Halsfury

The 5th Generation Fighter challenge [FAR]

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5th Generation Fighter Challenge

F-16_Fighting_Falcon.jpg

The challenge is simple, build a fighter jet which can compete on a modern battlefield. This means that you have to reach certain targets in order to be successful and that there are points for any design which exceeds those targets.

All entries must be with nuFAR and no physics breaking parts are allowed. Also it's worth noting that this challenge was not set for any other reason than to see if the KSP community has the skills to build something which is on the cutting edge of aerodynamic knowledge. The newest version of FAR makes this task equal in conceptual difficulty to it's real life counterpart, yet as always as simple as LEGO to build.

Rules

1) No space grade parts are permitted, that means no RCS and no bell nozzle rockets and no SAS (other than the cockpit)

2) All designs will have either 1 engine or 2 engines of the same type, mixed power plants or ones with more engines than 2 are considered space grade and are therefore disallowed.

3) clipping engines into one another is absolutely forbidden

4) All engines used if modded must first have approval from myself (AJE will be tested soon)

5) The "Panther" jet engine is the only acceptable stock jet engine, settings may be tweaked for it as needed.

6) The aircraft must be able to pull 9g's of pitch acceleration at subsonic speed below 5000m, and it must be able to pull 6 g's of pitch acceleration at supersonic speed above 10,000m

7) The aircraft must reach a maximum speed of at least mach 1.2 below 5000m and have a top speed above 10,000m of mach 2.0 at least.

8) With external stores the speeds specified by 7 must be minimally impacted, so including weapons the speed below 5000m should not be less than mach 1 and above 10,000m no less than mach 1.8 with external stores.

9) The aircraft must not weigh less than 10 tons at takeoff with a full combat load.

10) The aircraft must make use of BD armoury and 6 munitions must be stored at minimum either under the wings or beneath the fuselage, a radar dome must be included.

11) Addendum to 8: No weapons may face rearwards, No external store (weapon or fuel) may be mounted above the wing or at any angle such that if two missiles were launched in quick succession that they might impact each other on deployment.

12) All missiles will have a delay time and jettisoning speed so that they don't cause damage to the craft.

13) A forward firing gun 20mm or greater in bore must be included

14) Countermeasures, flare and chaff must be included.

15) An air brake should be included, along with flaps and possibly leading edge flaps.

16) The aircraft must demonstrate that it can takeoff and land in a suitably nominal way, below a speed of 150m/s and do both within the span of the runway.

17) A BD armoury weapons manager module must be included.

Optional:

18) Should an AA/AAQ-28 Targeting pod be mounted, an ECM (Electronic Counter Measures) pod must also be mounted, along with Air to Ground missiles or laser guided bombs. The targeting pod indicates anti ground capability and as a result suitable weapons and defences must be able to be carried along with it. For that flight only, this need not be included on every flight of your anti ground capable aircraft.

19) Rule 14 does not mean that this equipment is necessary for any other part of the challenge. Only the Targeting and the ECM pod are somewhat heavy, and have a drag penalty and need some space set aside. A craft with anti-ground ability needs to carry all this as a package when sent on an anti-ground mission.

20) Should HARM missiles be mounted an ECM pod must be mounted, this is only mission specific like rule 18

Allowed Mods

-Ferram Aerospace Research (latest edition required)

-BD armoury (required)

-B9 procedural wings

-Adjustable Landing Gear

-AJE (awaiting testing)

-Infernal Robotics

-3rd Party Cockpits

Legacy Scoreboard

Basic Jet (hardcore mode) Leaderboard:

-FourGreenFields 43.27 points with the P-12 Flying Pencil

-FourGreenFields 13.8 points with the Heluan HA-300

Turbo Jet Leaderboard:

-FourGreenFields 138.25 points with the P-13 Shrike

-tetryds 118.26 points with the SE-37

-Gamer025 118 points

-Hodo 48 points with the XF-149B Jinete

-Gnullbegg 44 points with the GAD M-21A (reporting name goatsucker)

-Skyentist 21 points with the Rogue Light fighter

BD Armoury Leaderboards:

Turbo Jet:

-FourGreenFields (third entry) 140.8 points with the P-17 Harrier

-Darren9 (Second entry) 104 points with the FAR 4

-Halsfury 88.75 points with the F-32 Hurricane II http://www./download/sp4dvat4yhf7c9g/F-32_Hurricane_II_Multirole.craft

-Darren9 75 points with the (K)raptor

-TheHengeProphet 74.82 points with the MRF-1B3S Adder

-Hodo 68 points with the XF-150A

-Darth Lazarus and Halsfury Co. 62.28 points for the F/A-18J Super Hornet

Basic Jet:

-FourGreenFields 46.1 points with the P-18 Firecrown

Edited by Halsfury

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Hey just a few suggestions:

You should consider making weapons mandatory considering it is a fighter aircraft and a real life fighter has to deal with the added weight and aerodynamics of carrying weapons

You should also consider allowing turbojets as real life fighter jets use the most advanced jet engines available and that would be turbojets in KSP.

