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Designing Spacecraft (in KSP and Elsewhere)
scottadges posted a topic in KSP1 Mission ReportsThis is a post I originally started a couple years ago in a thread for My History of Spaceflight, but it got a little buried (...I couldn't find it...) so I thought I'd make a new post and include my thoughts on spacecraft design et. al. I would like to keep updating it with comments of various craft that I've created as well as the through process behind them. Philosophy and Approach This actually encompasses more than just KSP as I've been "designing" spaceships since I was a little kid, "swooshing" a few little Lego parts that I wholeheartedly believed was a spaceship. I have a vivid memory of playing with these handful of Legos and intuitively thinking: Spaceship. That passion for Lego eventually evolved into much larger SHIPs (Ex: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5). But at that same time, I would pore over the many versions of Star Trek technical manuals, marvel at blueprints of the Millenium Falcon, and stand in fascinated awe at the Space Shuttle in the early 80s. Add to that, basically 30+ years of pop-culture spacecraft awareness, a dash of actual space history, a whole of of imagination, channelled into a digital medium that allows me to build & fly these things. Watching Star Wars movies literally more times than I can count, continuously consuming Star Trek for over 30 years, loving late-70s Buck Rogers (unaware of the monumental cheesiness), hyperactive over Battlestar Galactica (the 70s original, but then much more importantly, the 2004 reboot); really just about anything in the Sci-fi genre that might include a vehicle maneuvering through the vacuum of space, or on alien planets, or heck even our own planet. With Kerbal Space Program, I've found one of the best tools to express the combination of creative and analytical thinking that is spacecraft design. It's a pseudo-practical approach that, for me, makes this game endlessly playable and allows that expression. So even though it's a game, the fact that you engineer things in this game to actually fly adds an entire level of realism (or not... depending on your KSP playstyle) to the process. And while KSP & Lego are aspects of the same thing, i.e. working with a specific set of parts, creating something unique but not overbuilt; KSP allows me to take this newly created vessel for a spin around the solar system. So, you ask, what do I mean by "pseudo-practical"? A personal philosophy, I guess, that imposes a set of realistic parameters on an inherently unrealistic creation. Designing in a way that balances in-game mechanics with a broader use case for a spacecraft. Working with symmetry and aesthetics, while balancing the inherent asymmetricality of space technologies melding together into a ship. Maintaining the internal logic of specific part choices used in specific ways within an overall visual context, that hopefully comes across as both "realistic" and creatively interesting at the same time. I find myself constantly evaluating the aesthetic choice of a set of parts in trying to meet a certain need, then reviewing whether those parts meet the game's technical needs, then going back to adjust how they mesh visually, then back to the parts specs... until many iterations later, an actual spacecraft evolves. Then I keep looking at it, noodling with it; taking away anything that strikes me as "off" and in some cases completely re-working the craft. When I do orbital test runs, if anything jumps out at me visually, I usually re-work it. If the ship isn't meeting the technical needs of the mission, I re-work it. This goes on until I think I can't possibly make any more changes (then I usually find 1 or 2 more...) until FINALLY, I can't stop looking at it. There's nothing that my brain says, "Wait. Change that." It's odd to use the word 'perfect', but in a sense that's what it is. My brain has gone through just about every iteration until it just seems 'right' on all facets. There's a creative pride that comes from this iteration process. There's a sense of childlike whimsy when the thing can actually make orbit, or I can actually dock it, or the antennas extend, or the light and shadow catches it just the right way. The same feeling as when I was 6 years old making Lego ships. "I made a ship that flies through space."
Can't take off
cowboycomando54 posted a question in KSP1 Gameplay Questions and TutorialsSo for what ever reason I keep encountering a rotational torque being applied to my starting tech jet planes on take off, despite the fact they are perfectly symmetrical in design and are a based on a generic leer jet profile. Large swept wings in front, smaller elevators in on the tail, vertical tail fin, and two small engines located above the elevators, yet some how I am getting some torque being generated, causing the plane to yaw hard to one side or another. My COM is in front of the center of lift and my center of thrust is behind that. Regardless if SAS is on or off and the steering is locked or not, I can't correct the random yaw. What am doing wrong?
