Exo's Boneyard: SSTOs and more.

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Posted (edited)

Please do!  The penalty for removing the fairing would be temperature resistance.  The normal Nosecone is 2400 degrees, the fairings 2600 degrees.  A shielded docking port might be a good replacement because they are 2600 degrees as well.  They are tough as nails, if a little blunt looking.  That 200 extra degrees is pretty critical to get 1500m/s + before the closed cycle kicks in, but lower speeds won't be a big deal if you are carrying lighter payloads. 

Edited by Exothermos

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Posted (edited)

How about another Replicraft?  This time the inescapable SR-71.  



The blackbird is probably one of the first jets that people build in KSP, but I wanted to use more "advanced" building techniques to get a little closer to reality.  It's a tough balance to keep part count manageable, yet replicate complex shapes and subtle curves with the parts we're given, so some fidelity must be sacrificed for usability.  



In the end i think it looks the part, and it flies similarly to the real deal.



A version carying the D-21 reconnaissance drone is also available.



Launch of the drone is suitably clench-inducing.



But she goes like a bat outa' hell when spooled up.  Perfect for spying on those Koviets!



In the end this is mostly an exercise in modeling and building, as replica craft don't really DO much.  Still, it's fun to fly and imagine, which ultimately is my favoirte part of KSP.



DOWNLOAD SR-71    (KerbalX)

DOWNLOAD SR-71 with D-21 Drone     (KerbalX)


Edit: Check out Eorin's & my collaboration build for an extremely accurate, re-engineered & rebuilt version of this SR-71 HERE.

Edited by Exothermos
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26 minutes ago, Exothermos said:

How about ..... Replicraft ...... the inescapable SR-71.  

yes.... YES... YEESSSSSSS!!!!!

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i like the fusilid so much that i've been using it for things other than intended. i wanted to use it as a long distance ship so i put nuclear engines on it

ok -- my first try at refitting it and sending it to gilly. it is packed tight:


from the left: a rover with a skycrane (gonna be my first attempt at using one).  then a probe to scan gilly. habitation for kerbals, then a 4k battery, supply bay with experiments, etc.

the idea is i eject the probe, then EVA the kerbals onto the rover with the 4 go-cart seats



getting up to speed at sea level before the ascent












nice aerodynamics. hardly any drag if i'm interpreting it right (small number of red streaks?). what's the yellow mean on the flaps? that it's a control surface's lift?



wait, we have a negative apoapsis? what's that mean?

what does our trajectory look like...?


what! we're leaving kerbin's SOI??



goodbye station i had planned to refuel at







ROFL.  i even left the solar system!!

this was hilarious to me i never would have expected it. does this happen with space planes?

fusilid is a supership. how was that possible with 4 rapiers?

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LOL!  What!?  That's amazing; we won't call it a bug.  It's a feature. I suppose the ship is really optimized for much heavier loads, so she has...generous TWR with your lighter payload.  Let me know if you make it to gilly.:0.0:

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Posted (edited)

on trying to travel to gilly part 2

i made it to eve with the fusilid but i'm short 300 dV to slow down into gilly's orbit so i have to send a refueler. i'm gonna use the arbalest gt reloaded since the cargo bay is the right size in volume:


and i'll bring some kerbals along with the fuel for the xp



oops turned out i was 12 tons over capacity. i should have added it up


i will try the mega capacity version instead (arbalest reloaded). to make it capable of being used further than LKO i will add ants



no not really. but i will add LV-N's and i can add more fuel now and more kerbals. i'll take all of the ones i have with me using go cart seats for the overflow


the full payload. ready for takeoff



the ladder cart i made to get them up there (later found it better to just EVA)





whoaa close call with the water, i think the ship is just at its weight limit



is everyone ok?



ok following the flight plan of the fusilid... around 1,000m/s pull up and..


egads! i pulled up at 700 m/s and the wings blew off!  i shouldn't follow the flight plan of lighter ships for heavy duty ones. don't drive a van like a ferrari



i shot up to 4k meter altitude in about 15 seconds after the wing disaster. from sea level! how did that happen?



comin down



from experiencing g forces from before and after the crash not yet seen on kerbin the plane imploded on hitting the surface



only one survivor. she looks traumatized after her fellow passengers got warped into another dimension. i will have to try a different approach for the rescue mission. maybe not go so fast before i ascend


on the next try, i used a smaller ship, the fusilid again with a small liquid fuel payload



i got it stranded around eve too!



