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Everything posted by Servo

  1. 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
  2. I took another pass on my F-14, completely redesigning it for functionality and looks. I think I did a pretty darn good job.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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"
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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.)
  10. 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
  11. Ditto. I'll probably use my F-35 hinge, but on the airframe of a DeHavelland Sea Vampire. Twin-booms for life, y'all.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Yep, it wouldn't fit cleanly through the door with the missiles in the upright position. However, I have since edited the design (moved the launch rails, changed the drop profile) to make it able to drop cleanly. The trick to getting it to drop is to slow down almost to the point of stalling (use flaps), then pitch up slightly and let it roll out. With flaps extended, the C-120 can slow down to under 40m/s for short drops, and can fly easily at 50m/s, allowing extremely precise targeting of the payloads. I also did an all-up test of the design, and it exceeded my expectations. In the fully loaded (80 tons) version, it has more than enough range to make it to Baikerbanur and return, which I will do as part of the craft proving stage. Quick question: Am I allowed to edit in craft so that I don't have to fly the leg out to KSC 2 a second time? I already have video of that leg proving that it's legit.
  15. This is a really cool idea for a thread! I couldn't help but enter. C-120 Meridian The C-120 is a medium-range light transport capable of airdropping cargoes a third of the way around Kerbin. It's smaller range is more than made up for by its performance. It is an extremely stable craft, capable of taking time warp without flinching, and is maneuverable for a craft of its size. Additionally, it beats the STOL requirements by a third. It is capable of taking off well ahead of the third stripe set by the contest, and lands in less than 300m, without requiring reversed thrust. It can take a lot of punishment while protecting the cargo (I landed after losing a wing and boom without damaging the payload), and it's significantly lighter than required, clocking in at under 60 tons. The C-120 comes in two versions, civilian and militarized. The civilian one can range 25% of the way around Kerbin, is 10 tons lighter, and carries no weapons. The militarized one features two fighter-grade long-range air-to-air missiles, each capable of killing would-be attackers at beyond visual range (10km), in addition to more fuel and longer range. Civilian Version (no weapons, smaller range, lighter) Submitted version (hardpoints, longer range, slightly heavier)
  16. Here's my second KSP cinematic: Last Man Standing. I put a whole ton of work into filming and editing this (mostly the latter). I'm really proud of this one, so I hope you guys appreciate it as much as I do, because who doesn't love stock air combat?
  17. They are tied to different levels of rep (the green number under 'members'), which is equal to the number of times somebody likes one of your posts. You can also change it by going into your profile settings (don't ask me exactly where). Rather than derail the topic, here's a helicopter that I slapped together in an afternoon for a cinematic that I'm almost done with. If there's any interest, I'll post it. It's got spinning blades and not much else. Good for doing some after-battle checkups on wreckage, or just cruising around at 150m/s.
  18. The right and left are both XF-91's in different levels of development. Republic experimented a lot with the design, adding a radome and V-tail at different points. I looked around and I'm pretty sure NAA is right about it being an XF-88. No other plane from the era had the wing inlets.
  19. June 1949 - Republic XF-91 Thunderceptor The Republic XF-91 Thunderceptor was a prototype supersonic interceptor, designed to rapidly engage high-flying enemy bombers. It was the first U.S. fighter to break the speed of sound, and it was a revolutionary design for its time. The reverse-chorded wings combated the violent pitch-up that occurred on swept-wing fighters passing through transonic speeds. This pitch-up was known as the "Sabre Dance", thanks to the F-100 Super Sabre's (this occurred on most other early swept-wing jets, the F-100 was later but better known) notorious tendency to rapidly nose-up when approaching Mach 1. This occurred because the airflow separated from the wingtips before the wing root. This caused the tips to loose lift, meaning that the center of lift rapidly shifted forwards. This problem was exacerbated by the underpowered engines that powered early jet aircraft. The F-91's reverse-chorded wing combated this by causing the center of lift to shift backwards as the flow began separating, making the plane more stable in transonic flight. The two XF-91s that were built. The Thunderceptor underwent heavy design changes as it was prototyped. On the left, the plane has been modified with a radome, and on the right, the XF-91 has been modified with a V-tail. The XF-91 was designed as an interceptor, meaning that it needed good time-to-altitude and top speed. In order to combat the shortcomings of the early jet engines, the XF-91 was fitted with the Reaction Motors XLR11 rocket engine to provide extra thrust. This