panzer1b

1.0.2 - Any hope left for SSTOs?

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Riddiculous. I explain why the l2p argument doesn't work and you retort with the same tired, judgmental reply style that I've gotten used to by now for some reason. As is evident from the screenshots in this thread, the planes are basically sausages with two feathers glued to the side. That's not my idea of creativity, it means that the only configuration that really is going to work is non-aesthetic, doesn't look aerodynamic at all *snip*

You're talking about a high speed, high altitude aircraft. Sausages with feathers are entirely aerodynamic in that flight regime and aesthetics are in the eye of the beholder.

Edit: And lack of mercy for aircraft enthusiasts? Good grief, a new aero model, completely reworked aircraft parts and new aircraft parts weren't enough? If anything, I'd say it's the non-aircraft enthusiasts that could do with a little bit of love. We got ISRU but I'm not seeing any fancy new space station parts or rover parts or improved EVA capabilities etc. etc. Which is fine but it makes that particular comment more than a bit laughable.

Edited by KSK

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So far the only SSTO spaceplanes I haven't gotten to orbit in the latest version are the ones that I cut the fuel budget absurdly low on. Trying to get 6 Kerbals into orbit with Mk2 spaceplane parts for under 1000 LF and equivalent oxidizer is almost entirely infeasible, but good fun as well. If nothing else, it teaches you a lot about the most effective angles of attack for your final burn up to orbit.

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Added 2 more rapiers to get the same performance out of this SSTO did in 1.0. Still carrying 4.5t payload, cabin, dock port and return trip fuel.. but is getting ridiculous.

15ywYCt.png

Edited by TokiTech
posted wrong pic

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Edit: And lack of mercy for aircraft enthusiasts? Good grief, a new aero model, completely reworked aircraft parts and new aircraft parts weren't enough? If anything, I'd say it's the non-aircraft enthusiasts that could do with a little bit of love. We got ISRU but I'm not seeing any fancy new space station parts or rover parts or improved EVA capabilities etc. etc. Which is fine but it makes that particular comment more than a bit laughable.

Well, to be fair (and keep in mind, I'm a rocket guy myself, so I'd love to see some more parts)... most of the new reworked aircraft parts are slap-on prebuilt things that you can't adjust, and if you don't like the shape then 'tough'. Completely different from what aero parts had been up until now. We went from legos to action figure accessories.

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Well, to be fair (and keep in mind, I'm a rocket guy myself, so I'd love to see some more parts)... most of the new reworked aircraft parts are slap-on prebuilt things that you can't adjust, and if you don't like the shape then 'tough'. Completely different from what aero parts had been up until now. We went from legos to action figure accessories.
Can't argue with that. While I'm certainly no fan of LEGO wings (in fact, I think they're utter junk) the new large wings are meant to be single pieces and are unsuitable for stacking together in pretty much any pleasing manner.

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Ha ha! KSP 1.0.2 could not defeat me! I just had to go a little more svelte.

I present, Crew Carrier 8, a reusable four-kerbal SSTO Rocket LKO transport ship. It launches on four RAPIERs in air-breathing mode:

9pM0dUY.jpg

I'm refining the boost trajectory, but I have been able to get it going almost 1200 m/s by 25,000 meters where the RAPIERs begin to wane as air-breathers, and I kick it over to closed-cycle mode.

sY7fZd7.jpg

I can get it into an 80 to 90 km orbit with enough fuel to spare for a rendezvous with my Space Station. The Crew Carrier has RCS and a shielded docking port on the nose. I still haven't got a version of KER that will give me the delta-V remaining on orbit yet. It has two round tanks of RCS fuel, so it could even deorbit using RCS if needed.

