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Old 02-10-2019, 06:37 PM   #161
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Or slowly and marginally mobile engines.
Yes. Yes. Excellent.

And he said let there be Antarctic Space Nazis and lo and behold, there were Antarctic Space Nazis. Let them soar in majestic zeppelins and let Nazi science sneer at heroic PCs. And he said, let there be Steampunk Antarctic Space Nazis. And he looked over his Creation and he saw that it was good.

And he said, let the Steampunk Antarctic Space Nazis in Zeppelins once more ride dinosaurs. And it was so.

What kind of power to weight ratio would the steam engines in such TL5/TL6 steam traction engines get?

In kW/kg, for preference.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:36 PM   #162
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There doesn't seem to be a whole lot on the net, but I found a 1912 Case Steam Tractor rated at 75 hp and weighing 24,000 obs empty. That's on the order of 0.005 KW/kg, dry.

I found another, a Burrel from 1903 with a nominal rating of 8HP, weighing 11,400 kg loaded. That's around 0.0005 KW/kg, but nominal horsepower had little relationship to actual output by then, which looks like it was about 5 times nominal for that class of engine, so say 0.0025 KW/kg.

http://www.paxmanhistory.org.uk/paxmanTE.htm suggests about the same.

They were not weight efficient, that's for sure.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:39 AM   #163
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Default Re: Why Dirigibles?

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There doesn't seem to be a whole lot on the net, but I found a 1912 Case Steam Tractor rated at 75 hp and weighing 24,000 obs empty. That's on the order of 0.005 KW/kg, dry.

I found another, a Burrel from 1903 with a nominal rating of 8HP, weighing 11,400 kg loaded. That's around 0.0005 KW/kg, but nominal horsepower had little relationship to actual output by then, which looks like it was about 5 times nominal for that class of engine, so say 0.0025 KW/kg.

http://www.paxmanhistory.org.uk/paxmanTE.htm suggests about the same.

They were not weight efficient, that's for sure.
Okay, so they'd definitely be for rich farmers who still weren't quite rich enough to afford magical Elemental Furnaces, which start at 0.005 kW/kg, but don't need any fuel.

That being said, how much of the absolutely massive tonnage of these things has to be made from high-quality steel, that requires TL6+ industrial steel infrastructure to make in large quantities and how much of the total weight can you get away with steel that's economical to manufacture at TL4-5 emerging industrial steel infrastructure?*

*That is, the people who designed them are TL7, the overseers, foremen and technicians are TL6-7 and many of the more skilled workers are TL5+ in the appropriate skills even if their general TL is one lower, but there might not be all the absolutely huge furnaces and other machines that you expect to see at TL6+, but instead lower-tech workarounds until they've had time to construct all the infrastructure they need.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:47 AM   #164
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Okay, so they'd definitely be for rich farmers who still weren't quite rich enough to afford magical Elemental Furnaces, which start at 0.005 kW/kg, but don't need any fuel.

That being said, how much of the absolutely massive tonnage of these things has to be made from high-quality steel, that requires TL6+ industrial steel infrastructure to make in large quantities and how much of the total weight can you get away with steel that's economical to manufacture at TL4-5 emerging industrial steel infrastructure?
Only the boiler, cylinder, and the piston absolutely should to be high-grade metal, and even then thicker cheap metal can substitute to a certain degree.

Oh, and these engines could run on wood instead of coal, so if they're in an area that's recently been cleared for farming waste wood can be used. You'd need a set of sprayers to use liquid fuel, but I'm sure the manufacturers could make and provide those as part of a range of optional accessories if there's a demand.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:00 AM   #165
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Only the boiler, cylinder, and the piston absolutely should to be high-grade metal, and even then thicker cheap metal can substitute to a certain degree.
Nice!

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Oh, and these engines could run on wood instead of coal, so if they're in an area that's recently been cleared for farming waste wood can be used. You'd need a set of sprayers to use liquid fuel, but I'm sure the manufacturers could make and provide those as part of a range of optional accessories if there's a demand.
I was actually thinking about the value of these things in clearing the thick forests of Germania Hyperborea for farming.

The magical demiplane, the Zentrum der neuen Welt, can still feed all the ASNs, if they are all cool with living near magical gates and eating only what can be grown in an idealized Westphalia. On the other hand, there are some good reasons why Germania Hyperborea ought to be able to be independent in food production and there are plenty of farmers who want to own their own large spreads there, some distance from the nearest magical gate to the estates of the SS Junkers.

Not to mention that there will be Treckbauern who moved south, to grow wine, tobacco and a range of agricultural products for which there was demand, but which couldn't be grown well in a Westphalia analogue. While many of these are still using TL4 agricultural methods, there will by now be a few of them who have expanded to great estates that are the centers of emerging towns of allied natives.

Pretty much all good potential farmland in the thinly inhabited northern reaches is thickly forested and even where natives of TL2 and TL3 have lived for a while, there is still more forest than there is farmland.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:21 AM   #166
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I was actually thinking about the value of these things in clearing the thick forests of Germania Hyperborea for farming.
They'll certainly be useful for that. A traction engine or a simple portable steam engine, though those need something else pulling them when they're moved - I'd go with a proper traction engine so it can be used to pull stuff when you move your logging base. You'd have a portable saw mill, and probably rig cables to pull in large logs, tear out stumps, & etc., as well. You'd still need horses or oxen for supplemental towing, and to drag out trees from areas out of reach of a traction engine.

I expect you'd have companies that specialised in felling and clearing land who would own all this and would move around to wherever land was being cleared, or they'd work for some Junker who'd discovered this neat way of making money from plant and labourers that they didn't currently need on their own estates.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:28 AM   #167
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They'll certainly be useful for that. A traction engine or a simple portable steam engine, though those need something else pulling them when they're moved - I'd go with a proper traction engine so it can be used to pull stuff when you move your logging base. You'd have a portable saw mill, and probably rig cables to pull in large logs, tear out stumps, & etc., as well. You'd still need horses or oxen for supplemental towing, and to drag out trees from areas out of reach of a traction engine.

I expect you'd have companies that specialised in felling and clearing land who would own all this and would move around to wherever land was being cleared, or they'd work for some Junker who'd discovered this neat way of making money from plant and labourers that they didn't currently need on their own estates.
Antarctic Space Nazi Steampunk lumberjack roughnecks! The mind boggles...

If only they could use zeppelins somehow...

Wait, how do you get the heavy equipment to the place to be cleared, if that happens to be some Treckbauern's estate which is 500 km from anywhere, just surrounded by savage natives loyal to him and his surprisingly extensive collection of native-born citizen farmhands armed with archaic black powder weapons?

Yeah, sure, for the ones who grew rich from vineyards in the analogue of the Rhine valley, you use the analogue Rhine to float it there, obviously, the way he uses it to move his wine to market.

But what about ones who need farmland to feed their miners at a valuable site which isn't yet situated on a river (he plans to dig a canal), and where there is just thick forest everywhere around? Could the kind of zeppelins that might be available to the ASNs by the Year 40-50 carry equipment there?
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:41 PM   #168
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One would hope so. A traction engine or the like could be flown in, in several pieces if necessary (boiler and firebox in one load, everything else in the next, for example), and final assembly done on-site.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:53 PM   #169
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One would hope so. A traction engine or the like could be flown in, in several pieces if necessary (boiler and firebox in one load, everything else in the next, for example), and final assembly done on-site.
YES!!!

I have achieved perfectly logical and rationalized zeppelins and I only had to invoke magical, world-traveling, Antarctic Space Nazi Steampunk lumberjack roughnecks to do so!
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