Second Annual Spring Regionals coming May 1 2016

Sunday, March 27, 2016 0 comments

Ladies! Are You Ready?

Join the Ladies of Madame Saffron Hemlock's Parasol Duelling League  and the Steampunk Arts and Science Society (SASS) for the Second Annual Spring Regional competition!

All ages and experience levels are welcome.

The competition will be held in association with the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo
You don't have to be an Expo attendee to compete but you should  be a member of Madame Saffron's.

Here is my report from last year's competition. 

We will be competing in the same space as last year so a perfect place to see and be seen too.

Looking forward to seeing this first official competition of 2016!

For more information and to find out more about this great sport go to:
Madame Saffron Hemlock’s Parasol Duelling League for Steampunk Ladies

Click here for information on the history and development of Parasol Duelling 
or click the Parasol Duelling tag.

The Rules for Parasol Duelling are here.

See you all on May 1st!

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed, and your water iced.

Role Play Serial Story from the Messdeck Part IX

Friday, March 25, 2016 0 comments

Wrapped and delivered with care...

Here is the next, and last part of the first serialized tale from our role play group "The Messdeck".
You can start from the beginning here.

Previously Lt Cmdr(E) Maxwell MacDonald-Smythe and his crew in the aged airship HMAS Doris have been enjoying the hospitality of their shipmate Doctor Christine Pearse, who is also the Duchess of Argylle. As the evening progressed in companionable warmth and fellowship after their cold journey north in the winter skies of Northern England and Scotland, they discover that they have been tracked by small mechanical automatons. The bugs are controlled by a nearby cloaked Royal Navy airship.

The crew succeed in disabling the devices and Sgt Fraser warns the cloaked airship off with a flare rocket from his Sgt Major's private stash of exotic weapons.  As the airship leaves it drops a package.

Frozen Sky
A serial story from The Messdeck.
Part IX
Collected and edited by Kevin Jepson 
What follows is a slightly edited transcript of the role playing we did for our visit to the Manor at Davaar.
Max calls up to Watkins, "Find anything aboard?"

"No Sir, all shipshape."

"You checked in the cabin?"

"Aye Sir, were nothing Sir. Unless they are in the gas bags it looks clean."

"Very good get down and go back inside with Simpson and see if you an Cooke can make out what these things are!"

"Aye aye Sir!"

Miss BB standing in her grey bloomers, with her heavy skirt in a heap by her feet, says, "Did you check in the box of warm clothes? I hope they are not in there."

*Iveta checks her holster and its pistol and then heads for the gate.*

*Beyond the walls of the Manor Sgt Fraser slowly moves around the trees near the edge of the property, his rifle ready as he scans the area for what fell from the airship as it left. It is full dark now but the snow on the ground seems abnormally bright, as often happens during a winter night in these latitudes.*

*The shadows of the trees are like black holes against the snow.*

"Blasted thing was around here somewhere..."

He chuckles to himself, "Can't believe I had to use the flare round already." He turns a small bend on the trail and sees the package sitting in the middle of the trail up ahead. It is a wooden crate precariously balanced on one corner in the snow.

"OVER HERE!" He yells.

Miss BB says, "Darn, now I have to run. Coming!"

Iveta turns around and smiles at BB. "Without that skirt, you may even find it fun!"

*The two officers jog briskly through the gate following the sound of Sgt Fraser's voice at the edge of the treeline.*

*After a last check of the outside of the control car Max heads back into the Manor to join Watkins, Simpson, Cooke, and the Doctor in the parlour.*

"It's a frosty clear night and no mistake." Max shivers. "Was almost getting used to being warm again too."

"Well Commander if that ship has moved off perhaps we can return to being warm."

"I apologize for the turmoil Ma'am."

"So far nobody has punched any holes in my walls so we are way ahead of last time." She says with a rueful grin.

Cpl Cooke is munching on a meat pie while looking over one of the captured bugs.

"Well Cpl, these things all down now?"

Cooke swallows and sits up straighter. "Aye sir! I'll leave my gear on as long as we are here just in case though."

"Well done Cpl, let Watkins and Simpson take a look at one of them things."

Cooke holds one up. "Here you go lads."

*Simpson gingerly takes the critter and moves over to the side table under the fancy electric lamp and soon he and Watkins are looking at it through their pocket magnifiers and muttering quietly to themselves.*

Max watches for a second then shakes his head with a smile. "That'll keep em busy for a bit."

As Iveta and Miss BB move across the open space surrounding the manor they see the dark bulk of Sgt Fraser waving from the edge of the trees. Coming up to him Miss BB says, "Good shooting". She smooths her bloomers and asks "What have you found?"

Fraser nods at the two lady airship officers and then points to the crate lying further along the trail. "That's what it dropped Ma'am, but I wouldn't touch it yet. Maybe the doctor has a cart we can borrow to bring it back?"

Iveta eyes the crate, and the size of the depression it made in the snow as it landed, trying to guess its weight. "I'll go see if there is anything at the house. Shall I bring a few more hands?"

Fraser nods. "Yes Ma'am. If you please, maybe that Mr'Gears fellow?"

