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The KSC Rocket Hover Race: Hover around the VAB on rocket thrust


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1 hour ago, ralanboyle said:

25 seconds. Your move @Petabyte

 

that one's not really hovering so much as flying.

Although I applaud you for finding such a loophole in the rules of the challenge, since it doesn't actually define "Hovering"

Edited by Capt. Hunt
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1 hour ago, Capt. Hunt said:

that one's not really hovering so much as flying.

Although I applaud you for finding such a loophole in the rules of the challenge, since it doesn't actually define "Hovering"

I don't think it's a loophole. There are no aero surfaces (unless @ralanboyle is a dirty cheater and they're clipped out of sight, but that seems highly unlikely). The only thing keeping it off the ground is rocket thrust and momentum. So a fast hovercraft, but still a hovercraft.

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Thanks for the confidence, @sturmhauke. Indeed, no clipping of aero-surfaces; I'd be happy to share the craft file to anyone who'd like but it seems easier to just build this little guy yourself and see how well it flies. I didn't count the parts but there aren't many. 

I will also admit that this probably wasn't the vision of the OP but this thread has taken a pretty obvious journey within the rules laid-out. Our ships still meet the rules, they just keep leaning further and further over to fly faster and faster. 

No doubt someone will beat my new score; If we keep at it we might be able to get it down to 15-17 seconds...

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22 minutes ago, ralanboyle said:

Thanks for the confidence, @sturmhauke. Indeed, no clipping of aero-surfaces; I'd be happy to share the craft file to anyone who'd like but it seems easier to just build this little guy yourself and see how well it flies. I didn't count the parts but there aren't many. 

I will also admit that this probably wasn't the vision of the OP but this thread has taken a pretty obvious journey within the rules laid-out. Our ships still meet the rules, they just keep leaning further and further over to fly faster and faster. 

No doubt someone will beat my new score; If we keep at it we might be able to get it down to 15-17 seconds...

Agreed, this looks like a perfectly valid entry to me. You're now first on the leaderboard again. :)

And while I must say that I didn't expect you all to push the time quite this far down, I was aware that the faster you went, the less you'd be actually hovering and the more it'd just feel like rocket-assisted ballistic jumping. So you could say that this was sort of expected, at least qualitatively if not quantitatively.

Also, nice legs. :D After seeing last night's videos, I was wondering when somebody would decide that more landing legs would be better. For that matter, I wonder if there's anything to be gained by using plane landing gears instead — they have some pretty impressive impact tolerances…

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Some of you are using a rather loose interpretation of the word 'hover'...

 

11 hours ago, ralanboyle said:

25 seconds. Your move @Petabyte

 

I'll see your 25 seconds, and raise you... 22 seconds.

Sub-20 second runs should be possible

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7 minutes ago, jimmymcgoochie said:

I'll see your 25 seconds, and raise you... 22 seconds.

…and just as I'd managed to update the leaderboard again. :D

Now I'm mildly curious about how you're controlling your engines. One set bound to throttle and the other to a custom control axis? A nice looking design in any case.

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Just double-checked that video and I got round in 19 seconds :sticktongue:

@vyznevThe vertical engines are throttle controlled, horizontal are on an action group and set to maximum thrust.

Edited by jimmymcgoochie
Right video this time
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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, ralanboyle said:

oooooo @jimmymcgoochie, I love the design! That said, I cannot have you atop the leader board so here is a run in 20 seconds flat. @vyznev, you've got work to do.

Nice work! I must say I didn't expect to see SRBs used in this challenge, but in hindsight it makes sense. Those Sepratrons have some pretty crazy TWR.

18 minutes ago, jimmymcgoochie said:

BLAST! I just did a 20 second run too but got pipped to the (forum) post.

I guess you'll just have to try for 19 seconds, then… :D

18 minutes ago, jimmymcgoochie said:

Just double-checked that video and I got round in 19 seconds :sticktongue:

…ok, nevermind. :D

(Also, I love how the two of you are so closely neck to neck despite using such radically different craft designs and flight controls.)

