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About Rune

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    Flight Director

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  1. So... It's up! I should do a proper photo op for it, but I've teased it enough. Besides, long time no post nothing. So without further ado, the Altair, the latest and bestest light vertical takeoff/vertical landing SSTO in the fleet. This is its KerbalX page. Rune. I don't even have a 'proof of orbit' pic. But you guys believe me, right?
  2. Unsurprisingly enough, that is exactly what I had in mind: Rune. The inflatable airlock is the bestest part of the DLC.
  3. Another, even simpler option: I may post pics later, but basically a small cargo bay with an inflatable airlock works, and it's dirt simple: open bay, extend airlock clipping through everything in front of it, and there you go. And it's as sleek as whatever you have in front of it. Rune. Not much more 'cheaty' than Foxter's option, and no offset required.
  4. Hummm. I have an idea. You could use the new inflatable airlock, and keep it tucked away inside the craft until needed so it isn't the first part in the airstream. It would go something like this: build a standard nose ending in a 0.625m node, and put the airlock on it.Then sink the airlock where it can't be seen, unextended. Drag-wise, that is the foremost part, bad but 0.625m bad so not that bad. You can build a second nose with a couple of 0.625m nosecones to make it pointier (darg-wise, an independent thing), and surface place it on the 0.625m circle so it looks cool. Then, heat-wise, the foremost part is the nosecone, with high temp-rating and creating a pointy thermal shock cone. Tough I do like how the shielded docking port creates a blunter, cooler, draggier, bow shock that hides the part behind it better. The bow shock thing shadow depending on part geometry? You can be forgiven for not knowing about that, I do because I remember the devnote about how that worked. Rune. Call it an undocumented feature.
  5. Oh, the landing gear bug. Yes, quite horrible. Quicksaving before undocking anthing is a must, these days. As to the aerospikes, their high Isp, especially sea-level Isp, allowed me to get by with a pretty crappy tankage fraction (the only efficient tanks I use are behind a fairing). So in spite of their low TWR, which is a big downside, I end up needing slightly less juice to refill the tanks in orbit. There is also the flip side that the lowest temp. rating of any exposed part is 2,300° (with the weird exception of the engines). And the fun engineering problem of providing six axises of RCS control, since I used no reaction wheels. But yeah, aesthetics was 90% of the real reason. Rune. The rest are engineering excuses to justify the choice.
  6. Oh, and while we are at it, let's post something more recent than 'a couple game versions ago'. The latest SSTO in the arsenal, the Altair, a very proper rocketship: 5mT to orbit in a spacious cargo bay. Good enough to set up a Base Pack and serve as shuttle on Tylo, reusably, without having an incredibly high fuel resupply issue (~90mT wet weight). Plus, it can also do daring aerobrakes on, say, Laythe. Oh, and did I mention it can land-dock to my surface bases without use of the Klaw? Cause yeah, it does. Rune. Coming 'whenever I get around to posting it™'.
  7. I feel almost obliged to say, though, SSTA are notoriously simpler to design if you forget about efficient airbreathers. I mean, I managed to do it using Mk3 fuel tanks and their lower mass fractions (I wanted the aerobraking option with high heat tolerance). Heck, I even put on wings, mostly for looks but also useful for precise landings. And of course, if you can single-stage Kerbin, you automatically can single-stage Tylo with TWR to spare. Rune. The flight profile is also quite simpler.
  8. That bit seriously cracked me up. Also, cool SSTO! Ever since the souposphere went away, SSTOs have much simpler 'flight profiles'. The one I use, which is a good compromise between efficiency and expediency, is quite simple indeed: draw a straight line to orbit. Basically, put yourself on the shallowest attack angle that doesn't make you go down right from takeoff... and then do nothing. As you build speed and go supersonic, waking up the RAPIERs, you build TWR and lift, and you start ascending, quicker and quicker, until you get to ~1300m/s @20,000m with a more than respectable vertical component (Kerbin has curved under you as you kept the initial heading). You could milk a bit more by pitching down, but I usually just don't bother. Also, this profile is very dependant on TWR, I get my best payload fractions (up to 50%) at around 0.4 TWR, with an all-RAPIER powerplant. That last number is probably the second most important thing in designing a SSTO... the first is to minimize drag (no open nodes anywhere!). Rune. Asking for advice politely is rarely out of place, anywhere.
  9. I know you like your BigS wings, but here's a radical tought: liquid fuel fuselages+normal wing sections can offer the same dry-wet mass ratio, with much more freedom in design, and a better final look. BigS wings weren't made to look good when stacked, after all, and though they seem to be free fuel tanks at first glance, they have a mass ratio significantly worse than other tanks, meaning if yoy can get by with less wings, they can be an actual downside. Rune. Also, you can balance the engines at the back by having the lighter cockpit on the front much farther from the CoM.
