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WW2 BAD-T IV BDAc AI Dogfight Tournament


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The Tournament

It's that time of year once again, which means time for a new BAD-T. Like the last three BAD-T tournaments, this will consist of 2v2 dogfights featuring WWII-era aircraft battling around and above sites scattered all over Kerbin.
Contestants will submit a craft, which will then be pitted against other submitted craft in a standard tournament ladder format, with fights recorded and posted to YouTube.

Defeat means a craft is out of the running, success means it moves up to the next bracket. Depending on the number of entries, a second-tier ladder may also be run, featuring craft that lost during the first round of fights.

To enter, simply create a WWII themed aircraft. Replicas of real-world craft are permitted, but not required. Craft design, AI configuration and armament are entirely up to you. As long as it follows the rules and looks like it could have been a real WWII-era fighter, it's a valid entry.

The following mods are required:

FAR 1.5.9.1 Liepmann with ExtremeTrader's KSP 1.4.5 patch.
Aviator Arsenal with the KSP 1.4.5 patch.
BDAc 1.2.2.2, with DMG_MULTIPLIER = 750 in the GameData/BDArmory/Settings.cfg.
BAD-T Props pack ,which requires the FireSpitter .dll

Additionally, the following mods are permitted, but optional:
B9 Proc wings
Procedural parts
Take Command (for planes using constructed open cockpits)
Adjustable landing Gear

Tournament Brackets

Aircraft Classes:
Entries will fall into one of two categories, Fighters and Heavy Fighters.

Fighters are single engine monoplanes.
They have one engine.
They must have a dry mass of at least 2.5 tons*.
They can use up to 100 points worth of engine and armament.

Heavy fighters are heavy twin engine monoplanes.
They have 2 engines.
They must have a dry mass of at least 5 tons*.
They can use up to 150 points worth of engines and armament.

*Dry mass is the empty weight of the craft, wet mass is the loaded weight of the craft with fuel and ammunition. Resources like Oxidizer and Ore which aren't used as fuel or ammo can be used as ballast and count towards dry mass.

Points:
Weapons cost their diameter in mm.
*This includes decimals – 12.7mm MGs cost 12.7 points each, etc.

Engine cost is indicated by the number in their part name.
*'B27-D Brutus' costs 27 points, 'B32-D Gazelle' costs 32, etc.

Ammo is free, carry as much or as little as desired.

Rules:
- Craft must have no more than 60 parts.
-Only Aviator Arsenal weapons permitted, with the exception of the Ball Turret.
-No more than six of any one type of weapon. Multiple different weapons is allowed.
-Only BADT engines allowed (Widshed, Brutus, Gazelle, Wizard, Buzzer, Foxhound, & Falcon).
-No aerospace grade parts (radiators/heatshields/airbrakes/etc) allowed; (Ore/RCS tanks allowed as ballast, but not as structural components).
-No reaction wheels. Cockpit reaction wheels must be disabled.
-Craft must have at least 1 Kerbal, either in a cockpit, or a constructed open cockpit using a command seat.
-No BDAc armor panels. Intrinsic part armor thickness is to remain at 10.
-Constructed cockpits must be safe, something that a sane (you, not Jeb) pilot would want to sit in.
-Part clipping is allowed, within reason. No clipping resource containing parts into other resource containing parts please. Clipping ballast parts into ballast parts is permitted.
-If using P wings, keep wing thickness for main wing pieces at least 0.120.
-Craft must include a visible Communications Antenna – this is AA's combination AI pilot and weapon manager.
-AI min altitude must be at least 300m.
-Craft should have at least 15 minutes of fuel.
-If both craft on a team run out of ammo, they forfeit the match, as they can  no longer shoot down the opposing team.
-All entrants will be required to shoot down a Test Dummy craft to certify flight-worthiness in FAR – this is basically to ensure your craft can take off and do maneuvers without a RUD.
-No text editing of craft files.

