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  1. Air to Air Refueling Like a Boss This tutorial is meant to provide you with all the tips and tricks I've learned from other forum members, as well as new ideas I've been working on myself. Some terms you'll need to know before you begin are: The flying gas station is called the Tanker. The hard line from the tail of the Tanker is called a Flying Boom. A flexible hose with a cone at the end is called a Drogue Line. The plane being filled is called the Receiver. And lastly the ridgid snorkel on a Receiver, used to capture the Drogue. Is called the Probe. Probe and Drogue - In the real world this came first (kinda) and is in some ways more forgiving for beginners to engage the Drogue with a Receiver plane mounted Probe. The downside is if you bump the Drogue it'll flop all over the place until aero forces stabilize it again. This method provides a flexible line connecting both planes to allow a larger bubble of movement while refueling. In KSP this is the easier way to dock two or more planes together but if performed in an "Undocked" state. Which allows independent control of each plane. (You will most definitely crash if both planes are "Docked") There is no ability to transfer fuel between the two planes when using a KAS winch in "Undocked Mode". This is great for cinematics and screenshots, just not for actual fuel transfer. Additional Info / Pictures Of The Assemblies: Flying Boom - This is a rigid connection between both planes. In the real world this was developed second. In order to transfer more fuel in a shorter period of time. In KSP this is the most functional as this is the best way to remain in control while actually transferring fuel. Once you "Dock" both planes together they will fly as a single plane. In which case, most of your pitch control will come from the Receiver plane. So often the connection of the fragile boom needs to be reinforced by Quantum Struts, immediately after docking has occurred. If you don't reinforce the connection immediately after docking, the planes can twist apart within seconds depending on the design of the planes and the boom. Additional Info / Pictures Of The Assemblies: V-22 Osprey, Refueling from a KC-10 Extender And Now, Onto The Tutorial The mods I suggest using to perform this task are RKE Kanadarm for the Flying Boom, and also for the Probe tubes. The reason these are the best parts to use for the tubes is they are physics-less and don't flex / separate under loads. KAS if you are using the Probe and Drogue method. IR / IR Rework if you want to be able to move anything. Also MechJeb is recommended as it makes aligning the two planes much easier - Using "Spaceplane Guidance" If you're looking for a scale appearance, my custom cfg's to rescale as well as increase the force and range of the magnets in a Squad Docking Port Jr. And as a bonus, the B9 Aerospace Shielded Docking Port if you have B9 installed. If you use RKE Kanadarm tubes or any other physics-less parts. Be sure you never attach a Quantum Strut directly to or from a physics-less part. It will lock the craft in place during flight, and cause all kinds of Kraken like behavior. Instead attach a physics enabled part to the RKE Tubes then the Quantum strut to that part. I also suggest building planes that require very little effort to stabilize. Meaning when in flight the input visualizer in the lower left hand corner of the screen should be as close to center for, pitch, roll and yaw as possible during flight. Also another good check, is a plane that will deviate very little on it's own with the SAS / RCS turned off in flight. I suggest enabling as few control surfaces and gimbaled engines on the Receiver craft as possible. This will aid in fine control while approaching the Tanker. The steps to reproduce this on your own are: (1) Load the Receiver and move it off the runway - I suggest Vessel Mover for this task. (2) Return to the Space Center / SPH and load the Tanker. (2-A) (Drogue Method) - Before take off, with both planes landed. Use a Kerbal to "Unplug" and then reattach a KAS Winch Line to the Drogue. In "Undocked" mode - If you're using lights on the Drogue, press (Alt+F12) to bring up the cheats menu and enable infinite electricity. (3) With both planes now loaded, take off with the Tanker - Use the " [ " and " ] " keys to switch between planes. I suggest using MechJeb "Spaceplane Guidance" to hold a set altitude and heading - Don't fly too fast or you can outrun the Receiver. (4) Switch back to the Receiver and launch it as well - Also use MechJeb spaceplane guidance but set the receiver altitude 10m lower than the Tanker. Be Careful to stay within loading distance I think that's something like 2.5 Kilometers. (5) Match speed, and fine tune course alignment of the Receiver with the Tanker using the keyboard / joystick inputs in tandem with MJ Spaceplane Guidance - This is where the work begins. (6) Deploy either the Probe and Drogue or the Boom at this time from the Tanker. (6-A) (Drogue) If you use my cfg's be careful how close together multiple drogues get. The magnets are ridiculous. (6-B) (Boom) I like to use one