Servo

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  1. Test Pilot Review: @TheGoldenSoldier's AirTrain 737 Figures As Tested: Price: 400,000,000 Fuel: 14,600 units Cruising speed: 230m/s Cruising altitude: 5.5-6.0km Fuel burn rate: 0.87 k/s Passengers Carried: 144 Range: 3300km Review Notes There have been many attempts by TKA to find a good long-haul, medium-capacity airliner, but the design challenges have made it a tough nut to crack. With that in mind, our Test Pilots were quite eager to give this newest prototype from AirTrain's commercial division a test flight. The first thing they noticed walking out to this behemoth was the imposing profile it cuts. The design is unmistakable: a long, slender body with a high-mounted cockpit and wing, with a pair of super-powerful high-efficiency turbofans. In a world of low-winged airliners, AirTrain's submission is a bold rejection of the status quo, something that our marketing division is quite looking forwards to pushing. After the (admittedly long) climb up into the cockpit, our ace test pilots Val and Bill sat in the cockpit for the first time for real. They were immediately impressed by the space-age cockpit internals, and even more so with the panoramic view that their height afforded. Bill was quite enthusiastic - "it's like we're already flying!", he said, waving at the ground crew blow. The taxi tests were a breeze - the wide-placed landing gear and independent engine throttles made ground handling quite easy. They only thing in particular to note was that the turning radius could be a little too tight, with the tail coming precariously close to certain support infrastructure. That disaster avoided, Bill and Val taxied to the runway and began the checklist for takeoff. Despite its size, the AirTrain 737 is extremely simple to fly, and the pilot's manual reflects this. "All we have to do is throttle up? This thing is easier to fly than my Aeris 3A!" It wouldn't be quite as easy as expected though, as the crew found out that if they were too enthusiastic about pitching up, tailstrikes were a possibility. With a certain degree of caution, this is no major issue, but it is something that TKA would like to see fixed in any production version. Once again avoiding a near-disaster, the two lifted off at a cool 65m/s ("for such a big plane it sure likes to fly") and pointed the nose skyward to begin the low-speed handling and perform some touch-and-goes to build familiarity before taking it out on a long range-testing leg. Val had been feeling cooped up after moving to TKA after a long career as a fighter pilot, but she seemed to laugh with glee at the controls in a way that frankly concerned Bill greatly. The concern was rapidly validated as she took advantage of the AirTrain's extreme roll and yaw control to pull into series of barrel rolls that would make a certain test pilot in an alternate universe extremely proud. Despite this, she did note that the pitch authority was average at best, and despite the massive engines the aircraft's bulk made it so that turns were quite sluggish, taking a long time to complete the two 180 degree turns required to do a takeoff-approach-land cycle. However, once around, landing was extremely easy - the massive wing resulted in extremely low approach and stall speeds. This, combined with the powerful brakes on the main gear made for a very forgiving aircraft to land. Later testing in overwater ditching proved that doing so safely was a breeze, with acceptable glideslopes at even full fuel, and a final stall speed of below 50m/s. Additionally, the aircraft proved resilient to thrust losses, as it is able to maintain airspeed and heading with a significant reduction of engine output. With the low-speed and approach testing done, Val and Bill once again throttled up and took off for the range test. Val expected the aircraft to climb well thanks to to massive wing, and in the initial climbout it exceeded climb rates of 50m/s with ease, shooting up to 1km altitude, but once the engines began to lose thrust at altitude, the climb rate suffered. At 2km and climbing at 20m/s , Bill wondered how long it would take to reach the manufacturer's recommended altitude of nearly 8km. As Val struggled to get the aircraft over 5.5km, Bill looked over the charts again and noted that while the theoretical maximum range was achieved at 200m/s at 7.7km, a sligtly lower, yet still acceptable range could be reached by flying at 230m/s at 6km. Given that the 737 didn't want to climb much higher than 6000m anyway, it was decided that this was an acceptable test point, as it still resulted in a 3,300km range with the slightly higher speed making up for the reduction. Verdict Initially, the 230m/s speed at altitude seemed like a win for the scheduling and sales department, who were having a hard time pitching the sluggish 200m/s giant to customers and planning the long-duration flights that the airframe would endure; however, a comparison