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Everything posted by Starhawk

  1. Well, I don't think it's ideal or anything. I would certainly hope for much, much more, but I think the point is valid. Science in the late game should do something.
  2. @Starwhip: That Starstreaker is very pretty. I've come to love the dual-turbojet & LV-N combo in the time I've been building spaceplanes.
  3. Yeah, a bit unfortunately named especially considering the username I chose, but the name predates my joining the forum. The Spacehawk Mk2 is loosely based on something I built and named back in 0.24. Most of my stuff is even more imaginatively named - like 'Mun Lander 1a', 'Eve Lander 4w' and such.
  4. Are you sure you need to launch four separate pieces? My (painfully acquired) experience in KSP has led me to a couple of engineering principles I try to always keep in mind: 1. Less is more. (Except for struts. ) 2. Keep it simple. I find that if I try to start with the smallest, lightest, simplest thing I can think of that will do the job, I have more success. Less mass, the lightest engines I can get away with, and the fewest parts seems to work best for me. It's also cheaper. Big things built with multiple docking ports are very flexible and hard to steer. Until the new aerodynamics in the next update, nosecones and fairings actually hurt your performance in the stock game because they add mass and drag. Also, they cost kurrency. I may be wrong, but it seems to me you could launch a single craft which could satisfy your mission requirements. Hope this helps. Good luck! [EDIT]: Yes, you can transfer fuel through the 'scaffolding stuff'. Any parts without fuel crossfeed are marked with those words in orange in their tab in the VAB. You can manually transfer fuel between any tanks that are attached to the same vessel as far as I know.
  5. For me, the choice to greatly value the Kerbals adds significant enjoyment to the game. In my first career, it was one of the things that made me try so hard to finally complete a rescue mission for a Kerbal who was stranded on the Mun. Because I value them, it was very dismaying to find my elation at a successful landing destroyed when I realized I couldn't make orbit again, stranding a poor Kerbal. Because I value them, it was extemely pleasing to successfully complete the rescue mission that brought him home.
  6. May I humbly submit for your perusal my (rather long) mission album for the debut of the Spacehawk Mk2. On the two test runs I didn't quite nail the ascent profile, but I got it perfect this time. I hoped to get a shot of the actual munar take off. There's a vernor engine under the nose to tip the craft back onto the turbojets before firing up the LV-N. I got a little intent on the process during rendezvous and docking and forgot to get any screenshots. Hope you like it! [EDIT] Forgot to say, it uses significant (to me) clipping. Only a bit for the forward wings, but the LV-N is way inside the central tank.
  7. I pulled off munar rendezvous, orbit, and return without maneuver nodes or patched conics. I love flying by the seat of my pants. My return trajectory was purely 'by guess and by golly'. I think I had about four percent of my fuel left in the final stage after I achieved reentry. I was very pleased when Jeb splashed down safely.
  8. Bob. Because... Science! And because he's S-M-R-T ... I mean S-M-A-R-T (I'm not really too good with pop culture references.)
  9. Wow! Some people use a lot of mods. Started a second career in 0.90 - first one was stock. Hard mode this time including no reverts. DRE, KER, Remote Tech, TAC LS, ScanSAT for this one. Slow going so far.
  10. I think this is a very good idea. If the current system even had a display with little green lights for experiments done and little red lights or black spaces for experiments uncompleted that would be some incentive to try and continue doing science in the late game.
  11. I was just looking through some of my old designs. One of the things I always used to do was add a reaction wheel (ASAS module back then) to my designs, right at the back of the fuselage, and attach the jet engine to that. It adds significantly to the control, especially if the aircraft design is still in need of tweaking. Basically, it just adds torque to the back of the craft which makes it easier to steer. Here's a pic of one of my old designs - it actually has reaction wheels both at the back and right behind the cockpit. Talk about overkill! Anyway it flies pretty well even at 20 km. I'm actually a bit ashamed to show this craft. I would never build it like that now. But it flew. Live and learn!
  12. You are absolutely right! At the most 'meta' level game design is all about psychology. The reward system in any game is critical to that psychology. For me, it would even help if the science could be used to make parts more efficient... or something. In my first career game in 0.23.5 my save has like over 9000 science. I was so 'programmed' to collect science that I kept accumulating it even though it was useless. By the time I did my 'Four moons of Jool' mission, I was smart enough to leave all the scientific instruments at home. Also, it seems to me that if the various unlockables are fleshed out, they could be a more significant part of the reward system in the game as well. For instance, if the leveling up of Kerbals meant more, I would have more incentive to get more of them to different SOI's. But, for now, leveling up past level three doesn't really do anything useful. (Especially if you've finished unlocking the tech tree!) Back to the original topic. In future, I want to complete manned/kerbed landings on all bodies in the system in a single career. Visit all anomalies - there are still some I've never been to.
