Angel-125

[1.2.2] Heisenberg - Airships Part Pack v2.4.0

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Github Repro

Spacedock Mirror

Ch1AnFK.png

James T. Kerman watched the waves lazily pass by below the ship- his ship. Her Cyclone engines droned on, biting into the air with their large propeller blades. A modified Heisenberg-class airship, the KSNS Akron was lighter than air. Its huge 10-meter diameter dirigible sections provided buoyancy for the vessel to float in air like a boat floating on water. The gondola had ample accommodations for the crew and great visibility, and even had space for Pathfinder base components. Liquid fuel stored in the dirigible sections gave the Akron transcontinental range if flown right, but the airship's prototype ISRU system could turn ore into liquid fuel. He was satisfied with the shakedown cruise. With all her bells and whistles, the new airship was ready to simulate a long-duration spaceflight by exploring Kerbin. Time to go investigate those anomalies...

The Heisenberg Airship Parts Pack is a series of parts designed to work with the Hooligan Labs Airships mod by @JewelShisen. Hooligan Labs isn't included with this parts pack, so you'll need to download it here. You also need the latest Firespitter. It is also has optional support for Pathfinder, KIS/KAS, kOS, Kerbal Snacks, TAC Life Support, USI-LS, and more.

93sxAjc.png

o02WBgg.png

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Notes On Carrier Operations 

If your vessels explode upon undocking, that is an issue with the stock game. Retracting landing gear will help in this situation. It is not a bug with this mod.

Here is a post by @Shnyrik that describes the situation:

Acknowledgements

Hooligan Labs Airships by JewelShisen (required, not included, available separately)
Cyclone engine generously by @blackheart612 from the Airplane Plus pack. and is distributed under the CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 license. If you haven't seen the Airplane Plus pack, check it out! :)
Portions of this codebase are modified from Firespitter by Snjo. Thanks Snjo! :)

Accessory Mods

Reviews

 

License

Artwork (excluding the Cyclone engine): All Rights Reserved
Cyclone engine by blackheart612 and is distributed under the CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 license.
Source Code: GPLv3

Edited by Angel-125
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Great that you put this together, Angel-125. It's good to see an accomplished modder like you take interest in a venerable mod like HL airships. Seems like it is time once again to go ballooning on Duna. 

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Magnificent work, sir. This really has been a nice cherry on the top of an overall very good day. Thank you very much for this.

I noticed your request for test pilots (and presumably test engineers) with experience with HL Airships. While I concede that I have no experience with config file editing, I have been building majestic sky liners and blimps of discovery using this mod since at least 1.04. If you would deign my services useful, it would be my honor, and indeed my immense pleasure, to assist you on this venture.

I also wished to ask a few questions regarding this mod's future development. Of course now we have the 10m envelop pieces and the rudders, but I seem to recall you saying in the HL Airships thread that you were considering making additional parts, perhaps a couple of smaller 5m and 2.5m sets. Do you still intend to pursue such a course? If so, may I put forth a suggestion for an even larger 15m or 20m set, something for those of us who dream truly enormously, who wish to build titanic transport craft capable of lifting, say, an entire spacecraft to the very doorstep of the heavens, thus saving a fortune on fuel and SRBs?

I am also quite curious about your proposals for the gondolas and "modular flight deck" parts mentioned. Will these be designed in the typical Kerbal modern style, all computer readouts and joysticks? Or should we be anticipating something more akin to the romance and adventure of the zeppelins of old, all exposed duralumin frameworks, helms for steering and elevator control, modified engine room telegraphs for throttle controls? Similarly, I imagine some form of passenger modules will be on the agenda. Will these again be in the banal contemporary style of white walls and black leather seats, functional and adequate, but missing a soul? Or shall we dine on filet mignon in a grand flying lounge before retiring to our comfortable staterooms, all paneled in carved woods and floral wallpapers that would put the Maritime Pack's finest ocean steamers to shame? For reference to what I mean, I kindly point you to images of the original Graf Zeppelin's interior. Truly the last word in luxury air travel.

Of course, the pack is yours to do with as you wish, and I thank you truly for allowing us a view of its most promising progress. I look forward to observing continued developments with great anticipation.

Your humble servant,
Sir Reginald Lee IV

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16 hours ago, sirrliv said:

Magnificent work, sir. This really has been a nice cherry on the top of an overall very good day. Thank you very much for this.

