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Found 138 results

  1. I have this vessel and intend to improve it a bit, adding a bit of extra deltaV in orbit , a docking port, and some RCS. Higher tech may be used but I prefer to avoid (specially I'm not going for the simpler solution: RAPIER). The main question is if there is any hope to extract more juice from the spark+whiplash combo or should I just change to stronger rockets? If the later, how do you think a single Thud will fare? I feel that 2 Thud may be a bit to much for that small craft, but using 2 terrier means 2 stack of 1.25m. Thank in advance for any input.
  2. I have struggled for quite a long time to create a mining SSTO that could get itself to Laythe, and fly around... until I can be bothered to bring the Kerbals back. The process has resulted in many failures, all looking relatively like this one: I usually run into one of three or so problems. 1: Not enough TWR to reach orbit. 2: Not enough DV to reach orbit. 3. Flops around on the runway until it blows up. (Or fails to take off...) I usually find it too heavy to take off, so I add more wings. I then find it too heavy for the jet engines to effectively carry, struggling to make orbit, or unable to get fast enough. If I do manage to ever get it into orbit, I do not have enough TWR to go anywhere. I have been inspired by the SSTO in this Reddit post but even when replicating it as accurately as possible I find it impossible to takeoff the runway, or otherwise orbital TWR is less than 0.1 which I find unacceptable (yet still without enough Delta-V to get anywhere). Should I try using the smaller refinery and drills? Is there anything I can do to try and improve my designs? Thanks.
  3. Welcome to Spaceplane Innovations, the online leader in executive Spaceplane sales. Dropping tanks is so yesterday, earn back some self-respect by going fully-reusable today! We have Interplanetary leviathans and nimble Mun Hoppers, Single-stage-to-anywheres and Cargo-carrying brutes. All capable of high crew capacity and total galactic dominance. Shop now, the SSTO of your dreams is just a click away. We also make rockets. View the full catalogue! Click to view the full catalogue! Artemis Class These spaceplanes are the biggest of the bunch (so far), consisting of 3 Mk3 fuselages side-by-side, with the ability to carry an enormous amount of cargo/crew to many different interplanetary destinations. The Archangel is the first of the Artemis line, and has the ability to easily go to Duna or Mun with 60 Kerbals, and pilots who have a good grasp of gravity assists will find further destinations, such as Eeloo, very possible as well! Video - Mun mission Video - Eeloo mission The Artemis is a monstrous spaceplane capable of carrying 124 kerbals to LKO with just over 4,000 m/s of DeltaV to spare. It can't fly quite as far as the Archangel, but it is quite capable of going to Laythe and back without refuelling. Video - Laythe mission Archangel Download Archangel Download Archangel v2 Download Artemis Download Argus Class These spaceplanes are big, brutal, and capable of interplanetary missions without breaking a sweat, independent of mining or refuelling. WARNING: You will need to replace the landing gear on the Argus II and Engadine with larger ones if you're playing in 1.1 or later. The Odyssey will work fine though. The Argus was built as a Bop SSTO, but in the end was mainly used for Duna cargo missions and Eeloo voyages. It doesn't work so great in 1.05, and so is no longer sold by Spaceplane Innovations. Video - Eeloo mission Video - Duna mission The Engadine was the hugely popular successor to the Argus, packing more DeltaV and a massive 20 Kerbal capacity. So far it has only been used for Mun landings, but we at Spaceplane Innovations believe it could easily be used for Duna returns too. Video The Argus II was built following the success of the Engadine as an ultra-long-range SSTO. It has more m/s of DeltaV in LKO than any other SSTO produced by Spaceplane Innovations. Video The Odyssey was built to replace the legendary Engadine. doubling its crew capacity while retaining its high range. Duna and Gilly missions are well within its capabilities, as well as Eeloo and Jool for those who have mastered the fine art of gravity assists. Video - Mun mission Make no mistake: these planes are unruly, bulky, unbalanced and difficult to tame. They are therefore best suited to more adept pilots who understand gravity assists and how to efficiently ascend from Kerbin. They're hard to master, but for those with the patience to learn their functions the pay-off is huge. Argus II Download