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  1. There was once a wonderful and entertaining challenge by @GoSlash27 that culminated in a successful SSTO spaceplane powered by nothing other than ion engines and electric charge. Even with what were back then massless parts, it was an incredible accomplishment. Today, a lot has changed. Because engines work more realistically in atmosphere nowadays, the ion engine produces hardly any thrust at all at sea level on Kerbin. I have seen a few speculations that an ion plane might be possible, but I've never seen one work. So here's the challenge: TAKEOFF CHALLENGE: Can you get a plane to take off from the runway using no propulsion other than ion engines? Alternatively: UP, UP AND AWAY: Can you invent an innovative launch method to get an ion plane in the air and beyond? (Rover wheels to build up speed on the ground, take off from a mountain, electric propellors etc., but not a rocket booster stage) @Ultimate Steve refined his plane - now Ion Plane 7B - and managed to climb to 7537m from the top of a mountain. @Ultimate Steve launched from Kerbin's tallest mountain and could actually gain altitude and speed from there. Top speed was 70.4 m/s Also valuable for research: FREESTYLE: What is the lowest-altitude stable and level flight you can achieve using only ion thrust? (Anything goes to get your plane up there to start with, but the plane must be able to hold itself at that altitude and speed under its own power) @Draconiator can fly his plane at just 3480m altitude. @wibou7 Used a SRB on a cart to boost Winter Goose to a high enough altitude that it could sustain flight. The craft can hold level flight at about 4250m @ 50 m/s Rules: No parts mods or mods that change the gameplay, like FAR. Visual mods are fine, I can't see a problem with MechJeb and things like that. No cheating or hyperedit blahblahblah I have attempted to take off using a cluster of ion engines and two enormous wings. Maximum speed on the runway was 8 m/s, and not even close to takeoff. Please post your failures also, so we can learn from each others' mistakes.
  2. Hello everyone! I hate to be that guy, but it looks like parts graphics appearancein the VAB became much worse since 1.1 arrived. I'm not a specialist, but seems to me something wrong with shaders, may be ??? Parts lack gloss, and in general rockets look like it is Direct X 8 or something like that. In 1.0.5 a rocket looks like a real thing in the VAB, with all that ground personal and trucks, and I used to admire a lot my glorious creations. But in 1.1.3 it's kinda meh... Everything looks like cheap plastic. Even with something like Ven's revamp, What I really want to know, is it considered a bug, and it will be eventually fixed, or it's a kind of intentional deterioration of graphics in the VAB, and I have to suck it up? Is there any official developer's statement on that?
  3. Sorry Gaarst, my curiosity trumps your frustration. Have a poll!