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The Wheel Driven Speed Record


cantab
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The Wheel Driven Speed Record

Your goal is simple: Reach the fastest possible speed in a vehicle driven by its wheels. No jets, rockets, or propellers here!

Vehicle Rules:

  1. Unaltered stock parts (DLCs included), physics, and solar system only.
  2. The vehicle must be propelled solely by one or more wheels. The use of thrust, aerodynamic forces, or any other force for propulsion is prohibited.
    - The wheels do not have to be wheel parts. They may be built from any parts in the game.
    - A vehicle that is solely a rotating wheel is not allowed. A monowheel or unicycle with a distinct body and wheel is allowed.
    - The use of engines and aerodynamics for control and braking is permitted.
  3. The wheels may be powered by any means.
    - 'Turboshaft' engines that use thrust to impinge on a turbine are permitted, however they must demonstrate that the thrust does not propel the vehicle directly.
  4. The vehicle must travel freely on the ground. Steering is not required.
    - So no rail vehicles.
  5. Rocket and jet thrusters may be used for downforce or/and control, provided they at no point have a component of thrust in the direction of motion.
    - Since the vehicle may pitch and yaw due to bumps, thrusters should be angled to thrust slightly against the motion.
  6. The vehicle does not have to be Kerballed.

Run Procedure:

  1. Keep it in the spirit of the challenge, don't try and abuse loopholes in the rules.
  2. You may carry out your speed run on any reasonably flat terrain on any celestial body you choose.
    - No soapbox derby cars that rely on gravity to go fast!
    - No boats. Underwater cars driving on the seabed are allowed.
  3. The vehicle must start from a standing start, accelerate to its submitted seed while remaining more-or-less in contact with the ground, then come to a stop intact.
    - Minor damage is acceptable.
    - It is permissible to leave the ground after reaching the submitted speed.
  4. The submitted speed is an instantaneous surface speed recorded by screenshot or video frame. This speed should be representative of the ground speed of the vehicle.
    - Unlike in real life, there's no need to average over a mile, do a run both ways, etc.
  5. Cheats may be used to get the vehicle to the start point for its run, but may not be used during the speed run.

Submission Minimum Requirements:

  • Screenshots of the vehicle stationary at the run start, moving at the submitted speed, and stationary at the run completion.
  • A statement of the celestial body used (since some of them look similar from the surface).
  • The version of KSP used.
  • If any jet or rocket engines are used, a demonstration that they do not directly propel the vehicle.

A signature badge (a smaller version of the header image) is available.

I've experimented with this myself previously and hope to have an entry of my own soon.

Leaderboards

Classes will be added as I see appropriate or as are reasonably requested. For the moment there's just the Open class.

Open:

  1. 109.4 m/s on Kerbin by @AHHans: https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/191373-the-wheel-driven-speed-record/&do=findComment&comment=3735536
  2. 51.9 m/s on Kerbin by @cantab

My Entry

51.9 m/s on Kerbin. Wheels made from girders, powered by Breaking Ground motors.

https://flic.kr/p/2iohgZj

https://flic.kr/p/2iokT8P

https://flic.kr/p/2iojKN9

Control was difficult, I had to really work to keep it straight. After reaching peak speed I span out under braking and crashed into the fuel storage tanks near the runway, damaging the wheels.

Edited by cantab
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Maybe you should state that the speed exploit of the huge rover wheels is not allowed. (See the "spoilers" in the wiki page.) I think this violates rule 1 of the "Run Procedure". Or do you want to make it an extra category?

I just spent 2 min to throw together this:

LQvfTiT.png

Which I indeed easily got above 100 m/s by keeping <W> pressed, and then hitting <A> and <D>.

ORpH0WD.png

(Well, and then spent 10 mins zooming around the KSC. That thing dives like greased lightning.:cool:)

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I had forgotten about that. Although it's not what I had in mind it's fully within the rules and therefore is allowed. So congratulations on your new record! It's arguably exploiting a game bug but it's still wheel driven. If entries using it overwhelmingly dominate the leaderboards I'll add a class for vehicles that don't use the XL3.

You ought to have a post-run photo, but since you say it drove around KSC with no trouble I'll waive the requirement this time.

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10 hours ago, cantab said:

I had forgotten about that.

That's what I thought.

10 hours ago, cantab said:

Although it's not what I had in mind it's fully within the rules and therefore is allowed.

That's not what I thought.
(Well, actually I thought that it technically is within the rules, but goes against the spirit of the rules.)

10 hours ago, cantab said:

You ought to have a post-run photo,

Well, I hadn't intended my post as a serious entry for the competition. I also didn't really push that craft to its limit, so there is still some room for improvement.

A further issue with XL3 based designs is that the maximum speeds doesn't just depend on the craft, but also significantly on the piloting skills.

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1 hour ago, AHHans said:

A further issue with XL3 based designs is that the maximum speeds doesn't just depend on the craft, but also significantly on the piloting skills

I feel with a lot of challenges part of the skill is in the piloting. So I mean... Its not too unfair IMO. But I don't run the challenge.

14 hours ago, cantab said:

No soapbox derby cars that rely on gravity to go fast!

Also... hmmm might be a fun challenge if someone finds a nice slope somewhere....

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