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About Brikoleur

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  • Location Igwe, asteroid (6178) 1986 DA

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  1. Brikoleur

    Brikoleur's Guide to VTOL Aircraft

    LTTP but anyway: the question is, practical for what? It is certainly possible to make VTOLs that can circumnavigate the planet. Of course the cargo capacity is less than with a HTOL since you're using some of it to haul those vertical thrusters. Hovering is expensive but you don't really need all that many seconds of hover either for take-off or for landing. I have also used rocket-powered VTOLs on Duna. You need about 150 m/s for the landing, less than that for take-off. They're obviously bigger and less efficient than conventional landers again because of the extra engines you're hauling; the advantage is being able to land them exactly where you want, while having the capability to explore the planet with atmospheric flight. So yes, it most definitely is possible. Whether VTOL craft are practical or efficient compared to other solutions is a different matter -- and to be perfectly honest, I'm inclined to think... not really. But they are tons of fun both to design and to fly, which for me is kind of the point of KSP.
  2. Brikoleur


    Stock dV is cool. I'll get really hyped if they announce that landed craft/bases will definitively, really, for sure not drift. Seriously, that's my #1 issue with the game, and one that seems really hard to quash even with mods like ground anchors and what have you.
  3. Mk2 has its uses -- the small cargo bay is just right for a science payload + support gadgets, and the specially-shaped tanks with the piece that has two engine nodes give a lot of design flexibility; the Mk2 crew cabin is also great for medium-capacity spaceliners. And the two-seat inline cockpit is very nice for some uses as well. But yeah the problem is drag. I almost never use Mk2 parts near the nose, and try to keep the number of Mk2 parts low. They also have some very weird CoP effects -- if you've got, say, a Mk3 plane with a Mk2 nose, it is quite likely to turn somersaults upon re-entry; the nose will shift the CoP forward much more than you'd expect.
  4. Brikoleur

    Laythe Spaceplane

    Possibly, or it could be that your CoM is too far forward which causes the nose to droop when you slow down, which then flies you splat into the ground. The solution to this is more control authority or moving the wings forward a bit. Planes generally fly better with wings though, and they don't weigh all that much, so if in doubt, yeah add more wings.
  5. Brikoleur

    SSTO Ascent profile urgently needed

    After lots and lots and lots of experimentation, here's the most efficient profile I've managed to find: Climb and accelerate to 10k, so that when you hit 10k, your speed is about 1000 m/s. Your climb angle depends on your craft and engine configuration. When using Rapiers, you might have to accelerate straight and level near sea level to get to around 400 m/s, at which point you'll be in the "ramjet feedback loop" with your TWR climbing nicely as you start ascending. At 10k, level off to around 5 degrees climb. Hold it there -- alternate between regular and prograde SAS to keep your nose down. You will start accelerating rapidly. At 15k, nose down even a bit more so you're only just above the horizon. At 22k or so, you should be going near the thermal limits of your craft, or around 1500 m/s, when your jets flame out. Switch to closed-cycle/your rocket engine, keep your nose just above prograde, climb to orbit, and circularise -- at this altitude air resistance won't cost you all that much anymore. The only exceptions to this are significantly un-aerodynamic SSTOs, such as when you're lofting bulky cargo. In that case you will want a very high TWR -- so a few more Rapiers than you'd use otherwise --, and you'll want to blast your way up as quickly as possible, otherwise you'll lose too much to air resistance. So in this case just burn up at 40 degrees to 10k, then at 15-20 degrees until in space.
  6. Brikoleur

    KSP II? KSP Remastered?

    I get the same feeling. KSP is clearly bumping into the edges of the engine's capabilities as well as suffering from a somewhat crusty codebase. This manifests as seemingly-irresolvable issues like the memory leak that makes the game increasingly stuttery the longer it's run and the more scene switches there are massive performance problems in certain circumstances that could be optimised away by tweaking physics (e.g. bases with multiple craft standing on a surface) surface interactions -- wheels and legs still not working quite like they're supposed to, with bouncing, oscillation, and drift when craft are supposed to be staying put the kraken rearing its tentacles in all kinds of circumstances long load times I think there's a lot of stuff that's really well done in KSP also, notably with the data model -- the .craft files, the way it's super moddable, the general modularity and so on. I for one would certainly buy it all over again if it was ported to a more powerful engine that put to bed at least some of these issues, and gave us something that looks better and performs better to boot. Sadly, it would wipe out the mod scene in a single fell swoop. I don't know how much of it would be willing to learn the ins and outs of the new engine and new codebase. This would also be a massive undertaking. No doubt parts of the codebase could be ported over, but a lot of it would have to be written from scratch. And then there is the matter of the game engine -- which ones out there do the kind of physics modelling KSP needs? Is it economically feasible to use them? It's not an easy thing to do. Under these circumstances I'm ... pessimistic. I think KSP is what it is, it'll be maintained a while longer while it pushes against its fundamental limitations, but what we're seeing now is more or less what we'll be getting until one day it fades into the pantheon of classic games with a devoted fanbase that continue to be played, even if they are no longer officially maintained.
  7. Brikoleur

