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maceemiller

Rover deployment without landing.....

Question

Hi all.....

So, currently I'm playing sandbox and im in the VAB on Gael, the GPP side of KSP.

I will build a rover-esq thingy that I want to take to an icy mountain not far west of the launch pad.

Getting there is not an issue....I do feel a plane is the obvious choice but I struggle with landing planes....(I've tried so many times to land on the runway and failed 95% of the time)

My question is what's the best way to get my rover there? My gut instinct tells me to fly a cargo plane there, decouple the rover and land via parachutes....

My gut also tells me that that's "an easy way out" but it would work....

Thoughts anyone? I will read/take advice from the community.....

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10 hours ago, maceemiller said:

My gut instinct tells me to fly a cargo plane there, decouple the rover and land via parachutes.

That's probably the most straightforward approach for an atmospheric deployment. But there's one catch. If you drop the rover from your plane and the two become separated by more than about 23 kilometers then the game will delete whichever one you aren't in control of that hasn't landed yet. This isn't a problem if you don't care about keeping the cargo plane. Just make sure that it is controlled from a probe core and is uncrewed, then tab over to your rover once it is deployed and stay with it until it lands.

Other options include:
- Put parachutes on your plane so that you don't have to make a proper touchdown (kinda cheaty.)
- Make your rover capable of flying itself over there (potentially not very aerodynamic on an atmospheric world.)
- Put your rover inside of a ballistic rocket to fly it over there (takes practice to hit a specific landing site on an atmospheric world.)
- Practice landing heavy aircraft without a runway. Results will vary, but if you are OK with installing a mod to help then Atmosphere Autopilot makes flying planes much easier; more akin to arcade flight games.

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@HvP thanks for your reply. As for landing without a runway I can't land WITH one!

Maybe I will try and build a VTOL however I've tried to pilot one before and found it......challenging :)

 

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1 hour ago, HvP said:

But there's one catch. If you drop the rover from your plane and the two become separated by more than about 23 kilometers then the game will delete whichever one you aren't in control of that hasn't landed yet.

You can keep both. After dropping the rover, quickly switch to the rover, lock the brakes and deploy the parachute (if not done). Then quickly switch back to to plane. Circle slowly above the landing site so that you are within the 23km bubble. Wait for the rover to land. You can check that from the map view. After the rover landed it is safe and you are free to fly home and go back to the rover from the tracking station.

Just be careful not to land on a cliff or flip your rover.

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8 hours ago, maceemiller said:

@HvP thanks for your reply. As for landing without a runway I can't land WITH one!

Maybe I will try and build a VTOL however I've tried to pilot one before and found it......challenging :)

 

You're not alone; planes are harder than rockets. If I were to give any advice on landing it's that people (including myself in the past) usually approach too steeply, from too high, too close.

Practice maintaining level flight close to the ground - about 200 to 300 meters high. Line up your approach as best you can from a far enough distance that you can barely see the angle of the runway and descend to about 150 meters and then try to keep it level while all the time reducing your thrust and keeping an eye on your prograde in the navball. You want your prograde marker to be almost on the horizon line but a hair below, usually keeping your nose very slightly above the horizon line. Check your vertical speed indicator often. It's the needle on that analog gauge next to your altimeter at the top of your screen. Ideally, You don't want to be dropping more than about 5 m/s during your final approach with an airspeed of no more than 80 m/s at touchdown. Make sure your brakes are toggled on, then pull up your nose a few degrees just at the moment of contact.

Landing should be a slow, methodical, (hopefully) boring process.

Another tip: Try putting flaps on your wings that deploy downwards from an action group (I assign them to the brakes group.) Flaps go near the center of mass along the inside portion of the main wings. When deployed they should slow you down quite a bit while adding lift. It's important that flaps are attached near the center of mass because then they won't dramatically change your pitch angle.

As for VTOL's - I'm not brave enough to land those suckers yet, haha.

@TheFlyingKerman Good catch on circling over the dropped probe. I'm always too paranoid about losing it but I know it works.

Edited by HvP
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20 hours ago, maceemiller said:

My question is what's the best way to get my rover there?

You could try driving.  That requires no landing at all, and you did say that this mountain is 'not far' from the launchpad.  It also saves you the weight of parachutes and the risk of destroying a wheel or six in either the decoupling or the landing.

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4 hours ago, Zhetaan said:

You could try driving.  That requires no landing at all, and you did say that this mountain is 'not far' from the launchpad.  It also saves you the weight of parachutes and the risk of destroying a wheel or six in either the decoupling or the landing.

