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Zosma Procyon

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    Bottle Rocketeer

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  1. I've been experimenting with air launched rockets to get Kerbals off of Eve, and tested the best version yet today. It was just 245 m/s short of entering a stable 150ish km orbit around Eve. The idea is that by flying up under electric power to 10ish km, I can skip some of Eve's stupidly thick atmosphere. I wonder if anyone can guess where the prefix "EVL" came from. HINT: It's stupider than you think.
  2. Three of my rescue ships arrived at Laythe, Pol, and Eeloo, in the last few days. So I took a few snaps of them in action. One of them represents a massive f*** up on my part. This is a standard design I use for rescues in Jool's sphere of influence. It's mostly built out of clusters of liquid fuel tanks with four NERVs. The outboard tanks are actually drop tanks. The rescued Kerbal will ride back to Kerbin in their original wreckage, so I can make some extra credits by selling it. I did not actually design this class of rescue ship for aerobraking, but after a few failures I figured out how to make it work. I turned on the radiators and put the ship into an axial spin. This prevented any part from overheating. The aerobraking saved me about 500 m/s of Delta-V. I didn't actually need the savings, as after arrival this rocket still had over 7000 m/s of fuel left. To save fuel on my Pol rescue flight, I used Tylo for a gravity assist. I was surprised at how well it worked. It was traveling at interplanetary transfer speeds before the Tylo encounter. The Pol rescue ship expended its drop tanks during its Jool exit burn, so I put the ship into an axial spin and let them rip. I didn't put the Laythe rescue ship into a spin, and this is what that looked like. Out at Eeloo, I had three Kerbals waiting for rescue, and I wanted to retrieve their shipwrecks too. So I built this. It Eeloo Triple Recovery features three internal cargo bays, each with a Klaw. The RCS allowed me to easily maneuver the ship to grapple the wrecks. Here is two out of three. And the third capture... ...which nearly perfectly fits. Eeloo Triple Recovery is the f*** up I mentioned. While it did the job and and has enough fuel, I must have been drunk when I launched it. It has no parachutes or heat shields or radiators. I launched it half finished. The nose mounted Klaw is unoccupied, so I will use that to dock it with a reentry module. The Eeloo to Kerbin window opens in 169 days.
  3. I've arrived at a design for a twin boom flying Eve base that I both really like and flies very well. My first prototypes were all cooler looking swept wing designs, but the wing sweep put the center of lift/pressure way behind the center of mass. As a result the maneuvering characteristics weren't good. In fact they could barely climb in Kerbin's atmosphere, and the "water" liftoff velocity on Eve was almost 40 m/s. This wing design, along with two full fuel tanks at the end of the tail booms, put the centers in pretty much a perfect position. You might also notice that the wing design I arrived at is pretty similar to that wing of my muse for this aircraft, the P-38 Lightning. Kelly Johnson knew his stuff. This is still a prototype, and the launch version will not look this clean. I have to add accoutrements (first time I think I have ever written the word "accoutrements") and accessories make it easier for the crew to operate on Eve. Because Eve's atmosphere is annoying thick, and this aircraft has to launch from Kerbin inside a fairing with a maximum radius of 9m, the wings had to fold. Early on I had a "lightbulb moment" when I realized the wings didn't have to fold as flat as possible. The first set of hinges have a minimum angle of 20 degrees. And even with the cool tail fins, this airplane is only 15.6 meters across at its widest point. So while I still have to use the largest size fairing, it can be measurably more narrow. Here it is during a test flight on Eve. I love the "Set Position" cheat. It takes the guesswork out of designing vehicles that have to function in alien environments. And here it is from underneath. Update: I'm adding another cargo bay section.
  4. It looks like I might be starting over after all, for reasons completely beyond my control. My save file had a glitch of some kind and now says it was just stated and won't even open. Ordinarily I'd just recover it from my backup hard drive, but that's current sick too. And honestly I'm okay with starting over since there are features of the game I can't get in my old save file. If I start over. i'm going to cheat to unlock the tech tree and get some starter cash.. UPDATE: It took 20 hours of disk first aid, but my backup drive works again.