Nodding, Iveta takes off toward the house at a nimble run.

BB yells, "Pony, bring the pony! Everyone loves a pony."

Miss BB and Sgt Fraser stand watching the crate. Miss BB, hands on her hips says, "It's a box. Can we lift it ourselves?"

Fraser looks to BB. "Best not to touch it yet, don't know what it is."

"Can I kick it?" she asks.

Fraser starts. "NO! What if it's an explosive?"

"Hmpf. Maybe the pony will kick it." says Miss BB.

Airship Rules

Sunday, March 6, 2016 0 comments

Basic Rules for Aerostatics

These Aerostatic Rules are taken from an Australian Government Document for getting ones "Airship Endorsement" on their pilot's license. Published in 2004 much of the document concerns the specific information an Airship pilot needs that the pilot of a heavier than air craft doesn't. One interesting point is that the rules are written for both hydrogen and helium airships! 


Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed, and your water iced.

Recall the following basic rules for aerostatics and how to use them to calculate airship performance: 

  (a)  Rule 1
    Lift of an airship varies with the volume if all other conditions affecting lift remain constant.

  (b)  Rule 2
    Lift of a given volume of gas increases if barometric pressure increases and lift decreases if pressure  decreases.

  (c)  Rule 3
    Lift of a given volume of gas will decrease if atmospheric temperature increases and will increase if temperature decreases.

  (d)  Rule 4
    The higher the atmospheric humidity the less the lift.

  (e)  Rule 5
    There is no change in equilibrium due to a change in barometric pressure when the gas is free to expand.

  (f)  Rule 6
    Where air and gas temperature change an equal amount there is no change in equilibrium if the gas is free to expand.

  (g)  Rule 7
    An airship in equilibrium at any altitude will be in equilibrium at sea level, providing no weight is lost or gained and the superheat value is not changed in descending.

  (h)  Rule 8
    An airship rising from the ground in equilibrium will be in equilibrium at any altitude below pressure height if no weight is lost or gained and the superheat value does not change.

  (i)  Rule 9
    Barometric pressure will decrease approximately 1 inch Hg for every 1 000 feet of ascent in the lower atmosphere.

  (j)  Rule 10
    Atmospheric temperature will decrease approximately 2°C for every 1 000 feet ascent.

  (k)  Rule 11
    Gas volume is changed 1% for every 2.75°C change in gas temperature.

  (l)  Rule 12
    Gas density is changed 1% for every 2.75°C change in gas temperature.

  (m)  Rule 13
    1%  change in gas density or specific gravity for helium changes the lift 0.2% when at pressure height.

  (n)  Rule 14
    Lift is changed 1% for every 2.75°C change in superheat in flight as the gas is free to expand.

  (o)  Rule 15
    At pressure height (where gas is  not free to expand) the lift will change only 1% for 11°C superheat with helium and 1% for every 25°C superheat with hydrogen. This shows the danger in going from maximum daytime superheat conditions to zero superheat value at night if not properly understood and counteracted.

  (p)  Rule 16
        (i)  2.75°C superheat will lower the pressure height 360 feet at altitudes below 7 000 feet.
        (ii)  2.75°C superheat will lower the pressure height 400 feet at altitudes above 7 000 feet.

  (q)  Rule 17
    In ascending under average atmospheric conditions the volume will increase 1% for every 360 feet of  ascent in rising to 7 000 feet and increase 1% for every 400 feet above 7 000 feet.

  (r)  Rule 18
    In going above pressure height, lift is reduced 1% for every 360 feet below 7 000 feet and 1% for every 400 feet when above 7000 feet.

  (s)  Rule 19
    1% of the original mass of gas is lost if going 360 feet over pressure height when below 7 000 feet and 1% is lost for every 400 feet ascent above 7 000 feet altitude.

  (t)  Rule 20
    If, when full of gas, a weight equivalent to 1% of the lift is thrown over as ballast, equilibrium will be reached when 1% of the gas has been ‘valved’.

Airship Engineer's Slide Rule

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 0 comments

Slip Sticks for the Black gang!

Previously I posted about Nomography, i.e. the use of graphical tools for solving equations.

I have found a perfect example in the Internet Archives!
This article AN AIRSHIP SLIDE RULE By E. R. Weaver and S. F. Pickering, details the calculations and construction of a slide rule for working out problems concerning buoyancy, volumes, temperatures, lifting capability, and altitudes. Specifically for Airship crews this simple device is perfect for the analysis that any Flight Engineer would need to do as part of his duties.

The pamphlet contains the mathematical derivations for the scales and lots of sample problems that can be worked out using the slide rule.

Here is a picture of the slide rule:

And here is a page with some examples of the kinds of problems that could be worked out:

A very useful tool indeed.

Since this pamphlet includes the formulas for how the scales used on the slide rule are laid out, it should be possible to build one!

I think my Flight Engineer needs one, but adjusted for Steam as the lifting gas.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.

About Gears, Goggles, and Steam oh My!

Here I collect interesting bits of information related to the world of Steampunk.

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