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Greetings! So, I just got this game about 3 days ago since there was a Steam sale for it. I've always been interested in KSP. I've started a career mode save and currently I have orbited Kerbin, scraping out all the science I can. I even researched Aviation just to make a rover to collect science around the KSC. Right now I'm stuck. I want to build a plane and go do survey missions but they can't get off the ground. I've visited the highlands and gotten science from there. I could easily go to the mountains if I could just aim my rockets correctly toward them. So, any tips on building the plane? I don't have the money to upgrade to a Lvl 2 SPH, by the way. Thank you for the help.

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Welcome to the forums, @DaElite101! Hopefully you enjoy KSP, it's an awesome game.


I'm not exactly an expert on aircraft myself, but I'll give you some tips.


1: Try placing the front landing gear slightly lower than the rear landing gear, this'll  result in your plane pointing up slightly, which'll help during takeoff.

2: Don't use the runway until you've upgraded it to level 2, until then just move over to the grass plains next to it and take off from there, as they're less bumpy than the tier 1 runway.

If you've unlocked them, add winglets to the side of your aircraft, like this: (Indicated by the red arrows)



(Note, my game is modded, that's why some parts or bits of the UI look different)

3: Make sure the center of lift is behind the center of mass, and that the center of thrust points at the center of mass, the buttons that are used to toggle the center of mass, thrust, and lift overlays are indicated by the black arrows. lift is blue, thrust is purple, and mass is yellow, you can adjust them by moving various parts, such as the wings in order to move the CoL, the engines to move the CoT, or anything to move the CoM.

4: Right click your tail fins and disable pitch and roll by clicking on the associated buttons, do the same with yaw for your elevons, and roll and yaw for your winglets.


I'd also recommend visiting the Gameplay Questions and Tutorials and asking for some help there, and reading/watching tutorials on YouTube and other parts of the internet, also read the in-game KSPedia, the button to access the KSPedia is indicated by the blue arrow. There's also this guide on aircraft design, it's from an older version of the game, but most of the things there should still work.


Good luck with KSP!


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By the way, how do I do the tourist contracts? I know that a tourist can't be a pilot and that I'll need a space for the tourist and pilot, or have a single slot for the tourist and a probe. But what's the travel itinerary? Do I need to take the tourists somewhere specific or just do a sub-orbital flight as it says?

Edit: Nevermind, I got it.

Edited by DaElite101
Found this out myself.
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One last thing, how do I land properly? I built a pretty good plane that can get off the ground and fly. But I don't know much on how to land aircraft so I put some parachutes. I do know that airbrakes help but I have not unlocked them yet. I used the flat ground around the KSC, by the way.

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What I like to do when landing any of my aircraft, is to find out at which speed it stalls, or begins to lose its lift and fall back down to Kerbin, after I know what speed that is, I line it up to the runway on approach, or wherever I'm landing, and start to decelerate either by using airbrakes, or lifting my nose above the horizon, I make sure that my plane is no more than 10 meters above the ground when doing so, and when it slows down enough, it'll start to fall back down slow enough that I'm able to touch down with my back wheels first, and slowly let the front wheel touch down. Then I use brakes to slow myself down, or a parachute if applicable.

EDIT: To add on to what DolphinDude3 said, having the CoL slightly behind the CoM is the ideal to make a plane, having the CoM too far in front of the CoL results in the aircraft being nose-heavy, making it want to nosedive if you don't have enough control surfaces to keep it aloft, having the CoL in FRONT of the CoM just results in disaster 95% of the time.


Edited by trippytripp
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