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This mission idea involves making all sorts of partially/fully reusable spaceplanes.

Some ideas I've had:

A cargo shuttle launched on top of an expendable booster

A VTOL SSTO plane that takes off from the launchpad

A spaceplane to Laythe (of course) launched with 2 side boosters and nuclear tug

Etc.

Now show me your designs!

Have fun!

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I've made a rescue mk3 spaceplane for a crashed spaceplane on laythe. It has a isru for refueling on laythe and minmus. Would u like to see stuff like that?

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Here's a refueling SSTO I made.  It's a redesign of something I built a year or so ago, now using the bigger Making History parts.  KerbalX link

T2RA3kN.png

JNo6ucH.png

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My first stable in all situations (so far i've tested yet) Mk3 isru SP

deUXRoy.jpg

2700dv left in lko, about 4600 on the nukes refueled, could start form vall acc. to math. 

Spoiler

I wanted to make an isru sp to reach jool's moons so i've build this

fw1siLY.jpg

Pretty much untested, very unstable and crashed during take of on laythe...

So i rebuild this thing

h5WRfpe.jpg

More wings a little AoI 

nQaZHRY.jpg

And a jumpseat for the pilot of the first iteration, totally his fault and no engineers to blame...

 

Edited by PrvDancer85

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I have a Laythe cargo and utility SSTO Seaplane I've been working on. It's designed to island-hop with rovers and science gear, do refueling runs from a miner to other craft, and bring Kerbals and cargo to and from Laythe orbit (40 tons or so). In short, an all-around workhorse.

6 Rapiers, 2 Nervs, and 2 reversed Wheesleys.

HiECM3P.png

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Let me throw in a few :D

My series of cargo SSTOs, which can accelerate payloads into duna intercept without leaving Kerbin's SOI. They use a small retro burn and aerobreaking for minimal return cost. It's called a Kergarin maneuver :D:D:D (as long as no one proves the opposite)

 

 

My Jool 5 ISRU SSTO from my completely wasteless career playthroug. Featuring a separate laythe SSTO lander even if could land there on its own, just because I like the small one :D

 

Or my verry old grand tour SSTO and my space station delivery SSTO both from the Excalibur series (sorry for the bad video's, they were my first)

My old senseless podracer SSTO

DA7ceFp.jpg

https://m.imgur.com/a/JmJ6L

And isn't this one cute? :D

lmiCEg5.jpg

https://m.imgur.com/a/HnpyE

 

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2 hours ago, Flying dutchman said:

Nice seaplane! I like how you angled the wings(for a lower take off speed on water?) Does that give you any problems at higher speeds?

(FYI, I wouldn't have seen your response if I hadn't checked the thread. It helps to quote or ping someone with @FleshJebso they get a notification.) :D

For spaceplanes, a 5 degree angle of incidence is almost mandatory. Body parts are really draggy and provide almost no lift, so it's best to keep them pointed as close to prograde as possible. Having the wings at 5 degrees provides an almost ideal Lift to Drag ratio for all wings, and allows you to fly with your nose pointed prograde. The lower takeoff speed is just a happy side-effect of this. It doesn't cause any problems if your craft is well-balanced. The two most useful mods for balancing a plane are RCS Build Aid and CorrectCoL.

I learned almost everything I know about building spaceplanes from this guy:

https://kerbalx.com/AeroGav/craft

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On 12/5/2018 at 11:09 PM, Jebediah Kerman Jr. said:

This mission idea involves making all sorts of partially/fully reusable spaceplanes.

Some ideas I've had:

A cargo shuttle launched on top of an expendable booster

A VTOL SSTO plane that takes off from the launchpad

A spaceplane to Laythe (of course) launched with 2 side boosters and nuclear tug

Etc.

Now show me your designs!

Have fun!

For partial re-usable designs,  I am a big fan of detachable (jet engine) pods,  I've built quite a few that way.

The Space Shuttle Way,  which your ideas are mostly variants of, I've never produced a satisfactory solution.      Aerodynamics is my thing and dealing with off axis thrust/space plane on a stick launches (Centre of lift at the FRONT ?!) is way beyond my vertical launch expertise - the few rockets i build are nice straightforward symmetrical things and even then they mostly crash.

Example of a low tech,  tier 7 Pather/NERV 2 stage space plane is this -

https://kerbalx.com/AeroGav/Kranker

 

1olh9cL.jpg

Despite having only Panther jet engines and NERV rocket engines, it manages 4000dv in low orbit.     The panthers - with their intakes and fuel tanks - are right on the plane's centre of mass so when you punch them off,  the airplane doesn't even twitch.     Because they don't have to lift or fight the drag of these nacelles any more,  then 3 nervs can haul this thing on to space without too much in the way of gravity loss despite the large fuel fraction.

If you wanted to kick this up a notch, with more tech available

1.  wet wings would make a BIG difference.    Lift takes care of not falling down, when your velocity has not yet exceeded orbital (2200 m/s).   The problem for these weak and heavy, but fuel efficient NERV engines, is drag.      Unlike real life,   the vast majority of drag in KSP comes from fuselage parts and cylindrical tanks in particular.   Big S wing strakes have a much better capacity to drag ratio than any other tank part.  So a wet wing Kranker i'd get rid of all the mk1 tanks i can (except for any i need for trim/balance) and get the rest of the capacity i require by spamming big S wing strakes.

2.   Swap the Panthers for Whiplash.    Panthers max out at 750 - 800,  Whiplash give good power out to 1100-1200.   They are heavier (1.8 vs 1.2 ton) but you're dropping them anyway , so who cares.  And they are barely any more expensive.   Rapiers have an even better top end,  but cost 3x a Whiplash,   not sure you can justify ditching those in the drink.

3.  The main issue is that the airbreathing part of the flight simply doesn't use all that much fuel, so there isn't all that much empty tankage to stage off.      You could perhaps replace several some 3 ton NERVs with a single 1 ton Aerospike,   and have a bit of LFO tankage on the jet nacelles.    This will reduce your dry mass once the empty LFO is gone.   The LFO tanks will add a lot of aerodynamic drag, but once they're staged off, you're no longer paying that penalty,  and you'll be doing a high percentage of orbital velocity, meaning the wings will not have much gravity left to fight, and will pull you way up into the atmosphere where drag is minimal,  and the reduced number of  NERVs can finish the job.

Hmm,   perhaps I should build this Kranker II airplane sometime....

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On 12/5/2018 at 11:09 PM, Jebediah Kerman Jr. said:

A VTOL SSTO plane that takes off from the launchpad

With Kerbal aerodynamics,  it is possible to make a conventional ssto (no lift engines) takeoff and land in its own length,  so i've never felt the need to put something like that together.    There would be a mass/drag penalty for the lift engines or engine swivelling pivot which i think  is greater than that a STOL conventional plane would have.

https://kerbalx.com/AeroGav/Puffin

After doing this, it flew to Minmus..

And this one landed on the VAB roof helipad,  took off again and could have gone to Duna..

https://kerbalx.com/AeroGav/stol

Now that said,   when there is no atmosphere and gravity is less,  VTOL makes sense.   I've been watching Season 1 of Space 1999 this week,   and I really want to make an Eagle Transporter now,   they look  like they were based on this real Munar transport concept (though the RL design had bigger propellant tanks and only had the delta V for surface->LLO    ops.

il_570xN.647386237_9ro5.jpg

Eagle Transporters,  Barbra Bain,   Ziona Morton,  this show had so much hotness...

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