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About Servo

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    Amateur Rocket Scientist

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  • Location In the SPH
  • Interests KSP, Minecraft, tabletop games, Magic: the Gathering, and more.

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  1. I had a bit of fun loading out my F-14 Tomcat. Full loadout for a long-range intercept mission (the screenshot is missing the drop tanks, as I dropped them by accident), and fully functional. Plus, by B-52 exited its retirement to help me test my M2F2 lifting body design.
  2. I had a long car ride to kill, so I played around a bit more with lifting bodies. I shipped my M2F2 and NB-52008 out to the desert and had a bit of fun droptesting the craft. After spamming in a couple elevons, it flies just dandy. Now on to the M2F1, M2F3, and HL10 Dropping it is still a little hairy. I found a way that works in deploying the elevons down to force the craft away from the B-52 on launch. The desert makes for some really beautiful screenshots, I don't know why I didn't try this sooner. I also did a smoothing pass on my F-14 Tomcat. There are changes to the wing glove, vertical stabilizer, and air intakes. Also, I am developing a weapons loadout for it, in case anyone intrepid wants to dogfight with it (if my computer were any beefier I would). I've got 4 AIM-54 Phoenix, 2 AIM-9 Sidewinders, and 2 AIM-7 Sparrow missiles, plus two drop tanks (not pictured) replicated. And yes, they work. The AIM-9 and AIM-7 are unguided, but I'm currently testing designs for the AIM-54 to be a guided fire-and-forget missile, like I had on my original F-14 replication.
  3. June 1959 - December 1968: North American + USAF X-15 Program The X-15 program was one of the longest-lived experimental programs in the U.S. X program line. The three X-15s built flew a total of 199 missions, earning eight of the nine test pilots Air Force astronaut wings. The majority of the X-15 flights followed one of two flight paths: speed or altitude. Each flight began with the pilot being carried aloft by one of the NASA motherships (either Balls 8 (NB-52008) or The High and Mighty One (NB-52003)) to an altitude of about eight miles and 600mph. There, the X-15 was released and the pilot ignited the Reaction Motors XLR-99 engine. In the speed configuration, the pilot would maintain a level flight plan, reaching up to Mach 6.7 (2020m/s, 7,274mph) (the X-15A, piloted by Pete Knight on October 3, 1967). Here, valuable data would be gathered about aerodynamic performance with high dynamic pressures, as well as testing a ramjet design. In altitude runs, Joseph Walker set the record at 354,200 feet on August 22, 1963 (67 miles, or 107 kilometers). For comparison, that's orbital altitude and (almost) orbital speed on Kerbin; Earth orbital speed and altitude is 150km and 10km/s. The X-15 program was a direct predecessor to the space shuttle in many ways. It tested a number of superalloys and ablative coatings capable of withstanding reentry, generated the first space-worthy pressure suit, tested reentry (and atmospheric exit) of spaceplane designs, was the first use of RCS systems, tested the effects of spaceflight on test pilots (and astronauts), and demonstrated cooperation between the government (NASA), the military (The Air Force and Navy), and the private sector (North American). Download Link: X-15 only: X-15 + NB-52: Tomorrow's Craft: @NorthAmericanAviation's North American XF-108 Rapier
  4. I took another pass on my F-14, completely redesigning it for functionality and looks. I think I did a pretty darn good job.
  5. I've finished my first draft of my rebuild of my F-14. Part two will commence once I fly this enough to realize whatever problems I have with it. But for now, enjoy. The goal (as of the first F-14 build) was to build a fully functional stock 1:1 F-14 Tomcat in as much detail as I could. My major gripe with version 1 was the tail section (or rather lack therof). This version is much better at generating body lift, and sports a tailhoook and spoilers. This was a fluke (and something that I will want to fix somehow), but it neatly demonstrates the full range of the wings. They dock in both positions, so the ailerons are functional, and it's time warp resistant. I also did full landing gear bays + supports for all the gear. I think it looks really cool. Also, the profile wasn't really right on V1. I think I fixed that here (particularly the transition between square and round cross-sections on the engine nacelles). Any comments or tricks to get it even closer would be much appreciated! I want this to be as accurate as possible.
  6. Everyone's got a white whale of some sort. A project that they keep returning to, and are never satisfied with it entirely. For me, that project is my F-14 Tomcat. I got pretty close on my first iteration, but there were so many little things (and one big thing) that really bugged me. The main one is this big failure of a tail here. A real F-14 for comparison. The fuselage is almost completely flat, and the nacelles are farther apart and round, not angular. After noting all the problems, and that my build logic (everything was attached to parts that needed to go) was screwed up, I decided to completely rebuild the F-14 from scratch. I started with the cockpit and worked my way back along the centerline next. I'll work on the engines and swing wings tomorrow. I've also wanted to remake my AV-8B Harrier II for a while (well, since as soon as I released it). It's another flawed model, but its problems are only fixable by scaling the entire thing up. So, double scale Harrier is coming as well.
  7. I've been messing around with lifting bodies recently, and it's going okay, I guess. Despite the fact that I haven't been able to land it without exploding, it looks good and handles well enough to be considered controllable. My main issue is that it needs to be going at about 30m/s to have pitch authority, which makes landing fun. I realize now why lifting bodies were such good simulators for the space shuttle. This one is a replica of the M2F2 lifting body, so M2F1, M2F3, and HL10 are coming.
