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Github Repro Spacedock Mirror James T. Kerman watched the waves lazily pass by below the ship- his ship. Her Cyclone engines droned on, biting into the air with their large propeller blades. A modified Heisenberg-class airship, the KSNS Akron was lighter than air. Its huge 10-meter diameter dirigible sections provided buoyancy for the vessel to float in air like a boat floating on water. The gondola had ample accommodations for the crew and great visibility, and even had space for Pathfinder base components. Liquid fuel stored in the dirigible sections gave the Akron transcontinental range if flown right, but the airship's prototype ISRU system could turn ore into liquid fuel. He was satisfied with the shakedown cruise. With all her bells and whistles, the new airship was ready to simulate a long-duration spaceflight by exploring Kerbin. Time to go investigate those anomalies... The Heisenberg Airship Parts Pack is a series of parts designed to work with the Hooligan Labs Airships mod by @JewelShisen. Hooligan Labs isn't included with this parts pack, so you'll need to download it here. You also need the ModuleManager. It is also has optional support for Pathfinder, KIS/KAS, kOS, Snacks, TAC Life Support, and more. Notes On Carrier Operations If your vessels explode upon undocking, that is an issue with the stock game. Retracting landing gear will help in this situation. It is not a bug with this mod. Here is a post by @Shnyrik that describes the situation: Another post from the master of flying aircraft carriers: Tweakscale configs by @panarchist: Acknowledgements Hooligan Labs Airships by JewelShisen (required, not included, available separately) Cyclone engine generously by @blackheart612 from the Airplane Plus pack. and is distributed under the CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 license. If you haven't seen the Airplane Plus pack, check it out! Portions of this codebase are modified from Firespitter by Snjo. Thanks Snjo! Accessory Mods Reviews License Artwork (excluding the Cyclone engine): All Rights Reserved Cyclone engine by blackheart612 and is distributed under the CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 license. Source Code: GPLv3
Since in Mars' thin atmosphere hydrogen or helium just aren't gonna cut it, do you reckon airships using a vacuum for lift would be any good for Mars exploration? Considering that with electric propellers and solar power an airship would have practically infinite range, travelling at a much higher speed than any groundbound vehicle could, I think it would be excellent. I'd like to hear your opinions though Note: I certainly didn't come up with this idea, I just read it somewhere. There's a NASA article on this actually, have a look.
"As the Kastronaut Corps is charged with exploring outer place, the Aeronaut Expeditionary Corps is charged with exploring the surface of Kerbin and pushing the boundaries of lighter-than-air flight" - KASA Administrator at the Aeronaut Corps commissioning ceremony and the handover to them of the AS-4 Norge and Rover I. The AEC and their vehicles at the commissioning ceremony, from left to right: Hugo Kerman (Pilot, Corps Commander), Emery Kerman (Pilot, Chief Pilot), Charles Kerman (Scientist, Chief Scientist), William Kerman (Scientist), Umberto Kerman (Engineer, Chief Engineer), Henri Kerman (Engineer). In the background, Rover I and the AS-4 Norge. (Links lead to the historical inspirations for the crew names.)
Two Mechjeb functions I've found useful while flying airships. The first is that MechJeb's Smart A.S.S. function is very useful in maintaining course and stability. (It's best to balance your craft manually if you can, because this will consume EC if your reaction wheels are enabled.) I've also created a custom info window that provides all sorts of useful data: Altitude (ASL) = your absolute altitude, useful for monitoring pressure altitude. Altitude (Bottom) = your altitude as measured from the lowest point of the vehicle, very useful for landing. (Much more useful than Altitude (true), which measures from center of mass.) Coordinates = current position. Heading = current heading. Surface Horizontal Speed = true speed across ground, more accurate than Navball speed and useful in ensuring you don't snap off your landing gear or break or bend your airship on landing. Vertical speed = Very useful for landing. Current Biome = If you're out gathering Science, this is useful to know. Pick Position Target = This works just like "pick target on Map" in the Landing Guidance AP, it flips you out to the map screen and lets you choose a target by clicking on the map. Heading to target, Target Coordinates, Distance to target, Time to closest approach = navigation information relative to your selected target. This works whether you've chosen it with Pick Position Target or picked a flag or a craft from the map screen. It does not appear to work with Kerbnet waypoints. (Or I may not grok how to use Kerbnet.)