i sent a rescue mission for the rescue mission with an arbalest GT. with fuel and kerbals. i also accepted a contract to send a space station into gilly orbit which it'll fulfill while i'm at it. fuel was low and had to use its payload that was meant for its target..



and got it stranded too!


but around gilly instead of eve. yaaaaay i made gilly orbit finally, and a million dollars from the contract

i'll make it to the surface of that moon eventually, and rescue everybody, i'm getting better at the game. i'm gonna focus on making a better refueling station around kerbin for now.  these ships were meant for hauling to LKO maybe i should use vessels for their function. if i like a ship i want to use it for everything. put some LV-N's on it and it's now a starship


Edited by not enough fuel
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The above should be organized and put in mission reports.  It perfectly illustrates the kerbal experience.

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I dumped a lot of craft files over on KerbalX for those who are interested.  I wouldn't cross-promote normally, but the forums seem a little sleepy lately, so why not.

Besides some of the older ships in this thread there is a bigger Fusilid-style design called the Fusilid Extreme


It can lift heavy things to orbit.


Then it pops them off...


And comes back home looking kinda weird and naked.




Also there are a few designs based on a concept I wanted to try using very large wings and a liquid fuel only restriction.  I wanted to get going fast at air-breathing altitude then pull up abruptly transforming forward momentum into vertical climb (zoom climbing).  Then the Nuclear Engines can work for a while (in near vacuum where they are more efficient) to gain orbital velocity.  It works well, but isn't particularly groundbreaking.  Still, they are fun.

The (not so) creatively named NukeWing is the purest of them with its yuuuge flying wing design.


Those wings have terrible heat resistance, but re-entry is manageable because the enormous lift and drag, coupled with the relatively tiny dry weight, slows the ship down like fluttering leaf before the wings have time to heat-soak and explode.  Ideally. 



The NukeWing Light is a smaller version of the same concept.  It re-enters much less dramatically because of the tougher delta wings.  However, due to only one wimpy Nuke, it takes a little more finesse to get to orbit.


The Nukewing Advanced is an attempt to make all this practical.  And it is: More crew, less drama.  But it does end-up looking like a more conventional Mk2 build.  Which might be a good thing.




My 2 ISRU Interplanetary SSTOs are essentially done.  



I just have to run a shake-down cruise or two to prove the concepts to myself.  I've done lots of partial missions.  Simple planetary transfers and the like.  Grand tours should be possible: the math says yes, but I don't want to release until I've done a couple missions to completion.  The only problem is that isn't really my cup of tea.  I like building a lot more than fiddling endlessly with maneuver nodes.  (Anyone want to "beta test"?) 


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The recent roll-out of the Stratolauncher inspired me to play around with the basic catamaran hull design.  The result is a pair of aircraft that are surprisingly capable.  The two ships are so similar in form that I have not bothered to name them differently, even though their capabilities are much different.  For simplicity I will call them both Stratomaran.

The Stratomaran Air Launch takes the basic Stratolauncher mission profile to a higher performance level.



The ship is capable of launching its payload at 1300m/s and 22+ kilometers.  This greatly increases the range capability or weight of the payload compared to a ship powered by Turbofans.



Bulky payloads are accommodated under the cantilevered center wing section.



The plane is easy to fly, but a little hair-raising to land on the runway due to its wide-track landing gear.




The Stratomaran SSTO takes the air-launch vehicle and gives is a kick with more engines and fuel.



Rotation is no problem due to high clearances.  Even more clearance is possible by changing landing gear sets.



Now payloads can be taken directly to orbit!



The real challenge is re-entry.  Much like the NukeWing SSTO in the prior post, it is critical that a certain re-entry profile is observed.  The idea is to use the huge wing area to slow down as fast as possible before the wimpy large wing sections overheat and explode.  Lots of air brakes, a shallow trajectory, and a High angle of attack does the trick nicely.  



You slowdown like a badminton shuttlecock.  



Payloads for both designs must be aerodynamic or contained in fairings.  The Air Launch version can lift 30% heavier payloads, but the SSTO can take them directly to space, so it's a bit of a wash.


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