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Design and Fly Planes that are Hard to Fly


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I know this challenge isn't supposed to be about flying your own planes, but I've already landed crashed all the other planes in this thread on the island airfield. (Except for @Rocket In My Pocket's planes, which don't seem to have craft files linked. :() So here goes...

(It's kind of a long video again. I really should start editing my videos. The final landing attempt starts at 17:35, FWIW.)

Spoiler:

Spoiler

I did it! Well, kinda... but the plane's intact. :D 

jyUz6U0.png

 

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On 5/6/2019 at 12:07 AM, Klapaucius said:

Taking off was the issue for me. The gear is so unstable that it was near impossible not to lose a wing. I eventually managed it by just going off the side of the runway and letting that little drop get it airborne.  I also tweaked the dampening on the gear, which may have helped. Once in the air, it was not hard to fly, though it turns VERY slowly. I lost too much altitude on the approach and could not get the nose back up. Yet another landing fail!

 

 

For that issue, what is a good solution? Or I guess, what is the cause of this? Should the base be made wider?

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Thanks for the craft files! Time to give these a whirl...

Spoiler:

Spoiler

Three out of three! :cool:  (OK, with a few reloads... but still.)

RdUIJVU.png

 

On 5/5/2019 at 10:12 PM, Rocket In My Pocket said:

The "SiameseTwin"

https://kerbalx.com/RocketInMyPocket/SiameseTwin1

An early attempt at carrying a rover afar, at the time; I thought this twin body design was rather clever! It isn't, like...at all. :/ Flies...alright I guess? Assuming you don't want to turn at any point.

OK, this one indeed wasn't too bad. The engines are way above the center of mass, making the plane want to pitch down hard at full thrust. Fortunately, it also doesn't really need full thrust for anything, and flies quite well when throttled down to one third. In fact, I was kind of tempted to just shut down one or two of the three engines. In steady flight it doesn't even need SAS, although the throttle-linked pitch-down effect makes attempting an SAS-less landing quite a pain.

Also, as seen around 6:15 on the video, I found that pitching down deliberately can cause the plane to flip 180 degrees backwards, stall and crash. Normally, that's not really something you'd ever do, but if you happen to end up flying upside down and try to gain some altitude to recover... well, as the old doctor joke goes, just don't do that. :P

 

On 5/5/2019 at 10:12 PM, Rocket In My Pocket said:

The "NeedleNose1B"

https://kerbalx.com/RocketInMyPocket/NeedleNose1B

Yes, This farce actually has a couple versions, but this is the "best" one (and I use the word "best" begrudgingly.) Ugly, slow, awkward...prone to falling out of the sky, on top of being pointless, I mean..what did I even build this thing to do? I don't remember anymore! :confused: ...Need I go on?

My first impression of this thing wasn't great, what with it sitting on its ass on the runway. (Tip of the day: it's generally not a good idea to put all your landing gears in front of the CoM. Just sayin'...) But it straightened up just fine when I fired up the engines, and turned out to be a pretty decent plane, even if a bit loud and fuel-hungry. It did all right for the island hop, but I kind of got the feeling that what it really wants to do is go somewhere high and fast. Possibly into orbit, although it's not going to get there with just the Whiplash engines. :/

Anyway, this plane handles quite nicely in the air even without SAS — so well, in fact, that I ended up successfully landing it that way on the first try! And hey, it's even got decent brakes for a change. :) 

(BTW, I'm not sure if I flew this plane in exactly its intended configuration, since I got a bunch of missing part errors when I loaded it. But it made it safely up and down again, so I guess whatever I was missing wasn't too essential.)

