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Brainlord Mesomorph

My new idea for heavy lifter SSTO spaceplanes.

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SSTO spaceplanes are fun and very fuel efficient. But I have never been able to use them to haul serious payloads (space station components, interplanetary tugs) to orbit. My problem has always been maintaining center of lift and center of thrust around the center of mass as I burn up all the fuel and I’m left with nothing but payload.

I can haul fuel or Kerbals, trying to build and a multi-purpose heavy lifter space plane seems impossible. So I have this new idea:

The flying wing.

OK that’s not a new idea. Here’s my new idea:

An SSTO flying wing.

OK that’s probably not a new idea either, here is really my new idea:

Two SSTO flying wings!

Assuming you have an SSTO flying wing with all of its thrust and all of its fuel in the wing:

You take 2 oddly shaped payload units, attach them to both ends of a fuel tank, cover them in fairings, then mount two of these flying wings above and below the fuel tank, like a giant biplane. (or two pieces of toast around a hot dog).

All the thrust, and all of the lift, is now properly centered around your center of mass, and should remain so, all the way to orbit. Once in orbit, they both separate and fly back as individual spaceplanes. And theoretically you could use this system to fly a large variety of sizes and shapes of payloads to orbit.

Hmm? Pretty?

I’m in development: I’m currently testing a delta shaped SSTO flying wing comprised primarily of Mk2 fuselages, and Big-S delta wings. It has a ridiculous amount of trust, and a ridiculous amount of lift. Once a figure out how to fly the damn thing, I’ll start experimenting with two of them and payloads.

Thoughts? Math? Comments?

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Sooo.... basically: >--> ?

It might work... kerbal style.

I have two concerns.

1) Each Lifting Body (LB) would have it's CoL properly behind the CoM for each LB. That should place the CoL slightly behind the linear middle of the overall structure. That's perfect, IF your payload's Mass is evenly distributed. If it's CoM is behind where it's supposed to be, then You'll have to either adjust your overall CoM or add wings to bring the CoL back some. Not an idea killer, but a hiccup you'll have to check for each time.

2) Fuel consumption. If the loss of fuel shifts your CoM around, and I'm thinking that 3 unique parts could end up with funky Fuel flows, you may run into problems. Again, not an idea killer, but I know I'd be using my TacFuel balancer pretty heavily, even just to lock out any fuel in the payload from being used.

I'm intrigued enough to try it myself. I kinda suck at spaceplanes, I never have enough dv left to do anything fancy in orbit, but I'll try anyways.

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Once in orbit, they both separate and fly back as individual spaceplanes.

Too lazy to do that. Might be an interesting experiment so go for it but why would you want multiple spaceplanes with lower overall cargo capacity in orbit (2x wings weight)?

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You are probably looking for gchristopher's Sporklift/Hot Dog Bun Reusable System.

I wonder if amazing stuff like in that old challenge is still possible to make - or how some would work in today's stock KSP.

Got to love looking back at old insane engineering wonders.

Seriously, check out that thread. It is full of genious minds (excluding mine).

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Sounds like you want to use a pair of flying wings as strap on SSTOs.

I've done something similar.

How did I get this thing to duna?


(those aren't basic jets, they are modded electric atmospheric propulsion units)


Once in space, I had a claw unit attack to its center of gravity...

But how to space it?

With these 3 SSTOs:


On launch:


What about a different payload?


Yup, still works:


What about Vertical launch?

Well, its not an SSTO, but it is 100% recovery when I use flea booster packs:


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Sooo.... basically: >--> ?

No, a biplane. but the wings come off!

you just mount the (flying) wings wherever they need to be for the CoM of this particular fuselage (payload)!

So far I've only been working on the one flying wing. But here's my first try to put 2 of them around a payload bottle.


That's gonna need some struts!

EDIT the front:


Like I said, I haven't finished the wing yet.

I’m realizing it’s going to need two sets of landing gear, a light set, for when it’s a flying wing, and a heavier set (in a different location) for when it’s a biplane

- - - Updated - - -

Sounds like you want to use a pair of flying wings as strap on SSTOs.

Same idea.

But I do things big!

Edited by Brainlord Mesomorph

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This is a really awesome idea. I like Kerikbalm's SSTOs a little better because he's obviously put the shine on them already. But the fact that you came up with the double wing idea on your own is impressive. It's changed the way I think abut SSTOs a little bit since I've never seen that before either. Good work fellas.

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Well, I gave up on my strap on SSTOs... I never updated them for 1.04 after 1.02.

They work fine and radially attach anywhere there is space.... but that last payload wasn't even very big, and I had to do 4 seperate de-orbits+ landing at the runway.

As payload size increases, the number of those things I need to add increases, which means even more things to land... you'll spend all your time just recovering SSTOs... or discarding them in sandbox, but if you discard things, why carry them all the way to orbit before discarding?

Also, while they could do a horizontal takeoff with the Duna-plane, they couldn't with the Duna VTOL lander (that 2nd payload, which could fly horizontally just fine, but launches and lands vertically, hence the large X wings at the back... I didn't want my kerbals to have to walk or rove very far to get to their ascent vehicle, so I made the lander able to glide).

So then I need the RATO packs to do a vertical launch and get it pitched over into horizontal flight before going off the end of the runway so I can get 100% recovery on the RATO packs.

So now, before I can even do a landing, I need to clean up all the RATO packs off the runway, by clicking recover a lot of times if I launched a big payload.

So in the end, I only use them for specific payloads, but mostly I just have a set small/medium/large size SSTOs that carry their payload in a mor normal fashion.

This is my "Workhorse" SSTO:


I pretty much launch all my payloads with it since 1.02 (no changes needed from 1.02 to 1.04)


While no changes were needed, I did change to the shock cone intakes in 1.04, and add tailcones to the rapiers.

Sometimes I use a complere fairing, sometimes I don't use any fairing (in which case I modify the attachment point slightly)


This is a variant of the medium size SSTO that I mostly use now when the payload isn't big enough to justify a Workhorselaunch:


Obviously, that one can take smallish payloads to Munar Orbit - the payload dimensions can be much wider than what a Mk3 bay will allow, although its total mass can't be too high.

On top of that, I've got some Mk2 spaceplanes with mk2 cargobays for the really small payloads.

I've even got a spaceplane that is larger than the Workhorse, which uses mk3/ 3.75m parts where the orange tanks are on the Workhorse, and the Big-S delta wings in the center instead of the standard delta wings, to allow the payload to be even wider.

But... I find the Workhorse to be sufficient for pretty much all my needs. If a payload won't fit in it, odds are that I just built the payload too big.

Some people are really good at doing a lot with little ships (granted I don't want my kerbal to go to Duna stuck in a mk1 lander can, I want him to go in a hitchhiker container on the end of an arm that can be spun like a centrifuge) ( )

If it can't launch in the Workhorse, odds are that its bigger than needed, even if you want to be a bit extravagant (no, I don't want to plant a flag and get back in a mk1 lander can, I want a surface rover, a surface hab with a science lab, a lander that can carry 3 kerbals, a seperate mining rig, and an orbital fuel depot!).

Its not the cheapest SSTO in terms of cost/ton (coming in at about 150 funds per ton, although this hgihly varies on payload size and if it needs a big fairing or not)

So the strap on SSTOs were a fun experiment, but I want to just do 1 recovery, not 4 or 8 or 16, or whatever.

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