Exothermos

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Everything posted by Exothermos

  1. I think it was the fix for fairings. 1.3 had a bug where complex stuff inside of fairings exploded. Obviously this craft has a lot stuff going on inside of (and clipping through) those fairing parts.
  2. Work-in-Progress [WIP] Design Thread

    My tinkering continues with the replicating the Lockheed Martin mars mission proposal. Iv'e built a kerbalized version of the "base camp" station, tender, and transfer vehicle modules. Here is part of the assembly just cheated from low Kerbal orbit to Duna orbit for a glamour shot. Things are getting awfuly parts-intensive with those Solar arrays. To make it playable on my computer I might resort to the large rectangular arrays. Much of the complication comes from a set of stock hinges to extend the solar array arms after launch. This is my first foray into stock moving bits in a loooonnnngggg time. I'm quite pleased with them! I will probably omit the probe body and reaction wheels as simply rolling the station flings the arms out nicely with centripetal force. A much simpler solution. These big modules need big rockets! I also scaled-down the lander from the previous post. It is still over-sized in relation to the station, but this is as small as it is going to get in the game and still actually DO something. I was pretty worried that the lander wouldn't be able to transition to retrograde after re-entering conventionally. Testing on Kerbin made this seem dubious. Thankfully Duna is another story. The lander easily transitions over to vertical flight once below 250m/s in the middle atmosphere. Landing is a breeze. Even though the lander is very tall, all the mass is in the tail, so it is nice and stable. Again, I'm pretty chuffed with how it is turning out. The payloads still need work as they are a little on the explodey-side when deployed. I'm glad I'm playing around with this kind of mission as it is taking me well outside my comfort zone. I may never actually run the whole mission in earnest, as it is Absurdly Complicated. With atleast 12 launches and 12 rendezvous to perform in both Low Kerbin Orbit, Munar Orbit and Dunar orbit to assemble and transfer all the different vehicles, It would be one hell of an undertaking. I could definitely do it, but I just get much more enjoyment solving build challenges than fiddling with maneuver nodes.
  3. Work-in-Progress [WIP] Design Thread

    Lockheed Martin has been promoting a Mars mission that includes an orbiting Martain space station as well as a lander that looks like it is right out of 60s SciFi. These kind of proposals always inspire me to tinker with KSP, and I've managed to get a reasonable facsimile working nicely. It's totally overbuilt for what KSP requires for a Duna lander, but I was trying to copy form rather than adhering to KSPs needs. The result is that the lander has way more DeltaV and thrust than is really needed for Duna, but hey, i suppose it is capable of lots of other missions around the Kerbol system. It's delivered on a stubby booster with a faring to match the back of the lander, and uses much of the lander's fuel to reach orbit. Lockheed's proposal includes refueling at the Orbiting station for multiple missions to and from the martian surface, so I figured they would refuel the lander in LEO before ferrying it to mars. This helps keep the booster short , keeping the Center of Lift behind the center of mass; a problem when topping rockets with "wingy" vehicles. Anyway, maybe I'll make an entire mission pack, the hard part is essentially done.
  4. SSTOs! Post your pictures here~

    I've been playing with Tylo capable ISRU SSTOs lately. I know you've had this one out for a while, but I have gained a lot of perspective from doing the Tylo run. That makes this design doubly impressive. AND it looks good!
  5. SSTOs! Post your pictures here~

    Here's a sneak peak at something I'm playing with. It's an SSTO based on the early Rockewell proposals for the X-30. The "X-plane of the Day" thread inspired me to try to make something like this work, hopefully I'm not stealing anyone's thunder over there. In keeping with the technology of the day, RAPIERs are out. Instead the craft is powered by 6 Whiplash turbofans and one Vector rocket. This was a fun challenge but I wasn't sure I could pack-in enough fuel for the Vector and still preserve the x-30's lines. This is a fairly difficult planform to make work in KSP, as everything is so tightly packed, and the engines are so far aft. This creates inherent instability as the fuel burns, but I think I have that particular nut cracked. Thanks to the engine selection the payload fraction won't win any awards, but it can lift any standard station module that fits in the bay. I still have a ton of polishing and revisions to make before this is ready for release. That wimpy tail has to go, it needs some mono-propellant control, and the wing sections are a little haphazard, but the bones are there and I was excited that it even works!
  6. ICBM

    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...
  7. X-Plane-of-the-Day

    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!
  8. Nighttime // Planes thread

    A decent onto Laythe. (Edit. I know, It's an SSTO... but it's a plane on ascent and decent )
  9. Vulture - Flying Wing

    Needed more air? Why the adjustments? Though, I do like the position of the vertical stabs.
  10. Share your stratolaunchers!

    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.
  11. 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
  12. Exo's Boneyard: SSTOs and more.

    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.
  13. Work-in-Progress [WIP] Design Thread

    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!
  14. Work-in-Progress [WIP] Design Thread

    Cool, looks great! That camo mod really emphasizes the smooth lines. We've built very similar f-14s: The parts definitely dictate the build.
  15. Work-in-Progress [WIP] Design Thread

    The Ryan Vertijet! Cool.
  16. Exo's Boneyard: SSTOs and more.

    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"?)
  17. SSTOs! Post your pictures here~

    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!
  18. Cupcake's Dropship Dealership...

    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?
  19. Parts clipping

    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.
  20. Exo's Boneyard: SSTOs and more.

    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.
  21. What did you do in KSP today?

    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.
  22. SSTOs! Post your pictures here~

    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...
  23. SSTOs! Post your pictures here~

    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.
  24. SSTOs! Post your pictures here~

    That's a fun video!
  25. Cupcake's Dropship Dealership...

    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