engine also powered the Bell X-1 through the sound barrier, and the DR-558-II through Mach 2. Due to the obviously limited fuel in the rocket engines and the inefficient jet engine, flight times were extremely limited, topping off at about 25 minutes. This severely limited its usefulness, and was a major reason why the XF-91 never saw production. One final design quirk about the XF-91 was the variable incidence wing. VI wings are a concept that come up fairly often in prototype aircraft (the XB-51 Tuesday had one as well), but rarely see production due to their complex mechanics and weight. In fact, only one VI plane has ever seen production, the F-8 Crusader of the 1960s. On the XF-91, the VI wing served to lower landing speed while keeping visibility passable. Ultimately, the XF-91 was passed over for a number of reasons. The short flight time meant that it couldn't effectively patrol airspace, and by the time prototypes were flying, they had been outclassed by the first generation of jet fighters, most prominently the F-86 Sabre. Download Link: Tomorrow's Craft: @Munbro Kerman's Lockheed XF-90
  20. Continuing on a trend of drop-tested craft, here's my rendition of the XF-85 Goblin November 1948 - McDonnell Douglas XF-85 Goblin The McDonnell Douglas XF-85 was one of the more successful attempts at parasite fighters through history. The concept of a parasite fighter, a small plane carried within a much larger aircraft, has been attempted many times with large bombers, and in some cases, airships. After World War II, the U.S. military saw the strategic value in long-range heavy bombers such as the B-29, and sought to leverage them as a nuclear deterrent during the Cold War. However, to protect the large bombers, fighter airplanes were needed that had the range to keep up with the giants of the skies. This led to a renewed interest in the concept of the parasite fighter, allowing bombers to carry their own short-range craft within their massive bomb bays, releasing them when the enemy tried to intercept them. The fighters could then be recovered on trapezes which would then retract, hauling the craft back into the bomb bay of the host aircraft. The concept of the parasite fighter has always been plagued with the problem of recovering the fighter, something with only got harder with the increased speeds of jet bombers. Trapezes were necessary to allow the fighter to fly outside of the turbulent air caused by the large bomber, leading to mechanical issues. Additionally, the disturbed air formed in a much larger air than was expected, leading pilots to comment on how difficult it was to recover planes. In several attempts with the XF-85, the closest the pilot came to recovering his aircraft was when he cracked the windscreen on the trapeze. All attempts ended in the pilot belly-landing the XF-85. As the B-36 was still in the prototyping stage during the XF-85 testing, all tests were undergone using a modified B-29. The B-36 was much larger, allowing the XF-85 to be carried completely within the bomb bay. Unfortunately, the combination of the difficulties of executing a full launch - flight - recovery sequence, as well as the Soviet emphasis on surface-to-air missiles made the concept of the heavy bomber, as well as that of the parasite fighter, obsolete by the beginning of the 1950s. As a final nail in the parasite fighter's coffin, the practice of aerial refueling meant that fighters and bombers could be kept airborne almost indefinitely, meaning that bombers could focus on carrying heavier bomb loads rather than defensive fighters. Download Link: B-36J and XF-85: XF-85 (standalone): Tomorrow's Craft: @Munbro Kerman's Convair XF-92
  21. Today was the first day in a while when I could actually load and play the game (I'm pretty much done with high school now, but the last three weeks have been really busy). I spent some time experimenting with hybrid boosters as well as fly-back SRBs. This configuration was extremely interesting, since the whiplash flameout coincided pretty well with the SRB burnout in most tests, and it's not every day you see a spent booster flying past at Mach 3. Ultimately, I found the design extremely difficult to land, in addition to not really providing any advantages over disposable SRBs. It was cool, though. A goal of mine for a while has been doing a proper Jool 5 mission. I spend 90% of my time in atmosphere, so it's good to get out and explore the universe sometimes. This is the Prometheus, my first legitimate attempt at the mission in a while. I'm still in the shakedown/testing phase, but I will probably make a video whenever I actually fly the mission. Here she is on Minmus. I alt-f12'd it to orbit on the second attempt (the first one involved the flyback boosters above, and failed.) It's got full refueling capabilities, and features dual ISRU units (which is probably unnecessary), plus six small drills and fuel cells to keep the juice flowing. The entire ship can land on Bop or Pol for refueling, or the middle section can be used as a light lander (for Laythe and maybe Vall). The entire ship was designed to be able to land on Tylo, minus the top cockpit section. The lower section has three vectors and six LV-Ns, providing a blend of power and efficiency that should be helpful for long missions. I topped off the tanks with only liquid fuel here, to make the long haul to Jool. Also, the sunflare shaders hide whenever I try to take a screenshot. Does anyone know how to fix this? It's ruined a bunch of really cool screenshots for me.
