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8ylIVqj.png

 

Feel the need for speed, but don't know what to do with it?

Ever wanted to just explore Kerbin, but just didn't have the time?

NOW, YOU CAN

 

The objective is simple: fly around Kerbin's equator in less than 80 minutes.

 

Rules:

  1. You must start and finish at 0-9 KSC
    1. That's the runway you take off from (and land on).
  2. Your plane must be made using Stock parts ONLY - NO MODS
    1. Navigational/autopilot mods such as MJ and KER okay. 
      1. MJ recommended, since you would get bored piloting a plane manually for about an hour. Just be sure you know what you're doing with the aircraft autopilot function.
    2. Just don't use any mods that come with additional craft parts.
  3. Must be able to carry at least one kerbal at a time
    1. Actually filling the seat is optional
    2. Additional seats is a plus.
  4. Must be equipped with some kind of probe core for remote control.
  5. Have at least 1,000 units worth of electric charge on board.
  6. Crew must have a means of getting in and out of the plane.
  7. Stay below 35 km ASL (above sea level) at all times
    1. So that means SSTOs not accepted.
  8. Detachable staging not allowed. If you start with it, you finish with it.
    1. Parachutes acceptable, since you can repack them. Of course, you'll need to be landed at the KSC for that to happen.
  9. Plane must start and finish in one piece, which means ABSOLUTELY NO:
    1. Detaching
    2. Exploding
    3. Crashing
      1. Or crash-landing.
    4. Rapid Unplanned Disassemblies
  10. Rocket engines okay, but advised against. If you want to use them in your plane, that's fine by me.
    1. Just don't forget to stay within the atmosphere.
  11. You cannot run out of fuel (and/or oxidizer) mid-flight.
  12. Multiple entries allowed, but only one can be counted for the leaderboard (for each mass division). Unless you say otherwise, I'm going to pick the one with the best time.
    1. If you have planes in different mass divisions, that's fine. I'll just take the best one for each division.
  13. As the name implies, you have 80 minutes to fly around Kerbin in your plane. To earn credit, this means...
  14. PICTURES!
  15. PICTURES!!!
  16. PICTURES!!!!!!
    1. Show your plane in action, along with your start and finish time. Everybody wants solid proof that you're the fastest Kerbin circumnavigatior ever.
      1. Within the atmosphere, of course.
    2. Cost-effectiveness is also a bonus, so show the plane in the SPH with its price.

 

I am aware that some people want to build small and large planes, and some may argue that size would grant an unfair advantage. To account for this, I will assign divisions based on your plane's mass, so be sure to show it in your entries. When I get around to making the leaderboard, I will split it based on your plane's division.

  • Lightning Division
    • 0 to 40 metric tons
  • Thunder Division
    • 40 to 80 tons
  • Heavy Rain Division
    • 80 tons or more

 

Here's my entry. Have fun with yours.

Spoiler

YMIrhpy.png

  • Bill's Car in the SPH
    • Cost: $38,606
  • MJ module removed since I would be putting this version on KerbalX. If you use MJ on your plane, that's okay.
  • Mass: 26.64 tons 
    • Check my KerbalX for proof.

 

0oXiq1T.png

  • Bill's car, breaking 1.4 km/s at an altitude of ~15 km
    • Grarey Kerman is testing it while Bill is out heading for Laythe
  • The timewarp clock says that it's been flying for 7 minutes, 6 seconds.

 

LXgI3k6.png

  • 24 minutes, 13 seconds
  • So glad I was able to figure out how to use the MJ aircraft autopilot. Took a bit of patience, but worth it.

 

YVPdplx.png

  • 35 minutes, 39 seconds
  • When you're flying at ~1.4 km/s and the KSC is less than 1,000 km away, you know you're getting close.

 

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  • 49 minutes, 12 seconds
  • Less than 75 km, and I'm "coming in hot." I need to slow down before I zoom past the runway - or worse, crash.

 

Lrvs1P7.png

  • I made it, and I didn't blow up this time.
    • Cockpit's still hot.

