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Posts posted by Hotel26

  1. It's not often (never) that I quote so-called "real life" in regard to KSP, but in case it soothes:

    1. heavy, long-distance wide-bodies very typically climb to an initial cruising altitude and then request higher once some of the fuel load has been expended.  (Nothing at all like a two-stage rocket but that's my metaphor for today.)
    2. in the very early days (before the prevalence of ATC), cargo pilots cruised in a continuous but slight climb instead of using the modern "step-ladder".  I imagine their primary control reference was to never decrease airspeed while maintaining some small, positive climb rate.

    re: your Hidden Contents: exquisite entomology!


    Pardon my humor, but I see a use for this immediately, involving  an insecticide called Chainsaw[tm]: it looks too real!  :)


  2. Climb to Maximum Altitude

    In the technique I employ, that I will now describe, I use KER and Atmospheric Autopilot.  Please note the following instrumentation:


    Instruments we are observing:

    1. Altitude
    2. Vertical Speed
    3. Pitch (angle of body incidence to the horizon)
    4. Fuel Flow
    5. Airspeed
    6. and commanding Vertical Speed (Rate of Climb, m/s), via Atmospheric Autopilot.

    Flight Phases from take-off:

    1. good rate of climb, whilst keeping airspeed increasing, is primary, as we know we have surplus energy -- at any altitude much lower than the theoretical maximum
    2. increasing airspeed, whilst maintaining a positive rate of climb, is primary, so as not to get trapped on the back side of the power curve
    3. approaching the level-off, Pitch is primary and should desirably approach zero asymptotically -- but the final value will depend on the design setting of wing Angle of Incidence


    In order to minimize parasitic body drag, maintain small/zero angle of Pitch incidence between the longitudinal axis of the body and the prograde direction.  You could think of this as the Angle of Attack of the body rather than the all-important AoA of the wing, usually spoken of.  Now although the attitudinal Pitch is relative to the horizon rather than to prograde, we note that at or near maximum altitude, the climb rate is very minimal when compared to horizontal airspeed: prograde is very nearly identical with the horizon.  Therefore we can substitute Pitch for Body Incidence.


    In the screen shot above, this little 'plane (Drosophila, the "common fruit fly"; having a maximum altitude of at least 9800 meters), is still climbing at a healthy 4 m/s, commanded (4.01 actual).  Pitch shows 0.01010 degrees, which is very close to the "null point".

    As the climb continues, the airplane performance will ordinarily decrease, most naturally.  Atmospheric Autopilot will respond by raising the nose in order to maintain the commanded climb rate.  The increased resulting drag may soon have an effect upon speed, which we watch constantly with a view to never permitting it to decrease.


    So when the Pitch is positive and increasing, we should consider lessening the climb rate as necessary to send the Pitch rate back downward toward zero.  We may not allow this situation to worsen.  The closer we get to maximum altitude, the less (excess) performance we can expect and the more sensitively we must respond.

    When the Pitch is negative, it indicates that the airplane is likely enjoying a surplus of energy and we can consider commanding an increase in the climb rate. 

    As long as the Pitch is positive and decreasing toward zero, or negative and increasing toward zero, we are in good shape.

    The closer we approach maximum altitude, the more critical body drag becomes and so our feedback against it.  At lower altitudes we can afford to be more aggressive.


    1. "In general", I strongly resist allowing speed to decrease or the climb rate to go negative.
    2. some airplanes (those with "strong personalities"!) may give the appearance of "topping out" but -- while speed or climb rate (or both) are only vanishingly increasing-- catch a "second wind" and burst out of the gate once passing some hidden threshold.  (The feeling is like squeezing through a choke point.)  This can especially happen in a second phase of Cruise when fuel load depletion unleashes a new maximum.  (My Hexapen Deluxe is one of those, as I recall.)
    3. There is a sense, I am sure, in which this technique is "nothing new".  It may be quite like what an experienced pilot might do, "seat of the pants", purely from a few instruments and, particularly, the Artificial Horizon.  But I find the trend in the Pitch indicator is much more sensitive and that this whole approach is more amenable to explanation and comprehension.


    If, after finding an aircraft's maximum altitude, the final Pitch is positive, it may indicate that it is profitable to return to the SPH and adjust wing incidence to be commensurately greater.  A negative Pitch may indicate the opportunity to decrease the wing incidence, which will offer new dividends.  Either of these incur the need, of course, to once more fly the modified airplane and (re-) determine its maximum altitude/performance.