  8. June 1951 - Bell X-5 I apologize for messing up the dates. The X-5 flew between when the YF-93 and XF10F flew. The X-5, built by Bell Laboratories in 1950, was the first variable geometry jet aircraft (there was a strange propeller plane in the 1920s with limited variable sweep) built and flown in the world. It was based on captured German data on the untested Messerschmitt P.1101 model. Although visually similar to the P.1101, the X-5 had the capability of changing its wing sweep in flight (rather than on the ground), thanks to a system of electric screwjacks and disc brakes to hold the wings in place. The system allowed the wings to shift between a 20, 40, and 60 degree sweepback in under 30 seconds. Although the design partially accounted for the shifting center of mass, lift, and pressure, in some positions the X-5 could fall into an unrecoverable spin. This spin caused the death of a test pilot and the loss of the second prototype, and effectively prevented the Air Force from seriously considering a variable geometry plane for twenty years. Despite the setbacks, the X-5 program game engineers extremely valuable data on how variable sweep wings behaved, influencing the designs of the F-111 Aardvark and the legendary F-14 Tomcat. Download Link: Tomorrow's Craft: @NorthAmericanAviation's XF-84H "Thunderscreech"
  9. January 1953: Convair F2Y/F7 Sea Dart The Convair F-7 Sea Dart was an experimental seaplane fighter design in the late 1950s. Also designated F2Y, only a few prototypes were ever made, as the program was cancelled after numerous issues with the design. The Sea Dart launched using hydroplanes under the nose, and could break the speed of sound, making it the only seaplane to have ever done so. The design was created to allow supersonic aircraft (which at the time required long takeoff/landing rolls) to operate from carriers. In fact, one possible role for the Sea Dart would have it operating from a submarine carrier, although that design didn’t make it very far. Download Link: Tomorrow's Craft: My own Bell X-5 Variable Incidence demonstrator
  10. I've got a couple craft in the chute (some more finished than others) I knocked out this XB-52 this morning for XotD. It's a really sleek cockpit, and I like it a lot. The Bell X-5. This is my smallest swing-wing design ever (it's entirely contained in the middle section, with room to spare. I still need to smooth the motion by adding guide rails, though. This is an unnamed craft (currently designated the XF-11). It's designed for @MiffedStarfish's aircraft design competition. This week, the craft need to have a single engine plus STOL (50 meters) capability, and a minimum speed of 150m/s. I adapted my F-35 hinge to fit on a light VTOL frame (Twin booms, because they're cool and shift CoM backwards. It can VTOL easily without afterburner, but with heavier weapons loads, burner is needed to take off.
  11. Some new planes for X-plane of the Day. The XB-52 Stratofortress. The cockpit was redesigned in the production model, but I think this one is so much sleeker. And the Bell X-5. This was designed to test the qualities of a variable geometry (swing wing) design. Ironically, it wasn't the first VG plane to fly, as it lost to the Grumman XF-10 Jaguar. Also, it wasn't an original design, instead adapted from captured German designs (although the German design could only adjust wing sweep on the ground.)
  12. August 1952 - Boeing XB-52 Stratofortress The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress has one of the longest and most transformative design phases of any airplane ever. It began in the mid 1940s as a propeller bomber designed to replace the ubiquitous Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and B-29 Superfortress of World War Two. However, the design was passed over in favor of the massive Convair B-36 Peacekeeper postwar, but would get another chance in the design competitions of the late 1940s. There, the B-52 competed against a modified B-36, the B-60. The B-52 was much more expensive than the B-60 during the prototyping stage, thanks to the fact that all the tooling and machinery had to be rebuilt, while the B-60 reused a large amount of the B-36’s tooling. Additionally, the B-52 only carried about 60% of the bomb load of the B-60 (43,000 pounds versus 70,000+). However, it was much faster, smaller, and ultimately (despite pneumatic problems which grounded the first XB-52 for a year) more reliable. Because of this, the B-52 won the contract, and entered service in 1955. It hasn’t left service since. Download Link: Tomorrow's Craft: @NorthAmericanAviation's Douglas X-3 Stiletto
  13. Ditto. I'll probably use my F-35 hinge, but on the airframe of a DeHavelland Sea Vampire. Twin-booms for life, y'all.
  14. Thanks! I was trying for the Top Gun vibe there (because if you're using F-14s and MiG-21s pulling 4G inverted dives F-5s, it's hard not to). I wasn't going for artistically impressive, rather technically impressive (I had 7 planes in the air at once, swing wings on the F-14s, and air-to-air missiles). For my next one, I'm trying for artistic though. I heard Johnny Cash's Ghost Riders in the Sky and couldn't help but think of a chase/fight scene.
  15. This is the (mostly) unedited footage of my submission/proving flight. It's sped up 40 times (160 times if you count time warp) to make the video a reasonable length, plus there was a little bit of VesselMover used. The only use was in editing a 'damaged' GUA-1 (I couldn't pop the tire in the VAB/testing. They're tough) over to KSC-2, where it was loaded and flown back. Rest assured, I brought an engineer and a ladder, so I could have repaired a popped tire, so that's still legit. As it turned out, the C-120 had about a third of its fuel left, even after the three-hour round trip. If I use economy mode (four wheesleys instead of six), I bet I could haul something all the way around Kerbin.