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Weaponizing Balloons

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
Re: Weaponizing Balloons
Post by Dilandu   » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:23 pm

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dobriennm wrote:
PeterZ wrote:Consider that Zeppelin raids against cities without electric lighting would be much safer. There would be no way to concentrate the massive amounts of lumens searchlights would need to be effective against derigibles at night. The same applies to bombng fixed defenses.


Actually, limelights don't need electricity and provide very bright light.

See
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limelight


Problem is not searchlights by themselves; problem is coordinating anti-air action. Without telergaph & telephone, any kind of echeloned AA defense (like Britain build in World War I) would be quite impossible, and coordination between batteries & searchlights would be problematic.
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- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: Weaponizing Balloons
Post by Dilandu   » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:27 pm

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PeterZ wrote:Nano-upgraded pigeons controlled by OWL to pilot a glider?
Yeah, that works and won't remind anyone of potential demonic influence.


Excatly how? I'm afraid, pigeon is not physically strong enough to move control levers - even if you somehow could explain to him, what to do (which is, well, required a pigeon with at least a chimp brain).

Frankly, simpler way would be to use piloted glide bombs... with some kind of ejecting system for pilot, so he could escape the craft on parachute before impact. Of course, he would probably land on enemy-controlled territory and would be captured anyway, but if you have a large supply of highly-motivated manpower, you could actually make some use of this.
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- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: Weaponizing Balloons
Post by Dilandu   » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:33 pm

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Weird Harold wrote:ETA: The Bug did have an electrical component to its guidance system, but I don't think it was really necessary.


No, they wasn't absolutely necessary; the electric parts could be replaced by pneumatic systems. Actually, you could possibly build valve-less pulse engine without electric spark, so even something like Fi-103 is remotely possible.

The main problem would be accuracy, of course. Those flying bombs were basically useful only for bombardment of large towns, and good guys on "Safehold" seems to be reluctant to do that (for some strange reason they definitely NOT consider the blockade as counter-civilian strategy, despite a lot of examples of blockade causing mass famine).
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- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: Weaponizing Balloons
Post by Weird Harold   » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:12 pm

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Dilandu wrote:Excatly how? I'm afraid, pigeon is not physically strong enough to move control levers - even if you somehow could explain to him, what to do (which is, well, required a pigeon with at least a chimp brain).


The previously posted link to the wikipedia page on Project Pigeon explains how pigeon controls work.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Pigeon
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

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Re: Weaponizing Balloons
Post by Dilandu   » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:51 pm

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Weird Harold wrote:
Dilandu wrote:Excatly how? I'm afraid, pigeon is not physically strong enough to move control levers - even if you somehow could explain to him, what to do (which is, well, required a pigeon with at least a chimp brain).


The previously posted link to the wikipedia page on Project Pigeon explains how pigeon controls work.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Pigeon


I knew, how pigeon control work; I failed to see, how this could be implemented on Safehold, without the use of electric systems.

P.S. And I'm not sure, are there pigeons on Safehold? I take it that homing wyverns took their role.
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: Weaponizing Balloons
Post by Weird Harold   » Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:43 pm

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Dilandu wrote:I knew, how pigeon control work; I failed to see, how this could be implemented on Safehold, without the use of electric systems.


Safehold (Charis, at least,) is fairly advanced with Pneumatic Controls. A Hydraulic or Pneumatic system could easily be adapted to control similar to the Pigeon Bomb set-up.

Dilandu wrote:P.S. And I'm not sure, are there pigeons on Safehold? I take it that homing wyverns took their role.


That's one of the reasons I class "pigeon controlled guided rockets" as "Silly suggestions." :D They're possible but just not very practical.
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

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Re: Weaponizing Balloons
Post by Dilandu   » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:22 pm

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Weird Harold wrote:
Dilandu wrote:
Safehold (Charis, at least,) is fairly advanced with Pneumatic Controls. A Hydraulic or Pneumatic system could easily be adapted to control similar to the Pigeon Bomb set-up.


Sigh. How?

The idea of pigeon bomb was, that the pigeon was trained to poke his beak into the photo of target - on an electrically conductive screen in the bomb. The beak touch changed the conductivity, thus providing autopilot with error signal.

How, for Pete's sake, you could do in with hydraulic or pneumatic?

Seriously, guys, you overestimated non-electric tech.
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
Top
Re: Weaponizing Balloons
Post by Weird Harold   » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:33 am

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Dilandu wrote:Sigh. How?

The idea of pigeon bomb was, that the pigeon was trained to poke his beak into the photo of target - on an electrically conductive screen in the bomb.


According to the Wiki article, the screen was mounted on pivots and the pecking physically moved the optical screen image.

You may be thinking of the late Navy project Project Orcon, but the Wiki doesn't give much detail other than it was finally canceled when electronic guidance was proven reliable.
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

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Re: Weaponizing Balloons
Post by Silverwall   » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:06 am

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There was a long thread a while ago on the issue of zepelins which are vastly superior to baloons as they are stearable.

Short version they are "JUST" doable in a non electric environemnt using steam refomring of Hydrogen and laminated wood construction along with deisel engines.

The biggest issue is that Safehold is BIG and the range of zeppelins is not that great ~2000 miles return, and with no electrics navigation over long distances is "Interesting" especially at night. They will also rot like nobodies business in clouds as the structure absorbs water and takes constant maintinance.

You also will be restricted to dumb bombs so apart from terror weapons what is the tactical goal of these things? WW1 shows that bombing even large industrial parks is beyind the accuracy of the bombing of the day. (Hell it proved beyond the accuracy of WW2 strategic bombing most of the time.)

Howerver costs would be even worse than on earth relatively and they take massive ammounts of intestines to build the gasbags. 250,000 cows intestines per zeppelin. The big issue is that woven fabrics can't contain the hydrogen worth a damn (FYI even metal has issues containing hydrogen as it is a sneeky little molecule that works in between the metal atoms in the crystaline latice and makes it brittle)
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Re: Weaponizing Balloons
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:20 am

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The Duke of Delthak appeared to have solved the issue of seepage well enough for the Balloon Corps. Not saying it was a perfect fix, but it worked well enough to generate hours of lift and a bag lifetime of 3 about months. I am guessing Corisandian rubber has a part in that solution. Replacing bags every three months does suggest a big maintenance effort. The benefits would outweigh the costs if no other nation had them. Also, the cost to support derigible operation demands an efficient economy to afford the contraptions.

In the end derigibles are a stopgap to airplanes. The transitional step will tend to keep the other nations motivated to take the next step into the skies. Safehold has seen balloons and their usages. They will see derigibles as a reachable next step. Once they have derigibles, they can follow Charis into building planes. After planes, the proscriptions should be eliminated and space awaits.
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