-The Eidahill Clause: While cheesy Min-Maxed designs that take advantage of loopholes or game exploits may be technically legal, I ask that contestants respect the spirit of the competition, not just Rules As Written, when designing their airplane.

Submissions:
Craft must be submitted by the deadline, 11:59 PM, Friday, October 26th.
One entry per person. If something goes wrong during submission, or you realize your craft is not rules compliant and needs some changes, contact me via PM. Otherwise, all submissions are final. To submit, upload your craft to KerbalX or similar, and sent me the download link via PM.
Sharing links to your crafts in the thread is fine, but only craft I've been sent via PM will count as entries.

F.A.Q.
Can I submit more than one craft?
-No. Entering more than one craft runs the possibility of your entries fighting another of your entries, and the purpose if this tournament is to see how your craft do against other people's designs, not your own. However, if there are not enough entries to fill a roster, secondary entries may be accepted at my discretion.

I submitted my craft already, but it (accidentally) breaks the rules, what happens now?
-If your craft is an illegal design, I will PM you, and give you the chance to correct the design and re-submit.

I've updated my craft after submitting it, can I resubmit?
-No, simply to keep the logistics of managing entries simple, one submission per person. You can edit your submission's KerbalX upload or similar as long as it retains the same name before the deadline, but no submitting multiple craft.

Can I submit a biplane?
-No. Biplanes were mostly obsolete by 1940, and the spirit of the tournament is modern WWII era designs.

Can I submit a jet?
No. While WWII saw the emergence of first generation jet powered aircraft, for balance reasons all craft should be propeller powered.

I'm bad at building craft in FAR, should I still submit something?
-Yes. Sure, there will be some entries that are hyper-competitive, but for the most part, this tournament is aimed at having fun, watching submitted craft fight bravely and die gloriously.
For the most part FAR is fairly simple to use, but don't be afraid to ask for advice.

The rules said something about constructed cockpits?
- Take an External Command Seat and use parts to build an open cockpit around the Kerbal (proc parts are good for this). Just make sure it's a cockpit someone other than Jebediah would be comfortable sitting in.

Tips & Tricks
-Manually fly your craft at least one before handing it off to the AI. This lets you make sure it flies as you expect, and is capable of hard turns/coming out of a dive with out ripping a wing off.

-Determine what the minimum altitude your aircraft needs to pull out of a dive from is, and set the AI accordingly. Last thing you want is for the AI to lithobrake your plane during a battle.

-Test your craft against the Dummy. The dummy is an aggressively sub-optimal design; if your craft cannot shoot down the Dummy, it is unlikely to perform well against tuned competition aircraft.

-Check your wing strength/mass settings. Right click on a wing part to see a slider to adjust the wing's mass and strength. Be careful not to increase or decrease it too much, though. Too little strength and the wing will snap off during maneuvers, too much mass and the plane becomes unnecessarily heavy.

-Ammunition is heavy, so consider how much you need. Having a single box of ammo per cannon is generally enough, while machineguns can usually get away with one box per 2 guns. That said, remember that running out of ammo essentially counts as being shot down by the opposing side.

-The AI is not by any means a proficient marksman. It may be a good idea to lower max gun range down to something in the 800-1250m range. True, the AI might hit something at 2.5km out, but chances are all it will be doing is wasting all of your ammo at that range.

-FAR changes how the CoL indicator in the SPH works; it now shows the center of aerodynamic pressure of the aircraft, rather than the sum output of all lift generating parts. Instead of trying to line up the CoL and CoM indicators, try to align the main wing with the CoM.

-Pressing F2 in the editor brings up aim vectors for all guns on a craft, useful for gun calibration if you i.e. want weapons to converge at a certain distance.

Edited by SuicidalInsanity
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Interesting that heavies are no longer at a power/weight disadvantage. That being said,  they're still bigger targets for enemy fire with a lot of angular inertia. You'll need nice big control surfaces to make them do well.

Regarding BDAc, what are the rules around messing with armor thicknesses and whatnot?