Engadine Download Odyssey Download Acacius Class Acacius ships have an IRSU on board and are capable of refuelling themselves using mining equipment. These are at the forefront of exploration, and are the best "single-stage-to-anywhere" planes we offer! Only one model is currently available for consumers: The Acacius 2 is the first SSTO produced by Spaceplane Innovations to feature the "Single Stage to Everywhere" guarantee. Doesn't do Tylo. Or Eve. Or Jool. These craft are ideal for beginners who want to get to grips with gravity assists or the Jool system, without having to worry about fuel. WARNING: You may need to replace the landing gear with larger ones if you're playing in 1.1 or later. Video Acacius 2 Download Dune Class Before the Argus class, there was the Dune class. The second oldest class of spaceplane made by Spaceplane innovations (after the discontinued Revenge class), these are lightweight, agile, and pack enough DeltaV for Duna, Minmus, Mun and Gilly. Flybys of planets further out are also possible. Dune 3 is the latest and greatest in this class, sporting 3 seats and a cosy interior. These are moderately difficult to use, but experienced pilots shouldn't have too much trouble. WARNING: You may need to replace the landing gear with larger ones if you're playing in 1.1 or later. Video Dune 3 Download Phantom Class These SSTOs are the little-brothers of the Argus Class, and are slightly larger than the Dune class. WARNING: You may need to replace the landing gear with larger ones if you're playing in 1.1 or later. With room for 6 kerbals, the Phantom class is currently offers 3 models: The Minmus Trainer is the easiest-to-use SSTO sold by Spaceplane Innovations, and was specifically designed to train budding kerbalnauts in the fine art of Minmus SSTO-ing. Only the instructions are available for purchase, so that pilots can also learn how to build an SSTO too! Video (SSTO Tutorial) The Mun Phantom was the first Phantom Class SSTO packing enough DeltaV for Mun and Gilly landings, in addition to being able to do Duna flybys. Video The Mun Phantom 2 is a modified version of the Duna Phantom, packing a spacious cargo bay for all your rover carrying needs! Video The Duna Phantom is able to carry 6 kerbals to Duna and back, all in a sleek Mk2 fuselage! Video Video (SSTO Tutorial) The Laythe Phantom is capable of taking 2 kerbals to Laythe and back without refuelling! Craft file has been altered so that it won't enter a flat spin when the fuel tanks are empty now Video Mun Phantom Download Mun Phantom 2 Download Duna Phantom Download Laythe Phantom Download Vulture Class These SSTOs are designed purely for LKO missions. Vulture 1 is the first publicly available model in the Vulture class, capable of carrying 6 Kerbals comfortably to either a polar or equatorial orbit. Vulture 1 download Matlon Laboratories Matlon Laboratories is a new company, designing cutting-edge rockets, shuttles, stations, bases, rovers, and much more! SSTOs are still very-much exclusive to Spaceplane Innovations, but for anything else, Matlon has you covered! Brutus is a high-capacity Space Shuttle, and uses Solid Fuel boosters and 3 Vectoring engines to lift the orbiter into space. Played a key-role in the construction of the SkyBase Space Station, which was commissioned following the destruction of SpaceLab during the Duna Attacks strikes Video Sparrow is a seaplane packing every science experiment unit in the game, in addition to communications tech and a deployable mini-sub! Video Monolith Station aims to bring stations to the masses, being a space station capable of being fully assembled in 1 Launch Brutus Download Sparrow Download Monolith Station Download
  4. Hello All, I recently learned that I'm heading back to school to do some postgraduate study and I need an excuse to revise and touch up my MATLAB skills. Simultaneously I have been grappling with the SSTO design problem and the fact that I cannot find any tools that will guide me in the design of an SSTO and payload. My thought is that while fluid dynamics was not my strong suit (I am a mechanical engineer) the simplified modelling of KSP should make this a reasonable endeavour with a bit of research. My a first step will be to produce an aircraft design tool that I will input a desired payload, ceiling and perhaps a few other parameters and the program will output required thrust, lift surface area and required coefficient of friction. In this way, the 'art' of aircraft design still exists because you have to design something within those parameter (x lift surface, y kN of thrust etc) so but at least the science gives you a starting point. Would be keen for thoughts, guidance, advice or be pointed at any existing tools. Good flying
