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Author Topic: I made my airship on Sims 3 (img heavy)  (Read 400 times)
annevpreussen
Gunner
**
United States United States


Captain Annemarie of the Eagle's Arrow Airship


« on: June 15, 2017, 08:20:29 pm »

I know I'm not the only person on this forum who's dreamed up a crazy airship that probably would never fly; in fact, I'd bet my favorite hat that nearly everyone on here has at one point or another. My ship, the Eagle's Arrow, has gone through at least ten redesigns over the years as I've learned more about steampunk, learned more about physics, and ultimately decided physics is too bothersome to really deal with. I usually sketch out floor plans of the ever-evolving design on a piece of paper, scaling it so I could better imagine what it would really look like. Unfortunately, I suck at accurately imagining distance and size, and kept accidentally making the bedrooms 4 feet square and the bridge the size of a football field (exaggerating, but it was pretty bad). How to fix this? Actually build a model of my ship, of course!

Well, not actually build it, since I have next to no experience making models, but what I do have is a shiny copy of The Sims 3 computer game and some expansion packs. I was originally going to just make an empty floor plan to give me a better grasp of distance, but then I added furniture to get a good idea of scale, and then I painted the walls and floors just so it wasn't so bare, and then I added some decorations because why not at that point? I gave up and made sims of the crew as well, because go big or go home, I guess. With piles of terrible sketches in hand, I set out to digitally recreate the airship of my dreams, and this is the result! Of course, TS3 is not equipped with engine parts, giant propellers, tangles of pipes and speaking tubes, cranks and pulleys and rope ladders and hatches or even a pair of goggles, so I did the best with what I had and substituted where I could. Please excuse the non-aerial views outside the windows!

Let me take you on a tour of the Eagle's Arrow, another very pretty airship that could never fly in real life (damned rules of physics)!

Let's start in the cargo bay! The cargo bay is on the bottom level in the bow of the ship. It's where the crew stores anything and everything they are hired to transport from place to place. In the middle of the cargo bay is a hatch that opens using pulleys on the ceiling (not seen because TS3 doesn't have pulleys  -_-) that are powered by the engine. Also not pictured are the ropes and straps holding all of the cargo down, and the wooden spiral staircase that connects all levels of the ship (I replaced it with a circular fountain so I could see its size). The hallway leads to the engine room (through the big door), bilge tank, and coal storage rooms.


This is the engine room, a two-story area located at the back of the ship on the bottom and middle levels. Twin staircases run up to provide access to the engine from above. The first picture is of the lower level, the second is of the upper looking down, and the third is on the lower level giving a look at the interior engine and the hatch connecting to the coal storage rooms. The cot is for the engineer on duty to take a quick break between shoveling coal into the engines. Unfortunately, there weren't any "engine parts" in the sims furniture collection, but try to imagine it looks really cool, okay?


Next to the upper engine room is the kitchen on the port side of the ship. It's fairly small, but has a lot of storage and even a new-fangled ice box for keeping foods cool. The oven and stove use the heat directly from the engine to cook.


This is the bathroom near the kitchen. It's divided into sections so people can bathe and use the toilet at the same time without disturbing each other. I'm aware that the bathtub is right next to a gigantic window but really, who's going to peep at you if you're hundreds of feet in the air?


The kitchen leads directly into the dining room, which is one of the fancier rooms on the ship. Like the rest of the heavy furniture on board, the table is bolted to the floor to prevent it from sliding around during flight.


The arch in the dining room exits into a hallway for crew quarters and guest rooms. The first room on the left belongs to Laurent, our cartographer, assistant navigator, and assistant engineer. He also happens to be a painter, so the maps he makes are always beautifully decorated.


The first room on the right is Rogers's room, our main engineer (an generally the reason we haven't crashed a dozen times yet). He's very neat and organized, but spends more time in the engines than he ever does in his bedroom.


The second room on the left is Ahsan's, the main navigator for the ship. Like Rogers, she is very neat, but spends more time in her room than he does. Why? She's a sweet-tooth and has several stashes of hard candy hidden beneath the bed, in her desk, and in her end table.


This room belongs to Jameson, the ship's physician and amateur inventor. It's the second room on the left and always looks like this, a total wreck. Jameson almost never goes in here, as he spends most of his time in the lab, which is cleaner than his bedroom... but not by much. The curtains are usually drawn, since he's terrified of heights.


There are two guest bedrooms on either side of the ship in case the crew is hired to transport passengers instead of cargo. They're rather bare, but comfortable... but I guess it doesn't matter because I can't find the pictures of them anyway.

At the very front of the middle level and directly underneath the bridge are the captain's quarters. Very pretty, yes? This is basically my dream bedroom. And yes, that is a plush duckie on the dresser. I'm sentimental.


If we go up the grand staircase in the hallway connecting the bedrooms, we emerge into the parlor/library. This is where the crew members spend most of their free time by reading, writing, painting, playing games, or simply watching the clouds go by through the windows. The large brown sections of wall are actually staircases that fold down outward to allow a grand entrance or exit for passengers (we're not forcing our guests to climb through the cargo hatch like animals!). Again, the fountain symbolizes a spiral staircase.