Edited by Pds314
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No BDAc armor panels, and the armor added to every part is to remain at default value(10), since currently there's no penalty for increasing armor thickness and parts can already tank quite enough gunfire as is.
On the G-Limiter, no, G limits will be off, partially because I honestly forgot about it, and mainly because while the engines have received a buff to be less anemic than in BADT III, you aren't going to be able to build something capable of a sustained 15 G turn with them.

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My current WIP design after ramming another one's wing off in a head-on. This one looks bad, but at least it is probably recoverable as a glider. TBH considering it hit another plane at 550 kph and it was also doing 550 kph, it's pretty intact.

NqtSFH0.png

Here is one that isn't destroyed:

Note: it is currently 65 parts. I will have to work on getting that down a bit. The easiest way would probably be making the red band around the cockpit not exist, or deleting the back part of the cockpit glass in favor of extending the trailing edges to replace it. Right now, the canopy is fully 20 parts.

NebC5ah.png

I have to say, these things can soak up damage (which was intentional on my part). This was not only not a kill, it didn't even break anything important, even though it's an all-cannons plane firing at 250 meters.

5vdCG9i.png

Edited by Pds314
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Not sure how the collider interaction with a kerbal is going to be, but I think you could reduce that canopy down to as little as 5 proc wing parts if you want to keep the red band, or 4 without.

For the damage issue, did you edit your GameData/BDArmory/settings.cfg and set DMG_MULTIPLIER = 750
 

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5 hours ago, SuicidalInsanity said:

Not sure how the collider interaction with a kerbal is going to be, but I think you could reduce that canopy down to as little as 5 proc wing parts if you want to keep the red band, or 4 without.

For the damage issue, did you edit your GameData/BDArmory/settings.cfg and set DMG_MULTIPLIER = 750
 

I did 500. That's what it said in the OP. I'll do 750 and see if it helps.

 

You are correct that I could use the extensions of the wings for the whole thing,  but the extensions would need to start underneath the command chair,  and I think it would considerably increase the chance of being pilot sniped.

Edited by Pds314
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18 hours ago, Pds314 said:

My current WIP design after ramming another one's wing off in a head-on. This one looks bad, but at least it is probably recoverable as a glider. TBH considering it hit another plane at 550 kph and it was also doing 550 kph, it's pretty intact.

NqtSFH0.png

Here is one that isn't destroyed:

Note: it is currently 65 parts. I will have to work on getting that down a bit. The easiest way would probably be making the red band around the cockpit not exist, or deleting the back part of the cockpit glass in favor of extending the trailing edges to replace it. Right now, the canopy is fully 20 parts.

NebC5ah.png

I have to say, these things can soak up damage (which was intentional on my part). This was not only not a kill, it didn't even break anything important, even though it's an all-cannons plane firing at 250 meters.

5vdCG9i.png

Just I suggestion. Dont share your craft file out in the open. People will download it, test it and edit it against yours until it beats it. That's what happened to my design last year... used it to his advantage. 

Edited by Guest
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On 9/26/2018 at 8:38 PM, dundun93 said:

Just I suggestion. Dont share your craft file out in the open. People will download it, test it and edit it against yours until it beats it. That's what happened to my design last year... used it to his advantage. 

I will not share my entry in the open. I may share some test aircraft I design.

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@Pds314

@Pds314 Sorry for mentioning you above, I was not able to delete the text or add anything more. Now, I was going to say that your plane looks awesome. I called mine a flying tank, just because I want to put cannons everywhere, but yours is a real flying tank!

Edited by Bottle Rocketeer 500
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Also, here are some tips on weapons selection:

1. Highest muzzle velocity and ROF is almost always better. I found that 13 or 15mm guns provide the best combination of ROF, and damage.

2. You want your guns to converge at about 400-600m. This is the range at which you will score most of your hits.

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Haha, that's incredible. I think you've gone from Zerstörer to full-on Luftpanzer there, pds314. How well does it fly?
Adamgerd, if you post a pic one of us FAR veterans can probably give some pointers on getting your plane working with FAR.

sturmehauke, Adamgerd, and any other FAR neophytes with an interest in BAD-T: give me a few days, and I can get a basic FAR tutorial of some form posted.

