HolidayTheLeek

Trans-Kerbin Airways - Regional Jet Challenge 2: Electric Boogaloo

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Posted (edited)

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Logo Created by Myself and @Asksomoneelse. Plane created by @Maxorin

This Challenge is a continuation and modification of this thread by @CrazyJebGuy (which in itself is a continuation of two other threads)

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS CHALLENGE AIMS TO BE A BIT MORE AESTHETICS ORIENTED THAN THE LAST (though performance is always more important)

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WE ARE IN DESPERATE NEED OF EXTRA JUDGES TO ASSIST IN CLEARING THE BACKLOG. CONTACT ME ON DISCORD (Holiday#0321) IF YOU ARE INTERESTED!

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Trans-Kerbin Airways (TKA) is an emerging airline taking the place of the now-defunct Kerbin Express Airlines. TKA is a large client and aircraft ranging from turboprops to jumbo jets are in high demand. Does your aircraft company offer the right kind of aircraft for the job?

Trans-Kerbin Airways wants comfortable, profitable aircraft. They're looking for aircraft that meet or exceed their requirements for fuel efficiency, speed, range, passenger load, ease of training, comfort and cost of maintenance, for the right price that gives them the best return on investment. They also want a design that's flexible, offering variations of the same design for a variety of different routes. 

Trans-Kerbin Airways is also looking for airlines that emphasize passenger comfort for use on their luxury routes.

The Rules:

  • Must be compatible with KSP versions 1.8.X and 1.9.X
  • Stock Parts + Both DLC are allowed. CRAFT MUST BE STOCK!
  • Passengers must be enclosed in a cabin. Whether this be a crew cabin part or a custom fuselage is up to you.
  • No rocket engines. Aircraft engines only.
  • Aircraft must stay in atmosphere (no sub-orbital hops) and below 20km.
  • Any kind of engine is allowed for any category. 
  • Clipping and CFE is allowed within reason (please negotiate what you are doing first).
    • Engine clipping is allowed within reason. (no more than 3 clipped)
    • You cannot craft file edit engines
  • The aircraft should have a rolling takeoff and landing.
  • Takeoff & Landing speed of no more than 80 m/s on land, or 120 m/s on water. 
  • No drop tanks. Your aircraft must stay intact.
  • No afterburning engines unless you are building a supersonic airliner.
  • Variants must still resemble the original aircraft. If it is too different it will be considered a different type.
  • Mach 1 speed limit (343m/s) unless you are building a supersonic airliner.

Passenger Cabins:

Not all in-game values for how many passengers a cabin can carry will be used for this challenge and certain cabins have a higher level of comfort than most. Here is a list of what each cabin part can carry and their comfort levels according to the challenge:

  • MK-1 Cabin: Carries 4 passengers, standard comfort. 
  • Mk-2 Cabin: Carries 8 passengers, improved comfort.
  • Mk-3 Cabin: Carries 24 passengers, increased comfort.
  • PPD-10 Hitchhiker Storage Container: Carries 12 passengers increased comfort.

Custom cabins using EVA seats will be judged on how you build it. If it generally looks like a nice cabin, it'll probably be rated higher in terms of comfort. Keep in mind, engine placement (noise levels) can affect the passenger comfort.

What is a variant?

To improve your design's competitiveness, your company can submit a variant of the same design (See Wants section below). A variant is built on the same model platform with minor changes in design to give it, say, extra range, or extra passenger room. This is most commonly achieved by adding fuel tanks or lengthening the cabin, sometimes with minor changes to wing and fuselage design. To qualify as a variant, it must generally have the same structural layout, meaning engines, gear, and lift surfaces must be in roughly the same location & design. Basically, if you make it too different, it will be considered a separate model/submission.

What Trans-Kerbin Airways wants, By Category:

The categories are more like guidelines rather than strict rules. An aircraft doesn't need to meet one requirement if it's particularly good at something else.

Any category can be made supersonic.

For all categories, Range will be calculated by fuel capacity / burn rate * speed / 1000m at the recommended cruising speed & altitude.

There are three categories in range and sub-categories for each in capacity. Match up your aircraft to both the appropriate range and capacity requirements. For example, if you have an aircraft that carries 48 passengers and has a range of 2500km, it would be a Medium-Haul, Low-Capacity aircraft.

Special categories that do not conform to these requirements will be listed below as 'special categories'

ANY CATEGORY CAN BE MADE INTO A SUPERSONIC

Range Requirements:

Short-Haul Airliner

  • A cruising speed of 110m/s or greater is preferred
  • Must have a range of 1000km
  • Short takeoff and landing is preferred. Must be capable of operating on rough airfields.

Medium-Haul Airliner

  • Cruising speed of 230m/s or greater is preferred
  • Must have a range of 2000km - 3000km
  • Should be equipped to operate at smaller airports.

Long-Haul Airliner

  • Cruising Speed of 240m/s or greater is preferred
  • Must have a range greater than 3000km

Passenger Capacity Requirements:

Low Capacity

  • Maximum 100 passengers

Medium Capacity

  • Must carry 100 - 300 passengers
  • Standard or greater comfort is preferred

High Capacity

  • Must carry more than 300 passengers
  • Must have high levels of passenger comfort

SPECIAL CATEGORIES:

These categories do not correspond with the ones above

Flying Boat

  • Must be capable of taking off and landing from water
  • Range of at least 500km
  • Cruising Speed of at least 100m/s
  • Can be of any size

Cargo/Combi Aircraft

  • Must carry cargo.
  • Range of at least 1500km
  • Combi aircraft must carry both passengers and cargo

Judging Criteria:

Every submission that meets the requirements will be ranked with feedback from TKA Jet test pilots, but how well it ranks depends on: (Note, this is elaborated on later)

  • How well it meets or exceeds the category requirements
  • Cost of Aircraft
  • Fuel Efficiency at recommended cruising speed & altitude
  • Ease of maintenance. 
    • Maintenance is judged through the amount of engines and complex parts (landing gear, moving parts, fuel piping, etc) rather than pure part count alone. This is so higher-part count designs can compete.
    • Engine configuration is also important in how easily the aircraft is maintained. 
      • Engines low to the ground would allow easy access for ground crew
      • Having the same kind of engines (if you have multiple) can help ease load off maintenance crews.
  • Passenger comfort
    • Distance of engines to passenger cabins will be considered
    • The type of passenger cabins you use will also be considered.
  • Aesthetics
    • We want nice looking aircraft so they're more appealing to our customers and advertising
    • If it looks right, it flies right.

Feel free to ask questions about anything you find confusing in the judging process.

