Sovek

Custom LES contrantraptions.... whats yours?

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While I admire Squads attempt at giving us an LES, its pretty deadly at low altitude with real-chutes installed. It gets it it at best, 150m off the ground, not near enough time for the mains to deploy. Lowering the weight could work, but seeing as how this is for a capsule weighing 4t and I'm using on something thats not even that heavy, a new system was is order.

With the use of KW Ullage motors (75kn each), some procedural fuselage structures and some girders, I came up with my own LES that really gets the job done.

8B9E78272439BA63261C02134BFCAA28C8CCAD39

 

So what have you guys come up with? I'd love to see your solutions to this issue of crew safety (if you even do at all)

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In stock I find no need for an LES; it's way too easy to bring capsules back to the ground what with engines that require no ullage and incredibly powerful reaction wheels.  In RO I usually use the provided towers which are pretty sane compared to the one in stock.

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15 minutes ago, regex said:

In stock I find no need for an LES; it's way too easy to bring capsules back to the ground what with engines that require no ullage and incredibly powerful reaction wheels.  In RO I usually use the provided towers which are pretty sane compared to the one in stock.

you are forgetting unlimited ignitions as well. Something thats been biting me in my recent program, getting to the mun can be difficult when the engine you want to use (like RP-1/LOX based, because hypergolics are expensive and LH2 isn't very dense) has a single ignition, and then you are stuck.... bah.

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This is one I made while I was playing with Real Fuels for the first time in sandbox mode:

 

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It got tested pretty thoroughly since various things kept going wrong with the rockets. I even had an automated abort sequence worked out after a while using Smart Parts: firing the abort action group decoupled the capsule and started the abort motors, obviously, but also started a timer to jettison the escape tower about a second later (with its engines still running, so it was pulled clear of the capsule), then jettison the retro-package and arm the chutes. All stock except for the motors, which are Ven's Snub-o-Trons, but an older version of it worked fine with stock Seperatrons clipped into the nose cone as well. 

A much simpler version (if you're not trying to make a Mercury capsule look-alike) is to just stick two Seperatrons on the sides of the capsule. Added bonus: since they're not jettisoned, they double as retrorockets with about 150 m/s of delta-v. 

HmXl6Xs.jpg?1

 

For the Mk 1-2, I just use more Separatrons:

1bqmLIn.jpg?1

The nosecone-and-Separatron approach is pretty reliable, and also works with a fairing below it, closed around the nose cone, for more of a Soyuz-style setup. Although if I'm going more for looks than functionality I might just use the stock LES (which is really good enough for any scenario other than a pad abort). 

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Thanks Hotaru (not used to seeing that name :P... Though she made a very VERY dangerous Sailor Senshi [which I'm reminded of the saying from Vader... 'the ability to destroy a planet is insificant compared to the power of the force'])
, I'd not thought to use Snubs in that fashion.... Might have to look into your approach.

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Mine is really just turning the capsule into a tiny fly able plane, w/ aw patrons boosting it to extreme speeds and heights, then gliding back to KSC to parachute into the VAB...

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Three sepratrons around the capsule is my usual.  If they aren't used for abort, they're braking rockets on the descent.

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This is a launch escape system for my RSS spaceplane, thanks to a couple of the larger Space Y separatrons bolted to the side of the crew cabin. Unfortunately, you have to wait for the cargo bay doors to open fully, or you get screwed by the lovely "Cannot activate engine while stowed" mechanic, which is pretty much deadly on take off if you have only a fraction of a second to eject. Now, if Nertea would add emergency ejection for the payload bay doors....that would be cool!

http://makeagif.com/i/vZOmy2

Edited by UnusualAttitude

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6 hours ago, UnusualAttitude said:

This is a launch escape system for my RSS spaceplane, thanks to a couple of the larger Space Y separatrons bolted to the side of the crew cabin. Unfortunately, you have to wait for the cargo bay doors to open fully, or you get screwed by the lovely "Cannot activate engine while stowed" mechanic, which is pretty much deadly on take off if you have only a fraction of a second to eject. Now, if Nertea would add emergency ejection for the payload bay doors....that would be cool!

http://makeagif.com/i/vZOmy2

OMG, I think you just solved a problem that's been nagging me for two weeks!

I'm trying to make a space plane with low-profile ventral engines for landing in a vacuum, but I couldn't get the little stand-up guys to light!

The offending engines are mounted on a cargo bay!

I bet that it's reading the engines as being mounted INSIDE the bays, not outside!

MU HA hA ha!

 Thaaaaaank yooooou!

