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Found 139 results

  1. I'm a noob in the SPH and working on only my second (2nd) airplane. This one is a supersonic transporter (named Aquila Ursa) All was going well with previous development versions including a number of short-field landings and take-offs, which is its primary mission. Then I extended its body to insert a short cargo bay in which to load the Prospector 1 (stock) rover. Gross weight is now 75t. It takes the whole 3km to reach Vr = 120m/sec, but with half tanks it will do it at 40 m/s and climb solidly. Cruise is Mach 3+ and range is 75% Kerbin circumference. Problem is that I cannot land it any more without the wings breaking off. (Maybe I just need to get better at landing but this one is palpably fussy about it compare to my SSTO (which is a good deal lighter)). I've moved the engine close and equally-spaced to the gear and moved all closer to the wing root. I tried aligning the main gear as best I could. I tried using Toggle Snap for alignment as well. I can accept not being able to land it with full fuel and that's fine. (Do the mission or don't come back!) But I want to be able to land it reliably on half tanks or less. I will really appreciate any help on this because I am so EXCITED: who needs to go into space when there is all of Kerbin to explore!!?
  2. There's been a lot written on this board about optimal TWR for rockets. Math got involved, some of which went over my head, but the consensus seemed to be that 2 was a good number. What I'd like to know is if the same Math can be used to prove the "best" TWR for a spaceplane in closed cycle mode. Now before everyone heads for the hills, try not get too freaked out by the fact it has wings. Wings generate lift, in exchange for creating a bit of extra drag and extra mass. If you angle the wings up at 5 degrees relative to the fuselage, tweak the tailplane/canard so the plane holds a nose angle between half a degree and one degree nose up when SAS is set to prograde, your lift/drag ratio is going to be more or less constant throughout the closed cycle part of your flight. Another way to look at it, is that since we have wings, and wings are counteracting gravity, we only have to be concerned with drag. So, whilst in a rocket, we are concerned about our margin of Thrust over Gravity, in the airplane, we are concerned about the margin of Thrust to Drag. The greater the margin in favour of Thrust, the lower our losses, but adding extra engines to increase TWR adds dry mass, and means we have less delta V to start with. Of course, this comparison is only valid if the airplane is generating enough lift to support itself while building velocity. You could set the wings at a lower angle, or zoom climb to a high altitude on jet power before going closed cycle, and temporarily get lower drag, but it won't be sustainable as you'll soon fall back into thicker atmosphere and be worse off. That is why it is best to chase optimal "lift:drag" ratio rather than absolute lowest possible drag. Let's say it weighs 30 tons. In Kerbin gravity, that works out to a gravity force of 300kn if you round things up a bit. Do we need 300kn lift ? Well, not quite. Let's say we're going at 1400 m/s - that's actually two thirds of orbital velocity, meaning that orbital freefall is already going to be cancelling most of gravity. We only need to get enough lift to make up the difference, and stop the airplane descending. As our velocity continues to increase, our apparent weight decreases. Since we're holding a constant AoA at constant lift/drag, our lift now exceeds weight, and we drift upwards, until the thinner air causes lift to no longer exceed weight. At this new higher altitude however, drag is less, and so on. As you can see, this means it gets easier and easier to accelerate as time goes on, and fuel burnoff is not the only factor at play. At this point , some of you will be saying "so what" because, with RAPIERs in closed cycle mode, your TWR on this phase of flight is going to be so high as to make such optimisations pretty irrelevant. However, this past week or so, I've been building craft for rescaled Kerbin. I'm currently using a rescale factor of 3.2 which raises orbital velocity from 2200 m/s (mach 7) to 4200 m/s (mach 14). This makes things more than twice as difficult for a spaceplane. Stock, you can get 1600 m/s air breathing, and so theoretically only need 600 m/s delta V in closed cycle mode to make orbit. With the rescaled