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About IronMaiden

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  1. Sounds like you're pretty close, retracting your flaps should help a ton lol. I quick thew this together based on your description. I used a couple engine nacelles as well as the circular intakes to make sure there was enough intake. They also provide more than enough liquid fuel so I swapped the mk2 liquid fuel tank for a rocket fuel tank. There's nothing in the cargo bay but based on the Δv remaining in orbit it could probably take a small (<3t) satellite to orbit. Not sure how much drag you're getting at 25km but you can see below that I'm getting about 12kN. It had no problem accelerating between ~12km and 25km.
  2. Try going with less wing area but more incidence, up to 5°. I go with about 1m2 per 5-6t of plane. That should give you the best lift/drag during the most critical part of the flight, when the Terrier takes over. AoA should be negative at low altitude and supersonic speeds since you have excess thrust, you want to optimize the plane for the speed run and the switch to Terrier at higher altitudes. I also wouldn't fly with SAS unless you're using prograde hold, trim results in a lot smoother and therefore less draggy flight.
  3. Oof, yeah you don't want to have that much AoA, ever lol. Use some angle of incidence, that way you can hold prograde for super low drag. You can see my AoA when I switched to the Terrier in the plane I linked above was 0.003° and never went above 0.008°, and pitch never went over 4° until nearing orbital velocity. Don't think of it in terms of giving your Terrier "enough time" to circularize, instead you should take a more shallow trajectory (never pitch over 10° once you get past 10km, preferably never more than 5°), then you just need more thrust than drag and you will go to orbit. Notice when I switched to the Terrier at mach 2 and 10km, I had 25kN of drag, less than half of my thrust. And drag continued to drop and thrust continued to rise the further I got. Down to 10kN at 20km and 4kN at 30km. Edit: I forgot about the new Terrier model. I used the old model Terrier here because the new ones are bugged and create a lot more drag. Same with the Poodle and Spark. Probably the Skipper and Mainsail too but I haven't tested those. You can access the old Terrier through the advanced menu. Wing incidence is more important though.
  4. You can make a good SSTO with Panthers and Terriers. The Reliant wouldn't be a good idea, Panthers can get you up to at least 900m/s and 15km. At this point Terriers are near max Isp and are thrusty enough to get a well designed plane into orbit, the Reliant would just be useless, inefficient mass. Here's an example of a Juno-Terrier SSTO.
  5. Huh, you got me then, that is really weird. I did a mission where I drug a capsule from a previous mission to many destinations, did the ol' release and catch, and got the station/base building milestone every time.
  6. The vessels need to be from two different launches. Did you launch them together for the Minmus one and then just pick up the Minmus lander to take to all the other destinations?
  7. Looks like you're missing base building (docking vessels from two different launches on the surface), splashdown (where applicable), and crew transfer.
  8. Very nice! You went a bit higher than I did, maybe 2m/s worth?
  9. Try to change your mindset. Don't think about it as "getting your apoapsis up to 70km", think about it as "getting your horizontal velocity up to orbital speeds." The most efficient space plane designs will reach orbital velocity well inside the atmosphere. You have wings so use them, let them handle the altitude by creating lift and let your engines focus on your horizontal velocity. In other words, keep your pitch low. You should never be above 10° after reaching 15km, preferably below 5° but this will require some wing angle of incidence. The most glaring problem with your design is the engine mass. Your plane's total mass is 27t, and you have 9.6t dedicated to engines. That's over 1/3rd of your total mass, not even rockets need that much thrust. You could either get rid of engines or carry a lot more fuel and still have plenty of thrust to get to orbit. You'd benefit greatly from some wing incidence, this will allow the plane to have a lower pitch (less drag) but still create enough lift to stay airborne. You also have a lot of extra drag with the solar panels and RCS blocks, and the non-inline version of the cockpit is more prone to over heating which requires a less efficient ascent profile. Flawed as it is though, it should still be able to reach orbit if flown correctly. The flight profile should look more like this: climb past 12km and drop pitch below 5° accelerate up to at least 1400m/s, preferably closer to 1500m/s as you very slowly (no more than 50m/s vertical speed) climb up to around 18km as you approach 1400m/s and your acceleration slows, start the Nervs maintain a slow, steady climb as you continue to accelerate; as long as you have more thrust than drag you will reach orbit this is all much easier with trim (alt+q,w,e,s) than SAS, unless you have wing incidence, then it's even easier to just lock surface prograde all the way to orbit If you want a lot more tips like this and more indepth stuff, check out this SSTO tutorial. I use RAPIERs in that design but all the concepts are valid, just the numbers will need to be tweaked a bit since the Whiplash isn't as fast or powerful.