How to Submit. Your post must include the following:

  1. The name of your aircraft company and model names for the designs you're submitting. Please clarify what category you're entering the plane in.
  2. At least one screenshot or very large bold text or something in your submissions. This is so we can more easily see it is a submission, we don't want to accidentally skip yours.
  3. A link to your craft files in your submission post. No PMing me. PREFERABLY ON KERBALX
  4. The price of your aircraft times 1,000. (If $23,555 in-game, submit as $23,555,000. This is just for fun to make prices more realistic.)
  5. The recommended cruising speed and altitude for your aircraft. This is the speed and altitude you've fine-tuned your designs for, ensuring the best balance of speed, range, and fuel efficiency. It's also what the test pilots will be testing your aircraft at for judging.
  6. (Optional, but will help in review) Pitch your aircraft to the TKA executives, selling them on why it should be purchased for their fleet. Include any notable features (even if fictional).

==========================================================================================================================================

The Judges:

@HolidayTheLeek

@Asksomoneelse

@Maxorin (skilled airliner builder - check him out on KX)

@HB Stratos

@keptin (original creator of the challenge!)

@TheGoldenSoldier

@NightshineRecorralis (Judge from the previous challenge)

@Servo

@ScaryTerry

@Mathrilord

@Rocket_man1234

@mrdanger2007

@EvenFlow

Feel free to message me on discord (Holiday#0321) about being a potential judge)

Pilot Review template below:

Spoiler

Test Pilot Review: [@username example should be followed by plane name linking to the submission]

[insert picture here]

Figures as Tested:

  • Price: :funds:
  • Fuel: kallons
  • Cruising speed: m/s
  • Cruising altitude: m
  • Fuel burn rate: kal/s
  • Passengers Carried
  • Range:  km

Review Notes:

  • Pre -flight checks. Overview of the general design of the craft.
    • How conventional is the craft?
    • What design features stand out? 
  • Discuss the flight characteristics of the aircraft.
    • How does it handle at different speeds?
    • Does it handle well in certain regards?
    • Would it be easy to fly for long amounts of time?
    • How is takeoff and landing?
  • Test how the aircraft would handle in emergencies.
    • If the aircraft has multiple engines, does it fly well (if at all) if any engines were shut off?
    • Glide characteristics
    • How well does the aircraft land in water (for emergencies - obviously a flying boat should float well)
    • Talk about any safety features of note

The Verdict:

  • Discuss if the aircraft would be profitable for the company to buy or not.
    • Is the aircraft expensive? 
    • How much would it cost to maintain?
    • Would engine layout influence how easy/hard the aircraft is to repair?
    • Is it efficient?
    • How many are going to be bought for the company and why.

Challenge Submissions:

@Klapaucius's Squire Submarine Plane (SUPERSONIC FLYING BOAT) Cheap, fast and easy to fly. Very odd design and kind of a maintenance hog.

@Rocket_man1234's K-400 (LONG HAUL LOW CAPACITY) Flies well but a bit sensitive and difficult to land. Cheap, effective and with a range rivalling long-haul airliners.

@SuicidalInsanity's IA-480 Dyamerang  (SHORT HAUL LOW CAPACITY) Odd bird with questionable design. High maintenance, draggy but powerful. Has spectacular passenger views.

@keptin's Longboy (MEDIUM HAUL LOW CAPACITY) Simple, rugged and fairly cheap to operate though unfortunately plagued with problems with landing gear.

@Klapaucius's Gogol (SUPERSONIC MEDIUM HAUL MEDIUM CAPACITY)  A surrealist avante garde aircraft with seemingly Lovecraftian origins. Powerful, fast and surprisingly manueverable but an uncomfortable ride and a maintenance hog.

@keptin's Longboy-EX (SHORT HAUL MEDIUM CAPACITY) The Longboy's big brother. A little bit too long to be safe - questionable airworthiness and structural integrity.

@Maxorin's Model 727 (SHORT HAUL MEDIUM CAPACITY) Beautifully constructed aeroplane, albeit a bit inefficient and expensive.

@Box of Stardust's A-504-1A-ER ( LONG HAUL MEDIUM CAPACITY) Sleek, powerful and efficient with only minor problems.

@chargan's Firebird (SUPERSONIC LONG HAUL MEDIUM CAPACITY) Unwieldy to fly, expensive, inefficient, lacking in range but blisteringly fast with good passenger capacity!

@keptin's MANTABEAST (LONG HAUL HIGH CAPACITY) Huge, terrifying and demonic. Impressive, though

@Box of Stardust's A-301-2A (CARGO) Same reliable airframe as the A-504 but for cargo

@antimatterkill's J.220 (COMBI) Jack of all trades, master of none

@Juhnu's JA-42 (SHORT HAUL LOW CAPACITY) A gorgeous aircraft - both beautiful and functional. Extremely fuel efficient and comfortable. Unfortunately, a tad expensive.

@keptin's Centurion (MEDIUM HAUL LOW CAPACITY) A very good aircraft considering its low cost. Very powerful and also has a high cruising speed for subsonics.

@Servo's LA-600 (LONG HAUL MEDIUM CAPACITY) Great looking aircraft with excellent range - but is difficult, dangerous to fly and rather expensive. 

@Maxorin's S350 (LONG HAUL MEDIUM CAPACITY) Beautiful aircraft but incredibly expensive. Ease of maintenance is deemed adequate owing to engine configuration and type.

@keptin's Duck (CARGO) Works extremely well but doesn't have much of a use except for a small niche.

@AVeryNiceSpacePenguin's SBD Dauntless (???) ...it's a war plane... a museum plane... everything but an airliner!!!

@Bob_Saget54's Gigant (LONG HAUL HIGH CAPACITY) Premium comfort and excellent safety. Is quite expensive and would only work on luxury routes due to cost.

@l0kki's PTSLRA (LONG HAUL LOW CAPACITY) Well rounded aircraft with excellent range. Capable of barely landing on carriers but for some reason has outdated tail dragger landing gear.

@rutnam's A917-A Skycutter (LONG HAUL LOW CAPACITY) Has a long range but is loud and fairly maintenance heavy. Aircraft flies well.

@mrdanger2007's Model 308 Altoliner (SHORT HAUL LOW CAPACITY) Beautifully retro but unfortunately impractical for regular service. Would work well as a museum plane, though.

@espartanlast1's SRJ-10SP/SRJ-15SP (MEDIUM HAUL LOW CAPACITY) Simple, easy to fly with excellent takeoff performance. Works well for low cost!

@NightshineRecorralis's Saturn SST (SUPERSONIC LONG RANGE MEDIUM CAPACITY) A sci-fi supersonic with stall speeds rivalling propeller driven airliners. Very fast and easy to fly but a maintenance hog.

@MR_somebody's Class 47 Ekranoplan (FLYING BOAT) Expensive, maintenance heavy, loud and slow! Not an aircraft but a ground effect vehicle!

