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LitaAlto

Kerbal Foundries vs KerbinSide Air-Race: Antigrav race near KSC

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Please don't rule out all control surfaces. While that may work, its a horrible solution to the problem.

In other news, I seems that kOS a: can load files on launch now and b: a script that limits thrust based on radar altitude is apparently not hard to write.

I just tested one and it works well. From 0 to 10 meters above ground you get 100% thrust, above that it fades to 0 linearly at 25 meters. It does not rule out powered flight, but I want to see the pilot that stays close to 10m radar alt at full speed without hitting the ground :P

Script is here, copy into a new file: boot_thrust_limiter.ks in KSP_win\Ships\Script and select as boot file on a kOS module. (like so, works only if file name starts with boot)

This is all that needs to be done to activate this, apart from installing kOS of course.

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@alphaash and greydragon: Looks no different from the long jumps that I was doing.

I have a better idea for a rule, or rather two.

1. Your craft must not be capable of or at least not sustaining the same altitude over long distances. In other words, your craft can't stay airborne for more than say, a minute.

2. When over the water portion (not including the start), you must stay ON the water at all times. Exceptions made when you hit the ramps of the posts on the water, but you can't stay up in the air.

I accidentially clipped one during my run (wasn't trying to aim for it) and during one of my practice runs, I hit one of them straight on and got launched straight into the air, ended up crashing into the water catastrophically. So, you really DON'T wan't to hit those ramps anyway.

Edited by smjjames

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Something else to muddy things a bit - most of the stock spaceplane parts that Porkjet did provide decent lift. My Repulse Mk5 used them and could easily fly without much hassle. I didn't bother running the race with it in the end.

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I think that rolling to turn should be forbidden.

It seems to me that the OP had a drifting race in mind, excluding the "Red Bull" air race style.

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@alphaash, yeah, I've fond that mine is actually able to power glide reasonably well.

i think the main thing is to go by the spirit of the challenge, which is hovercraft. The_bT went out of his/her way to make sure that their craft doesn't go airborne and mine could have stayed airborne quite a bit longer after going through the jumps, but I chose not to.

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I have a new craft that still got 2:46. It doesn't have a single control surface and doesn't fly at all in the water portion. I'll post the video with information as soon as the video finishes processing.

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This is the first time I've installed Kerbal Foundries. Are the smaller antigravs worse, performance-wise than the larger ones? The description suggests they're the same, but I've got 16 of them on my 20t craft, and I still keep bottoming out and blowing up (set to 100).

At this point, I have no hopes of winning. I just want to finish.

Work in progress, but going for a pod racer

Edit: Bottoming out in that video wasn't what I meant. It's usually after jumping off that first or 2nd hill.

Edited by Soda Popinski

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I designed a new craft. This one is capable of drifting at over 800 m/s safely! The craft goes much faster while hovering than it does flying. It has no control surfaces. Information below.

Race Start: T+ 0:41

Race End: T+ 3:27

Race Time: 2:46

Highest Speed Achieved: 733 m/s

Download (for proof)

EDIT: I am currently in the process of re-doing my run, as to keep my craft on the ground longer. Do not yet count this video as my attempt.

DO NOT COUNT THIS RUN. COUNT MY OTHER RUN ON PAGE 8.

Edited by JackDugan
Added download link.

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This is the first time I've installed Kerbal Foundries. Are the smaller antigravs worse, performance-wise than the larger ones? The description suggests they're the same, but I've got 16 of them on my 20t craft, and I still keep bottoming out and blowing up (set to 100).

At this point, I have no hopes of winning. I just want to finish.

Work in progress, but going for a pod racer

Edit: Bottoming out in that video wasn't what I meant. It's usually after jumping off that first or 2nd hill.

Yeah the little repulsors just can't cope with the water. Love your RCS system there btw :D How the heck do you control that?

- - - Updated - - -

I designed a new craft. This one is capable of drifting at over 800 m/s safely! The craft goes much faster while hovering than it does flying. It has no control surfaces. Information below.

