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Your Unusual Tricks of the Trade


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  • 1 year later...

A trick I discovered:  The spaceplane hangar doubles as a wind tunnel.  Want to know if your aircraft is one of those that "flips out"?  Rotate the whole craft nose-up in the SPH and see if your COL moves ahead of the COM, i.e. it will start wanting to nose up.

Possible this is one of those things everyone knew but me, though I doubt it.

I don't feel too bad about bumping this thread as it's full of useful stuff still.

Edited by Corona688
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Now that this has been bumped :P ...

Was reading the previous page about how/where to strut radial boosters, and realised that I have a trick (which maybe everyone does). Basically, I don’t use struts anymore since autostrut was invented. 

1 - place booster on radial decoupler, set autostrut to grandparent part

2 - place nosecone on booster, set autostrut to root part

3 - booster won’t budge!

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When launching craft for solar orbits, and you really don't care where they end up along the orbit (ie Sentinel Asteroid Telescope), you can launch to the orbit directly from Kerbin.  For orbits lower than kerbin's, launch straight up at sundown, and hold vertical till in space, then switch to prograde (should only be a few degrees different).  Keep burning until your solar periapsis is at the desired height and circularize when you get there (many many days later).  For orbits higher than Kerbin, do the same, but launch predawn and burn till the solar apoapsis is the desired altitude. 

This will save you Dv and time by not wasting any in achieving a Kerbin orbit. 

Edited by Gargamel
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5 hours ago, Gargamel said:

launch straight up at sundown, and hold vertical till in space ...This will save you Dv and time by not wasting any in achieving a Kerbin orbit. 

this does not save you dV, it loses a lot to gravity drag

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If you find that you often have plenty extra fuel in your orbital stages, you can place a docking port instead of a decoupler and leave it for later, at the cost of only .01t as of 1.4, and before with no mass difference, though drag might be a concern. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So you've managed to rendezvous with another vehicle, and you want to dock with it. Usually, your speeds/trajectories are slightly different. Here's an easy way to get them really close.

Set your target vehicle as a "target". Point toward the target with the SAS "align to target" function.

(Helpful Hint: you can set the docking port as your target by right-clicking on it and choosing "select as target".)

Now switch to the other vehicle. Do the same thing: point your vehicle to the other vehicle using "select as target" and "align to target." Point to it's docking port if you can.

So here are you are, pointing at each other. If you're within physics range, both vehicles will point at each other, no matter which one you're controlling.

Now, it gets real.

Often, you will not be orbiting perfectly which means that over time, you are drifting to one side vs. the other vehicle. You're drifting a little to the right, for example. Here's how you fix that.

Watch the other vehicle (it doesn't matter which one). Watch the star field behind it. If the vehicle seems to be traveling to the left against the star field, you thrust left also.If it seems to be moving to the right, you thrust right. You might do this with RCS, or you might just point your vehicle to the right of the other vehicle and thrust, it doesn't matter. This will correct the differences in your orbit, and get you in a rock-solid intercept.

 

 

Edited by RocketBlam
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Just found this one out by accident.  I love still discovering new things in this game, even after 5+ years of playing it. 

Right clicking an Engine icon in the staging stack will bring up it's pop up window.  Works for other things too. 

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1 hour ago, Gargamel said:

Just found this one out by accident.  I love still discovering new things in this game, even after 5+ years of playing it. 

Right clicking an Engine icon in the staging stack will bring up it's pop up window.  Works for other things too. 

I literally discovered the same thing yesterday.

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Make an aircraft with 5 landing wheels - three forward and two aft.

Displace the central forward landing wheel slightly down relative to the aft landing wheels, and displace the lateral forward landing wheels slightly up relative to the aft landing wheels.

Your aircraft now has landing gear with three useful states:

  • Take off: aft landing wheels down, forward central landing wheel down, forward lateral landing wheels up. Gives a positive angle of attack when on ground - easy to get in the air.
  • Flight: all landing wheels up.
  • Landing: aft landing wheels down, forward central landing wheel up, forward lateral landing wheels down. Gives a negative angle of attack when on ground - won't bounce on landing.
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On 4/28/2018 at 3:46 AM, RocketBlam said:

Set your target vehicle as a "target". Point toward the target with the SAS "align to target" function.

(Helpful Hint: you can set the docking port as your target by right-clicking on it and choosing "select as target".)

Now switch to the other vehicle. Do the same thing: point your vehicle to the other vehicle using "select as target" and "align to target." Point to it's docking port if you can.