  5. Dear Everyone, I have created this beast, big ,slightly excessive this craft could use some improvement. The unnecessary oxidizer tanks are there to make the craft stable when taking off by moving oxidizer towards the back while leaving the front empty, so it can be stable when drained of fuel and filled with fuel. I haven't tested it yet, but I hope for good advice from the KSP community. So what Improvements can I make to improve the range and maneuverability. This craft "should" be Laythe Capable Here is a picture Sincerely Mk3 Maniac
  6. Anyone ever tried to build a craft that would be able to do everything you would as it? Like for example launch from Kerbin, land on Eve, refuel, then relaunch from Eve, go on Laythe, refuel, then go on [...]? Is it possible? I thought something that would have around 20k dV, 1.5 TWR & 1.00 SLT when simulated from Eve (since it would be the hardest land/relaunch right?), but it seems like it's harder than harder said than done. I have been struggling for a couple of hours now trying to figure out how I could get the most dV out of this beauty but you know. Here's my work yet, any ideas for increasing the efficiency? And yes this can all hold up together, all it needs are some struts that I will add at the end : I'd really like to keep the ring theme, and add docking ports on the side with comm modules on top. Also there are missing Science items but that can added after making everything launchable.
  7. Welcome to my thread(I'm new to the forums) and here I post my big, small and everything in between creations
  8. Know this would suck up my gaming time from my 0.235 rescue mission, I've started playing 1.2, and doing it with kOS to boot. R&D has just started studies on mixed cycle engine, and fuselages larger than Mk2. The latest production jet engine, the J-X4 "Whiplash" Turbo Ramjet has allowed the creation of a more efficient Single Stage to Orbit Spaceplane than The Reliant (powered by the "Panther" and "Reliant" engines). This along with the new Shock Cone intake lead to the design and production of the 3rd SSTO model, with the ability to accelerate at higher altitudes. In order to keep the CoM somewhat centered after the majority of the propellant mass was used up, the Whiplash engines were placed on the wingtips, as far forwards as possible. This gave the craft a distinctive shape, leading to the name, "The Diamond." Also, the Design Department was sick of SR-71 knock-offs. After many launch "simulations," a good ascent profile was developed for The Diamond. This was programmed into a kOS sequencer, and consisted of 10 steps, including a drop in altitude to accelerate past 400 m/s to "jumpstart" the Whiplash. The SSTO was able to achieve an 80km orbit with about 500 m/s delta-V to spare or 150km with 380 m/s. A new de-orbit program was created, and 2 launches were performed with orbital altitudes of 80km, and 150km (to match the Curie Space Station). The Automated Landing Program originally made for The Reliant was used successfully both times resulting in safe landings at KSC. (vaguely sung to the tune of "The Bonnie Ship the Diamond" made popular by The Corries, though I prefer the Gaelic Storm version). The Diamond's a spaceship me lads, To orbit straight she's boun', At KSC she is all garnished with auto-struts aroun' Jebediah gives the order, To orbit far and wide, Where the Sun it oft'n sets me lads, And darkness dims the sky And it's cheer up me lads, ne'r yer struts be breakin' For the Bonnie Ship The Diamond goes a fishin' for kraken! (sorry, out of lyrics. Also, got a bit of help from /u/morpheus1229 on that last bit on the chorus) After the two shake-down cruises, The Diamond's first real mission came up. To prepare for the first landing on Minmus, Gene wants to bring down veteran Scientist and Engineer Bill and Bob from Curie Orbital Akademy and Gas Station. Also, we need one other redshirt. To help finance this operation, a Tourist Contract was accepted for an Orbital Adventure. (that's The Defiant attached in this older photo) En route to the station, Jebediah is tasked to capture an empty capsule or cabin, which will be converted to a re-entry pod at Curie. The Diamond seats 2 in the cockpit, and 2 in the cargo hold. With the addition of the re-entry pod, there's enough space for everyone that needs to go planet-side. And to get one more thing in, a "Rescue a Part" mission was also accepted. Previous attempts to KLAW the PAL Humpback Truss with the standard sized KLAW were unsuccessful. Mission Control hopes the new "Baby