Race Start: T+ 0:41

Race End: T+ 3:27

Race Time: 2:46

Highest Speed Achieved: 733 m/s

Huh? That still looks like flying in the first section. How are you managing to control that so well? That SAS and a few mono RCS seems to be very agile. I tried similar with SAS and mono RCS and got nowhere. It was vernors or nothing.

And how are you powering the repulsors?

Edited by AlphaAsh

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Yeah the little repulsors just can't cope with the water. Love your RCS system there btw :D How the heck do you control that?

Gotcha. Guess I'll have to do some rebuilding. The RCS system to try to control slippage is handled using action groups. I fly with a HOTAS (mostly for Elite), and I have my action groups on the CH Throttle.

My latest build (not in the video, nor even tested) had the same Spark rockets on the bottom to prevent bottoming out. In that case, hitting the Gears action group turned on the bottom rockets, and turned off my jets. Probably won't need them, but I may play around with the build anyway.

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Huh? That still looks like flying in the first section. How are you managing to control that so well? That SAS and a few mono RCS seems to be very agile. I tried similar with SAS and mono RCS and got nowhere. It was vernors or nothing.

I spent all morning redesigning crafts. I have no clue why it doesn't spin out, as all of my other designs tend to spin out after drifting at over mach 1. I will include a download link for the craft for even more proof. And, yes, I was flying at the beginning, but it was due to the thrust-to-weight ratio rather than control surfaces, which I didn't include. The repulsors are powered from electricity generated by the jet engine.

Edited by JackDugan

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I'm sorry I haven't been keeping the thread updated. I see things are starting to get contentious though.

This evening I'll review the rules and make a change to help keep things in the spirit of the challenge. But let me respond to some of the comments so far, starting with JackDuggan's.

The rules did not specify if I had to use the small or large anti-gravity devices, so I chose the more aerodynamic small version.

Good point, and I should have specified these do need to be the larger repulsors. I didn't think it would matter, but you helped demonstrate it does.

And yes, I am probably going to disqualify your first run, but not before making sure the rules are clearer, so you can re-enter. I'll look at the second run this evening.

well, the problem is that in the rules it is allowed to spam control surfaces to basically create wings as long as you use small ones. limiting the amount of control surfaces you can use would help, but you can still a) build a tiny plane and still use the control surfaces as wings or B) use jet engines to boost you very high...

IMO the solution would be a radar altitude limit or something like that.

I'm not sure radar altitude is the best way to handle it since that either requires mods (MechJeb, KER) or the IVA view (of a hard-to-read gauge that doesn't work like real-world altimeters, at least without mods).

Limiting control surfaces is a possibility, but if I do it'd be along the lines of allowing only one pair of winglets for stability reasons, one pair of airbrakes for steering and braking, etc. I had hoped that simply stating "control surfaces" and limiting the lift rating to 0.5 would be sufficient. JackDuggan proved me foolish in that regard, and I'm actually grateful he snapped me out of my hubris.

As far as I can remember "topgunning your way out" was forbidden.

It's not a formal rule, though--frankly that was part of the hubris I mentioned above. "You can't Top Gun your way through this" was me shutting out a possibility that, as it turned out, remained quite open under the formal rules.

I just had an idea: use kOS and make a small script that puts all engines thrust limiters to 0 whenever the repulsors are not repulsing. That would make powered flight impossible and give you an incentive to stay on the ground, but still allow jumps.

It would add another mod to the list and complicates the launch of your craft somewhat on the other hand. At lease if kOS modules still can't auto load scrips at startup.

It's an interesting idea--but as you point out, it's another mod to add. I was hoping to keep this down to requiring only two mods.

I have a better idea for a rule, or rather two.

1. Your craft must not be capable of or at least not sustaining the same altitude over long distances. In other words, your craft can't stay airborne for more than say, a minute.

2. When over the water portion (not including the start), you must stay ON the water at all times. Exceptions made when you hit the ramps of the posts on the water, but you can't stay up in the air.

