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The Wright Bros would have quit in disgust


sneekyzeke
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shrug

I'm finding it surprising how easily planes come for me.

Build something that *roughly* resembles a plane.

Switch CoM and CoL display on.

Using the Move tool, move the wings so that the blue sphere is a little bit behind the yellow sphere, roughly middle of blue being on the surface of orange.

Make sure I have any control surfaces that are not in line with CoM. Possibly aid some canards if I don't (then move the wings to compensate for the added lifting surface).

Move the rear wheels so that they are maybe a meter or so behind CoM.

Launch.

Facepalm, revert, and add air intakes.

Done.

Seriously:

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This took me less than half an hour to build. Intended for the "Asymmetric Airplane Thread". It took off on the first try, and once I set the thrust limiter on the rightmost engine so that it would stop turning all by itself, it began flying quite gracefully too.

Building a generic airplane in KSP is trivial. Difficulty starts once you want it to go SSTO, carry significant payload, turn on a dime, land on water, take off from water, be fuel-efficient, reach orbit fast, behave gracefully on reentry, land in one piece, carry irregular payload, and so on, and so on.

Wright Brothers plane? Trivial.

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17 hours ago, Terwin said:

I had thought that the fuel tanks had been re-balanced so they all had a similar fuel ratio... apparantly not.dy core...) 

The plane fuselage tankage is not equal to or better than the cylindrical part tankage because the fuselages also produce lift.  This added benefit is balanced by adding mass.

16 hours ago, eddiew said:

Surely the larger the tank, the less surface area (dry mass) it should have per unit volume? Or does KSP not know that?

Rocket fuel tanks are not simple container walls...  they include baffles to prevent the contents from sloshing around and a large "tank" section often is made up of several smaller tanks enclosed together in an outer shell.

So, a significant proportional mass savings by a large tank over a small tank should not be expected.

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13 hours ago, Red Shirt said:

@sneekyzeke people take posts way too serious around here sometimes. I found your post extremely amusing because I have crashed and burned way too many planes trying to figure out the fascination. Hasn't happened so far. That said, after reading your post I grabbed the stock craft Aeris 4A for the first time and went straight into space with it. Awesome! ...and during reentry it exploded. It was glorious. Stupid planes.

I'm glad you realized it was sarcasm; well mebbe a bit of irritability as well. :D I can launch spacecraft in very short order with each new version of KSP, but I have to re-learn planes each time. I didn't give up, things are much better now, and even tho I said I didn't want help, dang if I didn't get tons of it from this here fine community. Thanks to all who commented; now you all know why I have very few comments on here. :wink:

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21 hours ago, Gaarst said:

I agree. But if Squad could leave plane parts aside for some time and start giving rocket parts some love, it would prevent such threads. (Seriously: Mk2 parts, Mk3 parts, at least two redesigns and recent individual parts additions (Mk3 ramp, Juno and other stuff) on one side; vs 3.75m parts and a possible redesign that may never go stock on the other)

Edit: Vector is a rocket engine designed for shuttle so I count it in neither category.

Edit2: and the whole landing gear stuff which I have yet to see the use in rovers (and rockets for that matter). Spike and Thud got redesigns though.

There are several good MK2 part packs available.  For example, QuizTechAero was just released this morning for 1.2, and has a number of mk2 parts.  Others also, I just don't remember them right now

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5 hours ago, Streetwind said:

I would bet money that he mounted the rear landing gear too far behind the CoM and is confused why the plane won't pitch up from the runway. :P

Nope, my main problem at the time of the op was the thing bouncing/swerving all over the place, then crashing in a fireball (twitchy). But I stuck with it and at least fulfilled that particular contract. Thing was nose-heavy tho. But fast! :D

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6 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

Well, the mk1 tanks have a lower heat tolerance. They are cylinders not a wide flat shape that produces more aerodynamic lift... and I think they have lower impact tolerance.

 

None of which are beneficial for a seep space probe that is launched on top of a rocket and never expects to touch any surface or atmosphere again unless it is decomissioned.

 

6 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

I don't think they did much at all to change space-planes in 1.2. 1100 m/s on airbreathing engines was easily achievable since 1.0

They changed supersonic drag so that blunt objects are more draggy and pointy objects are less draggy at supersonic speeds

 

20 hours ago, RoboRay said:

That's actually bad, if efficiency is a concern.  Mk.2 tanks have the same amount of LF as 1.25m tanks but mass more.

the Mk0 tanks are even better as they hold 2K LF/ton of tank mass vs the 1.6K/tn of the Mk1 LF tank, or the ~1.4K/ton of Mk2 and Mk3 parts.

