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RACE AROUND THE WORLD

This is a challenge of speed and precision: 

Take off from KSC, fly around Kerbin, and return to KSC. Shortest elapsed time wins. 

The Fine Print: 

1. Craft must be Kerballed. 

2. Craft can launch from either the Launchpad or the Runway at KSC

3. Craft must land on the runway at KSC. (At least 1 landing gear touching the paved area.)

4. HTOL and VTOL and any combination are fine. 

5. Staging is fine.

6. No crash-landing or lithobraking. (no breaking parts on touchdown.)

7. No mods which add parts, or change physics (DLC is fine). 

8. Time stops when the craft stops (<1m/s).

9. No glitch-drives, Kraken-drives, or drain-valve engines. 

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Submission: 

It's always more fun to watch videos.

If you can't provide a video then show a photo of the craft at launch, the craft mid-flight, and the craft landed (stopped). 

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Leader-board

1. @ManEatingApe 21:50

2. @jinnantonix 22:50 

3. @RoninFrog 23:25

4. @mystifeid 24:19

5. @Mars-Bound Hokie 34:53

 

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Honorable Mention (got close or otherwise earned some extra attention):  

...

...

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Here is some inspiration to get you started. I won't put it on the leader-board, it'll just provide a benchmark at the beginning. 

 

Edited by ralanboyle
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This nifty challenge should also provide some inspiration. It's possible to do a lap of Kerbin in less than 25 minutes without even leaving the atmosphere!

Tip: Flying west rather than east when you leave the runway/launchpad will subtract Kerbin's rotational velocity from your craft allowing you a higher speed relative to the surface for the same centrifugal force, allowing you to save fuel or use less wing area.


@ralanboyle Are auto-pilot mods such as MechJeb/kOS acceptable?

Edited by ManEatingApe
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Thanks for mentioning my challenge, @ManEatingApe. For a while, I thought it had been forgotten already.

 

@ralanboyle, judging by the rules posted and your video, it seems like there's no altitude limit for this challenge. If that's the case, then I could just take an SSTO to orbit (most likely retrograde, since @ManEatingApe - and several other challenge participants of mine - mentioned that it means a shorter time) and land at 2-7 KSC easily. Besides that, I don't have to return with everything I started with - as long as I end up at the KSC runway.

 

Aside from the question to use MechJeb (it's built-in to all probe cores now, thanks to a new mod update), can I also use:

  • Vesselmover (to position a plane to go west - the OPPOSITE direction)
  • BigBen Alarm clock
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10 hours ago, ralanboyle said:

Sorry @Mars-Bound Hokie, I never saw your challenge. 

That's okay. You're (relatively) new to the forums, so I wouldn't expect you to know about it - at least not until after it's expiration date (2/20/2020). In fact, I'm glad to see that somebody has taken the "Kerbin Speed Challenge" baton and not just copied me.

  • My challenge had a 35-km altitude limit (do not leave the atmosphere), whereas yours doesn't have any.
    • Although getting too high means wasting time.
  • I required everyone to return with whatever parts they started with, but you allowed staging (can leave junk behind).
    • For my challenge, that also meant no crashing or exploding due to overheating.
      • No dropping off booster rockets, either. If you used them, bring them back.
  • You don't have a time limit (but a time to shoot for - 35 min), but I only allowed anyone who got under 80 minutes.
  • I had more regulations on what the craft should have (e.g. remote control core AND crew capacity of at least 1, have 1,000 units charge, crew must be able to get on and off the plane), but you just said it must have someone in it.

(BASICALLY, I WAS STRICTER IN MY CHALLENGE)

Spoiler

I have a Laythe speed challenge with no deadline. If you're interested, the link is in my signature badge.

 

I've already gotten started on your challenge - and I won't just use Bill's Car again. Aside from my plans to use one of my SSTOs, I want to try a (somewhat) new approach. I'll post pictures this weekend, when I get a bigger monitor to take screenshots.