  10. I have tons of those. In fact, my next thing to release, when I have the time to whip up a cool graphic for the family (somewhat blatantly copied from one of yours, or something similar), is the STELLAR family. In fact, some versions of some of them are already on my KerbalX page, look for star names. And of course, the family name is an bacronym: Sstos That are Expected to Land Like A Rocket. Couldn't help myself. Rune. Can't wait to see what Raptor does with such a tight Mass Ratio budget, if he goes the chemical route. Should be awesome.
  11. Mmm... not really a fan of drop tanks. And not only because I am a fan of recovering everything! Basically, drop tanks are hard to make aerodinamically cheap (they would need the same lenght/diameter ratio as the main plane body to be similarly 'streamlined', and still it would add cross section to your plane). Besides, drop tanks are uneccessary. As in, you don't need drops tanks to make a plane capable of circumnavigating Kerbin. So why bother? Just make the plane slightly longer and it'll have a higher top speed than with drop tanks, since top speed is drag-limited, not mass-limited. Then again, different people come to different conclusions. Rune. If you like building them, you will figure out a way to justify them.
  12. Panther is perfectly fine. 'As much fuel as you can carry' is a good recommendation, but the afterburning is not. Without it, and decent TWR, you can sustain Mach ~2 flight (~600m/s) surprisingly economically, if you are sufficiently streamlined. And remember, in KSP, 'streamlined' means there are no open attachment nodes, as few surface-attached things as possible outside of cargo bays, and everything ends in pointy things, both front and back. To share the obligatory example, this thing fits your bill, but only for the single pilot. Copy Mass/fuel/lift/TWR ratios, and you will get the exact same performance. Rune. Engineering is all about ratios.
  13. I see I'm not the only one that had that idea. Great minds think alike, I guess! Already have some articulated drill arms worked out and everything. Rune. Pretty cool ISS, BTW.
  14. Reminds me of the good 'ol days and the Far Star. Cool! I don't know why I would expect anything else from you, but that thing rocks, and the video is superbly edited. Kudos! Rune. It's been a long time since I've used airbreathers.
  15. A bit of an update: 1.4.4 works, and it fixes things. That is good. I'm also pretty sure @Cupcake... is ecstatic his kerbals no longer fry on cargo bays. Yes, I am slow on uploading more things. Trouble is, now I want to offer things that are really polished, so I can take out old stuff, and it gets some time to test everything... plus I'm mostly playing my own save with the limited time I have in KSP. But, things do move slowly forwards. For example, the vertical takeoff, horizontal landing family may not be finished (I'm stuck doing the small one in a manner I like), but the big one is doing stellar service lifting a little bit of everything: And speaking of 'a little bit of everything', here's something that will also eventually get its own release and fanfare: my latest mothership configuration. Technically, pretty much nothing in this is new. Files for 90% of it are actually already on KerbalX, or at least old versions of the same thing. But this time, I think I have figured out the bestest way of putting them together, and want to tell you guys how. Here, this is what I'm talking about: The name of the first one, currently being assembled in LKO (see previous picture again), is Argos. And yes, it could go anywhere. It could also do a Grand Tour. Heck, depending on how you load it, it could colonize any rock on the kerbol system, then stay as orbital spaceport while the crew return to Kerbin in their own rocketship (there are backups on the backups). And, it is comprised of things that fit in the cargo bay of the universal lander (and Kerbin SSTO) that it carries around. Yup, the ultimate word in standardization. Doesn't it look... like a proper spaceship? Tractor design, capable of severe aerobrakes (the crew arms can be 'retracted' to do so safely), 4km/s lander, ISRU self-refuel capability, labs, and just thrown in there for fun, a Base Pack of the latest design. And still, it has almost 4km/s of dV... without touching any of the lander's fuel, and at a reasonable 0.16 TWR ('cause the Wolfhound is so OP). Without the base pack, it goes significantly over 4km/s, and if you use the lander's fuel, it can do over 6km/s before running dry and having to refuel somewhere. Because it can, of course. And obviously, you could load less fuel tanks, and need less flights to put together a shorter-range version. Here, a better view of the payload section: But isn't it a pain in the ass to put together, I hear you ask? Well, not really. I mean, stay away if you can't do docking and rendezvous, but little more. I recently discovered Dock Rotate, so the docking alignment is child's play, and can be done after docking. And thanks to the oversized launcher (though 50mT is not really big by most kerbal standards, when talking about reusable chemical SSTOs it's nothing to sneeze at), the whole thing will take around eight flights to put together, plus the lander. For an 'ultimate' kind of mission, of course (the inaugural one is going to Eeloo!). A mission to Duna without dropping bases would probably fit in two or three big launches, but don't worry, I will work out those things for you and offer sample configurations, with and without surface base modules! And speaking of the lander... it will also be new! Yes, I can't leave good enough alone. And this reminds me more of the old Luckluster than any of the other I've done recently, it also has that nice 'can flip from stable pointy-end-first to butt-first in an instant' characteristic that I loved, and is almost as simple and well rounded, only much more heat resistant and with a usable payload (the weak point will be a 2300º part!). More on it on a future post, but I'm loving it so far, might be my best one yet in its category (5~10mT to orbit). Rune. That is all... for now! (I know, I know, I'm a tease)