Saturday, 21 May 2011

Castle in the Sky

First, thanks to smellsofbikes for the information about the "mehve" glider - a real life version of Nausicaa's one! Looks great, doesn't it? Here's what smellsofbikes had to say:

"I've not seen any details past what Wikipedia has, but the OpenSky M-02 is a full-size possibly flying replica of Nausicaa's flying wing.
Here's the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtohSZ8U5Hk
Clamshell brakes can be used to do somewhat coordinated turns and maintain some roll stability, as seen on numerous Northrop aircraft, but the design suffers heavily, like any flying wing, from the large nose-down pitching moment the wing produces, with no tail to counteract it. Usually that's dealt with by adding a recurved camber on the upper wing surface, which pretty much cancels out all the benefits of not having a tail. Well, except for the coolness factor."

Very nice! Thanks man!

Anyway, Castle in the Sky has lots of flying things in it. Some of them a bit more realistic than others. Some of them impossible but pure awesome. 
I suppose really with Castle in the Sky its a matter of thinking that they have 'Ithirium' which can make things fly, hence Laputa. They must also have some sort of lifting gas that's lighter than hydrogen, because many of the airships in the film would probably just crash normally. I'll keep these things in mind for this one.


 AIRSHIP GOLIATH
This mega huge ultra airborne battleship looks very interesting. In the film it was shown to have armoured machine guns, flak cannons, aircraft on it's belly, what are presumably rotors for extra lift on the top and several series' of contra rotating propellers to drive it through the air. As long as the ship had enough power being driven into the contra rotating propellers then it should have worked well enough. It also has one triplane manouevering surfaces on each side and another load of elevators that are stacked four wings high in the middle. As for the rudders, there are three on each side. Presumably, these would give quite some control, albiet a tad unorthadox. Changing attitude might be a bit difficult on it, and would require some very skillful helming abilities. The airship also looks quite top heavy, with the four lift rotors, propellers, and (what looks like the) bridge. Hope fully all that is cancelled out my the cannons, large gondola and aircraft strapped on underneath. The airship also looks as if it is coated in some sort of metal.
Obviously, all of that weight would never be able to be lifted up using hydrogen or helium. It probably isn't helium either, as when it is eventually taken down by the Laputian robots it quite vividly explodes in a fashion similar to hydrogen. So it's lifted up by something very efficient, and very explosive. Neo-Hydrogen. Oh yeah.

DOLA'S AIRSHIP
This machine looks like a hybrid aicraft, as it has a pair of wings that have an adjustable angle of attack. It also has four contra rotating propellers near the rear and two enormous propellers/rotors on the end of each wing. It is shown in the film to be largely of metal contruction, although the envelope around the gas looks like it's fabricated. There is a frame underneath thr fabric though, so it is technically a rigid airship. 
I imagine in a straight line it would fly, if it were going fast enough. The wings, coupled with the neo-hydrogen inside of the envelope would probably work well enough. The airship is never pictured hovering, which shows that it possibly would stall if it did so, making it a true hybrid. At any rate, it would be very strange to control, and something that few people in history have ever done. More people have probably walked on the moon than controlled a hybrid airship. Affecting the controls are the rudder and the elevator at the back. I think that whilst the rudder would be large enough to have an impact, the elevator would be too small to work properly. Also, hybrod airships have to be able to bank like an aeroplane. I don't see any aerolons on the wings, so maybe it warps them or they can be rotated independantly of eachother, but as it is, it wouldn't be able to stay upright very well, even with that tank of neo-hydrogen pulling it upwards.


THE PASSENGER AIRSHIP
This airship follows a similar plan to Goliath. Perhaps they are related, with Goliath being heavily modified or a military version. I don't know, but it has lift rotors ans contra rotating propellers on the front like Goliath does, and a bridge on the top. 
Aside from being hideously overweight, it looks like it would flip over upside down at the merest provication. Also, at the rear, it has several rudder surfaces on each side (again, like Goliath). It also has a good amount of arms inside, with the crew armed with at least one gatling gun and bolt-action rifles.
The passengers also seem well cared for, as it has a ball room (visible in the picture, it's the bit with the big windows) comfortable electric lighting and openable windows. If neo-hydrogen existed, and this could fly without flipping over, it would be a lovely thing to fly in. Except it has no elevators, which could cause some problems.

THE ORNITHOPTER

Shown being powered by a petrol/diesel engine with ornithoptic wings that allow high manouevrability and speed, this little guy looks rough tough and fun to fly. I assume that all controls could come out of the wings which flap faster than the eye can see in the air, making lift like an insect, less a bird. I don't know what kind of material they used with the wings or the gears they used for making them move that fast, but it must be pretty impressive stuff. The thing can go upside down, loop, roll, dive down and up. Very impressive. On long haul flights, the pilots turn off the rear two wings and only flap the front pair, which saves fuel, I suppose. It also has the ability to carry a passenger.
LAPUTA

Umm... It's made of stone, metal and gardens and seems to hold thousands of tons of water in lakes. That can't fly. 
But - there's an enormous chunk of Ithirium in it that lets it fly around. I can't really comment on it. Is it really even an aircraft?
 PAZU'S AIRPLANE
(Can't get a picture, sorry!)
Although only in wooden frame as it was still being built in the film, it looks like an ornithopter. It doesn't look as if it can flap as rapidly as the red ornithopters, but more like how a bird can.
 Once more, since we don't get to see it properly, I can't really comment on it. If any of you have any ideas how it would fly, go ahead and write them in the comments.



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