like the Sea Serpent sightings.
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Re: Skyships

Postby Wussel » October 6th, 2016, 2:08 pm

Nice text.

I would say: Lift crystals make weightless. (They do not actually lift) Therefore there is not much force involved. You just need lots of expensive crystals (at least 4 for a small ship). Scrolls and mages work too, but they are more the emergency landing solution. So they make you float like a baloon. Now the wind can blow you anywhere. Maybe the more correct term should be levitation crystal.

Wind crystals make wind. You just need one. They make a private wind bubble, which goes exactly were you want it. Since the wind comes straight from behind, there will not be wind on an open deck. This works with sailing ships too. This works with watered skyships as well. The water has resistence therefore it is slower, but it is still extremly comfortable. Please try it out: Take a sailing boat and go with wind from behind. Extremly relaxing and quick. Ships allways use that in battle. Every trader has some emergency scrolls at least. A skyship needs a wind bubble 24/7. Therefore they are usully equiped with a crystal.

Rotor ships do not fly. :eng:

The operating of skyships is a luxury item. Think of it as an space shuttle or an aircraft carrier.

Elementals need constant supervision of a slavemaster. In my list I gave summoning 9 petals. That makes it a bit exotic. This is more the lone genius with some inventive mind. So this is no replacement for caravans and sailing ships.

This is for people who need to go somewhere quick and do not care about dying in the process. Like zeppelins after the Hindenburg accident. If the magic inventor is skillfull it will work, but nobody believes it and there are many wannabe's.
Last edited by Wussel on October 6th, 2016, 4:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Skyships

Postby tr0ll » October 6th, 2016, 2:45 pm

Yall may remember the UMC called Rise of the Elementalist in which a specialist elemental mage works with friendly (or at least neutral) elementals.
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Re: Skyships

Postby Wussel » October 6th, 2016, 3:57 pm

If you have your private mage and dedicate him to that ship project you can have on. I would say it needs a lot of gold, time and a qualified mage. Maybe like a Learjet? However you could get yourself a flying carpet or other toys too.

Moreover if you have even more gold you should go for levitation crystals, as they are intrinsically more robust and far less volatile.

Please keep in mind that a sailing ship with wind control is already extremly comfortable and quick. You can go around Cap Horn in a single day. No waiting for the right winds for months. Crossing the atlantic might be 2 weeks with sailing ship and 1 week with sky ship. The skyship is half the size and at least 5 times more expensive. So the cabin would cost 10 times more. No real business modell here.
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Re: Skyships

Postby skeptical_troll » October 6th, 2016, 4:31 pm

I have some problems with the 'Wind bubble' idea, as the crystal should create some weird air circulation (can't just produce wind on a small volume if the air doesn't go back) which seems too complicated. If what a wind crystal does is simply creating air out of nowhere, or collect area from the surrounding and convey it in some direction (I prefer this one), then it is better to direct the stream backwards, like a propeller.

If air elementals are simply expensive and unpredictable flying magical things, why not using tamed gryphons/any kind of bird to pull the ship like a sleigh when the wind is blowing in the wrong direction? I'm sure bird trainers are cheaper than mages.
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Re: Skyships

Postby Tad_Carlucci » October 6th, 2016, 4:53 pm

skeptical_troll wrote:why not using tamed gryphons/any kind of bird to pull the ship like a sleigh when the wind is blowing in the wrong direction? I'm sure bird trainers are cheaper than mages.


Gryphons have been tried. Unfortunately, they're too small. Yes, they can pull a small Skyship, perhaps large enough for one passenger (two, if lightly armed). But, in that case, it makes more sense to simply mount the Gyphon. (And remember, for some unknown reason, Gryphons seem to strongly resist allowing anyone other than a Drawf to ride.)

This was the reason Prince Filburd chose a dragon. And everyone knows how well that ended.

'nuf said?
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Re: Skyships

Postby ForestDragon » October 6th, 2016, 6:03 pm

this topic is slowly turning into a 'brainstorming ways to make an airship fly' one... i actually like that :D

probably some ideas of mine:
1.probably something related to teleportation, somebody geekier than me could probably propose some more detailed ideas on the matter (portals, ect.)
2.maybe fuse lots of ghost with the ship to make it float (could probably be used by a necromancer if he/she ever got his/her hands on something as precious as an airship, as well as a large enough quantity of ghosts)
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Re: Skyships

Postby tr0ll » October 6th, 2016, 7:59 pm

ForestDragon wrote:2.maybe fuse lots of ghost with the ship to make it float (could probably be used by a necromancer if he/she ever got his/her hands on something as precious as an airship, as well as a large enough quantity of ghosts)


Yes! If there are skyships, some of them could be pirate skyships or "sunken" navy skyships 8)
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Re: Skyships

Postby Celtic_Minstrel » October 8th, 2016, 4:55 am

Wussel wrote:I would say: Lift crystals make weightless. (They do not actually lift) Therefore there is not much force involved. You just need lots of expensive crystals (at least 4 for a small ship). Scrolls and mages work too, but they are more the emergency landing solution. So they make you float like a baloon. Now the wind can blow you anywhere. Maybe the more correct term should be levitation crystal.
I actually prefer the idea that they float up rather than creating a "field" of weightlessness. :)

Wussel wrote:This is for people who need to go somewhere quick and do not care about dying in the process.
I highly doubt these people exist. No-one wants to die on their emergency journey.

