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How Effective Would Aerokinetic Aircraft Be?


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I was curious, when you take a common superpower and instead shift the same ability to an aircraft, how effective would it really be?

 

Let's suppose the hull, when magnetized, becomes capable of directly moving air over it.

 

My guess is you could make large and heavy aircraft like the floating spaceships of scifi... yet as always there would be a limit based on physics I believe.

 

The heavier the vessel I presume the more air would need to be moved over the hull to provide lift... which would mean higher air speed over the hull.

What I am getting at is that if a vessel is too heavy, airspeed moving over the hull will move so fast it would heat up the hull and make it lose it's magnetism, causing it to fall out the air.

 

Question: What us the heaviest vessel you think can be lifted based on this OP via aerokinesis. I suppose one could chill the hull via an inner liquid hydrogen tank but even that will only get you so far.

Edited by Spacescifi
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Instead of moving the air across the vehicle to provide aerodynamic lift, have a bunch of tubes pointing downward to create thrust to move the vehicle upwards.

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5 hours ago, Spacescifi said:

when you take a common superpower and instead shift the same ability to an aircraft

You've lost me.

Are you talking about a superpower like Superman's ability to fly?  Is 'aerokinetic' like telekinetic? 

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16 minutes ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

You've lost me.

Are you talking about a superpower like Superman's ability to fly?  Is 'aerokinetic' like telekinetic? 

Like superman but needs enough airflow to provide lift.

 

In real life we have to move blades, or propellers and move with wings to provide lift.

 

The OP aircraft would manipulate airflow directly over it's surface for lift and flight.

 

In other words, unlike superman, you won't reach outer space with this, since by the time your speed was high enough the hull would like heat up from air friction and you woild lose the magnetism and therefore flight.

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4 hours ago, razark said:

Instead of moving the air across the vehicle to provide aerodynamic lift, have a bunch of tubes pointing downward to create thrust to move the vehicle upwards.

Wow, a topologically inverted aerokinetic aircraft...  

1 hour ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Are you talking about a superpower like Superman's ability to fly? 

Just superpower = superforce * superspeed

***

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

A flagellant aircraft, covered with undulating flagellas which are moving the air.

Edited by kerbiloid
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According to my calculations, viable aircraft masses range from 2.567 ounces to 1.21 gigatons - but only if you feed the output from the pulsed aerokinetic amplifier through the flux capacitor and remember to reverse the polarity.

But on a serious note, I cannot answer your question since I have no idea how strong this 'aerokinetic' effect, how much thrust it can produce and how strong a magnetic field is required to generate that thrust.

Some thoughts about magnets, since this notion of them failing above a certain temperature is a recurring theme in your threads.

Permanent magnets do indeed have a temperature limit (the Curie temperature) at which they lose their magnetism.  Different magnetic materials have wildly varying Curie temperatures but as a useful example, samarium-cobalt magnets (which also happen to be one of the strongest types of permanent magnet) have a Curie temperature of around 1400oF. 

For comparison, the skin temperature of the SR-71 'Blackbird' varied from around 600 to 1000F, depending upon which part of the airframe you're talking about.  The Blackbird could fly at Mach 3.2 at an altitude of about 26 km, that is above most of the atmosphere (air pressure at 20 km is about 5-6% of sea level pressure).

TL: DR  - assuming that a permanent magnet is strong enough for your requirements (spoiler:  using any reasonable explanation for a magnetic aerokinetic effect, it probably won't be), then loss of permanent magnetism through aerodynamic heating is unlikely to be much of a problem.

Edited by KSK
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Magnets can't produce thrust. If you suppose that they can, for purposes of scifi, then just suppose that whatever lifting engine installed on your vessel is adequately sized and engineered, or not, depending on the story you want to tell.

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I'm still trying to figure out if AI can use telekinesis to shove air - what the possible mechanics would be. 

Magnetism seems odd because the percentage of iron in air is kinda low. 

I'd rather think that the hyperkinetic supertele AI could perceive some of the basic, fundamental structures of the universe and then pull or push itself along the ley lines in a way that air or water or space are just local conditions and to the extent that a story needs to take place in one of those... You could just have a ship be there, doing a thing 

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15 minutes ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

I'm still trying to figure out if AI can use telekinesis to shove air - what the possible mechanics would be. 

Maxwell daemons can. 

A daemonic aerokinetic airvessel.

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25 minutes ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

I'm still trying to figure out if AI can use telekinesis to shove air - what the possible mechanics would be. 

Magnetism seems odd because the percentage of iron in air is kinda low. 

I'd rather think that the hyperkinetic supertele AI could perceive some of the basic, fundamental structures of the universe and then pull or push itself along the ley lines in a way that air or water or space are just local conditions and to the extent that a story needs to take place in one of those... You could just have a ship be there, doing a thing 

Well nitrogen molecules are diamagnetic (weakly repelled by magnetic field) and oxygen molecules are paramagnetic (weakly attracted to magnets) and I’ve found some legit looking stuff about demonstrating the latter by blowing soap bubbles with oxygen gas and moving them around with a strong permanent magnet.

