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The K Prize - 100% reusable spaceplane to orbit and back

2567 posts in this topic

Very bad luck there khyron42 and baneblade. I disallowed my own minimalist attempt when landings proved unexpectedly destructive, so much as I would like to add you to the guest list I am afraid there is a quibble regarding rule #1 that the craft does not lose parts before the flight ends (point at which you can go to the space center or quicksave) which includes bits dropping off by accident and or the complete disintegration of the entire craft... ! (lol) Sorry :D

Well done Parabellum, you made it! Interesting designs all around btw.

Oggula if you wanted to enter your flight and give us a few interesting screenies to show it satisfied the objectives you would not only win your place on the guest list but would deserve to share a joint minimalist record holder title with mager42 imho since your piloting and his design would then both be proven worthy... if you can land it... ^.^

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How do you people make such efficient designs? T_T

I guess I just focus on ridiculous visual design too much. :P

My creation, the Albatruss.

I\'ve no idea why the pilots are so excited.

screenshot30.jpg

Barely makes it past the required orbit parameters:

screenshot32.jpg

Flies kinda like a brick, even when empty:

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But turns fine, even if spare fuel is virtually nonexistent (in this case, made planetfall too early and couldn\'t reach KSP, which is on the next peninsula)

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After reinforcing the rear landing gear (by tripling the amount), it is finally capable of landing whole. I hit a lagspike right on the ground, and had to use braking chutes to prevent catastrophic failure due to physics bugs, but managed to land intact.

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It works, but barely. Maybe it\'s because I fly manual and with just a keyboard...

There\'s a load of stages, but they are mostly for emergencies. Counting backward, the first fires the five turbojet engines which bring the machine to roughly 15km. The second fires the two aerospikes under the wings, and one vectoring LFE on the back for steerage. If everything goes well, there is no need for the other stages. The third stage deploys two braking chutes mounted on the back of the LFE\'s side tanks. The fourth stage jettisons all rocket boosters and side tanks for them, in case an emergency landing under turbojet power is needed. The fifth stage decouples the cabin and the nosecone from the rest of the craft. The nosecone is equipped with RCS thrusters and RCS tanks that allow a crew stranded in space a chance at returning. The sixth decouples the nosecone from the cabin, and the last deploys the landing chutes for the cabin.

Also, I wonder why is there no 'payload delivery' award? To Kerbin orbit, satellite orbit, or satellite surface. I\'m trying to rig Albatruss MkII to carry a 3.3U payload into orbit. Payload must obviously not be used in any way during delivery, pure dead weight.

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It\'s back.

sawfish.jpg

Meet the XB-66 Sawfish. I also considered the Bloody Huge Flying Hedge-Trimmer, but statistical modeling ultimately proved that appellation to be approximately 16.67% +/- 1.3% less cool.

...Yeah, whatever. Well, okay then--what are we waiting for? It\'s time to take this thing for a spin around the block. Spool up the jet engines...

takeoff1.jpg

Fire up the first rocket engines...

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It won\'t pull up until you hit 100 m/s. Coincidentally, this occurs right as you reach the end of the runway.

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Kick in the remaining engines...

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...and slowly pull back to 90 degrees.

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Welcome to orbit!

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100 km, in case you\'re wondering.

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'We have a firing solution, the ship is locked on, and the entire Arsenal of Friendship is armed and ready. Your command?'

'Let Tampa live another day, Lieutenant.'

orbit3.jpg

Well, that about wraps it up. Time to land.

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Oh, you meant *on Kerbin*. Sorry.

Let\'s head back.

mun2.jpg

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Okay, now it\'s time to go home.

Oops--could we make one more stop?

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Thanks ever so much.

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I just need to land here real quick. Won\'t be but a moment.

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See? All done.

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We\'ll be off again in a second, I just need to turn to bearing 090 for takeoff. That hill shouldn\'t get in the way, should it?

minmus10.jpg

Oh, plenty of room.

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No problem at all!

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One maneuver later...