@KingDominoIII's C6-168 'TRIAD' JUMBO JET (SUPERSONIC LOW CAPACITY MEDIUM RANGE) Fast but not as fast as a true supersonic. Very strange to look at and very inefficient.

@KestrelAerospace's Exmouth Class Flying Boat (FLYING BOAT) A flying boat reminiscent of the 1930s golden age of flight. Excellent to fly and comfortable but limited in range.

@antimatterkill's S.126 (SHORT HAUL LOW CAPACITY) A strange aircraft that surprisingly has VTOL capability. Cheap to buy but expensive to maintain with a lot of moving parts.

@Nantares' NA-AT 1011A "Tobi-Ume" (LONG HAUL LOW CAPACITY) Futuristic airliner with box-wings and 6 engines. A bit steep but the long range makes it worth it.

@Commodoregamer118's DDR ISSRJ1 (MEDIUM HAUL LOW CAPACITY) Small and easy to maintain but with questionable flight characteristics.

@Mathrilord's LoRE HST-3-8 Missile (LONG HAUL LOW CAPACITY) Cheap, lightning fast and definitely fitting of the 'missile' title.

@TheGoldenSoldier's AirTrain 737 (LONG HAUL MEDIUM CAPACITY) Big and luxurious but expensive to buy and maintain.

@Mars-Bound Hokie's B-343 SST (LONG HAUL LOW CAPACITY) Really big, but only carries 24 passengers. Fast but expensive and potentially dangerous to run.

 

 

 

Edited by HolidayTheLeek
Thread of the Month!

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I'm not sure you know what you've gotten yourself into here... some of us from the previous version were discussing various issues related to maintaining and restarting the challenge. Did you happen to talk to anyone else about it?

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Posted (edited)

So, uh, hey.

Previous judge here. So, while it's cool to see someone go straight into a reboot (and perhaps it's been far too long since it ran), part of the reason we never got the reboot off of the ground was because we'd never quite resolved the whole issue of, uh, the submission overflows from the original challenge. While most of the original judges had kind of also just dropped from the conversation about  restarting it, I'm in contact with just a few remaining more. 
And while we really did quite like the challenge/construction prompt, another reason we never continued on was because we were trying to set up a more organized way to do everything, as well as iron out potential oddities in the rules and generally make everything better for everyone involved. Discussions got stuck at this "refactoring" step, and then everyone just seemed to get too busy to do work related to this any longer. 
If you'd followed and read the thread for the previous challenge, a lot of consideration was put on a few key things:

1. Better variety and organization of craft construction requirements - while not a major issue, some wanted more interesting classes of craft, but integration of them would end up hacked in and messy

2. Judging process standardization - Because the process was rather informal, it was hard to really make the challenge feel consistent, as different judges would do things differently, and internally, there were perhaps testing methods that every judge could benefit from but did not know about

3. Submission control and handling - The big one; the original thread spiraled out of control, really badly. And, worse still, craft quality control was non-existent. You want to know something? People are bad at building planes. And then they'll submit some heavy, ungainly thing that is absolutely terrible to try and fly, and next thing you know 15 minutes of no progress has gone by. So we tried to address this issue as well in our plans.

Edited by Box of Stardust

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20 minutes ago, sturmhauke said:

I'm not sure you know what you've gotten yourself into here... some of us from the previous version were discussing various issues related to maintaining and restarting the challenge. Did you happen to talk to anyone else about it?

I'm well aware of what the previous challenge was like and how things got backed up quickly. The judges for this challenge I've selected are friends of mine on discord and we have a discord group to discuss the challenge and judge the craft.

15 minutes ago, Box of Stardust said:

So, uh, hey.

Previous judge here. So, while it's cool to see someone go straight into a reboot (and perhaps it's been far too long since it ran), part of the reason we never got the reboot off of the ground was because we'd never quite resolved the whole issue of, uh, the submission overflows from the original challenge. While most of the original judges had kind of also just dropped from the conversation about  restarting it, I'm in contact with just a few remaining more. 
And while we really did quite like the challenge/construction prompt, another reason we never continued on was because we were trying to set up a more organized way to do everything, as well as iron out potential oddities in the rules and generally make everything better for everyone involved. Discussions got stuck at this "refactoring" step, and then everyone just seemed to get too busy to do work related to this any longer. 
If you'd followed and read the thread for the previous challenge, a lot of consideration was put on a few key things:

1. Better variety and organization of craft construction requirements - while not a major issue, some wanted more interesting classes of craft, but integration of them would end up hacked in and messy

2. Judging process standardization - Because the process was rather informal, it was hard to really make the challenge feel consistent, as different judges would do things differently, and internally, there were perhaps testing methods that every judge could benefit from but did not know about

3. Submission control and handling - The big one; the original thread spiraled out of control, really badly. And, worse still, craft quality control was non-existent. You want to know something? People are bad at building planes. And then they'll submit some heavy, ungainly thing that is absolutely terrible to try and fly, and next thing you know 15 minutes of no progress has gone by. So we tried to address this issue as well in our plans.


Anyways, since most of the previous group may perhaps remain uninvolved, I will at least leave the notes we were working on, and maybe you might want to take them into consideration.

Challenge Setup:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/10Kvi-piC2CTquMbtNLbLdnTNb0UO-GJYn7Osq6WdSbk/edit
 

Judging Handbook:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1P_xLAg1jsw0c9kkrmedqCZtXutyoARabEFE4XzUr3-8/edit

I was quite a big fan of the original challenge so I know what I'm supposed to expect and what it was like. As for your points:

  1. I quite liked how the requirements were more like building prompts rather than set requirements. I see your point though about them possibly being boring, however, I liked them how they were.
  2. Once again, I quite enjoyed the subjectivity of the original thread so I'll be keeping that sort of informal feel to this one. I've given rough guidelines on how and what to judge on my discord chat
  3. We have a discord chat set up to help organize which aircraft to judge and who judges them. I like the idea of promoting certain companies for the quality of aircraft though and I'll look into implementing that. 

Thanks for your inputs. I'll see what I can do to make this one as great as the last :)

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Posted (edited)

meh, big giant rant

Spoiler

My point with #1 is that we thought the laid out classes no longer properly reflected what people were building/wanted to build. We'd actually planned to rework them for both better classification, but also be more open-ended. People were already building outside of the bounds, so we wanted to rework the classifications to better-incorporate new bounds that continued to impose the right amount of restrictions to make things interesting for the creator, while, again, extending the criteria beyond the original restrictive ones.

The goal of our rework was not more requirements, but better-defined prompts.

The informality and reviews we knew were central to the whole attraction of the original challenge, and thus, a feature that needed to stay, but we got bogged down by a lot of factors that we realized needed better structure for all the judges themselves involved. We liked writing the reviews, we really did. While you may have the coordination aspect already settled better than the original challenge did, perhaps be wary of any other potential obstacles in the judging process (which I cannot immediately name, but acknowledge may exist).

