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I've been watching some The Grand Tour recently and enjoyed the episode where they travelled through Mongolia. The landscape reminded me quite a lot of Kerbin! 

I've decided to do a mission I've wanted to do a lot over the years but have never pulled it off, due to boredom - drive around Kerbin. I'm sure we're all contemplated it, done some basic maths and decided there are better uses for 24h of your life.

In the past I've tried it with jet powered vehicles, on the basis that a true rover would take approximately forever to get around at 30m/s. These have never been that sucessful, with tipping and travelling too fast after lapses of concentration. The fuel has also made it rather cumbersome when it gets airborne.This meant driving was not very efficient with lots of loading quick saves. I never actually got far enough to run out of fuel and need to air drop a fuel tank (which was going to be the plan).

I wanted to make a much more manageable vehicle, even if it was slower. Instead of wasting half my miles by crashing and having to load and do them again, I would travel more slowly but not crash and waste miles! I also wanted it to fly short stretches and be able to float and drive in the sea - be a boat basically. I ended up with this:

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  • Slower and more manageable props (which can act as thrust or airbrakes) but faster than a pure rover
  • Light(ish) due to zero fuel - just a load of generators. No need to stop at night or refuel.
  • good height / track ratio - it doesn't ever want to tip over
  • The winglets that are used to achieve the slightly wide track are sufficient to fly reasonably for what is primarily a "car". It can fly perpetually at 3,000m if I wanted to cheat!
  • One "steering wheel" as the XL landing gear can't steer. 

It drives very well for a what is quite a tall vehicle. Bounces and getting airbrone are controllable due to... the control surfaces and lack of weight I guess. It is quite happy flying at 120m/s without draining electricity and doesn't need to SAS to be relatively stable. It even does being a boat fairly well.

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This must be new in Kerbal that props work in water as I needed to be flat out to get up to 200rpm or so - more drag in the water? Fortunately I went overkill in the generators and I didn't drain any electricity (which is fortunate, as now I think about it, I didn't pack any batteries!)

I've so far made it from the KSC (in what I call Africa) to the desert continent to the west. I've done 3h of driving (and 2h of speeding up for the morning to arrive). A mix of flying and driving. I crossing the channel between continents on the water at 50 to 70m/s (it actually drives on water really well).

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I'm going to go to the dessert airfield, followed by the bigass crater, then have a look at the on that continent. In my 644h of playing kerbal I've never really explored Kerbin. I'll head to Woomerang airfield and then... I don't know really. Keep heading west.

I've found some nice views on my travels.

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Most of the pictures are of flying but that's because I have time to take pictures when  I'm not constantly steering and adjusting throttle for the bumps!

So far I've crashed once and lost about 30 seconds of progress. I landed too hard and the undercarriage didn't like it.

Other mistakes so far - I didn't include a rudder on the tail! It wasn't ever meant to be a plane but still..... Also no batteries.

I also couldn't think of anything interesting to carry with me in the cargo bay (like a tiny base / camp, or tiny plane or car...), so it's empty. Bit of a waste of a trip!

I'll update this so that I'm less likely to chicken out.

 

Edited by Stewcumber
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