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And we leave this strange place behind.

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Let\'s go home!

Wait, as long as we\'re way out here...

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Let\'s see just how high we *can* orbit Kerbin.

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Great! Now a quick jaunt into interplanetary space...

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On second thought, that\'s not such a great idea.

escape4.jpg

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Even after reloading a save *before* entering interplanetary space, some glitches persisted and the frame rate slowed significantly.

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Okay, NOW it\'s time for home. We\'re down to only 10 tanks of fuel, and we don\'t want to do anything risky this trip...

(and besides, Jeb\'s almost out of Mork and Mindy episodes.)

Time for some aerobraking...

home1.jpg

home2.jpg

Finally, the first real aerodynamic flight all trip.

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home4.jpg

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Hey--tiny buildings in the distance!

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Lining up...

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And TOUCHDOWN of the space shuttle...er...strategic bomber...er...spaceliner...okay, whatever this thing is.

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Thanks for watching!

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(And yes, that was all done on one mission.)

If you decide to try the Sawfish for yourself, keep in mind that it handles quite poorly, due to limitations of stock parts and engine mechanics.

The plane would handle far, far better if it had a small number of front fins with a large range of motion, like +/- 45 degrees or more. Also, if the 'cockpit' was moved to the center of the craft, SAS mode would be far less jerky and less likely to flip the plane. And if rocket engines had a more realistic weight and jet engines could be mounted in the middle of the plane, the craft could be much better balanced and less likely to tip up.

As is, there\'s not much that can be done about it without making the ship significantly more complex and laggier.

If you\'ve got anything below a high-end Core 2, and preferably a good i5+ rig, don\'t bother. You can try it, but don\'t expect KSP to run smoothly.

Be sure to engage the first and second sets of engines during takeoff. You won\'t be able to lift off until you reach 100 m/s.

Make sure you keep your angle of attack inside +/- 20 degrees (stay within 20 degrees of the green circle on your navball) while in atmo, or else the canards start working against you and you\'re dead meat.

A joystick helps, not to mention the trim controls.

If you\'re using the keyboard for free flight and landing, adjust the trim down, keep SAS on and maneuver in short bursts while pressing the \'F\' key.

During takeoff, once you get the nose in the air it will tend to pitch up, so just keep SAS on and tap the \'F\' key to tilt up a few degrees at a time.

F**K thats dam cool!

too bad my computer would not be ableto handle it :(

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Sean, very purposeful looking machine you have there! Thanks for your interesting report and explanation. Congratulations on your safe landing and inclusion on the guest list :)

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So... off to the Mün now, I guess...

But this trip: about 8 orbits at 73k, landing 24k shy of KSC. The boys just need someone to come help them lift that wing and push \'em home.

ASi7b.jpgqRFTO.jpgrnoj6.jpgBJJQy.jpg

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That Saw-fish is very impressive. Can not imagine how hard that thing was to accomplish. I am make only 20 fuel barrels SSTO with only 6 engines, and still, it was a lot of testing , retesting at different fuel loads etc. So, very impressive.

But, back to business, here my work to join the club.

'Bobs XL'

(XL stands for 'Extra Light' :) )

VNuu2.jpg

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'Bobs XL' details:

That model is ripped of unnecessary 8 RCS fuel tanks, RCS thrusters, additional 4 Turbo engines of

'Bobs basic' model

sc955.jpg

that was made for comfortable visiting of Minimus, to make it capable for Mun landing and returning back. Mun is much more hard to land and leave, in terms of DV.

It have 2 turbo jets grouped in 1-st stage, that it uses for take off and for reaching 8 km alt. Staging is only logical, nothing decouples here. At 8 km other engines must be turn on by pressing space button. It is 2 un-vectored engines and 2 vectored. They are looking asymmetrically placed, but actually, there is no problems with them, if avionics (or ASAS) is turned on. After that, we are going to 33 km alt as fast as possible (at about 50-60 degrease pitch), and from that altitude performing gravity turn normally.

