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Green Thunder {Elcano Challenge}

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Ladies and gentlemen... Allow me to introduce

GREEN THUNDER

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Green Thunder is the baddest of the bad...

The ground-shaker, the record-breaker...

The roughest rider this side of Kerbin.

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So this is my mission report for a mission I am attempting: A circumnavigation of Kerbin, following the Elcano Challenge. This craft, my long-hauling electric-powered truck, is mostly stock but I have modified the wheels to give it better steering control and make them tougher. Nothing can pop these tires!

This is going to be mainly a sightseeing mission, and I shall be visiting almost all land anomalies on Kerbin. I plan on traveling to KSC2 and the desert pyramid before coming up and using the northern ice cap to head around the planet and make it back to the Space Center, where I am starting this challenge.

I have four Kerbals to make this journey, and will only stop if I run out of battery power. At that point, I will put on the parking brakes and unfold the craft's solar panels, and plant a flag to track my progress. I expect to be able to go for quite a few klicks on each charge, its all speculation.

I've been designing and refining this craft for roughly a week, making it look good and ride smoothly. It has a high ground clearance and tight turning radius compared to the standard ruggedized wheels. It is front-steering only, though depending on the circumstances I can still turn on he rear steering for whatever reason. It's got mostly aesthetic parts, but I've angled the lights such that it provides a very nice view at night. Green Thunder is incredibly tough, able to withstand a smack straight into the VAB at 21 m/s with nothing more than a screwed up cabin. Two Kerbals sit in command seats in the cabin, and are completely protected from crashes and rolls by the metal truck, which tops out at almost 30 tons. It's no sedan, that's for dang sure!

ENTRY 0

May 10, 2015

So before the ride even started, something hilarious happened.

I was setting up the flag for the start of the challenge, as per the rules, and decided to take one last group photo before beginning the journey. I planted the flag and got everything set up, Green Thunder parked under the little awning thing in front of the Astronaut Complex. Something must've happened though, because the truck suddenly flipped out and exploded, smashing into the Complex and making it explode as well...

As I was taking the photo...

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Entries (ATTEMPT 1)

Entry 1

Entry 2

Entry 3

Entry 4

Entries (ATTEMPT 2)

Entry 1

Entry 2

Edited by Maximus97

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Ominous... :D

Good luck, you'll need it! At least at that speed you shouldn't have to worry about hills so much.

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Yup yup! Especially when I've modded my wheels to make them practically indestructible to anything I can subject them to. My only modded part of the thing, because ground rovers are known for their unreliable tendencies :cool:

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Yup yup! Especially when I've modded my wheels to make them practically indestructible to anything I can subject them to. My only modded part of the thing, because ground rovers are known for their unreliable tendencies :cool:

Yes, but the new medium gear are very stronk...

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Entry 1

May 12, 2015

We're off and running! Well, sort of, anyway.

The beginning was perfectly fine. I've discovered that the amount of batteries I have on the truck allow me to ride for about fifteen minutes before needing a charge. I've decided that this is a great tool to keep track of when to plant flags to track my progress, and I've made it all the way to my first milestone, which was conveniently right next to another vehicle that I'd been driving previously. Bill and Bob were in there!

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After that, though, things began going real wrong real fast.

So the only way my batteries can be recharged is via two unfoldable solar panels on the back. Should be no problem, right? Well, it turns out they're a severe problem when you forget to unfold them before starting to roll again. Oh, and by the time my batteries recharged it was night time.

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(Notice the broken-ness of the panels...)

So yup. That vehicle was dead in the water. The only solution was Green Thunder II, which I began rolling out immediately in the dead of night, testing out my high-power headlights setting and getting some nice night skies. Also, I discovered that there must be some sort of bug with the terrain, because sometimes the beam from the headlights would disappear from the ground and reappear when the terrain flattened out or something. Not game-breaking, but something I noticed.

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HOWEVER...

After I had got the crew all moved over to the second truck, something strange happened. I warped to the next morning to get my batteries to charge, and when they were done I pressed the action group I'd set to retract the panels. But. Um. They wouldn't retract. So they stayed out... I tried manually doing it, sending a Kerbal out to try and do it from there... Nothing. So the vehicle would work, but the slightest bump would destroy the panels anyway.

And then I hit a pretty big bump.

I had the brakes on, raging and trying to get the panels down when I accelerated forward and promptly snapped one of my wheels off. The explosion was cool, as always, but resulted in

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That.

So that's where I left off on the first leg of the journey! Stay tuned for more, and lemme tell you, I think I have a fantastic plan for getting replacement trucks to milestones! :sticktongue:

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And this is why I use the stronk gear. :D

Also, what's your top speed? I've been pulling 210 m/s on land, 130 m/s on sea. (Air travel isn't allowed, but I can do 160 m/s there too.)

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Woah, that's some killer speed. I don't go that fast, I'm pulling an average of about 22 m/s on those wheels. They're my only propulsion, after all!