Directly in front of the staircase is the entrance to the bridge. The bridge is one of the most important rooms on the ship and connects to all other rooms through speaking tubes (unfortunately not pictured). While the engine room controls speed and direction, the bridge controls altitude, balance, and sails; messages are relayed to the engine room via speaking tubes and engine order telegraph (also unfortunately not pictured). The control panel, bookcase, and chairs are all bolted or chained to the floor.


The back hallway in the parlor leads to the medical center, laboratory, and sunroom. The medical room, run by Jameson, has plenty of first-aid supplies, surgical tools, medicines, and beds for the ill or injured to rest.


The laboratory, on the ship's port side, is where Jameson and occasionally others go to work on mechanical projects. Since Jameson works here, it's a mess and the floor is usually covered with scraps of paper, bits of metal, and stray cogwheels. The bookshelf that Rogers is looking at is filled with notebooks of experiments.


The last room on the ship is the sunroom, which provides a spectacular view of whatever the ship is flying over through the large windows.


And that's the ship! I couldn't make the envelope because the game didn't have a gigantic blimp attachment, and the walls aren't as curved as they're supposed to be, but I'm pretty pleased with it overall. What do you think?
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Cora Courcelle
Snr. Officer
****
England England



« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2017, 03:23:40 pm »

I think I'd like to book transportation please.  The next time I have to go adventuring I will definitely see if the Eagle's Arrow is in port.
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annevpreussen
Gunner
**
United States United States


Captain Annemarie of the Eagle's Arrow Airship


« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2017, 04:13:01 pm »

I think I'd like to book transportation please.  The next time I have to go adventuring I will definitely see if the Eagle's Arrow is in port.

Thank you! We'd be honored to have you ^u^
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von Corax
Squire of the Lambda Calculus
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Canada Canada

Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2017, 04:05:43 am »

I'm sorely tempted to steal this thread away to Tactile.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2017, 07:47:08 am »

Wow!  That is far cry from the living quarters and main deck of the USAS Orca. You mates live in luxury! Perhaps the old Admiral Walrus might enjoy some of the comforts in his personal quarters though, but I'm afraid that it is bunk beds for most of the crew... And of course I'll allow a galley connected to a mess hall and an elegant dining room room, as the ship serves a diplomatic function as well. The rest of the space is divided between the tactical planning room, weapons bay, artillery room, rotorcraft hangar, engine room and, if you pardon me for saying so, but it is against regulations though, to allow engineering crew to take naps in the engine room while on duty  Wink
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annevpreussen
Gunner
**
United States United States


Captain Annemarie of the Eagle's Arrow Airship


« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2017, 05:25:10 pm »

I'm sorely tempted to steal this thread away to Tactile.
Put it wherever you'd like!

Wow!  That is far cry from the living quarters and main deck of the USAS Orca. You mates live in luxury! Perhaps the old Admiral Walrus might enjoy some of the comforts in his personal quarters though, but I'm afraid that it is bunk beds for most of the crew... And of course I'll allow a galley connected to a mess hall and an elegant dining room room, as the ship serves a diplomatic function as well. The rest of the space is divided between the tactical planning room, weapons bay, artillery room, rotorcraft hangar, engine room and, if you pardon me for saying so, but it is against regulations though, to allow engineering crew to take naps in the engine room while on duty  Wink
I knew I wanted an impractically fancy airship from the moment I decided steampunk was for me, so the story behind the Eagle's Arrow is that Annemarie didn't know what she was doing at first, and accidentally spent her fortune on an old luxury liner instead of a cargo ship. She's not military, and neither is anyone on her crew (anymore, at least), so regulations are basically non-existent. As long as the ship is still flying, the crew can do whatever they want-- and they usually do  Grin

Do you have any diagrams or designs of your ship?
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 05:30:09 pm by annevpreussen » Logged
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2017, 03:50:57 am »

Actually I have no design yet, just a general idea of what is needed. I've barely defined what a stratosphere capable airship needs to look like.  Undecided

I'm afraid I can't give you a floor plan yet. You see, you can't ask an aeronautical engineer to describe an aircraft and not get a fully working design as an answer Grin Which is not to say that engineers don't have any crazy ideas. Quite the contrary. The problem is we want our crazy ideas to work. So while I work on my stratosphere capable airship I'll just show you one of my other crazy yet functional concepts:

Project Zarquon (1996)

This is my college senior year aircraft design project in 1996, I led a team of 3 people to "size an airplane," that is, develop a rough design based on my idea for a vertical takeoff and landing passenger jet liner. Project Zarquon would have seen a 77 passenger jet with 4 tilting General Electric UDF engines. The Unducted Fan (UDF) is a cross between propeller and a jet engine; the propeller side is called a "Propfan, " basically a 1970s NASA design for a supersonic-bladed propeller which functions at jet speeds.

But back to the Airships Grin

I know the envelope of a high altitude airship must contain a system of gas bags that carries 3 times the volume of the equivalent low altitude airship, to be able to maintain buoyancy at 30 kft altitude. While capable of traveling in any direction at any "conventional" altitude, the craft is specifically designed to cruise at the edge of the stratosphere using Westerly winds, because the Tropical Jet Stream at 30 kft only travels from West to East, which actually is advantageous in my story.

