UomoCapra

Kerbal Space Program 1.7.3 is live!

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Well, with the same blade, I found thrust dropping sharply near the end of the range. I don't know about the exact number, but it's not 150%. Either way, you should be able to set that in VAB/SPH.

I don't have an analog fore/back translation axis in my setup. Digital input isn't correct in this case. In turboprops, RPM is typically held constant (outside of startup/shutdown and emergencies), while "throttling" is done with prop pitch. Combustion engines can go either way, but what we have looks like a turbine.

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1 hour ago, StrandedonEarth said:

OMG I just realized I described something that sounds like a job for MechJeb, which I have never once installed (KER based mods yes). So never mind, I’ll figure it out  

Or if someone would take over the development of pilot assistance. It could be added to that. That's a pipe dream though. :(

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Posted (edited)

@Dragon01 I’ve just thought about another thing - what orientation are the props supposed to be installed at? Because up until now I’ve had them installed them such that 0 deployment corresponds to the props facing into the freestream (full pitch), and 150 deployment corresponds to no pitch (props facing in-plane to the prop disc).

I feel like I’ve been doing it wrong, because intuitively, zero deployment should correspond to no pitch and full deployment should correspond to full pitch. I’m gonna go experiment a bit more now.

I wish there was some sort of marker you could enable for the prop to help identify whether you’re facing the correct way.

EDIT: I can report that I have found a marker! At the edge of the blade (for blade type B anyway) there's a light grey triangle - mount the blades such that when not deployed, the arrow points sideways. That way when you deploy them, the arrow turns forward or backward depending on which way you want to go. This isn't super obvious though, and it took me a bit of time to notice it. I've also found that when cruising, it may be in your interest to reduce your RPM and increase the pitch on your blades. Somehow this resulted in roughly a +25m/s speed boost... this seems fishy

 

Edited by Bartybum

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10 hours ago, Foxster said:

I agree completely.

If they were a lot better for all the effort then great but they are worse than the jet engines in every sense I can see. 

The new engines either need a "dumb mode" or the default settings for the engines + props should be set so they just work out of the box. 

Where do they show up in the tech tree? If it's earlier than jets then maybe worthwhile in career/science mode. And also can be used (with rotors instead of turboshafts) in Eve's atmo, which jets cannot.

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I'm thinking that the props and heli blades need some type of obvious indicator of the direction of thrust once connected to the rotor body. It seems that when you switch the rotor, prop or blade to counterclockwise the thrust is reversed. You have to invert the deploy direction for get the thrust to point the correct direction. It seems counter intuitive to have to put a prop or blade going clockwise on a rotor going counterclockwise or vice versa to get the desired thrust vector. Basically there is a ton of jumping between the editor and flight scenes to check to see if the direction of thrust is correct for the craft you're building.

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14 hours ago, Foxster said:

Yup but a VTOL could do the same job. 

Not the point. It doesn't matter if we can already build something that does the job, it's about building whatever we can. There's been calls for propellers for YEARS, but now that they're finally added it's suddenly not good because you need to learn how to use them?

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It's more that they don't, to me, feel like the other engines and mechanics in KSP. 

Other engines you just bolt on, hit space bar and off you go. I'm sure in RL there's quite a bit more to both a rocket and a jet engine than that. 

Wheels you also just bolt on and KSP figures out what direction they should rotate and steer.

But with rotors and props there are a bunch of settings to be made before they will work and then you need to constantly fiddle with them in flight. I'm sure that's all very accurate to RL but it doesn't feel Kerbal. 

I still think there needs to be dummy mode, where prop pitch is automatic and the other settings are set so that out of the box you can stick a rotor and props on the front of a plane and it'll fly. 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Snark said:

Just... would have expected it to be a bit thirstier for electricity, is all.

Agreed, while the LFO engine seems to use a lot more fuel than expected.  I guess it's realistic for a fuel cell / electric system to be more efficient than a mechanical engine (as we see with hydrogen cars, etc.), but the difference seems rather stark.  [EDIT - forgot that the engines use atmospheric air while the a fuel cell / electric system requires oxidizer.  So that should be a major point in favor for the former].