Edited by vyznev
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3 hours ago, ralanboyle said:

18 seconds and a question for @vyznev

Damn, that's a tricky one. On one hand, you clearly touched the ground before landing. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that, according to KSP, the ramp you bounced off counts as part of the "launchpad" microbiome, so one could argue that it's within the rules. :rolleyes:

On the gripping hand, if I said yes, tricks like that would almost certainly become the new meta. So the real question is whether or not that would make the challenge more enjoyable, and also how I'd personally feel about judging the inevitable follow-on questions about whether it would be OK to just land on the ramp, or even on the ground next to it, and where exactly does the border of the launchpad area lie etc.

So, alas, I think I'm going to have to be strict and make a ruling that the only permitted landing area is the flat central part of the launch pad, and that bouncing off the ground anywhere outside that area is not allowed. Sorry.

But your first run is definitely valid, and puts you in the lead in any case. :)

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Posted (edited)

In an effort to breathe some new life into this challenge now that it's been selected as TOTM, and also to return it a bit closer to its original roots, I'm excited to introduce a new leaderboard category: Ultra Low TWR:)

To qualify for this category, your TWR must not exceed 1.1 at any point during the run. The simplest way to check this is to click the delta-v indicator on the left side of the screen, which will expand the staging menu to show the TWR of your current stage (and the predicted TWR of any future stages). I also very much recommend recording a video of your run, since the F3 display unfortunately does not show your peak TWR.

To check that this was indeed doable (and to finally make a somewhat competitive entry to my own challenge) I flew a test mission with a final time of 1:27:

As a practical tip, I recommend having some engines on your vessel that are not controlled by the main throttle. On my craft, the Spider engines are set to a fixed throttle that gives a TWR of 0.9 on (nearly) empty tanks, with the Spark engine providing the rest of the thrust, giving me much finer throttle control in the 0.9–1.1 TWR range. Having some way of stopping all engines for landing is also recommended — I bound all the engines to the "Brakes" action group, so I could just press B to temporarily cut all thrust.

Obviously, my flight path is far from perfect and should be quite possible to beat. I look forward to many of you doing just that. Happy flying! :cool:

 

Ps. Well done, @sollarflare! I've added you to the leaderboard. :) 

Alas, while your video looks like it might almost qualify for the new Ultra Low TWR category, without a visible TWR indicator I can't really be sure. But you could always try another run… ;) With the practice from the first run, doing it again shouldn't take nearly as long.

Edited by vyznev
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8 hours ago, ralanboyle said:

Clocked a 1:14 in the new Low TWR class.

Nice! :)  Actually looks more like 1:13 to me on the video, but we're not (yet) down to single-second margins in this category anyway. :D

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Working on the Low TWR class, TWR down to 0.99 just have to finish the challenge without hitting anything. Also, does anyone know how to embed images into forum posts?

 

*Edit: a lot harder then I previously thought going in, I'll continue working on it along with the base class.

*Edit2: realized that TWR changes. :confused:

Edited by sollarflare
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7 hours ago, sollarflare said:

Working on the Low TWR class, TWR down to 0.99 just have to finish the challenge without hitting anything. Also, does anyone know how to embed images into forum posts?

Just right-click the image and select "Copy Image Location" (Firefox) or "Copy Image Address" (Chrome), then paste the resulting URL (which should end with ".png" or ".jp(e)g") into the forum editor and press enter.

(Also, as an extra check, you might want to open a Private Browsing / Incognito mode window and paste the image URL there. If you can't see the image there, or if it redirects to a page showing more than just the image, then it's likely that your image host doesn't allow "hotlinking" and that other people may not be able to see your images properly on the forum. FWIW, imgur at least is known to work.)

Ps. Just to make sure that you indeed know this, your peak TWR needs to be above 1.00 at least some of the time for hovering to be possible. At 0.99 TWR, you'll slowly but surely sink. Of course, as you burn fuel, your weight will go down and your TWR will go up, so starting at 0.99 is technically possible. I'd still recommend starting a bit higher so that you can immediately gain a little bit of altitude above the launch pad before throttling down.

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