KLAW" (Tweakscale) will have better luck. That totals 5 Mission Objectives Retrieve 3 kerbals from Curie Orbital Akademy and Gas Station Retrieve an empty pod from Kerbin Orbit and bring to Curie Station Release the converted pod for re-entry (Bill thrown in there) Give a Tourist an orbital adventure Rescue a module from Kerbin Orbit The two orbital retrieval missions will require a number of Hohmann Transfers, using up precious fuel. The plan was to do a partial refuel at Curie. As you can see, all mission objectives were accomplished! Looks like the Landing Script couldn't stick the landing. I suspect with manually pumping fuel in, and after the Part Rescue, too little fuel was left, compared to the previous successful landing runs. This lead to some instability, which fed into the ascent/descent PID Loop in the landing program, causing pitching oscillations. Eventually the craft did a back-flip, one engine flamed out, leading to an accelerating upside-down flat spin. This actually slowed the fall down, likely due to the left generated (like Helicopter?). Descent speed was less than 50 m/s until fuel ran out near the ground. Most of the expensive parts survived, and they made it within 35 km of KSC. Val likes to point out she did better in her SSTO crash landing from Orbit.
  9. I have attempted many a spaceplane, but I have never managed to get one to orbit that uses jet engines. (For some reason, I can get ones to orbit that use only rockets, but... not jets.) I believe that it is my launch profile and ascent. What I currently do is I rise to about 10-12k, then accelerate nearly as fast as I can, avoiding blowing up to reentry. I then try to rise to a 5-15 degree angle, but I never manage to make an apoapsis above the atmosphere before the jets flame out. When they do flame out, my apoapsis is usually below 30km, and I am unable to get out of the atmosphere with whatever weak rockets I added. When I add heavier rockets, I either do not get enough speed using the jets, or I no longer have enough DV to circularize once out of the atmosphere. Adding more DV means more weight, which results in the first problem again. When I just eliminate the jets entirely, I can just make orbit with about 200 delta V spare, using the standard rocket gravity turn. What is a good ascent profile for SSTOs, and what other good tips are there for building them? EDIT: I should probably add that I haven't unlocked Rapiers yet in my Career save.
  10. STS - Pegasus II A more specialized Shuttle with a recoverable SSTO lifter... It's not very easy to fly and max payload is only 18T, but can perform a variety of missions, including interplanetary transport... Download: https://kerbalx.com/luizopiloto/STS---Pegasus-II
  11. I have been playing KSP for a while now, but I have never managed to make an SSTO. the most recent SSTO that I made, it was partially successful, but it would not climb beyond 14km. when I start leveling out to gain speed, I need to angle my craft at 20 Degree angle to get the prograde marker to 0. if I straighten out more, I will start falling. when I get my Prograde to 0 Degrees, I am still losing speed! I made a mod to the craft (2 ramjets that I can detach, to help with the accent) and I still have the issue! I have looked on youtube and the forums for help, but nothing has helped me so far... I tried downloading SSTOcraft files as well... Please help me! Craft file: https://mega.nz/#!igI0gaIa!aUSLBf1D8VNdZ16HzjNJro6oqfI7PQmG_jBhJiVk_Z4
  12. In a feat of Kerbal engineering, the boys at the SPH have devised a way to make fully stock hinges and pivots! Using this breakthrough, the technology has been incorporated into the design of a new SSTO to give it VTOL capabilities, as well as enough fuel to go to Laythe and back without refueling or need for mining! In order to rotate the wings, the tilt-wing section un-docks to become a separate craft that can move independently of the main ship. It's held in place by two rings of cubic octagonal struts around some of those Oscar-B fuel tanks as a sort of axle. Torque wheels are used to rotate the wing and lock it into position using the 'radial out' marker on the navball. Finally, 4 small docking ports lock the section back in place- rejoining it with the rest of the craft fairly securely in a quadruple seal! As a lot of you have found out, in order to get the craft working as intended the nuclear and RAPIER engines had to be modified by altering their config files. Here's the video I made that I have had in the works for a while now. A lot of time and effort went into making this but I am really happy with it so I hope you enjoy watching it!
