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Everything posted by Exothermos

  1. Don't aim that thing at my space center or you'll be met by furious hellfire like you have never seen! Don't make me implement some sanctions here...
  2. A functional x-30 in the late "surfboard" configuration is going to be a challenge with the current aero. KSP doesn't like the hypersonic wave-rider / compression ramp structure at all. Huge drag. The early concept art with the pointed nose should be easier to achieve by far. The X-30 is one of my favorite concept aircraft and most of my early SSTOs were based off of it. I was super bummed when the new aero made it mostly nonviable. I'm excited to see what you can come up with!
  3. A decent onto Laythe. (Edit. I know, It's an SSTO... but it's a plane on ascent and decent )
  4. Needed more air? Why the adjustments? Though, I do like the position of the vertical stabs.
  5. Mine is purely a Sandbox-mode design, but it the basics should translate to a lower-tech one for career mode (gonna need those mods listed above). Basically the whole thing is built off the center mk1 fuselage section embedded in the wing. The large, strong, wing sections provide the "bridging" needed without using a ton of struts. The main wings ARE auto-strutted to the catamaran hulls, however. The mark 3 fuselages are great because they are tall. That allows a lot clearance without super tall landing gear. The center wing section is also cantilevered-up to further accommodate larger loads. Of course super-sized loads could be lifted by puting tall gear on the tall fuselages. You just have to watch your CoM. (SSTO version shown) Your payloads need to be pretty aerodynamic or any Stratolaunch plane will perform very poorly. This design was aerodynamic enough to make an SSTO out of it, though reentry must be done with care. Link to more description and Craft Files.
  6. The recent roll-out of the Stratolauncher inspired me to play around with the basic catamaran hull design. The result is a pair of aircraft that are surprisingly capable. The two ships are so similar in form that I have not bothered to name them differently, even though their capabilities are much different. For simplicity I will call them both Stratomaran. The Stratomaran Air Launch takes the basic Stratolauncher mission profile to a higher performance level. The ship is capable of launching its payload at 1300m/s and 22+ kilometers. This greatly increases the range capability or weight of the payload compared to a ship powered by Turbofans. Bulky payloads are accommodated under the cantilevered center wing section. The plane is easy to fly, but a little hair-raising to land on the runway due to its wide-track landing gear. The Stratomaran SSTO takes the air-launch vehicle and gives is a kick with more engines and fuel. Rotation is no problem due to high clearances. Even more clearance is possible by changing landing gear sets. Now payloads can be taken directly to orbit! The real challenge is re-entry. Much like the NukeWing SSTO in the prior post, it is critical that a certain re-entry profile is observed. The idea is to use the huge wing area to slow down as fast as possible before the wimpy large wing sections overheat and explode. Lots of air brakes, a shallow trajectory, and a High angle of attack does the trick nicely. You slowdown like a badminton shuttlecock. Payloads for both designs must be aerodynamic or contained in fairings. The Air Launch version can lift 30% heavier payloads, but the SSTO can take them directly to space, so it's a bit of a wash.
  7. Hi everyone, it's been a while! I'm going to start uploading some of the deep backlog of craft I've built as I vacuum the floor mats and convert them to 1.2. This thread will be the new dumping ground for those craft. Those of you familiar with my stuff will be totally unsurprised that these craft are largely SSTOs, but there is a fun smattering of other things. First up is a series of Mk-3 SSTOs I've been tinkering on since 1.04. That's a ridiculously long lead time, but I fell off the KSP wagon for a while. These 3 ships fit my personal SSTO design philosophy of being 1) easy to fly, 2) quick to get to orbit, and 3) good-looking and believable. That usually results in pointy things with big TWR. These craft all follow the "Set 10 degrees and Forget" school of ascent, and the 45 degree reentry profiles. Arbalest This is the largest model in the line with a Max payload of around 45 tons. That's an "orange can" and a lot more. It might be able to lift more, but I've never really