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Airships are miracles of the Eorzean skyscape—flying vessels born from the ingenuity and ambition behind the Garlean Empire's most advanced technologies. The airships of the realm's free nations most commonly achieve flight by either one of two means—large balloons of hide and cloth filled with gases less dense than the surrounding air, or wings of magitek making, made to beat by powerful ceruleum-burning engines. Despite whatever technological simliarities they may share, however, the realm's vessels are easily distinguishable on sight from the enormous and sinister juggernauts of Garlemald—armored monstrosities designed for the sole purpose of destruction.

By pioneering the sky routes between the realm's major cities and establishing regular flights along them, Highwind Skyways, an institution founded by the exorbitantly wealthy aristocrat and adventurer Tatanora, is now slowly but surely making commercial flight an ordinary aspect of everyday life in Eorzea. Even so, only a few airships are permitted to take flight at any given time, for the Garlean Empire is always watching, ready to strike at the first sight of an enemy vessel.

A Realm Reborn Promotional Website

Players can travel between the 3 major cities, Gridania, Limsa Lominsa and Ul'dah by using the airship. Airship costs less Gil Gil than Teleport1.png  Teleport but it is slower.

See also: Airship Ticketer

Exploratory Missions

Main article: Free Company Airships


Highwind Skyways

Highwind Skyways is the brainchild of Tatanora and Cid nan Garlond. Thanks to Garlond Ironworks and their study on the use of Ceruleum engines, Airship technology advanced at an accelerated rate, which Tatanora saw as an opportunity to expand trade routes and passenger services to the other city-states in a way that was impossible before. Following several attacks on passenger vessels by the Garlean Empire, airship travel was suspended indefinitely for civilians except for only the most extraordinary circumstances. However, following the Seventh Umbral Calamity, airships resumed regular travel.

The Advent Of Flight Lore

Since the dawn of time, man has ever dreamed of taking to the skies—and take to the skies he eventually did, upon the wings of beasts and spellcraft. Not to be easily satisfied, he then sought to exploit this newfound ability to the full, turning to science in a bid to build flying machines that might bear heavier burdens, ever higher and ever farther. This section explores the development of those techniques that have allowed man to soar like cloudkin.

Ixali Dirigibles

After incurring the elementals? wrath and being banished from the Black Shroud some 500 years ago, the Ixal lost their capability for flight, their wings grown stunted by a trick of nature. Thus cruelly consigned to the ground, they fervently sought a way to return to the skies. All their efforts, however, came to naught..until one day, a lowly Windriser—one of the laborer caste—struck a deposit of buoyant gas while mining for ore. A vaporized form of ceruleum, this gas quickly found use in pouches that kept timber and ore aloft, an innovation that greatly facilitated the transport of heavy cargo. This discovery was made approximately 210 summers ago, and after nearly three score decades of farther experimenting, the Ixal succeeded in developing an air bladder large enough to lift a woven basket and its occupants. Thus did the first dirigible take flight. In the early days, these crafts were at the mercy of the wind, and accidents were a common occurrence. But in recent years, in the wake of Garuda’s summoning, the Ixal came to possess eldritch artifacts known as airstones. Infused with the power of their guardian deity, these stones were attached to balloons to provide both thrust and steering, At roughly the same juncture, the Ixal also improved upon air bladder capacity, allowing for the creation of armor-plated balloons to carry them to war.

Chocobo Carriages

Approximately a century ago, an Ixali war balloon bearing a band of wood poachers crashed in the Black Shroud. The vessel was quickly seized by the Gridanians, and ere long air bladder technology had spread across Eorzea. The application of this knowledge, however, remained primitive for a time, being limited to balloon-assisted chocobo carts—the forerunners to modern-day chocobo carriages.

Early Air Travel

Barring those of the Ixal, it would not be until the year 1522 of the Sixth Astral Era that fully fledged flying craft began appearing over Eorzean skies, when a merchant and adventurer by the name of Tatanora succeeded in creating a viable balloon by closely replicating Ixali techniques. Nine years on, in the year 1531, the Ul’dahn native used his personal fortune to found Highwind Skyways, Eorzea’s first privately owned air travel company. Only leisure flights were offered, however, and the balloons were not employed in the conveyance of people and cargo.

Garlean Airships

While the advent of flight in Aldenard is attributed to the Ixal, in neighboring, Iisabard the technology was brought to bloom by Garlean hands. In the Sixth Astral Era, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, then legatus Solus Galvus ushered in the magitek revolution, which saw machina undergo rapid advancement, flying craft chief among them. Republic engineers eventually arrived at a design employing ceruleum-gas-filled sacs for lift and ceruleum-powered mechanical wings for propulsion. Dubbed “airships,” these machines were instrumental in the newborn Empire’s efforts at territorial expansion, and further evolved through technique acquired in annexed lands—the trapping, of wind-as-pected aether in special cloths. This led to the development of sophisticated aether-infused wings which, combined with the Empire’s relentless pursuit of military might, gave rise to the steelclad craft whose menacing silhouettes are feared across the land.

The airship was a strategic boon for the Garleans, who lacked the faculties for teleportation. Employing mid-size transports such a this they could swiftly move their armies into position for conquest.

In imperial circles, fying warmachina outfitted with heavy artillery are broadly referred to as battleships, the large escort depicted being a typical example.

