lifting bodies/aircraft are surprisingly powerful at keeping an object in the air..getting it off the ground is the real pain. the real limit on how heavy an aircraft can be is the takeoff weight... once it's got a running start say, dropping form orbit the aerodynamic forces have incredible power.phavoc wrote:The issue is going to be weight. Lift is possible, but you can also mass more than the lift you get, thus you have none.
Starships have armor hull plating, thus they will mass much more than the shuttle at a mere 82 tons. Because they use antigravity they have no need to use lightweight materials.
I dont see starships using lift only for sustained flight, but it would be a huge boost to be able to use aerodynamic forces in addition to your grav systems..the rules dont allow for reduced fuel consumption by powering back..but it would be an option if you could use your drives only for forward propulsion and natures own rules for lift.
only in an emergency do I see a starship depending on aerodynamic lift alone...it would be a very steep glide slope as I've said...but a bit of control and lift is better than none.....I can assure the landing will be, as my uncle says, " rough as a five miles of bad road"..literally.