GWd89mg.jpg

The deorbit burn was one Big Crater's width West of Big Crater, with the periapsis targeted to 40 klicks. Four airbrakes are deployed prior to entry to help slow the ship...it could come in steeper, if needed.

ppBvQ3q.jpg

On this flight I dropped it in a ways southwest of the KSC. I had also made a mistake in the VAB adjusting the six parachutes, so this landing only had three chutes, off center. But there was plenty of fuel left to augment the landing. Note: If you accidentally come down in the water, it's important to have the SAS on and the ship pointed vertical...otherwise it will fall over and break off some of the nose pieces (but, happily, not the crew cabin anymore).

m2rJ1J6.jpg

And...it's down safe, ready to fly again. I prefer a Rocket SSTO to a Spaceplane SSTO for simple crew transport because it's much quicker to fly the Rocket SSTO's ascent profile.

p77VZuy.jpg

Edited by Brotoro

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Turbojets and LV-45s only. Carries a scanning satellite of your choice to LKO.

1.0.1-2 didn't kill anything, it just penalised having a lot of wing surface. So don't have a lot of wing surface :) Suspect FAR players might feel more at home, but I appreciate that for stock aero users the transition from "cover it in wings" will be a bit rough ^^;

CfnOB2u.jpg

Good piloting also makes a vast difference since 1.0, and the short version is "try to stay in the zone where you see white air disturbance around your plane" since this is where you're getting maximum thrust from your engines.

Turns out the key is to follow the Mach effects, without blowing up. Basically, the closer you are to Mach effect territory, the more air you will have for your engines and the higher their thrust will get (the effect is quite dramatic, actually). If you go too slow, they won't give you enough oomph, so pull down AoA again until you get mach effects and a decent acceleration, then go up basically as fast as you can. But, once you get close to the thermal barrier (about 1km/s at 20kms, less if lower) you have to pull up to go higher, faster and thus avoid burning up.

Now SST-Interplanetary... that's another matter and I don't know (yet). It's also a massive ask from technology, so I'm not entirely unhappy if the Kerbin-Laythe-Kerbin-no-refuelling days are over.

- - - Updated - - -

You're talking about a high speed, high altitude aircraft. Sausages with feathers are entirely aerodynamic in that flight regime and aesthetics are in the eye of the beholder.

I quite agree. FAR users will be very familiar with the shape that nuStock is pushing you towards, and even FAR had room for personal design touches. What we're seeing so far is the first wave where people figure out the physics. Give it a week or two and the SSTOs popping up should start looking a little more individual :)

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I just tried it and the first lump of parts i threw together made it to orbit in first try and landed at the ksc - so i guess there is still some hope left :)

You can maybe try to make a rocket SSTO first - its way easier and you get a feeling for the atmosphere.

One of the smallest things to go to orbit you can try:

XHHE4v1.jpg

Edited by Lorunification

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Strange. I find it easier to get heavy stuff or spaceplanes in general into LKO (150+ km) with the 1.0 or 1.02 aero. These two pictures are from a 30 minute build SSTO spaceplane with a full red tank + some space in orbit. It's 1.02, 1.0 was ridiculous, the jets and rapiers were op.

on9u76ai.jpg

q3z32zr9.jpg

Climb to 15k accelerate to 1000 m/s with a 5° angle and then fire the the main engine as soon as the plane loses speed at around 20k. So easy, sorry.

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As far as I can tell IRL humans haven't made any SSTOs. SSTOs are hard to make. :wink:

Just be like me and make plain aircrafts. Currently working on a jumbo jet; it seems the new update has blessed the MK3 parts. :P

"As far I can tell IRL Humans haven't made to Mars, Mars is hard to reach

Just be like me and go only to LKO, Currentrly working on a CTS capsule"

If you wanna play the "IRL card" play it on everything.

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Ion man, that plane is big. Im trying it with 8 rapiers and half the weight. With the same payload.

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Glad that SSTOs are much more difficult. Having jet engines get to orbital velocity with only a tiny puff of RCS needed to circularise was ridiculous. As was airhogging.

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Day 1 : We've spent multiple weeks fine tuning the new aerodynamics

Day 2 : JEB SMASH!