  5. I've been tinkering with a small buggy for my next Eve crew to use when deploying science equipment. And as usual, I made it over elaborate. The headlights are on piston so they can be extended to serve as work lights. https://i.imgur.com/aFC50aA.gifv
  6. So I've been tinkering with flying base concepts large enough to hold a small rover in a cargo bay, and haven't been having much luck. The wing designs I've been messing with were not very good. So on a whim I decided to build one based on the design of what I as an IRL astronautics engineer think is the best fighter of WW2: The P-38 Lightning. Of course swept back wings are better than straight, so it ended up looking more like the De Havilland Sea Vixen. I moved my new favorite propulsion system, ducted fans, to the front, put the science labs, batteries, NUKs, and reaction wheels, out in the booms. The main fuselage only contains two cockpits and the cargo bay. And guess how bad this flies? Not bad at all. It is 15 to 19 m/s faster than my current flying Eve base. More maneuverable, more stable in a straight line. And the weird part; as is in this test version it can take off from "water" without issue. Every other flying base I've deployed uses floats and hydroplane fins to help it take off from a wet surface, but this mongrel doesn't need them. I'm going to push this design forward.
  7. I tested and rejected a new flying base concept. It is propelled by two electric rotors with propellers instead of ducted fans. I thought they might be faster ducted fans; they aren't. This thing is almost 20 m/s slower than my current flying Eve base. It's also predictably very heavy, and some of those tanks are full. I got the trifolding wings to work sort of reliably, but they don't need to be that long. The idea of this plane is for it to be large enough to hold a small rover in a cargo bay, which would be used by Kerbals to deploy science equipment. I'm going to try a similar, though longer to accommodate reaction wheels, and with delta wings. Eventually, if it works out, this too will have to be capable of landing and taking off from "water".
  8. What is the optimum angle of attack for the "Propeller Blade Type S"? I'm experimenting with a second flying science base for possible deployment to Eve.
  9. I'm flying my Eve Airplane, which I have renamed "Brabazon Base", a few hundred km to a new biome. Did you know that flying long distances in KSP is rather boring? I keep forgetting that. So here is a cool screenshot of Brabazon Base from the front.
  10. I landed my Eve Airplane on Eve. I recorded the deorbit and landing, and the video is 40 minutes long. I'm going to see if I can figure out how to edit it down before uploading it to youtube. Here are a few pictures. Here it is just after I blew the fairing, but before unfolding the wings and motors. Valentina Kerman had the honor of setting the first flag of the mission. She's the last of the original four to set foot on Eve, and this is the last new place left to her. It took a LONG time for the aft heat shields, ballute, and parachutes, to touch down. Here are Agarien (Engineer) (Left) and Megtha (Scientist) (Right) in front of the first deployed science outpost I've ever made. I tried to color code the crew (orange for pilots, yellow for engineers, and blue for scientists), but it didn't completely work. Here is Tilda Kerman, a properly color coded scientist, out to collect data from several experiments.
  11. I'm procrastinating from landing my Eve Airplane, so decided to make a Katyusha style rocket barrage. I also recorded it to remind myself how to use Screenflick. And I made it a gif, too. https://i.imgur.com/KKTiYWO.gifv
  12. Today my Eve Airplane arrived in orbit of Eve. It is so much faster to send rockets to Eve than other bodies. Purple. Turns out it didn't refuel as completely as expected. The outboard boosters were expended and the core booster took over; it will also knock the rocket out of orbit after refueling at a low orbit fuel station. Here it is on final approach to dock with the fuel station. Of course MechJeb handled the docking maneuver. And docked with the fuel station. I'm going to wait to deorbit it until I remember how to record KSP on my MacBook Pro. Assuming I don't trump the maneuver, it should be fun to share.
  13. My Eve Airplane departed for Eve. The plane is folded up in the fairing. 36 Mammoth engines. I could and should have used older/smaller tanks and engines. Maybe I'll remember that next time.
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