Alphasus' Craft Repository
Alphasus posted a topic in KSP1 The Spacecraft ExchangeHello, and welcome to my collection! Modern Vehicles Space Classifications Core 3 Nano Destroyer(Space)(Stock) 2100 m/s DV .2 TWR 52 tons 380 parts The anti-ship missiles are guided, and pack a punch that is rather strong for their light weight. The armor is also rather strong, but the range suffers because of those strengths. CR-01 Pico-class Corvette 3,091 m/s DV .08 TWR 23.257 tons 248 parts An optionally manned scout ship equipped with a big punch: 4 unguided i-beams that can launch simultaneously. These i-beams can subdue lightly armored capital ships, other corvettes/frigates, and fighters. It's also very well armored, with wings over structure, and a spine similar to the Frontier-class. FR-01 Atto-class Frigate 2,823 m/s DV .09 TWR 18.978 tons 201 parts An optionally manned scout ship equipped with a strong punch: 4 unguided short i-beams that can launch simultaneously. These i-beams can subdue lightly-armored sub-capital ships and fighters.It's also very well armored, with wings over structure, and a spine similar to the Frontier-class. CR-02 Pico S 3,463 m/s .07 TWR 25.1 tons 263 parts This is an enhancement of the original Pico class. It has improved delta-V, improved engine protection, reloadable firepower, and improved pilot view. It comes in 3 variants, which have different armaments, one with the standard 4 long torpedoes, one with 3 small guided anti-ship missiles, and one with a single large anti-ship missile. CR-03 Pico 2 3096 m/s .11 TWR 28.891 tons 286 parts A redesign of the recent Pico-class, with 8 more engines and increased reaction wheel control. It also has extra RTGs and extra solar panels to accommodate the extra ion engines. Air Unmanned stealth fighters coming soon. Land Striker Tank Chassis(Ground Support)(BDArmory) Top Speed:30 M/S 9.5-13.8 tons 131-175 parts Armament varies, but armor, countermeasures, and electronics are consistent among all Striker models except for radar. The armor is enough to deflect most .50 cal shots, be breached by 20mm rounds, and to have 30mm rounds cut through easily. Large caliber fire can be absorbed slightly. The Striker AFV is the most effective variant for anti-tank combat, and works well in CIWS or anti-air roles when another craft has a radar. These were designed to replace outdated and high part count Ezequiel tanks, but lost some armor in exchange for firepower. Sea Legacy Ezequiel Tank
Atto and Pico-class Sub-Capital Ships
Alphasus posted a topic in KSP1 The Spacecraft ExchangeAtto and Pico-class Sub-Capital Ships These ships are lightweight escort vessels designed to pack a punch, and have strong armor. Both of these ships have no launchers included, but can easily be launched with custom designs because of their light weight. These ships offer great escort to capital ships, anti-subcapital capability, escort of logistics vessels, armed communications capability, and fighter deterrence. FR-01 Atto-class Frigate 2,823 m/s DV .09 TWR 18.978 tons 201 parts An optionally manned scout ship equipped with a strong punch: 4 unguided short i-beams that can launch simultaneously. These i-beams can subdue lightly-armored sub-capital ships and fighters.It's also very well armored, with wings over structure, and a spine similar to the Frontier-class. Imgur Album Action Groups Download Link(Atto) CR-01 Pico-class Corvette 3,091 m/s DV .08 TWR 23.257 tons 248 parts An optionally manned scout ship equipped with a big punch: 4 unguided i-beams that can launch simultaneously. These i-beams can subdue lightly armored capital ships, other corvettes/frigates, and fighters. It's also very well armored, with wings over structure, and a spine similar to the Frontier-class. Imgur Album Action Groups Download Link(Pico)