You should also also consider allowing certain mods that most of that build fighters on a regular basis use.(Firespitter, QuizTech Aero, Kerbal Engineer Redux, etc...)

Just a few friendly suggestions. Good luck with the challenge!

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Also which version of the game does this need to be designed in? 1.0.2 or 1.0.3(came out yesterday)

How would you like the drop tanks to be attached and do they need to be detatchable?

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Also which version of the game does this need to be designed in? 1.0.2 or 1.0.3(came out yesterday)

How would you like the drop tanks to be attached and do they need to be detatchable?

So long as it's voxel driven FAR, so all post 1.0 versions should work well, the physics model isn't radically different but you will enjoy the experience of using the most recent version since it fixes some bugs with FAR not working if it takes up too much memory and such.

Drop tanks should be detachable, any coupler will do, ultimately it's the physics model which will determine how you choose to go about this.

- - - Updated - - -

Hey just a few suggestions:

You should consider making weapons mandatory considering it is a fighter aircraft and a real life fighter has to deal with the added weight and aerodynamics of carrying weapons

You should also consider allowing turbojets as real life fighter jets use the most advanced jet engines available and that would be turbojets in KSP.

Well C7 parts are pretty comprehensive, but you can use limited non physics breaking mod parts I guess

Engineer Redux is fine, it's just data.

Turbojets, I will have to make a separate leaderboard for, but I can completely understand why you want the flame spitting ones :wink:

If you decide on turbojets a thrust limit will have to be imposed so that you can't brute force your way into supersonic flight, so I'll have to think up new rules, so if you want to participate in the turbojet leaderboard just stick to the basic jet for now.

No weapons are necessary, mainly because some people won't want to install mods. But you can make your own missiles if you like with stock parts too.

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Yay for mods allowed! You can make some much better looking fighter jets with things like procedural wings and quiztechs cockpits so that's why I said that.

Do we get bonus points for weapons being added?

Also okay on the jet engine thing. Is there a deadline for this challenge or no? And I assume no weight, minimum number of crew, or cost limits or anything like that?

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Yay for mods allowed! You can make some much better looking fighter jets with things like procedural wings and quiztechs cockpits so that's why I said that.

Do we get bonus points for weapons being added?

Also okay on the jet engine thing. Is there a deadline for this challenge or no? And I assume no weight, minimum number of crew, or cost limits or anything like that?

Well there are no restrictions except on space grade parts, so you can use reaction wheels on pods or if you need a part which is just that size.

A weight limit has been imposed, in that you have to use 2 basic jets while achieving a TWR of 1 at least

- - - Updated - - -

Weapons count by weight just like the drop tanks

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Update:

I've been challenging myself as well with this challenge and have discovered that sometimes the Turbojet helps streamline an aircraft

With this in mind thrust limited turbos can be installed so long as they are limited at 1/2 the thrust, also the super cruise must be performed such that no after burning is used.

This way the aircraft shouldn't be able to just push through mach 1 with disregard, even though it will still have to be on a separate leaderboard still

- - - Updated - - -

I'll update the rules accordingly as soon as I can

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I've been hard at work trying to create something which might even score a point. Many designs ended in the most kerbal way possible. Many test pilots were stretched out upon the earth as I figured my way about completing my own challenge.

I think I got a good result though.

uQxDWf7.png

It uses turbojets because flames! which are thrust limited by half, it still has mad performance.

I initially built this design with basic jets but they gave me ceaseless trouble, then while tinkering I thought; why not see if this thing has any potential? The new engines were mounted and they produced a serious improvement not only in thrust but also in area ruling. Before this point anything I tried just failed to cut down the wave drag.

I figured that based on my experience, if you need a turbojet for the design to work, it need only be thrust limited to 50% so you can't just crash through the sound barrier regardless of how good your design is.

