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warhamburglar40k

Looking to power my sky ships

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I'm new here so, welcome to me. I'm hoping that you fine folks can help me solve a puzzle.

I'm working on a fantasy novel set in a pre-industrial society. This means skyships and very limited firearms. I already know what gets the ships off of the ground -I just don't know what pushes them forward.

What I'm looking for is some system of powering these things that isn't fossil fuel based. That is to say, no steam. I'd also like to avoid sails.

Any help is much appreciated.

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6 minutes ago, warhamburglar40k said:

I'm new here so, welcome to me. I'm hoping that you fine folks can help me solve a puzzle.

I'm working on a fantasy novel set in a pre-industrial society. This means skyships and very limited firearms. I already know what gets the ships off of the ground -I just don't know what pushes them forward.

What I'm looking for is some system of powering these things that isn't fossil fuel based. That is to say, no steam. I'd also like to avoid sails.

Any help is much appreciated.

An interesting problem. I think that it comes down to whether there is magic in your story or if the method to be used is all natural.

 

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Yeah, gonna need info on if there's magic and what kind of magic that might be if it exists, but maybe rubberband propellers or something.

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If they are they know about a lighter then air gas, thats how they float. 

But that wasn't your question, was it?

Without sails or propeller I can't think of anything non magical.

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There is some magic involved but, so far, it is all magic generated by people (i.e. transmutation, healing, etc).

What I've been thinking -in a nutshell- is that the underside of the ship has a lattice of magic metal, which, when properly charged, generates anti-gravity.  My issue lies in how that antigrav material is charged (likely a man-powered generator) and how to push the ship forward once it is in the air.

Possibly a pair of rear facing antigrav panels?

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7 minutes ago, warhamburglar40k said:

There is some magic involved but, so far, it is all magic generated by people (i.e. transmutation, healing, etc).

What I've been thinking -in a nutshell- is that the underside of the ship has a lattice of magic metal, which, when properly charged, generates anti-gravity.  My issue lies in how that antigrav material is charged (likely a man-powered generator) and how to push the ship forward once it is in the air.

Possibly a pair of rear facing antigrav panels?

Well there are many ways to approach it. Are there spells or the like which perhaps can create a power source. Perhaps the moon and lunar energies can bestow the anti gravity charge if proper procedure is followed?

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If you've got the lift figured out through magic, the only problem is generating forward momentum, right? Because turning can happen with a rudder as usual (ships, planes, zeppelins).

Since you don't want combustion or steam engines driving propellers,
I suggest propellers anyway, but human-powered through pedals.
Or via a bank of "rowers" driving a crankshaft.

A bit of an odd one: a big rock (or block of steel or something) hanging from a rope wound around a big spindle. You drop the rock and the spindle turns gears which drive the propeller. Because of the "mechanical resistance" (big gears driving small gears) the weight should descend slowly, giving you a fair amount of time before your sailors have to rewind the spindle, which should be easy because you have anti-grav magic to help. If you have two weights it becomes even easier (you could have this on newer models or something), because you can use the second weight to rewind the first (which magically became a lot lighter) in addition to driving the propellers.

I guess you could just have two alternating anti-grav spells acting like the pistons in an internal combustion engine, but that's getting a pretty post-industrial feel to me.

So (apart from the pedals and rowing banks) I guess it depends on the cost for your magic and how far they can "program" it.

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11 hours ago, Eagle of the Forest Path said:

If you've got the lift figured out through magic, the only problem is generating forward momentum, right? Because turning can happen with a rudder as usual (ships, planes, zeppelins).

Since you don't want combustion or steam engines driving propellers,
I suggest propellers anyway, but human-powered through pedals.
Or via a bank of "rowers" driving a crankshaft.

This is the direction I'm leaning. What I've got in my head -and I'll have to do a bit of sketching to puzzle it out- is a cross between a viking longship and a zeppelin. I like the idea of 'rowers' working the mechanism that turns the propellers.

Thanks!

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Here's an idea: have a team powering the lattice that are in communication (one front, one back) and they can alternate which bit is more charged than the other to tilt downwards and "slide" that direction. Could even work laterally, for when ropes aren't available. 

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