I noticed your request for test pilots (and presumably test engineers) with experience with HL Airships. While I concede that I have no experience with config file editing, I have been building majestic sky liners and blimps of discovery using this mod since at least 1.04. If you would deign my services useful, it would be my honor, and indeed my immense pleasure, to assist you on this venture.

I also wished to ask a few questions regarding this mod's future development. Of course now we have the 10m envelop pieces and the rudders, but I seem to recall you saying in the HL Airships thread that you were considering making additional parts, perhaps a couple of smaller 5m and 2.5m sets. Do you still intend to pursue such a course? If so, may I put forth a suggestion for an even larger 15m or 20m set, something for those of us who dream truly enormously, who wish to build titanic transport craft capable of lifting, say, an entire spacecraft to the very doorstep of the heavens, thus saving a fortune on fuel and SRBs?

I am also quite curious about your proposals for the gondolas and "modular flight deck" parts mentioned. Will these be designed in the typical Kerbal modern style, all computer readouts and joysticks? Or should we be anticipating something more akin to the romance and adventure of the zeppelins of old, all exposed duralumin frameworks, helms for steering and elevator control, modified engine room telegraphs for throttle controls? Similarly, I imagine some form of passenger modules will be on the agenda. Will these again be in the banal contemporary style of white walls and black leather seats, functional and adequate, but missing a soul? Or shall we dine on filet mignon in a grand flying lounge before retiring to our comfortable staterooms, all paneled in carved woods and floral wallpapers that would put the Maritime Pack's finest ocean steamers to shame? For reference to what I mean, I kindly point you to images of the original Graf Zeppelin's interior. Truly the last word in luxury air travel.

Of course, the pack is yours to do with as you wish, and I thank you truly for allowing us a view of its most promising progress. I look forward to observing continued developments with great anticipation.

Your humble servant,
Sir Reginald Lee IV

Thanks! :) Test pilots needed for sure. I'm not an expert in HL by any stretch of the imagination. I was planning originally to create 7.5m dirigible parts but skipped that and went right to 10m parts. I currently don't have plans for 15m or 20m parts; JewelShisen already has those in the works from what I saw. But, I've set up the attachment nodes to let you easily attach dirigible parts end-to-end and side-by-side to make truly large vessels.

The 2.5m parts I was referring to were for the gondola; I'm just starting to do some concept designs for that too. Given that IVAs are a large time investment for so little return (most just look at them once or twice and then ignore them), and because highly detailed interiors eat into the rendering frame rate, I'm looking more in terms of the Skyship or Goodyear blimp than Graf Zepplin. If somebody wants a more high-class interior, I'd be happy to include the IVA:

Spoiler

gondola.gif

FE23_082.jpg

The Heisenberg-class isn't dieselpunk, it's more like a 1960s airship, and proportionally, a blimp gondola makes more sense from a scale perspective. You'd need a larger envelope to make something like this practical:

http://longstreet.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83542d51e69e2016762bae5f6970b-500wi

Something like 20-25m.

 

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Did a bunch of concepts and research today, and came up with this for the gondola:

dd7cJm5.png

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I find this funny as I have already been using the buffalo parts for make shift gondolas with the HL mod haha

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OMG... I find it even funnier, since I posted about the Airlander on the HL thread, my first thoughts for gondolas (it has a passenger and cargo versions), was to maybe use the Buffalo rover parts... :D

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Many thanks for the gracious reply, sir.

I will need some time to set things up before I can begin proper testing; the update to 1.2 has buggered up pretty much all of my mods good and proper, which to be honest I'm not best pleased about (I know the devs claim to support modders, but you wouldn't know it from their repeated, thorough changes to the code that require modders to go back and have to fix everything every few months. I understand their position, but that doesn't mean I'm happy about it). Once I have though, I would be happy to offer my feedback, either to this thread or in PMs, whichever you'd prefer.

I must admit, I'm just a touch disappointed that steam/dieselpunk wasn't on your mind for the gondola parts, but I do wholly understand your position. You're quite right that elaborate IVAs are a luxury feature that is seldom used by players. I had thought that the concept might click at least a bit given that the design and texturing of your parts put me in mind of the good count's original creations, with its canvas skin and barely showing wire stays. But of course it is your creation to do with as you wish. I will say that I find the idea of the multi-deck command module to be an intriguing one; it actually makes sense that one would be able to do that in the given space when you consider that Kerbals aren't nearly as tall as normal people, so of course they could cram into such a space and still have it be small enough to squeeze into a normal Mk.3 cargo hold. Heck, a Mk.4 hold would be downright roomy for this thing.