My first flagrant abuse - this ugly little plane has ~16 RTGs inside the fairing.  It can fly forever, for the low low price of ~500k funds.  A tad excessive for Kerbin, but the concept may have potential for biome hopping on Eve / Laythe.

Pqt77LH.jpg

 

 

Edited by Aegolius13

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Snark said:

First... they're just frictiony rubber pads, which feels like they ought to be available at very, very low tech levels.  Heck, if the 160 tier unlocks the most advanced actual landing gear, then it seems like "rubber pad with no moving parts" should be lower than that.

maybe the idea was that a light enough abrasive surface would have to be made of high-tech materials. A lead file would serve the same purpose but would weight too much. Anyway, I agree with you, a mere high-attriction endcap for landing struts (can anyone think of another use?) shouldn't be too high on the tech tree.

1 hour ago, T1mo98 said:

Not the point. It doesn't matter if we can already build something that does the job, it's about building whatever we can. There's been calls for propellers for YEARS, but now that they're finally added it's suddenly not good because you need to learn how to use them?

you have a point, a good one as a matter of fact. However many mods have already made propeller engines which are much more sensible to use. The current way stock ksp is doing propeller engines, would be comparable to the already extant jet engines, but  we having to calculate the rotor fan's blade angles, the compression of the burn chambers, the actual airflow etc... and using the robotics gizmo to do that. It would be too much, I think we can all agree.

Edited by Daniel Prates

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6 hours ago, Foxster said:

But with rotors and props there are a bunch of settings to be made before they will work and then you need to constantly fiddle with them in flight. I'm sure that's all very accurate to RL but it doesn't feel Kerbal. 

I still think there needs to be dummy mode, where prop pitch is automatic and the other settings are set so that out of the box you can stick a rotor and props on the front of a plane and it'll fly. 

I have to disagree with that one. If anything, it is the most Kerbal engine because it requires fiddling.  In the same way that building a plane that actually works well requires a lot of fiddling with wing position, control surface position, weight distribution etc.

Prior to this release, I thought Simple Planes had KSP beat in the aircraft department re propulsion (though flying in KSP is still way more fun for me because the physics model is better), but with the DLC, I think they have finally not only caught up to Simple Planes on that, but also gone one better by truly creating a distinct model for doing it.  It also sets the DLC apart from mods like Firespitter, which is an option for you if that is what you prefer.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Klapaucius said:

I have to disagree with that one. If anything, it is the most Kerbal engine because it requires fiddling.

No other engine requires fiddling, thus making the fiddling unKerbal.  Consistency is important.  I will personally continue using Airplane Plus as the engines behave consistently with other engines in the game.

I don't begrudge the addition of these more advanced options for propeller planes, but a rocket (or jet more aptly) should not be easier for a new player to put together than a biplane. 

Edited by klgraham1013

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Posted (edited)

I absolutely love love love the way the props were implemented!  They are perfect.

I was pleasantly surprised... no strike that, I was shocked!  Shocked that they not only introduced functional propellers in 1.7.3, but the things are actually variable pitch blades! :cool:   WOW!!  

A22-TwinProp.png

I removed the backward installed Wheesleys from my A-22 above and installed these counter-rotating turboshaft engines in their place.  Notice my cruising altitude (slightly climbing) with a fuel usage in the range of 0.05 to 0.12 (thru 1000m) and at a fairly respectable speed of nearly 200m/s!

After a little testing, and watching how the aerodynamic indicators reacted at various speeds/altitude...  I now install all of my blades so they start off zeroed on the runway (deployed with authority limiters set to zero) batting at the air and doing nothing...  This way I can feather them for a full range of forward and reverse thrust!  I can taxi backward/forward even use them for reverse thrust on landing if I want to.  I assign torque to the Main Throttle and use the U/D Translate (up/down arrow keys) to feather the props.  It works beautifully!  At 196m/s I'm making nearly full RPMs at 447.6 with very low torque/throttle.  

Granted, I could get slightly better performance and fuel economy from my  Wheesleys at this speed, but I'm pretty happy with the way the props were implemented.

Well done! @SQUAD 

Edited by XLjedi

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Foxster said:

It's more that they don't, to me, feel like the other engines and mechanics in KSP. 