I'd mod them further and increase their power but the challenge creator is already bending it a bit for my tough wheels, so this is where I'm sticking. I'll guarantee you'll finish first, but I'm having fun!

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Yeah, it is super stressful at that speed, yet I trust it to more or less behave itself.

This is not safe. At all.

I've only obliterated one intake so far. Plus a revert when the ocean ate my engines and contol surfaces...

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Eesh. Water scares me- I'm just going with an overland route so I can see the easter eggs :3

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By the way - you have to use the shielded solar panels if you want them to be retractable. Just so you know.

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By the way - you have to use the shielded solar panels if you want them to be retractable. Just so you know.

I was wondering if that was the case... Hmm, I thought you could retract them. Possible change in 1.0? I coulda swore those ones were retractable too...

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I was wondering if that was the case... Hmm, I thought you could retract them. Possible change in 1.0? I coulda swore those ones were retractable too...

Confirmed change. There is now a reason to use the shielded ones. :)

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Well drat. At least I've invented a good method for delivering replacement vehicles! Now maybe when I have a few less rehearsals I can actually do the challenge...

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A friendly horn blast & greeting to you comrade circumnavigator..

I must say your truck looks great and its clear its been close to your heart by the detailed construction and care.. its amazing to see the different kinds of vehicles constructed for this challenge :)

that light bug of which you speak..its one ive encountered driving trains quite alot..directing a set of lights lower down does helo slightly but not entirely..although the B9 series spotlights seem less prone to it..from experience its something to do with land tiles meeting and sloped land slightly also..sometimes toggling lights help. but ultimately its what made me adopt a daytime only trip with layovers at night

navigation aviation lights also never seem to do it although a bit dim for headlights

best of luck..i greatly look forward to your adventures :)

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Thanks a million, Overland! It's not that big of a deal, my headlights do cast their light properly a good 80% of the time, which is certainly good enough for the little amount of nighttime traveling I'm doing. After all, my batteries recharge with solar panels, so once I run out of charge in the night that's all I've got.

I'll look forward to seeing your progress as well!

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Entry 2

May 18, 2015

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the solution to the replacement truck problem...

GREEN LIGHTNING

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It's a special little modification I made, building a plane directly around Green Thunder. Ingenious, eh?! It's like stuffing a truck inside of a plane!

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So here's how it works. Green Lightning will take off from the runway, the Green Thunder truck stuffed in the middle. I will admit it needs some tweaking, being very slow to take off, and indeed very slow at flying. Initial runs only brought it up to about 100 m/s of a cruising altitude.

Once the plane flies the payload to the destination, the last truck, wherever it is that it's broken down, it will deploy its parachutes and cut the engines. it will then nosedive towards the landing site, and at about 400m above the terrain the parachutes deploy and the landing gear extends, and the plane lands (rather roughly, actually). The landing can be quite explosive, but luckily the truck payload has survived 100% of testing, even when parachutes are cut and the plane explodes from the impact of the ground. The truck can survive even if the plane disintegrates!

Fortunately, though, it usually lands much more softly. In that case, the plane's brakes are activated and then the plane is staged. It is coupled to the truck at the front and rear of the payload, and therefore splits into three pieces: The front section, the truck, and the rear section, the first and third pieces being rendered useless. The payload is strong enough to push the sections apart and free itself from the landing sections to get the crew all transferred and beginning the next leg of the journey.

So then! Then came the long-awaited second leg of the journey!

However, almost immediately there was another incident. One of my Kerbals (forgot their name, unfortunately!) was jumping up on the newly-arrived truck, only to promptly break half of the retractable solar panels I had on. *sigh*

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The other side would still work, though, so there was that.

The rest of the journey of the next leg went quite smoothly indeed! There was some pretty scenery coming about from the mountains I was driving into.

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After that, I decided to save time by climbing up the foothills to then descend into the valley. Seemingly a simple enough strategy, and one that would've worked fine had I not encountered my old nemesis... A rover glitch on some spots on Kerbin that causes a loss of traction. As I was going downhill, the truck suddenly began to skid, turning to the right as I tried to correct to no avail. When the glitch subsided and traction was regained, one wheel promptly snapped and sent the vehicle rolling over one time. Much to my relief, the hitchhiker pod was unharmed and the Kerbals in the cabin survived untouched as per designed.

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So thus ended the second leg of my journey! It seemed like a good stopping place, and is where I will resume the journey in a few days when things settle down. Thanks for reading thus far!

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Oh dear, this is making out to be quite the journey already... I'm having so much fun and I've just started!

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*blushes* Aw shucks, Fengist...

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oh.. shes... beautiful ;.;

I really like the delivery method and "landing" proving that the cargo is more important than the plane.. pure kerbal dedication.. I love seeing things like this.. in a world of hyperedit and suchlike.. we still have good people going about things the hard way. and loving every minute of it.. :D

Kind of reminds me of mator in flight gear too :)

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