On this play I'm using a different planet pack..search for GPP....

The launch pad is on an island so have to "fly" to the mainland....

If we don't die on landing, myself and my Kerbals will drive, walk or whatever else we can do to get there....

.....I've 2 things built and going through a vigours testing phase.....

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16 minutes ago, maceemiller said:

On this play I'm using a different planet pack..search for GPP....

The launch pad is on an island so have to "fly" to the mainland....

I'm familiar with it; I did read your opening post.  But there are plenty of ways to move a rover over water.  Or under it; it's not as though your Kerbals mind.

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6 minutes ago, Zhetaan said:

I'm familiar with it; I did read your opening post.  But there are plenty of ways to move a rover over water.  Or under it; it's not as though your Kerbals mind.

I'm glad you did.

I appreciate your reply. I, obviously like you, see no care in a Kerbal except I prefer to make sure these green things get to where I'd like them. 

Must ask them what they want...

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31 minutes ago, maceemiller said:

The launch pad is on an island so have to "fly" to the mainland....

Amphibious hydrofoils work nicely in KSP too. You could just drive a cargo hydrofoil down to the water with your rover in it, zoom across the water, then unload your rover.

 

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12 hours ago, bewing said:

Amphibious hydrofoils work nicely in KSP too. You could just drive a cargo hydrofoil down to the water with your rover in it, zoom across the water, then unload your rover.

 

Hmmmm...I've never attempted any form of travel on water....I'm basically a rocket only guy.

That's actually a very good idea as the mainland is not far away from the launch pad in GPP so that could be a viable option.

Cheers for giving me more to build and test....this game never gets old.....always a new problem to overcome.....love it :)

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On 1/11/2019 at 9:10 AM, maceemiller said:

Getting there is not an issue....I do feel a plane is the obvious choice but I struggle with landing planes....(I've tried so many times to land on the runway and failed 95% of the time)

 

 

On 1/11/2019 at 9:07 PM, maceemiller said:

@HvP thanks for your reply. As for landing without a runway I can't land WITH one!

 

This does not answer your actual question, but since there has been some plane discussion, I thought I would contribute .  Feel free to ignore it right now if is is not your priority :)

 

As someone who found himself over the last year building a lot of planes, I've learned a few things.

1. Landing on the runway is really hard to start. So, forget the runway to begin with. The area around the KSC, both on Kerbin and Gael, is large and flat.  On Gael as well, the "Island Airfield" is located very far inland on a big plain. On Kerbin, the area around the Dessert Airfield is perfect.  If you have the DLC you can start from there and just try putting your plane down anywhere on the surrounding terrain.  This allows you to first learn the approach without getting overly worried if you are drifting left or right.

2. As @HvP stated, you want a shallow approach and at least under 80 m/s.  When I was first learning to fly, my mistake was landing at too high a speed and/or descending too quickly.  (I do not use the navball for landing--I eyeball it usually from a side view, but that is a personal preference thing. Find what works for your)

3. I almost always just kill my engines completely on approach. If I find I am losing too much speed a quick tap of the Z key and then back to nothing usually gives me just the boost I need.

4. You can bleed off speed by nosing up a bit and then letting yourself back down. Ideally, you are just a bit nose up when you touch down.

5. Kerbal Engineer is a great mod if you don't already have it for many reasons. For landing purposes, it has a readout that shows you your altitude over terrain as well as sea level. This eliminates a lot of the guesswork when landing, since the stock readout is based on sea level.

6. Finally, practice using a known entity--like one of the stock KSP aircraft (though they are not perfect) or something from KerbalX.  A lot of what makes a successful landing is plane design. Most of the tweaking I do in building my oddball aircraft involves getting them safely on the ground.   I really like this plane: https://kerbalx.com/DarkLion/Soarcerers-Apprentice.  You cannot really build a plane that will land well until you know how to successfully land.

 

Finally, @bewing mentioned amphibious solutions. Check out some of the craft from my amphibious challenge. It might give you some ideas.

 

 

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On 1/11/2019 at 10:13 PM, bewing said:

Amphibious hydrofoils work nicely in KSP too. You could just drive a cargo hydrofoil down to the water with your rover in it, zoom across the water, then unload your rover.

 

So, I've nearly built my first "boat" type cradle to get the rover to the mainland and while it looks completely ridiculous its doing the job (ill post a piccy soon)

Surprisingly being on the water is great fun and, when I have some time I may try to build something to travel down the long river system on Gael I spotted from orbit.....

This game never stops giving.....

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