Eorzean Airships

The Empire’s prestigious Magitek Academy stands at the forefront of the field of magitek, and Cid nan Garlond is considered by many to be its foremost alumnus. The young prodigy, however, would become estranged from his distinguished father, in whose footsteps he had followed, and ultimately choose to walk his own path and defect to Eorzea. Contrary to reports which erroneously state that Cid constructed the vessel upon arriving in Aldenard, this long journey he made with the Enterprise, an airship of his own design and construction renowned for its surpassing speed, which it achieves by eschewing armor. In Cid’s mind, however, its most notable trait is the fact that it can be built in his adopted home. While undeniably marvels of engineering, the sophisticated vessels of the imperial fleet cannot be manufactured save at equally sophisticated facilities in Tisabard, nor has the ore needed to make their superior cermet plating been discovered elsewhere. If airships are to proliferate in Eorzea, it must be possible to build them with local resources. Mindful of this condition, Cid established the Ironworks bearing his name, and together with Highwind Skyways developed a vessel suitable for mass production based on the Enterprise.

The result is the Bronco, a type of vessel which brought air travel to the masses in Eorzea, its prominent balloon lending it a soft appearance that sets it apart from the rigid warmachines of the Empire.

A familiar sight in Eorzea, the Bronco-type airship is used by Highwind Skyways to service its inter-city routes.

Notable Airships

The Enterprise Excelsior

In the course of aiding the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, the need arose for Cid to improve his airship. Thus was the Enterprise Excelsior born. Auxiliary propellers work in concert with the existing aether-infused wings to boost the vessel’s top speed, while auxiliary balloons raise its maximum flying altitude to previously unattainable heights. While these improvements are remarkable in their own right, they pale in comparison to the aetheric ram extending from the vessel's nose. This advanced weapon combines an elemental converter and an aetheric converger to produce a powerful lance of light which, at full strength, is capable of piercing even an Allagan energy barrier. Of course, the operation of such a potent weapon requires prodigious quantities of aether, and its use is reserved only for times of dire need.

The Dezut Qualan

An experimental vessel, the Dezut Qualan is the handiwork of the Ehcatl Nine, a breakaway gathering of Ixali artisans and engineers dedicated to the development of their own airship. Built at their testing site in the Black Shroud with the cooperation of Tataramu, heir to Highwind Skyways, and willing adventurers, it has the distinction of being a collaborative effort between man and beastman. During, its maiden fight, the vessel reached its target altitude of 5,000 yalms—an outstanding feat that has garnered the attention of the airship manufacturing industry.

A profile view of the Dezul Qualan. Its multiple-air-pouch construction is characteristic of Ixali balloon design, while its steering mechanism and ceruleum engine borrow from those seen in Bronco-type vessels.

The Protector

The pride of the Holy See of Ishgard, the Protector was constructed at great cost to serve as a flying fortress in the war against dragonkind. However, though it succeeded in reaching the Sea of Clouds in its test voyage, it has since been plagued with technical issues and has yet to see a single battle. The Garlond Ironworks was engaged to conduct repairs, but ere work could begin in earnest, the Dragonsong War came to an end. Thus deprived of its original purpose, the mighty airship now remains moored at Camp Cloudtop, where it has been relegated to a humble domicile.

A profile schematic of the Protector. Featuring a great ram of Ishgardian steel and a multitude of wings reminiscent of cloudkin, the vessel cuts a stately silhouette.


This single-rider craft was jointly designed by two leading engineers of the Garlond Ironworks, Biggs and Wedge. Exploiting the elemental conversion properties of corrupted crystals, they developed an innovative new mechanism to achieve lift, with thrust provided by means of a rear-fitted propeller. Perhaps its most distinctive features, however, are the sails resembling those found on oceangoing vessels—descendants of aether-infused wings—which efficiently harness wind-aspected aether for forward motion. After the craft were successfully tested, the design was licensed to Ishgard’s Skysteel Manufactory for mass production.

A variant omitting sails subsequently emerged to become popular among those airfaring adventurers known as “sky pirates.”

The Falcon

This prototype craft was created by the Garlond Ironworks to be the fastest single-rider airship in the world. Following the success of the manacutter, Engineer Wedge took a radically different approach for the Falcon. Corrupted crystals convert wind into fire energy to heat up air which is forcefully expelled rearward to provide thrust, while lift comes courtesy of ceruleum engines that power rotary wings. In particular, these wings are notable for their ability to tilt, engine housing and all, to various angles as the situation demands—a tour de force in airship design. Alas, an accident during speed testing led to all mass production models being fitted with a limiter.

The Fantasia

Constructed in Highwind Skyway’s own workshop, the Fantasia is the company’s first wholly in-house creation. The project was helmed by Tataramu, who achieved lift by marrying ceruleum gas pouches and rotary wings—the latter the lifework of his grandsire Tatanora, the company’s esteemed founder. Designed to be a passenger craft capable of bearing a hundred, it possesses considerable bulk and is by no means a swift vessel. Nonetheless, this “turtle of the skies” serves its intended purpose admirably, delighting throngs of passengers on leisurely scenic flights.

The Prima Vista

A theater barge built at the imperial magitek factory, its design is credited to the engineer Baku, one of a privileged few beastmen suffered to abide in the capital. Dwarfing an aurora-class vessel, it boasts a sumptuous stage upon its deck along with seating for an audience of several hundred. A known patron of the arts, Emperor Solus zos Galvus gifted the vessel to the famed Majestic Imperial Theater Company, which has since journeyed to the farthest reaches of the Empire to enchant and enthrall audiences beyond count. [1]


  1. Encyclopaedia Eorzea: Volume II, page 33-36