tried as the air-breathing acceleration time starts creeping up too high for me to tolerate. It's got all the bells and whistles that a big, luxurious SSTO needs like... engines, wings, a cargo bay, um, a docking port. More engines. DOWNLOAD ARBALEST (Dropbox) Arbalest GT Hey, I get it. 45 tons is WAY pointless. Why should you lug all that extra stuff around? You want to feel alive: get pushed back in your seat and hug the (air) curves! Well the GT model will get that done. All the horse power with less weight means you can still lift 36 tons (one orange can) but now you can put the top down and scan for Kerbettes in style (do not attempt top-down operation). DOWNLOAD ARBALEST GT (Dropbox) ArbaLEAST HAH! Get it? 'Cuz it's the smallest? Well. OK, I can see you are the no-nonsense type, and I can respect that. This is the model for the space program operator who is serious about utility. Lighter weight, fewer parts, less TWR, and no superfluous Kerbal seats make this the most efficient in the lineup. This leads to a still impressive 22.5 ton rated payload and the lower wing loading makes the landing sequence much less exciting. DOWNLOAD ARBALEAST (Dropbox) The craft descriptions have pertinent info on Action Groups and flight profiles, let me know if you have questions. I know lots of you are pros, but I am always surprised at the number of people intimidated by SSTOs (and space planes in general). Give 'em a shot: they're fun! Next up is an SSTA i have floating around, or maybe a pack of Mk-2 SSTOs, or maybe some shuttle-style things, or, or, or... EDIT: Here is a annotated imgur album covering development if anyone is interested. It was fun to look back over so many versions and remember all those AH-HA! moments. It might be useful to those struggling with the usual SSTO design issues. IMGUR ALBUM
  8. I thought it might be fun to share some steps of development of a plane. Seems like the WIP thread is a good spot. After seeing the Stratolauncher get rolled-out I tackled a build of the craft again. I'm sure many of you have done this, and in fact, a small version is stock in the game. I started with a conventional version to lift a Mun-mission rocket. But to be honest, I hated the performance of the Goliath Turbofans. They are total dogs. The plane could barely muster 8km and 180 m/s after a long, arduous climb. The rocket would never have enough dV to get to the Mun. So instead I switched things out for Whiplashes and Rapiers and cut the drag. This led to a ridiculous jump in performance. It's so satisfying to watch the rocket peel away from the plane. This is 20+km and 1000 m/s: MUCH better. The spindly looking airplane is very easy to fly, but can be a challenge to land on the runway due to its wide stance. The whole rocket made it to the moon. Not exactly efficient, but the payload was not really my focus here. Just a proof-of-concept. Still, the gang seems jazzed about the whole thing. After the successful moon mission I wanted to ramp things up. There were some weight-and-balance issues with the design that cropped-up when heavier loads were attempted. The original design had the engine mass under the wing. This new design puts it all at the back. Some ballancing with Oxidizer "ballast" was an inelegant but effective solution. To carry heavier payloads, that ballast needs to go. The Center of Mass was migrating too far forward when loaded, which meant that the Plane needed fuel pumping after launching the payload. It worked, but was a cumbersome process. Pushing the whole wing back was a near instantaneous fix. With that taken care of, I decided to find out how much this thing can lift. Answer: A lot. But it was clear that ground clearance was going to be a problem on takeoff. The wider payload, and the fact that it was pushed farther back made rotating for takeoff... unwise. I needed to either use taller landing gear (which would eliminate steering), or cantilever the center section of the wing. I decided the later was a better idea. This gave plenty of ground clearance for a 5 meter (or so) fairing piece on this Eve-bound space station rocket. Up to orbit to await a transfer window. I am certain I could turn this thing into an SSTO by swapping some engines around and carrying some oxidizer. It seems silly to do that: so I am certain I will try it now. The real challenge is going to be slowing the plane down fast enough before the wings heat-soak and explode. We'll see!
  9. Cool, looks great! That camo mod really emphasizes the smooth lines. We've built very similar f-14s: The parts definitely dictate the build.