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I've not been trying to go SSTO. I've been cutting my teeth with 3STO and 2STO spaceplanes, learning the new aero while planning my proper SSTO. Why? Because then I'm not throwing plane after plane in the air and wondering why I can't make the most difficult method of space travel work.

This is the same method I used in the soup-o-sphere when first learning KSP, it's the same methods I used in my early dealings with FAR. Get the basic hang of the aerodynamics before trying the super hard stuff.

Plus, I've found a new love for the RAPIER engines. Used to hate 'em because a proper Turbo-Nuke SSTO was so much more efficient, but with the changes to the Nukes and the properly balanced jet engines, Turbo-Nuke is not the viable option. Turbo-RAPIER is what I've been using, and dumping the excess weight (the turbojets and 50% of the wing surface, only needed in lower atmosphere flight, along with ditching my landing gear, because I'll land under parachutes) and finding that, with a little refinement, I could have a viable Turbo-RAPIER SSTO. Sure, it'll get you only to LKO, but that's more than enough to send crew to a nearby station, carry up a can or two of spare fuel, drain whatever's left from the SSTO onto the refueling station, and use RCS to deorbit the whole mess and send the probe-piloted thing back home.

After all, that is what I used to do, just with different engines.

My suggestion: Try to make a non-SSTO spaceplane first, then once you've figured out what the atmosphere is like, figured your ascent profile, and figured out your required Delta-V, then make your SSTO. Making SSTO attempts and then flinging them at an unknown atmosphere is like leaping off of a diving board without making sure the pool you're diving into even has water in it. After all, I'm fairly sure in the early days of KSP, people didn't magically know "Oh, yeah, this combination of parts will make an SSTO." No, they probably had days, weeks, or months of trial and error to figure out how to put the perfect combination of parts together to make even the cheaty air-hoggers. With no Infiniglide and no Airhog, a revised and improved aerodynamic model, and more realistic jet engines, we're having to learn SSTO from scratch. And that's, in my mind, a perfectly good thing. We're not just following the old formulas of "3 jet engines, 2 nukes, cover the ship in air intakes and wrap it in a shell made of wing pieces, fly to 58,000 meters, shut the outer jets down, ride the throttle until 70km causes the jets to die, fire rockets, and you're in orbit." We're having to write the new formula, find out the new ascent path that works best, find out where the jets are no longer useful, where we need to fire off a rocket, and picking the right rocket for the job. We're finding out what the new aerodynamics and the new atmospheric heating is capable of. We're finding out what the changes are, and we will eventually, as a community, figure out how to SSTO.

It just needs some time.

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The plane I got into 100k orbit in 1.0.0 with 800 m/s remaining, with a new flight profile and a bit of oxidiser level tweaking now gets there with 550m/s left.

Now hopefully this won't happen all over again for 1.0.3

KSP_102_PhoenixMk3.png

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Ion man, that plane is big. Im trying it with 8 rapiers and half the weight. With the same payload.

By no means refined, just slapped it together. Had a very similar stock design in 0.9 and it was way harder to get to LKO, that's what I meant.

I understand the OP, but the game got more realistic and we don't have infiniglide and ridiculous engines anymore.

You can always edit your engines in the files and make them stronger if you want, though. Give ti more thrust or less fuel consumption etc...

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I like the 1.0.2.

In 1.0.0 atmosphere was too thin, rockets were flipping over only till 12000 meters, above 12000 you coud do anything, the same as in 0.90. Yes, dv to LKO is 100 m/s higher.. I had to add a small fuel tank on tank on top of some of my lifters, that's all.

As for airplanes, IMO they behave better. Take off and landing speed is lower, which means it's easier to land in rough terrain, the maximum ceiling is bigger. I think it's change for the better.

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Well as the title says, it appears that SSTOs are now completely dead. Im not saying it is impossible to actually SSTO, heck i have a working craft right now, but it feels that 1.0 has truly killed any viability in SSTOs, with the new drag increases. I know that its most likely more realistic, but common, i think even FAR is easier to work with now.