system, even if you manage 1600 m/s air breathing, you need another 2600 delta V to make orbit - more than four times as much. I don't think there's any chance of packing enough fuel in to do that with a 305m/s specific impulse RAPIER - 800 m/s NERVs are probably your only option. However, they have much worse TWR - 3 tons for 60kn, instead of 180kn for 2 tons. Pure chemical rocket engines are better still - the Dart manages RAPIER thrust levels for just one ton, and is far from the highest TWR engine available. Compounding the issue, at the start of your closed cycle burn, you are nowhere near orbital velocity on rescaled Kerbin, thus are still feeling the full effects of gravity. This holds you deeper in the atmosphere, with greater drag losses, for longer. Thus, this "optimal" spaceplane TWR becomes such a vexed question. Starion 2 - A working prototype I can SSTO with the rescaled Kerbin but such a craft ends up with little fuel left over in a very low orbit. So the Starion 2 was a mod of the original SSTO that dumps its jet engines at flameout to get extra delta V. Two whiplashes, three nervs. Takeoff weight 47 Tons. Upper stage mass (after Whiplash stage separation) 38 tons Mass breakdown of the upper stage Stage 2 Mass 38.6t Liquid fuel 19 t Nerv engines 9t Payload 6.1t (cockpit, crew cabins, docking gear, docking fuel) Aerodynamic bits 4.5t (wings, control surfaces, intakes and cones) Flight Logs I took some screenies on the way up. Due to the AeroData GUI being open, they give some insight into how drag losses changed as the flight progressed : Time Velocity Weight Alt L/D Drag (sec) (m/s) (kN) (M) (ratio) (kN) 752 1491 345 32340 3.7 73 827 1674 328 33435 3.7 80 972 2186 296 38824 3.6 64 1102 2723 264 47842 3.6 28 1174 3114 248 50712 3.5 26 1304 3904 218 61815 3.4 12 Imgur album of the ascent shots from which this data was transcribed - https://imgur.com/a/xNSfY
  3. The good method of landing a spaceplane on another planet is pointing retrograde and brake until you are near the ground, then fly up and point your spaceplane as normal plane. You need to first start climbing and as second start pointing. Then you can land as normal plane but on another planet.
  4. First of all, I am brand new to KSP. That being said, this is like my third ship I have designed in KSP ever. Overall it was a lot of trial and error (mostly error as the lives of many Kerbal test pilots and engineers were expended in the creation of this beast.) The inspiration of this design comes from one of the model rockets I built as a kid in 1969. The Estes Orbital Transport. The Orbital Transport model was inspired by NASA's plans for a Two-Stage To Orbit (TSTO) using a fully reusable, air breathing (scramjet powered) booster and a rocket powered orbiter. Those designs eventually morphed into what became the Space Shuttle. My design uses all un-modded KSP parts. Here are some stats., photos and interesting features... Overall Design: Part count: 151 Stages: 2 Crew: 4 Passengers: 4 1 x Small cargo bay. Mass: 94.2 tons Length: 29.3m Wingspan: 13.7m Height: 8.0m Booster: Part count: 106 Crew: 2 (expendable due to KSP's inability to fly two ships at the same time) Mass: 70.3 tons Length: 29.3m Wingspan: 13.7m Height: 6.3m Engines: 4 x "Whiplash" turboramjets 4 x "R.A.P.I.E.R." hybrid jet/rocket engines. 4 x "Separtron I" solid fuel separation rockets. Special controls: Key 4: Toggle R.A.P.I.E.R. engine mode Key 5: Toggle All engines on/off. Orbiter: Part count: 46 Crew: 2 (expendable due to MY inability to successfully re-enter an atmosphere and land it) Passengers: 4 (also expendable) 1 x Small cargo bay. Mass: 23.5 tons Length: 20.5m Wingspan: 10.0m Height: 3.6m Engines: 2 x "Dart" toroidal aerospike rocket engines 4 x "Separtron I" solid fuel separation rockets. Special controls: Key 1: Toggle "Dart" engines on/off Key 2: Toggle fuel/LOX flow from forward tank Key 3: Toggle landing gear Performance: Despite my poor piloting skills, I was able to make it to a high elliptical orbit (apogee approx 3000km) with about 2 tons of fuel and LOX still in the tanks but no cargo or extra passengers (which is good because Valentina Kermen and Bill Kerman died during re-entry) Here are some photos: And the download: http://www.nightwatchmilitia.com/ksp/orbital_transport.zip I'm sure there are lots of mistakes in it, so suggestions are welcome! Korg sends PS: I should mention that it has some yaw oscillation if the SAS is turned on until reaching the stratosphere, so fly carefully.
