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About farmerben

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  1. farmerben

    My First SRB To Orbit Rocket!

    Even better if you can land
  2. I was playing 1.4 and using the advanced fuel flow priorities and other features of the VAB. With the 1.6 update I can't get them. Is there a box or something I need to click? Or a mod?
  3. farmerben

    Standardizing your Action Groups

    I like using action groups. The 0-9 groups are unavailable until the VAB and spaceplane hanger are upgraded. Therefore I use the lights action group for everything that I want opened in space; toggle solar panel, toggle antennae, toggle payload doors. It's nice to have that green button available to click as soon as I'm out of the atmosphere, and click again to close up for EVA's and landings. Usually I have 1-9 available before I build complex engine layouts. But if not I can put toggle engines in the brakes or landing gear action groups. I've used that for an early Duna lander for example.
  4. I just updated to 1.6.1 and I'm adding mods. I've noticed that the various skins available for fuel tanks keep changing. I would like to have all the skin options. Currently I have the extra skins for FL-T100 and FL-T800, but not the ones for FL-T200 and FL-T400 and this is my gamedata folder. Yesterday I had a different set of mods and the skin availabilty was exactly the reversed.
  5. farmerben

    Laythe water landings?

    I tested loads of seaplanes while working on my jool5 mission. This particular model has a water takeoff speed of 44 m/s. The front wing has slightly higher AOA than the back one. Hydrodynamic effects actually make this plane pitch down, but it nevertheless will lift off from water with no controls at around 100m/s. Note: docking ports have pretty bad aerodynamic drag, but swapping them for nose cones doesn't noticeably change its water takeoff performance. The design shown has no trouble taking off from water and reaching orbit on Kerbin or Laythe. The concept is to use it as a Jool 5 mothership, swap the rapiers for nukes in orbit of Laythe for the return trip, and land it on Kerbin as a glider. Those parts of the mission all worked. The Tylo landing, and the return to Kerbin are the hard parts. I've got quite a few seaplanes that are lighter and sleeker than this which can get water takeoff speeds close to 50 m/s, but none is quite as good as this.
  6. farmerben

    Help with spaceplane.

    It is also possible to get better performance from the rapiers from a special ascent path. Even at low speed the rapier can usually hold ~150kN of thrust. But you have to get airspeed above Mach 2 to see thrust go >300 kN. Try this: 1. Climb to about 14000 m at low speed. Pitch up at >5 degrees until you can't climb anymore. 2. Pitch the nose down just below the horizon ( -1 or -2 degrees) and dive to 10,000 m. 3. When the thrust exceeds 250 kN level out and watch the thrust keep going up. It can go as high as 460 kN but it probably won't because of drag and reduced air intake. Thrust in the mid 300 kN is good enough. 4. Gradually pitch up, just a degree at a time then pause, then another degree then a pause... until pitch is >15 degrees. This should allow the plane to climb on only air breathing until the air runs out, without losing significant amounts of speed. It should be possible to reach 30,000m and 1000 m/s before using oxidizer.
  7. The challenge is to take off on the runway - orbit kerbin - and land on any runway, or as close as possible using only solid rockets No liquid fuel engines. No monopropellant thrusters or engines Reaction wheels are allowed. Awards: Lowest mass Lowest part count Lowest cost Mine was 33 parts, $34,761 funds, 171.5 tons at take off. I ended up getting my periapsis to 34,000m which was enough to orbit Kerbin a single time. The vessel had decent handling characteristics, but it took repeated tries to choose the correct angle of attack at various speeds and altitudes, and several quickloads to nail the landing.
  8. farmerben

    Is this a good simple plane design?

    What I do to post screenshots is open the image in a new tab and then copy that URL onto my post. I flew a near copy of your plane. It looks like I set my landing gear further apart than yours... Mine sat level on the runway. Good is partly a question of style. I found it easy to do yank and bank maneuvers around the KSP buildings. Easy to do Immelman maneuvers. Easy to land. The biggest downside for me was high takeoff speed. This would be easy to fix by ensuring the wings are not level on the runway, but angled up slightly (that could make it trickier to land however). Once I was off the runway the pitch controls were fine, but due to massive wing area the G forces and drag braking caused by sharp pitching were the highest I've ever encountered (at least at low speed). Yaw control and sideslip were a bit excessive compared to what I'm used to, but it worked and I didn't tailspin, besides that's easy to calibrate. Roll was about perfect. This plane doesn't really need medium landing gear in the back, smalls are fine. The wing surface was much larger than what I normally build, which is mostly a question of style. Overall I say this is a good plane and fun to fly.
  9. I think those numbers are incorrect. Bouyancy is the mass of air displaced minus mass of balloon. So if outside air is 1.225 kg/m3 Steam at 100C is about 0.587 kg/m3, then it lifts 0.638 kg/m3 Steam at 200C is about 0.462 kg/m3, then it lifts 0.762 kg/m3 Hydrogen being about 0.08 kg/m3, lifts 1.145 kg/m3 Air at 100C is about 0.921 kg/m3, at 200C about 0.726 kg/m3, with lift of 0.3 kg/m3 and 0.5 kg/m3 respectively Roughly steam has 2x more lift than hot air (at 100C). Hydrogen has 2x more lift than steam. Hydrogen has 4x more lift than hot air. Hot air gets relatively better the more its super heated, so the solar greenhouse balloon is potentially a big improvement for the hot air. Steam has really great performance as long as we prevent condensation on the inner surfaces of the balloon. Catching condensation and reboiling it works to some degree, but it's better to prevent condensation altogether as far as possible. I propose to do this by not letting steam contact the outer surface of the outer balloon, instead keeping it in a balloonet. If I had a 3 layer balloon, I would vent exhaust gasses into the middle layer. Hydrogen and Helium lift twice as much as steam. Hydrogen is dangerous, helium is expensive, and they both escape through surface.
  10. farmerben