    I have knowingly simplified aspects of this Introduction in order to make an excitingly-complex subject more approachable.  Experts in the field will understand already the simplifications (omissions) made.

    I do believe though that this technique gives an understandable and metric approach to "climbing Everest" that will equip the newly-minted with a basis to develop their own intuitive comprehension of the rigors of this particular sport.

    In particular, the trans-sonic regime and the usage of multi-mode engines (particularly the engine I have painfully grown to dearly love over time, the Panther), often demand some skillful optimization of technique.

    Finally, I am aware that there are alternative techniques available and I am certainly most happy about opening a forum here for pilots, both experienced and more novice, to "compare notes".

    Blue Skies!


    [This one is for you, Spacejet!   You are missed.]


  3. Introduction

    Before taking to the air, any pilot will desire to know the following about the equipment to be used:
    • how far it can fly
    • how high
    • how fast
    • how much fuel it will require
    • and what is the most efficient speed & altitude to fly
    Equipped with this information, the pilot may then choose to fly:
    • in the shortest time (speed)
    • via the most scenic route (altitude and route)
    • maximizing the range (efficiency)
    • with a reduced fuel load
    Before any others, the first datum to determine must be maximum altitude.  This is because one must explore the whole altitude range to determine the most efficient cruise altitude.
    Our  primary metric for efficiency, η, will be η = speed / fuel-consumption.  [This is effectively/approximately, "the maximum distance that can be covered given the fuel available.]
    (The above introduction intentionally omits the complications of evolutionary cruise trajectories due to decreasing fuel load and those introduced by multi-mode engines which may introduce a choice of two power profiles that may be chosen or blended.)


    The question now posed is, "how to fly an unknown machine to its maximum altitude?"  Seems simple, doesn't it?
    In truth, the means to achieving the highest possible altitude can often be quite surprising.  In my next post, I will give an outline of one such technique.
    I do know of others, however, so if you'd like to share your own favorite method, by all means, please post here.
    Blue skies!
  4. [first] SPACE NEWS GAZETTE [next][prev]

    1. in our last installment, a mysterious booster (Dreadnought S2) had appeared on a lonely northern shore[pic 1].  The next morning, as investigators arrived upon the scene, they were to discover that it had disappeared.  What they found in place was a short set of triple tire tracks, starting and then stopping at or very near the location of the disappeared booster, then turning a sharp left and descending down to the waterline.  Nothing else in evidence.
    2. In another hemisphere, far away, a small UAV departed a mountain base[pic 2], wound through some rugged terrain[pic 3] and then scouted for and found another booster (Obelisk), ditched[pic 4].  Hours later, a large fishing trawler arrived at the scene, hoisted the booster[pic 5] into its hold and then departed in great haste.
    3. Back at KSC Mission Control, all the Big Brass were assembled in the boardroom listening intently as a lone figure, dressed rather dapperly in civilian attire, pointed to the map stretching some of the length of the boardroom table and spoke in low tones.  "Gentlemen, I suggest you scramble clandestine overflights equipped for detailed photography over this area in order to identify the launch site of our mysterious intruders..."  His finger was lightly tapping a location in the far south of the planet.  Perhaps as many as Sixty Degrees south.  The speaker was none other than the legendary Agent 86 (although only one other, present in the room, knew this).  Yes, KSC Top Brass had decided to get smart, and call in Maxwell Krakpotkin to solve the puzzle at hand.




    [click + arrows => slideshow]







    SNlTjMN.jpg    gqtwkD8.jpg    En5SlvP.jpg    nt0P3EJ.jpg


  5. Gilly is where you mine on the surface with a space fuel station directly overhead, geostationary, at 42.14km altitude.  And the transfer is just a short elevator ride with no orbital mechanics, no real rendez-vous; just the dock and nothing but the dock.  I absolutely love Gilly.  (Gilly is also the only place to get fuel into space in the Eve subsystem, don't forget!)

  6. 5 hours ago, Colbiz said:

    swooped down at 1200m/s speed, the whole wing fell off

    That's a lot of speed!  Did you have the wings auto-strutted as Grandparent, say?  (I generally strut the fuselage as Heaviest part and the peripheral parts as Grandparent.)  Unsure this is going to help you (at that speed) but...