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My biggest issue with planes in career mode is that the contract requirements are all out of whack compared to what your available airplane tech is actually capable of.

Oh, I see you just unlocked the first aviation node!  Now you can go take some samples from above 18km halfway around the planet, right?

Edited by zarakon
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10 minutes ago, zarakon said:

My biggest issue with planes in career mode is that the contract requirements are all out of whack compared to what your available airplane tech is actually capable of.

Oh, I see you just unlocked the first aviation node!  Now you can go take some samples from above 18km halfway around the planet, right?

Well, that's easy enough to solve with a rocket. Either make an ICBM to rach halfway around the world (preferable because of the long travel time), or use airbreathers to get close, then fire the rocket for a zoom climb. Panthers can get you to 18km anyway at least in a zoom climb, so you must be talking before panthers, and I wouldn't want to go halfway around the world using a juno or turbofans... so this contract screams suborbital rocket to me... Put a LF rocket on top of a SRB, and use the LFO rocket to fine tune your trajectory.

 

24 minutes ago, Terwin said:

None of which are beneficial for a seep space probe that is launched on top of a rocket and never expects to touch any surface or atmosphere again unless it is decomissioned.

Then don't use the lifting body parts, and use the mk1 cylinders.

Too many of them? Yes, people have been asking for larger rocket specific LF tanks for a while now.

Quote

 

They changed supersonic drag so that blunt objects are more draggy and pointy objects are less draggy at supersonic speeds

 

the Mk0 tanks are even better as they hold 2K LF/ton of tank mass vs the 1.6K/tn of the Mk1 LF tank, or the ~1.4K/ton of Mk2 and Mk3 parts.

Ah, my mistake then. Are you sure the mk0 tanks are better? I'll check on my other computer in about half an hour, but I'd be very surprised if the difference was that extreme (2.0 vs 1.6 /ton... that is huge)

 

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20 minutes ago, KerikBalm said:

Ah, my mistake then. Are you sure the mk0 tanks are better? I'll check on my other computer in about half an hour, but I'd be very surprised if the difference was that extreme (2.0 vs 1.6 /ton... that is huge)

According to my game, the Mk0 is 0.025 tons for 50 units giving 2K units/ton vs 0.25 tons for 400 units for the Mk1(which has the same ratio as rocket tanks), giving 1600 units/ton.

I still used Mk1 fuel tanks for the core(6 of them for the 2400 LF I had in my old core), I just attached stacks of 12 Mk0 tanks radially at 8x to get the 4800 in drop tanks (each one with the smallest radial decoupler(0.025) and a strut(0.05) for stabilization.

 

Saved me about 0.14tons  on the Mk1 core, and about 0.62 tons on the Mk0 drop tanks(which now have 4 stages instead of 1) for the same fuel.  All those full-length drop tanks do make it a little harder to attach everything without overlap however.  May need to move them down or something.

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36 minutes ago, KerikBalm said:
52 minutes ago, zarakon said:

My biggest issue with planes in career mode is that the contract requirements are all out of whack compared to what your available airplane tech is actually capable of.

Oh, I see you just unlocked the first aviation node!  Now you can go take some samples from above 18km halfway around the planet, right?

Well, that's easy enough to solve with a rocket. Either make an ICBM to rach halfway around the world (preferable because of the long travel time), or use airbreathers to get close, then fire the rocket for a zoom climb. Panthers can get you to 18km anyway at least in a zoom climb, so you must be talking before panthers, and I wouldn't want to go halfway around the world using a juno or turbofans... so this contract screams suborbital rocket to me... Put a LF rocket on top of a SRB, and use the LFO rocket to fine tune your trajectory.

Two problems with that:

1. If the best way to complete contracts that are nominally designed for planes is to use rockets instead, that's.. basically what I'm complaining about.

2. It's "easy" in theory, but kind of a pain to actually do and not at all practical, especially since taking measurements from 3 zones would then usually require 2 or 3 different trajectories.  If you could use an actual airplane and do it for just the cost of fuel, it's worth it, but if you have to use rockets anyway you're better off doing more lucrative satellite or rescue contracts instead.