  13. I always feel a bit of a let-down after I finish unlocking the tech tree. I always have so much more to do, but all that science is worthless. I guess I could convert it to cash with a strategy.
  14. Part of the issue is just a limitation of the jets. They lose thrust in that high, thin atmo and, without thrust, you don't have the basis for control. Once you unlock turbojets, the high altitude flying changes completely. They have great thrust at 20 km. I'm no expert, but it seems to me that any craft based on jets will contend with difficulties at that altitude.
  15. I believe I had this problem when I had to manually adjust my staging a couple of weeks ago. Very frustrating.
  16. I have to say that, for me, backwards compatibility for spaceplanes isn't an issue at all. I always expected to have to reengineer my whole fleet once the new aerodynamic model is implemented.
  17. Yeah, the craft did suffer asymmetric flameout when I tested it. @qoonpooka - You can run struts from one wing section to another, and if you place them right, you won't see them. Also, you can mitigate asymmetric flameout if you check out the link Slashy posted.
  18. The control surfaces do have less purchase in thin atmo, so if the craft becomes unstable it is harder to recover. Also, because the air is thinner, there is less of the medium that gives you both stability and maneuverability to work with. The biggest problem I can see is the front winglets (canards). I tried removing them and took it up to 20 km. With two engines, you definitely have to worry about asymmetric flameout at those altitudes. I found that without the front winglets is was still quite controllable, although responding slowly in the thin air. Also, if the engines do flame out, you lose thrust and, therefore, control. A couple of other specifics. The wings seemed to flex quite a bit, making the control somewhat sloppy. Some struts (even placed invisibly inside the wings) could help a lot. It's probably best to place intakes as far to the rear as possible. If your drag is further back, the craft will be more stable. Hope this helps.
  19. Well, it can definitely be flown. I found it extremely touchy and crashed it on my first two test flights. It seems to have way more control surfaces than it needs, including those winglets near the nose. It is very unstable as soon as you move more than about 30 degrees off prograde. In general there is a tradeoff between maneuverability and stability. This craft is very maneuverable. There's a good tutorial here that goes into a lot of detail about aircraft design. When you are flying at high altitudes, you fly fast and you definitely want to favour stability over maneuverability at that point. If I could make a friendly suggestion as to the name... Perhaps 'Death Trap' rather than 'Twin Engine'. Good luck and happy landings!
  20. I downloaded it and went to try it out. The centre engine doesn't function. Were there fuel lines to run fuel from the two outer tanks to the centre engine? In any case, it doesn't look like it needs three, and it's named twin engine. Anyway, I'll try flying it and see what happens.
  21. I would advise you to watch your time to apoapsis carefully, along with your apoapsis itself. These are helpful in determining whether your rate of turn is too sharp. If you tip far too early, the atmo kills your velocity. As you do your gravity turn, watch your apoapsis to make sure it is increasing as well as moving farther out from your craft, but not too far. Once you see your apoapsis at about 75 to 80 km you can kill your engines and coast until you get fairly close to the apo and burn for circularization. As I understand it, the aerodynamic model currently employed in stock does not lend itself to true gravity turns at all. I guess what I do is a simulated gravity turn - the KSP way.
  22. This has been my experience. I have a long-range spaceplane that can do Mun, Minmus, and Ike, but there isn't enough atmo to give it enough lift on Duna. I ended up designing quite a different spaceplane to do the Duna-return mission with horizontal landing and takeoff at Duna, definitely a specific-mission craft. I never tried it at Laythe, but I see no reason it wouldn't work. I'd need to build a pusher stage to get it to Jool, though, or send a refueler.
  23. I have to echo eddiew above. If your ships are drifting together/apart that means their relative velocities are not matched. Not only is it necessary to get the two craft close together in the orbit, it's also necessary to kill essentially all the relative velocity before you can attempt docking. The key for me was understanding the markers on the navball. Once you are in target mode {click the velocity readout to change modes}, the yellow markers (prograde/retrograde) show the direction of your relative velocity and the velocity readout at the top of the navball shows the value of the relative velocity. Once you are getting close to your target, you need to bring the relative velocity down to zero and then start the docking process. Bringing relative velocity to zero essentially means you are just matching orbits extremely closely. Once the two craft are 'floating' next to each other, you can start orienting them the right way. Hope this helps. Good luck!
  24. Welcome to the forums! One of the things I loved since I started is the 'fly by the seat of your pants' feel of the game. As you are saying, there's so much more to it than that, but I always have a strong affinity to 'the Kerbal way'. Lots of great people, advice and tutorials are here. Glad you joined the forums!
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