or two Quantum Struts to reinforce the boom back to the Tanker at this time. (7-A) (Drogue Method) Once docking has occured, the engines on the Receiver will automatically throttle down but MechJeb will continue flying the Receiver. - Return throttle on the Receiver to just under the level used to initially catch the drogue, You want a slight amount of tension on the KAS winch line. And allow MechJeb to stabilize the Receiver. Engines and Mechjeb's Control of the Tanker will be unchanged. As long as the drogue is attached in "undocked" mode to the winch line (7-B) (Boom Method) Once docking has occurred, you'll need to quickly enable the Quantum Struts. Before an "Unplanned Disassembly" occurs. I like to assign the Boom to Receiver Quantum Struts "Activate" command to the "Abort" Action group. Next, control will default to the Tanker and the engines of both planes will throttle down together automatically, MechJeb will begin flying both planes together as one craft automatically. You need to decrease the engine output of the Reciever and then throttle everything back up. You want the Receiver to have a little less power than the Tanker. You can do this by disabling individual engines through action groups, or through engine right click menus as demonstrated in my video bellow (just don't shut them down completely like I did - Puts a lot of stress on the boom). Then allow MechJeb to stabilize both planes. Fuel transfer is accomplished by holding (Alt) and (Right Clicking) the tanks you wish to move fuel between. Remember this only works with a "Docked" Receiver. When you undock the two planes MechJeb will resume control automatically, of the Receiver and Tanker Independently. With whatever settings you input prior to docking. When you're on final approach with either a Flying Boom or a Drogue Line. The best way to maintain good speed control is by flying too slow, and using afterburners for short boosts to accelerate toward the docking port. Then coasting on the normal engines to slow back down again. Or, set your speed too fast and then use airbrakes to slow down. Pulling the Receiver back away from the Docking Port. Either of these methods works, and it just comes down to preference. Another good method is a plane with a fair amount of drag with quick throttle response. So as you throttle down the Receiver will slow down quickly. Larger planes are actually a little easier to dock as they are slow to make changes with control input. Slow and sloppy is good, quick and jerky is bad. Just be sure your boom is built strong enough to hold everything. Videos Of Both Methods: My Custom .cfg's And Suggested Mod Links AC-130 Spectre, Refueling from a KC-135 Stratotanker
  2. So I've got some EVA cluster missions far from KSC. I'm playing with an absolutely brutal set of difficulty settings, and I'm getting bored with flying tourists around to scrape together enough cash to finance science missions. I take the EVA and 'below' observation missions near KSC because they pay well for a 100% recoverable craft (aircraft) and they also give science while I'm at it (yay!) For near EVA missions I use a build I call the 'Science Jetcar.' It's a wingless aircraft with a pair of Junos and the basic landing gear, a low-science rover, basically. Great for scooting around @ 50m/sec. In addition to doing EVA missions on the opposite side of Kerbin, I'd like to get a 100% recoverable craft to some of the more distant biomes in KSP as well for science purposes. Before 1.0 I would follow Scott Manley's VTOL construction video and basically build out a Harrier jet. Is that build still viable? Are there any tips for building VTOLs with stock parts? Any designs people want to share? I haven't finished unlocking all the 45 science point nodes yet, so it's vitally important that we do this with basic parts.
  3. Hi, i just found this huge repository called INTRODUCTION TO FUTURE LAUNCH VEHICLE PLANS [1963-2001] and thought it was a must to share it with all of you. It contains many many designs, some of them can give us ideas for our own vessels. Anyway i think it is worth having a look... Regards
  4. So, I'm building my first orbital tug for space station operations as I plan a rather robust local tourism infrastructure consisting of modular components so that passenger modules can be docked to vehicles appropriate to their itineraries. (This same infrastructure will include scientific and other payloads as well, but tourists seem to have enough variety in their needs that designing for that use-case will be a goodly ways towards what I need.) The problem is thus: I can't seem to make the clampotron Jr. lock to directly above the center of mass. Given that this tug will be attaching to things much larger than it, an offset CoM from my CoT will be problematic in an environment where high degrees of precision are called for. Am I missing something obvious? Other parts, like parachutes, snap just fine. I'm having similar issues with the command module's roof. Edit: If I turn the clamp-o-tron upside down (such that it generates the 'uselessness' error) it will snap just fine. Of course, then it's upside down and can't be used.
