A vanship is a type of flying machine from the animated series Last Exile. It is often referred to as a "flying boat" in that it does not fly by means of aerodynamics like planes do, but rather by floating on the air and propelling itself through the use of a substance known as Claudia. Claudia is a fluorescent blue ore mined on the floating world of Prester. It is processed into liquid Claudia fuel by dissolving small amounts of it in water – the more that is dissolved, the more potent the fuel. When this fuel is "burned" in a properly designed steam engine, it generates thrust, making it a steampunk reactionless drive.
Vanships in general prior to the events of Last Exile were couriers, traveling long distances to deliver cargoes (usually messages). Some Vanships thus include tools for towing solid objects. Any Vanship intended to dock with a capital ship has a set of cables to act as anchors. All couriers receive their jobs from their local "Vanship union", which assigns each a difficulty rating: one or two stars for most jobs, three for transport into a battle zone, etc.
Passenger or cargo Vanships are the largest that can be built by any save the Guild, and are approximately the size of a bus. As these are intended for efficiency instead of speed they have multiple thrusters and no ailerons, as sufficient control is achieved merely by pivoting their thrusters.
Over the course of Last Exile, Vanships are adapted for combat. The process resembles the evolving roles that aircraft held during WW1; originally developed for scouting and surveillance, but eventually equipped with bombs and machine guns to become potent fightercraft.
The Vanship fighters of Anatoray have overpowered dual thrusters for acceleration and maneuvering. They are the only Vanships equipped with onboard weapons: a pair of 600 rpm machine guns with 200-round ammunition boxes, underside racks for carrying bombs, drop-pods, and external tanks to compensate for the lower fuel efficiency of the overpowered thrusters.
Vanship adaptation into Lego, with Claus Valca as pilot and Tatiana Vizla as co-pilot.