    Mmm, maybe a more strategic idea is to use time-warp only for the cruise duration of a long trip and turn it OFF before heavy maneuvering!?

  7. [first] SPACE NEWS GAZETTE [next][prev]

    Today's first news story is the surprise finding on a rugged, remote, northerly shore of a spent booster of unknown origin.  A farmer out on a tractor phoned it in with a screenshot and geo-location data: 41.2/146.9 NE.

    Meanwhile (source withheld) a craft with unknown markings made a long journey across an ocean in the northern hemisphere for unknown destination and purpose.  [Best intelligence estimates position as 21/125 NE]

    And in our final headline, rumors are buzzing in the aerospace community that blueprints of a revolutionary submarine technology, featuring STOCK buoyancy control have been hacked, and have now been published on the dark net...  [click the image]  Kerbin Space Agency specialists are studying the technology but remain baffled so far, particular by its apparent lack of an energy source...


    NdIdvAb.jpg    GLqBVqQ.jpg    HJUsRgx.png




    In recent weeks, KSC Mission Control has become increasingly concerned about the recent proliferation of unidentified objects occupying 60-degree inclination orbits.

    No known source for these objects has yet been determined.



  9. 28 minutes ago, swjr-swis said:

    Protocol, Sir.

    I stand in Dereliction of Duty.

    Yet, this place was so hard to find again.  I think the best clue (apart from "on the Russian steppes" and under a (possibly badly-skewed) equatorial orbit), would be its precise maximum depth (more precise than "shallow"), but I would need just an excellent submarine vessel for that...  And then the Intrepid Explorer would have to go sample every such lake -- with a very Intrepid Submarine...

  10. A couple of years ago, I had a capsule with a lone female Kerbal make a fiery re-entry and then approach a touch-down under chutes somewhere over those long Easterly plains.

    Fascinated, I watched the trajectory stay glued to the middle of a very small lake.  And, quite amazed, I witnessed a safe splash-down in the middle of that lake. in the middle of nowhere.




    The Kerbonaut (let's call her Sandra Kerman) had to go EVA under water and then swim for the shore.  Quite an unexpected and harrowing experience, I'm sure.

    Mission Control (me) was not astute enough to get a fix on what we now call "Lake Gravity" -- and we have been searching for it ever since.

    Well, tonight, we are happy to announce: we think this is it.  (Champagne?  Yes, we think this is reason enough...)

    (Coincidentally, I live near a place called "Gravity Lakes" that is real.)

  11. First of all: CONGRATULATIONS!!

    Now it seems you have your first Munar Rescue Mission to look forward to.  Exactly the same except you'll need to make a pinpoint landing this next time (within walking distance, any way).  Unless...

    Unless you have a quicksave that predates the mishap.  Even if it's in orbit before the landing: practice makes perfect.

    Finally, some good news.  leave Jebediah (oh no) there as long you like until you're ready to come back for him.  He'll wait patiently.

    Well done!!

  12. The following picture depicts a Jansen Omnidock:


    It consists of a Papa Dock, Mama Dock and Baby Dock, in one assembly, such that it can participate in docking with any other kind of dock, including another Jansen Omnidock.

    It is a very useful choice of equipment for e.g. a space station.

    Please NOTE that it is NOT possible to exactly construct the Jansen Omnidock in the SPH or VAB, due to the following, highly-technical detail:


    There is no provision in the SPH/VAB to radially-connect one dock to another.  This is necessary if we wish to preserve all docking nodes (open) without obscuration.

    The objective is shown here:

    Enter abbrev for craft: Jansen
    Reading /home/kmk/env/games/KSP/ Omnidock.craft
       1    0   dockingPortLarge_4294609932
       2    1     dockingPort3_4294605824
       3    1     dockingPort2_4294607144

    The minor docks are linked to the major dock.

    For ease, downloading the Jansen Omnidock sub-assembly for merging with your target craft (e.g. space station) may be the simplest procedure.


    With Precise Editor (pictured) however, an alternative, direct approach is feasible.

    In the picture, the Papa Dock (Senior) has a Y-axis displacement of 10.  The Mama Dock (Ordinary) has a displacement of 9.9953 (-0.0047 relative) and the Baby Dock (Junior, shown in Precise Editor) has Y=10.1346 (+0.1346 relative).

