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  1. Full Scale, Full Stock, Full Function On April 21, 1981, STS Columbia launched for the first time. Just as Yuri Gagarin’s first flight exactly 20 years earlier, Columbia opened up a new era of space flight. The Shuttle provided an unparalleled capability to service satellites in orbit, providing a flexible base of operations for seven astronauts for two weeks in low earth orbit. It is not too much of an exaggeration to say that without the shuttle we wouldn’t have Hubble, the ISS, and many, many scientific advancements. About the replica This craft began about five months ago, as I realized that I was rapidly approaching 100 craft uploads on KerbalX. I wanted something BIG to mark the milestone. This craft went through two major revisions, and countless minor revisions. Of note, this craft wouldn’t be where it is without the help of @HB Stratos who took my poorly made cargo bay and made it work 100% of the time. Additionally, this craft deserved a proper craft video. I'm really proud of it, give it a watch: Flight Manual Launch Orbital and Payload Operations Reentry and Landing Download Link https://kerbalx.com/servo/11-STS Enjoy! This is a difficult craft to fly, but I promise you, it's well worth it.
  2. https://kerbalx.com/schwank/Gemini-Spacecraft--Titan-II-GLV
  3. Thought this build deserved a thread of its own. This project started out as a side project when I was making my Saturn V, with a simple question: could I build an MK3-sized shuttle without using MK3 parts? This resulted in the following shuttle build. But right after I finished building that shuttle, the flags got released in the KSP update, so I tried replacing some of the parts in that shuttle with flags that could better emulate the texture of the real shuttle. But then I realized it would look very jarring if some of it was flags and some of it just regular KSP flags, so I decided, why not make the entire thing out of flags? Contrary to what you might think, building the shape of the shuttle was the easy part. Getting it to fly, was most definitely not. I thought the flags were physicsless. They were not. Every single time I tried to do a drop test from orbit, the shuttle would spin out of control. Every. Single. Time. I could not for the love of me figure out which part in particular was causing the problems, which pretty much stalled out the process of building. I ended up rebuilding it from scratch in an effort to figure out just what the %$#! was wrong with it, as well as to try and lower the part count (orbiter went from 1100 parts to 900). Eventually, after on and off months of testing, I finally managed to figure out how to fly it without losing control. After many hours of losing my sanity at sub 10 fps, I present to you the best stock shuttle replica I can build. Flight instructions, custom flag downloads and such are on the KerbalX page. KERBALX DOWNLOAD Fancy pics:
  4. In this guide I will teach you how to make a Starship replica. First place a probe core and construct a fairing around it Now make it silver Place fuel tanks (this provides fuel and structure for the fins) And now time for fins. Big ones on the bottom, small ones on top Add 3 mastodon engines, This makes it able to achieve orbit, and looks like a Raptor And now you just need to name it! If you want better control you can add RTGs, reaction wheels, batteries, etc... Now its time to launch! Wenhop? Hop now And the most important part of any starship replica? Answer in spoiler I hope you managed to make a cool looking starship replica, please share them below so I can see Also in case you haven't figured it out, this is a satire of Starship replicas. I feel like people are overdoing it on the replicas and I thought this would be a humorous tutorial poking fun at the simplicity of the design. No offense meant to people who work hard on making replicas, they are super cool.