Wussel wrote:Like zeppelins after the Hindenburg accident. If the magic inventor is skillfull it will work, but nobody believes it and there are many wannabe's.
It's easy to avoid the Hindenburg accident. Just use helium instead of hydrogen. :P
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Re: Skyships

Postby Wussel » October 8th, 2016, 8:08 am

skeptical_troll wrote:I have some problems with the 'Wind bubble' idea, as the crystal should create some weird air circulation (can't just produce wind on a small volume if the air doesn't go back) which seems too complicated. If what a wind crystal does is simply creating air out of nowhere, or collect area from the surrounding and convey it in some direction (I prefer this one), then it is better to direct the stream backwards, like a propeller.


I would like to address this one. You are proberbly aware, that you are asking along the line: How does magic work?

Luckily the scientific method is so great, that you can apply it to everything.

Ok that is hat is most commonly claimed: Basically the concept of higher dimensions is mostly the answer. However dimensions and higher planes are sometimes mixed up. Some people call it "heavens". From a more physical explanation we would call it a rift in space time. From a gaming perspective you would call it a cheat mode for 3 dimensions.

So there will be a rift in space time behind the ship from which a constant wind is blown directly at your sail. This rift follows you everywhere.

The wind comes from nowhere (out of thin air) and just disipates in the atmosphere after it lost its inital momentum driving your vessel. So forget the bubble if you like.

Basically I would try to keep the laws of physic applied and just lump everything else needed on top in a freaking magic device.

If there would be magic available like that in a world, inhabitants of that world would probably never had to developed anything mechanical.

@ Celtic_Mistrel:
The point with zeppelins is more that if you have engines to propel them, you are better of with planes. The Germans did not get Helium from the Americans in that time period. (Like in: not selling computers to communist countries).

The Hindenburg explosion could have been avoided by applying the flight manual. It says: no venting of gas, if the atmosphere is charged. However rules are not made for war heroes. And down she goes.

I have to put in a "most convincing explanation for me" here. You can read that between the lines, if you do a lot of research. It was never publically admitted, that the two fellows (!) in charge did something wrong to cut corners for matching a tight schedule.
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Re: Skyships

Postby Tad_Carlucci » October 8th, 2016, 9:38 am

The problem with using rifts in the fabric of the universe to, for instance, bring air in behind your Airship to propel it forward is that air has to go somewhere.

Now, you could just let it dissipate. But that means creating all sort of unpredictable eddies ahead of your ship. At some point your ship is going to have to move through those eddies.

If you're wanting to go nice and slow, the weaving and bobbing this causes is not that bad. But we're talking really slow ... like faster-to-walk slow. What's the point of an Airship when a Dog Cart carries more, faster?

So you are going to want to go faster; and that means a lot of random motion. Before you're even close to the speed an Air Element can attain your passengers will be dashing for the rear railing.

Some theorize that, once some threshold speed it attained, the motion will settle down. If this is true, what that speed might be is unknown. There have been attempts to test this theory; none have succeeded. You will, of course, recall Phillipi Filburd's experiment using just such a rift and how, rather than smooth out, the shaking causing his ship to literally disintegrate in mid-air, showering the villagers below with splinters, shrapnel and broken timbers. Miraculously, Phillipi survived his plummet by arcing into the top of a large pine tree.

And alternative, of course, is to open a second rift ahead of the ship, sending the excess air back into the nether region you pulled it from. This eliminates all of the eddies, making for a much smoother ride and allows amazing speed. The problem here, though, is one of scale.

We return to Phillipi Fulburd when, having recovered from his encounter with the pine tree, he set out to do just that. Things when amazingly well with his first prototype. But that Airship was only the size of a small skiff with barely room for Phillipi on board. The fore and rear booms required were only a few cubits long. For his second prototype, Phillipi used a full-sized Airship. That meant much larger booms, but the forces were too much and his booms warped and eventually failed. Many believe he might have survived the failure had the rear boom gone. But it was his front boom which failed. Observers from the ramparts at Filburd Castle say it happened just like that. The Airship was making a fast pass over the castle when suddenly a loud crack sounded, part of the front boom came falling from the air and, poof, Phillipi's ship disappeared into the rift before it dissipated.

Some say that Phillipi's system would have worked had he contracted with the Dwaves for a metal framework instead of relying upon locally-sourced timber. But, since all that remains of Phillipi Filburd is a 4 cubit length of splintered wood, many are loath to test the hypothesis. (And if you doubt the story, for only the cost of admission, you can view that very relic during your tour of Filburd Castle.)

To this day, however, Filburd Airships produces some of the finest, and fastest personal racing Airships using Phillipi's original design.

----

This gem from the history of the development of air transport has been brought to you by Filburd Airships. Purveyors of the best-built Airships on the planet for both commercial and military use.

Remember, "Nothing flies like a Filburd!"
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