  10. The Ryan Vertijet! Cool.
  11. I dumped a lot of craft files over on KerbalX for those who are interested. I wouldn't cross-promote normally, but the forums seem a little sleepy lately, so why not. Besides some of the older ships in this thread there is a bigger Fusilid-style design called the Fusilid Extreme It can lift heavy things to orbit. Then it pops them off... And comes back home looking kinda weird and naked. Also there are a few designs based on a concept I wanted to try using very large wings and a liquid fuel only restriction. I wanted to get going fast at air-breathing altitude then pull up abruptly transforming forward momentum into vertical climb (zoom climbing). Then the Nuclear Engines can work for a while (in near vacuum where they are more efficient) to gain orbital velocity. It works well, but isn't particularly groundbreaking. Still, they are fun. The (not so) creatively named NukeWing is the purest of them with its yuuuge flying wing design. Those wings have terrible heat resistance, but re-entry is manageable because the enormous lift and drag, coupled with the relatively tiny dry weight, slows the ship down like fluttering leaf before the wings have time to heat-soak and explode. Ideally. The NukeWing Light is a smaller version of the same concept. It re-enters much less dramatically because of the tougher delta wings. However, due to only one wimpy Nuke, it takes a little more finesse to get to orbit. The Nukewing Advanced is an attempt to make all this practical. And it is: More crew, less drama. But it does end-up looking like a more conventional Mk2 build. Which might be a good thing. My 2 ISRU Interplanetary SSTOs are essentially done. I just have to run a shake-down cruise or two to prove the concepts to myself. I've done lots of partial missions. Simple planetary transfers and the like. Grand tours should be possible: the math says yes, but I don't want to release until I've done a couple missions to completion. The only problem is that isn't really my cup of tea. I like building a lot more than fiddling endlessly with maneuver nodes. (Anyone want to "beta test"?)
  12. Here is something a little different: "What, it's an ugly SSTO?" you say? Indeed it is! It is also an ISRU ship capable of a Grand Tour. Hauling all that "Plane" around makes for some complicated and dangerous planetary landings, not to mention inefficiencies. This design has a trick up its sleeve. The Little Plane has 4 thousand dV and full ISRU for visiting smaller bodies, while the big central lander body has a ton of fuel and decent TWR. This allows for visiting everyone's favorite ship-smasher; Tylo! This is a tylo landing where only 35 oxidizer remained. That's a smile of anxious relief. Margins have since been improved. The ship can return to kerbin in any configuration that is convenient. The forward section can be refueled and used to return home by its self. (The tail ditched in orbit to act as a com relay or discarded once its' fuel is used up. The lander can be a lonely probe on Eve, never to return.) I'm still messing around with exact payloads; optimal electrical generation & batteries, antennae, probe cores, and RCS ballance... This thing is complicated! But, it will be released (with my other ISRU ship in development) soon. I'm not going to beat around the bush here, this design involves A LOT of docking. I had to refresh my skills quite a lot. F5 is your friend!
  13. I really like those long tracking shots of the Eloo approach and departure! Your base is cool looking too. But...What's in the box?
  14. Yeah, I think a lot of that has to do with the assembly tools that Squad put into the game. In the bad-old-days there was no Move or Rotate tool, so to clip things you had to get creative with clipping the camera through parts and attaching cubic struts (which were "bugged" and would attach to any surface visible by the camera.) So the implication was that something was accomplished with an exploit. When squad added the Move and Rotate tools, as well as more forgiving attachment rules, that is direct 'permission' by the developer to clip parts when building. Any restrictions are self-imposed according to whatever your take is on realism and fairness. I'm all for clipping as long as it achieves a goal that is achievable another way. (aesthetics, weight and balance, packaging restrictions). I gladly use "empty" space in nosecones, structural adapters, and empty fuel tanks, but try not to clip fuel or engines into each other. But none of those considerations keep me from downloading something that is cool, even if the craft is clip-ception.
  15. LOL! What!? That's amazing; we won't call it a bug. It's a feature. I suppose the ship is really optimized for much heavier loads, so she has...generous TWR with your lighter payload. Let me know if you make it to gilly.
  16. So I've been trying to complete an ISRU SSTaA and I've put-off landing on Duna because it's always "had my number ". After many crashes trying fly or paraglide the aircraft in, I've decided on a 2 stage landing. Normal flight for reentry and upper atmosphere, then translating to a vertical decent to the surface. The trick with this is timing the pitch to horizontal at the last minute to land on the wheels. Something that is very easy on low gravity bodies, but pretty fraught on Duna. As you can see... things did not go perfectly. So I decided to try to land tripod style on the loading ramp and tail. Amazingly, this works pretty well; the tail is very flexible and the ramp is extremely strong and rigid. I wanted to do some drop tests to fine tune the arrangement and find the upper limits of the design. I slowly increased the height of the drop until the craft could land impact at 12m/s without any damage. Then the weight of the fuel load was increased. Until... ...the limits of the runway were found! Yeah I guess that will do then... Closing the cargo ramp flops the craft onto its wheels.