    KSC2 Mountain Buggy Challenge

    With a change of wheels my rover was able to make it to the summit. (it also lacks the docking port and parachute this time) I could only handle about a 35 degree climb, but was able to switchback across the steepest part of the mountain. No significant accidents on the way up. At the highest point I discovered I was stuck, with the MK2 crew cabin in contact with the ground and electric charge almost fully depleted. That was a save point. Not gonna lie. I spend about two hours and many quickloads figuring out how to get back down after that. Fortunatelly a kerbal was able to push the rover loose, only pointed backward on the wrong side of the mountain. That was easily recoverable. Next step glider mode. The concept of using all 4 kerbal parachutes led to a few disasters and was abandoned. Still the rover is a good glider all on its own. I went for the steepest section I could find and straight over a 2000 m drop !!! The good news is the glider can go quite far, the bad news is I need to land on a downslope to survive without any parachutes. And the bottom of that cliff has somewhat of a bowl shape, so it had to be a steep descent. After satisfaction with that another save point. Coasting the rest of the way down took several tries. Given the high drag of my rover I had trouble making it uphill the last km or so to KSC2. Sliding around the east side of the base while preserving as much altitude as possible until the last proved the solution.
  11. This mod failed to load for me. I'm running KSP I downloaded CustomBarnKit Kopernicus 1.5.1-1 Outer _Planets_Mod-2.1 I got error messages saying do not open my savegames because they would not play well with Kopernicus. So I started a new game, but no outer planets were visible.
  12. farmerben

    KSC2 Mountain Buggy Challenge

    I'm getting somewhere on this challenge, but having difficulties. I can't quite make the grade (as in gradient) just yet. Tips on how to improve this craft would be appreciated. I really want to know purpleivan's secrets. I've tested rovers similar to his and I flip those over really easily. My rover evolved roughly as follows. Wheel design: Front steering unpowered, rear drive wheels non-steerable. I'm not sure if I can fully defend the idea of using unpowered front wheels, but it's simple and it works. The training wheels are valuable for some of my other rovers to prevent flipping, this design might not need them because the aero-surfaces are so good. Aero-surfaces: testing at KSC it seems to me that vertical stabilizers and spoilers are invaluable for making a nearly unflippable rover. This craft uses elevon 3 for spoilers. All degrees of freedom are disabled in rover mode, but pitch and roll can be turned on to glide. An early idea was to use the kerbal parachutes for wings. That worked in preliminary testing, but for some reason would not work while descending from orbit. The MK2 cab was originally intended just to load 4 kerbals. But then I figured they would want some snacks on this mission, and it turned out to help the glider performance anyway. I was once able to land this craft undamaged from orbit with zero parachutes but that was hard to repeat. I added a docking port to have an extra control node and one little parachute makes landing easy every time. Aero-dynamic spoilers generate a small amount of lift in the reverse direction, which limits top speed a lot. I wonder if this reduces my hill climbing performance, but I don't think it would when the speed is close to zero. I tested this craft by running over the crawlerway at KSC in every concievable way. It is virtually unflippable with traction control and friction control on auto. When I stalled climbing the mountain at KSC2 I fiddled with the friction controls. I think setting friction control to 5 and drive limiter to 100 is supposed to give best hill climbing performance ? Is that correct. The craft becomes flippable with friction control turned up. The two most obvious redesigns I can think of are 1. reduce weight 2. increase torque. The crew cabin could be removed, but I've started to like it... I guess adding a lot more rover wheels would increase torque... BTW: I eventually figured out how to get to KSC2 by cheating into orbit and using a detatchable swivel engine to start the descent.
  13. farmerben

    Moho blues

    Well that't part of my problem. I guess I cut my teeth on MJ in career mode and was only using the basic options. The difficulty I'm having now is returning to Kerbin using Advanced Transfer and requiring a >4000 DV capture burn. My return stage uses a command seat and ion engine. With lower velocity I can aerobrake this type of vessel, keeping the kerbal in the shadow of the other parts. This time he blows up at 69000m. Also my periapsis is in Kerbin's shadow. I can probably do better with transfer, and try heat shields.
  14. Very cool. I really would love to play with realistic airships. If you click on my avatar, it is a simple representation of a lifting balloon(s) I would like to build in real life. Steam is an excellent lifting gas. Steam has an advantage over helium in that a steam balloon can be operated at ambient pressure and small leaks will not ruin the lifting performance. The difficult thing with steam is to keep the temperature high enough to prevent condensation. I propose to do this using the greenhouse effect. The surfaces of the balloons are variously transparent, reflective, or highly absorbant to focus solar energy on the inner balloonet. The inner steam balloonet is insulated by surrounding hot air.