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Feb 26, 2021 11:26 AM
Runecaster Margaret in Velgarth
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"The wings are shaped like..." Urtho frowns intently, hands darting in the air. "You will have to draw it for me, I think! And what drives them to go so fast in the first place?" 

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"I don't know if I could draw one well enough to show something that would actually work; the exact shape matters a lot. But they get their propulsion by burning a kind of fuel that burns very hot and makes the air expand and then forcing that air out the back of the engine, which pushes the engine forward."

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"- Huh." Urtho leans forward, eyes sparkling and intent. "Fascinating! Can you draw me a diagram of that?" 

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"I think so. A simple one, at least; modern ones have all sorts of tricks to make them go farther on less fuel."

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"Oh, how clever! Here you go." He takes a notebook from his pocket and opens it on the table for her, then glances around helplessly. 

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One of the little hertasi is waiting nearby and, without even asking for clarification, produces an inkwell and quill pen for him. 

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"There you go!" 

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She sketches a simplified cutaway view of a jet engine, and a wing, and also a propeller. "Older planes used their fuel to spin one of these; the blades are angled so they pull air from front to back."

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"Wow! Do the blades need to be an exact shape too, or are they just flat pieces at an angle? If it's only the angle, I think we could arrange to test that and figure out the right angle even if you're not sure of it." 

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"No, those need to be the right shape, too, they're kind of like tiny wings." She wonders if she could make a magic wind tunnel and try to figure it all out.

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"Goodness! That sounds so complicated on so many axes - how did your civilization on Earth ever manage to figure it out?" 

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"Experimentation! And there are lots of us, and at least in some countries the economy is good enough that some of them can spend their time on stuff that might take a long time to pay off."

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"How wonderful!" Urtho spends a few moments staring at her engine diagram in awe. "- What else? There must be so many other things that were revolutionized, I cannot even think where to begin... Can your world build very tall towers? Here we can really only do it only with magic." 

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"We can!" She talks about concrete and rebar and steel, hundred-story skyscrapers with more window than wall because all their strength is in their core.

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