  5. Okay, so in pursuit of orbital tourism contracts in my first career game, I designed my first spaceplane. Not a HOTOL SSTO, just a fancy-looking Dynasoar equivalent -- boosted vertically, maneuvers in orbit with a rocket motor on the aft end, reenters and lands more or less like a Space Shuttle (except parachute recovery at the very end, because my R&D hasn't produced retractable landing gear yet -- hey, give me a minute!). A little "simulation" testing (launch and revert) verified that the orbiter handles well enough in both boost and glide, and even reentry -- and a little tweaking on the booster got it under control during the early parts of boost, when there's a lot of aero force available on those wings (swivel engines and fins on the boosters FTW). Everything was great until I'd been reentering for five minutes or so -- starting from a 75 km orbit, I set up a periapsis of 48 km. I held approximately 30 degrees above prograde through reentry, though that tended to drift in a pitch-positive direction (because I was using heading hold while flying around Kerbin). When I was getting down a bit, I started to run low on battery, and since I had way too much fuel on board anyway, I ran the main (Swivel) engine at low throttle to get some power from the alternator, but I don't think the thrust was enough to contribute to the heating issue (well below what was needed for level flight in earlier atmospheric testing) -- but by the time I was down to 39 km, both the Mk. 1 Cockpit and the RCS sphere in the chin position were very close to their temperature limit (but the Crew Cabin, main wing, canard, and 800 fuel tank weren't even showing thermometers). That's the point at which I reverted the flight, hoping the problem was simply one of reentry profile. I'm aware that reentering too high will burn away an ablator with little braking effect, while going too low will overheat things and/or kill Kerbals due to excessive G loads; I'm sure there's a similar tradeoff in reentering a spaceplane. I just don't know what it is. Here's a VAB image of the vessel as flown. I've since pulled half the Lf/O out of the 800 tank (might replace it with a 400 tank, if that proves helpful, though I really need the length to keep the COM from moving too much as main fuel burns off), moved the monopropellant sphere inside a service bay (between the crew cabin and reaction wheel) and mounted a pair of batteries inside the service bay as well -- but I doubt that'll have much effect, other than improving my ability to make a couple orbits and still have electricity to operate the SAS and reaction wheels. Booster has Swivels on the core and the two boosters that also have fins, Reliants on the other boosters. Asparagus staging dumps the Reliants first, keeping the Swivel boosters until atmosphere is thin enough the wing doesn't want to make the stack flip end over end. The 10+ T orbiter reaches orbit with a full tank, if flown optimally, which means if I can lick the reentry this Taxicab generation could also fly tourists on Munar flyby missions. Would I be ahead to reenter higher, lower, or at a higher or lower angle of attack, or am I just approaching the whole spaceplane thing wrong?
  6. Anyone that watches my stream knows I am more a spaceplane SSTO guy than a shuttle guy, but for you shuttle lovers out there, I think you will like this. It is not meant to be a NASA STS analogue but more a Kerbal version of what STS 2.0 could be. It is stock, but so much easier to fly using Atmospheric Autopilot in Rocket Mode as stock SAS has a major issue of over-correcting itself into a never ending oscillating roll. Or, with enough practice, pure manual flight. It can put more than 50 metric tons into a 250KM orbit and return. It can re-enter stable with 50+ tons of cargo as well, but you will need to practice approach and landing as it doesn't want to slow down and you have to keep about 3 times the velocity vs. empty on approach in order to flare properly. I created this and many other vessels on my stream https://go.twitch.tv/rocketpcgaming Here is the Advanced Orbiter + Stack: https://kerbalx.com/rocketpcgaming/Advanced-Orbiter-+-Stack (The mod Kronal Vessel Viewer takes the blueprint screen shots.)
  7. Basic Mk2 Spaceplane Guide

    BASIC MK2 WHIPLASH/NERV SPACEPLANE TUTORIAL The best looking airplane parts in the game almost certainly belong to the mk2 family. The part descriptions combined with their "hypersonic" appearance make them a natural choice for a new player, unfortunately they generate more forum help threads than anything else. Pic - the wrong stuff ! Problem 1 - Poor Performance Mk2 parts generate at least twice as much drag as a mk1 or mk3 fuselage built to carry the same amount of fuel or passengers. As a result they are frequently unable to break the sound barrier. If the player tries to overcome this by spamming engines, they often run out of fuel before making orbit. Problem 2 - Flipping Out The aerodynamic forces generated by draggy fuselages are not properly taken into account by the stock game's Centre of Lift indicator, resulting in a CoL much further forward than it actually appears. Second, new