The passenger compartments of the gondola need to be pressurized and heated. This means you need portholes and not large windows on the living quarters, except for the Bridge, the same way passengers have small windows and the largest windows are in the airplane's cockpit. Inside the cabin, pure oxygen will not be necessary, other than emergency systems. But at altitude, a crewmember must wear a special pressurized suit with pure oxygen when venturing outside, similar to a cross between an eskimo suit and an astronaut suit, because at very low pressures the lungs don't work well, even with oxygen. You actually need that pressure so your lungs can operate.

The biggest challenges in designing this airship are historical obstacles, however. Namely, developments in metallurgy, and high altitude human physiology which was utterly non-existent in the mid 19th century. This is an oddity where science was very advanced by 1890 in some ways (math, astronomy, electromagnetism, chemistry), but in a few others it was lacking. Apparently no one had even asked the question of how the atmosphere was structured at high altitudes.

The frame will need to have Duralumin as a major component, so I need to accelerate the development of aluminum electrochemical production which did not exist I  the mid 19th century. And I need to invent a story for high altitude atmosphere research early in the 19th century, at least 1840s. In the real world most of the understanding about low pressure effects on the body did not happen until after 1900 which is a huge problem for the story. No one knew of the exact high altitude effects on the human body until past the 1930s! So I need troops of researchers in the Alps and other high places like the Andes, Kilimanjaro, and the Himalayas, with high altitude instrumented balloons, to be able to develop a science before 1860. Otherwise there is no justification for saying the craft will take advantage of the Tropical Jetstream.

On the political origin of the Airship (WARNING "wall of text ahead  Grin ) :

Spoiler (click to show/hide)


~ ~ ~

JW
 
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 05:47:29 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2017, 11:04:33 pm »

They both need large pipe organs. Or at least a banjo in the corner...
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annevpreussen
Gunner
**
United States United States


Captain Annemarie of the Eagle's Arrow Airship


« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2017, 05:15:18 pm »

Admiral Wilhelm, it seems you designed an airship that could actually work O.O amazing!!! All the other steampunks with a more limited knowledge of aeronautics are jealous (myself included, haha)!

They both need large pipe organs. Or at least a banjo in the corner...
There's supposed to be a piano in the parlor, but I unfortunately don't have the pack that has the musical instruments! But now that you mention it, a pipe organ sounds much more interesting... hmmm...
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2017, 08:35:03 pm »

Admiral Wilhelm, it seems you designed an airship that could actually work O.O amazing!!! All the other steampunks with a more limited knowledge of aeronautics are jealous (myself included, haha)!

They both need large pipe organs. Or at least a banjo in the corner...
There's supposed to be a piano in the parlor, but I unfortunately don't have the pack that has the musical instruments! But now that you mention it, a pipe organ sounds much more interesting... hmmm...

Not yet a design, dear Ms. Preussen. Not yet. But I feel it will be a necessity for the story. When you go to school they don't teach you to design airships. The technology may seem simple, but there are a lot of details. That is an old technology long forgotten. Recent flight tests, by military and private companies to develop new airship designs, have looked... Weak, shall we say? Because there is always a learning curve no matter how simple, relatively speaking, the technology is. It's not just a balloon, and the day/night heating /cooling cycles in the atmosphere present a major challenge to high flying airships. And previously no one has thought of flying in the stratosphere and above. That's new thinking for the 21st century.

Namely you have to design for flight with a pressurized cabin, and deal with extremely low temperatures at altitude, which makes it more difficult to adjust for cyclic changes in temperature. That is, your gas bags inflate and deflate significantly throughout the day/night cycle. So there will be a whole system of bladders.

Yet, given the recent design efforts by private companies and the military, it's not looking like an impossible task to find a believable design. Technically, since my airship is only a literary device, it doesn't have to fly, just be believable to people who are in the know. I want to explore around to see what historical changes were required to actually have built viable fleets of lighter than air ships.

The military and political side of war is easy to argue. The technical aspect for a high flying ship is more difficult and requires a strong time warp to find the materials and the science behind the stratosphere capable design. It's the fact that Victorians understood physics well enough, but they lacked a practical aluminium production method, and had not bothered to study the implications of the effects of low pressure on the human body, and they were ignorant of the physical properties of the layers of the atmosphere. So that is where the science fiction really needs to be exercised.

I have yet to look at practical design material. Looks like a virtual trip to the Library of Congress is called for.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2017, 12:33:55 am »

Technically, since my airship is only a literary device, it doesn't have to fly, just be believable to people who are in the know.

Which brings to mind the early Tom Swift books, the author of which didn't seem to have a proper understanding of the principle of buoyancy.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2017, 06:48:37 pm »

The real question for me is what I want that airship for. How much effort do I want to put into it. It's certainly an interesting exercise, but if I actually do a full design from scratch, that will affect how much time it takes for me to write the story. I have all sorts of interests, and a real need to try to capitalize on my education on the last few decades I have left....

Priorities... It's all about priorities.
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