So I’m not sure that I agree that magnets can’t produce thrust. Producing useful thrust is another matter entirely of course - I don’t recall ever getting much of a breeze by holding a fridge magnet up to my face.

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11 hours ago, KSK said:

Permanent magnets do indeed have a temperature limit (the Curie temperature) at which they lose their magnetism.  Different magnetic materials have wildly varying Curie temperatures but as a useful example, samarium-cobalt magnets (which also happen to be one of the strongest types of permanent magnet) have a Curie temperature of around 1400oF. 

For comparison, the skin temperature of the SR-71 'Blackbird' varied from around 600 to 1000F, depending upon which part of the airframe you're talking about.  The Blackbird could fly at Mach 3.2 at an altitude of about 26 km, that is above most of the atmosphere (air pressure at 20 km is about 5-6% of sea level pressure).

TL: DR  - assuming that a permanent magnet is strong enough for your requirements (spoiler:  using any reasonable explanation for a magnetic aerokinetic effect, it probably won't be), then loss of permanent magnetism through aerodynamic heating is unlikely to be much of a problem.

It should also be noted that there would absolutely be no direct correlation between the total weight of a vehicle and the aerodynamic heating in this scenario. A larger spaceship will have a greater surface area and so it will have more space to generate aerodynamic lift. 

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1 hour ago, sevenperforce said:

It should also be noted that there would absolutely be no direct correlation between the total weight of a vehicle and the aerodynamic heating in this scenario. A larger spaceship will have a greater surface area and so it will have more space to generate aerodynamic lift. 

Yep. If this thing is taking off from the ground then, by definition it can generate enough lift to get airborne, so it's weight doesn't matter. It will then have a service ceiling at which it is physically incapable of flying any higher in aerodynamic flight (I'm sure there's a better phrase for this) , whether that's because it can't travel any faster and so its reached an altitude where the maximum lift it can generate exactly balances out its weight, or because it can travel faster in principle but other factors (such as aerodynamic heating) make it unsafe to do so.

Similarly, if this thing is dropping in from orbit, it'll reach the same service ceiling but from the other direction so to speak.

At least that's my understanding.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, sevenperforce said:

It should also be noted that there would absolutely be no direct correlation between the total weight of a vehicle and the aerodynamic heating in this scenario. A larger spaceship will have a greater surface area and so it will have more space to generate aerodynamic lift. 

 

Alright then... let's go the slightly more realistic route then

 

Ion air craft with a SUPER battery with sufficient power and discharge rate for flight of a 1000 ton air vehicle.

 

That is just a scenario. Possible? I dunno.

 

We always say and wish we had more power (fusion is slways 20 yeaes away).

 

But if say... scifi aliens gave us super batteries with sufficient power to actually make an ionocraft out of a 1000 ton vessel... how would that even look? Lots of glowing halo all over the hull? Maybe a large plasma plume trailing the entire rear end of the ship lol?

 

Note: I am just making up a scenario since I already know we cannot make super batteries like that.

 

The rest of the ship we make using modern tech, while an array of super batteries powers the ionic flight.

 

Something tells me that having power and  being able to utilizs are two different things.

 

For example we could utilze nukes as a fusion power plant by detonating them in a water pool and using the water blast to power turbines for electricity.

Other than that though we are batting a thousand outs so far for fusion power.

I do know there is only so much energy you wznt to discharge at once, since too much melts things.

Edited by Spacescifi
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2 hours ago, KSK said:

Yep. If this thing is taking off from the ground then, by definition it can generate enough lift to get airborne, so it's weight doesn't matter. It will then have a service ceiling at which it is physically incapable of flying any higher in aerodynamic flight (I'm sure there's a better phrase for this)

The term you’re looking for is “absolute ceiling” and it demarcates the altitude at which the engines at full throttle exactly match the aerodynamic drag at the optimal lift-to-drag ratio, meaning the aircraft physically cannot climb any higher.

This highlights a common misconception about aircraft. When a pilot wants to gain altitude, she doesn’t pitch the plane’s nose up; rather, she increases the throttle. Similarly, when she wants to increase speed, she doesn’t increase the throttle; she nudges the nose down. 

2 hours ago, KSK said:

whether that's because it can't travel any faster and so its reached an altitude where the maximum lift it can generate exactly balances out its weight, or because it can travel faster in principle but other factors (such as aerodynamic heating) make it unsafe to do so.

What’s odd about @Spacescifi’s hypo is that he’s describing air being moved across the wing surface by magnetic fields to create aerodynamic lift. But if you can use magnetic fields to move air, you can just lift off the ground vertically.

