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Non-stop polar circumnavigation


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I'm sure this has been suggested before, but since I tried and ALMOST did it today, I thought I would put it out there.

In celebration of the new 1.4.3 release, I decided to fly around the world via the poles from the new desert runway. (And it seemed like a fun thing to do while listening to Italian Language recordings). Being a fairly crap plane builder, I just took a stock Stearwing, modified it to hold lots of fuel and then stuck and extra pair of wings on it because it would not get off the ground otherwise. It's not going to win any beauty awards, but it did the job.

I managed to get all the way around with over a third of a tank of fuel left. Total flight time was about 5:58:00. (I mostly flew with stability on and timewarp on as well, so I did not sit here for 6 hours) I'm not sure exactly; the clock reads 5:57:17 on the last screenshot I took on approach. I then crashed.  Argh!

So, the challenge: fly around the world on a polar route, non-stop, and post your best time and show off your craft.  You can start from any runway since the distance will be the same, as long as you land on the one you started on.  I suppose we should put a ceiling of 12,000 on this as well.  It should be flying, not orbiting. Oh, if you land intact, that's a bonus!

fM3Yk9A.pngCSvDesF.pngnXtyHkv.pngDwSQXvR.png

Edited by Klapaucius
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38 minutes ago, 4x4cheesecake said:

Did it in 1:52:04 :)

Since you didn't mentioned kerbals (or at least wings) are necessary(forgot a screenshot of the north-pole :/ ) :

https://imgur.com/gallery/dpa0oRZ
 

That is thinking outside the box :D

I guess I will have to create two classes: Anything goes and manned and winged with wheels to land on.... (Having said that, I had all that and I still arrived in pieces.)

 

What the heck, exactly, is that?

Edited by Klapaucius
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5 minutes ago, Klapaucius said:

What the heck, exactly, is that?

Well, just a small circular intake, small inline reaction wheel, OKTO2 Probecore, 2x MK0 Liquid Fuel Fuselage and a J-20 "Juno" Basic Jet Engine.  This little thingy got a TWR of 2.27, 50,940 m/s DeltaV and flies actually pretty well :)

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What can one say about that rocke..erm, airplan..erm, Cigar of 4x4Cheesecake?

 

Wings?

Where we are going we won't need...wings.

.

or how about:

That's one small flight for Cigar,

One Giant flight for Kerbalkind.

.

 

Ouf.. I've been testing your Cigar's claims to "fly pretty well"

Well, it does. It actually flies better than most of my planes!

Landing is another matter entirely. The turbine lag on that engine and the very narrow base make a tail landing a work of art, not just skill.

 

Edited by MarvinKitFox
tested it
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I'll attempt this during the next few days. This kind of circumnavigation is actually something I have once started as a test for my design, but the game crashed so I never finished it. Lately all my long distance flight on Kerbin have been ultrasonic high altitude flights which break the altitude sealing of this mission. It might be time for more laid back slow speed mission. I would have more time to appreciate the scenery at least. :)

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I finished my circumnavigation in 4:57:03. Very quickly built plane with no other utilities but a very long range. The circumnavigation used less than half of it's fuel.
 

The report is under this spoiler.

Spoiler

 

3pKpiYR.png

I forgot to take a screenshot on takeoff so this is the first image I have.

JVi5Eon.png

North pole

HUntFyJ.png

South pole (or I might have messed up. In which case this is the north pole and the other one south.)

ZUSdRoS.png

I found an unmarked easteregg!!!! SCANsat altitude map shows an emoticon on the seafloor.

LDMNGez.png

Landing

ACpKUye.png

Landed. I made tiny mistake and missed the runway. I lost one control surface.

 

 

I also tried my hypersonic cargo/crew transport ship. It flew steady 1100m/s but unfortunately it run out of fuel 400km before full circumnavigation. The 12000m limit was too low for it. It was meant to fly so that it speed up on low altitudes (like 14000 meters or so) and then climbs to 18 - 20k area to conserve that speed with minimal fuel expenditure until it slows down again and descents to lower altitude to gain more speed again. This flying style was impossible and the plane had to fly on high fuel expenditure altitude the whole time.

sbuJP6v.png

Had the plane lasted my time would have been somewhere in the region of 1:15:00 to 1:30:00. I might make a modification to this design and make a new attempt.

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