>I've been wondering: at this point in the LoK timeline when is the
>rough equivalent to aerospace technology in our timeline?
Well, at this point (as in where the canon is now, ca. 171 ASC), it's about 1930. Preparation for the Phoenix Flight begins in 193 and the mission itself is in 200; the parallels are not exact, but it's more or less the late '50s, aeronautically, by that point. There are supersonic military jets, for instance, but they don't work really well yet, and the world's first-generation jet airliners (roughly equivalent to the 707 and DC-8) are only just coming into widespread use.
>In "How to
>Fly to the Moon" it mentions heavy lift technology having been
>available for a bit which, if heavy lift means the same thing as
>historically here, would imply at least 30 tons to LEO.
In 194 in Dìqiú, "heavy lift" meant a rocket that could get a decent-size satellite into a useful orbit; "heavy" is meant relative to the first generation of launch vehicles, which could barely get out of their own way (as evidenced by the problems the Fire Nation and especially the Earth Kingdom had with their early orbital missions).
One could, I suppose, theoretically loft a billion-zillion tiny parts and put them together in orbit, but it would be heinously inefficient and the possibility of things going messily wrong during assembly are pretty high; plus it doesn't fit in with the world's pulp action ethos. Bolting together modules in orbit swashes no bucklers.
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