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On 3/18/2020 at 6:37 PM, ralanboyle said:

3. Craft must land on the runway at KSC. (At least 1 landing gear touching the paved area.)

5. Staging is fine.

6. No crash-landing or lithobraking. (no breaking parts on touchdown.)

Maybe I shouldn't ask this in advance and reveal my sneaky plans, but… is destroying the runway while landing allowed?

The reason I ask is because I think there's probably going to be some significant time savings available in optimizing re-entry and landing, and in any case it's the part of the mission that one should plan first since it's executed last. And my current plan involves re-entering with a fairly massive craft (to minimize drag losses on the way down), aiming for an impact on the runway, and staging a few seconds before collision to detach a tiny lander that can decelerate using sepratrons and survive the remaining impact velocity. :D

But that's going to mean that the rest of the re-entry stage is going to hit the runway just before the lander, and probably destroy it unless I turn the "indestructible facilities" setting on. And avoiding that seems difficult, since aiming for an impact off the runway would require the lander to maneuver after staging, which would either slow down the landing a lot or require inhumanly fast steering. :/

Unless maybe I aimed for a spot just past the end of the runway, and relied on the deceleration burn to slow down the lander enough horizontally to hit the runway. Hmm…

(Also, does the parenthetical note after rule 3 imply that the craft must actually have landing gear? Because with a landing plan like I outlined above, they'd probably just be dead weight.)

Edit: Also, can I turn off Kerbal G-force limits? I'm not sure if they're normally on or off by default.

Edited by vyznev
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I hadn’t thought about destroying the runway. I think the runway needs to stay intact so that we can see that you’ve actually landed on it. Otherwise we end up having to guess at where the edge is. That being said, feel free to turn on Indestructible Facilities.
 

I don’t think G Force limits is on by default. Just leave it in its default state. 
 

You do not need landing gear. Just don’t break the ship on landing. 

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3 minutes ago, RoninFrog said:

You sounded like you had Coronavirus for that first part of the video.

I'm fine; I was going for a Heinz Doofenshmirtz voice at the beginning.

  • Plus, given the current situation, it seemed appropriate.

 

How was the rest of the video, by the way?

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On 3/20/2020 at 5:36 PM, ralanboyle said:

You do not need landing gear. Just don’t break the ship on landing. 

So could I potentially jettison the kerbal and use the EVA chute to land?  (I'm really bad at landing planes.)

Edited by RoninFrog
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Arrright.  Here is my entry, clocking in at 26:42.  Not nearly the sub-25 that one guy did, but hey, I flew it meself.  (First time reentering a plane, it was exciting.)  The only mod is Restock, I think I filled all the requirements.

Here is the plane design I used.  When I reentered, the decoupler had somehow been decoupled during staging, but everything else was intact.

zwfHsQ4.jpg

Here is the launcher, built like a Falcon Heavy.  Two side mammoths, one core mammoth, one rhino, and then a wad of nuke asparagus.

2uzK8Gm.jpg

Mmmf, forgot to take a screenie on the pad.  Oh well.  Just imagine yonder rocket sitting on the launchpad.

Burning for orbit on the last Mammoth:

AXFhrKJ.jpg

I had to have some tricks up my sleeve to beat or come close to 25 minutes.  I don't know how @Laie did it, but my method was to burn to escape velocity and then burn radial in :antiradial: to keep my altitude down.  The nukes couldn't resist the centripetal force as well as the rhino, so I had to bring the Ap in to about halfway between Mun and Munmus.

diJBoZR.jpg

The ship after staging the first set of nuke asparagus, regaining the 70km mark after being flung slightly outward.  Ah! that's where those fins went.

TMCzZoE.jpg

Regained a desirable altitude, chugging away.  That satellite went by way to close and fast for comfort.

dB7oYPC.jpg

Starting reentry burn and lowering my Ap.  Down to the central nuke now.

n8vHSDM.jpg

Regained a normal orbital speed:

82NXwb7.jpg

Shooting for the KSC:

hcnHNem.jpg

Cooling off after reentry.  It's really hard to fly a plane without a tail fin.