    When, therefore, the Papa Dock is placed in connection with a 2.5m tank, for example, it is possible to radially attach the minor docks to the same tank (part) and then use Precise Editor to move them to the desired displacement/orientation, vis-a-vis the Papa Dock.  This works easily when the Papa Dock is aligned in any plane orthogonal to either X, Y or Z: one can then simply adjust one co-ordinate (X, Y or Z) to effect the desired offset.

    To finish off, it is strongly recommended to:

    1. null out the port Docking Acquire Force as undocking sometimes otherwise leaves craft magnetically-bound (use the Thrust, Luke!)
    2. if staging, set them all to stage toegether; if using a key-binding for separation, similarly: "all together"

    Final note.  The picky constructor will often desire a combination of two docks, not three.  Entirely possible!  (Lessee (improvising)... in the case of Mama + Baby, the relative offset would be 10.1346 - 9.9953, which is +0.1393.)

    (Or, you could just download Jansen Omnidock, the "Swiss port" of space stations.)

  13. Going through the dusty, old junk, hidden under the tarpaulins at the back of the SPH, I found an old "drone" prototype.

    I'm working on a v2 that will extend its speed/range AND...


    it will be deployed on the runway as a "wing of three", departing in formation, capable of mid-flight detachment, providing a training platform for remote controllers in 1. formation flying and 2. aerial combat.  It sports variable-incidence wings.  :)

    v2 prototype just hit M2 climbing through 11.7 km...  looking forward to seeing the final numbers, including range.

  14. 7 hours ago, Vl3d said:

    on the verge of a revolution in video game graphics, which makes KSP2 possible

    I read this as meaning that it is 'video game graphics' that makes KSP2 (and all other video games) possible and, hence, any revolution in video game graphics, such as 'concurrent binary trees', has tremendously interesting potential impact for video game players (us).  (Just my interpretation and Vl3d can elaborate...)

    But therefore, thank you very much, @Vl3d, for linking these videos and paper.  I'll watch the videos with interest.

  15. On 7/4/2022 at 2:59 PM, AloE said:

    easily refuel when landed at any of the Kerbin Side Remastered bases

    Had you considered refueling from the fuel tanks at most KSR bases?  If the facility to do so is opened, it's a matter of clicking on the fuel tank.  (If you think that might be what you want, but have trouble with it, I can help.  (I am no KK expert, though!)

    I personally use a mod called Telemagic that allows you to refuel from a fuel tanker (when both vehicles are parked within 30m of each other).  It requires you build the infrastructure to ship fuel to key airports which just gives you one more reason to fly missions.

  16. I have a project on the drawing boards to make a part that produces Xenon (from ore).  As far as I've gone, I think I have to make a part .cfg for this.

    Converters (consuming ore) can make MP (monopropellant) for RCS.

    You're right about Solid Fuel except that solid boosters effectively contain Solid Fuel in a tank and you can transfer solid fuel from a huge unused booster (e.g. buried into an aircraft carrier), from which landing aircraft with spent retro-solids can "refuel" once docked (I've done this).  If my Xenon technique works for xenon, it can be made to work for solid fuel and thereby fill a reservoir from which to refuel other things.  Solid fuel may be simpler to produce than xenon but I haven't made any study of this yet.

    I'm being vague (intentionally) at this point, I know, but I think it is doable in KSP 1 and without code.

  17. 3 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

    Also, they have oysters.

    And its native bird is the Ostrich, which is on the coat of arms.  But not of Austria.

    Or maybe I'm getting confused with another national bird.  And another southern country.

    What I'd really like to know is which country, or principality, more likely, has oysters octopi on its coat of arms...  (Atlantis, maybe...?)

  18. Hello, @Rakete and thanks for the interest.

    10 hours ago, Rakete said:

    Are your Airports-zips complete with all assets?

    Yes, they are self-contained (one for each airport) and they should each unload[1] into GameData/Hotel26/Airports/<airport-name>/ independently of each other.  I've organized them this way so that you can pick-and-choose but I may soon add a compendium zip that includes all (and delete what you don't want).  That would be convenient for the first-time down loader.

    10 hours ago, Rakete said:

    Are your Airports openable Launch sites in the KK-menue?

    I don't think they are currently but I've had this request before and also the suggestion of adding spawn points at each airport.  I'll make this happen if I can do it unobtrusively.