So here are you are, pointing at each other. If you're within physics range, both vehicles will point at each other, no matter which one you're controlling.

This is brilliant... though it assumes both ships have fairly advanced probes or pilots that are at least level three.

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On 4/28/2018 at 5:39 AM, Gargamel said:

Just found this one out by accident.  I love still discovering new things in this game, even after 5+ years of playing it. 

Right clicking an Engine icon in the staging stack will bring up it's pop up window.  Works for other things too. 

That is a recent addition, from 1.3.something, I think 

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5 minutes ago, StrandedonEarth said:

That is a recent addition, from 1.3.something, I think 

I can remember doing that in the 0.18.3 Demo. But that was a long time ago, so I could just be remembering wrongly.

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This is probably something pros either know or don't need, but for my fellow noobs, if your ship has RCS thrusters, use them to fine-tune your burn.  That is, if you overshot your Kerbin-Mun burn and now it's got a periapsis of 100 meters, use RCS to nudge your speed back a bit.  Or use it to nudge forwards and avoid overshooting in the first place.  It's a lot easier than flipping the whole ship around and also easier than adjusting the throttle on your engine, especially if you have multiple engines. 

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Always, ALWAYS use canards on planes. If that fails find a way to get your CoL above and behind your CoM.

Edited by Kernel Kraken
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30 minutes ago, Kernel Kraken said:

Always, ALWAYS use canards on planes. If that fails find a way to get your CoL above and behind your CoM.

I wouldn't personally always do that.....

It is possible to make good designs with a lack of canards.

I will admit to clipping elevons in noses though.

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12 hours ago, Kernel Kraken said:

Always, ALWAYS use canards on planes. If that fails find a way to get your CoL above and behind your CoM.

Isn't that a canard?  Or please elaborate, with pics if possible.  I understand what it can do in real world aviation, they've been around since the Wright flyer, but in KSP I've never used one (but I'm a big fan V-tails).  (And for those who need a bush up, the wikipedia article on this has a pretty good write up along with some nice examples of RL canards).

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12 minutes ago, kBob said:

Isn't that a canard?  Or please elaborate, with pics if possible.  I understand what it can do in real world aviation, they've been around since the Wright flyer, but in KSP I've never used one (but I'm a big fan V-tails).  (And for those who need a bush up, the wikipedia article on this has a pretty good write up along with some nice examples of RL canards).

I think you meant to quote Instead:

12 hours ago, qzgy said:

I will admit to clipping elevons in noses though.

Which, yes is technically a canard.  

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10 minutes ago, Gargamel said:

I think you meant to quote Instead:

Which, yes is technically a canard.  

Hmmm...that was actually a pun ;) .  I did quote the post I wanted.  I just want to know why I should use a canard when I don't normally.

Edit: I think the  answer will be to easily shift the COL and COM in the right places with a useful control surface...but I don't generally have that problem, at least not on the simple aircraft I build.

Edited by kBob
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6 minutes ago, kBob said:

I just want to know why I should use a canard when I don't normally.

Also, if you have issues getting off the runway, sometimes the forward control surface can lift the nose. 

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I place a linear RCS port on the tip of my hypersonic SSTO planes so that they can withstand the immense temperatures of flight and re-entry. I've successfully managed to breach 1600m/s without having my cockpits blow up.

 

edit: Meant to say 1600m/s and not 6000m/s :O

Edited by Levelord
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8 hours ago, kBob said:

Isn't that a canard?  Or please elaborate, with pics if possible.  I understand what it can do in real world aviation, they've been around since the Wright flyer, but in KSP I've never used one (but I'm a big fan V-tails).  (And for those who need a bush up, the wikipedia article on this has a pretty good write up along with some nice examples of RL canards).

It was just a tip; every plane i've made that works exceptionally well has had canards. It's not a universal rule, but I like it.

5 hours ago, Levelord said:

I place a linear RCS port on the tip of my hypersonic SSTO planes so that they can withstand the immense temperatures of flight and re-entry. I've successfully managed to breach 6000m/s without having my cockpits blow up.

This is actually an amazing heat resistance idea, I might try this with my hypersonic jet project!

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On 6/13/2016 at 3:39 PM, cantab said:

Speaking of monopropellant, 1.1 added a new option on RCS thrusters: Under actuation toggles, "Fore by Throttle" which makes them work as main engines!

KER won't tell you the delta-V, but a bare 1-Kerbal lander can with a couple of single-way thrusters gets 200 m/s just on its internal monopropellant. Enough for basic orbital manouvering, or even to take off from Minmus.

Did not know that, thanks for the tip!

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