players usually try to build something that looks like a sleek real-world airplane, with a cluster of engines at the back and a long, pointy fuselage up front. On launch, all that fuel at the front of the ship balances the heavy engines at the back. But when the tanks empty, CoM shifts far to the rear and the plane becomes unstable. Problem 3 - Exploded Cockpit In recent versions of KSP aerodynamic heating effects are much stronger at the front of a stack than they are further back. As a result, despite its much higher heat tolerance a pointy mk2 cockpit is much more prone to overheating than a mk1 inline one with a few parts in front of it. Mk2 Tips - the short version To minimise the drag penalty, keep the mk2 fuselage as short as possible. Use it for Kerbals, cargo and other mission stuff, but avoid storing fuel in mk2 parts except for when you're fitting a mk2 bicoupler or mk2 to mk1 adapter anyway. If your ship has NERV engines, fit as much wing as possible but use only fuel containing big-s wings and strakes. You can in fact store all your liquid fuel this way. More wings allows the craft to fly higher and at a lower angle of attack for any given airspeed, which reduces the amount of drag (and heating) on your fuselage. Use an inline mk2 cockpit Combating the dreaded rearward CG shift as fuel burns off This problem is such a (night)mare, I'm going to have to give its own list For your first mk2s, stick to crew ferries or combi ships. Passenger cabins and inline clamp-o-trons give you a bit of mass you can put up front to balance those heavy engines. Try to shift engines forward if possible, especially the heavy ones. For example, consider putting the heavy nukes on the wings or on pods either side of the main fuselage, whilst the lighter jet engine(s) can go on the attach nodes on the back of the main fuselage. Try to move your fuel stowage rearward. Given the problem of instability, why am i telling people to move anything backward ? Well, if you've succeeded in balancing the weight of those heavy engines when empty, your next problem is that you've probably got more fuel tankage ahead of CG than behind it. When you fill the tanks, your craft becomes excessively nose-heavy. This is more likely to be an issue if your craft has a CoM well to the rear - sure, you can move the CoL aft as well to make it stable, but this places most of the fuel tanks ahead of CG. When you fill all the tanks it becomes a lawn dart. So, you need to find ways of increasing the fuel tankage at the back of the ship. Consider putting batteries, reaction wheels and engine pre-coolers at the front of your size 1 stacks and only have fuel tanks immediately in front of the engine. Big S wing strakes, orientated vertictically, can be used to build tail fins and they have a surprising amount of fuel capacity. Also, you may be able to attach big S strakes to the trailing edge of the wing. Big S strakes hold more fuel for their size than the main wing, so help to shift the fuel balance rearward. Pic - our original failplane, better balanced (but still melty and draggy) Some mods that will make your life much, much easier RCS build aid Shows a red dot in the SPH/VAB which indicates where your CoM will move to when the tanks are empty. Makes it much , much easier to build planes that don't flip out on re-entry. CorrectCoL CorrectCoL does two things. Firstly, it makes the blue CoL indicator in the SPH more accurate by taking into account aero forces acting on fuselage parts. Second, it shows a stability graph for your airplane across the AoA range. When the line is above the horizontal axis, it indicates your plane wants to nose up. When it is below, it tries to nose down. You want the line to slope downhill left to right, so that the greater the AoA , the stronger the nose down tendency. The point where the line crosses the x axis indicates the pitch attitude the plane will tend to adopt without any control input from the pilot. A Quick Word on Part Attachment and Drag It is worth remembering that KSP craft files are organised as a tree structure. There is a root part, to which any number of items can be attached radially, as well an end attachment node to which subsequent parts can be attached, and so on. To the game, a typical mk2 spaceplane, with an engine on the back and a mk1 sized engine nacelle attached either side of the fuselage, is just like a rocket with a pair of boosters attached radially to the main stack. In this case we have the main stack (the mk2 fuselage) and the engine nacelles which are like boosters. (I've numbered the parts in terms of how far away they are from the root in the craft file) Rule 1 : Every end-attached stack of parts must begin and end with something pointy. "Pointy" means something which has an attachment node at one end, which joins it to the stack, but not at the other. Obviously, it also means something low drag. Parts in this category include in order of more to less streamlined ⦁ nose cones and fairings (Duh !) ⦁ jet engines ⦁ rocket engines (more drag than jets, due to the attach node on the back, but has been reduced in the last patch) ⦁ air intakes (somewhat