Edited by sirrliv

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Making progress on the gondola parts:

eZ8kJjQ.png

vNIrfFH.png

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Will the gondola parts be included in the buffalo mod too?

EDIT: Great! Can't wait to use the parts.

Edited by Ciaran
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3 hours ago, Ciaran said:

Will the gondola parts be included in the buffalo mod too?

Yup! :) You'll have the HL-10 envelope parts, gondola parts, and flight deck parts once I get them all done, all in separate folders to make it easy to trim the mod as needed.

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I'm not certain, but it looks like you can simultaneously know where this airship is AND how fast it's moving.

:wink:

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25 minutes ago, danfarnsy said:

I'm not certain, but it looks like you can simultaneously know where this airship is AND how fast it's moving.

:wink:

LOL.  And it's 4am here.

Peace.

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@Angel-125, I have three things to say after reading this thread:

1)  I didn't know until now I wanted airships. 

2) The WIP gondola stuff looks marvelous!

3) Thank goodness for a stable 64 bit Windows environment!  :)

 

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Glad you like the parts pack. :) Hooligan Labs is a fun mod, and I'm enjoying making parts for it. The Bison gondola /rover parts will also be available in the Buffalo mod as well, I'm trying to make the parts dual-purpose.

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At last I have reinstalled my various mods (at least those I deem necessary to testing out this mod) and can offer my first impressions.

Firstly, I had seriously underestimated the sheer size and scale of these parts. I had expected something along similar lines to SpannerMonkey's modular airship parts, large but roughly proportional for 2.5m parts to be slung underneath, a size that Mk. 3 parts might looks a bit large for and that Mk. 4 parts would be too large for. What I got stunned me. Using your Buffalo rover parts as the gondolas made them look tiny by comparison. I can definitely see why you're working on a new set of essentially double sized rover/gondola parts. A ship this size really needs gondola parts to match as the old Buffalo parts just don't cut it.

I confess though, there were some impressions I got that were not so positive. My biggest issue is with the way you configured the tail. I recognize that you've done something quite clever by having the envelop tail part automatically select 4-way radial attachment when attaching things to its side nodes, thus allowing one to easily attach the tail fins in one move. However, this did lead to problems for me. For one, I found that I wanted to remove the bottom tail fin as it is too large and impacts the ground on landing. However, due to the way the attachment nodes work on the tail I was unable to do so, or at least couldn't figure out how. This also became a problem when I wanted to try to attach other things to other nodes along the envelop, such as girders that would support engine mounts, and would change the attachment mode by accident. And me still figuring my way out with the more advanced building controls, I have been unable to figure out how to change it back to mirror attachment rather than radial attachment. I might recommend abandoning this feature of the envelop tail piece and simple having the player attach the side, top, and bottom tail fins separately, the side ones being attached using mirror mode, naturally. It's a bit less elegant, but I feel it simplifies things overall and reduces frustration no end.

A couple of other minor things I noticed in my admittedly brief initial experimentation:
The nameplates on the envelop midsections should perhaps be on the lower part of the envelop rather than the upper half, so that they can be seen from the ground.
The difference in length between the nose and tail pieces results in different lift capacities, which combined with the large tail fin impacting the ground resulted in my first airship being severely nose heavy. I have tried to rectify this issue by adding an extra medium envelop section forward, which has also allowed me to move my lead control gondola further forward, hopefully better for visibility. I'm not sure if this could be counted as a flaw, but it certainly will take some getting used to.

I will continue experimenting with this mod as time and inclination allow and will report back with my experiences.

By the by, I'm still unclear on what exactly your "flight deck" pieces are meant to be. It's clear now that your "gondola" and "flight deck" parts refer to different things. The gondolas are naturally slung beneath the airship. But what of the flight decks? Are they to be places on top of the envelop or something? Please, if you are able and willing, could you clear that up for us?

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8 hours ago, sirrliv said:

At last I have reinstalled my various mods (at least those I deem necessary to testing out this mod) and can offer my first impressions.

Firstly, I had seriously underestimated the sheer size and scale of these parts. I had expected something along similar lines to SpannerMonkey's modular airship parts, large but roughly proportional for 2.5m parts to be slung underneath, a size that Mk. 3 parts might looks a bit large for and that Mk. 4 parts would be too large for. What I got stunned me. Using your Buffalo rover parts as the gondolas made them look tiny by comparison. I can definitely see why you're working on a new set of essentially double sized rover/gondola parts. A ship this size really needs gondola parts to match as the old Buffalo parts just don't cut it.