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On 9/29/2018 at 6:16 PM, SuicidalInsanity said:

Haha, that's incredible. I think you've gone from Zerstörer to full-on Luftpanzer there, pds314. How well does it fly?
Adamgerd, if you post a pic one of us FAR veterans can probably give some pointers on getting your plane working with FAR.

sturmehauke, Adamgerd, and any other FAR neophytes with an interest in BAD-T: give me a few days, and I can get a basic FAR tutorial of some form posted.

"How well does it fly"

Let's see... can't sustain speeds lower than 75 m/s.... can't sustain turns of... basically just don't turn it lol.
Flops into the sea if the AI tries to do evasive with it too many times. You don't need to actually hit it to kill it. It will bleed energy like crazy if it's in front of your guns. xD

Edited by Pds314
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I strongly recommend giving your planes a good amount of AOA% or -AOA% on most surfaces. This allows you to do things like make "combat flaps" for tight turns, reduce or eliminate ping-ponging, and make it hard or impossible to leave the envelope of controlled flight. 

On 9/29/2018 at 5:16 PM, dundun92 said:

Also, here are some tips on weapons selection:

1. Highest muzzle velocity and ROF is almost always better. I found that 13 or 15mm guns provide the best combination of ROF, and damage.

2. You want your guns to converge at about 400-600m. This is the range at which you will score most of your hits.

This may be less true now. My experience with the current version and a damage multiplier of 750 is that the ShKAS can't really break parts well and even 20 mm needs a good burst of concentrated fire to make the dummy fall to its death.

Edited by Pds314
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2 hours ago, Pds314 said:

This may be less true now. My experience with the current version and a damage multiplier of 750 is that the ShKAS can't really break parts well and even 20 mm needs a good burst of concentrated fire to make the dummy fall to its death.

Funny, because in my testing, 4x 13mm beat 3x 20mm, even though the plane with 13mm was slightly less manuverabe, and heavier. The 20mm armed plane simply had a hard time aiming. I should experiment with 2 30mm though. The gun range is gonna be at like 400m :D

2 hours ago, Pds314 said:

I strongly recommend giving your planes a good amount of AOA% or -AOA% on most surfaces. This allows you to do things like make "combat flaps" for tight turns, reduce or eliminate ping-ponging, and make it hard or impossible to leave the envelope of controlled flight. 

Ive used that before in modern fighter jets, to add artificial stability to aerodynamically unstable aircraft, and to improve high AoA performance. Never thought of adapting that to WW2 designs. I definitely will try. Also, I normally do it to leading edge slats, to increase stall AoA, or to the elevators/canards, to stabilize unstable aircraft.

Also, a word of caution, don't be too aggressive with combat flaps. If they deploy significantly at too low AoA, you will bleed speed unnecessary in turns, which in turn will reduce your turn rate and will put you at a great disadvantage. 

Edited by Guest
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Here's that FAR intro I promised, spoilered because of wall-of-text:

Spoiler

FAR 101:
Building a plane in FAR is no different than in stock - CoL behind the CoM, wheels just behind the CoM, try to have fuel tanks placed so that CoM moves forward as fuel drains, remember to have proper control surface inputs for the control surfaces.