SicgKds.jpg

The millisecond before Jeb bails.  Who says planes can't fly backwards?

BavbGov.jpg

Preparing to lithobrake:

cdFDBqW.jpg

Touchdown 35 seconds after EVA!

AQ2Clnq.jpg

EVA'd at 26:07.  Adding 35 seconds for landing, the total time is 26:42.  Jeb might even have time to change his underwear after that reentry.

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I am open to discussion on this point but I see bailing out at the last second as "crash landing." I see that you asked me about this on Saturday, sorry for not responding, I missed it.

This is a great run and deserves attention, but unless you guys can convince me otherwise, it's going in the Honorable Mention" section because of the crash landing. Part of this challenge is designing a spaceplane or rocket that is not only fast but has the controlability to land. 

Good work @RoninFrog!

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1 minute ago, mystifeid said:

Curious. Mechjeb adds parts. Is it still ok?

That's weird, because it's now embedded in the command module controls.

  • Unless you used the separate MJ remote part, the mod wouldn't show up on KerbalX.

 

Regardless, MJ should be okay as it's just a craft control mod. It doesn't come with any parts that would give unfair advantages, like aerodynamic structures or hyperdrives or stuff like that.

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Umm yeah - sorry that I didn't see the earlier questions about Mechjeb. I should learn to read the thread.

So I knocked up a plane and it landed ok in a test flight. Threw on an old heavy lifter and strapped on a couple more boosters just in case. It seemed to do the job but the climb out from launch was quite slow and I think it should be possible to make a better one. The landing gear somehow survived the abrupt vertical landing and I was moving at less than 1 m/s at 24:46. Stopped at 24:49.

The Navigator.

1spjUhC.png

 

 

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Nice work, @mystifeid. You got close to beating @Laie's time (24:32), in fact.

One question: why did you put Wheesley engines on your plane? Why not use a supersonic engine, like a whiplash or a rapier?

  • I suggest doing this a second time, but switching the wheesleys for something more powerful. If you need to slow down that quickly, try airbrakes and/or drag chutes. Heck, you may even have a shot at beating @Laie.
Edited by Mars-Bound Hokie
Giving him/her a reason to use supersonic engines for a second time.
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3 hours ago, mystifeid said:

So I knocked up a plane and it landed ok in a test flight. Threw on an old heavy lifter and strapped on a couple more boosters just in case. It seemed to do the job but the climb out from launch was quite slow and I think it should be possible to make a better one. The landing gear somehow survived the abrupt vertical landing and I was moving at less than 1 m/s at 24:46. Stopped at 24:49.

Nice.  One thing I wanna mention, I found it is actually easier to fly from map view by keeping my Pe pointing to my craft.  Doing that, I could keep my altitude almost stationary.  Shift to move Pe forward, Control to move it back.

Edited by RoninFrog
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11 hours ago, Mars-Bound Hokie said:

Nice work, @mystifeid. You got close to beating @Laie's time (24:32), in fact.

One question: why did you put Wheesley engines on your plane? Why not use a supersonic engine, like a whiplash or a rapier?

  • I suggest doing this a second time, but switching the wheesleys for something more powerful. If you need to slow down that quickly, try airbrakes and/or drag chutes. Heck, you may even have a shot at beating @Laie.

Sheesh, there's a record? I'm guessing even if I beat that time that I won't win on style.

I can drop out of the sky at supersonic speeds just fine without engines. My problems are more to do with exploding from overheating and stopping. Reverse thrust is used on approach as well as on landing. My Kerbals are not the best pilots and they can waste a lot of time landing.

10 hours ago, RoninFrog said:

Nice.  One thing I wanna mention, I found it is actually easier to fly from map view by keeping my Pe pointing to my craft.  Doing that, I could keep my altitude almost stationary.  Shift to move Pe forward, Control to move it back.

Probably not gonna happen. It's hard enough staying awake as it is and I sort of prefer just watching the vsi. I'm an old hang glider pilot (gave up 20 years ago) and it would be nice to bring back the old days where I could just listen to the vsi and not have to watch it all the time.

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