 

@Mars-Bound Hokie: 53 minutes, 18 seconds

 

LET'S SEE WHAT YOU'VE GOT

(DEADLINE: 02/20/2020 at 2359 E.S.T.)

Edited by Mars-Bound Hokie
Adding a deadline

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TweakScale is allowed? It doesn't adds any new parts to the game, but it allows things as resizing engines - what can be something you would not want to accept. But it also can resizes (up and down) lifting surfaces, intakes and wheels what keeps the part count down and allows some very interesting designs.

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Sounds like a great challenge. However, why are you requiring a probe core?  And why does electric charge matter?

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Okay, this is not official since I do not have  a probe core and only 50 units of charge, but I was keen to give it a go.  We came to a complete stop at 67:23.  5 Kerbals aboard.

 

I've speeded up the video radically in the middle, but it is all there.

 
 

 

Edited by Klapaucius

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9 hours ago, Klapaucius said:

However, why are you requiring a probe core?

So that it can fly without anyone having to be actually in the plane. Sure, I required you to have a crew capacity of at least one, but it's your choice to risk someone's life flying at high speeds while on fire.

  • I make probe cores standard-issue for all my craft.
  • You could just put it behind your cockpit (like I do).
    • If you go with a Mk. III cockpit, put it on the nose is before covering it with a protective nose cone (like my Neptune plane - check my KerbalX)
  • Plus, who doesn't want a self-flying plane?

 

9 hours ago, Klapaucius said:

And why does electric charge matter?

The electric charge stored in your cockpit and probe core won't be enough if you decide to glide; I learned that the hard way.

  • You may want to glide if you feel like going any faster would result in a mid-air explosion from atmospheric overheating.
    • Luckily, I didn't need to do that with my entry --> not that I didn't come close to blowing up.
  • If you choose to use rapiers, keep in mind that they don't have alternators.

 

11 hours ago, Lisias said:

TweakScale is allowed? It doesn't adds any new parts to the game, but it allows things as resizing engines - what can be something you would not want to accept. But it also can resizes (up and down) lifting surfaces, intakes and wheels what keeps the part count down and allows some very interesting designs.

To answer your question, @Lisias, I highly encourage everyone to use as few mods as possible (if any) as long as they don't grant extra plane parts. Tweakscale is okay, in this case.

 

I get the feeling that you plan to make something large, but I could be wrong. Would you be fine with me making divisions for this race based on size/weight. I feel like the smaller, more maneuverable planes may have an easy (if not unfair) advantage over larger planes (less weight + drag), so I think this would even the playing field for different designs. What do you think?

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So I thought this was a neat small challenge for a sunday afternoon. Ha.

A brief history of challenge contenders (sorry, no pictures):

  1. a simple Mk1 / Rapier thing overheated: the flight lasts long enough that skin temp eventually becomes internal temp. The Mk1 inline cockpit is only good for 1100K.
  2. Mk2 is good for 1400K, which is barely enough to allow for 1600m/s around the world.
  3. with a hint of rocket power, the plane can fly higher and faster. I managed 1650m/s for 30 minutes of the flight using a single 48-7S, which ran at <30% throttle for most of that time. That one can certainly get under 50 minutes, possibly under 45... but now I want to get under 40min.
  4. Seeing as heat issues get better with altitude.... Is it possible to fly a sustained 2km/s at 35km? That'y way out of jet altitude, of course, so it will require MOAR boosters, and more propellant. Mk3, here I come!
Edited by Laie

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1 hour ago, Mars-Bound Hokie said:

To answer your question, @Lisias, I highly encourage everyone to use as few mods as possible (if any) as long as they don't grant extra plane parts. Tweakscale is okay, in this case.

Okie Dokie! Most of the time, I use TweakScale to make parts "fit better" on small planes. I will apply one craft without TS too (I spent the weekend trying how I would do without it!)

 

1 hour ago, Mars-Bound Hokie said:

I get the feeling that you plan to make something large, but I could be wrong. 

Humm… I am that transparent? :sticktongue:

 

1 hour ago, Mars-Bound Hokie said:

Would you be fine with me making divisions for this race based on size/weight. I feel like the smaller, more maneuverable planes may have an easy (if not unfair) advantage over larger planes (less weight + drag), so I think this would even the playing field for different designs. What do you think?

