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Fuel-powered wheel?


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Right now, all the rover wheels are packed into the end of the tech tree, meaning no rovers early on. However, we obviously still have gas-powered cars (like the Crawler and those various vehicles that drive around the construction buildings), so would it be possible to make a wheel that consumes a small amount of fuel to run early on? It would help with rovering early on, and later on it could still be useable in the same way that a fuel cell can be used instead of an RTG.

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For operation in zero atmosphere conditions, it would have to run LF+O, which would be a vastly more complex and advanced piece of technology than either an electric motor or a normal internal combustion piston engine operating on atmospheric oxygen.

So, I say "NO" to this. Additionally, I don't think you can reasonably assume that the various vehicles you see running around the space center are actually running on IC engines. They could very easily be electric vehicles. The unseen crawler most likely would use IC engines, due to the power needed to move large rockets, but more likely diesel-electric (so still electric motors driving the wheels/tracks, or possibly diesel-hydraulic) than diesel-mechanical (mechanical transmission does not scale up nearly as well as hydraulic or electrical transmission).

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I think what you'd want is a Generator part that converts liquid fuel + atmospheric air into electricity the same way the fuel cell converts liquid fuel and oxidiser into electricity. That way, you'd be able to use it for other things, like powering a mining facility on Laythe.

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Murph's right, an IC engine would only be any good on Kerbin or Laythe. Also those vehicles in the SPH/VAB look decidedly like electric vehicles to me.

But OP's point is still that there are things driving around, so why can't we have wheels sooner on. There's been a lot of discussion in this thread about a better tech tree that would allow a player to start in a number of different ways. One of the different ways I'd like to start with is aircraft, but I'd also like to have the option to build a simple rover right at the start and go for a little drive around KSC.

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I think what you'd want is a Generator part that converts liquid fuel + atmospheric air into electricity the same way the fuel cell converts liquid fuel and oxidiser into electricity. That way, you'd be able to use it for other things, like powering a mining facility on Laythe.

There is a mod with some really nicely made parts that has exactly that - Universal-Storage.

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I agree that we need a decent early rover wheel. Possibly the smallest one as early as the tiny landing legs.

This way, we have tiny parts to make tiny rovers. With a small fuel cell powering them, they could have very good range; even without solar energy from a tiny solar panel. And since the rovers will be so tiny, they can't carry large science experiments like the materials bay.

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