Plus, I take personal pride in the previous challenge's team for being made up of some of the best overall builders I've met in KSP, able to combine both aesthetic sense and good performance-based engineering know-how. This wasn't just a design challenge, but also an actual relatively scientific engineering challenge; there was an actual challenge aspect to it. It's KSP, being actually educational when possible is a good thing (though, of course, not necessary).

The sticking point to me about KEA was how the challenge was the first challenge that really taught me how to build planes. I learned so much about actual aircraft and aerodynamics and stuff through all the small intricacies and design tips and weird aircraft configurations and force vectors and all that. I will always say, KEA was the place that truly taught me the most about building a properly functional aircraft, and how to make almost anything fly with good, proper engineering.

People are bad at building planes. And it's a great feeling to be able to teach them real things about things like how planes really work, and then see them actually build really good things with that new knowledge. KSP teaches people that rockets are surprisingly easy. However, KSP does not outright teach players that planes can be surprisingly mysterious and hard, and it also does not easily teach them how to understand planes in the way rockets might be "de-mystified".

But that's just me rambling.

If you want to make this as great as the last, at least try to consider the fixes we were intending to make to it, since we ourselves knew from experience that there was massive room for improvement. 
 

And please, don't leave the Mk1 cabin at 8 occupants. That was one of the most glaring things we wanted to fix, because Neist showed the excellent semi-exploit of passenger noodles, and which could functionally translate to more reasonable designs of ridiculous price margins. 
 

We may have dropped running the challenge, but the last few pages of the original thread (and the resultant notes documents) were all aimed at potentially rebooting the challenge in a much better, improved form for everyone involved, by some of the most dedicated and experienced judges of KEA. Take advantage of that, and don't let it go to waste. 

 

Edited by Box of Stardust

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47 minutes ago, ManLikeDave said:

where do submissions go

Submit your craft in this thread :)

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1 hour ago, HolidayTheLeek said:

Submit your craft in this thread :)

i play on geforce NOW so i don't know how to do that

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Hey I'll start. Here's the Firebird Model Supersonic Long Haul Jet from the Toasty Aircraft Company (TACo for short).

Seats 160 and capable of circumnavigating Kerbin with fuel to spare. Buy now for the reasonable price of $108 million: https://kerbalx.com/chargan/Firebird

Video: https://imgur.com/m70CRp9

Instructions: https://imgur.com/m70CRp9

  1. Rotate at 100m/s for takeoff
  2. Accelerate to 450m/s at low altitude
  3. Climb to 16km and cruise at full throttle. Speed will range from 1300-1380m/s depending on fuel load.

dhhcZFm.png

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Posted (edited)

Oh hey, its back; time to push the bounds of orthodoxy again.
Insanity Aerospace presents: IA-480 Dynamerang (Turboprop/Small Regional Jet):
F6nbOS6.png
IA's latest offering once again combines innovation with extravagance, redefining flight from a chore to an experience. Once again rejecting the tried-and-tested 'tube with windows' design, the Dynamerang will put to ultimate rest the struggle to get a window seat. Seating 48, the innovative cabin layout takes full advantage of the airframe's blended body design, treating passengers to a frontal view of the skies that turns a otherwise claustrophobic transit into an experience akin to an outing to a movie theatre, opening up the marvels of flight to all by granting them a view otherwise solely experienced by the pilot. Capable as well as stylish, the large wing area grants a  takeoff speed of 50m/s and a takeoff distance of less than 200m, the Dynamerang practically leaps into the air. The similarly unique engine outrigger mounting both distances and isolates passengers from engine noise and places the engines and fuel tanks in easily accessible locations to facilitate ground crew maintenance. Powered by 6 Wheesley turbofans, the aircraft has a cruising speed of 204m/s and fuel consumption of 0.46 with a standard fuel load at 8000m, giving a minimum range in excess of 850km. With a standard fuel load, the underwing tanks are fulled half full; if extra range is required, filling the tanks to full gives a maximum wet performance of 185m/s at 6000m, for a minimum range of 1400km. The Dynamerang is capable of water landing and performing as a seaplane, though this drastically decreases engine lifespans and available maintenance budgets, and is not recommended unless performed by a skilled pilot.

Avg. cruising speed: 204m/s @ 8km
Avg. range: 850km
Cost: 62,558,000
48 passengers
fully stock(no dlc)
After takeoff, climb to altitude @ 25deg until 6500-7000, then begin leveling off until cruising alt and speed reached. Cruising alt can be maintained via trim. In case of an unpowered water landing, maintain a shallow dive to maintain control, ideally want to splashdown at 90m/s or less with a vertical speed of ~1m/s. AG 1 toggles thrust reversers.

Buy it from ~here~

Edited by SuicidalInsanity

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Posted (edited)

I love that this challenge is still going and that others keep picking up the torch!

 

Valara Longboy - Small Regional Jet - $33,766,000

NZqzJVq.jpg

Craft file: https://kerbalx.com/keptin/Valera-Longboy

Cruising Altitude: 9,500m

Cruising Speed: 285m/s

Range: 1625km

PAX Capacity: 40

Introducing the Longboy small regional jet, the flagship aircraft from Valara's new Longboy family. Our heritage of aerospace design, with a pedigree of engineers, culminates in superior performance and efficiency in a competitive aviation market segment. The Longboy small regional jet stands out with its three-turbofan configuration for outstanding climb performance, and its automatic high-authority low takeoff maneuvering system affords pilots fighter-jet like control at low speeds. Its H-Empanage design gives pilots total authority over the aircraft in all conditions, and makes landing a breeze, even with a full compliment of passengers and crew. Need even more range? The Longboy-ER Extended Range variant is capable of 2500km range, reaching airports across the hemisphere. That's the versatility and performance you expect from Longboy. And all of this for less than $34M per aircraft. Learn more by contacting a Valara sales representative.

 

Valara Longboy-EX (Variant) - Medium Regional Jet - $40,530,000

dSbfQEb.jpg

A Medium Regional Jet Variant, the Longboy-EX Expanded Capacity

Craft file: https://kerbalx.com/keptin/Valera-Longboy

Cruising Altitude: 9,500m

Cruising Speed: 245m/s

Range: 1525km

PAX Capacity: 72

Introducing the Longboy-EX, an expanded capacity variant of our Longboy family aircraft. Designed on the same common platform with extended passenger capacity, the Longboy-EX gives airlines greater options for their Longboy fleet with no additional training or maintenance costs, with 96% commonality of parts to the Longboy family. That's a lot of versatility and value for only $40M per aircraft, allowing airlines to double their fleet size compared to competitor aircraft that cost twice as much. Learn more by contacting a Valara sales representative.

