There are a number of changes I’ve decided to make with the airships in my fantasy world. First, I’ve started making models a lot more detailled, and while some things have changed during that process, none of the airships I’ve worked on so far will change enough that I would call them “third generation” designs – they are still second-generation designs, aside from the Aeronautical Development, which is a first-generation design.
The first major change is the addition of airscrews to most glossarian airships. The Zaphnora is an exception, as its control systems are much more advanced. Even though the technology that these ships are built around is complete fiction, there are still real-world considerations to be made. Since each levitator, or “bell,” is controlled like an engine, flying a four-bell airship is a lot like flying a four-engine helicopter. However, most glossarian airships have many more than that, including the very first to enter production. Obviously, ten engines are a bit much for a single pilot to control, especially during complex manoeuvres. Therefore, most glossarian airships rely on conventional airscrews for basic navigation, and the bells provide little more than lift, stabilisation, and compensation against crosswinds.
The second major change is the addition of a lower forward pilothouse on most ships, so that pilots can see the ground well enough to land. The Karadenian flying galleon, for instance, will retain the stern-mounted structure, which will serve as the command house and fire control unit. The pilothouse, meanwhile, will be located where the beakhead currently is. Airships designed as interceptors, however, sometimes rely on ramming manoeuvres to take down enemy airships, so they will retain their current appearance, as will airships that land primarily on the ocean.
The third and final major change involves civilian airships, and that is the introduction of a new type: the cyclogyro. Upon seeing this contraption, I realised what the silly-looking paddlewheels on the sides of a certain airship from Final Fantasy IX were supposed to be – the problem is the artist messed them up. I’ve decided to take the cyclogyro design, scale it up a bit, and see what I end up with.
I’m a bit busy with other projects at the moment, so I won’t have pictures of the new airships for quite a while. I’ll start with smaller existing designs, and move on from there. Until then, this is the level of detail you should expect to see:
If you want to see more, don’t forget to check out my Hive blog, since I post pictures there much more frequently.
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