draggy, inline intakes like the engine pre-cooler are better if you're min-maxing efficiency) ⦁ shielded docking port (quite a high drag part, you are better off with an inline clamp o tron if you must dock) Rule 2 : When joining parts together with end-attachment, the diameter of the attach nodes of the parts being joined MUST match. Just because the game lets you join a 0.625m small nose cone to the front of a 1.25m fuel tank, or lets you put a Poodle on the back of a mk2 fuselage, doesn't mean you should. These mismatches create huge drag. If you need to attach a 0.625m part to a mk1 stack, use a low drag adapter like the FL-A10 or the NCS adapter between them. If you want a Poodle (2.5m rocket) on the back of your mk2 spaceplane, use a mk2 to 2.5m adapter. One last thing. When attaching stuff, be aware of orientation. End attached parts like fuel tanks, intakes, nose cones, engines etc. have lowest drag when aimed directly prograde or retrograde. Angling parts a few degrees away from pro or retro increases drag. Just how bad are mk2 parts for drag ? A screenshot is worth a thousand words. You can see that the mk2 inline cockpit has over 3 times the drag of the big S wing. The short mk2 cargo bay has a little bit less, since it doesn't have the sticking up bit at the top with the windows. It's not in this picture, but the mk2 to 1.25m short adapter has about half the drag value of the short cargo bay. And you can see that the 1.25m nuke rocket engine was very little drag at all, by comparison. note - you can bring up this data any time you want by pressing ALT F12, going to the physics menu, and clicking on the Aero tab. The big dialog box with that welter of aerodynamic data is enabled by checking the "display aero data GUI" option. The drag info in the right click menus comes up when you check "enable aero data in action menus" part 2 to follow (examples of common part attachment problems)
  8. I've always liked to put NERVs on my spaceplanes, but nonetheless accepted the received wisdom that their weight more than offsets any fuel saving to be made, especially if you're only going to low orbit. Imagine my surprise when i built these large, mk3 low orbit transports, and found i get better payload fraction then the pure chemical ones? The cargo version made 43.7% payload fraction to 100km and feels like it could go further with extra fuel (the engines and wings can deffo lift more). Obviously payload fraction isn't that big of a deal. Ease of use, part count, even time-to-orbit, are more important considerations. The "Partridge" (43.7%) is probably a couple of minutes slower to orbit than Thor Wortansen's 35% payload fraction entry, and definitely has a higher part count for a lower payload. I'd dispute it's at any "ease of use" disadvantage, the huge wing area (necessary to make NERV-powered flight in upper atmosphere viable) makes for a very docile ship that's easy to take off, land and re-enter. https://kerbalx.com/AeroGav/partridge The key design parameters for an oxidizer-free SSTO are very different for a RAPIER-only one, less focus on weight reduction and fuel capacity, more on lift/drag. Once you get a feel for it, it's not that hard. Just wish i'd come to this realisation sooner.. pax ship - https://kerbalx.com/AeroGav/Lusitania
  9. My original plan was to create a cargo SSTO that could carry 4 large Mk2 bays worth of cargo, land at Mün, and return to Kerbin. This turned out to be a much bigger challenge than I though it would be! As the plane got bigger, it needed more engines, more fuel, then it couldn't land anymore, so needed more engines, more fuel, etc. So I tried going simpler with only 2 large Mk2 bays. Still took quite a bit of trial and error, but I finally did it. As a craft, it's a delicate balance of size, mass, fuel, cargo, and power. 76 tons, 3.5k - 4k ∆v after reaching LKO. How did I do?
  10. Hello, After watching some videos I decided to try to build an aircraft capable of launching a rocket. I installed a rocket fuel tank to on the aircraft itself to provide the fuel to the rocket via fuel lines until separation, but it doesnt work. The rocket keeps using the fuel from its own tanks and nothing from the tank in the aircraft. I checked orientation of fuel lines, detached and reattached the rocket and moved the fuel lines to attach to different tanks, and even the engine they are supposed to feed, but to no avail. Here are some images:
  11. What seemed straightforward to me when I was using a rocket was to give each module RCS thrusters, a bit of mono (or more), a probe core and MechJeb, as I detached each module I'd fly them close and then have Jeb dock them. Worked fine. However I'm now trying to use an OPT spaceplane, and when I try to take off with three modules in the bays bound for the station, I start the spaceplane engines and the throttle goes instantly to zero; engines on but zero thrust and the throttle won't respond to any command. If I take the HECS/OKTO units off all of the modules, the spaceplane now starts and takes off normally. I'm assuming for some reason with the probe cores in place (one of which has a Terrier for later Kerbin return), it's getting confused as to which vehicle is the master and which ones are just being carried. What's the best way to do this? TIA