Edited by keptin
Changed aircraft submission to new aircraft

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Posted (edited)

Banner plane!

BoWing Commercial introduces its Model 727, a versatile Medium Regional Trijet easily customisable to your own needs!

Ea4SRpk.jpg

(Pictured: The 727F variant)

You can purchase this jet for :funds:336,224,000 here. By default, it is the Model 727F variant with a little over half fuel and a placeholder 15t payload. 

Speaking of variants, our Model 727 comes in two main variants: The Passenger variant and the Freighter variant.

Both variants are capable of takeoff speeds under 80m/s, with an average takeoff distance of 1000m and lower, aided by the three powerful KT8D engines and triple-slotted Fowler flaps. For hotter and higher operations, the Model 727 comes with complimentary JATO bottles for that added takeoff kick. This means that the Model 727 is able to operate out of many smaller airports with shorter runways.

But what's a short takeoff without a short landing? Of course, the Model 727 is more than capable of this feat. Advanced spoilers and powerful thrust reversers allow for incredibly short landing distances. All in all, the superior STOL performance increases your opportunities and broadens your horizons.

727 Passenger

Capable of transporting 120 kerbals 1500km, the Model 727 allows for a comfortable ride to your destination in luxurious MK3 cabins. Worrying about airport compatibility? Fret not! The Model 727 comes with a rear airstair for easy boarding and deplaning.  

With a full fuel load [8360u] and full passenger load [120 kerbals], the Model 727 is capable of:
 -Takeoff Distance 900m, Vr 65m/s @Flaps 15
° 
 -Cruising Alt 4500m, Speed 170m/s, Fuel Burn 0.96kal/s, Range ~1500km
 -Landing Roll [VTD 75m/s @Flaps 20
° , Full Braking] 500m

727 Freighter

Fancy horizons that are not passenger-related? We got your back! The Model 727F is capable of transporting a 30t payload a distance of 1500km. Its short takeoff and landing runs mean that you get to transport your payloads practically anywhere in the world.

With a full fuel load [8360u] and full payload [30t], the Model 727F is capable of:

 -Takeoff Distance 1200m, Vr 65m/s @Flaps 15° 
 -Cruising Alt 4500m, Speed 170m/s, Fuel Burn 0.96kal/s, Range ~1500km
 -Landing Roll [VTD 80m/s @Flaps 20
° , Full Braking] 600m

Alternatively, with a half fuel load [4180u] and half payload [15t] (this is the standard loadout), the Model 727F is capable of:

 -Takeoff Distance 600m, Vr 45m/s @Flaps 15° 
 -Cruising Alt 7000m, Speed 170m/s, Fuel Burn 0.73kal/s, Range ~1000km
 -Landing Roll [VTD 60m/s @Flaps 20
° , Full Braking] 200m

But wait, there's more!

Perhaps you don't fancy focusing on passengers or cargo. Maybe your route isn't filled to the brim with passengers. No worries! The Model 727 is capable of operating as a Combi variant. The cabin can be split into both cargo and passenger sections. For a complete change from cargo to passenger or vice-versa, all it takes is one hour. That's quick! The performance of the Model 727 isn't affected either, so you can go hot or go high whenever you want.

In addition to these, all variants of the Model 727 are able to be lengthened an additional 4 meters. For the Passenger variant, this means a capacity increase of 24 kerbals.

 

The BoWing Model 727, the unparalleled choice for Trans-Kerbin Airways.

 

*Note: Despite the superiority of the engines, they will have to be left at 50% throttle until 20m/s, after which you can full-throttle. Furthermore, the engines have to be idled before thrust reversers are toggled.

Action Group Info:

  • AG1: Toggle Thrust Reversers
  • and [K]: Raise / Lower Flaps (respectively)
[Abort]: JATO Bottles [Brakes]: All spoilers

 


 

Edited by Maxorin
Forgot operation manual lmao

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Test Pilot Review: @chargan's Firebird Model Supersonic from TACo

lBkCOCs.jpg

Firebird in flight over Kerbin's Oceans

Figures as Tested:

  • Price: :funds:107,981
  • Fuel: 7320 units
  • Cruising speed: 1030 - 1080m/s
  • Cruising altitude: 16 - 18km
  • Fuel burn rate: avg 2.635
  • Range:  2590km

Review Notes:

When the aircraft arrived at the TKA test-hangar, Jeb and our other test pilots were extremely excited with the appearance of a supersonic jet as the first entry. With three Whiplash engines, a sleek exterior and pointed intakes, we knew this aeroplane could do exactly what it said it could do - go fast! 

Of course, our test pilots were more than ready to fly the thing, but mandated pre-flight checks analyzing the design still had to be done. Aside from being aggressively pointy, the aircraft was fairly conventional in its design with only a few strange design choices inbetween. The aircraft had both canards and elevators - we suspect two engineers had a disagreement and settled on having both. The distance between the front intake and rear engine was also an oddity - we still haven't figured out how that engine gets air through all the cabins and fuel tanks. The passenger cabins were split into three different modules with the side two cabins being dedicated to economy and the centre being a more spacious, comfy cabin. In total, the aircraft could carry 160 passengers - impressive for a supersonic. Worryingly, the aircraft lacked a pair of airbrakes - though we suspect this would be fixed on production models.

Finally, it was time to fly the thing...

The tricycle landing gear made taxiing the aircraft onto the runway a breeze. Centred onto the runway, Jeb eagerly maxed out the throttle expecting to be pushed by the hands of God... but to Jeb's disappointment; the plane only sluggishly inched forward. The aircraft's poor acceleration made the 100m/s takeoff speed seem like it was impossible - let alone a top speed over 1000m/s. With the end of the runway approaching closer and closer, the aircraft finally struggled into the air. So far, the aircraft was heavy, slow to accelerate, struggled to gain altitude and hadn't at all lived up to the speeds implied by the aircraft's pointy aesthetic. Nevertheless, testing continued and eventually, the aircraft reached 450m/s - the speed required for it to climb to altitude. The aircraft's flight manual was deceptively simple, only having three steps:

  1. Rotate at 100m/s for takeoff
  2. Accelerate to 450m/s at low altitude
  3. Climb to 16km and cruise at full throttle. Speed will range from 1300-1380m/s depending on fuel load.

This would seemingly be impossible to achieve with the Firebird struggling to climb past 8000m. Thankfully, the Firebird also came with an instructional video, which ultimately proved more helpful than the deceptively simple flight instructions. Perhaps clearer instructions could become a feature on the production models.