Other engines you just bolt on, hit space bar and off you go. I'm sure in RL there's quite a bit more to both a rocket and a jet engine than that. 

6 hours ago, klgraham1013 said:

No other engine requires fiddling, thus making the fiddling unKerbal.  Consistency is important.  I will personally continue using Airplane Plus as the engines behave consistently with other engines in the game.

I don't begrudge the addition of these more advanced options for propeller planes, but a rocket (or jet more aptly) should not be easier for a new player to put together than a biplane. 

 

In many ways this update and the new props feel like a stop gap between what the community wanted and what the Devs were already working on. We already know that the devs were already working on these new parts before the DLC was released from Jacob Plays Some Games' Youtube Video.

The community has wanted  robotics for years now, and propellers since the spaceplane update back in v0.15. Yet the Devs decided to bundle the props with the robotics without putting much thought into it. Maybe this was influenced by many players creating "stock props", but that was only an exclusive group who did so. Not to mention that combustion/turbine engine prop planes are simpler than jet engines in real life, regardless of what some people say. I also don't understand why they added turbine engines and not traditional combustion engines, not that it should make any real difference in-game, but still. Not like the turbine engine makes any sense to begin with... 

The new rotors/props are still somewhat glitchly (As point out in ShadowZone's latest video), which wouldn't have been a major concern if the props functioned like they do in Airplane Plus (or KAX, or any other mod).

I love the fact that I can customise the engines, which I feel is appropriate for the nature of prop engines (and RP purposes), especially compared to the "internal-ness" and "unseen" nature of jet engines. (Worth pointy out that we don't currently even have jet engines in game, all we technically have are jet engine nozzles. But honestly, I prefer this way as it allows for more creativity). But they definitely don't feel "Kerbal". It is one thing to spend hours, days, or (in my case) months working on an aircraft. But it's a completely different story when you are spending hours working on an engine design that is over 100 years old.

It has always been implied (at least to me) that the Kerbals are either buying or finding the various parts whole, not making them. Some part descriptions even state that the part was found on the side of the road. And that they are literally just slapping the parts together. This would also explain the horrible aesthetic some of the parts have. But these new props are just a bit to fiddly for what KSP has been in the past.

I wouldn't mind if in the editor they were multiple parts, but in flight they were a single part, allowing for the nice customisation while stopping the trail and error glitchiness of them. But I feel it is to late for this type of change, not like you can make a major change of how the parts work several weeks after they came out or anything...

 

But hey, thankfully the good ol' Jumo 004 engi-.. sorry I mean J-20 Juno engine is super easy to use and doesn't explode when mishandled or anything...

 

Not like any of this really matters anymore...

Edited by Noir

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A little off topic, but @UomoCapra, when can console players expect Breaking Ground to come? Also, when will we get the ability to remove helmets, and when will we get the rover cab that was implemented for PC a while back?

Also, I am now really excited about the props, and the docking port fixes. I cannot wait for the robotic arm either. 

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Posted (edited)

Here's a few things that would make using the rotors and props much better:

A PAW option for the props of "Auto pitch". On by default. This would adjust their angle (currently adjusted through Authority Limit) automatically to produce max thrust. Turning this off would allow manual adjustment of this and I'd be fine if that could give up to, say, 10% extra thrust if manually adjusted optimally. 

Rotors placed in symmetry to have opposite pairs set to reversed spin and blades mounted to them inverted. It is a huge pain to manually sort this all out and doesn't feel like the parts in the rest of the game. 

Get rid of some of the settings on the rotors and replace them with a simple link to the throttle. So torque limit and authority are hidden and just raised and lowered with the throttle. 

Make the rotors stageable like the other engines. 

Build Heisenberg torque compensators into the rotors like the jet engines apparently have. Have them turned on by default and an option to turn them off for the purists. 

  

Edited by Foxster

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Alright, after a couple of days of playing on 1.7.3, i can give my verdict.

  1. Propellers and Rotors:

Let's be realistic here, they are weak. I would buff them a little, not that they like soooooo weak that i need to build a windmill... but yes the new helicopter blades would not be capable of lifting the size and mass of a helicopter. Also, when you hit break, the motor like stop immediately and because of that the craft spins a little to the left/right. Yes, i do like the idea, no, i don't like how it's implemented, my rating: 7/10 because it's not Kerbal enough.