  13. Prompted by a lengthy discussion over on @KerikBalm's "near-future scifi" thread, I created a rather beefy Excel table to model the performance and fuel fraction of a nuclear-thermal turbocharged ramrocket engine, to get an idea of what might be possible for SSTO applications. The spreadsheet worked so well that I expanded it out to provide fuel fractions for a wide range of engine types using various propellant combinations If you want to build an SSTO, you've gotta be able to fit into these fuel fractions. No getting around it. These are, within error, the absolute minimum fuel fractions you'll need to make orbit. If the table says a given fuel fraction is 85.5%, then you've gotta fit your engines, tanks, airframe, and payload (plus margins and recovery hardware) into the remaining 14.5% of GLOW. Note that I didn't even include the values for a "true" airbreather (e.g., turbojet/ramjet/scramjet), because the thrust losses of combusting the airstream while still trying to accelerate make net performance far, far worse than even a pure rocket design. With no further ado, here's the table! Fuel fractions for SSTO Precooled Turbocharged Air-augmented Rocket only NTR (H2O) N/A 72.3% 73.2% 83.1% NTR (LH2) 47.9% 48.9% 49.7% 63.7% Hydrolox 79.8% 80.7% 81.5% 89.0% Methalox 85.5% 85.9% 86.6% 92.3% Kerolox N/A 89.1% 89.7% 94.3% Visually: Each SSTO ascent profile is constructed around a base assumption of 7.8 km/s to orbit, plus 750 m/s of gravity drag and 750 m/s of air drag. The NTRs are Tantalum Halfnium Carbide pebble-bed reactors operating at slightly over 4400 K; basically the best thing we could actually build with modern tech. Assumed specific impulses: NTR (H2O): 469 s at SL, 555 s in vacuum NTR (LH2): 820 s at SL, 971 s in vacuum Hydrolox: 366 s at SL, 452 s in vacuum Methalox: 334 s at SL, 382 s in vacuum Kerolox: 282 s at SL, 348 s in vacuum Additional notes... Rocket only. This is provided mostly for comparison. It is assumed that a rapid climb is used to leave the atmosphere as soon as possible, with peak specific impulse and zero drag being reached around 2 km/s. This design invariably has the worst fuel fraction but allows the highest TWR engines. As mentioned above, altitude compensation is assumed; specific impulse climbs linearly to 2 km/s before plateauing at the vacuum value. Air-augmented. This is an optimally designed intake shroud/duct with area behind the duct for expansion. A 22% static thrust boost is assumed due to pressure entrainment. Thrust augmentation reaches 100% around Mach 1.75, then begins to drop around Mach 6, decreasing to zero at the exhaust velocity of the actual engine. Aerodynamic drag is higher, at 800 m/s, and is spread out over a larger range of airspeeds, with vacuum specific impulse being reached much later. This represents a large fuel fraction gain for a fairly modest decrease in engine TWR. Specific impulse starts at slightly higher than the vacuum isp, then rises rapidly before dropping gradually. Turbocharged. This adds a single-stage compressor fan to the shroud inlet. The increase in static thrust is substantial, allowing a physically smaller engine, but there is only a fractional improvement in net fuel fraction, as the fan is only useful to about Mach 2. Because the fan intake is more demanding than a ram intake, the design and vehicle integration may prove to cost significantly more in dry mass than it saves. However, the turbocharger can (in principle) be used alone as a ducted fan for a hover-light landing, which is a nice and very efficient advantage if you're looking for that (e.g., with an integrated-cabin manned launch vehicle). Aerodynamic drag increases to 850 m/s. Precooled. This is the design employed by SABRE, albeit without combustion of the airstream. Precooling the intake air allows the compressor fan to operate up to Mach 5 with hydrogen and Mach 3 with densified methane, with a corresponding improvement in fuel fraction. Water and kerosene are excluded, for obvious reasons. Dry mass penalty will be hefty, though. For those who REALLY want to nerd out, here are the specific impulse curves, using hydrolox as an example: And here are samples of the drag curves with respect to velocity:
  14. I've been building SSTOs, and have made a slightly successful model, that isn't an SSTO, but is very close with 2 recoverable SRBs giving it the extra kick it needs. What would be an optimal fuel-engine-wing combination for an SSTO, and what would be an optimal platform?