It still needs a separate leaderboard, since when the turbojet gets going at high mach the thrust output increases, consequently it has a range of super cruise speeds depending on how much fuel one feels like spending. Mach 1.9 is just about the limit for cruise which for a turbojet is 1/3rd throttle on a 50% nerfed jet. :0.0:

005xntS.png

Top speed was also determined by how crazy Jeb feels, mach 3.1 on a mediocre day

V3l5guC.png

I found that the design has a TWR of greater than 1 but only at speeds which are already high, so it was difficult to measure accurately.

The craft is pictured here pulling 10 g's at mach 1.7 and can pull more instantaneously in some situations. pulling more than 9 g's is worth 5 points

qedjOPc.png

Finally the most serious test, landing, it's absolutely mandatory (for obvious reasons)

pQ1p0mr.png

The breakdown so far.

-22 points for a top speed of mach 3.1 somewhat north of the 10km altitude target, so maybe I need to redo this test. I got 1.1 mach over mach 2 for this so each 0.1 is worth 2 so 11x2=22

-9 points for mach 1.9 top cruise speed, each 0.1 mach being worth 1 point over mach 1.0

-TWR of 1 or greater is possible, though it needs a run up to get those jets working. 1 point

-5 points for 10g turn

-Range is about 45 minutes without drop tanks (which have yet to be designed so I'm not finished the challenge) 0 points awarded for range bonus and no drop tanks to score.

-Can this craft super cruise with external stores? I bet it can, but as of yet 0 points

-Super manoeuvrability remains an issue, though the craft is very manoeuvrable by traditional standards, it still can't do anything that cool. 0 points there

Interim Final Tally: 37 hard won points

I predict that there will be a lot more turbo jet entries...

Edited by Halsfury

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-Aircraft must have a top speed of mach 2 at minimum at 10,000ft (full throttle).

Is this even possible with basic jets?

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Is this even possible with basic jets?

Yes it is possible with basic jets in FAR. One needs to area rule the aircraft to the point where there's very little wave resistance to the craft. We're talking wave drag area less than 1.0m^2

If the aircraft in question is able to get to around mach 1.22 under 1000m then it will break mach 2 at 10,000m

It is easier to take the turbojets, even as they have been nerfed by challenge rules, they can tolerate larger wave drag areas. My design has a wave drag area of 1.08m^2 for instance, this would be unacceptable for a basic jet powered craft which would need something like 0.6m^2 wave drag area

In fact I'll even concede that maybe the rules should be purely turbojet based, but I think there should be a basic jet hardcore mode.

Edited by Halsfury

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Is this even possible with basic jets?

I've gotten above 2.1 on a wheasely's in Ferri. Took some design work, but it let me get there, careful piloting becomes every bit as important - you need to find your design's optimal altitude its not always the same one. Engine optimal and design optimal don't always match. you need enough wing to stay there with low AoA to keep induced drag minimised, yet little enough wing that you keep drag under control.

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that particular design was plagued by poor rigidity, since its mostly composed of tail sections radially attached to eachother. Pull 8g and she snaps in half - the wings can take it, the fuselage can't. Though the design goal was the best speed I could manage, everything else secondary. Still, hopefully that lays to rest that 2+ is totally possible. Mach 2.106 on 2 basic jets.

I'm fully aware this doesn't meet submission req's, isn't intended as one.

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Hello, nice challenge you got there.

I really want to see what people will come up with.

But there is a problem, I believe some points should be changed.

Right now you are forced towards making it small and powerful, but it's ignoring low atmo top speed, which is very important on the battlefield.

Also, I think that you could earn 1 point for every extra g it can pull, as that is something that forces the design to its limit.

Now I don't have the specs on my head but my first entry is FAR Blitzableiter (one of the stock FAR airplanes).

Just cut the engine down to 50%, as you shouldnt go past that anyway.

I am just not sure about the twr but it can do anything.

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I suppose when measuring flight time (not range) in supercruise it is enough to stay at supersonic speeds (= you don't need the max cruise throttle of 1/3 turbo jet, or 2/3 basic jet)?

EDIT: Just to make sure, B9 Procedural Parts (spefically the wings) is allowed, right?

EDIT2: Can thrust vectoring stay enabled?

Edited by FourGreenFields

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I would like to try this challenge using Realism Overhaul to be more realistic. Are we allow to use it?

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Q: Will you get more points for pulling more g forces?

A: A manned fighter is limited here, due to the pilot, since the idea is to create a competitive fighting machine, I don't see an advantage to being able to pull 30 g when doing so is worthless to the pilot also the challenge is for continuous g forces in a turn not instantaneous turn rates

Q: Speed close to the ground is important, why are there no points for it?

