Mast

Scout plane

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This is the Fly Or Die. Basically it's the first relatively good flying space plane I've build in a long time.

It flies really well, is quite efficient and should have enough fuel to make it around Kerbin (to be tested). There's an antenna and thermometer on board for quick science as well.

Now if only I knew how to successfully land the thing...

 

http://www.filedropper.com/flyordie

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Turns out it can land. Well, kind of...

myXvqFQ.jpg

I blame my flying skills.

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What problem are you running into on landing?

Your front wheel is on backwards, did you invert steering on it?

The low wings, while pretty, don't leave you much room for error before the strike the ground. My advice would be to switch to the small retractable landing gear, moving the rear gear out to the low wingtips, and putting the front gear on a small hardpoint (to avoid a nose-low stance).

 

Hope you get it working, it is very pretty.

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@WhiteKnuckle So that's why the front wheel was looking odd, I didn't notice it was placed backwards.

I haven't unlocked the retractable landing gear yet I think. I've considered putting the back wheels on the outer sides of the wing, but since the nose was already low I didn't want to risk it. I'll have to rise the tips a little to prevent them touching down, perhaps that will give more room for placing the wheels as well.

The main problem with the landing is coming in straight, low enough and without too much speed. Knowing when to put on the brakes is also tricky (I suspect you're not supposed to use the brakes for landing). In other words, I'd prefer a broader and longer runway to practice on :-)

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26 minutes ago, Mast said:

@WhiteKnuckle So that's why the front wheel was looking odd, I didn't notice it was placed backwards.

I haven't unlocked the retractable landing gear yet I think. I've considered putting the back wheels on the outer sides of the wing, but since the nose was already low I didn't want to risk it. I'll have to rise the tips a little to prevent them touching down, perhaps that will give more room for placing the wheels as well.

The main problem with the landing is coming in straight, low enough and without too much speed. Knowing when to put on the brakes is also tricky (I suspect you're not supposed to use the brakes for landing). In other words, I'd prefer a broader and longer runway to practice on :-)

You can turn the wheel around, or you can right-click it and click the "invert steering" button. Under this menu you can also adjust brake torque on each wheel. Set the rear wheels to maximum torque and leave the front alone or even reduce it's brake torque to avoid nosing-over on landing (to answer your question, you should be using brakes just after touchdown, provided you've set them up correctly)

To practice landing: Skip the actual landing (seriously!) Take off, get up to speed and altitude, then turn back to the runway, but instead of going to the ground imagine the runway is floating 100m up. So come in straight and work on getting your speed as low as possible while maintaining a steady altitude (say around 150m) Reduce engine thrust to the level needed to maintain this speed and altitude. Note the level of thrust.

So now you're flying around at 150m altitude, going 70m/s, and your throttle is at 30% (numbers made up, but probably close for something that size) how does this help you? Well it helps because from now on you know that you can reduce throttle to 30% and descend to 150m while you're still kilometers away from the runway and you'll be able to hold that altitude and speed for as long as needed. Once you get to the runway all you have to do is loose a very small amount of altitude and maybe 10m/s of speed and you'll be on the ground.

Compare that to a "normal" KSP landing where you're coming in from high speed, high altitude, with engines going full blast or off completely, and you're trying to kill all that speed and altitude while not crashing or overshooting. It's a lot to handle in only a few seconds.

Get rid of speed and altitude early and landings will be a breeze.

 

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Landing at over 70ms is likely to break things you want to float gently down just above stall speed, which by the number of wings yours has is probably around 30ms

Edited by selfish_meme

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@WhiteKnuckle Looks like the front wheel was mounted right after all, inverting actually inverted the steering. Oh well.

I also found out the desert is quite a nice place to practice, unless your wings are a little low.

Pg1Oqmo.jpg

Progress!

I unlocked the retractable wheels, got spare points to go a tier better to medium if required. But the plane shouldn't be needing those, it ain't that heavy. Currently redesigning the plane to lift it's wings a little and raise the whole thing. Retractable wheels will probably reduce the drag, which is good.

Landing 'in the air' like WhiteK proposed was a bit tricky, but at least I know how to get valuable statistics about any given SSTO now.

Edited by Mast

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I put the retractable wheels on and they work quite nicely. I also put a bunch of science modules on it to let it do something useful. It wasn't going fast enough for regular cruising/exploration anyway.

I also put 2 extra wheels on the back without removing the old ones. The old ones are for back-up, in case wings go AWOL and all.

 

http://www.filedropper.com/flyordieforscience

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