  5. Delta Pack Adds the Delta II, III and IV rockets into the game, featuring highly detailed models & textures. (No, this is NOT the official ULA mod pack! I do not have any affiliation with them, I've released my work on my own since otherwise you would never get your hands on this.) Overview of the parts included: RS-27A, RS-68A, RL10-B2, AJ-10-118K, LR-101 GEM-40, GEM-46, GEM-60,GEM-63, GEM-63XL, Star 48B SRM's 4m DCSS (2 colour shemes), 5m DCSS, Common Booster Core, Thor Tank, Delta K, Extra Extended Long Thor Tank various Payload Fairings A wide range of different payload adapters based Note: These launch vehicles are scaled down to fit the Kerbal universe, Delta II has a diameter of 1.5m, Delta III of 2.5m and Delta IV of 3m. A seperate manual is also included in the .zip file. Real Solar System / Realism Overhaul configs are made by @raidernick and are included in the upcoming RO patch. More pictures: https://imgur.com/a/MHVdhPr DOWNLOAD v.1.0 FROM SPACEDOCK All rights reserved - Kartoffelkuchen Logos used are owned by United Launch Alliance Important note: I do not want to make any profit off of my work, so I always appreciate some nice comments if you like it! Enjoy! Great review by KottabosGames SpaceX Pack Due to its size and popularity, the SpaceX Pack has been split into its own thread. You can find it here. Atlas Pack Includes: Atlas V Rocket 400 & 500 series (3 Payload fairings for each version) Centaur with RL-10 Payload interfaces (C13, C15, C22, C25, C29, A937S, B1194) http://imgur.com/a/3qlH3 Requires Old School Fairings , BD Animation Module Recommended Editor Extensions KSP Version 1.1.3 Version 2.0 (Released September 9 2016) Download SpaceDock Realism Overhaul configs are included in the RO mod Real Plume config provided by @Hysterrics , downloadable here License All rights reserved
  6. The ISS Replica Project Over the past three years of playing KSP, I have made many stations, and about a third of those were attempts at making our beautiful ISS. Of all my attempts, the one that got the furthest only got as far as the Z1 truss, and it was hardly accurate. So this time, I decided that I would go all out and build the most visually accurate ISS replica I can possibly manage, module by module, and share it with you guys! My goal will be to build the modules, and put them in orbit with realistic launch vehicles, to be constructed in a realistic fashion, while providing educational shorts explaining the purposes and capabilities of each module (soontm). I hope you enjoy the ride! A modlist required to run the WHOLE PACK (lists for the individual modules are included in their sections) can be found here: Module 1: Zarya After around two weeks of solid work on my Zarya replica, it is finally (at least for now) finished! You may have seen it in other parts of the forum, but it is now up for download, and ready to go to space. The Zarya module (meaning 'sunrise' in Russian) was the first module of the International Space Station. Launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, November 20th, 1998, it marked the dawn of a cooperative relationship between the space programs of the USA and Russia towards a common goal of a habitat in space. The main purpose of Zarya on launch was to provide propulsion and power to the Zarya - Unity module pair while waiting for Zvezda to launch and dock with the station, which would offer a more permanent propulsion solution. Based off proven technology developed in the Mir programme (for which Zarya was originally intended to be part of), Zarya was based off the already proven TKS-derived module technology. Ever since Zvezda docked, Zarya took a secondary role, and is now a main part of the ROS living quarters and fuel storage for the Zvezda booster system. Craft Specification: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Up Next - Module 2: Unity ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Other bits included: Proton (Zarya Configuration) Download To install, extract the downloaded file and merge the GameData and Ships folders with the respective folders your KSP directory Think I've done something wrong? Want to help me improve what I've done? I'm all ears! Just let me know in this thread
  7. It's been a very long while since I released anything on the forums, and longer still since I started working on this replica. I've been working on and off on this replica for over a year, and the sheer complexity of this thing made it very hard to really finish. Unlike the real thing, I couldn't do any "all-up" tests and I had to do flight testing of every stage, and let me tell you, it was difficult-I spent a lot of time just making the first stage not explode on launch. And because of how long I spent building, I made many changes here and there to the craft, never being really satisfied with the results. And the part count also ballooned, from just around 700 for the early versions to a whopping 2577 in its current form, which made testing even more difficult. Combined with having to study for my final exams, this thing has spent a long time on the backburner. That's why you'll see some outdated aesthetics methods used on this craft, most notably the custom lettering on the second stage. Normally would have swapped it out for flag lettering, but I was so proud of that I decided to keep it instead even at the cost of about 400 more parts. But now, I've finally finished this thing. Hope you like it. FLIGHT MANUAL Saturn V ascent 1. Stage to activate main engines, then slowly throttle up: do NOT hit full throttle. 2. Fly straight up to 2000m 3. Slowly start your gravity turn, do NOT make large control inputs 4. Don't be alarmed when there are sudden spikes of lag during stage separation 5. Ignite Stage 2 engines after the sepatrons burn out Unbreakable joints and infinite heat tolerance is recommended for ascent Transposition and docking 1. Stage the fairing 2. Make sure you don't decouple the wrong part (check the staging, I'm not sure if its right) 3. Perform the usual docking stuff Landing 1. Enter low (~10km) munar orbit 2. Zoom your camera into the CM, the three kerbals are housed in chairs, EVA them across to LM 3. Zoom camera into the back of the LM, you should be able to see the chairs in there 4. Munar landing: do not spend fuel loitering, it does not have the fuel margins to do so 5. After surface operations, set throttle of the LM descent engine to 0, hold SAS radial out 6. Stage and separate ascent module, initiate gravity turn higher than with normal mun missions 7. Rendesvous and dock with CSM: you may have to switch to the CSM if the ascent module runs out of fuel Returning to Kerbin should be straightforwards enough, not going to bother writing instructions here Flight pics DOWNLOAD