I think it's an excellent idea! :) Different goals demands different engineerings on a plane! It will encourage people to experiment, instead of reproducing already known formulae!

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1 hour ago, Laie said:

 

  1. Seeing as heat issues get better with altitude.... Is it possible to fly a sustained 2km/s at 35km? That'y way out of jet altitude, of course, so it will require MOAR boosters, and more propellant. Mk3, here I come!

I might try the opposite, and see how fast I can get around at the lowest altitude possible :-)

 

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speedrunner.jpg

Running on a single nuke and, now that I've decided that this is fast enough, it's running on <20% thrust to maintain airspeed. Heat-wise, it can go on like that forever. Already halfway around the world, in 17 minutes.

However.... it's past midnight. That was my sunday. Thanks for the challenge!

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So, in order to achieve this time, we need to go very roughly 4000 km in 80 minutes or less, with time to land. That means average speed must exceed 833 m/s.

 

Damn. I was hoping my fastest Goliath-powered crafts could do it but they cruise at 600. Might have to upgrade to supercruising Panther or something. Although even that has a hard mach limit of 2.5, around 870 at the equator at sealevel. I guess if I'm behind schedule I can always kick on afterbueners.

Edited by Pds314

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10 minutes ago, Pds314 said:

So, in order to achieve this time, we need to go very roughly 4000 km in 80 minutes or less, with time to land. That means average speed must exceed 833 m/s.

Yep. Though the challenge is to beat 80 minutes, can you beat 53 minutes and 18 seconds?

  • Your entry is valid if you have pictures/video --> and DO NOT forget the screenshot of you immediately after landing along with the Mission Elapsed Time.

 

19 minutes ago, Pds314 said:

Damn. I was hoping my fastest Goliath-powered crafts could do it but they cruise at 600

You're right, Goliaths ain't gonna cut it. Besides the speed, you need enough fuel to fly around the entire planet at over Mach 2.5. You also need to make sure you don't explode from overheating mid-flight.

 

Have fun in the SPH.

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Laie is on the right track, using a nuke to cruise at just under the altitude limit is going to be the fastest way by far.  Only way to get faster is to invert the craft and use negative lift to stay under the height limit at greater than orbital speeds, but at that point I suspect even the hardiest parts will eventually roast.

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3 hours ago, Mars-Bound Hokie said:

Yep. Though the challenge is to beat 80 minutes, can you beat 53 minutes and 18 seconds?

  • Your entry is valid if you have pictures/video --> and DO NOT forget the screenshot of you immediately after landing along with the Mission Elapsed Time.

 

You're right, Goliaths ain't gonna cut it. Besides the speed, you need enough fuel to fly around the entire planet at over Mach 2.5. You also need to make sure you don't explode from overheating mid-flight.

 

Have fun in the SPH.

Yeah the fuel is not an issue. You can pretty easily carry ridiculous amounts with no zero-lift drag penalty and plus, Goliaths are stupidly efficient. But the speed definitely is and overheating might be. Then again, I made it to Dessert Airfield (albeit with most of the craft overheating to red). Once you get to the mach where thrust drops, you're overheating a lot less.

Edited by Pds314

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16 hours ago, Mars-Bound Hokie said:

Besides the speed, you need enough fuel to fly around the entire planet at over Mach 2.5. You also need to make sure you don't explode from overheating mid-flight.

KSP planes get better mileage the faster and higher they fly, but that this still hold true when running on rocket power surprised me.

Are you certain that you want to allow rocket power / a service ceiling well above 30km? As @Lt_Duckweedsaid, the logical conclusion will be rocket planes drifting around the world at faster-than-orbital speeds. I think it can still get considerably faster than I'm going (which is all for naught if you then need five minutes for landing... that's what's holding me back atm).

As for heat management, step 1 is to put the cockpit into a cargo bay. That's the part blowing up halfway through the flight, from skin->int heat transfer. The rest is much easier to handle, the heat gauges alert you when skin temp is getting too high and you can alter your behavior in time.