Where FAR differs from stock is the level of granularity of the aerodynamic model being used, the level of control the user has in tweaking and tuning a design, and the data the user gets from the editor about how their craft will perform. In the stock game, adding wing parts and an engine is all you need (usually) to make something that will fly. FAR is a bit more complicated, in that it calculates the aerodynamics of the craft, rather than simply adding up all the lift produced by wing parts on the craft and seeing if the lift value is enough to counter gravity. That said, if a craft built with FAR looks like a plane, it will likely fly like one. But how well?
Clicking on the FAR icon on the toolbar in the Editor brings up the FAR Analysis window. This window has several sub-windows that all display information about different aspects of the craft's flight-worthiness.
IWDBqru.png
Here is the default window that is opened, the Sweep Analysis window. There are several data fields that values can be entered, and a Graph readout.
The Lower, Upper, and Mach data fields allow specifying the range of Angles of Attack for FAR to calculate on a craft. Num Pts can be ignored, for the most part, it simply controls how many datapoints are calculated for the graph. More points, the finer resolution the graph ranges are.
Flap Settings allow calculating flap deployment if the craft has any, and what level of deployment, from none (0), to fully deployed (3).
Pitch setting is what level of deflection any control surfaces with Pitch enabled are deflected, ranging from 0 (no deflection) to 1 (full deflection).
In the example above, a sweep graph has already been plotted, testing craft performance from -15 degrees AoA to 40 degrees AoA, at Mach 0.5 (~168m/s). This yields 4 colored lines.
-Yellow: The Yellow line is a measure of Pitch movement, and can be read as an indication of craft stability. Ideally, this value decreases as AoA increases, such a craft will want to return to a neutral AoA in the absence of Pitch inputs; an increasing value as AoA increases means the craft has pitch instability – it will want to lawn dart or stall if subjected to control surface Pitch inputs.
Here, the example craft is fairly stable, at least up to 40 degrees AoA.
-Red: The Red line indicates the coefficient of drag. Generally linear at low AoA, becomes non-linear at high AoA.
Here, craft drag is fairly low up to ~20 degrees AoA, and begins to rapidly increase past that.
-
Cyan: The Cyan line is the coefficient of lift. This stays more or less linear up to critical AoA, at wich point maximum lift is achieved and past this point the craft will go into a stall and begin losing lift.
Here, the craft will begin to stall at around ~22 degrees AoA.
-
Green: The Green line is simply a measure of the Cyan line divided by the Red line, and acts as a general measure of how efficient the craft is at producing lift.
Here, best lift vs drag is achieved at ~5 degrees AoA

What does this tell us? At ~170m/s, the craft is stable and will return to prograde in the absence of control inputs, it will begin to bleed energy past ~5 degrees AoA, and past 20 degrees AoA the craft is in danger of stalling.
But what about Yaw or Roll stability, or general information about the craft? Clicking the Static Analysis button in the top left allows transition to the Data+Stability Derivatives sub-window:

WR4ppZP.png
Lots of scary numbers.
The Aircraft Properties are simply raw data about elements of the craft. Of immediate usefulness are the Level Flight data. Altitude and Airspeed have been set to 1.5km altitude and 0.5, and from here, the analysis states what that airspeed is in m/s, the coefficient of lift and drag the craft will have, and the necessary AoA required to maintain level flight. Checking various speed and altitude combos is a good idea, as needed AoA will change. Setting altitude to 0 and airspeed to 0.2 mach (~68m/s) would show needed AoA has jumped to 8.4 degrees for the example craft here, for example. Wing incidence can reduce this.

Aircraft Properties are just general stats, and the Inertia fields state what sort of torque is generated during roll/yaw/pitch movements, with X = Axis of Roll, Y = Axis of Pitch, and Z = Axis of yaw.
The Longitudinal and Lateral Derivative numbers come in 3 flavors: Green, White, and Red. White numbers are neutral, and their values are simply data values. Green numbers indicate that that particular aspect of craft performance is within expected tolerances, and Red numbers instability in that particular aspect of craft performance.
Of the values listed, some of the main important ones:
Mw: Is your CoM in the right place? If this value is red, the craft will try to nosedive or back flip.
and : Yaw sideslip stability, does the plane want to fly straight?. Unless the tailplane is huge(i.e. large enough to be generating substantial amounts of lift), likely to be green. Dihedral improves this.
: When the lift vector and gravity don't line up, sideslip occurs. Does this induce the craft to roll?
Generally going to be green unless tiny tailplanes and or excessive Anhedral are present.
Mq, Lp, and Nr: Pitch, Roll, and Yaw rotation stability. If the craft undergoes rotation, will said rotation damp out? Generally not going to be red unless other things are also red.
Lr: Does the plane have a vertical stabilizer? If red, the craft lacks sufficient Yaw stability, and will want to flatspin.