  8. 1:1 Scale Replicas Full stock, full scale, full power In a scaled-down universe filled with scaled-down Kerbals, it's easy to forget how big real planes are. I've been building planes to the same scale of their real counterparts, enabling more accurate replicas with functioning mechanisms like swing wings, moving lift engines, and the odd GAU-8 Avenger. Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-23 Flogger Antonov An-2 Colt Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird North American F-86K/F-86L Sabre Dog North American T-2 Buckeye Douglas DC-3 / C-47 Skytrain General Dynamics F-111A Aardvark Consolidated PBY Catalina Vought F7U Cutlass Martin P6M Seamaster Ryan NYP - Spirit of St. Louis Mitsubishi F-2 "Viper Zero" Vought F8U Crusader The Century Series Convair F-102 Delta Dagger Lockheed F-104 Starfigher Republic F-105 Thunderchief Convair F-106 Delta Dart Lockheed F-117A "Nighthawk" Stealth Fighter PZL M-15 "Belphegor" McDonnell F-4 Phantom II EC-18B ARIA - Apollo Range Instrumentation Aircraft Douglas A-4 Skyhawk Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-19ST "Farmer-B" USS Johnston - Fletcher-Class Destroyer McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C/D Hornet Superscale (1.3x) Republic P-47 Thunderbolt Superscale (1.5x) North American P-51D Mustang Grumman YF-28 "Alleycat" Northrop B-2 Spirit Martin XB-51 Ilyushin IL-76 "Candid" Convair B-58 Hustler McDonnell F-101C / RF-101C Voodoo Grumman F11F Tiger Panavia Tornado Fairchild-Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II "Warthog" Shuttle Transport System Northrop T-38 Talon Lockheed L-133 Starjet Yakolev Yak-38 Forger Boeing-Saab T-X Trainer Aircraft Dassault Mirage 2000 North American F-100D Super Sabre Canadair Regional Jet CRJ-200 Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 North American F-86 Sabre Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor Dassault Rafale Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II Republic F-84 Thunderjet Concorde General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon Grumman F-14 Tomcat (MULTIPLE VERSIONS) McDonnell Douglas / Boeing F-15 Eagle + F-15 ACTIVE STOL/MTD McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II Lockheed NF-104A "Zoom Climber" Sukhoi Su-27M/Su-35 Flanker-E More will be posted as I make them. Feel free to suggest favorite craft for me to take on!
  9. I guess there are a few players from an older generation who will remember this craft from a puppet show for kids from the early 1960's. Produced by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, who went on to give us Thunderbirds amongst others, I guess you could call Fireball XL5 the forerunner of it's more well known cousin. Fireball XL5 in KSP is a recreation designed to give a flavour of the original, rather than be an attempt to produce a nuts and bolts faithful replica. Having said that, the complete craft has reasonably docile flying characteristics in Kerbin's atmosphere, and Fireball Junior and the main Fireball body can be both flown independently. Fireball Junior is the trickiest to fly; it's not too difficult flying around, but it has the glide characteristics of a brick which makes landings tricky. When flying Fireball Junior I recommend it be done with flaps deployed as this improves the flying characteristics at the expense of maximum speed, as they do slow the craft down. It's not recommended that the complete craft be flown with flaps deployed however, as the flaps are all situated in Fireball Junior, and deploying them can make the craft unstable when using large amounts of elevator input. Action group keys : 1 Toggle Fireball Junior rocket engines 2 Toggle flaps 3 Toggle Fireball Junior landing wheels 4 Toggle ladder 6 Undock Fireball Junior 7 Toggle Fireball Junior landing legs (for vertical landings) Finally, it is important that Infinite Propellant is switched on in the Alt F12 cheats menu, as this craft doesn't have a lot of wing area to keep it airborne with full tanks, so the tanks have only been filled to maintain balance and flight characteristics, which requires infinite fuel be used if you want a flight lasting longer than a couple of minutes. Download Fireball XL5 craft file : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/y6drj4mc870ui7s/AADdGdGNViDYBnFFFt-RVMHwa?dl=0
  10. With a historical launch this year of the Mars Perseverance Rover and the Ingenuity helicopter drone, space nerds have a lot to be excited for. To celebrate this momentous occasion, I'd like to see people's take on replicating this marvel of engineering in KSP. So the challenge is, Replicate the Mars 2020 Rover mission. Rules: No cheating with debug menu or HyperEdit or anything related. DLC is fine, as is MechJeb (for info only), information mods, visual mods and TweakScale. I'll also be allowing Realism Overhaul as well RSS (Real Solar System) for those who want the added challenge of dealing with more Delta V requirements. No other part mods unless part of realism overhaul, and no other physics-altering mods other than RSS allowed. How to win: Create a Duna rover (or Mars rover with RSS) preferably resembling Perseverance, and a drone helicopter resembling Ingenuity (optional). Launch it on a rocket, preferably resembling an Atlas V, and land it on Duna (or Mars for RSS). OPTIONAL: Then, take your helicopter drone for a short flight and land it back on the red surface. Include a video of the mission or pictures of important parts of the mission. Cant wait to see what you all come up with! Also, if anyone wants to make a badge for this, I'll happily give them credit, as I am not much of an artist. Good Luck!