against competing airliners showed between 10%-30% speed gap between the AirTrain and its competitors. According to our budgeting department, the difference in a 4.5 hour cross-kerbin flight and a 3 hour one adds a significant crew cost, maintnenance cost, a reduction in passengers-per-day, and customer satisfaction. Additionally, while the high wing gives the airliner a distinct profile, it increases the noise in the otherwise highly comfortable cabin significantly, which is a major concern for TKA's long-distance customers. Because of these factors it is unlikely that the AirTrain 737 will find a home in TKA's regularly-scheduled passenger fleet in its current iteration. That said, our ground crews were checking out some of the panels on the aircraft and found a pair of extremely spacious cargo bays in the front and rear of the passenger section. They reckon that if these bays were expanded so that the aircraft can handle an equal mix of cargo and passengers, the 737's extreme range and efficient cruising would make it an excellent member of TKA's cargo fleet, parts of which are contracted to bring personell and supplies to Kerbin's remotest research stations. The long range, high capacity, and short-field capability exhibited in this prototype indicate to our research team that the airframe would make an excellent replacement for our aging fleet of Combis and dedicacted cargo-haulers.
  2. I've updated and revamped one of my old classics - check it out! https://kerbalx.com/servo/FA-18C-Collectors-Edition For a lighter version that doesn't require downloading a flag pack: https://kerbalx.com/servo/FA-18-CD-Hornet
  3. Made quite a bit harder by the fact that half of the changes aren't visible in the image. Here's a fairer spot-the-differences for you I got around to doing the flags today! It was a bit of a chore to get right, especially because of the limited scaling between sizes of flags and the fact that I needed to restart KSP every time that I wanted to add or update flags. But oh boy was it worth the trouble. The part count has crept up from 390 to 440, as I added some other fun details in addition to the decals. The drop tank is the most obvious, but I've also added other greebles such as various antenna blisters and the vortex generators in front of the cockpit. My goal is to push this to the limits of the pure stock game (no DLC here either) without going too far beyond the semi-reasonable part count that the build is currently at.
  4. 1.10's decals got me inspired to go back and up the detail on one of my favorites of my old builds: my F/A-18. My plan is to make custom flag decals for this one, but first I needed to update the craft itself. Before: After: You'd be forgiven for thinking that nothing had changed, but there's a whole list of small changes that I've made that add up to generally cleaning up the craft, as well as lowering the part count slightly to allow for decals within the tight budget of 400 parts. Landing gear is now in the right place, the vertical stabilizers were canted too far outwards and were too far forwards, the vertical stabilizer now has leading-edge black, slightly increased vertical stabilizer size, shortened nose slightly, cleaned up nose edge alignment, shortened strake, cleaned up strake interaction with boundary-layer divertor, leading-edge slats meet the wing cleaner, the sidewinder launch rails are cleaned up and simplified, black lines over the upper fuselage are aligned better, the intakes are cleaned up, rear fuselage has better blending to intakes, the tailhook is cleaned up and simplified, the pitot tubes and antennae are now more accurately shaped/positioned, and the underside of the fuselage is cleaned up too. It's like a fresh coat of paint on your favorite car - a dozen small quibbles I had with this build are now gone, and now it's time to push it to a whole new level
  5. It's been a while! here's my return to the field of 1:1 replicas - ticking another build off the increasingly small "U.S. planes Servo hasn't built" list: the North American T-2 Buckeye. It's an unassuming carrier trainer that gave nearly 50 years of service to the U.S. Navy, and was countless naval aviator's first "trap" As far as the replica goes, it's a moderate 400 parts, but you get a easy-to-fly 1:1 replica that looks the part KerbalX Link: https://kerbalx.com/servo/T-2-Buckeye