Now im not questioning whether its realistic or not, thats a discussion for another thread, but is it actually more fun this way? SSTOs were already exponentially harder to make once 1.0 hit, and now it just doesnt feel enjoyable anymore to try to engineer something that just lags, flies liek a pig, and barely manages to bring any useful payload when i can make a basic rocket in 3 minutes and have whatever payload i wanted to get in jool orbit much faster then before. Now to get to anywhere you need insane part counts and weight, and things like laythe roundtrips are as good as dead, despite managing to pull it off under 1.0's drag.

Im still going to enjoy this game, but it seems that SSTOs have been excessively hard hit by the recent updates, to the point of loosing almost all practicality over rockets. Or at least thats my experience.

Finally, does anyone think its even remotely possible (without using exploits and bugs) to get to laythe and back without any refueling or IRSU useage? I used to make many SSTOs with an excess of 5K dV, now it seems that there is no way to make a long range SSTO, as small sized craft dont have the fuel to burn to orbit, and larger craft arent really my thing. Is it even possible to get a SSTO thats under 10t to the mun and back, as thats what im trying to pull off, but it doesnt look very promising?

I am not normally a stock player but I can say that even in 1.01 and 1.0.2 I can still build a SSTO space plane. It took me two tries to figure out the difference from .90 to 1.0 but no more than 15min of trials and I had one working. I imagine a rocket tail sitter SSTO would be easier than a space plane design but hey that is probably true in real life.

As others have said, just have to fly differently, now you cant get away with intake spam to get you to space with the uber-efficient jet engines that were so far from reality it wasn't even cartoonishly funny. Now the jets are less efficient, they are far more altitude dependent and they can no longer launch you into space on intake spam and jets alone.

So try different things I know I did and was surprised at how well they still worked, and I am a dedicated FAR user, for me to say that it was fun to try the NuStock aero says something.

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At first I struggled with a 1.0.X rebuild of my favourite 0.90 SSTO plane (NEAR). But now I've got it down to a fine art again. My plane does no longer have the ability to reach Mun or Minmus orbit but at 100km it does still have roughly 500 to 600 m/s left in the tanks. More than enough to do complex orbital manoeuvres.

No, SSTO's are not dead. You just need to approach them from a different angle and get rid of some old habits. You can't linger in high atmo any longer to gain speed. You'll need to gain speed at lower altitude and punch through the higher layers with brute force.

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Guys, I agree, spaceplanes are not viable anymore. I mean, look at that thing, it's huge and bulky, with a partcount above 300!

HNQk1vG.jpg

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I like 1.0.2. This one made it to orbit after a couple hours of fiddling with design and ascent profile. In earlier versions I'd only ever gotten a couple SSTOs to work.

K1C0I3i.png

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Just as I got used to the new aerodynamics added by 1.0, they change the atmospheric drag multiplier from 0.6 to 0.8! Ah well... back to the drawing board.

Despite this though, I have built an SSTO capable of landing on Minmus and returning (but I wont be happy with it until it can manage the Mun!) but my main problem with the new aerodynamics is that all that seems to matter is velocity; just strap a few rapiers on any standard plane and it will get into orbit just fine, from my experience. In 0.90, the aerodynamics rewarded giant 500+ ships that looked truly unique since the body was constructed out of wing parts giving the craft a lego-like level of customisation. Now, a large wing made up of smaller wings has a different drag model to what would be expected so the only feasible way to make SSTOs is to create generic looking ones out of only a handful of parts.

It is also disappointing to see that control surfaces phased into fuel tanks still generate lift (even if it is rather handy!) :P

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Has anyone noticed that space planes fly _way_ better of you give it a bit of warp. Suddenly air intakes work a whole lot better. This is an old bug that still hasn't been fixed. Does it make me bad person if I exploit this bug?

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102_spaceplane.jpg

This was a triumph. I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.

Still need to refine the ascent profile a bit, but it did get into orbit! Just barely, granted, but that's better than not at all.

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