-Jn-

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LES?  Hell, most ships I launch Kerbals in don't even have parachutes, let alone an LES.  If WW1 pilots could fly without parachutes, so can Kerbals :)

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7 hours ago, UnusualAttitude said:

This is a launch escape system for my RSS spaceplane, thanks to a couple of the larger Space Y separatrons bolted to the side of the crew cabin. Unfortunately, you have to wait for the cargo bay doors to open fully, or you get screwed by the lovely "Cannot activate engine while stowed" mechanic, which is pretty much deadly on take off if you have only a fraction of a second to eject. Now, if Nertea would add emergency ejection for the payload bay doors....that would be cool!

http://makeagif.com/i/vZOmy2

How do you put an MK3 crew module inside an MK3 cargo bay? 
Curious cat want to know. Guessing you scaled it down.

I tend to only have LES on planes, pods can survive with shutdown and separate but planes can end up in settings where they can not land safely. 
Standard is to have 2-4 seperators who jettison the cockpit and crew compartment. one or two parachutes for landing, the cancard act as an wing for module. 

 

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1 hour ago, Geschosskopf said:

LES?  Hell, most ships I launch Kerbals in don't even have parachutes, let alone an LES.  If WW1 pilots could fly without parachutes, so can Kerbals :)

I used an LES once, and it gave Jeb & crew entirely too much fear of crashing/dying. As a result, they are simply trained better and taught to not let the rocket fail in the first place.

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3 hours ago, JoeNapalm said:

OMG, I think you just solved a problem that's been nagging me for two weeks!

I'm trying to make a space plane with low-profile ventral engines for landing in a vacuum, but I couldn't get the little stand-up guys to light!

The offending engines are mounted on a cargo bay!

I bet that it's reading the engines as being mounted INSIDE the bays, not outside!

MU HA hA ha!

 Thaaaaaank yooooou!

-Jn-

Your welcome :D, if Cannot Activate While Stowed is indeed the problem,  the game should tell you so in big, unfriendly yellow letters. 

2 hours ago, magnemoe said:

How do you put an MK3 crew module inside an MK3 cargo bay? 
Curious cat want to know.
 

The cargo bay is from Nertea's MKIV mod. Cause in RSS bigger stuff can help. Sometimes. 

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1 hour ago, UnusualAttitude said:

Your welcome :D, if Cannot Activate While Stowed is indeed the problem,  the game should tell you so in big, unfriendly yellow letters.

Oh, it has been telling me...

...I just couldn't grok WHY it was telling me.

 

-Jn-

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I never built a LES before... intentionally.

But today I realized my Shuttle has one. The whole crew saved after two spontaneous discombobulation - one at launch one supersonic:

 

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For a crewed ship, I power land the lander back on kerbin while utilizing the parachutes on the capsule itself. Then after that, I revert.

For non-crewed ships, I bury them into the nearest landscape as fast and hard as possible.

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@Evanitis It took longer than I'd like to admit looking at the second set of photos to realize the rapiers weren't mounted at a 45* angle backwards on the wing, that WAS the malfunction. I somehow missed the first photo in the sequence. "Why the devil does this guy build a plane that way? What does he need THAT much atmospheric braking for?" *looks at the next slide* "Oh bloody hell those broke loose!" *facepalm* You've gotta admit you timed that screenshot perfectly haha. 

No LES on most craft I fly. If it's crewed it MUST have a parachute per my career guidelines, but often the abort sequence is "decouple and pray nothing hits you"

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15 minutes ago, Wolfos31 said:

You've gotta admit you timed that screenshot perfectly haha.

The beauty of having a cardboard supersonic plane still in the lower atmo - if it does anything out of the ordinary, there's nothing left to do than spamming F1 and looking for spectacular angles. ^_^

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I got spoiled by the Dragon V2 in Laztek's SpaceX kit, and since it isn't currently working in 1.0.5, have been using the Super 67 pod which also comes with built-in engines for escape/landing.

 

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From before we had a stock LES (though these shots are from a demonstration craft slapped together in .90), the OctoBail heavy escape tower!

Spoiler

actionGroups.png

The abort action cuts all main engines, separates the portion of the craft to be recovered, and fires the 8 separatron motors in one keystroke.

Here's the test craft after a major fuel pump malfunction, abort system engaged moments before impact:

Spoiler

malfunction.png

Note the nice and gentle 2g acceleration.  It goes up to 3g as the fuel burns out, but still much less violent than the stock LES, while still able to pull the capsule away from disaster:

Spoiler

disaster.png

Nice and safe from the inferno below.

Spoiler

infernoEscape.png

 A second action group releases the tower and pops the chutes:

Spoiler

safety.png

 

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I usually make my own LES as well from sepratrons and an I-beam, as I find the stock LES to be a bit under powered.

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How to LES PROPERLY.

Step 1: after launch failure, EVA kerbal

Step 2: Aim head towards ground

Step 3: Accelerate.

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