When operated under Mech Jeb control, it can reach Mun, land on it , and then return back to KSC, with lot of fuel, so you have enough fuel to do it by hands, with some room for error.

Due to lack of RCS control, it should be landed at tail on Mun. Therefore, tail is redesigned and hardened to allow this.

Aero-controls is balanced good enough for both full and empty state, and avionics makes that plane easy controllable. As other SSTO`s, you should keep its attitude alignment with speed vector during reentering, to avoid uncontrollable spins. Controllable glide possible at 500 m/s speed at 15 km altitude, and below.

Short report on Mun and back travel:

Full report is here: http://imgur.com/a/N9CnS#0

Engines started:

VNuu2.jpg

`240km orbit achieved:

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Going to the Mun:

Ni0Nx.jpg

Landed at the Mun:

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Leaving Mun:

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Tuning aerobraking:

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Aerobraking:

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Tuning periapsis for KSC return after aerobraking:

JGznl.jpg

Controllable glide after reenter:

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Touchdown:

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Stats:

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'Bobs XL' with hull cameras -

http://kerbalspaceprogram.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=12837.0;attach=22975

'Bobs XL' only stock -

http://kerbalspaceprogram.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=12837.0;attach=22976

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F**K thats dam cool!

too bad my computer would not be ableto handle it :(

That Saw-fish is very impressive. Can not imagine how hard that thing was to accomplish.

I appreciate the compliments but the Sawfish is just a huge (185-ton!) rocket flattened out and turned on its side. It\'s not well balanced and a huge pain to fly. It\'s good for bragging rights but not much else. I\'ve never touched it since the challenge.

And as far as testing and balancing goes, once you\'ve got a solid design it\'s easy to adapt for different sizes and situations. I start with a long sturdy fuselage, stick engines on the back, hang fuel tanks in rows off the sides, and slap a wing on top. Sure, there\'s some tweaking at the end, but not nearly as much as you\'d expect. When I get a chance I\'ll detail how I build my planes in the how-to thread.

In the meantime, feel free to try something a bit smaller (and far more flyable), the Morning Star:

screenshot1174.png

It doesn\'t pack as much power, but the Morning Star has improved flight characteristics and great range for its size. While I haven\'t taken the grand tour in it yet, I\'m confident it could land on the Mun and Minmus and make it back to Kerbin easily. And while it may lack a bit in engine power, it makes up for it in RCS: Its 80 (!) thrusters eat through fuel like crazy but really cushion the Morning Star\'s landings. While I can\'t say landing is easy, it\'s far safer than the Sawfish. In fact, once I got the thrusters balanced, I managed to land on the Mun on my first attempt:

screenshot1202.png

I used the main engines to come to a near-stop 50m above the surface, then floated down the rest of the way on RCS.

Unfortunately, all those thrusters don\'t exactly help the game performance, so you might want to pull them off if you won\'t be making Munar landings and it lags too much. Many of the wing segments could be eliminated also. But KSP handles it relatively well even on a 3+ year old Core 2 Duo, though quicksaving/quickloading or jumping to the tracking center periodically is necessary to keep lag from creeping in.

Oh, and the Morning Star uses MechJeb. If that\'s a problem I could make a version without it, but you really owe it to yourself to try MechJeb; it makes missions go so much more smoothly.

Have fun!

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Well played Caldvan, tjoreilly and Dobrodav. Thanks for your illustrated reports of your stunning feats of engineering and challenge achievements, some intriguing ideas put into action there.

Missions accomplished, welcome to the party!

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Interesting, might aswell give it a try...

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Not orbital yet, roughly another 800 delta-v till orbit.

Edit: Since the screenshot\'s i have made a few edit\'s and test. Will post the results if successful-ish....

Edit: You shall not defeat me fuel lines! No! Not this time!

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It flies!!!

Gentlemen, I present to you Kerman Aircraft\'s newest model.

Joe III Mk4

jngXD.png

7feWK.png

Separated jet and rocket fuel, state of the art stability system, all made from top quality rocket scrap. It is separated into to stages to control the engines, and best of all! 100% reusable except part lost on take off/descent/landing.

