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  1. Alternis Kerbol Travelling Circus EPISODE 1: Vjezd gladiátorů (aka Einzug der Gladiatoren / Entry of the Gladiators) (also, and in this case appropriately, know as "Thunder and Blazes") Be sure to click on the title above. It's a link to the very appropriate music for this episode and the Travelling Circus in general, as played on that wonder of Victorian computerized automation, the band organ. Which in this example bears a striking (and again, appropriate) likeness to the fearsome ancient Mesoamerican storm god Tlaloc, as shown on this mural from Teotihuacan: Episode 1 in spoiler below the Table of Contents. Episodes 2-10 Episodes 11-20 Chapters 21 - 30: Episode 31: I'm Ready Episode 32: Grindhouse Episode 33: I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink Episode 34: Over the Hills and Far Away EPISODE 1 TEXT IN SPOILER BELOW:
  2. 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)
  3. Are these Detroit Diesels? Stock V4 and V8 two-stroke with overhead camshafts V4 specs: Cylinder bank angle: 90°. Piston drivers: 4x Panther in dry mode. Stroke: 90cm. Bore: We don't have compression so it doesn't matter. Conrods: fork/blade type, this way the cylinder banks are evenly placed. Main crankshaft bearings: 3x6 RCS balls. Crank bearings: 4x20 RCS balls. Max engine speed: 12.5 rad/s (120 rpm). Economy cruise: throttle at 50%. Top speed: ~12 m/s. Propeller: 7 blades, fully adjustable. Total part count with intake/exhaust stacks: 452. Part count with the intake/exhaust stacks removed: 374. V8 specs: Cylinder bank angle: 90°. Piston drivers: 8x Panther in dry mode. Stroke: 90cm. Bore: We don't have compression so it doesn't matter. Crankshaft: Standard crossplane. Camshafts: 2. Conrods: fork/blade type, this way the cylinder banks are evenly placed. Main crankshaft bearings: 5x6 RCS balls. Crank bearings: 8x20 RCS balls. Max engine speed: 10 rad/s (95 rpm). Economy cruise: throttle at 50%. Top speed: ~18 m/s. Propeller: 9 blades, fully adjustable. Part count: 568. Output: 775kW @ 95 rpm. The Goliath is just the air intake, it receives no fuel. Instructions: Consider the removal of the intake/exhaust stacks (V4). Sure, they look nice but are as useful as Rick's butter passing robot. Top speed will increase. Also FPS. Also, the three Stack Tri-Adapters on the rear of the engine are just as useful. I think they look cool. You won't need them. Starting: just press stage. It will start turning. Lower throttle to 40% to be on the safe side. Change focus (left, once) and select a propeller blade. Pin it to the screen. Return focus to main. Now change the control authority towards 0. The boat starts to drive on the runway. Go wherever you like. Just remember, it can't climb hills. Increase throttle gradually while changing the propeller pitch towards higher values. Throttle at 75% is good, above it weird stuff might happen. If you overrev it, it will fail. I recommend to install V.O.I.D. to have a proper readout of the engine speed, in rad/s. Parking it: cut throttle. Set parking brake, adjust the braking power slider on the rover wheel to 200. When the boat is 100% dead in the water, you can save the game or leave. While these machines are no real diesels, I use the mod Rover Wheel Sounds with my own sample to relax. Yes, I've recorded a Detroit Diesel :-P You can download it in the link below, it’s the complete original mod but with added sounds and a changed configuration file. License is included. Just install manually like you would any other mod. Download V4 from KerbalX. Download V8 from KerbalX.
  4. A short while back someone posted up a thread asking if anyone could recommend a short Youtube video that concisely showed what KSP was all about that he could show his friend with a view to getting said friend interested in playing KSP. I was really impressed by some of the videos that people recommended, and it inspired me to having a go at making something similar myself. I have no illusions that my effort is anywhere near as good as the videos suggested in the other thread, but for a first attempt at making a semi-cinematic style video rather than just pure gameplay footage, I'm rather pleased with the end result. I'd be interested to hear what anyone else thinks, and to receive constructive feedback so that I may improve for future efforts.