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  1. It feels like I am the only one here keeping the thread alive My Mk.2 crusade is still going strong. I did the Minmus STS-1 mission and both Fuel Pod missions (STS-1b and STS-2b). At this point I have 6 unreviewed Commander Rank submissions. @sturmhauke Seeing that Artienia is still away, I'd be honoured if you reviewed my mission reports. Links to all of them below Eve STS-1 Mission, Commander Rank Jool STS-1, Commander Rank Kerbin Bonus STS-9 Asteroid Mission, Commander Rank Minmus STS-1, Commander Rank Kerbin STS-1b Fuel Pod mission, Commander Rank Kerbin STS-2b Fuel Pod Recovery, Commander Rank
  2. Kerbin Series: STS-2b And we are going straight into the Fuel pod recovery mission Rendezvous with the Fuel Pod. I carefully docked to it, but I annoyingly forgot to make pictures of actual docking Deorbiting the Carrier with Fuel Pod. Reentry phase was quite stable I glided a bit sideways to break harder to not overshoot the runway, so this meant that I had to make a circle to approach the runway correctly THIS was the hardest landing I've attempted in this thread so far. Orbiter wasn't gliding very well and Fuel Pod would disassemble on touchdown if my vertical velocity was over 1 m/s. It took me multiple attempts to nail this: I firstly let the plane glide at steep angle, then pull up right at the runway and engage the engines a bit to pull up. Combination of all of this allowed me to land the plane intact, with Fuel Pod undamaged Proof that the Fuel Pod resources were not used
  3. And here's a surprise: I actually did the Bonus Fuel Pod Missions! Kerbin Series: STS-1b In this mission, I must bring a fuel pod to orbit and land (on the runway for Commander Rank). However, the payload this time is provided by the challenge: lots of goodies on board and weighs 40 tons. Picture from the challenge thread below. The orbit altitude and inclination is up to our choice, but the orbit must be as circular as possible, with eccentricity no greater than 0.0001 Obviously, such a behemoth will not fit into Mk.2 cargo bay. But who said we need cargo bays? Presenting to you: the Fuel Pod Carrier! This is a rather unconventional design, but it still adheres to my self-imposed Mk.2 rules. To accomodate the Sr. Docking Port, a Mk.2 to 2.5 meter adapter is used Here's the Carrier with the Fuel Pod attached Launching the Carrier with the Fuel Pod After reaching space, I use fine controls on RCS to adjust my orbit. This allowed me to get the required eccentricity. You can see it in lower left corner Carefully undocking the Fuel Pod. I checked its parameters again to make sure the orbit still had required eccentricity, as before they are in lower left corner Deorbiting the Carrier Approach and landing, smooth as a butter
  4. Finally, I got around to doing the damn mission that I've been promising for quite a while now Minmus Series: STS-1 In this mission we need to bring a Resource Scanner satellite into polar orbit of Minmus. Then, we need to land in a spot with rich ore concentration, deploy a Rover with a surface ore scanner, scan the soil and return to Kerbin. For Commander Rank, the Rover must have space for at least 4 kerbals, you must bring along extra CommSat and you must land on a runway when you return to Kerbin Since the deltaV requirements are very similar, I will be using the Mun STS Shuttle for this mission Here are the payloads: two satellites and a Rover for 4 kerbals And here is everything packed inside the payload bay Let's get straight to launch. Standard procedure Like in Mun missions, I use the main booster as a transfer stage. I also do a mid course correction to approach the Minmus from its South Pole Circularizing and deploying payloads. After deploying them I lower the orbit of my Orbiter and the CommSat Scanned the Minmus for ore. I decided to land in the flats Landing the Orbiter on the flats. Same landing strat as on Mun. Lower gravity makes things easier than on Mun Deploying the rover, getting into it, scanning the surface and going for a small ride Getting back into the Orbiter and taking off. I retracted rear landing gear to pitch up easier Escaping Minmus SOI First aerobrake to lower the orbit, then I get into low orbit, then I do a retrograde burn and do the second and final reentry Descending through early morning clouds Approaching the runway and landing Another Mission completed! Just need to wait for the mods to verify the entries
  5. Yeah, I know about Magic Wings. But most Magic Wings from my knowledge are more applicable to supersonic and SSTO purposes, something that is outside of the scope of our challenge I think. And I play on version 1.12 personally, so flags are out of the question for me. Speaking of wings: from I gather, Magic Wings are mostly advantageous to get excellent Lift to Drag ratios for more efficient climbs. However, here we need to maintain lower altitudes to get better prop performance AND we need to maintain it stably so the plane doesn't do any corrections. For that no AoA seemed to be optimal setting for the wings. I did experiment with wing AoA and from the information I've found on the internet (KSP forum, reddit and Lt. Duckweed's wing video), 2° of AoA is the most optimal for low subsonic speeds, but the plane with 2° AoA not only flew slower, it also struggled more with take off.
