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About Brikoleur

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  1. Yes. They work quite well, especially now that the mirror symmetry bug is fixed.
  2. I made a borderline cheaty innovation that cut a tiny bit of dry mass and may have improved aerodynamics, which let me remove another Oscar, which led to better balance, which led to higher TWR, which led to more efficiency, so I got the same orbiter as before to 90 km orbit with a starting mass of 1322 kg and over 150 m/s left over. Botched the reentry corridor, landing in the desert, and then touched down too hard so I lost the nose cone. That was a pilot brainfart though. This one will work. Edit: Here's a qualifying attempt. I still muffed re-entry and fell just a bit short of the runway, but this time I brought everything down intact so it qualifies, since a runway landing wasn't a requirement. The ascent profile has to be pretty steep, otherwise drag losses will get too big. This wasn't my most optimal launch so far, I had a better one that had an even taller arc (the one I reference above). I've tried to optimise this even further, e.g. by swapping out the battery for the smaller one, but that messes up the aerodynamics and despite the lower dry weight it didn't make orbit. I also tried swapping out the landing skid for a pair of grip pads, but I wasn't able to bring it down in one piece. The use of the Decoupler-06 this way is borderline cheaty but, hey, in love, war, and KSP challenges anything goes, no? If someone can further improve on this, I'll be quite impressed because I don't think I can!
  3. Depends on what you want to do with the space station, or if it's just a cool building project. Mine are usually at least somewhat functional, and I like to larp a little with living quarters. So I put a hitchhiker storage compartment or several, a science lab, fuel tanks for refuelling craft, lots of docking ports, lots of solar panels, a bunch of containers for surface experiments, and sometimes even an ISRU, if I use a mining craft to haul ore. (An orbital ISRU is kind of nice by the way, especially if you have a mix of chemical and nuclear craft. It means you can always produce the right amount of the right kind of consumable at the right time -- this is a lot messier if you're refining it on the surface.) Pics related
  4. Is that so? I'll have to re-verify my experiments then.
  5. I'm on similar lines. I clip happily if the unused interior volume of the craft more or less matches the clipping, for example I have no qualms whatsoever about filling a nose cone or other structural part with fuel tanks or other gizmos; I even don't consider it cheating if I assemble them in such a way that the aero model thinks they're inside the other part, if that gives the craft an aerodynamic profile that's identical to one without the interior parts. Like here, for example -- all of that machinery is "inside" the Mk1 utility bay... ... which I would consider cheating if I didn't then clip on the aerodynamic skin: The way I see it, I'm just using otherwise unused interior volume, and working around a limitation fo stock aerodynamics: with FAR, for example, the aero profile would be the same regardless of how I assembled it. The only situation where I clip for performance without feeling bad about it is when creating ballast elements for subs. Parts are ridiculously buoyant, so I don't have a problem working around that by clipping several ore tanks inside one another to make extra-dense elements. Sculpting things for aesthetics is perfectly fine in my book of course. And obv it's not even possible to make lots of things entirely without clipping, sticking wings or canards onto curved surfaces f.ex. will inevitably result in some clipping, never even mind placing landing gear and such.
  6. Hey, great minds and all that. Got a ca 1400 kg one to orbit... minus the wings, which burned off. The ascent profile is tricky. It’s doable with sufficient finesse I’m sure.
  7. BTW I made an SSTO based on this design, and it weighs in at 1,184 kg on launch. Since it has a quite a bit less dry mass I think it's close to the lower limit of what can be achieved with this challenge. I also tried stacking the stages in a conventional way (which would disqualify it for this challenge), and wasn't able to get much lower. If I try to get cute with Ants and such, drag becomes a real problem which eats away most of the fuel I save from the lower dry weight... The closest I've gotten to a material improvement on my current submission is 1360 kg. I have failed to make orbit with it, but only by a few tens of m/s -- a better/more patient pilot than I could probably do it. For my piloting skills though I think 1,560 kg is where it's at -- it makes orbit easily, deorbits easily, and lands easily; any further optimisations I can make, make one or more stages of the journey so much harder that my piloting skills aren't up to the challenge.
  8. It is hard to get it much lower than the 1,560 kg one. I almost got a 1,360 kg one to orbit, it's short a few tens of m/s -- an absolutely perfect launch could probably do it, but it would take a lot of finesse: too high isn't efficient enough, lower gets so hot it burns the wings off. I'm starting to think the superlight < 1 ton ones are non-starters, they should work in theory but in practice they're hundreds of m/s short -- I suspect they produce so much drag in the lower atmosphere that it more than negates the efficiency gain from the lighter engines. Also Spiders have really bad Isp. If you can get your 1.32 ton version to do a round trip, I doubt I'll be able to beat that.
  9. I haven't gotten it to orbit yet. It might not even be doable. Theoretical dV is > 3500 m/s though so it ought to make it...
  10. Oh nice! I've got one that's 951 kg on take-off and should make orbit with some really hot-shot flying but I haven't gotten it there yet... quite. Similar configuration to yours, except I'm using a Twitch instead of a Spark on the thruster -- it's lighter and has sufficient power and is also easier to offset -- and twin Spiders on the orbiter. It's not terrifyingly torquey but it is twitchy and I lose too much dV to drag because of that.
  11. If you can get it to work with an Ant instead of a Spark on the orbiter, that would save a quite a bit of weight. The thrust is majorly unbalanced then though so it's not obvious.
  12. Okay I couldn't leave well alone. Thanks to @Master39's tip about decoupling throttle on one of the engines, I managed a much cleaner start and saved a lot of dV. I was able to leave off one entire Oscar and got the take-off weight down to 1,562 kg. I had over 200 m/s to spare when returning to the runway, too. No doubt there's room for a bit more optimisation there still but I kind of like this one, it's surprisingly easy to fly too. I published the craft file in case any of you want to give it a spin, it's here:
  13. That's a really cool solution to the problem @Rocket Farmer! Do you have pictures?
  14. This is very cool, I didn't know you could unbind the throttle. That would be just the ticket for this. Maybe I'll try a variant with that and maybe a few more tweaks (and strip out the antenna as it isn't strictly necessary). Would also be nice to get a better launch, this one was mega ugly. Thanks!
  15. SRBs are heavier. It has a quite a bit more dV than it needs so you could certainly leave one of the tanks half empty. You can leave off the antenna if you have CommNet disabled or have powerful enough relays to talk to the core’s internal antenna. And you mightbe able to swap out the Spark on the shuttle for an Ant, but that would make thrust torque a real problem so I don’t know if it’s feasible. That would let you drop one tank, possibly even two. I can’t really think of anything else.