n.b.z.

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About n.b.z.

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  1. n.b.z.

    What’s your favourite rocket type?

    It's the other way around. SSTO is the general term for any vehicle that gets to orbit using a single stage, be it a spaceplane or not. The constant confusion around this is caused by conflating the term SSTO with "airplane".
  2. Nice. The plane is a favorite of mine. Think about it: this was a serial produced, manned, fully and rapidly reusable rocket (at least if it didn't explode). With freaking deep throttling. Took quite some time for another attempt at building such a thing, me thinks...
  3. n.b.z.

    What did you do in KSP today?

    Now that we can "officially" deploy Kerbal's parachutes from Command Chairs, I couldn't resist building the obvious para-trike. As I usually do for anything that uses air for lift, I couldn't stop tuning the thing until it not only flew acceptably, but really well-balanced and self-stabilizing, a pleasure to fly with a joystick and no SAS. I had to add two Basic Fins to solve a roll issue. Since I had to add them anyway, I also made them reduce the tendency to pitch-up as speed increases. At idle thrust, the trim speed is (very close to) 50 m/s at sea level. I could have reduced the ridiculously high engine power, but then decided that the ability to climb vertically to a few thousand meters before deploying the chute, a cruise altitude of 14000 m, and a cruise speed of 210 m/s at that altitude are actually nice features. As a bonus, the vehicle is a surprisingly good unintended submarine.
  4. n.b.z.

    Patch 1.4.3 to be released next week!

    That's still accurate, for very large values of week. (In the meantime, I'll still play KSP, as my older versions don't stop working just because a new one is announced.)
  5. n.b.z.

    Biggest Plane with a Juno

    I submit the "Brutan Traveler". 100% stock 12.21 tons after landing on the island airfield _______ On the one hand, this is not a proper challenge entry, as I didn't even try to go for the actual objective - to fly the highest possible weight I can. On the other hand, I did build a plane as a response to this thread, it's my Biggest Plane With A Juno, both in size and weight, and I flew it to the island airport. I ended up with merely 12.21 tons on the island airfield. But more importantly, I not only had a lot of fun building and flying the thing, I actually have a keeper. I will keep flying this plane just for the joy of flying it. I never thought I would say that about a plane with such a ridiculous TWR! It has become my favourite thing in KSP to make airplanes just for fun flying - yes, of course using a joystick - and I put a lot of effort into tuning their handling. CoM/CoL, fuel tank layout, trim and "known" trim speeds, flaps (also with trim), control surface authority, gear params, ... if it has advanced tweakables, it will be tweaked. So reading this thread - already thinking about a one-Juno plane - I saw GoSlash27's beautifully rutanesque plane, and the following three things occured to me: 1. Awesome! I want a Voyager-like plane, too. Using only one Juno would actually be just right for that. 2. Hmmm, no canards? I want mine with canards! 3. But GoSlash27 isn't exactly new at this, so... since I like fine-tuning a lot... making canards fly and handle really well might be a challenge all by itself? (This is not a dig at GoSlash27 - his plane beats mine by miles in this challenge, and was what inspired me to make one myself!) Ditching the max-weight / top-of-the-leaderboard goal allowed me to build a plane that's by no means a replica of the Voyager, but resembles it a bit closer, if only for the canard layout and the thinner booms. It's called "Brutan Traveler" because this absolutely, totally doesn't sound like a cheap knockoff of the "B. Rutan Voyager" at all. I couldn't even resist adding a few draggy parts for the looks. The plane has two air intakes instead of one, useless winglets, and three lights hidden away in the fuselage. The handling is superb, I had no big troubles with the canard setup. In fact, I only use the inner half of the canard as elevators, and these surfaces are set to only 70% deflection. (The reaction wheel of the Mk1 cockpit is disabled.) The canard has a slight angle of incidence, and I was delighted to find that it actually stalls before the main wing does, resulting in a benign stall behaviour and an easy recovery. There are three flap settings (action groups 1-3): no flaps, flaps HALF, and flaps FULL. The neutral trim speeds, at sea level, for these settings are, respectively: 100, 75, and 50 m/s. That's to say, the plane flies in a perfectly straight line without SAS and very little / occasional control inputs when flown at these numbers. There is also a 5° downward-tilted probe core for semi-automated cruise flight (abusing SAS PROGRADE as AOA HOLD). Challenge proof shots: Cruise performance: 125 m/s at 3300m - no flaps 105 m/s at 4000m - flaps HALF Of course it takes forever to reach those altitudes. Thanks zolotiyeruki for this challenge, I had good fun and now have one more plane in the hangar.
  6. n.b.z.

    Landing spaceplanes on Duna.

    One way to get an idea of the difficulty of landing on Duna, before actually flying there, is to practice landing somewhere high in the mountains on Kerbin. While you still have higher atmospheric density on Kerbin, you add the factor of unvafourable Terrain. If you can't land your plane in Kerbin's mountains, that same plane will be difficult to land on Duna. Drogues in the back are actually a good idea if you really don't want to spend fuel to slow you down. But on Duna, you need the big chutes (such as the blue radial ones) to act as drogues. Having them in the back will keep the plane pointed straight, in case your nose-wheel contacts first and knocks your craft into a pitch-up motion. Ideally, they should be mounted in the back and a bit above the vertical position of the Center-of-Mass. This way, the chutes "want" to orient the plane in a slight nose-up attitude, 5 or 10 degrees, like the flare for a landing.
  7. n.b.z.

    What did you do in KSP today?

    The second-most annoying thing about Dalin Kerman is her constant bragging and bigmouthing, claiming to be "the best pilot north of the south pole". The most annoying thing about Dalin Kerman is that she's probably the best pilot north of the south pole. ______ Enjoy.
  8. n.b.z.