  6. That's what I was thinking about too Without touching prop blades, the maximum distance you can go is roughly in 2000-2200 km range (and I did lots of testing to verify these numbers). Moving prop blades however creates these effects that both you and @camacju have described. Move them in far enough and they don't even need any electricity to spin by themselves, basically granting you infinite flight. But, does it make it viable to move the props in "just enough" that they still use charge? Like, camacju is getting theoretical ranges of 33 thousand kilometers for crying out loud At this point, what constitutes a "legal" and "illegal" exploit? This whole challenge was pretty much dominated by aerodynamic exploits (with closing nodes and offsetting everything into the fairing and whatnot). And now we are at the point that the exploit is so strong that, if we use it too much, it goes into cheat reality, because you won't need any more charge to fly at all. So you're forced to scale it back intentionally so the engine still uses electricity. But how do you even optimize at that point? Even in-game telemetry gets confused and difference between 0.01 charge per 1 minute or 2 minutes can be in order of tens of thousands of km of range and how many more microns you move the prop inward P.S. By the way, your wing structure is actually genius. How did I not think of that?
  7. I tested this directly after my 2000+km entry The very same plane, only thing done is fan blade offsetting. 1.99 microunits per second max usage (compared to 3.48 microunits) and cruise speed of 92-98 m/s (compared to 69-75 m/s). Not taking into account the 2 EC used to get up to speed and taking the average speed as estimate, (98EC/0.00199units)*95m/s = 4678km of range However, at this point the flight will take over 13 hours, and I already didn't feel comfortable leaving the game on for 8 hours in previous entry, so this is basically left as a thought experiment of sorts. But YES, you can circumnavigate on 100 EC
  8. Both 1000 and 2000km entries used 20% sized small motor. Reducing the motor size to 1% saves me 7 kilos, which doesn't really make much impact However, I noticed what DOES make a huge impact: fan blade offsetting. Offsetting them inwards, so they make a smaller circle, noticeably increases thrust while consuming less charge. My calculated theoretical ranges exceed 4500 kilometers by now, which is more than enough to make a circumnavigation From what I read, @camacju also did prop offsetting in his latest screens. It seems, after all, you can make a circumnavigator with 100 EC charge
  9. All of my planes had 8 small fan blades per engine. And during the testing for the latest entry I tried various combinations of fans, from 2 biggest ones to 16 smallest ones. At the end I determined during testing that 8 fan blades gives the best results: other fan blade configurations either didn't give any speed improvements or slowed down the plane altogether As for the controls, I personally felt that it would be easier to control all elements through RCS controls, because this way you have one hand on directional (WASD) controls and the other hand on the RCS. Of course, in this challenge the Autopilot handled the flying, so I had both hands on the RCS. I also engaged Caps Lock for fine adjustments and after that I basically tried to tap the buttons as lightly as I could to get the fan blade angle for example: getting the 19.19 degrees was crucial to get the best combination of speed and average EC consumption. The RPM and Torque settings were adjusted by hand at first parts of the flight, but then I just typed in the necessary values once I was going at final cruise speed I mean, the record flight alone took me over 8 hours, not even counting in all of the testing which in total probably took me longer than the flight itself. I have about 7 pages on my iPad filled with lots of data: plane configurations, RPM/Power/Prop angle settings, EC consumption, average speed, theoretical range from 95 EC charge (the 5 EC is basically as a safety margin for the takeoff, climb and acceleration) and so on. I don't think I did as much research for any other KSP mission lol
  10. Well, I promised you all a huge breakthrough. Here it is. As usual, the name doesn't actually represent the version number: I've had maybe 8 different variations of this craft before I went ahead with this one First new thing is the fuselage: it has been carefully optimized and improved upon the previous plane by offset/rotate manipulations. Also, 100 EC battery has been swapped with 1k round battery for drag optimization reasons. In the end not only have I got a less draggier fuselage, I also managed to reduce the dry weight of the fuselage a little bit. Although the weight reduction doesn't really make much of a difference and it was not the main reason for new fuselage anyway, but still, a nice bonus. Engine and prop setup is the same as in previous entry Wings are also new, with a bit of extra wing area for gliding. This made the plane a bit heavier than my previous entry, after jettisoning the landing gear the plane weighs cool round 1000 kilograms (with both Kerbals without jetpacks and parachutes). Speaking of kerbals, they will again be females Proof of EC charge. As this is a much bigger battery, I reduced its charge to 100 in SPH At this point you might be wondering: the plane doesn't look that much different from the previous entry, so what's the breakthrough? The breakthrough is flight profile. Carefully adjusting RPM, engine power and prop angle throughout the entire flight delivers fantastic results. So to do this, I assigned the RCS controls to prop angles, engine RPM and Torque limit I start at 150 RPM and 7% power and hold these for the takeoff phase. The main adjustments are with prop angle at first: right at the start I set the angle at 85 degrees and then gradually lower it to around 50ish degrees as I accelerate on