  11. Remember the WIP B737 I posted progress of? It's finally completed! Truth be told, it was done a long time ago. I was just lazy to edit the video of it. Anyway, we'll skip the life story. You're here for the pictures. Cockpit instrument panels and overhead panel Forward and Aft Galley Forward and Aft Lavatories E&E Bay Passenger Half Rear Airstair Tail Compartment - Cable Drum APU Compartment Wheel Well Trailing-edge surfaces + more things. Look at everything in the album here. Want to download this? Bad idea, buddy! 3250 part Stripped, No Livery version. 4100 part Stripped with Livery version. 7500 part Full Interior version. Life story time Never before had I worked with parts in such a small scale. The most obvious section that displays this is the cockpit instrument panel. To do the gauges, it required me to use parts I, frankly, never thought I would use for a build. The gauges were made by, believe it or not, the Mystery Goo Containment Unit. The needles themselves were angled Communotrons, and the redlines were thermometers. If you actually look at the Mystery Goo Unit, you'll see for yourself how small the scale actually is. On the overhead panel, due to lack of space, a new part entered the fray. The small circles are actually struts. They have little balls at the ends of them, that when clipped properly shows as a small circle, perfect for these things. The "3 Green" lights are batteries. That's it really. Nothing special about them. Everything past the cockpit is pretty obvious. Perhaps the next special item is the galley, specifically the food you can see on it. As it so happened, the Barometer looks exactly like a tray of airline food. Cheap-looking, unappetising and minimal. But Kerbals have had worse. The other notable feature is the Lattice Livery. You might make claims like "That looks exactly like the A350's carbon fibre livery!" and "You copycat!", in which case you'd be right. Other than that, there's nothing else to really talk about. Hope you like the detail, and may your PC rest in pieces. Happy Flying!
  12. Over my time playing Kerbal Space Program and participating in the community, I've repeatedly either felt a need for a part that seems like it should be available in the stock game or caught wind of recurring requests for one part or another to be added, so I finally sat down and listed them all out. They're not in any particular order but are sorted into categories for parts I think are most important to add, parts that maybe aren't so essential but that I at least would find nice, and additions specific to the DLC packages. Many of these parts are already provided via one mod or another, but to obtain all of them would require downloading many different mods, creating issues with compatibility, game balance, and having tons of extra parts that change the game beyond the scope of filling in gaps in the stock parts. Having extra new parts isn't something I'm saying is bad - it's just not the goal here. What I'd like to discuss in this thread includes others nominating parts that the game really seems like it was supposed to have, but more importantly whether I should try to assemble a pack out of existing mod parts (and navigate redistribution permissions) or recreate those that exist (and create afresh the few that don't) and who else is interested in helping, largely as I'm vaguely okay but not that good at 3D modeling or texturing (evidence: my old Jump Drive mod) - certainly not up to par with those who made the game's newer part models. I essentially see this as a collaborative community project, though if it turns out I'm the only one who wants these or can't find useful common ground, I accept the risk of having to try to do it all myself or give up on the whole thing. If the curators of mods that contain these parts are interested, feel free to nominate your own parts for inclusion in this hypothetical pack. This is not a vanity opportunity and in all likelihood parts that don't closely match the stock look, scale, and functionality won't be included as-is, if at all, but if you do have a good fit, perhaps we can combine our work into a holistic one-stop package. Important: Optional: DLC-specific:
  13. McDonnell Douglas F-4E "Phantom II" Parts: 231 Weight: 26.36t Length: 15.7m Top Speed (asl): 317m/s F-4E Phantom II on KerbalX The E variant of the phantom was an upgrade over previous models of the Phantom, including a built-in M61 Vulcan and an elongated nose to fit the new AN/APQ-120 radar. The F-4E became the leading variant of the phantom, with almost 1,400 produced. This craft has functional airbrakes and drop tanks, and is completely stock. Enjoy!
