Watchmen includes a couple of technologi …

Watchmen includes a couple of technologies that don’t make sense to me. Maybe you guys can explain what I’m missing.

One of them is Archie, Nite Owl’s airship. We see quite a few airships in the Watchmen comic book, but all the others are are basically balloons (such as the Gunga Diner advertising elephant-blimps). Archie clearly isn’t one of these; it’s too small, too fast and maneuverable, and when we see its interior, it’s all cockpit and engines — there’s no room for envelopes filled with gas. Archie is a heavier-than air vehicle that can launch straight up, hover, and operate in stealth mode (so it’s apparently very quiet). There’s no evidence of fuel tanks or air intakes for jet engines. The exhaust ports of two propulsion engines of some sort are visible at the rear of the ship, but none on the bottom, and of course there are no wings.

The conclusion is inescapable: Archie’s lift comes not from lighter-than-air gas, not from wings, but from some kind of antigravity.

But that raises a number of questions. Why is Archie the only airship we ever see that works that way? Where did this technology come from, and why is Dan Dreiberg the only person who has it? The obvious source for any new technologies is Dr. Manhattan (who can nullify gravity when it suits him), but that doesn’t explain why Archie is unique. Dreiberg is moderately wealthy, but not in the same league as Adrian Veidt, and Veidt doesn’t have this technology. (When Veidt arrives at his Antarctican retreat, he does so in a private VTOL jet plane — advanced, but conventional aircraft.) Neither does the U.S. government; the President is still flying around in a 747.

So how do we account for Archie? Discuss.

(I’ll address the other anomalous technology in a separate post.)