  12. In the age of reuse, space agencies have a decision to make: TSTO rocket or SSTO spaceplane? Of course, until Skylon flies (if it ever does), TSTO rockets are the only game in town. But in Kerbal Space Program, spaceplanes fly with ease...which brings us to this challenge. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to build either an SSTO spaceplane or a TSTO rocket to carry commercial payloads into orbit over Kerbin. Every stage of your launch vehicle must be reusable, and you must use the exact same vehicle to launch each of the following three payloads: A 15-tonne survey satellite to polar orbit (150x150 km or higher). The survey sat must be fully functional. (ADDED OPTION: 15-tonne sat constellation in the same orbit) A 6-tonne relay comsat to Kerbostationary Transfer Orbit (75x2863.33 km or higher). The relay must be able to self-circularize into an equatorial KSO; the relay must be fully functional. A crew vehicle containing at least 7 kerbals to rendezvous with an equatorial space station (200x200 km or higher). The crew vehicle must have independent maneuvering capability and power generation, and must be recoverable. You do not actually have to have an equatorial space station, though if you do, awesome! The challenge is to build a launch vehicle with the lowest possible dry weight. Rules: General: All entries must use 100% stock parts. No piloting mods, though other mods are fine. Obviously, no infinite fuel or similar cheats. TSTO rocket: Both stages must be recovered and must land propulsively. The crew vehicle must have abort capabilities and must also land propulsively (chutes okay for backup; e.g., on abort). Payload fairings, assorted decouplers, and engine shrouds may be jettisoned without recovery. First-stage recovery must be reasonably close to KSC; second stage (and crew capsule) can be recovered wherever you want, as long as it comes down on land. Chemical fuel only (other than on payload). Vertical takeoff from the launch pad. SSTO spaceplane: Takeoff and landing must take place on the runway. Must launch and land with probe only; no crew (except for the crew-vehicle launch). No nukes, ions, or solids. Other than RAPIERs, the only rocket engines permitted are low-thrust OMS engines. All payloads must launch and deploy from inside a payload bay. The crew vehicle must be able to dock back inside the payload bay for re-entry. It does not need to have 0/0 abort or independent re-entry. An expendable solid kick stage is permitted for KTO injection of the relay comsat. To reflect that Skylon will need to carry liquid hydrogen for its precooler to work, LF tanks may not be more than 50% full at launch. Oxidizer tanks may be filled completely. This is a community challenge, so here's how it works. You can submit either a TSTO rocket, an SSTO spaceplane, or both. There will be a leaderboard for lowest-dry-weight rocket and lowest-dry-weight spaceplane, but the overall competition will be between rockets and spaceplanes. The winning leaderboard will have the lowest total mass from the three leading entries. Good luck!
  13. I’m currently designing an Eve spaceplane mission. I’m very excited for this mission and so far quite pleased with my craft. The mission profile looks like this: 1. SSTO from Kerbin 2. Refuel in LKO with fuel tanker (capable of Minmus refuel with ISRU if you’re not lazy like me) 3. Fly to Eve and land 4. Refuel on Eve with ISRU 5. Staged ascent from Eve, with only the cockpit eventually making it back to Kerbin. Anyway, I digress, none of this is too relevant to the question. My issue is that I cannot for the life of me reenter the plane on Eve. I will burn up every time seemingly regardless of my entry profile (shallow vs steep and several in-betweens). Are heat shields a must now? And how to put heat shields on a plane that’s supposed to SSTO from Kerbin without totally ruining the areo? Any help is appreciated. I will say I’ve had lots of fun looking at the firework show each time I’ve blown up the 150-part plane during my tests!
  14. KCS Saber SSTO

    Download Craft File This thing's designed to take 10 kerbals to LKO and back. All stock parts. No LV-N's or Rapiers, because I haven't unlocked those parts yet. The first picture is an earlier version than the following pictures. It never made it to space because it would start to tumble uncontrollably at 20kM. I fixed the problem by shortening the overall length of the plane and adding extra reaction wheels. The Final verion with some alterations. The performance has improved significantly. I shifted some things around to make it less nose heavy, increased the battery capacity, and exchanged the twin swivel engines for a vector engine. Download Craft File
  15. For the first time ever, I took an SSTO to mine for ore on Minmus. I had to refuel once in LKO and once on the surface of Minmus. I then flew to the North Pole to mine. Once full of ore, I flew back to Kerbin, and somehow landed on the runway too. Mods: -tweakscale -mj -p-tanks -mk2 expansion Enjoy.
