Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rockets: The Secret to Airship Dominance

I was having some brainstorming today, and I hit upon an idea.

I knew I didn't want my airships to carry cannon; the idea of that much recoil in a lighter-than-air vessel strains credulity a bit. Machine guns would be a possibility, but rare, cumbersome, and not terribly effective against other airships. Maybe for a ground-assault airship, to 'sweep the deck' prior to debarking troops, but again, a very expensive, specialized device (Clockwork repeaters, or else primitive water-cooled weapons) not suitable for extensive dissemination.

What, then, could be used in airship-to-airship combat? Something recoilless, with the firepower needed to scuttle an enemy armored airship?

Rockets. Specifically, the Congreve and Hale models. The Congreve style will probably be launched from racks, and can't be reloaded in flight. They will lack accuracy, but are easier to load and use, and more can be fired faster. The Hale will be fired from interior tubes, venting fore and aft, similar to torpedoes. Thus, a Hale salvo is far more accurate, but requires a larger vessel, and can't fire as many torpedoes as a Congreve-equipped airship.


  1. Rockets are quite hardcore, how are you going to restrict their awesomeness? Reduce range? Reduce explosives? Make them inaccurate?

  2. This is the 1800s... Very innacurate. The Hale Rockets are the most accurate model, but due to the launching mechanism, and their size, airships can only carry a limited quantity and fire them in very small salvos (for instance, a heavy airship could have maybe four rocket tubes at most either fore aft, and would most likely have two tubes loaded each way) and the Congreve rockets will be easier to carry aloft, and easier to fire in large salvoes, but more innacurate and prone to dropoff as they reach the end of their range.