Mostly stable except partial control lose during take off, may not land in one piece, may temporarily lose all control during descent, no chance of survival is stability system is taken off line in the atmosphere(for the most part). Or it may just be my piloting...

Don\'t belive my testimony or lack of screenshots (i\'m lazy). Download and test it yourself!

100% fuel = 24.5 Mass Units

0% fuel = 12.1 Mass Units

Lift = 13.6 Lift Units

Parts = 37

Parent complaining why the damn tv doesn\'t have a connection... CAUSE WE HAVE DISH NETWORK!!!! Misguided the slope and came in at the wrong angle... Clipped the right wing off. Pretty good, no slope or people annoying me, perfect landing... 3/4 a tank of fuel left for each jet engine even after the landing.

DK3Br.png

Kerman Aircraft & Roadside Junk Incorporated, is not responsible and/or accountable for any loses of life,buildings,munoliths,runways,planes,rockets,robots,solar panels,crafts,debris, landers,orbiters,ALL THE BOOSTERS,and ducks.... Especially ducks...

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Well done Aerzee, nice looking ship with a unique and yet classic look and clearly it works too.

Can you fly the mission and land it in one piece? Until then you are on the gate crasher\'s list on a technicality, since you kinda made it but something fell off the spaceplane. (I disqualified my own missions for the same reason.)

FYI [esc] key permits pause.

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Well done Aerzee, nice looking ship with a unique and yet classic look and clearly it works too.

Can you fly the mission and land it in one piece? Until then you are on the gate crasher\'s list on a technicality, since you kinda made it but something fell off the spaceplane. (I disqualified my own missions for the same reason.)

FYI [esc] key permits pause.

I\'ll attempt another orbit and landing later today.

My current mission is to find the second KSC.

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I made a space plane leaving no debris in orbit, but it requires a rocket to get it in orbit, similar to the space shuttle. Fugdecakes.

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T + 34 Successful landing! After having to cross an entire ocean due to miscalculations on too much speed on decent. Aswell as a nice moon shot while flying across the ocean.

Zod29.png

Woo!

NsOvK.png

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My Joe III Mk4 has inspired my current model of KSC2 searcher, Danny-Boy III Mk2! So far due to a malfunctioning malfunction. (I don\'t wanna talk about it...) I had to abort at roughly 200k til KSC2. I\'ll attempt another flight soon.

pjlHI.png

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Good luck finding KSC2 Aerzee. Congratulations on completing the mission and thanks for your mission report, you are now on the official guest list!

Yes dogon11, afaik chutes won\'t detach until you land and can be repacked ... !

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In case anybody cares, I refined the smini concept and added jets so it goes to orbit and lands (using mechjeb) with a takeoff weight of 8.7 tonnes (screenshot attached) 8)

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Never noticed this thread until now.

I\'m guessing travelling to mimus and back counts right?

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Flew this into orbit after a lot of balancing problems in development, thought, \'hey - I could use this fuel to get back and win the prize!\' and decided to shoot for the Mun. Then crashed and died. ::)

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In case anybody cares, I refined the smini concept and added jets so it goes to orbit and lands (using mechjeb) with a takeoff weight of 8.7 tonnes (screenshot attached) 8)

In case anybody cares !? In case anybody cares !?!? Why Oggula, you have just won the Minimalist record and have become the envy of the civilised world... screenies of daring do would be nice :)

illectro, thanks for linking your excellent mission video, not only do you have a successful spaceplane but you earned the prestigious ***Astrokerbal Distinction***, highest of the K Prize honours, to go with your back stage pass to the Dog & Booster post-performance party.

Great looking space machine there G Addict, shame it crashed, have another go, next time consider pressing F5 when you make orbit and F9 if you crash !

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When 0.16 comes out where Jet Fuel and Rocket Fuel are separated, I\'ll participate in this challenge unless I build a Rocketplane like a few others on here. :)

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