  16. Daredevil Spaceplane The "Daredevil Squadron" is home to the boldest pilots on kerbin since shortly after the invention of powered flight. It is therefore a natural recruiting place for the new spaceprogram. Unfortunately technological progress is not as fast as some of those pilots would like it to be and there is a growing fear that manned spaceflight with all the proper precautions, safety concerns and design delays for capsules is coming too late for some of the pilots. And for those kerbals who live in a cockpit, taking familiar risks in flight is much more appealing than taking the risk of missing their chance. Thus some of the daredevil pilots pushed hard and called in favors to try to go to space with the current technology, even if it is only for a quick peak into what lies beyond the confines of the kerbin atmosphere. The challenge Your challenge, should you accept it, is to reach an altitude (apoapsis) as high as possible, with a kerbal piloting the vessel, under the facility upgrade and technological limits described below and then safely return to the KSC (must be visible when landed). Ranking is done by altitude (apoapsis). For those who reach space, a second ranking is done by vehicle mass (KER readouts in SPH/VAB). Minimum picture requirements for a ranking are 1. Design showing KER readouts in SPH/VAB, especially total vessel mass. 2. In flight, at or very close to apoapsis. Apoapsis displayed by KER or mechjeb (switch KER to partless instead of career in KER settings available in SPH/VAB). Note that the altimeter shows altitude over terrain when in surface mode. 3. Safely landed back at Kerbin with KSC visible in the background. Beware, the cockpit was not designed for space flight, it is somewhat fragile. Of course additional pictures, videos, etc are very welcome. As is a link if you stream it. The challenge was inspired by @Steven Mading https://www.twitch.tv/dunbaratu who streamed trying out the "Giving Aircraft a Purpose" mod pack by @inigma on twitch (which is a bit buggy at the moment due to ksp spawn calculation changes). The restrictions 1. No R&D, SPH/VAB, Runway/Launchpad facility upgrades! (=> 30part / 9ton mass limit, regardless whether you start from Runway or Launchpad) 2. Tweakscale is only allowed for wings/control surfaces/landing gear/adapters. 3. No mods except the ones specified below. Visual and similar mods are exempt from this rule. 4. No cheating. 5. Science/parts restrictions as shown here (thus no liquid fuel engines, reaction wheels, RCS, decouplers, etc.) Start node Early Aviation node Modular Wings node The mods 1. Install CKAN for a separate, clean KSP install. 2. Only select the "SETI-MetaModPack". Click "ApplyChanges". 3. Leave all recommendations selected. Click "Continue". 4. From the suggestions, only SETIprobeControlEnabler is allowed, though for this challenge it does not matter. Click "Continue" and wait for the the mods to be installed. 5. RCS Build Aid is among the recommendations, but is currently not available via ckan. You may (highly recommended) install that manually from here: https://github.com/linuxgurugamer/RCSBuildAid/releases 6. Visual mods are allowed at your own discretion. The ranking By altitude: 1. @Tux1 with ~78,006m above sea level. 2. @Yemo with ~18,295m above sea level. (Altimeter shows 18,232m above terrain) By mass, for those who reach space: 1. @Tux1 with 5,766kg, reaching an altitude of ~78,006m above sea level. I ll start with a simple submission (no pics no clicks!), though I have tested the challenge before and space (70km+) is possible, given the restrictions.
  17. The Grus III is a long-range SSTO capable of Mun landings, though according to my Delta V calculations it can easily go well beyond that. It can get into orbit very easily due to its high TWR while using its Rapier engines. Its (roughly) estimated Delta V in LKO is about 4,270 m/s. Specifications: Part Count: 97 Mass: 80.545t Height: 5.8m Width: 22.8m Length: 25.6m Here it is on The Mun. It can make the trip easily as it was designed for bigger missions. It is also equipped with four science experiments, located on the belly of the craft. Here it is in the SPH. Some (kinda) strange features are its extra pair of engines. While very helpful during the initial ascent, extra reaction wheels are needed in space to prevent the Grus III from flipping all over the place due to the weird Center of Thrust. (At least this isn't the case with the nukes, though. That would be bad.) The Grus III completed the Mun trip with quite a bit of fuel left over. I am currently taking it to Duna, and I plan on finding out just how far I can take it. (Gravity assists, here I come!) Download here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwpycuAS_53bcXdYMDl1MEhBV2s
  18. [1.22, 1.3.1] OPT_USI v1.3.0

    A single config mod. Converts select OPT parts for use with USI Life Support. Requested by a handful but I'm sure will be welcome by dozens. It's not being offered as a patch to be included in the OPT downloads as USI LS may change drastically, rendering this (as a bundled patch) quickly outdated. Download it from: GitHub sandbox SpaceDock Includes MiniAVC so everyone can be aware of updates. Comments and suggestions welcome. Does this need a license? If so, CC-BY-NC-SA. Feature list:
  19. To follow up on the famous K Prize, this challenge asks you to show off your master spaceplane design and flying skills. Build a spaceplane capable of reaching orbit, and returning safely using a single jet, and a single rocket engine. I have found this an interesting limitation that makes spaceplane design a lot harder. Mostly because the trust vectors are no longer trivially aligned with the CoM. Enjoy! Rules: The spaceplane must follow the rules as defined by the K Prize. In short: a horizontal take-off stock SSTO that can reach orbit(pe>70km) and land again in one piece. The provisions of the K Prize do apply to this challenge too. Use exactly 1 jet engine - defined as an engine that requires intake air and liquid fuel to run. Use exactly 1 rocket engine - defined as an engine that runs entirely on on-board fuel. An ion engine is also allowed. Rapier engines are allowed, but cannot switch mode during the flight and as such operate entirely as a jet, or entirely as a rocket engine. Merging/clipping/offsetting the two engines together into one is also not allowed (this is not much different from a mode switching rapier). Please remember to take pictures or a video as proof and for our enjoyment. Advanced Aviators: @Scarecrow - Rotate the engines, why not? @Martian Emigrant - The perfect case for a Thud @goduranus - Reverse trust in reverse @StanK - Me @Wanderfound - With spare seats @foobar - You can see through it @tsgaerospace - Pushed up into space @Rosvall - Rolling into space @michal.don - Pancake to accelerate! ...can proudly wear their badge: I have done a few times in past versions. To show it is still possible in 1.3 below is my own new entry: Album: http://imgur.com/a/dDIOT
