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About Logan.Darklighter

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    Junior Rocket Scientist

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  1. To quote Howard Hughes from "The Rocketeer": "The sonovab***h WILL fly!" (and more importantly, it can LAND... ) Thunderbird 1 is now POSTED for your flying pleasure at Kerbal X! https://kerbalx.com/logandwj/Thunderbird-1 I worked out the final kinks in the design in terms of placement and balance of VTOL thrusters. I also made a modification to the fins on the back end. I wasn't getting enough control authority before. So I changed them from static fins with added control surfaces to all-moving control fins. And in the process cut the part count on the back fins in half. Bonus! WARNING!! WARNING!! WARNING!! WARNING!! FOR EXPERT PILOTS ONLY!! This is a VERY involved craft, and will require active managing of the fuel load to stay balanced. I really recommend TAC Fuel balancer to make that easier. Also - VTOL Operations are POSSIBLE without stabilization mods, but I HIGHLY recommend getting Throttle Controlled avionics and learning how to use it before trying to hover TB1 in for landing. Normal landing and take-off is IMPOSSIBLE. Don’t let the wheeled landing gear fool you. At bare-minimum, if you want to take off from the runway you’ll need both the main rear engines AND the VTOL thrusters online to push her into the air before the gear begins to wobble at speed. Don’t even THINK of landing without the VTOL thrusters. Not gonna happen. BOOM! Speaking of the VTOL thrusters - IMPORTANT NOTE!! You’ll need to do a CFG mod to the Yellowjacket thrusters in the Mk 4 spaceplane mod in order for them to have enough lifting power. Change the engine power rating from 80 to 280. Lower power might work. But I wouldn’t go below 160. Also - the fuel and oxidizer in the rear tank right in front of the main engine - in the part that is composed of a B9 "Pre-cooler" - that is EXTRA ROCKET FUEL to get TB-1 above 10,000 Meters altitude on a vertical ascent. You need to USE that fuel up around the time you shift to horizontal flight. If you intend to flip TB-1 onto it's landing gear for a VTOL take-off, you need to REMOVE that fuel either by draining the tank or just using the part-switch to change it to "structural" before you launch onto the runway. I'm normally not one to brag, but this is without a doubt THE most complex build I have ever made that actually WORKS without any cheats! It was a b**tard to complete! And I'm DAMN PROUD of it! Below - you can see how many windows I keep open for VTOL Operations. I DID say this thing is complicated to fly, did I not? Fins reconfiguring and gear pylons deploying: Aaaand down, safe and sound.
  2. I'll be posting the design at Kerbal X and linking it back here, not to worry! So a full mod list will be generated by K-X by default. But I can tell you right away that the major parts mods include B-9 and B-9 Procedural wings, Infernal Robotics, Near Future Construction, Mk 4 Spaceplane Mod, Adjustable landing gear Lackluster Labs and KW rocketry. Mods you WILL NEED in order to fly the thing (and I'm not kidding, you WILL need them) are TAC Fuel Balancer, Mech-Jeb and Throttle Controlled Avionics. At least for anything involving VTOL operations. And that includes the basics like take-offs and landings in horizontal flight mode. Because even though the landing gear works, in NO WAY would I trust it to keep the craft pointing straight or not flex during a standard landing/take-off. You'll need the VTOL jets working for that. In fact when I post this I'm going to put up a warning in general: FOR EXPERT PILOTS. You know, I was going to use the small cargo bay behind the cockpit for things like winches or perhaps docking ports. But I'm thinking that maybe I should just concentrate on getting the darn thing to FLY right first. To that end, I could possibly pull that cargo bay one segment back and pull the existing fuel tank behind it forward. That would improve balance and instead of a cargo bay, I could use that section as the place to fit in a more powerful central VTOL engine! The only problem is that I'd have to do a LOT of work redesigning where to place all the Infernal Robotics parts that are clipped in to that tank and alter the placement of the swing wings. Gah... Let me think on it some more. I like the idea of using KBS to make some of the shapes for TB-86 craft. That makes a lot of sense!
  3. Hell, dude - what do you think I made Thunderbird 2 out of? In fact that mod alone INSPIRED this whole process! Well - I finally have the landing gear figured out. VTOL jets are still giving me problems, but the ones I have are at least able to assist in STOL lift-offs from the runway! EDIT: And yes - the entire back end rotates 45 degrees from the "cross" configuration to an "X" and a pair of the rear fins folds in to provide clearance. The VTOL flight issue is the last thing I have to solve before I'll feel ready to post the design. Once I'm confident TB-1 can maintain altitude and orientation in a hover then I'll post the design. (Unless you guys would like to work with what's already there and help me figure it out?)