  5. I've been planning to set up a base on Laythe, and one of the things I intend to send there are plane-rover hybrids to explore the myriad of islands across the moon. However, upon designing such a plane and testing it on Kerbin, it displayed severe flight issues, such as: • Flipping out of control when taking off - airplane must taxi at ~70m/s and make a jump, then shove throttle to 100% to accelerate quickly. It will spin out and crash when doing a conventional takeoff. • Easily losing control when turning around on the atmosphere - When turning around, it'll wackingly spin around and then go back to its initial position. To steer, you must do so slowly and carefully. • Hard time landing - It's hard to properly orientate the plane because it will not budge when steering unless doing a full bank turn, and when trying to land, it will bounce right up and start spinning uncontrollably. I'd like to fix the problems I have with the plane, so if anyone could point out some bad design choices I did, it'd be welcome. I have taken five screenshots from the plane in order to help.
  6. Since I became more active in the forum over the last couple of years, I have learned a lot from other players, both older and more experienced and the newbie. One of the things that I have noticed is that each of us have a different way of constructing craft that's uniquely ours AND nicely fits the unique way we play. I thought that it might be interesting to see why others do what they do in their craft designs - with the idea that the next time one of us has "KSP burnout," then maybe this thread can be the source of a new interest or new way to play KSP. This led me to want to ask a simple question to those willing to share: What are some "quirks" about your craft? To clarify what I mean by this, please consider sharing the following: what are some things you do in designing your craft that seem to be present in each of your designs? Why do you feel it's important to include it? Please include an image or two for reference to what you are sharing. I want to keep the OP clean, so I will post one of my quirks on the next post.
  7. Hello guys. I got KSP about two weeks ago on Xbox One (Although I have some expericence from the PC version, though I had to run it at the lowest settings and 20FPS). Now, I started carrer mode and made my way on the tech tree to unlock the aviation node so I could do the observation contracts more easily (or so I though). Now the problem is, it seems to be impossible to build something that flies (or even takesoff - the uneven runway made of dirt doesn't help it much as well). I've wasted the whole night yesterday plus almost two hours now making every different type of aircraft I could imagine with the limited parts I had just to see none of them could even takeoff (some would even be stuck in place or going slowly reverse at full throttle) - I tried building STOL; HTOL; VTOL; STOVL (with parachutes for landing); assisted take-off with rockets (later to be decoupled); with elevators on front; elevators on back; with and without elevons; tried placing flaps; engines on top, bottom, wings; tailgraders and tricycle landing gears; NOTHING WORKED. Now, I know how an aircraft works in theory, I know about Lift, weight, drag, Thrust, CoM, CoL, CoT and how each must be positioned (Though I don't know how to build a craft with engine on top, should my CoT point dowards towards the CoM?) - I just wanted a design that would work having only the aviation node unlocked and all of the previous (counting both nodes after the first one in the start). I can try finding my screenshots and placing here so maybe you guys can tell me what's wrong in my designs (if xbox live don't take too long processing it and making it public). I've also read a thread made by someone with a similiar (if not exact like) title as mine, from January, but none of the designs in the replies worked for me (some I didn't even have the parts unlocked) Anyway, I guess this is it, sorry for the long thread, I'm just trying to give the more details possible, and thanks if you read it. Fly safe and may Scot's wisdom be with you!
  8. One thing I have noticed recently is that everyone seems to use standardized lifters and I do not. I use standardized payloads (like lil' science and mapping satellites) and build a booster for wherever I want to send them. So my questions: Do you use standardized lifters or do you build them custom for every mission? Why or why not? Is there any real reason for using standardized boosters? I understand that in Real Life standardization of rockets makes sense for economics and all, but in a game like KSP that does not model assembly or supply it really seems pointless.
  9. Good day fellow kerbalnauts! i have for you all, a challenge! please design the smallest SSTO-like-vehicle you can that conforms to the following requirements (modded or unmodded): it needs to house one(1) kerbal (perferably inline cockpit, but any cockpit or seat is fine) it needs a docking port in line with the center of mass, preferably in the back* the upper or space stage is allowed to not have airbreathing engines, as long as it can re-enter/glide down, this refers back to requirement 2, you are allowd to have a detachable plane-bit in the back, as long as it could theoretically fly or glide down. it needs to look sleek and cool!, bonus points for style! bonus points for the following: the docking port is mounted so the kerbal can actually get there via the cockpit - designing a space-addon that can attach to the back/front to take the ship further out!