        2. new docking system:

can't say anything bad, to good to be real, 9/10. No options to summon the kraken.

       3.The new PAW slider:

A great thing, 10/10. finally i can build my refueling station in mid-air.

      4.Grip(grid) Pads:

To me, not bad to create custom wheels, or a mech-bot. As a part... meh, you cant attach things to it, but because it's created to be a mech-bot fingers... so 6/10.

Overall: 8/10

 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, klgraham1013 said:

No other engine requires fiddling, thus making the fiddling unKerbal.  Consistency is important.  I will personally continue using Airplane Plus as the engines behave consistently with other engines in the game.

 I don't begrudge the addition of these more advanced options for propeller planes, but a rocket (or jet more aptly) should not be easier for a new player to put together than a biplane. 

Strong disagree. What you're asking for is that props are just re-skinned jet engines. What would be the point of that?

A rocket is simpler than a plane of any type, a jet plane is simpler than a prop plane, and a monoplane is simpler than a biplane. The only reason props came first in real life is that they couldn't figure out how to build a jet engine. A WW1 era single-engine prop plane was a real handful to fly and had highly limited performance precisely because of the limitations and various forces created by the propeller and the motor turning it. (Also IRL rockets existed long before planes or indeed any other type of human-built self-propelled flying device.)

Moreover, in KSP careers props serve a very specific niche: Eve and to a lesser extent Duna. Eve is already the hardest body to operate on, so having to "fiddle" in order to create a craft that works there is a very good thing.

1 hour ago, JERONIMO said:

Let's be realistic here, they are weak. I would buff them a little, not that they like soooooo weak that i need to build a windmill... but yes the new helicopter blades would not be capable of lifting the size and mass of a helicopter. Also, when you hit break, the motor like stop immediately and because of that the craft spins a little to the left/right. Yes, i do like the idea, no, i don't like how it's implemented, my rating: 7/10 because it's not Kerbal enough.

I'm on holiday so I haven't actually used the new rotor blades, but unless they're dramatically weaker than the rotors I've cobbled together from elevons, this is just not true. A single heavy electric motor spinning two contra-rotating rotors can lift up to 70 tons. IRL a light helicopter is < 5 tons, a medium-lift up to 20 tons, and a heavy-lift past that. 

Rotors and propellers are complicated beasts and you do need to understand them to be able to use them effectively -- just like you need to understand some aerodynamics in order to build a SSTO air-breathing spaceplane.

1 hour ago, Foxster said:

Build Heisenberg torque compensators into the rotors like the jet engines apparently have. Have them turned on by default and an option to turn them off for the purists. 

Again, this and the other suggestions would just turn props into re-skinned jets. What would be the point of that?

On 7/12/2019 at 11:48 PM, Foxster said:

You could make a VTOL with jet engines that would fly easier and have better MPG.

I've made VTOLs that run on solar power exclusively and are much easier to fly than jet-based VTOLs because of the much more responsive hover control you get with collective.

Seriously people, before complaining that the props are too hard or not efficient enough or whatever, put a little bit of effort into understanding the physics and aerodynamics involved. Most of you have figured out how to RV and dock in orbit, many of you have made return trips to Moho or Eeloo, and a lot of you have made SSTO air-breathing spaceplanes. Propellers are not that hard by comparison. Really, they're not. They're just a new thing you need to learn.

Edited by Brikoleur

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44 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

I'm on holiday so I haven't actually used the new rotor blades, but unless they're dramatically weaker than the rotors I've cobbled together from elevons, this is just not true. A single heavy electric motor spinning two contra-rotating rotors can lift up to 70 tons. IRL a light helicopter is < 5 tons, a medium-lift up to 20 tons, and a heavy-lift past that. 

Post again when you've played with them. 

Basically though, KSP is not RL and doesn't try to be. There is no need to make rotor+prop planes as complicated as they are. If folks do want that complication then make the stuff for that available via Advanced Tweakables options.

I can make them work now. I understand enough to make decent flyable planes but it still leaves the question of why most players would bother. They have a level of complication outweighing any advantages. 