  6. A new airliner for your consideration - an advanced, supersonic transport which promises to be competitive not just with other SSTs, but with traditional airliners as well: The LA-900 Life doesn't wait, why should you? https://kerbalx.com/servo/LA-900-SST-Airliner At cruise altitude, typically about 3300 units of Liquid Fuel remain, and it burns through between 1.4 and 1.8 kal/s, which gives a conservative range estimate of just over 2000km. However, in the hands of skilled pilots, speeds of 1280m/s and fuel consumption of 1.0 kal/s are possible, achieving an optimistic range of 4500km. This efficiency is much better than the climb phase, so to be used most efficiently priority should be given to long overwater routes which minimise the periods of acceleration. The LA-900, thanks to its unique aerodynamic layout, is an extremely efficient glider. This is combined with an incredibly low stall speed and short braking distances to make it incredibly easy to divert to alternate airports, or if none are available, ditch safely. Other Stats: Crew Complement: 2 (pilot, copilot) Passengers: 64, in a wide-body Mk2 cabin for maximum comfort. Skylights are included so that passengers may enjoy the unique experience of seeing stars in daytime Engines: 3x Afterburning Whiplash Engines Cost: $105 million on delivery Fuel Cost: $25/passenger/1000km flown Additionally, thanks to the feedback from TKA Executive on the prototype of our LA-600 Airliner, we have been able to move forward to a Pre-Production model which we believe will suit the needs of TKA's long-haul, medium capacity routes. Updated version: https://kerbalx.com/servo/LA-600SM-Airliner_2
  7. It's been... a while. I was at the downswing of my KSP - other games - no games cycle recently, and my normal tactic of building small replicas didn't help break back into KSP, so I decided to take on another of the increasingly small list of U.S. Military Jets that Servo Hasn't Replicated Yet. This was #15 on the list (which includes such illustrious planes as the SR-71 and forgettable ones such as, well, everything that the U.S. Navy put on aircraft carriers between 1948 and 1955), and one that I didn't see myself - or anyone - building any time soon. Philosophizing aside, this has turned out to be an interesting build, and it's my response to the unbelievably detailed grip pad cockpits that many others are building now - why can't you do that without DLC? Pushing stock techniques is my thing, primarily because I like doing it. It's got all of the basic landing gear and Mk0 spam that defines stock replica building, but also a couple new parts that aren't commonly used. The cockpit in particular is unique, being made up exclusively of communatron backs (I typically mix in some fuel cells, but they don't fit here), and notably elevons make up the rounded section of the frontal cockpit, which is framed by rounded radiators. Additionally, the anti-glare paint is provided by the backs of batteries, smoothed out by solar panel cases. Ideally I'll be able to keep the rest of this build under 400/at 400 parts, which seems doable, but tricky. Some compromising may be in order, especially with all the Mk0s running around the fuselage without really contributing to the build.
  8. Introducing the LA-600, Kerbin's newest Medium-capacity, Long-haul Airliner The LA-600 was designed with one purpose in mind: bringing the world closer together. It combines the long range and capacity of a jumbo jet with the short-field performance of a puddle-jumper, allowing it to make even Kerbin's most remote cities accessible by direct flight - from anywhere in the world. Wherever your future leads you, the LA-600 can take you there. Download Link: https://kerbalx.com/servo/LA-600SM-Airliner Performance Data Flight Manual
  9. A new build and an old build today! First off, we have the absolutely iconic DC-3 airliner, which saw its greatest production runs as the C-47 Skytrain. This is a clean, low-part count build clocking in at a (relatively) easy 400 parts Download link: https://kerbalx.com/servo/C-47-Skytrain Secondly, we have the General Dynamics F-111A Aardvark, as featured in the second Flights of Fancy (which focuses on the program which developed the F-111A and its much less successful cousin, the F-111B Naval fighter) The craft itself is a testament to the power of BendyTech, and was built in collaboration with @HB Stratos in a months-long tweaking and redesigning process. As a result, it's packed to the gills with pure stock mechanisms any player can enjoy, including: * The Aardvark's swing wing * Stock landing gear, using KLAW bearings * The Aardvark's internal missile bay and swinging missile pylons (future armed variant from HB) * All-moving elevons * Full slats and flaps * The Aardvark's iconic dump 'n burn function, which leaves a trail of flame behind the aircraft as fuel is dumped in afterburner Download it here! https://kerbalx.com/servo/F-111A-Aardvark
  10. The icon herself flies again! https://kerbalx.com/servo/C-47-Skytrain This was a very fun build, coming together far faster than most of my "main-line" builds typically do. Part of that was the squeaky-low part count, coming in at 400 parts on the nose. Because you can't enjoy a craft if you can't fly it. Somehow, I find that my lower part count builds are my more detailed ones. I focus much harder on getting each thing right as efficiently as possible, and here is no exception. I've got pitot tubes, aerials, engine exhausts and cowl flaps, oil coolers, detailed landing gear, and a full airfoil built out.