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Well, shoot, i looked it up on my files...mk0 is the best tank in the game with a wet to dry ratio of 11:1

It has the same dry mass as an OscarB tank, but holds 50 units of fuel instead of 40 (18+22 since LF and O mass the same)... 25:% more fuel

An 11:1 mass ratio instead of 9:1

Using a lot of these babies, a single LV-N stage could get ~18,818 m/s instead of 17,243 m/s... about a 1,570 m/s increase... not bad

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39 minutes ago, KerikBalm said:

Well, that's easy enough to solve with a rocket. Either make an ICBM to reach halfway around the world (preferable because of the long travel time), or use airbreathers to get close, then fire the rocket for a zoom climb. Panthers can get you to 18km anyway at least in a zoom climb, so you must be talking before panthers, and I wouldn't want to go halfway around the world using a juno or turbofans... so this contract screams suborbital rocket to me... Put a LF rocket on top of a SRB, and use the LFO rocket to fine tune your trajectory.

 

It is really more of a job for a 69.9km polar orbit satellite IMO.  Space is above 18km, and the above X have fairly generous Lat/Lon leeway.

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Just now, zarakon said:

1. If the best way to complete contracts that are nominally designed for planes is to use rockets instead, that's.. basically what I'm complaining about.

Well, I never bother with them... but you said "nominally", which implies planes are specifically mentioned by name, and as far as I can tell these contracts were never named as "plane contracts"

I will agree though that havingto visit multiple sites in one goe does favor a plane... so make it a plane with a rocket engine for zoom climbs

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On 10/18/2016 at 4:56 PM, zarakon said:

My biggest issue with planes in career mode is that the contract requirements are all out of whack compared to what your available airplane tech is actually capable of.

Oh, I see you just unlocked the first aviation node!  Now you can go take some samples from above 18km halfway around the planet, right?

 

This is exactly the set of missions Insanity was built for, rocket lift off, jets to roughly the right area about 7k up, then pitch up and relight the rocket on a lowish thrust, 45 degree climb, SCIENCE!, then back to base. Flip it round, build a rocket that can use wings for control, jets for cruising and can fly home - go for proper aircraft when you have better wheels.

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Did I miss something? What's wrong with planes, they work just fine for me. Also the only way to go to Duna and Eve without a whole lot of dV and come back home. 

On 10/18/2016 at 11:56 AM, zarakon said:

My biggest issue with planes in career mode is that the contract requirements are all out of whack compared to what your available airplane tech is actually capable of.

Oh, I see you just unlocked the first aviation node!  Now you can go take some samples from above 18km halfway around the planet, right?

The only contracts I complete with planes are the ones that make no sense with a rocket. Like test Mk 16 parachute between 1000-8000 ft and 40m/s-180m/s. Or test a radial decouple at 40,000 ft while going 200m/s. Essentially anything that you need to go slow for, I'll use a plane, but everything else its a rocket, or a rocket with wings. 

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13 minutes ago, Regiampiero said:

The only contracts I complete with planes are the ones that make no sense with a rocket. Like test Mk 16 parachute between 1000-8000 ft and 40m/s-180m/s. Or test a radial decouple at 40,000 ft while going 200m/s. Essentially anything that you need to go slow for, I'll use a plane, but everything else its a rocket, or a rocket with wings. 

Those two contracts sound like something I would use a small LFO rocket for.

Just throttle down if you start to go too fast when you are close to your target height.

I previously used planes for survey contracts that were near the KSC, but it has been a few versions since I last did that outside of a caveman game.

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46 minutes ago, Terwin said:

Those two contracts sound like something I would use a small LFO rocket for.

Just throttle down if you start to go too fast when you are close to your target height.

I previously used planes for survey contracts that were near the KSC, but it has been a few versions since I last did that outside of a caveman game.

Sure, but it makes no sense to me given a that planes are far better at those speeds. Plus you can get there faster (then a low thrust rocket), slow down quicker and remain at altitude longer with a plane. It is possible with a rocket? Again...sure, but why stick a round peg in a square hole? 

Edited by Regiampiero
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14 hours ago, Aperture Science said:

FAR does wonders.

It might be a hard transition, but once you get the hang of it, you'll never look back.

I haven't.

I did.  I used it extensively in earlier KSP versions, but FAR was just an endless stream of crash to desktops in x64.

The stock aero is at least adequate now, so I'll take 64-bit KSP over FAR.

Edited by RoboRay
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