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Research for mod to support an Aviation Network

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Before I reinvent some wheel, I want to outline a mod I'd be really enthused to prototype myself and have been thinking about ever since I first opened up a .sfs inside an editor.

Recently, I really enjoyed this Regional Jet Challenge topic and had a blast flying some of the entries!  I've also started looking today at the Simple Refuel 0.2 mod with interest.

I do not think I want to write a full KSP mod (not yet anyway) but I can write a (hokey) prototype in which you hit f5 to save; run a Tool to edit the savefile; then hit f9 to reload the modified save file.  Yeah, I know...  :wink:

(And, yeah, of course it would make progressive backups of the files before edits!)

So what I want the tool to do is support operations at 2 Space Centers (KSC and the Inland KSC) and to support a regional aviation network based on airports hubs and also thereby to support the same on e.g. lo-grav moons.

When the tool is run, its objectives are:

  1. move any craft deployed on KSC R9 to an appropriate place on the grass at Inland KSC for either an easterly or south-easterly departure;
  2. similarly, move any craft deployed on the launchpad at KSC to the launchpad at Inland KSC;
  3. refuel all craft within the precincts of both KSC and Inland KSC
  4. refuel all craft at "hub airports"

The value of the Inland KSC is that it forces some non-equatorial launches.

So, I am going to define a regional airport as any place that has 2 flags (runway end markers) between 600-1000 meters apart.  [Name contains "Rn"]  Usually, a rover would be parked for local use.

I would further define an airport hub to be one that has a control tower and two intersecting runways, marked by 4 flags: long runway is 1000-1500m and the short is between 600-1000m.  The tower must be located somewhere inside the four flags.  A tower is defined as a cupola suspended >= 10m above the surface.  (I have a vehicle that is composed of a main body of cupola and 4 HitchHikers.)  The name should end with "Airport".  Any stationary vehicle parked within 50m of the tower gets refueled when the Tool executes.  Some tighter standards for runway slope and levelness might also apply so that larger craft could land and in order to force a distinction between regional and hub airports.

I think the nature of this mod somewhat supplants the activity and challenges of drilling and refining fuel, but not completely.  Getting the "control tower" transported and located (especially to a pinpointed location) might not be so easy.  What I like about refining fuel is that it gives a good motivation to make many ascent/descent trips to the surface to fuel a space station in orbit and its visiting clientele.  Well, that would still occur.

I also experimented with a xenon-powered flitter for regional travel on the Mun.  But there's no way to refuel xenon in the standard game.  This Tool would replenish xenon, just like any other kind of tank.

I think the idea of Colonization may extend the boundaries of KSP way out from mere Exploration?

Maybe there are some mods out there that I should pay attention to or study in detail or that achieve the bulk of what I want to do?

Suggestions, comments?

Edited by Hotel26

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