The first rule you propose is hard to qualify considering you can use stock jets to get suborbital trajectories. But it does suggest that I should add a rule against intentionally remaining airborne. If you hit a hill fast and get a lot of hang time out of it, that's one thing, but angling thrust to maintain altitude is going against the spirit of the challenge. And whether via IVA or the default flight HUD, we should be able to see the navball to tell if a contestant is doing that. Let me think on it.

The second rule can be considered a variant of the first, although much easier to enforce as stated.

OK, I'll work on this and post a clarification, update the rules, and update the leader board accordingly. Thank you all for your feedback and for keeping this civil.

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The repulsors are powered from electricity generated by the jet engine.

Really? Wow. I'll have to try that. I'm having to cover my craft in power generators.

EDIT: Okay yup. I don't even see an air intake on your craft.

EDIT: Ah the precooler is an intake neat.

Question, how do you stop the craft smashing down on the runway on launch? I can't get the turbojet started quickly enough and it's driving me potty.

EDIT: I stuck a battery on it just to launch.

last question, you have to keep the throttle up high for the alternator to push out enough juice? I just tried something very much like your craft and it wiped out as soon as I throttled down :D

Oh and I owe you an apology. This thing is surprisingly aerodynamic. As you say, it's the TWR that seems to do it.

Edited by AlphaAsh

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Really? Wow. I'll have to try that. I'm having to cover my craft in power generators.

EDIT: Okay yup. I don't even see an air intake on your craft. So I think I'd like to see a .craft file please before I dig a deeper hole trying not to call cheat on it.

Doesn't the precooler have an air intake? I think that's the part in front of the jet.

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Really? Wow. I'll have to try that. I'm having to cover my craft in power generators.

EDIT: Okay yup. I don't even see an air intake on your craft. So I think I'd like to see a .craft file please before I dig a deeper hole trying not to call cheat on it.

EDIT: Ah the precooler is an intake neat.

Question, how do you stop the craft smashing down on the runway on launch? I can't get the turbojet started quickly enough and it's driving me potty.

I have a battery that holds 1000 units of electricity. It will easily last long enough for you to rely on your Turbo Jet engines for electricity. Also, just so you know, I have a download hyperlink in my entry post.

EDIT: For the most part, I had to keep my throttle on 100% as my electricity drains extremely fast when my engines are off.

Edited by JackDugan

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I have a battery that holds 1000 units of electricity. It will easily last long enough for you to rely on your Turbo Jet engines for electricity. Also, just so you know, I have a download hyperlink in my entry post.

EDIT: For the most part, I had to keep my throttle on 100% as my electricity drains extremely fast when my engines are off.

Yep I've been fiddling around with your design. Chap, keep it on the ground and you'll still top the board with this thing. It's seriously swish. Now I just need to actually control the thing. And I am very sorry i called shennanigans on you. I'm an a***.

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Yep I've been fiddling around with your design. Chap, keep it on the ground and you'll still top the board with this thing. It's seriously swish. Now I just need to actually control the thing. And I am very sorry i called shennanigans on you. I'm an a***.
It's fine. I should've explained the design better anyway, especially after my other exploitative craft.

- - - Updated - - -

Oddly enough, I tested it once again, but this time only leaving the ground at bumps. I actually got a faster time staying on the ground!

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Just flew the course in a slightly modified version of JackDugan's craft in 3 mins 40 secs. Ludicrous speed. Well done Jack, this thing is insane.

I added a few struts for more robustness on ground impacts and lowered the repulsors down and in.

Edited by AlphaAsh

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This is the same craft as before, but this one doesn't fly for the first portion of the race. I actually managed a better time while flying on the ground! This one follows both the rules and the spirit of the challenge. Regardless, I still had some major air due to the simple fact that mach 1 objects, brick or plane, would rather fly than stay on the ground. I also left the resources tab open to show how electricity usage fluctuates based on Turbo Jet engine throttle.