Getting rid of the clutter would not have to make them re-skinned jet engines. Look at the electric rotor engines: you can't run jets on electricity alone. The LF rotor engines just need balancing against the jets, say making them more efficient but lower power than the jet engines.   

 

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Foxster said:

I can make them work now. I understand enough to make decent flyable planes but it still leaves the question of why most players would bother. They have a level of complication outweighing any advantages.   

 

If you see it only in terms of engine advantage vs disadvantage, then perhaps. But if you see KSP as a tool for creation, experimentation and sometimes goofiness, then perhaps not so much.

Why did I bother building a functional rover frog or a centipede plane or a plane that maneuvers by bending?  Why are there so many walking rovers being built when wheels are way more efficient and infinitely easier?  There is nothing practical about any of those, but the joy in KSP, at least for me, is having a sandbox where you can try this stuff out.  You can put your thought experiments to the test.

Judging by the number of rotor craft already being created, maybe the why is simply the joy of creation.  That is the advantage.  There is no reason they have to be something a newbie will immediately cotton on to.  I did not touch planes (which I now build almost exclusively) until I had figured out orbit and then landing on the Mun and Minmus.  Planes are hard anyway...it takes a long time to learn how to optimize control surfaces and weight distribution.  Even a simple plane is way harder than sticking a capsule on a Flea.

For those who find them impractical or too much trouble, there is a simple solution: use a jet.  Or play Simple Planes (and that is not at all to disparage that game, which is excellent, but it fills the niche of quicker and easier for those who want to go that route).  As you pointed out, KSP is not real life, so there is no reason rockets and jets cannot come first.

 

Edited by Klapaucius

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Just now, Klapaucius said:

But if you see KSP as a tool for creation, experimentation and sometimes goofiness, then perhaps not so much.

Why did I bother building a functional rover frog or a centipede plane or a plane that maneuvers by bending?  Why are there so many walking rovers being built when wheels are way more efficient and infinitely easier?  There is nothing practical about any of those, but the joy in KSP, at least for me, is having a sandbox where you can try this stuff out.  You can put your thought experiments to the test.

It is exactly this that the unnecessary over-complication of prop engines stifles. 

If someone is goofing around and throwing things together to see what they make then the ability to throw on a prop engine that works out of the box can only help. 

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57 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

A rocket is simpler than a plane of any type, a jet plane is simpler than a prop plane

No.

Firstly, nobody here is discussing the differences between a piston aircraft and a jet aircraft. They are discussing the engines being used.

365 words of of somewhat meaningless aircraft history that most people won't (and maybe shouldn't) read in the spoiler below:

Spoiler

 

WWI aircraft were difficult to fly because the concept of flight was brand new. So was the combustion engine for the most part. By the Second World War, the concept of flight was fairly mainstream. Airplanes such as the P-38 were (if I recall correctly), designed to be easy enough to fly that anyone who had driven a car before could fly them. The majority of cars use an inline engine, with the differences between a car engine and an inline aircraft engine being fairly minor. The inline Merlin engine that powered early war Spitfires and late war Mustangs even saw post-war use in some cars. Impractical, yes, but that's not the point. Radial aircraft engines were used in some early WWII tanks. Turboshaft engines (the one found in the DLC), are also used in modern tanks. Not the mention that in many cases starting a piston aircraft is very similar to starting a race car (at least older 1970s-90s race cars). Honestly, your basic light aircraft is a glorified lawnmower.

The CR.42 biplane was almost on par to the monoplane Hurricane, with the CR.42 being considered by some to be the best inter war/early war fighter. Not only that, but the British experimented with turning the Hurricane into a biplane, with a detachable top wing. Biplanes have their place, and so do monoplanes.

During the early stages of WWII jets were mostly ignored by the Allies, as the they believed the technology required was still a decade or two away. They were partly right, as the Jumo 004 engine only had a short lifespan before needing to be replaced. Yet the Germans were still on the right track in terms of advancing their military air force (if you ignore everything else going on at the time i.e. WWII). Nowadays, you will rarely see jet powered aircraft. Only mid to long range commercial airliners and military fighters use them. Many short range domestic flights are ran by the De Havilland dhc-8, at least were I live. The military/airforce still use piston aircraft even though jet fighters are now the norm. You don't need a jet engine when you are only going subsonic or short distances.