  14. Welcome to my Podracer Page! After quite a long hiatus I’m pleased to bring you the ONLY legitimate and functional Podracers from a Galaxy Far Far Away complete with demonstration videos and some light commentary on certain aspects. First is the father of my podracer line: the aptly named MK I: Craft File: https://kerbalx.com/GillyMonster/Star-Wars-Podracer-Mk-I The Mk I was a concept I had to make a podracer with loosely connected engines and a command pod that could move freely, it is the first successful combination of balancing drag, weight, thrust, and some mild control surfaces. It’s maneuverability is relatively limited, HOWEVER it is so far the fastest pod I’ve made topping out at 592mph!
  15. The Queen of the Pacific Theater Ask any Allied sailor or pilot in the Pacific which plane they'd most like to see overhead and they'll speak the glories of a most un-glamorous twin-engined flying boat called Cat, Canso, or Dumbo. The Consolidated PBY went by these names and more as it did everything except the shooting in the Pacific. It ran search and rescue, flew aerial reconnaissance, raided convoys, harassed enemy troop encampments, hunted submarines, and carried personnel long distances overwater. It was a workhorse which could handle any job you threw at it, and every downed pilot, sunken ship survivor, or military planner would tell you, it did more than any number of fighter planes could ever do. I've loved the Catalina for a long time, so I took GameplayReviewUK's 30's challenge as a sign to finally give the PBY a replica worthy of its legendary service. I pulled no punches here, so I hope the craft speaks for itself. Craft Download: https://kerbalx.com/servo/PBY-Catalina Flight Manual: Happy flying, and sail on! - Servo
  16. The future of Kerbin is in your hands... "The Time Machine" Get it here before time runs out. Created in Kerbal Space Program 1.8.1 with 136 parts. Breaking Ground DLC : Surface Mounted Lights : TweakScale : Textures Unlimited : Textures Unlimited Recolor Depot
  17. A faithful yet somewhat psychopathic sentient robot, Maximilian was the servant and enforcer for Dr. Hans Reinhardt on board the doomed deep space science vessel "Cygnus." Maximilian is capable of deploying fully functional spinning blades and comes with three pairs of fully articulated arms on rotating shoulder joints. Eight tons and 268 parts requires Breaking Ground DLC, and TweakScale, with Textures Unlimited and Textures Unlimited Recolor Depot for custom coloring. Availabe on KerbalX
  18. The Matrix, Sentinel (an HvP sci-fi replica) At only ten tons and 1630 parts, this "Sentinel" drone is the perfect search-and-destroy machine. If you have certain subversive biological elements that fail to integrate into your virtual reality matrix these intelligent and highly efficient living machines will ruthlessly carry out infiltration and elimination missions in the "real world."* *the real world is assumed to be the planet Kerbin, its stellar system, and associated planetary bodies. Not liable for failure to operate in a higher order reality if Kerbin is found to itself be code in a computer generated virtual reality. In addition to the Making History DLC, and (excessive) use of Tweakscale, coloring and textures are provided by Textures Unlimited and Textures Unlimited Recolor Depot. Recommend deploying only in ½ Kerbin gravity. Moderate use of autostruts secure the tentacle ends to root of craft. It stands on its own, but is still very unstable - be patient. Craft is in a fixed state and cannot be moved without Vessel Mover or like mod.
