Wcmille

Wide Load Spaceplanes (Stock)

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Anyone transporting wide loads (>2.5m) via stock spaceplanes to orbit? How are you doing that?

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They are doing it in the ship exchange subforum, which this thread now occupies. 

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4 hours ago, Wcmille said:

Anyone transporting wide loads (>2.5m) via stock spaceplanes to orbit? How are you doing that?

I've seen creative solutions with a fairing in the middle being used as a payload bay, with it either disintegrating for reentry or being hinged at one end. The other option is making a payload bay out of something like wing surfaces.

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Absolutely. Here's a Tier 1 tech design that can do it. This picture has a 2.5 m load though, but there's no problem at all extending it in all directions radially; horizontally it'll go to maybe 7-8 metres no problem, vertically it depends on how long your payload is but 4-5 should be no problem usually. The trick is that the payload sits near the CoM at the back, and the plane sits really high so there's plenty of clearance in all directions. Because it's in the back, you don't even need a fairing -- drag losses aren't huge as long as you climb quickly. You can use this for vehicle recovery as well -- the "Gherkin" shuttle docked here will survive re-entry as it is; more fragile craft need an additional wing surface lip underneath to protect them:

ghA6SoB.jpg

Here's a later iteration of the same design with a roughly 5 m wide payload, with some light bits sitting on the roof. This one isn't quite ready to go -- I had to make some aero tweaks to that design because the payload is also very heavy, about 50 tons -- gave it some more wing and more control surfaces -- but after that it performed fine:

i3rdMv3.jpg

Edited by Brikoleur

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Yes you can lift almost anything to orbit on SSTO spaceplanes.

The trick is to use two SSTO spaceplanes. 

Hi guys, its me Brainlord Mesomorph, I've been gone for a while (2 yrs?)  but I'm back.  I'm the inventor of the Dual Spaceplane Heavy Lifter (DSHL) aka "the spaceplane sandwich". 

Take your biggest SSTO spaceplane, swap out any cargo or passenger capacity with more fuel, and strap two of them  above and below any (aerodynamic) payload. Line up everything by CoM. (CoL, CoT, and CoD line up by themselves) the whole thing become one big biplane. and SSTO hypersonic biplanes work (in KSP at least). As long as either plane has enough thrust and fuel to lift half of the mass and /or drag of the payload,  the two them can lift the whole thing into orbit.

I'll go dig up some screenshots and post them later

 

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Even out-sized payloads need to be encased in a fairing.  Creating a payload bay out of other parts will not work (at least as far as the aerodynamic model is concerned-it may LOOK cool.)  So the two methods I've seen are a center mounted payload, like Thor's Pteradactyl above and my Fusilid Extreme design:

1ztxrPb.png

Or a payload mounted either above or below the craft like my Stratomaran.

Pof7Fgc.png

These ideas can be taken to some silly extremes.

o2edQUN.png

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2 hours ago, Exothermos said:

Even out-sized payloads need to be encased in a fairing. 

They don't, actually, if they're positioned in the back like in your first plane. 

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Yes,  you can carry anything to orbit on SSTO spaceplanes, just use 2 SSTO spaceplanes:

I give you...

THE SPACEPLANE SANDWICH!

D8f5VVI.png

Here two "C1000B"s carry a very large fuselage component of an interplanetary ship to orbit. As you see the payload can be bigger than the planes,.

 

ErYWF7f.png

The nosecone and tailcone are tossed at 60 KM

 

62erEq9.png

A very light but cumbersome rover and antenna payload (in fairing) and 2 V801Bs

 

ALO8Ood.png

Just put one docking port right above the bottom plane's CoM and bottom of the top planes CoM. Carry the (ANY!) payload  pod by its CoM.

The design of that tailcone is important: it has to be long, and have vertical fins BUT NOT  horizontal  fins. (that would change the CoL)

 

Om1EA5T.png

 

There used to be a lot of problems w/ fuel flow and root-part. But all that's been fixed by 1.3

Now this just works. I do it all the time.

Edited by Brainlord Mesomorph

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I love the pic where it looks like two planes are carrying a BOMB into space.

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9 hours ago, Wcmille said:

I love the pic where it looks like two planes are carrying a BOMB into space.

I am aware that sometimes it looks like a comical attempt to end a war. Not just a bomb, a bomb that's bigger than either plane.

But form follows function.

The payload needs to be bomb shaped, actually bombs are that shape,  because it works,. 

That was one of things I had to figure out. In the beginning I kept trying football shaped payloads, rocket shaped, payloads, etc. Bomb shaped payloads work.

Edited by Brainlord Mesomorph

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On 1/9/2018 at 12:14 AM, Exothermos said:

 

o2edQUN.png

is that enough air?

Those things look like they have about 1/8th of the air intakes they need.  Have we changed air-breathing rules in 1.3? Are those RAPIERS burning LOX the whole time?

I thought you need 1 intake for each RAPIER or jet engine.

Edited by Brainlord Mesomorph

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16 hours ago, Brainlord Mesomorph said:

is that enough air?

Those things look like they have about 1/8th of the air intakes they need.  Have we changed air-breathing rules in 1.3? Are those RAPIERS burning LOX the whole time?

I thought you need 1 intake for each RAPIER or jet engine.

This was an early build of this model (it's just a good pic) and no it wasn't quite enough.  I added one more spike per engine pod.  Notice the Precooler part there:  They add a lot of air without adding much drag to the assembly.  The result is the equivalent of around 2 rapiers for every intake.  This is more than enough if you are going to get to at least 600m/s at sea level before starting the ascent. 

1.3.1 changed things up a little though.  The compressor spike intake is very low drag now, so there isn't much disadvantage to using it for the front of every engine (except a little weight).  If I were to rebuild the blimp shaped SSTO I would definitely tack on the spike intake for the drag advantage alone.  It wasn't an especially great design though, very draggy with essentially two giant fairings (one fore, one aft).  There are better solutions.

Edited by Exothermos

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22 hours ago, Brainlord Mesomorph said:

is that enough air?

Those things look like they have about 1/8th of the air intakes they need.  Have we changed air-breathing rules in 1.3? Are those RAPIERS burning LOX the whole time?

I thought you need 1 intake for each RAPIER or jet engine.

BM,
 Yup. Intakes are still ridiculously- scaled. You don't really need more than one intercooler per engine.

Best,
-Slashy

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