 

On 5/5/2019 at 10:12 PM, Rocket In My Pocket said:

The "V-wing Test"

https://kerbalx.com/RocketInMyPocket/VwingTest1

Now, in my defense; I named this as a test, because apparently; even I didn't think it was gonna work lol. No surprise; I was right. :P

OK, now this is more like the pure garbage finely tuned handling and aerodynamics that I was expecting from this challenge. :sticktongue:

Takeoff went surprisingly fine. And this thing actually flies decently well... as long as you keep SAS on and don't try to turn. :P  Without SAS, it somehow manages to develop spontaneous roll oscillations (see video at about 1:15), which is a first for me. :o  And the turning characteristics are... interesting. To say the least. It actively fights you when you try to roll it, often deciding to spontaneously roll in the opposite direction instead. :confused:  Eventually, I realized that the easiest way to fly this plane was to keep my hands off the roll controls entirely and just steer using the yaw and pitch controls instead, since yawing causes this plane to also roll in the same direction. I also found that just straight up disabling the wingtip rudders made it more stable and controllable. ;) 

Also, this plane has a surprising amount of lift at low speeds, which seems like a good thing, and indeed generally is... except that it caused me to overshoot the island runway several times. So this video also ended up quite longish. Sorry. At least I got some nice fly-by footage out of it. Once again, feel free to skip the boring parts.

Edited by vyznev
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9 hours ago, vyznev said:

Thanks for the craft files! Time to give these a whirl...

Lol, nice vids!

Was fun watching someone try to fly those ancient scrap heaps. :D

Not sure about the missing parts/modules on the NeedleNose, it's so old after all. I don't think it would have been missing anything vital though, as I've never used part mods really.

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Give me a moment on this one. I am currently designing a literal flying wing.

Here it is boys. Give it a shot. As for airworthiness, I shall leave it up to you do decide. Personally, i think this little thing is actually VERY fun to fly. idk why :P

https://kerbalx.com/GalacticIce9/LOL-FLYING-WING

Here's a link to the photo (imgur wasnt cooperating) and idk if this even works

https://i.ibb.co/Qc639vM/Screen-Shot-2019-05-08-at-5-18-06-PM.png

https://ibb.co/j5LPhkD

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by PhazeKL
edit image links
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On 5/9/2019 at 12:09 AM, PhazeKL said:

Give me a moment on this one. I am currently designing a literal flying wing.

Here it is boys. Give it a shot. As for airworthiness, I shall leave it up to you do decide. Personally, i think this little thing is actually VERY fun to fly. idk why :P

https://kerbalx.com/GalacticIce9/LOL-FLYING-WING

That one kind of reminds me of an earlier challenge: 

Anyway, I tried flying your plane, and I'm not sure how to feel about it. I feel like the biggest issue with it is kind of artificial:

Spoiler

You set the right elevon to 63% authority while leaving the left one at 100%, which makes the plane roll when you try to pitch up.

Anyway, if I fix that (which is doable in flight), it flies OK. I mean, not well by any means — it has lots of drag and relatively little lift, it's too sensitive to roll and not sensitive enough to pitch, and the landing gears are fragile and wobbly. But it's still basically flyable. But it doesn't fly well enough to be fun to fly, and it also doesn't fly badly enough to be fun that way, either. :P 

So I figured the best way to fly this thing would be in its original configuration exactly as intended, wonky flaps and all. And while I'm at it, why not try doing it without SAS, too? :D So here goes...

Spoiler: Jeb finally made it to the island airfield alive. That's got to count for something, right? :cool:

(Also, BTW, your image link gives me a 404 error. Just thought you might like to know.)

Edited by vyznev
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I actually built a plane that meets these requirements a while back for some reason. It was modded, so I redesigned it with stock parts.

https://kerbalx.com/LevAerospace/XRA-69S

It flies better with SAS turned off - I don't think the game knows what to do with it. It actually handles pretty well, but doesn't like to pull up for some reason. It can go supersonic - just don't try to turn at speed. It also has really, really bad stall characteristics. You need several thousand meters to recover from a spin.

Here's my incredibly "witty" description:

Here at Lev Aerospace, we’re always pushing the boundaries of aviation technology. While examining one of our planes, an engineer remarked that maybe we had been building them all wrong this whole time. The XRA-69 is the realization of that idea.

This S variant uses only officially sanctioned KSP parts. Not that it makes it any safer than the other version.

The whole aircraft is backwards, upside down, and inside out. We’re breaking every paradigm with this one, and thinking so far outside of the box that the box is a dot to us!

kUb1Ha9.jpg

XBFH9SX.jpg

VNdZzGL.jpg

15 hours ago, vyznev said:

That one kind of reminds me of an earlier challenge: 

I posted a ship for that, too. It actually flies pretty well, but the controls are tricky.

