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About Laie

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  1. "We’re launching a test that can detect COVID-19 in as little as 5 minutes" Great. Will it scale? We won't return to normal until most everyone is immune, either through vaccination or having been sick(1). Until then, isolating (only) the infected will be the next best thing. Which requires everyone getting tested every couple of weeks. That's a lot of tests. (1)This assumes that immunity will last. If it doesn't, there will be a new normal.
  2. At this point, celebrations seem in order. There really ought to be a parade or something.
  3. Yes. The problem with efficient landings is that you will have a lot of sideways velocity until nearly the last moment. Then it suddenly cancels out, you're motionless a little above the surface, and need to do a few meters worth of vertical descent, carefully. It now becomes a game of how maneuverable is your lander -- at the end you may find that you'd want to pitch from near-horizontal to near-vertical in an instant. It will matter if it takes you two seconds to do so, or ten. how quick are your reactions, and how finely can you control the throttle. It's easier if you have a relatively low TWR at that point, though you want a high TWR until just one moment earlier. Being a bit slow to react (either your reactions, or because the lander takes time) will require more fuel. A lot more fuel, because this is Tylo. There's no helping it. Staying within 100m/s of the theoretical limits will require god-like skill (a.k.a. autopilot or several rounds of saveloading). Cutting it even thinner than that is bound to fail.
  4. ...and then I fell sick. Next time I could gather a clear thought, a whole week had passed. Neat. But as nothing happened over the course of this week, I presume that this challenge is, by and large, over. I've combed over the thread once more and put every entry on the leaderboard, I think. Complain if something's still missing. As for a summary / findings: Scoring system worked even worse than expected, with the very fist entries being overweight subsonic. my mental model of how aerodynamics work was utterly broken. Fuselage contributes much more drag than I bargained for, and Mk1 ore tanks are more aerodynamic than most every other Mk1 part. They'd be the got-to choice even when *not* trying to increase mass, something to keep in mind for later occasions. tweaking the incidence of wings involves a lot of trial and error, and is also error-prone. Variable-incidence wings solve all of these problems in one go. @swjr-swisI've seen it from you first. May I credit you with the idea, or if not, would you happen to know who came up with it?
  5. No worries, ballast tanks are not forbidden. @swjr-swis has already pointed out why this would be useless, there's nothing I could add. Anyone using ore tanks should be aware that they're building X-planes which have no purpose beyond the scope of this challenge. But... that's the way of challenges, I guess: almost every higher / better / faster / stronger challenge seems to converge on one particular kind of optimization that rules them all. We have found ours. I see no point in fighting it. Which brings me to today's issue of "anything worth doing, is worth overdoing": 2.5m Parts are rumored to be the most aerodynamic of them all, so I gave them a try. Lo and behold, the rumors are true! It looks as if longer is better, and this one could certainly be longer still. It struggles to go supersonic, but once it's through, it won't stop: 670m/s (the fastest so far) 13 engines, a bit over 60 tons. That would be 3100 points... however, one ore tank is hidden in the cargo bay, together with the cockpit. I'm not yet certain just how much of a difference this makes, but clipping parts into bays or fairings is a kind of optimization I don't want to see, so this one doesn't qualify. So, that's what I did in KSP today. I didn't get around to updating the leaderbord, though... that will be the first thing tomorrow, I promise.
  6. Pffft. No way. (edit: seems as if that came over wrong. That was supposed to mean "no way I'm going to invalidate your entries".) At worst I'll make another category for ore tanks - when and if there's so many entries that it makes sense to do so. For the time being, I'll just point it out if someone doesn't use ballast. Already did that with Lisias yesterday, who so far is the only one to hold that distinction. I was, however, quite surprised to learn that ore tanks don't simply hold more mass at the same form factor, but are significantly less draggy than any other Mk1 fuselage of similar length. So, let me show you.... first, a variable-incidence passenger plane: ...and the "same" plane with ore ballast instead of crew cabins: Not only does the latter go a little faster at considerably more weight, it also goes supersonic without any ado. While the passenger plane had first had to climb to 6km, and then do a shallow dive to 4km. That's 590m/s, 10.974t -> 2158 for the passenger plane, and 600m/s, 12.163t --> 2432 for the one carrying ore ballast.
  7. Not much time left today, but perhaps I can just leave this here. I'm afraid that ore ballast is just too friggin good in terms of mass per drag.
  8. As you may have guessed, I've been pretty busy all week, hence the silence. The scoring discussion seems to have gone nowhere, while people keep submitting entries under the original scheme. Let's stick with it -- I'll probably have to update the thread title or something to make it absolutely clear that this isn't strictly about the fastest plane. I'm halfways confident that the TWR-based scoring still is fair in the sense that a better-scoring plane ought to have better aerodynamics. So that, "all things being equal", the better scoring plane ought to be able and go faster than the lower scoring one, simply by removing ballast to bring them to the same TWR. All things are never equal, of course, but hey. I will reserve the right to draw up new categories as I see fit. Variable incidence really seems to be a class of it's own, for example. OK, moving on to updating the OP with this week's crop...