Start Time: T+ 0:40

End Time: T+ 3:24

Total Race Time: 2:44

Highest Speed Achieved: 760 m/s

Download (for proof)

Edited by JackDugan

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OK, the leader board is up to date, and currently JackDuggan is in the lead with a super-speedy but ground-hugging craft. But let's see if there are any changes over the weekend....

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Not particularly fast, but a quirky build. Apparently, 3 hulled racers are a bad, bad idea. Many, many crashes. The "Challenge" wasn't trying to go fast, but more trying to not die.

Now THIS is Podracing!

7:18

Edited by Soda Popinski

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Not particularly fast, but a quirky build. Apparently, 3 hulled racers are a bad, bad idea. Many, many crashes. The "Challenge" wasn't trying to go fast, but more trying to not die.

http://youtu.be/PQlXLJtaJXs

Now THIS is Podracing!

7:18

Congratulations on completing the challenge! I can imagine the three hulls would create extra drag, and with the cables you'd definitely have issues staying afloat and in one piece.

Unfortunately, the most recent ruleset makes explicit that you can't use the surface-mounted repulsors. Still, just for the innovative design, and the fact that you were able to complete the challenge despite the extra difficulty, I think you deserve an honorable mention at least. :)

Edited by LitaAlto

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So I've updated the leader board to reflect Soda Popinski's entry, which doesn't qualify under current rules but is too cool not to give an honorable mention to.

I didn't set an original deadline for this challenge, but will probably close out the leader board on Wednesday if there are no new entries by then.

And I'm already giving thought to how to conduct the next race. The current version of KerbinSide Air-Race has three tracks, and I'm looking forward to racing each one!

Obviously there was a lot of confusion I failed to anticipate the first time around, so--lessons learned!

I'm putting the proposed rules for the next round in the spoiler box below. To be clear, they are not in effect for this race, but probably will be in the next.

(Originally I had flagged significant changes in red, but really, there's a lot of changes here.)

MODS:

  • Must use Kerbal Foundries.
  • Must use KerbinSide Air-Race.
  • Mods (including MechJeb and FAR) are permitted.

FLIGHT RESTRAINTS:

  • Repulsors:
    • No surface-mount repulsors are permitted.
    • Repulsors must be powered at all times.

    [*]Engines:

    • Only stock jet engines are permitted--the Wheatley jet engine, the Whiplash turbojet engine, and the RAPIER hybrid engine.
    • You can only use one type of jet engine per craft. Your craft will be classified based on the jet engine it uses.
    • Modding of stock jets is not permitted. This includes ModuleManager patches and direct .cfg changes.
    • RCS monoprop thrusters are permitted.
    • LOX rocket engines and SRBs are not permitted.

    [*]Aerodynamics:

    • No wings! That includes wing segments!
    • Control surfaces with lift up to 0.5 are permitted.
    • Limit two control surfaces + two A.I.R.B.R.A.K.E.S. per craft.
    • No fairings may be used to reduce repulsor drag.

    [*]​General:

    • You must actively use your repulsors to repulse the ground at least once in-between race markers.

    • Using jet thrust to keep you clear of the ground for extended periods is prohibited. Please, thrill in the jump, and survive the jump if you can, but don't avoid the jump.

    • When passing between race markers, your craft's altitude must remain under the top of the taller of the two markers.

GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS:

  • This race will be on the "Black Krags" course. This is a land-only course.
  • There are two categories (and leader boards) for this race--the Wheatley category and the Whiplash/RAPIER category.
  • You may enter as many times as you like, and compete in both leader board categories.
  • Record your run & time from starting line to finish.
    • Use F3 at the start and finish to register the times. (Optional but highly recommended!)
    • The above rule may be replaced with KerbinSide Air-Race 1.3 as it has improved air racing. I'll check it out and amend the rules if version 1.3 gives a benefit here.

    [*]All crew must survive the experience.

    [*]Your top speed per category will be logged in the leader boards. Previous entries you have exceeded will not be included.

    [*]Fastest time wins!

Edited by LitaAlto

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