  4. Interesting idea, that. And I've considered it certainly! One of the main issues I could see right off the bat is that the SHAPES would generally be easy to re-create, but the DETAILS are all in the color and paint. Particularly with TB-1. And TB-2 is so... bland. But the design is so dirt simple and rugged I think it would work nicely. TB-3 though... Yow! What a LAND BATTLESHIP that thing would be! Another interesting angle to the Thunderbirds 2086 fleet of vehicles is that... well... it's a FLEET of vehicles! Stuff in the classic Thunderbirds like the elevator cars or the drill machine that's simply carried in TB-2 but never named beyond it's function are actual designated Thunderbird ships. Some would appear in a couple of episodes, but others only would appear in one or only part of one. Anything that had a specialized function was a "Thunderbird" with it's own number. The fleet numbered up to Thunderbird 17! Lots of interesting ideas to pick from! http://thunderbirds.wikia.com/wiki/Thunderbirds_2086
  5. While not yet in releasable form (still working on landing gear and VTOL arrangements), Thunderbird 1 flies very nicely. But it will be a "for expert pilots only" design, as it will require fuel management to keep it balanced. Still - for as complicated a build as this has been, I'm quite pleased with the results so far! And with a little touch of color courtesy of Kerb paint it even looks the part sharply!
  6. I suppose it's altogether appropriate that when I click on the link for this KK addition, it gives me a "401 Unauthorized" error...
  7. I'd like to put in a huge kudos and a "well done!" for a truly awesome mod. It's probably been mentioned before, but I just have to reiterate it - one of the best parts about TCA is that it reacts so quickly to altitude and velocity changes that it can actually make jet VTOLs stay rock solid at a set altitude. Now THAT's impressive. It allowed me an incredibly smooth VTOL landing of my version of Thunderbird 2 on a carrier deck. AT NIGHT. That's just NOT possible without this mod! It opens up a LOT of options! One thing as a suggestion - just one. Can you make it so that you can adjust the heading of your craft in 0-360 degree increments while hovering? Would make it a lot easier to set down a craft or pivot it for more precise landing or mid-air drop-offs.
  8. Right, then. Not a lot of time available tonight. Tweaked the balance and proportions. Put some weights in the nose. Replaced the KW Rocketry "Waist Tank" with a Rockomax stock tank. Also placed some VTOL engines prior to testing. Still trying to figure out how to work the landing gear. I might need to fall back on IR Robotics for that... This has the advantage of allowing me to use Kerb Paint to color the appropriate pieces since they are stock parts! Just a LITTLE dab of color in the right spots REALLY makes this design POP and brings it that much closer to the original! Now I just need to find some "decals" to change into Flags files for use with the Custom Flags mod so I can slap that big number "1" on the main tank and "TB-1" on the tail.
  9. So having gotten the bugs with IR worked out, it's time for some actual field testing. I don't have the landing gear or VTOL jets installed yet. This will be an un-Kerbaled flight test with no expected landing (revert to hanger after test). First a static engine test just to be sure the action groups are doing what I want them to do. And now for the REAL test. For the classic vertical launch, you set the main center engine to rocket mode and the outer booster jets on afterburner. Oh - and for some reason, my winamp player went to THIS on random rotation just as I launched. SWEET. Tested the engine block rotation at full power and afterburner to make sure it would work and be stable. There's a BIT of torque wobble when it turns, but nothing serious. Why add this feature? Because the new TOG series does it, and because - having seen it in action - I knew it would come in handy later for placing landing gear and thrusters for VTOL. So - how fast DOES TB-1 go? Pretty damn fast! I'm still tweaking the flight profile, but I already got her up to Mach 4+ on her first flight and think I might be able to squeeze out a bit more speed once certain other bugs are fixed (see below). The booster engines are good for the push above Mach 2+, once at that speed you can turn them off completely, the main engine is more than capable of accelerating from that point on up to top speed and altitude. Unfortunately, I still have some fuel flow and overall balance issues. Shortly after the above screen was taken, I ran too low on fuel and the flight envelope got REAL squirrelly. Ever seen the end of the movie "The Right Stuff" when Yeager uncorks that F-102 Starfighter at 104,000 ft and gets into a tumble he can't get out of? Yeah... so that happened... Lets just say it's a good thing I didn't put a Kerbal in the cockpit... So basic flight characteristics are sound. Balance/fuel distribution needs some work. And VTOL and landing gear need to be added and tested. But so far it's looking REALLY good! This is one of THE most complicated builds I've ever done. And I'm surprised it's working as well as it is, quite frankly!
