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Old 11-11-2018, 07:54 PM   #11
Derrick_rp
 
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Default Re: Dragon Blimp

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
Its a bit higher tech than a balloon I think but a glider with a top mounted tow bar or a strong rope could allow a dragon to get it up to speed and height. Then the dragon lets go and comes back as needed. Much less inconvenient for the dragon.
I actually like this idea a lot better, and will be pitching it to my players. Along those lines, if my dragon has a strength of 25 and a max air speed of 45 mph, what would you suggest for a top speed he could tow a glider meant to transport 6 people and a small amount of cargo?
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: Dragon Blimp

That's a much weaker dragon than I was envisioning. A draft horse has a ST 25, and you need a team of them to pull a wagon with 6 people at any speed, and you'd need a fair bit of airspeed to get a TL4(?) glider to fly.
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Old 11-12-2018, 05:20 AM   #13
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Default Re: Dragon Blimp

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That's a much weaker dragon than I was envisioning. A draft horse has a ST 25, and you need a team of them to pull a wagon with 6 people at any speed, and you'd need a fair bit of airspeed to get a TL4(?) glider to fly.
But wagon wheels on dirt you get lots of drag, less in the air, right?

A dragon that size might provide motive force but not lift, so we're back to hot air. Surely the dragon can also be the furnace? Lots of work for the dragon, though.
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Old 11-12-2018, 05:27 AM   #14
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Default Re: Dragon Blimp

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Originally Posted by Derrick_rp View Post
I actually like this idea a lot better, and will be pitching it to my players. Along those lines, if my dragon has a strength of 25 and a max air speed of 45 mph, what would you suggest for a top speed he could tow a glider meant to transport 6 people and a small amount of cargo?
That is a small dragon according to DF Monsters 4.
Small ST 25 SM+3
Medium ST 35 SM+4
Large ST 50 SM+5

On the other hand your dragons are about twice as fast.
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Old 11-12-2018, 05:36 AM   #15
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Default Re: Dragon Blimp

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But wagon wheels on dirt you get lots of drag, less in the air, right?
I'm not sure about that. Le Geant, which was mentioned as the reference balloon, was 200' tall when fully inflated. That's an awful lot of wind resistance, even on a calm day. Whether it's more or less than the friction of decently-made wagon wheels on dirt I'm not sure, but it must represent a sail area comparable to a decent-sized sailing ship. Hit a stiff headwind, and I imagine the balloon towing the dragon, backwards. Given a bit of blustery crosswind, the control issues are going to be very, very interesting.

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Originally Posted by Not View Post
A dragon that size might provide motive force but not lift, so we're back to hot air. Surely the dragon can also be the furnace? Lots of work for the dragon, though.
So you're envisaging, what? The dragon wearing an asbestos facemask hooked up to a sealed tube running back to the balloon?
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Old 11-12-2018, 05:59 AM   #16
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Default Re: Dragon Blimp

Incidentally, we had powered balloons in reality. They were called airships, and had the balloon shaped into an oval to reduce the wind resistance problem.

It's possible to build a muscle-powered airship, using pedals to drive a propeller; apparently, someone had one flying round American cities around 1910, and one or two have been built in recent years. However, even using modern materials and engineering knowledge, and helium for lift, the result hits 12 mph at best and can't get across the English Channel. I recall a TV show in which someone built something a bit more TL5-ish as a test of concept; with a large crew of fit and healthy cyclists pedaling like crazy, they just about managed to get it up to a walking pace in the direction they wanted to go.
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Old 11-12-2018, 06:48 AM   #17
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Default Re: Dragon Blimp

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But wagon wheels on dirt you get lots of drag, less in the air, right?
Likewise, a horse can get traction against the ground, whereas a dragon has only traction against the air. That's going to get into the impossibility of dragon flight though, so we should probably handwave it and call it a one-horsepower flight thruster of some sort.

How fast can that propel a 6-man glider and/or dirigible?
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