1. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    Renaissance aeronautical technology?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by TobiasJames, Nov 16, 2010.

    I'm drafting a new fantasy which would be based on a society living in the real-world equivalent of the Renaissance period. I'd like to have some sort of large-scale flying machine (such as an airship) and would like some input from anyone else who knows about the period.

    I know that flying machines were not built during this period (aside from hot air balloons) but was there the technology available for it, if we assume that Renaissance engineers lacked the know-how to use it?

    I'm looking for something that will not seem a glaring technological anachronism in the time period that it's written for. Any pointers?
     
  2. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    ^What about air gliders?
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Leonardo Da Vinci designed one - helicopter type. I seem to remember a recreation and they managed to create it. Might be worth looking it up.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    da vinci drew plans for more than one 'flying' device, i believe... check it out with a google search...

    however, if you're writing a historical fantasy, then you can make them have whatever technology you want them to have, right?
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Look up Bartolomeu de Gusmao. He lived in the early 18th century and is considered a pioneer of aviation.
     
  6. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    @mamma, Yes the machine that I end up with will invariably be a fantastical creation because historically, man has lacked the resources or means of construction (or knowledge) to realise his ideas. I'm looking back with the benefit of 21st century technological understanding. :) But nevertheless, I want it to be "believable" for the time period, so I have to know what would have been possible in that time period.

    Thanks for the links to names guys, I was aware of da Vinci but every little helps.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Were you aware of I think a BBC series a few years back that tried to recreate some of his inventions? I don't know if it is findable. My brain wants to say Dan and Peter Snow were both in it but I can't remember it. But they went into whether it would work or not.
     
  8. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    Ooh, no I wasn't aware of that. :) YouTube, here I come...
     
  9. SashaMerideth
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    SashaMerideth Contributing Member

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    Hydrogen could be made through electrolysis, though volatile it would make a large airship plausable, as long as someone had developed say a steam-powered electric generator?
     
  10. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    Interesting idea. I'm keen to stay away from electricity, as its availability would cause real problems with the rest of my story, but I like the idea of a steam-powered generator to initiate movement. Steam was a big technology of the time.
     

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