    One thing about the way my latest versions are set up is to not list a marker on the Map View.  I find those markers get in the way of maneuver nodes.  I think this is an independent issue, though, and they could still be openable.  (All the more reason in fact to have them on an accessible menu.)

    I'll ping you when I've done any/all of the above.

    [1] may need work, as this is the intended location in GameData but the zips may not be structured this way.  If not, unzip them into a temporary directory and move them, but I will amend this to make it clearer and easier to install.

  19. Building a new military airbase on Canary Island (21/125 SW) but the environmental impact study required our engineering team to limit the base footprint ("some kind of blasted civilian penguin...").

    The design team is pioneering a computer-generated decal technique to auto-map decals of the specified size, aligned in the appropriate direction and spacing to sit flush with a 1,700m runway.

    Hand-generated at the moment (4 decals shown with 5 required in total), but will be Config file edited numerically at close of design.  [click + arrow = slideshow]

    g1Y1R1h.jpg    0PRkeEh.jpg    fjx0QsB.jpg

    Autonomous earthmovers, yea.

  20. 34 minutes ago, SingABrightSong said:

    very smol

    Well, thank you.

    The big problem with this little insect is that the only fuel it has is way aft in that NCS Adapter.

    I did just fly it to Gilligans, changed course to the Cape (42W) and from there back to KSC, though, and that is not a bad effort.

  21. I spent a pleasant evening this evening, debugging the occasional hang-ups in release of two Jansen Omnidocks bound to each other.

    I believe the problem was simply the magnetic acquisition force.  (It's true, I thought,  that this is supposed to be suspended after undock and until reaching 1m distant before re-activating, but the new version does seem to work better.

    To test it, I built a ship:

         ( Omnidock  ( Mk3-capsule ( 4x RCS-thruster ) )  FL-R120-MP-tank  Mama-dock  Baby-Dock )

    (In case you don't know it, you may have just read your first line of Lisp[1] above.  Congratulations!)

    Then Alt-F12'ed one into orbit and another into close rendez-vous to perform a test of 1. a Baby-dock (then jettison it), 2. a Mama-dock and 3. an Omnidock on one ship with the Omnidock on the other ship.

    Pretty quick to do.  If you repeat this and find problems or get a hang-up in production, please let me know.  "I intend to follow this airplane down until I see it hit the ground."

    [1] colleagues ask me about the constant notes I am writing in a pad during meetings at work, and I say "Lisp".  (I know I'd run into flak and a possible reprimand if I said "KSP".)

  22. 5 hours ago, Cavscout74 said:

    no matter which way I pulled the direction sliders, didn't change the Pol Pe

    What KSP version are you in?

    If you ever see this again, try an immediate quick save followed by a reload.  It may also be related to a problem in which you warp and see a target jump position.  (I have seen this in 1.11.2.)

  23. I think this is a stimulating question.  Although I'm sorry I don't know the answer to your intended question.

    I play "Air-Sea Rescue rules", which means I do not allow myself to simply recover unattended debris on Kerbin.  I have to send a manned craft to land/splash within close physics range.  Any personnel in the downed craft have to be ferried back by my ASR craft (cannot be recovered with the downed vessel).  I have toyed with the idea of requiring a submarine deployed to the bottom of the ocean to pick up any bits that sink to the floor.

    So my question would be: if you have the gift of your own imagination, why do you need a mod to play whatever rules you want?

    KSP, for me, is all about imagination.

    Another example, very minor.  I use a maximum gear extension speed of 150 m/s (very generous!).  Not permitted to extend gear at higher speeds to use their drag to rescue a botched approach.

    Or my Divine Intervention program.  I don't like to leave kerbals and other failed debris out in Kerbolar orbit, lost in space, (cluttering memory).  So I allow myself to "beam" such back into a geosync orbit -- strictly to be retired from the game -- under well-defined rules.  (See Mercy.)  It's not lazy because it's actually quite a lot of work.  And it presents interesting challenges, similar to the Go-Fetch Contract rescue missions, but more a propos: "you made the mess, you clean it up".  Playing Sandbox, I don't get any pecuniary benefit from it.  And it makes me feel good.

    Or another: HyperkubeOr AnionOr Subnautica., which is a buoyancy part used in e.g. Limpet.

    So my return question is: why do you need a mod to do what your imagination can do for you?  Go ahead, let your inner child loose.  Make up your own rules.  Sense how KSP responds with seemingly infinite possibilities.

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