  10. I wanted to see if fairings made a difference as there was some discussion on Facebook in regards to their importance (or not importance due to added weight) Here's the result of a short and simple scientific experiment:
  11. Initial gets-results version of a 'probe helper'. Right now it'll report the mass, cost, power needs, and energy needs of a probe with the selected components and properties. You can specify how patient you are for the batteries to recharge, if the probe's experiments will be transmitted one-by-one or in a big batch, and how long the probe should be able to function in a shadow (I'm looking at you, Ike). v0.1.4 charts! making noise about this again Planned improvements: tooltips path finding
  12. First, still learning at this, and I have been asking some questions around here, hope I am not getting annoying. So, I am trying to use MechJeb information to help build a better rocket ship, but am finding it opaque. Here are three pictures of a launch rocket with different types of stages. Tell me if my understanding of what I am reading is correct. Note that I am mostly interested in the lifting stage designs, and will be talking about "in the atmosphere" stages exclusively. Pictures behind spoilers because they are large. OK, here is a simple rocket. Weight: 80 tons, down to 48 tons when lift stage is empty. Sea Level Thrust starts at 1.75, which is good enough for leaving Kerbin. Atmosphere DV is 1423, which is less then half of what I need. If this stage were in a vacuum, the DV would have been 1548, which is only a bit better. So needing more DV, I add 3 side tanks, made to be ditched during the accent. This changes the numbers. Weight Question: Why does stage 7 have an ending mass of 106.8, but stage 6 has a start of 80.1? Do the three tanks/engines/crap weigh 26 tons, and it goes down when we decouple them? SLT: Our thrust at launch is down to 1.41, which is the low end of OK. DV: We added over 1800 DV, which is nice, but 1800 + 1400 is still not enough to go all the way up. Still needing more power to get out of the atmosphere, I add 6 med. sized SRB set to full thrust. Weight: We are up to a total of 252 tons. Weight Question: Why does ending mass of stage 8 say 175 tons and not 202 tons? Is it because we burned about 25 tons of fuel while the SRBs were also firing? SLT: We are up to 1.74 thrust from 1.41, a good number. SLT Question: SLT of Stage 7 now says 1.77 as opposed to 1.41, which it was before the SRBs. Is this because of the liquid fuel we burnt while Stage 8 was running? DV: We now have 860 in stage 8. When stage 7 starts, we now have 1201. I assume that its 1201 and not ~1800 because of fuel spent during stage 8. 860+1201= 2061, so adding the 6 SRB gave us about +200DV Overall, 2061 + 1423 = 3484, which is the bare minimum to get into orbit. Since I am not very good at this yet, I will need more. OK, that's it for pictures. Does anyone see something I am missing, or understanding incorrectly? Last question I asked , I received an answer that, after thinking about it, is confusing me more and more. The comment was: Specifically, I do not understand this: "...SRBs was going to do for you is increase thrust, which isn't going to help you. Now... if you had added fuel so the SRBs had something to lift, you would've noticed a dramatic increase in DV." I don't comprehend how you can increase thrust without increasing DV. If Dv is a measure of the total amount of acceleration your ship can output, how can increasing thrust not really increase DV? Thanks for time spent on this stuff, still trying to wrap my head around it.
  13. Hi guys, I am trying to build my first plane in Career mode with only Aviation unlocked (and all other 45 science items), but without luck - plane is not steering, so I cant take off. I am tried to use elevons, and setting inputs, but still it doesn't work. Could give me idea or simple design? Thx!
  14. Hi all, just registered here! Would like some suggestions on how to design a small Mun lander and return craft. Is this good or bad design? Any suggestions? 32 tonnes. 52 parts. - It reaches 20 km circular Mun orbit and then lands, does the science possible, plants flag etc. Then reaches 20 km circular orbit again. Returns to Kerbin with about 300-400 dV left.
  15. Anyone, using a standard asparagus set up with 2-3 vertically stacked tanks, tried putting a fuel line from top most center tank back out into the top most outer tanks? It allows ALL engines to keep burning if ANY tank has fuel, and you can still detach in standard asparagus to jettison mass if you have enough thrust.