  11. That's because Nimitz class carriers are well over 300m long. I do know of at least one person working on a stock one though, but it's a heavy Work In Progress with only the flight deck filled out. Even then, it's pushing 3000 parts. If you want a 1:1 Nimitz, I recommend looking at boat-building parts mods. Here are a pair of Nimitz builds I found on KerbalX: https://kerbalx.com/iplayksp/USS-NIMITZ-CVN-68 https://kerbalx.com/ImpossibleAviation/Aircraft-Carrier If you look under the Mods tab on the KerbalX pages, it will tell you which mods you need, and a CKAN link to get them.You can also find a lot of other stock ships on KerbalX here. (Sort by part count for the biggest and best ones). As a final note, I have built a 1:1 warship before, the destroyer USS Johnston, which clocks in at 117m and 1700 parts. A stock Nimitz would be three times bigger in every dimension, so ~27x more parts if you built it to the same detail. Download link for it, because I'm shameless: https://kerbalx.com/servo/USS-Johnston Hope this helps
  12. The Original Joint Strike Fighter Forty years before the JSF Program most of us are familiar with took off, there was another program with a similar goal. How did it turn out? And what can we learn from it? Enjoy my second Flights of Fancy! The Tactical Fighter Experimental (TFX) program was a very intersting program, in that it perfectly encapsulates what makes the Aerospace Defense industry so unique. It's a story of difficult engineering challenges, impossible tasks, political maneuvering, and a rivalry within the Department of Defense. Oh, and there's an awesome craft for you to download and fly at the end of it too! @HB Stratos and I have worked hard for the past few months to create this masterpiece of stock mechanics. It's filled to the gills with functionality, so I gurantee you'll enjoy it. It has: Swing wings All-moving Stabilators Stock Landing Gear Full Slats/Flaps (armed variant - coming soon) - An internal Missile Bay (armed variant - coming soon) - moving pylons Most of this is powered by the Award Winning Bendy TechTM. Find out more here: Craft Download: https://kerbalx.com/servo/F-111A-Aardvark Happy Flying!
  13. Thanks all! This craft was an absolute pain to put together, so I'm glad you guys appreciate it An honor as always, even if the safety standards leave something to be desired on takeoff. I suppose I should also post here the second (well, first) video I made for the Catalina. This was still somewhat in the testing stages, but it's another good view of the craft.
  14. Revving up the engines, listen to her howl and roar... This was fun to make - I hope you enjoy it! Craft featured in the video: https://kerbalx.com/servo/F-14-Tomcat_2 https://kerbalx.com/servo/Vought-F8U-Crusader_2
  15. The Queen of the Pacific Theater Ask any Allied sailor or pilot in the Pacific which plane they'd most like to see overhead and they'll speak the glories of a most un-glamorous twin-engined flying boat called Cat, Canso, or Dumbo. The Consolidated PBY went by these names and more as it did everything except the shooting in the Pacific. It ran search and rescue, flew aerial reconnaissance, raided convoys, harassed enemy troop encampments, hunted submarines, and carried personnel long distances overwater. It was a workhorse which could handle any job you threw at it, and every downed pilot, sunken ship survivor, or military planner would tell you, it did more than any number of fighter planes could ever do. I've loved the Catalina for a long time, so I took GameplayReviewUK's 30's challenge as a sign to finally give the PBY a replica worthy of its legendary service. I pulled no punches here, so I hope the craft speaks for itself. Craft Download: https://kerbalx.com/servo/PBY-Catalina Flight Manual: Happy flying, and sail on! - Servo