  15. This had been discussed on the forums a few years ago, but now ARCA (a rather odd company that doesn't seem to know what its market is) has released a glitzy CGI video of its "Haas 2CAJ" smallsat SSTO launcher. While the company's track record isn't very good, the combination of technologies and solutions in their idea seems solid enough. Here's a bunch of specs on it. It's a 16-meter-high smallsat SSTO burning RP-1 and HTP with a projected payload of 100 kg to LEO, using a rather large linear aerospike engine and a composite frame/tank with common bulkheads. Claimed launch price is just $1 million. As these things go, it's not a bad idea. HTP/RP-1 is about the only non-exotic prop combo with a higher impulse density than kerolox, and it also permits higher thrust than kerolox, which helps make up for the lower TWR of linear aerospike engines. It's pressure-fed, which would typically be the death knell for an SSTO, but since the linear aerospike engine doesn't require a high chamber pressure it's not a bad idea. Pressure-fed engines also typically have very poor tankage ratios, but the composite tanks can handle higher pressures. The pressurant is liquid helium that is passed through an engine heat exchanger, simultaneously cooling the big aerospike engine and saving on the weight of a turbopump, which further mitigates the low TWR of the aerospike. The linear aerospike allows for roll, pitch, and yaw authority through differential throttling alone, which saves on the mass of a gimbal system. The use of HTP comes with its own set of handling challenges, but it is cheaper than LOX, requires no insulation, and requires less demanding materials specifications than LOX. All in all, not a bad concept. Whether they will pull it off or not, I don't know. They fuss and fret over the horrors of staging, but honestly this could be very competitive if it was offered with the option of COTS parallel SRBs. Base configuration for smallsats, a couple of SRBs for larger LEO comsats, or a quad of SRBs for big LEO comsats or GTO smallsats. Better than trying to fuss with a second stage.
  16. Já lançado! Para baixar o pre release siga para Thread de lançamento: Fala ai pessoal. Apresento a vocês meu projeto de partes em desenvolvimento. O Omicron, carro voador (ou space car). Meu sonho de consumo desde que eu assistia seriados de ficção quando era criança e continua até hoje. Juro que achava que quando chegasse-mos aos anos 2000, já teríamos desses na rua (no céu). E pelo menos um na garagem. Bom, já que ele ainda não chegou, aqui vai como eu o imagino, e com partes montáveis como cada um achar melhor. Com muitas possibilidades, para o gosto de cada um. List of things i still need to do (for full release): Solar Panel; Back docking port; Airbags & Floaters; IVA; Functional cockpit panel; Ejection system for seats and windows; Wings; Fine tuning parts (crash tolerance, temperatures, etc); Bons voos comandantes! Omicron by Climberfx is licensed under a Attribution 4.0 International
  17. I've been designing this SSTO to go to Minmus for the past few days, and I've encountered a problem that I just can't seem to solve. Even with the center of lift behind the center of mass, the plane flips over upon liftoff like the COm is in front of the COL. Does anyone know what's going on? I've tried everything and it doesn't seem to work. Craft File: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vt720udwauxqzkg/Minmus Aircraft Mrk_ 2.craft?dl=0 Mods needed: OPT Space Plane Parts
  18. The thread where I will post all my designs and progress of my crafts! (With The Help Of Many Mods Of Course) ISE Dauntless [SSTO] Body, & propulsion systems will consist of parts from [Mark IV Spaceplane System] Wings, & lifting surface parts will consist of parts from [B9 Procedural Wings] So far.... Progress Report I Progress Report II