A: If you can hit high top speeds at 10km you will surely do well, at lower altitude, 10 km was chosen because it corresponds to 33,000ft which is roughly a cruise altitude, and it's important to be able to compete against manned air superiority fighters high up.

Q: I suppose when measuring flight time (not range) in supercruise it is enough to stay at supersonic speeds (= you don't need the max cruise throttle of 1/3 turbo jet, or 2/3 basic jet)?

A: If you can super cruise with less then go ahead, but I don't see why you wouldn't use everything you can for speed to get all the speed points, which at least for my design are easier to get than range points.

Q: Just to make sure, B9 Procedural Parts (spefically the wings) is allowed, right?

A: If you want,

Q: Can thrust vectoring stay enabled?

A: Thrust vectoring was always enabled, you can't really do post stall manoeuvring without it.

Q: Can you use realism overhaul or other kerbin rescale mods for greater realism?

A: You are actually putting yourself at a disadvantage since the atmosphere on kerbin is smaller and thins faster than earth's atmosphere, should you do this I would look up what the pressure is at 10 km on kerbin (in FAR) and complete the challenge at the corresponding rescale altitude.

Edited by Halsfury

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Q: I suppose when measuring flight time (not range) in supercruise it is enough to stay at supersonic speeds (= you don't need the max cruise throttle of 1/3 turbo jet, or 2/3 basic jet)?

A: If you can super cruise with less then go ahead, but I don't see why you wouldn't use everything you can for speed to get all the speed points, which at least for my design are easier to get than range points.

So all tests for cruise and all tests for full throttle done at the same speed. Had thought one might be allowed to make one test for eco-supercruise (max range while still supersonic), and one for normal cruise (max speed at 1/3 or 2/3 throttle)

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Q: Will you get more points for pulling more g forces?

A: A manned fighter is limited here, due to the pilot, since the idea is to create a competitive fighting machine, I don't see an advantage to being able to pull 30 g when doing so is worthless to the pilot also the challenge is for continuous g forces in a turn not instantaneous turn rates

Q: Speed close to the ground is important, why are there no points for it?

A: If you can hit high top speeds at 10km you will surely do well, at lower altitude, 10 km was chosen because it corresponds to 33,000ft which is roughly a cruise altitude, and it's important to be able to compete against manned air superiority fighters high up.

Strange, because that is a limiting factor that does not exist in the game and is also a design challenge.

Remember that the difference between manned and unmanned in ksp is trivial.

About the speed, it's much harder to go faster when lower, air is denser and it has a higher impact on stability.

To go faster when lower you need less wing, which punishes high altitude performance.

Since it's a tradeoff and we are going for the perfect balance design, taking both into account seems like a big deal.

Instead of cutting engines, etc., wouldn't AJE be more suitable?

You could have classes of aircraft depending on number and type of engines (if more than one is allowed).

About endurance, have you checked out KerbinSide air race course?

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So all tests for cruise and all tests for full throttle done at the same speed. Had thought one might be allowed to make one test for eco-supercruise (max range while still supersonic), and one for normal cruise (max speed at 1/3 or 2/3 throttle)

Actually that's doable I just misunderstood what you were trying to do, range only tests range and max super cruise speed is only a test for max super cruise, I don't see why you'd have to do both tests at the same time, so long as you use the same amount of fuel in both cases, so that we can get a clear picture of performance.

- - - Updated - - -

Strange, because that is a limiting factor that does not exist in the game and is also a design challenge.

Remember that the difference between manned and unmanned in ksp is trivial.

About the speed, it's much harder to go faster when lower, air is denser and it has a higher impact on stability.

To go faster when lower you need less wing, which punishes high altitude performance.

Since it's a tradeoff and we are going for the perfect balance design, taking both into account seems like a big deal.

Instead of cutting engines, etc., wouldn't AJE be more suitable?

You could have classes of aircraft depending on number and type of engines (if more than one is allowed).

About endurance, have you checked out KerbinSide air race course?

I've never heard of AJE, the intention was to make the challenge more focused on stock aero solutions but I can see why people want custom wings etc.

I get that manned and unmanned doesn't matter in KSP but the grading system reflects realism.

Also I don't want to make KerbinSide necessary for playing the challenge, also the needs of a manned fighter differ in many ways to a race plane. If you want though, so long as you come up with the rules for the races I'll create a leaderboard for it and post the rules on the OP.

Also you have to choose just one race course, it would be untenable to use several as I'd need to keep separate leaderboards for each.