Now, interpreting FAR analysis data has been covered, but what about tuning? In stock, Control surfaces have togglable pitch, Yaw, and Roll inputs, and deflection amount can be changed. In FAR, instead the Control Surface options become this:aABs35H.png
Pitch, Yaw, and Roll inputs can be customized, in this case, the inner aileron here has full Roll input, and will provide a 20% Pitch input as well. Control Dflect is the same as in stock, except it is now in degrees rather than percent of the stock control surface's max deflection as listed in it's part description.

AoA% allows the control surface to respond to craft AoA. Setting this to 100, for example, would mean that when the craft increases AoA, the control surface would deflect down an equal amount, the practical effect of which would be damping sudden increases in AoA. Setting it to -100%, likewise, would cause the control surface to deflect 5 degrees as well, remaining parallel with the prograde vector and providing Pitch input after Pitch control Surfaces have ceased input.
BrakeRudder allows the control surface to be used similarly to A.I.R.B.R.A.K.E.s with Yaw inputs enabled, and permits Yaw inputs without needing vertical stabilizers/rudders.
Lastly, Mass-Strength Multiplier % allows tweaking the mass of the wing or control surface. Default Mass-Strength is somewhat heavy – the example craft has a mass of ~4200 kg with all wing parts at 1.0; reducing M-S Mult to 0.5 dropped the craft weight to ~3500kg. The lower the strength, the less aerostress the wing can tolerate before failing, but the lower the mass, the less the overall mass of the craft. Finding the ideal setting may take some trial and error, but main wings and control surfaces with more than 10 degrees of deflection should probably remain above 0.5.

Flight with FAR. As mentioned earlier, if a craft looks like a plane, chances are it will fly like one. But what if it doesn’t? Some things to check, then. What is the Lift Coefficient of the aircraft, and what AoA is required to generate lift at takeoff conditions? If the Lift coefficient is small, consider increasing the wing area of the craft by adding more wing. If the AoA required is high, consider adding some Angle of Incidence to the main wing – AoI is the measure of the angle of the main wing compared to the fuselage, with the leading edge of the wing higher than the trailing edge (usually). Be careful when adding AoI, as more than a few degrees of tilt to the wing may result in needing negative AoA at higher speeds to maintain level flight, as well as adding unnecessary drag. If both cL and AoA are acceptable, check CoM and Landing gear placement. If going for a modern tricycle arrangement, are the rear wheels just behind the CoM to permit the aircraft to pivot the nose up during takeoff? If going for a inverse tricycle arrangement, are the main wheels providing enough elevation relative to the rear wheel to add some extrinsic Angle of Incidence when the craft is a rest or taking off?

Once the craft is airborne, do the control surface deflection settings permit a level of response appropriate to he craft? Most turns are accomplished by rolling, then pitching, rather than via yaw; Does the craft have a good roll rate, and sufficient pitch authority? If not, consider increasing either control surface deflection or more/larger control surfaces. Is the CoM more or less centered on the main wing to permit the craft to easily rotate around it for pitch maneuvers? If using a multi-fueslage design, is the CoM centered with the Center of Thrust, and or is there sufficient dihedral or tailplane area to prevent sideslip and yaw?

 

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My two main designs:

screenshot1667.png?width=831&height=468

screenshot1677.png

And dont be fooled, the top one is extremely maneuverable, even more so than the second one, thanks to a high TWR, low wing loading, and leading edge slats, providing excellent high AoA stability and tight turns. Not to mention that its basically unstallable. It will turn at 40 m/s no problem.

Edited by Guest
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When the AI rams a dummy to death, but even though it has permanently bent its tail and lost an aileron, it can still fly.

9gvveml.png

Although the AI did have some issues when it came to the whole "landing" thing. Normally it can land this plane and taxi it indefinitely even in bad terrain.

T5g1YjR.png

Edited by Pds314
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