The Crossroads of the Aether
There’s the multiverse and a place where you translate to…where the atmosphere is denser, the ratio of oxygen to other atmospheric gases is higher than featured by our terrestrial atmosphere, for some strange reason there’s more neon too. Here the gravity is slightly less than Earth say .91G. People crossed over a long time ago. There is a super continent with lots of vertical relief. Airships work well here, I presume so far. Since I can’t let hold this fascination with airships I would appreciate that all potential responders might answer a few questions. On this world archeology merges with geology. There is evidence suggesting previous inhabitants, but they’re gone. To explore this new world, starting with explorers from at least a nineteenth century past, suppose the following: they have discovered these strange spheres, spheres that can be pumped free of any air inside. You might know what means? So the question is what would be the lifting capacity compared to your normal lifting gas alternatives like hydrogen and helium?
From Wikipedia "The density of air at standard temperature and pressure is 1.28 g/L and 1 L of displaced air has sufficient buoyant force to lift 1.28 g."
Therefore, a one-liter vacuum balloon would lift 1.28 grams. One liter of helium will lift (on my back-of-the-envelope figures) 1.1 grams. Unless the spheres are practically weightless, the difference in efficiency is negligible.
Also, using a lift-gas at atmospheric pressure can avoid catastrophic failure. Once a vacuum is breached, the void fills with air and loses all lift immediately. A lift gas will seep out much more slowly (hopefully).
Thanks for that info. Not as efficient as I presumed. I was also considering a tubular airframe, hollow with no gas inside, and ballast provided by flooding the tanks with air sucked in via pumps and intakes beyond the envelope. No the frame wouldn't be weightless, just pretty light. I wanted an airship capable of resisting attack from say a WWII fighter (assisted by parasite fighters and fixed armaments, like machine guns). It's not exactly a neat fit with the steam punk genre because I also envision 1940's era type radar systems mounted on the airship, even counter measures like window. I already wrote one encounter, just want to make it a little more realistic without too much reliance on unobtanium.
you might check out a novel about spheres of the same idea... though they are.... different. It is called Red Thunder and is is scifi
Varley writing a Heinlein young-adult story. My yes, strongly recommended. Brought the backyard can-do whiz bang back to science fiction.
Dr. Fidelius hit it on the head. The envelope of an Airship, when filled with lifting gas, is very durable and can survive significant breaches. This was proven time and again in both World Wars when Airships were used regularly for Anti-Submarine Warfare.
I'm familiar with barrage balloons. I know airships were used as antisubmarine assets. I am not familiar with specific attacks against said vehicles...
There was a whole section of the RFC/RAF during WWI called Baloon Busters because they specialized in downing German artillery spotting baloons. It was not an easy thing to do even once they started using incendiaries. By the same token, German u-boats only achieved some parity with the British and US asw blimps after they introduced incendiaries. This worked in WWI where hydrogen was being used as a lift gas; in WWII the allies were using helium which is not flammable and successes were rare.
I did some research, surprising how many airships were used in WWII, well over a 1000. Some 539 were destroyed, but I can find no action reports except for one. In that instant an airship engaged a German U-boat but was destroyed. The U-boat was so heavily damaged it could no longer dive.
in reference to another post of your s.d. why do you not get together with julien and post a serial giving credit where it is due?
do not doubt yourself so my friend...what you posted above has the makings of a very good story already...some of the best writers in the world started with far less
No this world is not completely different from ours slightly less gravity, different atmospheric composition (but breathable for us), and for some strange reason there appears to be an unusually large amount of neon. “Density” might be the wrong term “pressure” might be better. A little less gravity, wouldn’t that mean the air pressure at the surface is higher? So why would I want to know how things work in our world beyond the obvious? The main reason is this world is colonized by us, starting in the late (maybe) 19th century, and earlier by the descendants of Eve’s sisters. The technology at the point where the story begins is late 1930s to early 1940s. The disappearance of Flight 19 is one of many sources of inspiration for my project; others include the Philadelphia Experiment and anything that allows instantaneous (with limits) from here to there in the multiverse. In essence it’s a wide-open world and there are competitors. There is conflict. Airships support exploratory expeditions in various ways because they seem to be the most efficient way to get around there. It also means more research capital is spent on their development and protection against hostile competitors. I have to say Dr. Fidelius has caused a severe reconsideration of the vacuum balls.
I get the reference. The social pages say I have the biggest...