Dammit, science, what happened to you? You used to be cool. We’d stay up all night talking particle physics and theoretical time travel. But lately it seems like all you do is tell me that awesome things are totally impossible. First you tell me that there’s no way Bruce Willis can blow up an asteroid in order to save the world (I still have faith, Bruce), and now you’re saying that the helicarrier from The Avengers is a physical impossibility. How dare you tell me something that originated in a 1960s comic book is impossible! Next you’re going to tell me that a bite from a radioactive spider won’t turn me into a superhero. You’re such a dick, science.
Don’t worry, I’m just kidding. Science is rad.
Fact or Fictional takes on the challenge of figuring out whether or not S.H.I.E.L.D.’s iconic air/watercraft is a feasible endeavor. Turns out it isn’t. Who would have thought it? Astronomer and general science enthusiast Phil Plait points out a few potential roadblocks to ever seeing this massive air behemoth flying overhead.
The biggest hurdle is the amount of power that you would need to make something that weighs roughly 100,000 tons hover in mid-air. There’s just not any human tech that could accomplish this feat. However, if you had some sort of alien hardware or expertise, or maybe some inter-dimensional know-how, you might be able to pull this off. And we are talking about S.H.I.E.L.D., so it’s entirely possible that they got their grubby little mitts on something of this sort.
In addition to power issues, this is a prohibitively expensive undertaking, one with the potential for serious environmental damage. In order to keep the helicarrier aloft, the turbines would have to be so powerful that the craft couldn’t hover over any sort of populated area without dire consequences.
For all this negativity and naysayer-ness, science does posit that there could be some cloaking tech similar to what appears in The Avengers within the next few decades. So we have that to look for.