I confess though, there were some impressions I got that were not so positive. My biggest issue is with the way you configured the tail. I recognize that you've done something quite clever by having the envelop tail part automatically select 4-way radial attachment when attaching things to its side nodes, thus allowing one to easily attach the tail fins in one move. However, this did lead to problems for me. For one, I found that I wanted to remove the bottom tail fin as it is too large and impacts the ground on landing. However, due to the way the attachment nodes work on the tail I was unable to do so, or at least couldn't figure out how. This also became a problem when I wanted to try to attach other things to other nodes along the envelop, such as girders that would support engine mounts, and would change the attachment mode by accident. And me still figuring my way out with the more advanced building controls, I have been unable to figure out how to change it back to mirror attachment rather than radial attachment. I might recommend abandoning this feature of the envelop tail piece and simple having the player attach the side, top, and bottom tail fins separately, the side ones being attached using mirror mode, naturally. It's a bit less elegant, but I feel it simplifies things overall and reduces frustration no end.

A couple of other minor things I noticed in my admittedly brief initial experimentation:
The nameplates on the envelop midsections should perhaps be on the lower part of the envelop rather than the upper half, so that they can be seen from the ground.
The difference in length between the nose and tail pieces results in different lift capacities, which combined with the large tail fin impacting the ground resulted in my first airship being severely nose heavy. I have tried to rectify this issue by adding an extra medium envelop section forward, which has also allowed me to move my lead control gondola further forward, hopefully better for visibility. I'm not sure if this could be counted as a flaw, but it certainly will take some getting used to.

I will continue experimenting with this mod as time and inclination allow and will report back with my experiences.

By the by, I'm still unclear on what exactly your "flight deck" pieces are meant to be. It's clear now that your "gondola" and "flight deck" parts refer to different things. The gondolas are naturally slung beneath the airship. But what of the flight decks? Are they to be places on top of the envelop or something? Please, if you are able and willing, could you clear that up for us?

Thanks for the feedback. :) I'm indeed making a new set of gondola parts to look good under the airship hulls. I ran into a snag on the current design- not enough headroom for two decks- so I'm doing some redesigning. It's a challenge to design something that meets my requirements (two decks, wide enough to host Buckboard 3000s on the wide flatbeds, look good as a gondola and as a rover, compatible with the Buffalo chassis system) but I'm getting there.

I'll look into the name plates, it does look like from my references that names for some airships are on the lower hulls. Some have them midships too. I'll have to think about the tails; meanwhile you can press "R" to switch between radial and symmetry mode, The problem with the tails is that the "+" pattern makes the bottom fin strike the ground as you noted, unless you use absurdly long landing gear. Lately I've been attaching the fins and then rotating the tail cone until the fins are at 45 degrees, an "X" pattern. That seems to work.

I may have to cheat a bit and give the nose and tail cones the same lift capacity as the HL-10L. That lift capacity would be a bit much for the nose and a bit too little for the tail. Maybe try giving just the nose the lift of the HL-10L and see what that does. It's easy to do: just open the hl10NoseCone.cfg, find the envelopeVolume, and change it from 918.53 to 2500.

To help explain the planned flight deck parts, this might give you some ideas:

533d15a1c751e0cb4a0711b6def89115.jpg

The flight deck parts would be akin to the carrier in the lower right.

And this:

as26.jpg

Edited by Angel-125
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12 hours ago, sirrliv said:

For one, I found that I wanted to remove the bottom tail fin as it is too large and impacts the ground on landing.

For that reason Germans use 3-way symmetry on their Zeppelins-NT :)

zeppelin2.jpg

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On a similar note, I found this image of the first American rigid airship, USS Shenandoah, which clearly shows her lower rudder fin to be cut off so that it does not extend below the envelop, having a straight edge rather than curved. I can imagine it's a pain to make a new part like this, but it may be worth looking into, either as an entirely new piece or perhaps as a "MeshSwitch" variant (I believe the term is).

USS_Shenandoah.jpg

I'm also quite impressed and intrigued by your concept for the flight deck parts. That's roughly what I thought you meant, but I wasn't so sure after you said that steampunk was not an aim of yours. I've tried building something like that myself a few times using a combination of HL's envelop parts and the Mk.IV hull pieces. Will these only be for runways, or will we eventually see additional cargo bays or even passenger cabins atop our airships?