Rockets had been used in warfare since the 17th century, and were near useless. Wasn't until, (shockingly :confused:), WWII did they see significant improvements and wider use, between the V2 and generic rocket artillery. Yes, making a basic solid fuel rocket is easier than piston and jet engines. That's what most hobby rockets are. But they're borderline useless compared to a piston/jet engine. Not to mention that the Saturn V is a tiny bit more complex than a firework. Just a tiny bit.

 

Yes, you could make a simple jet engine in your backyard shed, but the type of engine used in most modern and even WWII jets are far more complex than both your backyard shed version, and standard propeller engines.

 

1 hour ago, Brikoleur said:

What you're asking for is that props are just re-skinned jet engines. What would be the point of that?

Currently, the prop engines we have are just reskinned robotic rotors. And as I said in my above post, we don't even have jet engines, just their nozzles. Something something cake?

Really, the major differences between the propeller driven biplanes of WWI and the piston and/or jet aircraft of today, is that we now understand how to make them fly, and do so safely. It is (somewhat) reasonably to presume the Kerbals understand this technology and concept as well. Quoting myself from my post above...

6 hours ago, Noir said:

It has always been implied (at least to me) that the Kerbals are either buying or finding the various parts whole, not making them. Some part descriptions even state that the part was found on the side of the road. And that they are literally just slapping the parts together. This would also explain the horrible aesthetic some of the parts have.

 

But hey, thankfully the good ol' Jumo 004 engi-.. sorry I mean J-20 Juno engine is super easy to use and doesn't explode when mishandled or anything...

 

Also:

1 hour ago, Brikoleur said:

Seriously people, before complaining...

...I'm on holiday so I haven't actually used the new rotor blades

I agree with @Foxster on that one.

 

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1 minute ago, Foxster said:

It is exactly this that the unnecessary over-complication of prop engines stifles. 

If someone is goofing around and throwing things together to see what they make then the ability to throw on a prop engine that works out of the box can only help. 

If that is the goal, like I said above, use a jet.

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52 minutes ago, Klapaucius said:

If that is the goal, like I said above, use a jet.

Because we want to make a prop plane and not a jet?  It doesn't matter.  I'll keep using mods.  This isn't an argument I have the energy for.

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1 hour ago, Noir said:

I agree with @Foxster on that one.

Friends, I’ve built a lot of propeller and rotorcraft without the 1.7.3 blades and I cannot believe they’re less complex that way. They’re certainly subject to the same physics - the thrust curve, the torque effects, and so on. I’m confident I know what I’m talking about here.

As @Klapaucius said above, if you’re only looking at them in terms of efficiency or as alternatives to jets, you’ve already started on the wrong foot. The point with props is to make different kinds of craft - heavy-lift VTOLs, high-endurance planes for Eve or Duna, Eve launch systems, or why not purely for fun stuff like aerobatics craft.

What you guys want would too just make them re-skinned jets, which would defeat the purpose. Again: learn how a prop works and apply that knowledge before complaining. You made it to Moho, you will figure out how to deal with some torque.

1 hour ago, klgraham1013 said:

Because we want to make a prop plane and not a jet?  It doesn't matter.  I'll keep using mods.  This isn't an argument I have the energy for.

If you’re just attracted to the cosmetics of a prop plane, sure why not. But I still don’t get this resistance to learning how they actually work. It is pretty simple stuff compared to orbital mechanics or re-entry aerodynamics.

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Posted (edited)

I'm late to this party, and just had time to fire up KSP yesterday night. Gone straight to the Props and Turbo Shafts, by the way - didn't had time yet to see anything else.

The whole concept shines on my eyes. What some people calls "unneeded complications" are exactly what make props interesting at first place: you need to choose the right prop, and you need to trim the blade's angle of attack together the engine torque! Beautiful! The propellers are simulated individually , by the way. The only flaw is not being able to "group" them on the same engine so they would receive the commands as one - symmetry doesn't cut it out for them.

I can't talk about anything else yet (but that ejection seats gave some kerbal ideas…), but I'm on it! :)

Edited by Lisias
Kraken damned autocompletes! =/

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