  10. Sort of, as long as you're at orbital speed. However, remember the Oberth effect, it's more efficient to raise your apoapsis from 30km than it is from 70km even though you'll get a little more drag. As a general rule you shouldn't throttle down until you're raised your Apoapsis to the desired altitude and you should be as aggressive as possible with your gravity turn. In a craft that has been properly designed to reasonably limit drag and have a reasonable TWR, you often circularize at 30-40km. In more extreme examples with crazy high TWR you can circularize at 20km or even 10km but you'd need to abuse the aero and shock heating model a bit for that to be the most efficient ascent. That's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure at what fairing mass it'll start being worth it. As I mentioned above, there's also the Oberth effect. If your fairing is half your payload mass then yeah it might be worth it to do the last 100m/s or so at a lower speed with a significantly lower mass but with your setup here I don't think it's worth it. I'd love to be wrong though
  11. Throttling down is not a good idea, in fact you should maximize thrust on the SRBs too, more thrust means less Δv to orbit as less is lost to gravity. There's no changing your engine mass so take advantage of it. You should be max throttle until your apo reaches 100km, and at orbital velocity at that point as well. Gravity turn should be as aggressive as possible without needing a positive angle of attack to prevent falling back to the planet.
  12. I suppose I should post it here too Here's mine with 3446m/s remaining at 100km circular orbit. Changes: I maxed thrust and gimbal range on everything and rotated the craft 5° to the east. Changed fuel flow priorities, drain from bottom up on both stages. Flight: Max throttle and lock surface prograde after clearing the "tower." Circularize and push apo to 100km at around 30km. Stage fairing once in space. No mods. There's room for improvement, I could've been more aggressive with the gravity turn.
  13. The Whiplashes are turboramjets. They need to get going supersonic before their thrust really starts ramping up. So stay at sea level until you reach ~mach 1.3 then slowly pull up to about 15°, no more, and climb to at least 15km. There you'll want to level off and start accelerating in the thin atmosphere. Aim to get to at least 1400m/s with just your Whiplashes before allowing your altitude to reach 20km. Then keep your pitch nice and low (<5°) and light up your rocket engines. Remember, orbit is about going fast, not up, the only reason you need to go up is to keep from blowing up. Drag is basically negligible if you keep your angle of attack close to 0° so let your engines focus on building up that orbital velocity and let your wings handle keeping you in the air. Aim to roughly circularize around 35km, maybe a little higher since this cockpit is prone to overheating as it takes the brunt of the heat as the front part, the inline cockpit allows for much more efficient ascents. Your plane has way more thrust and fuel than it needs, both open and closed cycle, so you can definitely take this plane to orbit if you pilot it right. If you want you can check out my SSTO tutorial video. I use RAPIERs in that design but the ascent profile will still look the same, you'll just get a few hundred m/s less out of open cycle and therefore your payload fraction will be significantly smaller.
  14. No I figured everyone would just burn it off on the pad since it's just worthless mass for this challenge The drag is a bigger factor if you take a more aggressive gravity turn which the TWR of this craft definitely allows. Here's a fairing flight with 3655m/s remaining, I would've had about 3685m/s had I not accidentally hit Z and shot my apoapsis up to 116km so that's about a 230m/s difference the fairing makes. Another change you could make would be to revert the poodle to the old texture which causes far less drag. You can get the older version through the advanced mode. So anyone trying this challenge in a version older than 1.6 is going to have another 130m/s or so, not accounting for any changes made to the aerodynamic model since then. Here's my old poodle results. After the poodle, the next biggest culprit is the ladder, get rid of that and this thing flies much better.
  15. This thing has way higher drag and TWR than I'd ever use which makes this more/less interesting depending on your approach Simply getting rid of the ladder will do wonders for the Δv as you'll be punished less for taking the appropriate gravity turn for the TWR. My first attempt was closer to an ideal gravity turn for the given TWR ending up at 45° by the time I reached 5km, this caused an awful lot of drag and as a result I got to orbit with around 3440m/s remaining. If I could add a fairing I could probably save another couple hundred or so m/s. My second attempt was a bit less aggressive, the drag was still bad but I ended up with 3477m/s remaining. You can see my profile in the album but basically start pitching over immediately after takeoff then lock prograde, ending up at 75° by 165m/s, 60° by 265m/s and 45° by 8km. If I were to try to improve on this more I'd take the 1 time drag hit and pitch down off prograde somewhere around 20km to be more aggressive once the atmosphere really starts to thin out.