After the third test flight, the Firebird finally reached optimum cruise speed and altitude. We found that the aircraft had already used a significant portion of its fuel during the climb. Cruise speed was lower than advertised at only 1030 - 1080m/s though, still blisteringly fast. With fluctuating fuel consumption during cruise, a conservative range of 2590km was calculated - lower than the minimum requirements for range. As for passenger comfort, the aircraft was slightly louder than the average airliner, but comfort overall during cruise was good. The aircraft had an unacceptably high wing-loading meaning that even gentle turns forced passengers to experience unexpectedly high G forces. High wing loading also meant dangerously high landing speeds and with the lack of airbrakes, the Firebird was difficult to land. The aircraft's immense weight but few wheels lead to high ground pressure. This combined with the long takeoff run, high landing speeds and lack of airbrakes limited it to long, well maintained, reinforced airfields.

The Firebird was also put through simulated engine failure to test the aircraft in emergency situations. The Firebird struggled to fly even with only one engine knocked out. The small rudder only had barely enough authority and made engine failure on either the left or right side of the aircraft fairly dangerous. Fortunately, the Firebird performed well in an emergency water landing despite high stall speeds. The low drag design also helped it retain energy and glide fairly well - provided you didn't turn.

TKA recommends giving the aircraft bigger wings, making it lighter or both!

The Verdict:

The Firebird is fairly inefficient managing only 2590km with 7320 units of fuel and expensive at :funds:108 million. The aircraft is fairly good maintenance-wise with the only particularly difficult area being the extremely long duct between the front intake and rear engine.

The Firebird's less than impressive handling makes minor corrections in flight difficult and uncomfortable. The fact that supersonic speeds are to be achieved at low altitudes means it cannot be used over populated areas - only airports near water or far away from cities.

Despite the many drawbacks, the Firebird is the airline's fastest airliner so far and could provide some routes spanning across oceans. The Firebird's top speed could also warrant higher ticket prices and serve as a niche for richer customers.

If the type's glaring problems are addressed, TKA will consider buying three for use in some overseas routes.

---

EDIT: I'm pretty new to the whole reviewing thing. If I'm too harsh or not harsh enough let me know :)

Edited by HolidayTheLeek

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Posted (edited)

This challenge is good. You've loosened up the rules a bit. The last one was too restrictive.  Suggestion: Perhaps to keep it from getting out of hand you restrict the number of entries? I've built a lot of planes, and could probably submit a dozen to this.

 

Anyway, here is my entry--a variant of one of my favourite planes:

https://kerbalx.com/Klapaucius/Squire-Submarine-Passenger-Plane

I rejigged my submarine plane to take passengers. To be honest I have not checked the range--the one downside is where the passengers are was a large fuel tank on the original.

This is a supersonic amphibious submarine plane.  It will take off and land on both land and in water. It can also dive to any depth. It can go 1200, though really it prefers a bit slower.  The afterburners are needed mainly for diving or getting up to supersonic. It is recommended the Panthers are turned off completely for regular cruising.  Action group 1 toggles the afterburners and 2 toggles the Panthers.  It flies pretty well with SAS off, but you need to keep on top of things.  At lower speeds you will need to be active keeping the nose up--this is a compromise that allows it to dive easily.

IMPORTANT: The dive canards are fragile. You must land at around 50 m/s on a very shallow approach. Nose up just as you are about to drop in the water, otherwise you will lose the canards. This takes practice, but that is why you hire Val and Jeb.  I can do it consistently.

qmZsi5H.png

VprzsWI.png

3zAODhC.png

 

 

 

18 hours ago, SuicidalInsanity said:

Oh hey, its back; time to push the bounds of orthodoxy again.
Insanity Aerospace presents: IA-480 Dynamerang (Turboprop/Small Regional Jet)

This is my kind of plane. Perhaps Insanity Aerospace and K.R.A.S.S.H. Industries (Klapaucius Reliable Air, Space, Sea & Hardware) should partner up on something.

https://kerbalx.com/Klapaucius

Edited by Klapaucius

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C-7 Aerospace Presents 

The K-400 Electric Turboprop Airliner

Here is my second time submitting this type of replica to the regional jet challenge, but this time its stock. UyPztIg.jpg

The K-400 is a 24 passenger Electric Turboprop Aircraft with an incredible range of 8100 km! Its recommended flight parameters are 250 m/s and 4000 m in altitude.

For take off:

  • Start with breaks on
  • Throttle up main props without collective (I&K)
  • Deploy flaps (2)
  • Spool up STOL jets engines (9)
  • Release breaks and increase collective
  • Rotate at around 60 m/s
  • Turn off jets and raise flaps

For Landing:

  • Reduce collective
  • Deploy flaps
  • Come in at about 85 m/s 
  • Flare
  • Land, and reduce collective to act as a thrust reverser and cut throttle.

Buy it here for 36,343,000$ https://kerbalx.com/Rocket_man1234/K-400-V2

Edited by Rocket_man1234
Added KerbalX link

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And one last entry from K.R.A.S.S.H Industries (Klapaucius Reliable Air, Space, Sea & Hardware) This is called Gogol. It is a supersonic regional jet I built a while ago.

To comply with your takeoff speed, you need to drain the front tanks, which unfortunately cuts down the rage by almost half. Fully fueled with  a takeoff speed of around 90 it will do over 4000 km flat out. Cruising speed is 1050-1200. Again, the ceiling rule is a bit limiting as the Whiplash engines can still breathe above 20000, but keep it around 16-19 then.

OmGUuKh.png

https://kerbalx.com/Klapaucius/Gogol

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Test Pilot Review: @Rocket_man1234's K-400 of C-7 Aerospace

ZpfPRag.png

(Flight incident report 0513996)

Figures as Tested:

  • Price: :funds:36,343,000
  • Fuel: 520 units
  • Cruising speed: 250 - 268m/s
  • Cruising altitude: 4km
  • Fuel burn rate: avg 0.02
  • Range:  6968km

Review Notes:

The boys in the shop were happy to hear a familiar name, they've been working on the smaller K-300s in our fleet and gathered around like kids in a candy shop. The Combined powerplant had them concerned over maintenance costs for large-scale operations but that remains to be seen.

Out on the runway, the preflight was simple to understand and similar to some proprietary aircraft we have on hand. She was a little reluctant to get airborne but did in fact, lift off at the designated 60m/s. Once in the air, it was very light on the controls for an aircraft of it's size. As we accelerated to cruise, the aircraft tracked very straight and true, making prolonged flight a breeze. I was a bit surprised when I saw the needle climb slowly past 250 and hold steady at 268 for the majority of level flight.

One issue that was encountered, was the inability to easily make small roll adjustments. The electronics seem overly reactive and only serve to bounce the wings during such scenarios.

During one approach, while testing the glide slope, A sudden headwind pushed the aircraft into a nose-high attitude, inducing a stall and destroying the tail section entirely

The Tail skid might as well have been cosmetic, but the other safety measures such as the wide set landing gear, and bumpers installed on the wingtips ensured that passenger compartment was completely undamaged.