  19. I have a simple little question about space plane design that I think might inspire some discussion around here today, it may be obvious for some but for people like me it really isn't, which is why i'm asking. Because I'm one of those weirdos who doesn't enjoy building rockets as big as they can be! I prefer more compact -pocket sized rocket- spacecraft. In order to do this many of my spaceplanes incorporate drop pods in their construction to assist with accent. Basically just a fuel tank on a decoupler bolted to the belly of the aircraft which is jettisoned when empty, usually while still in the upper atmopsphere My question is to ask you out there weather or not drop pods affect the inherent SSTO nature of a spaceplane or not. Given that hitting the stage function would eject the pods giving the vehicle more than one stage, it does not really change much about the spaceplane's configuration. Drop pods are actually used by fighter jets IRL when traveling long distances, its pretty far fetched to think about a fighter jet with drop pod fuel tanks as a two stage vehicle. don't you think? I want to know if you think that drop pods would make a spaceplane multi-stage?
  20. I'm trying to make a small unmanned science plane mainly for use on Laythe as part of a larger ship. The idea is that it undocks and leaves orbit, flies around doing science, then returns to orbit to dock with the main ship. I've seen a number of small SSTOs, but they are usually just an exercise in minimalism, and can't actually do anything useful. For this mission, it needs to hold a bunch of science, have the endurance and control to fly around, land at various sites, and still get back to orbit, rendezvous, and then be able to dock. (I guess it doesn't have to be unmanned, but I'm finding them to be lighter.) Additionally, I'm trying to keep clipping and exploits down to a minimum. Oh, also using stock KSP. I've got a working design down to 9 tons, but now I'm stuck. I have a few candidates in the 5-6 ton range using various combinations of engines, but they can never quite seem to get to orbital velocity, let alone have some reserves. Current design features: 9 tons Rapier main engine - To get to orbit 2x Juno - For efficient cruising RC-001S RGU - Probe core that also collects science Service Bay: Various science Small Monopropellant - Docking, additional dv 2x Retractable solar panels - So as not to run out of power in orbit 2x Small batteries - Power reserves Liquid fuel: 300 units Lq/Ox fuel: 225 units (Lq unit equivalent) So, any ideas for getting this thing down to, say, 5 tons? Less? Is it even possible?
  21. Playing Career mode in 1.2, and still getting use to some of the new mechanics. I haven't unlocked the ramjet, much less the RAPIER yet, so best that I have is the Panther. I found I was having too much aerodynamic drag with radially mounted engines, so I did what I could with having my engines in line, using the parts I've go unlocked so far. Obviously, I needed bilateral symmetry for the engines, but couldn't make it fit having two engine types - a Reliant and the Panther. So I went with symmetry on a 45° angle. For some reason, I couldn't get this thing to go down the runway in anything close to straight, so I ended up launching it off clamps, which required a quick boost from the rocket engines. I've since worked out a better SSTO, but thought this was interesting enough to share. Something else interesting, is I've been playing with kOS, and created an Ascent Sequence Program, where I input different altitudes, what angle to pitch to, and action groups to activate. After many different ascent profiles, I've managed to get this thing into orbit with a whopping 42 m/s delta-V to spare. I was able to rendezvous and rescue two lost astronauts. Problem was re-entry. Turns out, I'm not use to the new heat mechanic, and the cockpit would overheat and explode when entering prograde. I even tried keeping my angle up and slowing down as much as possible in the upper atmosphere. It's possible I could have eventually figured something out, but I eventually tried going in retro so Jeb wouldn't melt, then tried to flip 180°. That flip didn't happen, and instead I plummeted tail end first, but fired my engines slowing me to about 55 m/s when I hit the ground. Jeb and the rescuees survived! Good enough for now.