    Poodle use case

    Poodle ruled until dethroned by Wolfhound. I used it for all large interplanetary craft and large vacuum landers, as well as insertion stages in heavy multi-stage lifters. It's funny, that. I'm kind of fixated on keeping things balanced... but I love the Wolfhound. It's made possible some designs that I otherwise wouldn't have attempted, like medium-heavy single-engine atmospheric craft for Duna. It is so good that it feels almost like cheating, but I'm still enjoying it, like, a lot. I'd be a bit sad if they rebalanced it to saner numbers.
  8. Had a busy week, couldn't touch KSP then -- I will try it and report back here. Edit: Okay, I made a quick test. I made a test mule with four ruggedised wheels on radial decouplers, a pretty heavy fuel tank, and four landing legs. I drove it onto the incline of the runway. Observations: (1) When engaging PB while on its wheels, it got into a rapid oscillation which ended when two or more of the wheels broke, after which it continued to drift. (2) Without wheels and with landing legs retracted, there was a distinct difference in the rate and direction of drift with PB engaged and not -- slower with PG engaged, and it also wanted to rotate a bit. (3) With landing legs a slow drift was present both with PB engaged and not; again there was a slight rotation when PG was engaged. PB noticeably reduced the rate of drift. (4) When engaging physics warp with PB engaged, the craft got into a rapid oscillation until it flew into the air and self-destructed. (NOTE: This is not related to the PB, I tried the same with PB disengaged and it happened also. So this is a wheels/landing legs problem, not a PB problem.) Test mule craft available upon request. Note: the drift is most easily observable by bringing the camera close to ground level. -- This really seems to be a hard problem to solve. Maybe disabling physics for parked craft really is the only way to definitively put it to bed, side effects and all? Another edit: I ran the same tests with 1.0.1, and the results were closely similar. I just couldn't observe any rotation of the craft under any circumstances.
  9. Brikoleur

    Spaceplane reentry Thread

    Certainly convergent evolution. I arrived this after a lot of trial and error. Especially error.
  10. Brikoleur

    Rovers on other planets/moons

    Unlike Mars, Duna is quite easy to land on. Last time I dropped rovers there, I used parachutes. They were pretty light and had ruggedised wheels; I tested on Kerbin that they'd happily deal with a 25 m/s landing. I got it well below that with parachutes. For Tylo I clipped an Oscar with an Ant at each end of the rover, with decouplers ejecting the engines after landing. If your rover is bigger and you don't have enough parachutes, you can use that technique for the final braking -- you'll only need, like, 10 m/s or so. Skycranes also work, as do VTOL cargo planes and a lot of other things. Use your imagination and do whatever feels cool. I also agree with @Pecan about rovering getting old fast. I used the rovers to scout for a base site and they did work well with that -- I dropped them in a promising ore-rich, low-lying area and then drove around a bit to find a suitably flat spot, but traversing any amount of distance quickly becomes a PITA. It can be fun the first time you land on a new body though -- I really enjoyed my drive from the highlands to the sea the first time I dropped a rover on Eve for example. Collected five biomes over less than 25 km!
  11. Brikoleur

    Spaceplane reentry Thread

    I don't use tricks like this but I certainly have techniques. Design Make it as CoM invariant as possible, with CoM shift forward if at all. Don't place CoM too far forward of CoL. This makes the AoA controllable all through the descent; otherwise you'll be forced nose-down earlier than you'd want to. Give it a sharp nose. A blunt nose will cause it to tumble when it hits thick air. Place tanks both well forward and aft. Give it enough wing. A big wing means effective braking higher up which means less thermal load. Technique Find a good corridor. From LKO I find 55 km to 50 km Pe is about right. Initiate re-entry holding radial out. Watch the pitch control. It will start moving. If it goes below 0, you're in danger: pump remaining ballast into the forward tank until it's above 0. if it goes above 0.5, pump ballast back until it's back there or you're low and slow enough to transition to level flight. Depending on your craft, transition from radial out to 60 degrees, then 45 degrees around when you hit the plasma phase. Once at a safe speed (ca 1200 m/s or so), nose down to transition to aerodynamic flight. Edit: if your craft is well designed (pointy nose, CoM not too far forward of CoL, a small amount of ballast that you can pump back and forth) then you shouldn't need tricks like the tilted probe core, as normal SAS with minor nudges should be enough to hold attitude where you want it until you're ready to go level.
  12. Brikoleur

    What did you do in KSP today?

    Close, it's a standard canard on one side, standard tailfin on the other. The two have identical (or as good as) lift characteristics...
  13. Brikoleur

    What did you do in KSP today?

    I made some asymmetrical SSTO planes for a challenge. I like how Pikasso and Brakue turned out. Brakue even flies remarkably well, considering.
  14. Brikoleur

    Asymmetrical Aircraft Challenge

    Meet Brakue. This little guy flies remarkably well. Makes orbit easily too. And definitely more in keeping with the spirit of the challenge!
  15. Brikoleur

    Asymmetrical Aircraft Challenge

    I wasn't thinking of those constraints, they make the whole thing fun. But making a twin-engine SSTO within those constraints was that much harder, so I had to "cheat" -- i.e. pretty much make it as symmetrical as I could while staying within the formal one-part-only spec. It would certainly be possible to go crazier but it would be a lot -- a LOT -- harder. Maybe stack a Whiplash and a Panther on top of each other like in that one, then have a Swivel and a Reliant on each wing, placed so their CoM aligns with the CoT... argh, now I want to do this!