The Verdict:

Overall, The aircraft shows promise.

For cargo operations to short fields in remote areas, this aircraft would excel. It's high speed handling is superb and is easy to control. I can see the company purchasing at least 10 for such operations.

Our engineers are currently running the costs of keeping 4 engines inspected and ready to run on such an aircraft. It is a concern but not a deal breaker.

Lastly, the astronomical range is what makes me confident We'll buy at least a few. The extra maintenance is more than worth it when considering the fuel savings against using a competitive, solely turbojet aircraft.

 

our suggestions for improvements, would be to include a more substantial tail skid, (one that doesnt break in the event it's used) and to automate the process of propeller pitch adjustment through the use of KAL units

Edited by Phantomic

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Phantomic said:

our suggestions for improvements, would be to include a more substantial tail skid, (one that doesnt break in the event it's used) and to automate the process of propeller pitch adjustment through the use of KAL units

Would I be able to make improvements and re-submit? Such as a variant?  

Edited by Rocket_man1234
more context

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Posted (edited)

JORG MantaBeast - Super Jumbo Jet - $391,150,000

Qmfu59h.jpg

Craft file: https://kerbalx.com/keptin/JORG-MANTABEAST

Cruising Altitude: 8,500m

Cruising Speed: 200m/s

Range: 2500km

PAX Capacity: 504

 

On the eve of the fifth bloodmoon of Rog, JORG Aviation was born from the ashes of five dying mega conglomerates with one purpose: Dominate the Super Jumbo aviation market. It was no simple task carrying 500 passengers using Mk2 cabins--many engineers were sacrificed, but in time the MANTABEAST was constructed. Its otherworldly structure required exotic metals mined from the core of a dying star, those too required sacrifices to obtain; some unintentionally, others willfully on the alter of Thrust. It was only by the thrust god's will that the MANTABEAST would fly. At its heart beat a microsingularity, serving the sole purpose of holding it together. Only the gravitational pull of a black hole could contain its mass, else it would tear itself and its passengers into oblivion. After exactly six-hundred and sixty-six weeks of development, the one and only MANTABEAST was assembled. On its maiden test flight, upon takeoff, a Valara TriStar arriving from the north was caught in its wake--the extreme wingtip vortexes of the MANTABEAST snapped it in twain, raining burning debris upon the runway. This was its first victim. There would be more. No owner could contain its bloodlust, and so eventually it was put into storage, awaiting its next master. JORG Aviation invites Trans-Kerbin Airways to evaluate the JORG MANTABEAST.

Edited by keptin

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Document:

Result from Testing of the "Turboprop" IA-480 Dyamerang

Aircraft Created by @SuicidalInsanity and the Insanity Aerospace Corporation

RxqtQ9D.png

The IA-480 in level flight over the ocean outside of Kerbal Space Center airspace

Testing Result Numbers:

  • Price: :funds:62,558
  • Fuel (at recommended levels): 2080 units
  • Cursing Altitude: 7000 - 8000m
  • Cruising Speed: ~218m/s
  • Fuel Burn Rate: 
  • Range: 436km
  •  

Test Review and Evaluation:

As the sun rose to another beautiful day on Kerbin, one of the TKA test pilots Sherbas Kerman, his bosses, and flight crew watched eagerly as a prototype IA-480 flew in from its manufacturing plant. As the plane approached the runway on short final Sherbas' excitement turned to shock as the plane loomed nearer. "What is that? That doesn't look like a plane?!" he reportedly remarked during the event after dropping his cigar in shock.  When the plane had landed, a team of Insanity Aerospace customer service members came out to give the team a tour. After a bit of convincing in the form of his bosses threatening to fire him, Sherbas agreed to go inside. As he walked around the new aircraft he slowly gained a new respect for its designers. "Man, after seeing it at first I thought these people were crazy, but after walking around, I might just grow to like this new beast." Sherbas exclaimed.

Later that day Sherbas and his flight crew strapped in and prepared to fly this new machine. As they were getting ready and putting all the test instraments on the aircraft the ground crew remarked as to how easy engine maintenance must be, with the engines so close to the ground. After start up and as they taxied out to the runway Sherbas' co-pilot remarked on how all the landing gear turned making taxi very difficult. With the plane in position to take off Sherbas pushed the throttles forward. Expecting, as he had seen with prior regional jets, that the aircraft would accelerate normally, Sherbas was not ready for what came next. The 6 engines propelled the aircraft at an extreme acceleration, throwing the crew into their seats. As the plane quickly accelerated through V1, Sherbas threw the stick back and up they went. Doing a double take at the manual he saw the climb angle was recommended at 25 degrees. Reluctantly the aircraft was put into a 25 degree climb and sure enough it actually worked. One thing that was noted was the pitch authority... or well... the severe lack of it. The pitch authority was said to leave "Much to be desired." The rest of the first test flight went rather smoothly. The aircraft preformed well at its cursing altitude and had a fine time performing turns. "One remarkable feature is the cabin comfort" one crew member explained.  "With the windows positioned in front of the passengers the view is excellent and allows for a better flying experience." The engine noise is also reduced due to their relatively far distance from the cabin.

After the aircraft had landed, the ground grew got a look at the aircraft from a logistical point of view. There were several issues brought up. The first was the numerous amounts of engines the aircraft had. Instead of using two engines like most aircraft of its size, the plane uses six smaller engines. This causes a huge maintenance issue due to the amount of things that can go wrong. One engineer said "Even though the engines are close to the ground there are just so many of them". The second issue brought up was the height at which everything sat. For a small regional airliner, a lot of infrastructure is required to maintain the aircraft. A large baggage elevator and passenger staircase would be required which would have to be specialized for the aircraft. This would limit the amount of places the aircraft could go.

The next few test flights were set to look at the emergency characteristics of the aircraft. First Sherbas and the crew were set to perform various engine out tests. This took a long time with 6 engines but the plane performed well with any single engine out and fine with few out. Next, the crew went on to test its glide. As the crew rolled the engines back to idle they watched as the speed dial went from 218 to 150 very fast. Sherbas put the plane into a steep dive. The crew reasoned that the plane must have an extreme amount of drag. Knowing this they restarted the engines and brought the plane back to land. 

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Excellent passenger and crew comfort
  • Excellent TWR
  • Relatively good flight characteristics
  • Standard cost

Cons:

  • Difficult logistics
  • Poor pitch authority
  • Poor glide slope
  • Difficult maintenance

Verdict:

The airline considers the Dymerang a good aircraft for city hopping but due to its logistical problems as well as maintenance difficulties it is only useful in certain situations. 

Therefore, TKA would like to place an order for 25 aircraft for service from major hubs to smaller but well equipped airports. 

