Airships are flying ships that get their lift from lighter than air gasses and are able to be moved and steered under their own power. Airships fill a diverse range of roles, they can be used as civilian transport, cargo ships, flying battleships, troop transport ships and exploration ships. Airships are help aloft by drakkeon
, an extremely light lifting gas discovered in 909 by the early Merindian Empire
. The lifting gas is dozens of times lighter than hydrogen and can easily carry large amounts of supplies and or people, the lifting gas also is light enough to allow military airships to be covered in heavy guns and armour, making them into basically flying battleships. The lifting gas is mostly inert but can ignite if exposed to a very large flame, but it is still far safer than hydrogen.
Airships are used by every country that has the technology and resources to construct them, and they are bought by counties that can't make them. Airships are used most by the Merindian Empire
, and they can build airships that are bigger, stronger, and more advanced than any others, and they can build them much faster than any other nation because of the huge Thrand airship factory
. Airships are the backbone of the Merindian Empire. They serve as the strongest part of their military, with huge airships like the Thrand class airships
dominating the skies. They also need airships for transporting people and cargo to their colonies in the outlands
. Other countries that make large use of airships are Regius
, the New Shorian Empire
, the Shenrian Empire
, the Drakkan Empire
, and Harellia
Structure of Airships
Airships are typically contructed with a series of large steel rings that give airships their round shape, which are held together by thick steel giders which run lengthwise down the ship. Airships are usually roughly cigar shaped, although Merindian
airships tend to be longer and thinner, while Regian
airships are more rotund. Airships typically contain several large bags full of drakkeon
gas, which provides more than enough lift to carry the sturdy steel structure of the ships as well as many passengers and staggering amounts of cargo. Because drakkeon is so cheap to produce, airships actually have machines that produce drakkeon inside of them, meaning they can inflate the gas bags to increase lift, and then vent out drakkeon to decrease lift. This allows airships to easily move up and down vertically and to be able to compensate for the change in weight when loading/unloading heavy cargo. Airships are even able to land directly on the ground by venting out most of their drakkeon and extending out landing gear. Airships will almost never have their gas bags full, as only in extreme situations would an airship need to use 100% of it's lift. Some airships will only have a single gas bag and therefore only need one drakkeon machine, while most large airships have multiple gas bags and often use multiple drakkeon machines, although there are some airships that only use one large drakkeon machine and pipe the drakkeon to each gas bag.
Airships are always powered by propellers, sometimes the engines for the propellers are contained inside of separate pods outside of the main body of the ship, or the engines of the propellers are contained within the ship's hull itself. Some airships have all of the propellers near the back half of the ship, while other will have some propellers at the front and the back halves of the ship.
Huge airships are utilized to transport large amounts of civilians comfortably across long distances. Civilian transport ships are a very relaxing ride, they are usually fully equipped with comfortable seating areas, restaurants, beds for overnight voyages and basically anything that can be put on a sea ship. Although airships can move faster than sea ships as well as being able to go over land, they cannot carry as much as sea ships. Flying in these airships feels more like being in a flying hotel than being in an airplane. These airships tend to be very large, and can reach over 1,200 feet (356.76 meters) long, like with the Skyspan class airship
, for example. Airships are often used to transport people between the midlands
and the outlands
by the Merindian Empire
, and the Shenrian Empire
Airships can be highly effective weapons of war, and are crucial to the militaries of many countries. Airships can fill many roles such as cargo carriers, aircraft carriers, anti-submarine vehicles, bombers, and they are able to bombard enemies with artillery fire. Military airships tend to be covered in a shell of durnium
armour, or steel armour on the largest ones. This armour can protect the airships from artillery and airplane attacks, and from other airships.
Depsite being filled with explosive gas, military airships are extremely durable. Well constructed and armoured military airships can withstand huge amounts of fire from even large artillery. They have segmented drakkeon gas bags, and if one is destroyed the fire won't ignite the others, and these airships can stay in the air even with only half of it's gas bags remaining.
Nearly all military airships have some sort of air-to-ground weapons that can consist of machine guns, autocannons, and even huge cannons, such as the ones found on the largest airships. Nearly all military airships also have some sort of anti-air defences that can make them a very dangerous target for airplanes. They also often are capable of some level of bombing capability, and even the smallest airships sometimes have small bomb bays, and the largest can devastate entire armies and cities with their bombs. Some less common features for military airships are airplane bays, which are used for deploying scouting planes and sometimes even fighters. Airships can also sometimes possess projections on the sides of the hull that contain large cannons that are used to combat enemy airships.