Finally, also on the sort of "flying aircraft carrier" note, I recall experiments by the US Navy with their later airships USS Akron and USS Macon that involved fitting them with this sort of catchment trapeze system extending from beneath the airship, thus allowing small aircraft to dock and be launched from the ship. The idea was that these airships would act as reconnaissance for the ships below, able to use their spotter planes to scan hundreds of square miles of ocean at a time. I know this is especially ambitious, and I expect with the scale you're talking about including actual hangar pieces would be impossible, but might such a trapeze be conceivable in the distant future? This is something else I've experimented with, again using the Mk.IV parts as the hangar with KAS winches, but have yet to be able to design an airplane small enough to fit inside and still be flyable.

F9C-2_Sparrowhawk_fighter.jpg

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59 minutes ago, sirrliv said:

but have yet to be able to design an airplane small enough to fit inside and still be flyable

With TweakScale and procedural wings that is possible :)

CYeTFux.png

This biplane is miniature even compared with helicopter made of Mk1 parts.

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21 hours ago, sirrliv said:

On a similar note, I found this image of the first American rigid airship, USS Shenandoah, which clearly shows her lower rudder fin to be cut off so that it does not extend below the envelop, having a straight edge rather than curved. I can imagine it's a pain to make a new part like this, but it may be worth looking into, either as an entirely new piece or perhaps as a "MeshSwitch" variant (I believe the term is).

I'm also quite impressed and intrigued by your concept for the flight deck parts. That's roughly what I thought you meant, but I wasn't so sure after you said that steampunk was not an aim of yours. I've tried building something like that myself a few times using a combination of HL's envelop parts and the Mk.IV hull pieces. Will these only be for runways, or will we eventually see additional cargo bays or even passenger cabins atop our airships?

Finally, also on the sort of "flying aircraft carrier" note, I recall experiments by the US Navy with their later airships USS Akron and USS Macon that involved fitting them with this sort of catchment trapeze system extending from beneath the airship, thus allowing small aircraft to dock and be launched from the ship. The idea was that these airships would act as reconnaissance for the ships below, able to use their spotter planes to scan hundreds of square miles of ocean at a time. I know this is especially ambitious, and I expect with the scale you're talking about including actual hangar pieces would be impossible, but might such a trapeze be conceivable in the distant future? This is something else I've experimented with, again using the Mk.IV parts as the hangar with KAS winches, but have yet to be able to design an airplane small enough to fit inside and still be flyable.

Best way to describe the flight deck plans is to picture the USS Essex, with its flattop and an elevator that lowers into a hangar bay. You'll have the option of making just the flattop, which you could build on top of the airship hull (like the last picture I posted), or making a flattop and hangar bay combo that you'd sling between multiple airship hulls. I did consider making a trapeze system but realized that you'd have to have vary large airship hulls in order to fit aircraft inside, plus Infernal Robotics to haul the craft into the hull. That was simply beyond the scope of the project.

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33 minutes ago, Angel-125 said:

 I did consider making a trapeze system but realized that you'd have to have vary large airship hulls in order to fit aircraft inside, plus Infernal Robotics to haul the craft into the hull.

The worst is that you'd have to make both airship and plane move to reduce relative velocity and allow docking ports work. And there are restrictions for switching between moving crafts at low altitudes in KSP.

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4 minutes ago, Shnyrik said:

The worst is that you'd have to make both airship and plane move to reduce relative velocity and allow docking ports work. And there are restrictions for switching between moving crafts at low altitudes in KSP.

Yup. You'll probably have to park the airship and then launch/land aircraft from it. @EJ_SA, whose Kerbin Exploration Initiative inspired the Heisenberg project, has his aircraft carriers stationary when conducting aircraft operations. For KSP, I foresee the airship carrier dropping anchor or landing before handling aircraft.

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40 minutes ago, Angel-125 said:

You'll probably have to park the airship and then launch/land aircraft from it.

This is not quite necessary. My tests show that KSP treats floating with 0 speed airship as parked. So in fact you can switch between floating airship and landed plane, and then dock them in the air.

You can get something like that:

gl6IsM8r.png

Of course if you save at that moment and then reload, you'll suddenly find airship standing on the ground.

Edited by Shnyrik
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