 

 

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Dug up one more whilst playing around. This one was built for a different challenge a while back, but I never actually got around to doing it. There is nothing spectacularly wrong with it, it's just absurdly heavy/draggy. Needs afterburner just to turn without falling out of the sky. At least though, you don't have to worry about hard landings? Lol.

CDDD9D09E901289697CE7EEFFE96AC489A12760B

https://kerbalx.com/RocketInMyPocket/SafetyFirst

Edited by Rocket In My Pocket
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On 5/9/2019 at 12:09 AM, PhazeKL said:

Here it is boys. Give it a shot. As for airworthiness, I shall leave it up to you do decide. Personally, i think this little thing is actually VERY fun to fly. idk why :P

Flying the wing felt super fun, so I wanted to also land it. Tried switching off reaction wheels, disabling steering and bouncing on the shore before the runway to slow down. But still kept on crashing, hoping for a lucky bounce.

Then I decided to fly around to lessen the weight and accidentally forgot to lower the front landing gear. Forgetfulness usually leads to failures but not this time!

Successful landing ends at 45s, continued by a 3 minute montage of however many crashes I experienced:

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

I inadvertently created a new entry while making something for my own challenge.  You will need the DLC to fly this. It has no control surfaces. Rather, you bend the whole aircraft with hinges and servos.  It uses three controllers, and you manually drag the playheads on each on with your mouse to make adjustments.  You have to be careful; it is rather floppy and has a tendency to fold over on itself, but it does work!  It is actually not terribly hard once you get the hang of it, but it requires rearranging your thinking on how you fly.

 

It's not ready for KerbalX, so here is a Google Drive link to it:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Y3Tjk00LlnhwgB7guOFD7Pjm1wgNgXfk

 

The first video shows a successful takeoff but also shows it folding when pulling too many Gs.


The second shows a terrible takeoff (due to me hitting the throttle before I had opened my controllers) but it recovered, and I managed to land it.  The one thing it has going for it is a very slow stall speed.

9WTsDOZ.png

 

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by Klapaucius
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  • 2 months later...

This challenge is fun, apart from driving the development of my "fancy" VTOL, via removing the rcs and making it flyable without sas, I tried flying @Klapaucius's Oscar, which is really hard to fly, and I didn't succeed yet. Also, @vyznev's Autogyro was nice, after adjusting the rotor tip deploy a bit more flyable, I even landed that. And @ShadoxFilms's Dragon is seriously fun to fly. I will post my attempts and the VTOL in a less controloble version when I'm done with them.

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I was working on a VTOL design at the time I found this thread, and it was quite unstable, and didn't have the power margin to save bad landing attempts, plus legs as landing gear, negative dihedral and so on, so here you go, one funky version, and one actually stable and nice version, just to warm up my soup...

Attempted flying multiple designs, but I really liked the autogyro, so i kinda fixed it by trim, and it was quite flyable after that.

Props to anyone who landed the Oscar, that thing is truly a challenge.

https://imgur.com/a/mAhG7KU for the other pictures, https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uAGKPA2EGVCySTTgHhwwE5_GrQAMfzxF/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ioU2Vy4oqThV2JdK_NeCmd6qUSSyhBbe/view?usp=sharing for the vids.

https://kerbalx.com/Vit_Salava/MeatFly-B

https://kerbalx.com/Vit_Salava/MeatFly-A(not the challenge)

Evley9I.png

Edited by Vít Salava
fixed some issues, added KX
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This challenge is right up my alley!

@Vít Salava, your entry looks so retro and clean. I'll try to fly it this evening if no one else beats me to it.
And for my own entry, I immediately had a design in mind when I read the OP's post. Whatever happens, count me in!

Edit: Alright, I've pushed myself to the limit today with this challenge!