Military airships are the largest in the world. They can range from small 150 foot (45.72 meter) anti-submarine airships to monstrous flying battleships that can reach 1,400 feet (426.72 meters) long. The largest military airship, and the largest airship class ever to exist are the titanic Thrand class airships
. They are 2,000 feet (609.6 meters) long, and possess heavy armour, huge cannons, fierce anti-air firepower, multiple plane hangars, and countless machine guns and autocannons.
Military airships types also have different names than their oceanic counterparts for the most part. Dreadnoughts are large airships which carry large guns, such as the Endurance class airship
. There are also the superdreadnougths, although only 2 exist in the world, and these are the two Thrand class airships
. Below dreadnoughts there are cruisers, which often fill a similar role, but are smaller and less powerful. In between the cruiser and the dreadnought there is the dreadcruiser. below cruisers there are destroyers, which are used usually to escort larger airships. There's also carriers which can deploy airplanes mid-flight, cargo ships which carry cargo, small patrol ships,
Private ownership of personal airships is a common thing in some countries, mostly the Merindian Empire
. These airships are versatile vehicles. They can serve as huge flying mobile houses, luxury cruise ships, transportation, and cargo moving.
History of the Airship
The history of the airship dates back 600 years to the Shorian Empire
. The Shorian Empire first used hydrogen airships in the year 480, and this also was the first powered flight made by humans
. These airships were small non-rigid blimps used for scouting missions. They were powered by steam engines and could move moderately fast. They usually had open gondolas, although some larger airships had enclosed cabins.
These airships continued to develop but only remained as relatively small scouting blimps. These airships would prove very useful in observing enemy movements and remaining out of danger as they flew above the range of their enemy's weapons. In 550 the first rigid airships were constructed. These airships were much larger and could fly further and faster. They were armed with machine guns and bombs, and proved very effective against the enemies of the Shorian Empire
, as they could not effectively fight against these airships. The large airships were hundreds of feet long and had several steam-powered propellers and enclosed gondolas hanging below it.
Airship development stagnated and halted after the fall of the Shorian Empire
in the year 880. While small airships would still be built, and fewer large airships built, airships would continue to serve as the primary form of air travel.
Airships during the Dark Age
After the fall of the Shorian Empire, during the early years of the Dark Age, when the Midlands was engulfed in chaos, airships were still filled with hydrogen and were rarely built, and in the few instances that they were built, they were noisy, cold, and somewhat unreliable ships, being very vulnerable to storms. The few airships that were built during this time were used for scouting and tactical bombing missions. Airship technology would take a great leap forward when the Merindian Empire
in the year 909 by studying Stratozoans
The conventional streamlined shape of rigid airships was already developed by the Shorian Empire for their hydrogen airships, and drakkeon airships would still have the same roughly cigar shape, but with their massively increased lift, they could be upgraded in several crucial ways. The new drakkeon airships, instead of having fragile structures of lightweight aluminum and skin of fabric could now have an inner structure composed of solidly built steel rings and girders and have an outer skin of steel, and later durnium
. Drakkeon airships would also have a massively increased capacity for carrying cargo and passengers, and all drakkeon airships would have much more expansive cabins and gondolas than the previous hydrogen airships. Because drakkeon could be produced so cheaply, drakkeon producing engines would be placed within airships, allowing for them to vent drakkeon and re-inflate themselves with drakkkeon mid flight, allowing for them to easily take off and land vertically, as well as accomodate for the weight change of loading/unloading heavy cargo.
Drakkeon airships would prove invaluable to the Merindian Empire, as they would use them to cross over the harsh waters between the Southern Continents
and reach the Outlands
, unlocking a whole new world of unknown lands. The secret of drakkeon would be kept by the Merindians until 935 when Regius
discovered how to make it too, and they soon started producing their own drakkeon airships. After that, the technology would spread throughout much of the Midlands
and soon any nation that had the industrial capacity to build airships would do so in great numbers.
After the end of the Dark Age and the Beginning of the Modern Age in the year 1000, the world had finally rebuilt and now every advanced nation could build airships, and ever since then they've served as the main means of passenger and cargo transport for most nations in the Midlands
, and even some Outlands