  22. Keeping up the pace here. I'll make my contribution for the day as well. I figure that if we can upload two craft in a day, all the better. We've got a lot of craft, so anything we can do to get ahead is for the better. Don't expect it, though. June 1947 - Martin XB-48 The Martin XB-48 was a prototype jet bomber built to compete for a spot as the U.S.’s first operational jet bomber. It followed on the footsteps of the Douglas XB-43 Jetmaster, and was a much larger and more advanced design. It was powered by six General Electric J47 engines, required due to the low thrust output of the early designs. Interestingly, although it appears that the engines are in three separate nacelles, they are actually connected by a series of air ducts incorporating airflow between the engines as well as through the inlets. This was designed to improve cooling, something that the early engines had trouble with. The XB-48 was part of the Class of '45, a trio of jet bombers developed in 1945 in response to Germany’s Amerika Bomber program and a similar program in Japan. Both programs were looking for long-range jet bombers capable of intercontinental sorties. The other planes in the class were the Convair XB-46 and the North American XB-45, the latter of which was produced as the B-45 Tornado. However, all three planes were rapidly outclassed by the Boeing B-47 Stratojet. This is mainly because the three planes borrowed heavily from research on straight-winged piston bombers in WWII. For example, the XB-48 borrows heavily from the Martin B-26 Marauder. Builder's notes: The XB-48 handles pretty well once airborne, but you have to be really careful taking off. Wait until you are going faster than 100m/s before beginning to pitch up, then do so slowly. As soon as the rear wheels leave the ground, pitch up harder to gain altitude. Download Link: Tomorrow's Craft: @Munbro Kerman's Northrop XB-49
  23. If you haven't seen my X-15, I used Graviolis and it turned out really nice. For other unorthox cockpits, check out my F-14 (solar panels), my F/A-18 (extending with Graviolis), and NAA's YB-60 (Solar Panels and Cubic Octagonals). May 1946: Douglas XB-43 Jetmaster The XB-43 was a twin-turbojet bomber developed by Douglas Aircraft in 1945 as the first U.S. jet bomber. It was adapted from the early XB-42 Mixmaster, a unique design with a pusher-configuration contra-rotating propeller behind the large tailplane. The XB-42 was a success, achieving speeds of up to 488mph (Mach .6, 785mk/h, 218m/s). The Jetmaster program adapted the Mixmaster design to carry two turbojets, as well as changes to the tail surface. The Army Air Forces ordered two XB-43 prototypes, which were delivered in May of 1946. Despite mechanical problems during testing, the Jetmaster proved to be a fast and versatile bomber aircraft, well poised for entering service. However, the Army instead used the Jetmaster to develop procedures for jet bombers, selecting North American Aviation's B-45 Tornado over the Jetmaster, thanks to improvements in nearly every area. The cancellation of the Jetmaster program in the early 1950s brought an end to both the proposed bomber version and an attack version armed with rockets and a cluster of 16 machine guns in the nose. The XB-43 mimics the prototype closely, matching top speed almost exactly. It's an agile craft once airborne, but it's clumsy on the ground. Like most of these replicas, they have to be landed with a steady hand (<5 degree glideslope is ideal). The Jetmaster's characteristic twin cockpits are replicated here, something which is unique among planes I've seen (with the obvious exception of the twin mustang). Download Link: Tomorrow's craft: @MiffedStarfish's Vought F6U Pirate
  24. Fuel cells, turned around and offset inside the radial intakes. I had never tried doing that before, and I'm not sure how I like the effect. It looks nice far away and on straight edged, but fails inspection close up on curves. I'll probably experiment with other ways of getting the same effect in the future. Thermometers and other science experiments come to mind as other things to try. I don't think two planes a day is sustainable, though it would cut down on the time it would take. As it stands now, XotD will continue into August. It could be doable, especially with all the other builders helping out this time around.
  25. Once again, it'll be awesome to be working with @NorthAmericanAviation on another project. Except this time, there's even more people and more fun My day tomorrow is going to be hectic, so I'm posting my first contribution (which would be tomorrow) to the thread tonight as well. February 1945 - Bell XP-83 The Bell XP-83 was a redesigned P-59 Airacomet which was first flown in 1945. It was the first prototype jet made in America which didn’t see production. This was mainly due to its slow development, allowing it to be outpaced by the Lockheed P-80 and other more advanced designs. It was slow, unresponsive, and generally underpowered, making it an unsatisfactory substitute for piston-engined fighters of the WWII era. The XP-83 had most of the distinctive features of the P-59, but featured different jet engines, as well as improvements to aerodynamics. In fact, the drag was so low that pilots had a hard time getting the XP-83 to slow down, and had to make extremely long landing approaches. My replication of the XP-83 handles pretty well, though you have to be really gentle on takeoff and landing. It can cruise for long durations at an acceptable speed for fighters of its era, and is stable doing so. Download Link: Tomorrow's Craft: @NorthAmericanAviation's Northrop XP-79