If he’s proposing a vehicle which does not have an T/W ratio greater than 1, then it will assuredly run shy of net acceleration long before aerodynamic hearing becomes a problem. 

 

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5 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

What can be better for the airport than a fresh wind of oxygen ions!

OK, now I’ve got this image of a science fiction spaceport / spa town.

“Watch the ionocraft taking off while enjoying the healthful breeze of oxygen ions combined with just a faint tang of ozone from the charging electrodes!”

”For just $250 (Altairian), we’ll add a medically approved amount of fluorine to the airflow, for those little gusts of special tooth strengthening  fluoride ions.”

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I you have aerokinesis, then you just grab some air and keep it next to the skin of the vehicle as a buffer, possibly changing it out if it gets too hot.

Maximum mass of your vehicle would be related to:

Mass of the total amount of air you can move / mass of your vehicle.

If you can extend your aerokinesis field over a wide area, ten you can have a much heavier craft than if the range is measured in inches, just due to the mass of the air you an move.

If you are worried about heating, drop the wings and go with a more needle type shape(or rocket-type if you prefer).  Perhaps with out-riggers if your aerokinesis field has a range measure in meters and this would let you add engines to cover more air(assuming that such additional volume can adequately off-set the mass+drag).

Considering that the frontal area of the engine of a commercial airliner is much smaller than the surface area of the airplane in general, an aerokinesis range of even a few meters outside the skin of the vessel could provide a relatively large amount of thrust if you can push the air with the same speed as the airliner engine.

 

However a relatively light vessel with a longer range of aerokinesis effect might want to be more spherical so that it could rapidly turn in any direction(so long as you do not crush any occupants/control systems), combined with a shorter-range aerokinesis system, you could have a nearly instantly reconfigurable aeroshell made of air which is held in place by the smaller system while the larger system  grabs and moves huge masses of air to push it around with a maneuverability that is only limited by the ability of the control systems to withstand the acceleration.

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7 hours ago, Terwin said:

I you have aerokinesis, then you just grab some air and keep it next to the skin of the vehicle as a buffer, possibly changing it out if it gets too hot.

Maximum mass of your vehicle would be related to:

Mass of the total amount of air you can move / mass of your vehicle.

If you can extend your aerokinesis field over a wide area, ten you can have a much heavier craft than if the range is measured in inches, just due to the mass of the air you an move.

If you are worried about heating, drop the wings and go with a more needle type shape(or rocket-type if you prefer).  Perhaps with out-riggers if your aerokinesis field has a range measure in meters and this would let you add engines to cover more air(assuming that such additional volume can adequately off-set the mass+drag).

Considering that the frontal area of the engine of a commercial airliner is much smaller than the surface area of the airplane in general, an aerokinesis range of even a few meters outside the skin of the vessel could provide a relatively large amount of thrust if you can push the air with the same speed as the airliner engine.

 

However a relatively light vessel with a longer range of aerokinesis effect might want to be more spherical so that it could rapidly turn in any direction(so long as you do not crush any occupants/control systems), combined with a shorter-range aerokinesis system, you could have a nearly instantly reconfigurable aeroshell made of air which is held in place by the smaller system while the larger system  grabs and moves huge masses of air to push it around with a maneuverability that is only limited by the ability of the control systems to withstand the acceleration.

 

Thanks... that is very informative.

 

So ideally a large vessel would generate an even larger spherical aerokinetic field and drag a large volume of air down rapidly to lift the vessel.

 

Good job!

 

So if one those famous scifi alien flying saucers  was hovering overhead it would cause quite the air wave gusts over the ground.

Surely no one could be below it without getting pinned against the ground, or if to the side blown away.

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15 hours ago, Spacescifi said:

So if one those famous scifi alien flying saucers  was hovering overhead it would cause quite the air wave gusts over the ground.

Surely no one could be below it without getting pinned against the ground, or if to the side blown away.

Depends on the range of the aerokinesis field.  If the field is similar in size to the blades of a helicopter, then you would get helicopter-type down-drafts, but if you can affect a half-kilometer radius, then it would be a gentle breeze(or less), even with a several-ton vessel.

Examle:

Google says air at sea-level has a mass of 1.225 kg/m³

A sample helicopter from Wiki has a max takeoff weight of 4300 kg and a rotor diameter of 15m, giving a rotor area listed as ~168 sq m, giving a down-draft of roughly 26kg per sq m or a ~21m/s down-draft

This would be a Beaufort number of 9 or Strong Gale

A 21m aerokinesis diameter would reduce the required thrust per sq m by half to ~10m/s, reducing the Beaufort number to 5, which is 'Fresh Breeze'

A 30m Aerokinesis diameter would reduce that by half again to ~5m/s, giving a Beaufort number of 3, or gentle breeze

Edited by Terwin
Wiki lists the main rotor area which is smaller than a 15m diameter circle
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