  20. Hi, just suggest to add a new type of vessel when you rename it: A Spaceplane, for SSTO and so...
  21. I have this vessel and intend to improve it a bit, adding a bit of extra deltaV in orbit , a docking port, and some RCS. Higher tech may be used but I prefer to avoid (specially I'm not going for the simpler solution: RAPIER). The main question is if there is any hope to extract more juice from the spark+whiplash combo or should I just change to stronger rockets? If the later, how do you think a single Thud will fare? I feel that 2 Thud may be a bit to much for that small craft, but using 2 terrier means 2 stack of 1.25m. Thank in advance for any input.
  22. SSTO Design Tools

    Hello All, I recently learned that I'm heading back to school to do some postgraduate study and I need an excuse to revise and touch up my MATLAB skills. Simultaneously I have been grappling with the SSTO design problem and the fact that I cannot find any tools that will guide me in the design of an SSTO and payload. My thought is that while fluid dynamics was not my strong suit (I am a mechanical engineer) the simplified modelling of KSP should make this a reasonable endeavour with a bit of research. My a first step will be to produce an aircraft design tool that I will input a desired payload, ceiling and perhaps a few other parameters and the program will output required thrust, lift surface area and required coefficient of friction. In this way, the 'art' of aircraft design still exists because you have to design something within those parameter (x lift surface, y kN of thrust etc) so but at least the science gives you a starting point. Would be keen for thoughts, guidance, advice or be pointed at any existing tools. Good flying
  23. My spaceplane somehow has more drag acting on the nose during re-entry than on the delta wing and tail, causing it to be unstable and flip to retrograde no matter what I do. Why is the drag so mismatched? The center of lift is well behind the center of mass.
  24. SSTO issues

    I have been playing KSP for a while now, but I have never managed to make an SSTO. the most recent SSTO that I made, it was partially successful, but it would not climb beyond 14km. when I start leveling out to gain speed, I need to angle my craft at 20 Degree angle to get the prograde marker to 0. if I straighten out more, I will start falling. when I get my Prograde to 0 Degrees, I am still losing speed! I made a mod to the craft (2 ramjets that I can detach, to help with the accent) and I still have the issue! I have looked on youtube and the forums for help, but nothing has helped me so far... I tried downloading SSTOcraft files as well... Please help me! Craft file: https://mega.nz/#!igI0gaIa!aUSLBf1D8VNdZ16HzjNJro6oqfI7PQmG_jBhJiVk_Z4
  25. I have attempted many a spaceplane, but I have never managed to get one to orbit that uses jet engines. (For some reason, I can get ones to orbit that use only rockets, but... not jets.) I believe that it is my launch profile and ascent. What I currently do is I rise to about 10-12k, then accelerate nearly as fast as I can, avoiding blowing up to reentry. I then try to rise to a 5-15 degree angle, but I never manage to make an apoapsis above the atmosphere before the jets flame out. When they do flame out, my apoapsis is usually below 30km, and I am unable to get out of the atmosphere with whatever weak rockets I added. When I add heavier rockets, I either do not get enough speed using the jets, or I no longer have enough DV to circularize once out of the atmosphere. Adding more DV means more weight, which results in the first problem again. When I just eliminate the jets entirely, I can just make orbit with about 200 delta V spare, using the standard rocket gravity turn. What is a good ascent profile for SSTOs, and what other good tips are there for building them? EDIT: I should probably add that I haven't unlocked Rapiers yet in my Career save.