A short story about a flying craft, gaining its lift from by hundreds of vertical (Archimedes?) screws. It may have been set in London.

Obviously this is a very old story, possible H.G. Wells or Jules Verne.

Unfortunately, this is all that I can recall, other than it was read in the mid 1970's but is obviously much older.

I've checked and it's not "Robur the Conqueror".

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  • You could improve this question by going through the checklists here and editing in any relevant info you can think to add.
    – Valorum
    Oct 21, 2023 at 17:58
  • You've said you can't remember anything else about it, but I'm guessing that's not true. For example, what language did you read the story in? Why was it 'obviously' much older? How short a story was it (a single page, several pages, novella sized)? Aside from flying in the ship, do you recall any other events? Was the story set on Earth or another planet? Did the story have a protagonist (and if so, who was he or she, what was their name, did they have a job title)?
    – Valorum
    Oct 21, 2023 at 17:59
  • You've repeatedly stated that it's obviously older. What made you think that?
    – Valorum
    Oct 21, 2023 at 18:44
  • I assumed that most people know that the older a story is the cruder the application of force to solve a problem. This is due to the lack of technology available to society. The further back a story was written the cruder the application of force used to solve a problem. Examples are:- The use of a giant gun to shoot a capsule to the moon. "From the Earth to the Moon: A Direct Route in 97 Hours, 20 Minutes" by Jules Verne in 1865. Also: The use of a Hot Air ballon to journey to the Moon. "The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall" by Edgar Allan Poe in 1835.
    – Seldon2k
    Oct 21, 2023 at 22:45

1 Answer 1


Maybe Jules Verne's "Robur the Conqueror". He was a bit like Captain Nemo only with an airship instead of a submarine.

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    Additional details on Robur -- the ship's hull was hypercompressed paper (foreshadowing modern composites), the lifting screws were powered by electric motors (from batteries in the keel), and Robur had set up a factory to build his batteries, motors, screws,and the paper hull material in a crater in North Carolina -- which factory he destroyed when the ship left the crater for the last time.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Jan 23, 2018 at 15:57

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