  9. As a generic experience from previous challenges, I'm wary of using too many ingredients. It confuses participants, possibly to the degree of acting as deterrent, and increases the likelihood of asking for the wrong optimization by mistake. I guess what you're ultimately asking for is a kind of "Juno-Concorde Challenge": able to go (about) Mach2, intercontinental range, and passengers. We could simply write this down as demands, and lowest TWR wins. However, I currently believe that the simple TWR scoring will still honor speed over mass, at least to a degree. Even in the subsonic department, the Slab loses to my flying wing (which isn't even optimized in any way). I'm not 100% certain how things work in the transsonic area, but think that one still has to make at least Mach 1.5 or thereabouts before adding mass becomes again a winning strategy.
  10. @swjr-swis any suggestions for a better scoring system, by the way? There's already several entries, and I guess some people would be annoyed if I changed the rules at this point. Then again, it's not that many entries yet and I may still get away with it. Only that I cannot think of anything better. That's the approximate Thrust vs. Mach Number of the Juno engine (not sure if the game interpolates between data points in precisely the same way I did). Under current rules, this challenge is more "the lowest TWR you can get to Mach1.6" or so -- I guess for any plane going faster than that, you will score better if you load it down with ballast and fly slower. If somebody can think of a a scoring system that will put a little more more emphasis on speed, without rewarding to the kind of engine spam you need to get beyond mach 2, I'm all ears. If you want to get the best possible score from your plane, you possibly have to. Otherwise, do you have a "just reached cruising speed" picture, and can craft mass be derived from it? Fuel levels visible will be enough, together with take-off mass. However, I'd recommend to hold back for a while as we argue about a fair scoring system. Also poking @Zeiss Ikon @purpleivan @Klapaucius
  11. Yes, that's very convenient, take another upvote for bringing that idea. These days, stock KSP does provide a lot of data, but I'm so used to the old ways that I don't even look. That particular number only has 100kg precision and is updated every couple of seconds. Eventually it may turn out to be too coarse-grained. But for the time being, I'm happy to use it.
  12. Yeah, I could have said that a little better. Yes, I noticed. The idea was that any plane that can get supersonic at all will also make it to over 500m/s, and that this challenge would become a contest of tweaking things for 600+, but probably stay well below 700m/s. So, not strictly speaking the fastest plane, but, as you put it, respectable speed out of a limited number of engines. Only after the first submissions did I become aware just how much the TWR rule favors mass. By now it's probably too late to change the scoring system. Yesterday I still could have, but also couldn't think of any better solution than to split off the bumblebees into a subsonic category. That Flying Brick is neat. Should I credit you, or pull in @Box of Stardust without his knowledge? Oh, that screenshot is enough. Or maybe I only get it because I spent a few hours yesterday tweaking the incidence on my wings. By now, it comes as little surprise that even subsonic planes would be loaded down with ballast, but the sheer amount is much more than I thought possible. Nope, I'm asking for mass at the time of your recorded speed. The plane from the OP got noticeably lighter by the minute and I figured that this should be taken into account. While I may not have been overly diligent with the lower scores, I assure you that none of the 1000+ entries need to be adjusted. From your screenshots, I presume you've burned 81u of fuel? That would be 405kg. I'm assuming a mass of 7.24t for a score of 2345. Is that what's euphemistically called "linear construction techniques"? I'm not sure I'm fine with that.
  13. My first thought, too. That rule about level flight was mostly supposed to stop dive bombers, and as you say, why it would it go faster in a climb than on level flight? But on second thought... rules are rules, 50m/s vertical is by no means negligible, and, please forgive me, but I see it as my duty as challenge host to at least question oddities like this. And it *is* odd that you're posting a picture of your plane in a climb. Are we even looking at the same picture? I see 50m/s vertical, 672m/s (and about 5° upwards) on the navball. A video won't be necessary -- I said I'm willing to take your word for it. But if you want to give it another try, I have an inkling that you could be going quite a bit faster than you did, there.
  14. Wow. How hard was the struggle of getting it supersonic? These last few hours, I fought hard to get a 3-ton plane across. No success to show for it, but I'll call it quits, too. Will you terribly mind if I only add your most recent iteration to the scoreboard?
  15. The get-home maneuver was a bit too precise, I blow my remaining dV on reducing velocity and setting the PE. Ion thrusters need to be tweaked down to ~40% as that's all the electrical power I have. Another 20-minute burn, but by now I'm used to it. And a little later: Terra firma. Turns out that I never needed any ablator, as the base plate would withstand the entry. And even more surprising, the ion engine survived as well. Given the price tag, that may be good to know. ---- Mission Summary ---- ~2700 m/s to get from Kerbin to a low PE around the Sun 1922m/s - high AP between Dres and Jool 5871m/s - to reverse directions and set up a RV with the target 295m/s - matching velocities 7500m/s - reversing directions again, prograde low PE around the sun 1660m/s - lowering AP to Kerbin Gross Delta-V on vessel: 24.000 (approx. 20.500 in LKO) Launch Cost: 164.026 Recovered assets: ~11.600 (though at the far end of the world, at perhaps 50% recovery value)