For part 1, my submission:
https://kerbalx.com/T-Bouw/TailSittart
GdbBU5S.png

Spoiler

This is TailSittart II, an improved version. More Liquid and less RCS fuel.
https://kerbalx.com/T-Bouw/TailSittart-II

LA8ob0L.png

It is a design inspired by the weird experiments done with VTOL's in the old days. The design was once used by me in a career out of necessity as I hadn't unlocked the wheel gear parts and needed a VTOL for survey contracts.
This particular plane was especially made for this challenge and thoroughly tested, and crashed...
The difficulty comes from landing the thing. Transitioning from horizontal to vertical flight can be difficult and the descent can't always be controlled by the SAS. Oh, and there's not a lot of fuel. You've been warned! :D

Just to show that it can be done.

Spoiler

UhWqb1z.png

 

Part 2: MeatFly-B is really unstable. @Vít Salava wasn't kidding. The craft sometimes just rolls or pitches heavily upwards out of nowhere. I haven't been able to maintain a stable hover or flight for more than a few seconds!
Quite the little devil it is. :sticktongue:
Proof:

Spoiler

.0vTXlzv.png

I did have a blast doing this challenge. Good one!

Edited by T-Bouw
Challenge done!
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@T-Bouw  I did not manage to land the thing--on land, but I decided a water landing would be much more productive. And it was!  I even managed to take off again after a little bit of fiddling and then immediately ran out of fuel. You weren't kidding about that!

 

It's a hoot to fly, though.

 

 

Edited by Klapaucius
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@Vít Salava, I'm surprised to hear that it handles better with SAS off.
I just knew I made it too easy, but I can't help it. I think we all improve our craft until they perform like a dream. I'm glad you managed it!

@Klapaucius, love your video!
You managed a silky smooth landing on water and the second time, even though you came in too fast, you managed to save the cockpit. Good show!

Thanks for giving it a spin people!

I feel somewhat guilty seeing other people struggle with my craft. :( But that's kind of the point of this challenge huh.
This challenge is counter-intuitive on multiple levels. As I said, I didn't know when to call it quits with the improvements.
 

Edited by T-Bouw
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12 minutes ago, T-Bouw said:

 

Thanks for giving it a spin people!

I feel somewhat guilty seeing other people struggle with my craft. :( But that's kind of the point of this challenge huh.
This challenge is counter-intuitive on multiple levels. As I said, I didn't know when to call it quits with the improvements.
 

Now land Oscar....

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I'm just gonna leave this here... 

It might bring up some bad memories for some pilots. This plane can make orbit and come back to land on the runway - IF you have the minerals to fly her. 

There is a video on the KerbalX page and images etc. (WMP stands for Widow Making Project)

https://kerbalx.com/Andetch/ADX-WMP-SSTO

Edited by Andetch
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5 hours ago, Andetch said:

I'm just gonna leave this here... 

It might bring up some bad memories for some pilots. This plane can make orbit and come back to land on the runway - IF you have the minerals to fly her. 

There is a video on the KerbalX page and images etc. (WNO stands for Widow Making Project)

https://kerbalx.com/Andetch/ADX-WMP-SSTO

You truly have achieved something here. Whether you want to advertise that achievement or keep it to yourself is a matter for you to decide.

The thing that makes this aircraft truly evil is that it looks like it should work. In fact, my first attempt at takeoff, from the Island Airfield soley because that was saved from my last launch, started out okay. no SAS, gaining altitude, and I'm thinking, I can do this. Then it flips over on itself.

 

So I try again at the KSC.  The longer runway made it way harder. The only way it gets into the air is leaping off a ledge.  I actually found that cutting the engines partway down the runway and letting it bleed off a little speed helped.

After a few attempts, I did get it into space.  No orbit, but I thought, "Hey, I can do re-entry. I'm good at landing planes. Then I realized I was over water, but I thought, "I've done water landings before and survived." Yeah...no.  This planes favourite maneuver is the flatspin.

 

So, since I had wisely quicksaved the last flight, I decided to just try and turn around and land the thing. I swear, trying to aim at the KSC was like trying to get a magnet to line up with another magnet with the same polarity. It just REFUSED to stay aimed towards the runway. Oh, and the constant flameout in one engine putting it again into spins...  

Arghhh!

 

Kudos to you for actually managing to get it turned around and landed.

 

Truly a masterpiece for this challenge.

 

 

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