Fearless Son

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About Fearless Son

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    Spacecraft Engineer
  1. Automatic fuel-flow balancing across adjacent tanks. This made everything a lot simpler. Prior to that, I would have to set up fuel lines everywhere and selectively lock-down flow from certain tanks just to ensure that the craft retains proper balance during thrust. Now though, the game is much smarter about which tanks to drain first, and multiple tanks all joined together are considered one large "tank" as far as fuel-flow seems to be concerned. Makes VTOL aircraft and powered landers much less finicky.
  2. I would be okay if the Swivel had better gimbling for that cost, weight, and thrust. The Reliant is great as a LF/O booster engine (good TWR and inexpensive) but there are control advantages to having the main lifting engine be capable of vectored thrust to adjust for perturbations or slight aerodynamic imbalances during the lower ascent.
  3. How are they drinking through their helmets? I think I have an idea...
  4. I noticed you have a large monopropellant tank just behind your cockpit. That honestly probably contains much more monopropellant than you actually need. Especially if you are including vector RCS nozzles which fulfill the same purpose just with a different resource requirement (LF/O) and more thrust. I would recommend replacing the monopropellant tank with a similarly sized LF/O tank, and replacing the other RCS blocks with more vectors. Not only will this give you better RCS control, you will save on some of the excess monopropellant weight you are (probably) bringing along with you, give your vectors more fuel, and allow you to shift weight between the fuel tanks.
  5. I would recommend you add another fuel tank near the front. Not necessarily a large fuel tank, and not necessarily even a full one. But having fuel tanks at the front and back of a spaceplane will allow you to adjust the center of mass of the plane forward or backward by shifting the fuel from one tank to the other. I find this can help a lot for maintaining control during descent. Though it helps to have fewer total tanks with more capacity than lots of separate tanks with little capacity since you will need to adjust fuel flow quickly and while under external forces, and balancing the mass across many different tanks can be hard without mods for that purpose. I would recommend two tugs, but not necessarily one at the front and one at the back. The problem with that is then you need to get each tug perfectly aligned with the other tug. To do otherwise means that the wheels of one are not necessarily parallel with the wheels of the other, and that can lead to control problems, which you definitely do not want when lifting something heavy. But do consider adding docking port juniors to the front and back (or possibly the sides) of your rover. That way you can send multiple rovers, link them together, and have them all move a larger mass as one extended rover. Docking each rover to each other will ensure they keep their wheels aligned while spreading the weight of the object being carried across them.
  6. About the simplest version of this I know is the kind with drop-tanks. As long as it has enough air-breathing engine power to lift a little extra weight, you can use small external rocket fuel tanks to burn through while doing its trans-atmospheric burn. Once the tanks are spent and it has a trans-orbital trajectory, you can drop the tanks and save some weight for the orbital circularization burn.
  7. Aye. I find it especially useful for testing how easy it is to land a particular plane. The island airfield is a lot shorter than the airstrip at KSC while also being on a much steeper rise. It requires the pilot have better judgement about their altitude, and the plane needs to be able to get all its gear in contact with the runway very quickly and with minimal impact if it is to have any hope of landing.
  8. [Redacted]
  9. ... why do they need a boat at the bottom of the sea?
  10. The KSP forums do not host files of their own, but you can link to files from here. I see you already have a Google Drive for the .craft file. If you take any screenshots, you can upload them to an image sharing site (Imgur seems to be one of the most popular here) and embed the photo in the forum post using the "Insert other media" button below a new post and selecting "Insert image from URL".
  11. Aww, I know how you feel. Out house hold has a kitty named Pumpkin too! And just last November we lost one of our cats, Horatio, who was just a few months past his twentieth birthday. Years ago, I lost my childhood cat who lived to be twenty-two! Cats really do seem to get sweeter and more affectionate in their old age.
  12. Like this, huh? I would probably use some radial couplers to attach lifting engines with fuel tanks, then detach those engines once reaching orbit. The Arkbird does have engines of its own, but they are only intended to let it dip into the upper atmosphere for high-altitude atmospheric rendezvous before powering back to orbital velocity. I suspect the Osean Federation originally launched it with disposable boosters, and it was never intended to land.
  13. I find a good trick for booster separation lower in the atmosphere is to put stabilization surfaces toward the bottom of them. Not only does it help general rocket stability, but once the radially-mirrored boosters detach it makes each booster's individual drag profile asymmetric, and the aerodynamic forces help them peal away to the sides. This is mostly relevant on lower-stage boosters where the air is thicker and the acceleration is great, but it is a little less relevant at higher altitudes where the air is thin and one has more time to throttle-down and adjust in order to clear from the previous stage before beginning a strong burn.
  14. Maybe its Kerbelline!
  15. I had never considered using fairings in an SSTO like that (mostly mine have been limited to heat-resistant aerodynamic nosecone replacements.) Thank you, this represents an innovation I am going to have to steal.