  19. WELCOME TO THE HANGAR Here there be giants With part counts measured in the thousands, these colossi of the skies aren't for the faint of heart Look inside to find detail-oriented replicas of some of the largest passenger and cargo liners ever built or conceived With no mods or DLC required, these craft are open to all who can handle their bulk! Boeing 747-100 Antonov An-225 "Mriya" Boeing 747-8 Airbus A-380-861 Boeing Pelican "ULTRA" Hughes H-4 Hercules "SPRUCE GOOSE" McDonnell Douglas MD-11 Scaled Composites Stratolaunch Boeing 747sp (WIP)
  20. The Century Series A dual story of progress and creation The Century Series before the introduction of the F-106 in 1959. Clockwise from upper right, F-105 Thunderchief, F-101 Voodoo, F-102 Delta Dagger, F-100 Super Sabre, and F-104 Starfighter In the early 1950s, the U.S. aircraft manufacturers had taken the lessons learned from the first generation of jet fighters into account when designing a new suite of aircraft for the modern air war. These planes would keep pace with the rapidly advancing technologies of the time, with powerful engines, radars, afterburners, and complex fire-control systems coming into their own for the first time. The North American F-100 Super Sabre was the first U.S. Jet capable of level supersonic flight The second generation of jet fighters for the newly minted United States Air Force would take the naming convention used by the previous subsonic fighters to a new level. The F-100 Super Sabre led off the now-iconic Century Series, which ultimately saw the addition of five other aircraft. Other aircraft shared the naming series, but only the ones discussed here saw any production beyond the prototype phase. They entered service at a key time for the USAF, fighter command as it was expanding its role and reach to include more roles - peacetime interception of enemy bomber patrols, reconnaissance overflights of key targets, and tactical strikes made by fighter aircraft instead of lumbering bombers. The McDonnell RF-101 Voodoo was a reconnaissance platform which made key low-level overflights of missile sites during the Cuban Missile Crisis Another key development during this time period was the development of the doctrine of air-to-air refueling. The Century Series were the first planes equipped to take on fuel during flight, a technology which extended both operational ranges and mission durations, while also increasing mission readiness. This air-to-air refueling was used for a novel purpose in October of 1957, when during Operation Sun Run, a trio of stripped-down RF-101 Voodoos took off from Los Angeles and over the course of the next seven hours flew to New York and back, after a total of 25 air-to-air refuelings across the fleet. The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was delayed three years due to difficulties in understanding the aerodynamics of transonic flight These new technologies weren't without their troubles, though. The aerodynamics of supersonic and transonic flight were poorly understood in the 1950's. The design of the experimental aircraft which broke the sound barrier were modeled off of 50 caliber bullets, since that shape was the only one known to be stable at supersonic speeds. Early supersonic planes such as the F-101 and the F-100 dealt with the problem of aerodynamics mainly through experimentation rather than theory, and relied on relatively thin wings and perhaps good fortune on the part of the designers. However, when the first F-102 prototype took to the skies, they realized that something was wrong with the design. The supposed Mach 1.5 interceptor couldn't even go supersonic - and it wasn't entirely the engine's fault. Extensive research led to the rediscovery of the Whitcomb Area Rule, the guiding rule for transonic drag on aircraft, and its implementation on the F-102 allowing it to reach much higher speeds. This is responsible for the shock bodies seen on the engine nozzle (modeled here by the landing gear), as well as the characteristic wasp-waist of many of this era's fighters. It is most noticeable on the F-102 and F-106, but it is present on the F-105 as well. The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter looked like something out of fiction, but soon helped turn spaceflight into science fact In the 1950s, as the space race heated up, both the Soviet Union and the United States began looking for candidates to fill the ranks of their astronaut corps. Both found a natural fit in their highly-trained jet fighter pilots, and particularly the subset of test pilots. This would be enough to cement the relationship between the Starfighter and the first spacecraft, but the F-104 had another unique contribution to the space program. The U.S. Air force needed to train its prospective astronauts to navigate out of atmosphere, using RCS thrusters instead of control surfaces, but had no good way of testing the systems in a full-system way. They tapped Kelly Johnson of Skunkworks to develop a testbed for the new technology, and in 1963, the NF-104A made its first flight. This was a modified starfighter equipped with rocket engines to boost the maximum altitude of the F-104 from 50,000 feet to 120,000 feet in high arcing climbs during which the aerodynamic control surfaces of the fighter would become useless and the pilot would use the RCS system to maneuver instead. This testbed worked, and the technology was proven for use in manned spaceflight. The Republic F-105 Thunderchief was a victim of a changing air war, saved only by the development of the SEAD role for the platform Introduced too late for the war in Korea, the first real tests of the series came in the skies over Vietnam. They soon discovered that air war had changed, and not in a way that favored the jet fighter. The proliferation