Vectura

Around-Kerbin Airliner Challenge

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The Around-Kerbin Airliner Challenge

Actually, challenge has been closed again, due to a large number of rule changes that are happening. Feel free to start building, but do not do you attempts yet!

Due to recent developments in the aerospace industry, and discoveries from research into the intricacies of our atmosphere, many kerbals now want to see the world. Such a large number, in fact, that we have decided to start a new company solely for the purpose of ferrying kerbals around the globe. We need pilots, and you have been selected to take our pilot our first flight! By the way, we haven't actually got any planes yet, so you'll have to supply one yourself!

Rules:

  • No mods that change the functionality of the game in any way (NO MECHJEB!)
  • No part mods either
  • Custom flags allowed
  • You must take off from the runway flying east, and land on it from the west
  • Must be a conventional horizontal landing- no VTOL shenanigans!
  • Parachutes can be used to slow the vehicle down for landing, but not so that it can simply float down (see above rule)
  • You cannot fly more than 10 degrees of either side of the equator
  • Cannot fly at more than 25km in height (the vehicle is pressurised, but it isn't meant for space!)
  • Drop tanks ARE allowed
  • You must carry at least 8 non-crew kerbals- anyone in the cockpit DOES NOT COUNT
  • Disqualification if you irrecoverably crash
  • The max re-entry heat setting (I think it is 120%?)
  • Video proof or lots of screenshots
  • Use the in-game flight timer, as this takes into consideration slowdowns due to stuff like high part count (I think. At least, it's what the engineers told us!)
  • Whoever has the highest number of points wins the challenge!

Scoring:

  • Start at 150 points
  • +5 points for each EXTRA kerbal on board- this is NOT the crew, and NOT the 8 you have to take
  • -1 point for every minute spent in flight- they might want to travel around the world, but they don't like long flights!
  • -20 points for every parts destroyed/knocked off at any point in the journey
  • -100 points for each kerbal death- this includes the death of ANY kerbal, including crew

Results:

1st Place:

2nd Place:

3rd Place:

Notes:

In you post, please put the link to the video/screenshot gallery (must include the F3 log for a record of broken parts and deaths), then a summary of the number of points you got, for example:

[video/screenshot gallery here]

+20 for 4 extra kerbals

-90 points for 1h 30m flight

-20 points for 1 light burning up

Final score: 60

Edited by Vectura

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Are you allowed to use drop tanks to shed weight on the way round or does it have to be single stage with no parts dropped?

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Seems like the easiest way to do this would be to orbit. Remember, it would be quite possible to, say, launch a rocket with a MK3 passenger compartment vertically from the runway, turn east, orbit once and come screaming down to the runway behind a heatshield or three and loads of parachutes. As far as I can tell from your rules this would be a perfectly valid entry. Are you requiring that the ship stay in atmosphere, or even be a 'plane'?

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You are always free to just not comment on challenge threads that you don't like. I strongly suggest you start doing so, please leave other people to have their fun.

Steady on. They were only after some rule clarification

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You are always free to just not comment on challenge threads that you don't like. I strongly suggest you start doing so, please leave other people to have their fun.

That was uncalled for. What makes you think I don't like this challenge? Tell me if I'm wrong, but I do think I raise two very valid questions:

--Must the ship be a 'plane'? (and what's a plane? I would say a ship that relies on wing surfaces to get lift, but even that is a subjective definition)

--May the ship leave the atmosphere?

The answers to these questions would strongly influence the design of my entry.

Defining and running a challenge is harder than a lot of people realize. I should know, I've run a few myself. One of the most important things to do is to express the rules clearly, so that people DO have fun with the challenge and don't just submit grief entries.

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Nope, he clearly has a problem with the rules therefore he clearly doesn't like the challenge and he should not be allowed to post anything about it. The admin taught me that.

The only thing that might contradict the challenge is that it's called "airline challenge", but from the rules, his approach is valid. It's up the challenger to state more or less waterproof rules for his intented way the challenge needs to be done.

Spaceplane-SSTOs might be a bit less stretched out interpretation for this.

Some points that need clarification:

- Should the craft the plane-like? (and even then it's possible to have that much engines that it's basically a horizontal flown rocket with some wings as decoration that do nothing)

- Can the Apoapsis escape the atmosphere (suborbital hops?)

- Should the Periapsis stay below the ground, below 70km or are fully orbital flights possible?

- Can the plane contain rocket engines? What about RAPIERs? Can they be used in airbreathing mode only?

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Looking at some other posts, I think Serassa isn't really objecting to my question, the problem is that he's raised questions on other challenge threads and feels he's been treated unfairly for it. This isn't the place to try and sort all that out. I propose that we end this discussion/thread hijack now, let the OP respond to questions (if he hasn't been scared off entirely) and start building ships for the challenge.

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Nope, he clearly has a problem with the rules therefore he clearly doesn't like the challenge and he should not be allowed to post anything about it. The admin taught me that.

If you don't see a difference between asking for a clarification of the rules and just dumping on a challenge with cheating entries or complaints that it's CPU-limited then I don't know what to tell you. Other than your posts are not contributing to the Challenge subforum in any useful way, and are brushing up against our rules against trolling and backseat moderation. You're on thin ice here, please keep it constructive or refrain from posting.