  10. (Some more work and an edited, "Stalinized" post of over-the-top stress induced trauma later...) Okay, yeah. I WAS being stupid with the wing rotation. Namely, it makes life a LOT easier if you don't try to use the rotating washers for swing wings (despite how nicely they fit clipped inside where you wanted them) and just go with the actual HINGE parts instead. They use symmetry naturally rather than forcing the user to try and do something with parts that - I see now in retrospect, were not designed for such things. It took a download or two from Kerbal X of successful swing-wing fighter designs and seeing what THEY did that broke my mental lock. Swing wings now fixed. Moving on to other, more fun things, like engine and flight tests. Yay!
  11. So, got some more work done tonight. I got the engine block and rear fins about 95% done (some tweaks will be necessary I'm certain after test flights.) Now I need to figure out the landing gear so I can actually place it on the runway for a first test flight.
  12. The above is great news! Thanks! I've caught a nasty, NASTY bug over the weekend and it's knocked me nearly out. I'm barely able to auto-pilot through work and then crash into bed as of tonight and that's about it. But I did want to post a picture of how things stand in my WIP on TB-1. NOTE: the fins at the rear of the ship are PLACEHOLDERS and there only to give me a rough idea of the final overall shape and proportions. I will in fact be making the main "thruster block" as a design pretty close to the original and the Thunderbirds 2015 version. And the swing wings are going to work with Infernal Robotics. Speaking of overall shapes, it's surprisingly HARD to get the Thunderbird 1 shape correct with stock and even mod parts, and I'll tell you why. Check out this image of the 2015 TB-1. Look at the main body from the red nosecone to the roots of the swing wings. Notice that the shape is NOT just a cone and a straight lined cylinder. But has a subtle curve that widens all the way back. Maybe it's just my addled sick brain, but I liken it to the difference between the 1960s Corvette series and the 1980-90s version. There's a subtleness to the curves that's like the fender line of those old cars. I'm going to continue with my current version, because I think I've got something that works and WILL work. But I'm seriously at this point considering making a second version of TB-1 that uses the procedural part mod so I can actually get the above shape done right. My current version is going to look good, but it's going to be a little "skinny" by comparison, I think.
  13. Jet Jaguar This is a simple rover/car that I put together just to have some fun and go fast! The basic car is pretty fast all on it’s own. Capable of getting over 20 MPS. But activate the jet booster and this car can get up to 60 MPS! Able to gain some serious air over hills and other things it can jump. It’s also VERY stable, with a low center of weight, and with the SAS on, it will maintain angle so it can land properly on it’s wheels after long jumps, as you can see in the pics. It can even recover from a dunking in water and make it’s way back to land (slowly) with the jet. Oh - the name? Just a little joke of mine. I wanted a name for a fast car, and thought of the Jaguar series from England. Then I realized I’d made a Jet… Jaguar. After that, I couldn’t resist… I'm terribly sorry about that...* Heh. (Link to Kerbal X Download page) (*isn't sorry at all. Not one bit.)
  14. So I'm re-thinking my entire approach to building the Thunderbird 1 replica and one of the main hurdles has been the nose. There's no comparable shape in the form of any mods out there that I'm aware of. Plus the fact that the cockpit hatch is INVERTED to the usual pattern when in horizontal mode - it's on the underside and Scott Tracy appears to exit via the seat being lowered on a robotic rail/arm. This is even more pronounced and detailed in the 2015-16 remake series. How the HECK do I accomplish this? By wholesale INTELLECTUAL THEFT, that's how!! Check out this craft here on Kerbal X. That cockpit design is INGENIOUS. Kudos to Yakuzi for the design! So - I took the basic idea (*YOINK*) and INVERTED it and added some extra toys and... well, here's a preview of the work in progress. Just the nose so far. But I think it's MUCH better than any previous iteration I've done. And I'm just a little giddy nerd at how classic Thunderbirds the ingress/egress is! Amazingly there's still headroom to spare in there!