the runway. I look at the Forward Lift produced by the props and on the runway I keep it in 0.2-0.3 kN range through beforementioned prop adjustments. With this a takeoff speed of about 56 m/s is achieved. Just as the plane goes off the runway, I discard the landing gear and engage the Autopilot. I set the vertical speed of 3 m/s to slowly climb to 700 meters as I continue to accelerate through prop adjustment: at this point I don't look at forward lift generated anymore, I simply monitor the velocity As I reach 700 meters, I tell the Autopilot to hold the altitude and from then it's all adjustments: I carefully lower the prop angle, reduce the RPM limit and raise the Torque limit until I end up at the following settings: 19.19 degrees of prop angle, 50 engine RPM limit and 10 engine Torque limit. This achieves maximum EC usage of 3.48 microunits per second and cruise speed of 69-75 m/s depending on the air temperature. These settings will be kept for pretty much entire flight Flight path will be the same as in previous entry: fly eastward towards peninsula and then roughly following the geodesic line. Passing over the peninsula now: I've setup a series of "checkpoint" flags before the mission for ease of navigation. Some of those checkpoints I followed to the T, for the others I simply used them to assess the direction I was going in Sunset and moon crescent Passing by the islands where my previous entry splashed down: we're still going strong Reaching the isthmus at the far north of the map. This is where things got a bit scary: as I was approaching the land I wasn't sure whether my plane would clear the hills, so I tried to climb to 800 meters. By doing so however my engine slowed down, props didn't generate much thrust and I stalled the plane. Thankfully, by quickly readjusting all settings and recovering the plane I saved the mission, but I gotta tell you, I was shook 800 meters proved to be enough with a safe margin, so I continued forward. I even did some planet spotting as it got darker lol Crossed the isthmus. From then on it was all water and no more dangerous landmasses, so I descended back to 700 meters Slowly running out of charge. Preparing the plane for landing Out of charge. Retracting the fan blades and slowly gliding towards the water Splashdown! Coordinates of the splashdown Now is the time to calculate just how far I managed to go. Again I will be using the website that I used in previous entry. These are the coordinates I used for calculation Starting Flag near the Runway (-0.2, -74.43) Checkpoint 1 Flag, on the Peninsula (-2.1, -39.22) Water passage between Two Islands, near Checkpoint 2 (27.94, 16.259) Checkpoint 3 Flag, on the western side of the Isthmus (45, 55.37) Checkpoint 4 Flag, in the middle of the Isthmus (47.35, 69.17) Checkpoint 6 Flag, on the eastern side of the Isthmus (47.30, 89.53) Splashdown Site (20.43, 132.22) Photo of the checkpoint flags below All of this ends up in the final distance of...... 2082.916 kilometers This is an extraordinarily good result, but there is a downside to it: this is basically the limit of the current concept of the aircraft I've flown. Different RPM/Torque/Prop angle settings bring in diminishing results, different wing configurations didn't bring much either and the fuselage is already as streamlined and light as it could be. Not even adding or reducing amount of fan blades bring any improvements, only worsened the theoretical range. So, unfortunately, my dream of circumnavigating Kerbin with 100 EC are not gonna come to fruition, at the very least with the current aircraft design The only thing I didn't touch in any of my entries (including this one) is the fan blade positioning: perhaps you can get more range if you carefully offset/rotate the blades so they spin themselves up, but at this point if your fan blades spin themselves up without any EC usage, then what's the point of the challenge anyway? But hey, that's just my opinion @18Watt As for now, I've basically shut down the whole challenge lmao
  11. @Artienia Hey man, are you still away? I've taken a little break from Shuttle building to do other challenges, but there's still some progress I've made: everything for Minmus Mission is ready to go and I've also completed the Asteroid Recovery mission. You can find it in my STS thread, along with Jool STS-1 and Eve STS-1 submissions. Hope it's not too overwhelming to review 3 submissions in a row
  12. Well, I nodded off and the plane crashed... will be restarting later in the day, results might take a bit longer than I initially planned
  13. So, I was playing around with the craft design and managed to make a huge breakthrough. The new plane is currently flying and, if everything goes smoothly, I will be posting results later in the day
  14. Yeah, I realized that I done goofed up after posting the message. Gotta firm the L
  15. Let's assume one would build a plane that could circumnavigate Kerbin and that would fly in a similar way to my record setter (as in, low to water and in straight lines). Quick glance tells that it would require at the very least 5 major corrections, therefore 5 points: one at the edge of peninsula east of KSC and then roughly following the Elcano marine circumnavigation trajectory, making a full circle at the peninsula edge. Photo of that below. My attempt finished halfway between 1st and 2nd point, near two small islands. In addition, the website I linked has a limit of 20 waypoints, so I think, incase someone actually manages to build a 100 EC circumnavigator, 20 points should be more than sufficient if one would like to make the corrections smoother instead of sharp turns because that can save a lot of kilometers Now will such plane even be built? 2 days ago I would say that a man must be tripping to even consider that, but seeing how stupidly far we managed to travel I can't entirely dismiss such possibility
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