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Ah, I evidently didn't think of everything :P I will amend the first post. No flying above 15km. No VTOL landing, must be horizontal (this rule to promote plane-like designs without simply saying no rocket designs).

Edited by Vectura

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Ah, I evidently didn't think of everything :P I will amend the first post. No flying above 25km.

Ah, very good add--that should do it. I like that you made an "in-world" justification for it--there are no O2 masks in the stock Mk3 passenger cabin!

With V1.0.2 aerodynamics and thermals, we are going to have to walk a fine line between speed and explodyness. I'd suggest all entries post a screenshot of the F3 window after landing, that should give details of every part that burned off as well as (IIRC) the elapsed time and max altitude reached.

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Ah yes- I'll add the F3 menu to the required-things-in-post list!

Edit: I reduced it to 15 km. Is that too low?

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Edit: I reduced it to 15 km. Is that too low?

Hard to say without having tried it yet, there may be different and interesting effects at various altitudes so I might suggest leaving it high. If you've tried it and see exploits above 15km that you don't want in the challenge, then by all means lower the ceiling.

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I would say 15km is too low, the fastest air-breathing planes earn their keep at higher altitudes than that. I would suggest 30km, that will rule out suborbital hops while letting faster air-breathers stretch their legs.

Your call, of course.

Edit to add: You might want to specify a reentry heat setting, too, as that will be very relevant for fast planes.

Edited by Red Iron Crown

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Nothing like starting with the obvious... just a test flight, no passengers aboard.

TEBwwvL.png

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Are mods like mechjeb or pilot assistance allowed? I dunno if an autopilot is a "change in game mechanic".

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I don't think there's much to this challenge except to stack as many Mk-3 Crew Compartments as you can on a craft, or is there?

At least 1600 points here if flown all the way.

7M0YGQM.png

Edited by goduranus

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Hum. Maybe I could increase the time penalty?

Edit: changed the max height back to 25km. Octa, I would regard things like Mechjeb as changing game mechanics (I will rephrase it slightly)

Edited by Vectura

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It's very tough to balance a point system a priori. I mean, how many more minutes of flight time should it take to carry sixteen more kerbals, all things being equal? Oh, and by the way all things are NOT equal!

I'd say let the points fall where they may, you're not going to create a perfectly balanced system anyway. You might consider awarding titles or having leaderboards for "smallest", "cheapest", "fastest", etc. to encourage a variety of entries.

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Can we please keep this thread on topic guys?

For all the new guys and girls joining the forums (and some old ones): It is frowned upon in the "Challenges" section to complain about how difficult is to complete a challenge because of hardware limitations. Why? because more often than not the challenges are designed to push the very limits of the game, bordering the unplayable in some cases. If you can't complete a challenge because your computer can't handle it, then don't do it, search for a challenge more fit for you... or even better, try your hand at creating your own challenge!

What's not frowned upon is to ask for more details if the OP is not clear enough, for example: altitude limits, speed limits, how many parts can I use, mods allowed, how much time to complete, etc.

Remember, you are joining a community that has been playing this game for a long time, we challenge ourselves just to see what we can achieve beyond the normal scope of the game. These challenges are just for fun, we are here just to have a good time trying to break the game or our computers, whatever comes first.

Just have fun, try to be civil and don't forget to be kind.

Edited by Wooks

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A thew things considering this entry:

- mechjeb was used for the surface info panel only, otherwise, no mods were utilized

- i used pilot assistance for a stead flight at about 18km - 21km height at 800-1000m/s (i was afraid of overheating stuff, so i changed height or speed settings once in a while)

This took 1 hour realtime, i used the autopilot to keep more or less stable settings while doing other stuff, don't expect me to control the flight the whole time

Plane before takeoff

qfPrLCTm.png

Liftoff, ascending to cruising alitude

EE6mDmQm.png

Somewhere during flight

cuwuUX7m.png

Quite a relief to see KSC again:

UioFUowm.png

Touchdown! (i took complete controls once it got over the mountains)

Oyr59fNm.png

final stats:

gsHqzrjm.png

my calculations:

150 Points to start with

extra kerbals (4 mk3 pods):

(4*16-8) * 4 = 224 (374 points)

duration penalty

1:12:05 MET = 73 minutes

374 - 74 = 301

no parts left behind

no kerbals left behind

301 total

decide yourself whether to accept this entry or not :D

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can it simply have the space for the kerbals than actually filling the seats? My craft has hundreds of seats available and it'd be too much of a chore.

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That was uncalled for. What makes you think I don't like this challenge? Tell me if I'm wrong, but I do think I raise two very valid questions:

--Must the ship be a 'plane'? (and what's a plane? I would say a ship that relies on wing surfaces to get lift, but even that is a subjective definition)

--May the ship leave the atmosphere?

The answers to these questions would strongly influence the design of my entry.

Defining and running a challenge is harder than a lot of people realize. I should know, I've run a few myself. One of the most important things to do is to express the rules clearly, so that people DO have fun with the challenge and don't just submit grief entries.

And copied from what red iron crown said in another thread.

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Sorry Octa, but I would say that mechjeb autopilot is not a stock game mechanic. The whole point of it is how fast can you pilot a large plane thing around the world with as many kerbals as possible, not what settings can you put in a box.

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