    What did you do in KSP today?

    Slightly more annoyed than usual about the various states of wonkyness that the landing gears seem to undergo over time, I admittedly overreacted at some point a few days ago, when still using 1.4.0. After watching a bunch of my favourite fun planes jump off the runway like mad kangaroos - only with less resilience to self-induced impacts - I found myself asking: "Isn't there anything these gears are good for?" This was obviously a very bad line of inquiry, which has lead me away from the path of noble and righteous rocketry, as I answered the above question by building my very first kraken drive. "Powered" by wonky gears, of course, and built into a spaceplane. Animation of drive arming and activation: https://i.imgur.com/1zAOISN.gif (large-ish GIF file, thus not embedded here) While I'm not usually a fan of cheating myself in this fashion, I am more amused by the contraption than I thought I would be - maybe more than I should be? This is a glorious "science fiction" drive: a strange, bulky, complicated looking, dramatically illuminated bullcrap apparatus, which implements a bullcrap propulsion principle. On activation, the ship briefly shudders, flexes, almost ripping itself apart shortly before the drive kicks in. After that, it's smooth sailing with a steady, on-demand 3g tailwind, painting an obscenely straight line into the map view. If you ever saw a need to run away from Oberth or Tsiolkovsky, this is the vessel you'd want to escape with. The moveable part in the drive (which I call the "kraken core" mainly because I cannot resist) can be easily re-docked, but initial testing shows that at some point after being used repeatedly for some time, the drive just stops working. This seems to depend on the environment, but once it happens, the drive remains broken even in areas where it worked before. So this little plane is a Single-Stage-To-Anywhere-But-Probably-Not-Back vehicle. Another test result: just because you show up with a fancy glitch drive, doesn't mean Eve isn't going to smash your vehicle to bits.
  9. I don't have this when switching between games. But the frequency at which I keep re-discovering that view controls (such as coolie hats) do not actually work with screenshots or videos of games is embarassing.
  10. n.b.z.

    SSTOs! Post your pictures here~

    The boringly named "Fivetonner" is an uncrewed cargo SSTO that can lift 5 tons of freight, shielded in a cargo bay, to a 75km low orbit. It is also capable of docking. It can return with an equal 5 ton load, or empty. While it both takes off and lands vertically, the reentry and entire approach to the KSC is flown in a nose-forward position. This way, I can keep being lazy about actually doing precise maneuvers, and just rule-of-thumb improvise may way back to the KSC by "flying" it similar to a spaceplane. Over the KSC, two stages of drogue chutes turn the vehicle bottom-down again, large chutes arrest most of the sink rate, and a tiny landing burn... rather, a landing breeze... takes care of a few surplus m/s that would overstress the legs. This craft was originally meant to look somewhat "realistic". Like something that could exist in the real world. But as you can imagine, flying nose-forward with empty tanks, an empty cargo bay, and seven engines in the back presented a severe stability problem. The solution was to add that rather wild aero structure in the back, which not only has KERBAL written all over it - it looks exactly like someone managed to convert the sentence "I HAVE &$*!§# ENOUGH OF this rocket flipping!!!" into a blueprint for a stabilizer.
  11. n.b.z.

    The Fancy Probes Challenge

    The "Relay Flatpack" was not designed for beauty. It is just what happened when I tried to make a compact relay probe using the largest relay dish, with a built-in engine and fuel supply. Since I could not reduce the circumference of the dish, I tried minimizing the use of the one dimension I had control over. When I was done, I did add 8 parts only for the looks: two lights, and those six Communotron 16 antennas. It also doesn't really need all six solar panels to work. I'm not sure at the moment, but I think this probe carries north of 2000 m/s of delta-v. Weighs just under 5 tons fully fueled.
  12. n.b.z.

    Whats your revolutionary design hacks?

    Mounting an additional probe core, or two, deliberately tilted off the vehicle's axis of travel, in order to... implement an AOA HOLD mode for planes (nice feature for cruise flight and/or reentry from orbit) tame wobbly rockets on ascent build an asymmetric shuttle stack, and use SAS PROGRADE on ascent like on any other rocket, going as far as rotating the whole thing 180° into a heads-up, tank-down position (like the real shuttle did) while the main engines are still burning, mainly just because I can I don't know about "revolutionary", but my little write-up about the TiltProbeCore™ seems to be my most-liked post ever.
  13. I spend waaaay too much time on builds. Much more time than I should be spending in front of a PC in general. This means that I have a hangar full of vehicles that were designed to grandiose phantasies of the surely phantastic missions they were meant to be able to accomplish. Missions that then never actually take place, because the time left to fly them is a negative number, and also, because..... I *just* saw someone else's build on this forum and thought "wait a second - you can do THAT?? Let me try this idea for a moment". Turns out, I have a really interesting definition of "moment".
  14. n.b.z.

    What was your highest velocity ever achieved?

    I don't remember any numbers, but I'm sure I have never gone as fast as when trying to get into a Moho orbit for the first time. The velocity at which I screamed past Moho was unbelievable.
  15. n.b.z.

    What did you do in KSP today?

    Today, I uploaded my very first Youtube-video, which incidentally happens to be a KSP video. It's rather longwinded, almost 14 minutes long. But that sounds bad and boring, so let me rephrase: this video is for the connoisseur of the unabbreviated ascent footage. Sounds better? As an aside: I have seen solid fuel boosters being used as sepatrons before, but as far as I know, this is the first recording of a Flea booster being used as an attitude thruster. I can recommend that. Some info about that stack is in the Youtube description text.