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19 minutes ago, Laie said:

 

Are you certain that you want to allow rocket power / a service ceiling well above 30km? As @Lt_Duckweedsaid, the logical conclusion will be rocket planes drifting around the world at faster-than-orbital speeds. I think it can still get considerably faster than I'm going (which is all for naught if you then need five minutes for landing... that's what's holding me back atm).

 

It seems to me that kind of kills the challenge, or at least requires a separate category. I managed 67 minutes without ever going above 23,000.

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It's a shame my AAC-630 doesn't qualify.  It's too slow by half an hour, and doesn't carry nearly enough electric charge.  I do, however, have my ancient entry into the 2015 circumnavigation challenge, which weighed in at just under 60t and circled Kerbin in 59 minutes and 17 seconds.  That plane carried over 2k electric charge, and while it lacked ladders, it did have a hatch on the top for the kerbals to climb in and out of, if an external stair-truck is allowed.  Sadly, there was no probe-core on that one.  So another disqualifier for a head-tilting reason.

I'll have to see if I can put together and fly something that'll actually qualify for this particular variant over the weekend.

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Rocket planes flying inverted at orbital speeds will eventually run out of props. There's only so many moar boosters you can boost before you run out of boost.

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4 minutes ago, Aetharan said:

Sadly, there was no probe-core on that one.  So another disqualifier for a head-tilting reason.

I'll have to see if I can put together and fly something that'll actually qualify for this particular variant over the weekend.

It's not that hard, actually. You could just put a MK2 Drone Core in front of or behind your MK2 Inline Cockpit. 

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Just now, Mars-Bound Hokie said:

It's not that hard, actually. You could just put a MK2 Drone Core in front of or behind your MK2 Inline Cockpit. 

As if I still have a craft-file from 2015.  I'd have to rebuild from scratch!  :D

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1 minute ago, sevenperforce said:

Rocket planes flying inverted at orbital speeds will eventually run out of props. There's only so many moar boosters you can boost before you run out of boost

Exactly, so depending solely on rockets to go around the world below the 35-km line won't do any good. What's worse, any depleted rocket boosters you have will be dead weight.

The rules explicitly state that you must take off and land in one piece, so no detaching rocket boosters when you're done with them (as tempting as it is to add SRBs). You're free to add rockets to your plane, but everything you take off with must also come back safely.

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6 minutes ago, Aetharan said:

I'd have to rebuild from scratch!  :D

Have fun with that, but keep in mind that a lot has changed with the in-game physics and stock parts list since 2015. Besides, this is your opportunity to improve your old design - or come up with a whole brand new one.

 

Despite the fun chit-chat, I'm eager to see everyone's entries. So, if you're serious about participating:

  1. Hit the SPH
  2. Build your entry/entries
    1. Can only have one entry per contestant per division (so, up to three entries maximum total)
      1. e.g. can't have three entries for the Lightning Division, but you can have one for Lightning, one for Thunder, and one for Heavy Rain
        1. If you want to submit more than one plane.
      2. Category placement depends on starting mass
  3. Get your cameras ready
    1. Don't forget to capture the MET clock.
  4. START! YOUR! ENGINES!

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4 minutes ago, Aetharan said:

do I need to uninstall Restock for my final flight to count?

I doubt it should make a difference.

wHBkNNm.png

 

As long as you don't use parts that are not in the regular stock pack (differently colored and/or textured stock parts are perfectly okay), you should be good. I'm just trying to make an even playing field by having everyone use the same parts collection for their plane. If you just want to make your plane look cool for the camera, that's fine with me.

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40min42.jpg

40min52.jpg

40min54.jpg

Time to get the ball rolling, I guess: 39 minutes and 47 seconds. This here link will take you to the full gallery.

The landing was far and away the hardest part: taking minutes to carefully line up with the runway kinda defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

Last picture shows where I kept the crew, and that they can indeed get in and out of the vessel (wings are low enough to climb on). And if you look closely you will spot a fuel cell attached to the battery: that was supposed to activate at engine ignition but didn't. And turned out to be unnecessary in any event. Anyway, it's the reason why I carried a dollop of Oxidizer.

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