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Biggest Plane with a Juno!

The challenge is simple: design an airplane powered only by a single Juno.  Fly it from KSC to the Island airfield.  Largest aircraft (by mass) on landing wins.


  1. Only stock parts
  2. FAR will have its own leaderboard.  No other mods that affect physics allowed.
  3. No cheats
  4. The only propulsion allowed is the single Juno.  No sepatrons, other engines, infiniglide, kraken drives, etc.
  5. Staging is fine, but your score is determined by the mass of your craft as landed
  6. A safe landing is not required, but any lost parts won't be included in your score
  7. Your craft need not be Kerballed
  8. No landing via parachute, although you may use parachutes to slow down once you're on the ground.

To enter this challenge, please post a screenshot of your craft landed at the island airfield, with some sort of indication of mass (KER or MechJeb are helpful).

For your efforts, you will earn the right to stick this little badge in your signature:

A big shoutout to @doggonemess for putting together the badge!


Stock Aero Leaderboard:

  1. Box of Stardust - 50,917kg
  2. hoioh - 41,179 kg
  3. neistridlar - 34,120 kg
  4. ManEatingApe - 31,760 kg
  5. GoSlash27 - 25,850 kg
  6. ZLM-Master - 25,616 kg
  7. Magzimum - 24,040 kg
  8. Numerlor - 22,113 kg
  9. Rocket In My Pocket - 21,173 kg
  10. zolotiyeruki - 20,340 kg
  11. doggonemess - 15,177 kg
  12. Andiron - 14,040 kg
  13. n.b.z. - 12,210 kg
  14. TeslaPenguin1 - 10,421 kg
  15. Gordon Fecyk - 9,973 kg
  16. Kerbal Design Bureau's interns - 7,460kg


FAR Leaderboard:


Here's proof for my entry:



Edited by zolotiyeruki
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The craft never went where I wanted but it worked out in the end. Tried with 2 more tons of fuel at first but couldn't turn without losing too much airspeed, might try it again tomorrow because I crashed the wings but I've got enough of it today



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Here's my quick and dirty entry, Didn't think to name it, but I'm gonna go with "Humpback1" lol, it's one of my ugliest planes yet!


16,784kg on landing. I prolly could'ave shut the engines off sooner to squeak some more out, but re-trying over and over felt cheap. (Stock aero btw, no FAR.)


What a turd though, seriously lol. Under-powered is an understatement! Top speed in level flight was a blistering 50 m/s! I barely got my wheels off the runway before it ended. I'm guessing the limit here on a single Juno is gonna be in the low 17,000's mass-wise I don't think we can go much lower than .10 or .9 TWR. Looking forward to seeing someone do it better though!

Edited by Rocket In My Pocket
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4 minutes ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

16,784kg on landing. I prolly could'ave shut the engines off sooner to squeak some more out, but re-trying over and over felt cheap. (Stock aero btw, no FAR.)

Ok, that's quite impressive

Looks like keeping the lift surfaces near the center of lift is the kkey

Edited by Andiron
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2 minutes ago, Numerlor said:

What are the airbrakes for?

Landing at the rather short runway on the island.

Although admittedly they are prolly a bit overkill for such a slow plane lol. I rarely ever design a plane with out airbrakes personally.

I figured it's not like the extra mass would hurt anything, so why not have them?

Edited by Rocket In My Pocket
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So...I was having fun with this one, decided to go for a second attempt. Much improvements were made! I decided the most efficient approach would be as much weight as possible taken up by wings rather than fuel. I give you, the "FlyingCerealBox1"


21,173kg upon landing! And what a landing it was! This thing couldn't even climb above 100 meters! Much to my dismay when I realized a 20 minute real time flight to the island was about to end with me splatting on the hillside just below the strip! Luckily I was able to dive for power, and just barely managed to nose up and over the runway's edge, I almost forgot to put my gear down in all the excitement! Lol. Top speed is an abysmal 30ish m/s. Although apparently I still brought more fuel than I needed! I'll be impressed if someone can top this one.


Definitely one of the strangest planes I've ever built lol, great challenge OP:) (Also, I'll understand if you don't want both my entries on the leader board. Just use the better one obviously.)

Edited by Rocket In My Pocket
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Hahaha, awesome challenge! Reminds me of this 10-year-old Youtube video:

p.s. 10 years old, explains the quality. No need for full screen, looks better if you don't, hehe.

p.s.p.s. working on my entry. Just thought I'd put this up as inspiration. :)


Edited by Magzimum
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My my what an interesting challenge. I am purely a rocket builder....planes hold no interest to me on KSP or real life, but this challenge has really "got my attention"

Im soooo going to try this...I know I wont do very well....probably won't land my craft as me and runway landings fall out with each other every time we meet but I want to try :)



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I managed to land 24.040 tons at the Island airport. I went with my Go-to solution if stuff needs to be heavy in KSP: Ore tanks!


It's a real beauty. It was a little struggle to align it with the runway... I have to admit: A few attempts were needed before it landed without losing the outer parts of the wings.

Full Imgur album in the spoiler (8 images):



Take off speed is 52 m/s, using nearly all the runway, and lifting off only just before the end so that the wings will not hit the big lights at the end.


After take off, I immediately dove down to regain speed, keeping the plane steady and horizontal until the vertical speed became positive (i.e. it started to slowly climb).


Turning for the island made it lose a lot of speed... Here it already regained some.


The 66 m/s above is pretty much max. speed. At this point, I realized that the airport at the island was above my current altitude :)


Climbing and aligning. This was the successful attempt. Already turned on the brakes in case it would touch down.


Landing was not so straight but at such a low speed it hardly mattered.




24.040 tons of scrap on the Island. Hope I never have to fly it back. :P


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I liked Magzimum's idea for maximizing mass with minimum volume, so I shamelessly stole it.  I also tried minimizing parasitic drag by replacing the cockpit with a probe core and using reaction wheels instead of control surfaces.  First try, I got over 20 tons to the island airfield.


It occurs to me that I could get by with much smaller landing gear...

Edited by zolotiyeruki
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If there's a way to get over 30t to the island, I haven't found it. 

I've experimented with various combinations of values between dead weight and wing mass. Too much wing causes too much drag, too much weight with not enough wing means not enough lift. 

Seems to me that with a +30t aircraft, 50m/s is the minimum speed needed to remain airborne, but the Juno doesn't have enough thrust to overcome the drag, nor does it have the accleration to put wings in fast enough airflow to create significant lift. And I understand KSP's funky stock drag model fairly well. No other radially attached parts other than wings and landing gear, streamlined main fuselage.

Maybe in FAR though. Whenever drag becomes a problem, FAR is usually the answer!

The last potential solution I could think of for stock KSP though is having jettisonable landing gear, but that 1. wouldn't bode well for landing on the island, and 2. probably doesn't have that much of an overall effect anyways. But when you're chasing every single reduction in drag, maybe it does count. 

Edited by Box of Stardust
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8 hours ago, zolotiyeruki said:

For those who opted for structural wing segments instead of the larger wet wings, I'd love to hear the rationale.

No good reason, honestly. This challenge just gave me an excuse to build a plane similar to the Rutan Voyager. Unfortunately, the canard configuration didn't work well at low speed and I had to revert to a more traditional arrangement.


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