  22. A few months ago, I created this medium tech ssto, the Voodoo Ray, based off Panther and NERV tech only. I got worried that it's too challenging too fly for your average pilot, because my instructions talk about flying it with pitch trim to maintain target AoA within a few degrees. It probably won't make orbit if you deviate too far from the optimum. So, I set about making the Auto Ray. It's wings are angled so it makes enough lift to fly when the SAS is set to prograde hold. However, it has a trim flap, deployable via action group (RCS button), which toggles the plane between high lift mode (nose about 2.3 degrees above prograde even when set to prograde hold) and low drag mode (nose follows prograde almost exactly). Other than making occasional aileron adjustments to keep wings level, it is possible to fly this to orbit without touching the flight controls at all, only staging engines and toggling the trim flap at certain flight regimes. Here's the thing - should i give instructions telling people exactly when to toggle the flap, or just tell them to play it by ear and trust their judgement? Here's the "play it by ear" version of the launch advice - And here's the craft file - https://kerbalx.com/AeroGav/Auto-Ray Video of me launching it -
  23. I am build a large space station with mostly 2.5m parts and I need a SSTO to carry this parts to orbit and dock them in to postition. Please if an SSTO that meets the criteria in the title please provide a Kerbalx link below
  24. Hey folks, I've been playing KSP since 1.2.2 and I've managed to get rocket launching pretty much sorted (stock game, no mods, except AFPW, to get my Saitek HOTAS to work properly), but man, I appear to be utterly useless at space-plane design/flight. I've designed a number of regular planes, which all fly just fine (I do have some experience in full size and model aircraft), but for the life of me, I simply *cannot* get any of my space-plane designs (SSTO specifically) into orbit successfully. I can get them *close*....and I mean *really* close, but I just always end up running out of rocket fuel. I've watched countless YT videos from guys who seem to just point the thing at the sky and blast off into orbit with no drama whatsoever, but my designs all seem to just barely struggle to the upper atmosphere, then invariably fall *just* short of making it into a stable orbit. The closest I've managed to get is an AP of about 72k, but didn't have enough fuel left to circularise. IIRC I managed to get to about 12 or 13K PE before it ran dry. One thing that most of the videos I've seen have in common is the ability to accelerate at the mid-flight stage to well in excess of 400 to 500m/s, but no matter what I do, I can't seem to get much beyond the 300m/s mark. I've tried adding more and various engines, but I either end up running out of fuel too fast, or being too heavy to climb steep enough to make it out of the thicker part of the atmosphere in time. I've managed to find a couple of *really* good posts in the tutorials section for how to get rockets to launch with the most efficient profile, but there doesn't seem to be anything like that for space-planes/SSTO. Can someone point me to anything like that? Or perhaps share their 'hot tips' on space-plane design, so I can try to work out where I'm going wrong? I'd rather not just download someone's craft file and go fly. I'm rather enjoying the challenge of building/flying stuff by having to do the trial and error process myself, but I've run out of ideas for SSTO. Cheers,
  25. Hello all. Ive recently been refining my spaceplane building and flying (particularly cargo lifters), and come to a question regarding ascent profile. I normally keep a quite shallow ascent to keep the speed up for the rapiers to keep their 200+ Kn of thrust. When nearing the 10 Km mark, i try to gain as much speed as possible with a shallow climb. Now at what point do you switch the rapiers to close cycle mode? I've found that I can get up to 1520m/s depending on the heat tolerance of the parts used, but the last ~40m/s are gained very slowly. Am I better switching to close cycle at some point before this? And the main question: when switching to close cycle, do you pitch up, if so, how much? I've found that often I loose a lot of speed in the pitch manouvre, and I feel like I might just keep going straight (actually about 5-10 degrees of positive pitch)- the curvature of Kerbin and the speed you'redoing by now will guarantee you leave the atmosphere soon anyways.