of radar-directed fire control, nimble and hard to hit enemy MiGs, and the newly-proven surface-to-air missile led to loss rates far higher than any in the USAF upper echelons expected. Hit hardest by this changing battlefield was Republic's F-105 Thunderchief. True to its spiritual ancestor, the P-47 Thunderbolt, Republics newest jet fighter was the heaviest single-engine, single-seat fighter ever built. It was designed to carry bomb loads heavier and faster than a B-17, get in, and get out alive. However, the world of agile fighters,and accurate AA fire firing more powerful munitions meant that being tough wasn't a ticket to survivability any more. The F-105 ultimately became the only U.S. aircraft pulled from frontline fighting due to heavy loss rates, and would have been deemed a complete failure were it not for the development of the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) team. SEADs squadrons, better known as Wild Weasel squadrons, flew the EF-105, which carried advanced electronics monitering and tracking systems, as well as radar-seeking missiles. They would fly ahead of the strike team into defended air space and bait the enemy radar installations into attempting to lock onto their aircraft. Then, they would track the radar signal and direct guided weapons to destroy the air defenses. Fitting for a squadron whose main job is playing chicken with SAMs, their slogan was "You've got to be (screwing) me", reportedly said by the Captain when he was first tole what his mission would be. The Wild Weasel squadrons live on today, now flying highly modified EA-18 Growler. The Convair F-106 Delta Dart was the last dedicated interceptor fielded by the U.S.A.F, showing a shift in the roles of fighters in the Air Force The Century Series tells the story of a developing air force, and a consolidation of the roles played by its fighters. The F-100, F-101A, and F-105 were fighter-bombers which were designed to tangle with enemy fighters and ground units, while the F-101B, F-102, F-104, and F-106 were dedicated straight-line interceptors designed to get somewhere as fast as possible and take out enemy bomber formations. This dichotomy was a holdover from the days of WWII when a variety of aircraft filled different roles. However, the consolidation of the aircraft industry (it took a large company to enter the jet market, so many mergers occurred and smaller companies exited the market) and the rise of the multi-role fighter ended the lines of the dedicated interceptor and the dedicated fighter-bomber. This is immediately evidenced by the fact that in the U.S., only a single plane is considered a Third Generation fighter (the Century Series, among others, make up the Second Generation): The F-4 Phantom II. The fact that a single aircraft could be used across the USAF, USNAF, and USMC in all manner of roles was revolutionary at the time, and echoes the consolidation present today with the Joint Strike Fighter. The Century Series represented a period of extreme technological growth and progress from the fledgling USAF As with the USAF, the Century Series has been a metric of progress for myself as I continue to push the boundaries of what's possible with stock parts My first act as a stock replica builder, three years ago yesterday, was to upload the entirety of the Century Series to KerbalX. They were fair replicas, nothing extremely fancy, but they were recognizable and set the stage for the years to come (at least for me). But I take a lot of pride in these first steps, since they show the seeds of what the future held in store, both for myself and the rest of us stock replica builders. There is a lot of growth that came between these two screenshots, but what is more interesting is what stayed the same. Larger than expected replicas, allowing for more detail Strange use of parts - airbrakes, parachutes, and communotrons are used to get colors and shapes right Using the craft to tell a story - the early series were the first planes I built in my Jet of the Day series As we move forwards into a new decade, remember to look back and reflect on how far you've come, and just think how much farther you have left to climb. Here's to a good 2020 -Servo
  21. Description This is a full stock 1:1 replica of the Scaled Composites Stratolaunch. Possessing the largest wingspan of any aircraft every flown, and having been designed as an air-launch platform for rockets, this beastly aircraft requires no other introduction. This build has the highest part count of any of my replicas to date, due largely to the *unique* shape of the fuselage. This craft was completed long before the MD-11, but seemingly inescapable technical difficulties plagued the craft from then on. It was only until many months later that I was able to finally diagnose the source of the problem and finally post this cursed monstrosity. Even with 6 extra beefed up versions of my PW-4056 engines the vehicle struggles to lift its own bulk, leaving it with only around 150 tonnes of payload capacity, and very limited ability to lift such payloads to high altitudes. This could have been solved by increasing the power of the engines, but seeing as the craft had already reached a ludicrous part count, I deemed this to be unnecessary. Partcount: 3150 parts Mass: 650.58 Tonnes Download: https://kerbalx.com/Kronus_Aerospace/Kronus-Stratolaunch So What Was Wrong? It seems that using the "Remove From Symmetry" feature would completely break this craft's part file, rendering it unusable. I can't say how or why, but what I can tell you is that the way the craft was constructed necessitated that I used the feature every single time, guaranteeing that the craft always broke. Whilst frustrating, these kinds of bugs are honestly just something we've all come to expect from KSP.