- - - Updated - - -

NOTICE:

I've updated the rules to make the challenge more understandable based on the questions you guys have asked.

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I suppose when measuring flight time (not range) in supercruise it is enough to stay at supersonic speeds (= you don't need the max cruise throttle of 1/3 turbo jet, or 2/3 basic jet)?

EDIT: Just to make sure, B9 Procedural Parts (spefically the wings) is allowed, right?

EDIT2: Can thrust vectoring stay enabled?

Hey what version of FAR are you using that is compatible with procedural wings? Whenever I try to use FAR I can set which control surface does what in the SPH but when I launch it it reverts back to all of them doing every function again. Any ideas?

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Hey what version of FAR are you using that is compatible with procedural wings? Whenever I try to use FAR I can set which control surface does what in the SPH but when I launch it it reverts back to all of them doing every function again. Any ideas?

I was using v0.15.3, and the previous version.

It took me a while to notice B9PW got released, so the problem might be that you have an old B9PW version.

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First flight of my new jet, checked out how fast it could go at 10km...

Ir5ML5T.png

The problem is, if I continue to let it go faster it will burn out on the atmosphere before reaching the top speed.

I will see if some radiators can keep it alive long enough.

But if they don't, how am I going to apply for the challenge?

Because it has power to sustain a faster flight but that is only possible when diving, but when diving it's easily possible to go much faster than what it would.

Edited by tetryds

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First flight of my new jet, checked out how fast it could go at 10km...

The problem is, if I continue to let it go faster it will burn out on the atmosphere before reaching the top speed.

I will see if some radiators can keep it alive long enough.

But if they don't, how am I going to apply for the challenge?

Because it has power to sustain a faster flight but that is only possible when diving, but when diving it's easily possible to go much faster than what it would.

You can apply for the challenge so long as you meet mach 2 top speed at 10km, mach 1 cruise speed at 10km, have a high TWR, don't crash, and pull 6g in a sustainable manner.

You've definitely made the requirements for speed but if you can't cool it down, then mach 4.2 will be your top speed, but I really want to see how it turns out now, with all that excess power :cool:

Also your score for speed so far is mach 4.2 -2.0 = 2.2, 2.2 x 10 = 22, and finally 22 x 2 = 44,

Frankly I should go back and see if I can go any faster, top speed is a very useful advantage to a fighter and it's weighted pretty heavily by my rules as a result

- - - Updated - - -

Mess with the rules a little and I'll enter this.

Is this possible in FAR? The rules are designed to encourage area ruling aircraft and sound design to cope with subsonic, transonic and supersonic flight regimes into a single aircraft.

If you can really do it then show the FAR flight data GUI in images

Edited by Halsfury

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You can apply for the challenge so long as you meet mach 2 top speed at 10km, mach 1 cruise speed at 10km, have a high TWR, don't crash, and pull 6g in a sustainable manner.

You've definitely made the requirements for speed but if you can't cool it down, then mach 4.2 will be your top speed, but I really want to see how it turns out now, with all that excess power :cool:

Also your score for speed so far is mach 4.2 -2.0 = 2.2, 2.2 x 10 = 22, and finally 22 x 2 = 44,

Frankly I should go back and see if I can go any faster, top speed is a very useful advantage to a fighter and it's weighted pretty heavily by my rules as a result

I guess you forgot the +10 (mach 1.0 to mach 2.0), +1 for TWR, +5 for maneuverability, total of 60 points.

Now I just need to make it supermaneuverable with canards, add radiators and 500l of fuel on droptanks, then go around the planet with it :D

But I don't really have time for that so it stays as is for now.

Oh and it went to something like Mach 4.3 before exploding, if that is what you want to beat.

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I guess you forgot the +10 (mach 1.0 to mach 2.0), +1 for TWR, +5 for maneuverability, total of 60 points.

Since that was your top speed run you don't get any points up to mach 2.0, the points only start rolling in once you exceed the requirement. so mach 2.1 is worth 2 points, mach 2.2 is worth 4 etc. unless your saying that that was a cruise speed run which is a bit improbable. Unless your saying that you accomplished a super cruise of mach 2.

So with super cruise that would be 10 points (mach 2), for top speed 46 points (mach 4.3), TWR would give you 1 point, and 9 g turns give you 5 points.

So 62 points is your interim tally? Could you post your super cruise run? Also if you super cruise at mach 2.2 then that's 12 points not 10 because there is no limit which says that super cruise is only between mach 1 and 2, it needs to be sustainable on cruise power that's all the rules say

Edited by Halsfury

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