  17. Oh, no orbital refueling allowed, it goes straight to Minmus in any phase. Delta V depends on how you are refueling it, and where you are leaving from. Leaving from itty-bitty Minmus with a pure nuclear (liquid fuel) load, it is more than 5300 dV. Obviously if you need to use the rapiers for any reason (and therefore need oxidizer) that number decreases. Leaving from Laythe with it's atmosphere requires a pitstop at one of the smaller Joolian moons to gas up before brute-forcing a big planetary transfer. Returning from Eve is obviously not at option. Oh nice. Interesting rover / tender idea. I always forget about asteroids; now how am I going to shoehorn in a claw? Hmm...
  18. Here is an ISRU SSTA that carries a big rover; because you haven't really been somewhere unless you've driven a car on it! The main craft kneels to engage its own drill. Why the redundancy? I can't decide which direction to take the craft. A big mining rover with the large Mk3 cockpit on the main craft, or a cockpit-free design where kerbals live aboard a Hitchhiker Can on wheels, and the ship does all the mining and processing? I like going out and finding richer deposits with the rover and not relying on fiddly piloting to land in a high-ore area, so I'm leaning that direction. Here, an old salty-dog oil rig operator who was hastily trained for space drills the surface. Here is an earlier design (one of 15+ iterations) visiting Laythe, just 'cuz the screenshot is cool And just to stick with the silhouette theme, another version of the flying wing nuclear SSTO series I've been tinkering with. EDIT: Sorry, I know dark screen shots aren't really mobile freindly.. But they're pretty.
  19. That's a fun video!
  20. Yeah there are definitely more efficient SSTOs (a little rapier missile is unbeatable right now), But I was surprised it works at all, and besides I just watched an old "wings" documentary on the xb-49s
  21. Hey, I've been playing with big wings too! I really like your simple, clean designs (as usual).
  22. I've been playing around with little personnel shuttles for Kerbin orbits. I figured I'd share. This Wingy-Thingy works really well with as a liquid fuel only shuttle. The large lift lets you build speed at medium-high altitude with the whiplashes, then zoom climb the last few kilometers before the Jets die. Very useful for getting your time-to-apoapsis as high as possible as you slow burn on the Nukes up to the apogee. Over 1500 dV in orbit. Reentry and landing is a snap too. With all that lift and drag, she slows down very well in the upper atmosphere then lazily floats down. But really, the big wing is fun, but not totally necessary. This more conventional wing design based on the one above ends up with more than 2000 dV in orbit after a similar ascent. It saves on weight and drag at the expense of lift. Parring the design down further yields this fugly little guy. It works like a charm, but the ascent has no room for error. The speed and angle of the zoom climb is critical, and the nuke is lit all the way to apoapsis. That single nuke doesn't have much oomph. Once in orbit, however, 1500 dV remains. Finally, I really like this little single-rapier runabout. It doesn't have much juice left after ascent, but can maneuver to 120 km+ orbits with ease.
  23. This is a pretty parts-intensive build as the goal was fidelity over simplicity, but we're super happy with the result! Those overlays speak for themselves. Performance is right inline with the real thing (with some extra margin on the Mach number). This was super fun and I highly recommend creating craft with a like-minded builder. Cheers Eorin!
  24. How about another Replicraft? This time the inescapable SR-71. The blackbird is probably one of the first jets that people build in KSP, but I wanted to use more "advanced" building techniques to get a little closer to reality. It's a tough balance to keep part count manageable, yet replicate complex shapes and subtle curves with the parts we're given, so some fidelity must be sacrificed for usability. In the end i think it looks the part, and it flies similarly to the real deal. A version carying the D-21 reconnaissance drone is also available. Launch of the drone is suitably clench-inducing. But she goes like a bat outa' hell when spooled up. Perfect for spying on those Koviets! In the end this is mostly an exercise in modeling and building, as replica craft don't really DO much. Still, it's fun to fly and imagine, which ultimately is my favoirte part of KSP. DOWNLOAD SR-71 (KerbalX) DOWNLOAD SR-71 with D-21 Drone (KerbalX) Edit: Check out Eorin's & my collaboration build for an extremely accurate, re-engineered & rebuilt version of this SR-71 HERE.
  25. Please do! The penalty for removing the fairing would be temperature resistance. The normal Nosecone is 2400 degrees, the fairings 2600 degrees. A shielded docking port might be a good replacement because they are 2600 degrees as well. They are tough as nails, if a little blunt looking. That 200 extra degrees is pretty critical to get 1500m/s + before the closed cycle kicks in, but lower speeds won't be a big deal if you are carrying lighter payloads.