  22. The Stealth Fighter This is another one of those planes that needs no introduction - it redefined the face of modern warfare in much the way that its spiritual ancestors from Clarence "Kelly'" Johnson's and Lockheed's Skunkworks design group did, but under the leadership and vision of a new generation. I'd bet that anyone who's into aviation in the slightest has seen this plane, and many aircraft nuts like myself have read (or in my case, are currently reading) the tale of its creation right from the metaphorical horse's mouth. Ben Rich was the successor to Kelly Johnson as the head of Lockheed's Advanced Development Projects division, more commonly known simply as the Skunkworks. Rich was one of the first to see the value of radar stealth to an attack aircraft, and championed the project from its conception to delivery in 1983. His excellent memoir (aptly titled "Skunkworks") has an image of his iconic fighter on the cover, and as soon as I picked up the book, I knew that I wouldn't be satisfied until I could see that view myself, in KSP. How'd I do? Chasing screenshots aside, this is my favorite build in a long time, for a large number of reasons. Probably the most important is the fact that the Nighthawk is a plane that has vexed me for a long time. My early forays into replicas were consumed with the Jet-of-the-Day project between @NorthAmericanAviation and myself, in our attempt to replicate every single military jet aircraft that the U.S. has ever flown. We succeeded in all but two. The first was Kelly Johnson's magnum opus, the SR-71 Blackbird, partially because we couldn't top the absolutely jaw-dropping replica from @eorin and @Exothermos, and the second was the F-117A, because neither of use felt that we could take it on. Now, two and a half years later, I've returned to finish what we started. The second reason is that this craft is a fantastic example of why 1:1 replica building is so rewarding. The parts are just the right size to accurately render the shapes of each and every one of the Nighthawks oddly-shaped panels (even the ones on the bottom!), the functional elements are here too, in the form of bomb bays and landing gear doors, and creative part usage is literally front and center in the cockpit glass and air inlets, and somehow, it maintains passable flight characteristics even for such an un-aerodynamic design. At any smaller scale, certain elements would be lost: the shape of the cockpit glass, the angles of the body panels, the wingtips, the shape of the vertical stabilizers, and on and on. Plus, the perfect 1:1 scale really lets you appreciate the size of aircraft in comparison to each other. The F-117 might look small, but it's roughly the same dimensions as a F-14 Tomcat, and the scale lets you appreciate the shape of the plane in all its glory. All of this plays into this being an absolute joy for me to fly. Just looking at it when it lifts into the air gives me chills. And I hope it does the same for you. If you haven't heard the story of the F-117 and the other black projects that helped the world survive the Cold War, I highly recommend Rich's account, but aside from that, the next best thing I can give you is the download link. Craft Download https://kerbalx.com/servo/F-117A-Nighthawk For optimal flying characteristics, trim pitch up 50% and fly without SAS. If you dial in the trim, it's solid as a rock without SAS, somehow.
  23. Hey everybody, So I've officially been playing Kerbal Space Program for 2 years and to cap it all off I present my Lockheed-Martin F-22A Raptor! This is the sixth and final version of the F-22 that I made, she's extremely maneuverable, has above-average acceleration, and best of all, she's as perfect as they come. I know I haven't posted here often, but I want to share this one with you guys because she's extremely special to me. Without further ado, here she is! Hope you guys like her as much as I do, I put my heart and soul into this thing over 2 years of effort and it's paid off more than I could ever have imagined. F-22A Raptor Description: The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is a fifth-gen, single-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, stealth, tactical-fighter aircraft developed for the United States Airforce (USAF). The result of the USAF's Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program, the aircraft was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but also has ground attack, electronic warfare, and signal intelligence capabilities. The prime contractor, Lockheed-Martin, built most of the F-22's airframe and weapons systems and conducted final assembly, while Boeing provided the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems. The aircraft was variously designated F-22 and F/A-22 before it formally entered service in December 2005 as the F-22A. Despite its protracted development and various operational issues, USAF officials consider the F-22 a critical component of the service's tactical air power. Its combination of stealth, aerodynamic performance, and situational awareness enable unprecedented air combat capabilities Courtesy of Wikipedia Craft Specs: Top Speed: ~285 m/s Maneuverability: 30 Gees Acceleration: High Accuracy: Max Mass: 33.07t Cost: 204,309 Parts: 308 Crew: 1 Built in KSP Version 1.6.1 Length: 18.31m Height: 5.79m Width: 14.23m Download and fly her from KerbalX: https://kerbalx.com/LunarEnterprises/Lockheed-Martin-F-22-Raptor_2
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