 

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Test Pilot Review: @Klapaucius K.R.A.S.S.H. Industries Gogol

J2a5fDL.jpg

K.R.A.S.S.H Industries Gogol - Supersonic Medium Regional Jet

Figures as Tested:

  • Price: :funds:83,678,000
  • Fuel: 4900 kallons
  • Cruising speed: 1200m/s
  • Cruising altitude: 18,500m
  • Fuel burn rate: 2.32 kal/s
  • Range:  2080km

 

Review Notes:

  • Ease of maintenance. 
    • Maintenance seems like it would be complicated due to its alien-like airframe, and perhaps needed frequently due to unusual and unpredictable stresses on the aircraft. Its four cockpits bring pilot training costs into question. Technicians would need to be trained extensively for this aircraft, as it is so unlike any other.
  • Passenger comfort. 
    • Passengers are fitted in one of the four tunnel spaces, perhaps best described as a “water slide” like fuselage shape. It may be difficult for them to enter or exit with no door, and having to traverse up or down the twisted pax sections.
  • Aesthetics
    • It is nothing of this world. Its insectoid features are formed of nightmarish complexity resembling the art of H.R. Geiger. The fact that it performs well is a testament to its designer. I like it.
  • Handling
    • The Gogol is sluggish on the runway and at speeds up to 150m/s. It requires a lengthy runway to take off from unless the fuel tanks are carefully trimmed. Once at speed it handles well, more so than expected for its size. Landing is surprisingly easy once it's no longer fuel laden, and its numerous landing gear make it difficult to damage upon landing, even in uneven terrain.
  • Emergencies
    • During an emergency evacuation, passengers and crew would certainly perish attempting to escape its labyrinth-like inner structure.

 

Test Report:

          It was a cold Spring morning when I was being trucked up north to the K.R.A.S.S.H. Industries tarmac at the edge of the old military test range. I was told they were conducting the tests out there since it afforded some security for the tech they were developing, but in retrospect, I believe it was because they still couldn’t find out why some of their test pilots were going mad. I met Gunny Larson eight years ago at a fundraiser before he joined up at KRASSH as one of their lead pilots; we hadn’t spoken since his wife died, but I know he wasn’t the type to end up in an asylum. None of them were. They were military men, most of them, who had seen enough combat that they had hardened minds, but there was something about this new aircraft that changed them; broke them. I was assured by the KRASSH representative that the exotic fuels they were using on the early prototypes were responsible for what happened to them, and that was all in the past now. It reminded me of agent orange from the war--the brass never gave us a straight answer on that either. I couldn’t afford to argue with the rep since I needed the money. Not many outfits were looking for old test pilots those days with all the rookies out there. Especially not that far north of the Adirondacks. So that’s how I found myself on the tarmac of Adeline Field, with a fresh coat of morning frost glistening upon it. It was at the end of the freeway where I first saw the aircraft I was going to be testing. Its otherworldly shape and twisted impossible form looked in no way like any aircraft I had seen before. They called it the Gogol, I guessed after the Russian realist, but it was beyond words--there was something incarnate about. Its chitinous structure looked to be inspired by insects, the way the sonic intakes morphed up and around its body in a way that reminded me of dragonfly tails, ending in four sharp points at the rear. It was supported by six landing gear in an odd and clunky configuration in a way that was clear at least the landing gear was distinctly Terran in origin--as if the rest of it was made by a different designer who had no intention of the craft ever touching the ground. Strangely, the bulk of the weight was carried in the heavy gear on the front, with steering in the rear. The KRASSH representative must have noticed my hesitation, because he reassured me in that moment that everything had checked out and this was a completely new aircraft than the one used previously. I nodded and continued towards it. As I approached it, I realized that the center portion of the craft, the interior fuselage space where the passengers would sit, had no door or any means of entering that I could discern. I began to ask, but the rep simply assured me that I wouldn’t be testing that portion of the craft as he ushered me into the leftmost cockpit pod. I kept wondering how the passengers would fit--would some lean forward and some back along the twists and turns of the four passenger spaces, or would they be staggered in height? I wasn’t sure, but the thought was lost after I stepped inside. The cockpit had the distinct odor of turpentine, the same solution they used to clean medical bays during the war. The scent recalled fresh memories that had been buried for decades, and I had thought forgotten. The cockpit seemed standard enough, as if this part of the ship had been constructed to interface with the rest in a way a human could grasp. This theme of dual tonality continued through the startup process; familiar buttons aside labels of systems I’ve never heard of--I continued to be told that we wouldn’t be testing those and I needn’t mind them. I nodded and started along the rest of the checklist, completing it just as the sun rose above the mountains, evaporating the frost on the runway--the soft wisps of steam drifting off the pavement.

The startup sequence passed in a blur. I don’t recall most of it, except for when I hit the ignition switch on the four turbo ramjets and heard them howl to life with a shrieking vibration through the frame of the ship until they eventually got up to speed with a steady whine. I had spooled up jet turbines a thousand times, but something about those engines sent a shiver down my spine quickly followed by goosebumps. Maybe it was a frequency thing with the vibration, I couldn’t explain it. By then I was strapped into the seat and the rep had sealed the cockpit door behind me. They had explained in the briefing that the mountains would obscure their radio tower, so I might lose contact once I reach altitude. The aircraft was capable of a service ceiling well over 60,000ft, far beyond that of those when Adeline Field was built. For this test I was told--no warned--that I shouldn’t go above 60,000ft.

As I throttled up the engines roared to life. The plane crept forward down the tarmac, more sluggish than a subsonic aircraft, but that was expected from its turbo ramjet engines that had smaller air-breathing cores. Once in the air the craft was responsive for its size, perhaps unexpectedly so given its strange shape. I took her up to 55,500ft and settled her off there for further testing. At this altitude there wasn’t much yaw or pitch authority, but there wasn’t much air up there either. The craft performed exceptionally well for its size. Anything made of aluminum and titanium couldn’t possibly feel this nimble--so perhaps it wasn’t. There were rumors in the community that KRASSH had brought in the foremost materials science expert for the project and it was made of something...else entirely. I thought it was nonsense at the time, but my test experience had me rethinking that. Each of the planned tests checked out, and the craft eventually assumed a comfortable cruising speed of 1200m/s. Its fuel range was shorter than reported, but that could have been me being unfamiliar with the craft. I reached the turnaround point earlier than expected and entered the time in my log and that’s the last I remember. I awoke in a hospital bed at Aubrey Hill back in town with no memory of the rest of the flight. I was later told that I brought the aircraft in for a perfect landing and passed out in my chair halfway through our debriefing. They said it could have been fumes from the chemical agents used in the manufacturing of the new cockpit electronics--that being the first time they were used in flight. I didn’t buy it, but before I could complain they offered me twice my agreed upon rate, plus a settlement if I signed an NDA about my post-flight medical complications, and I knew I couldn’t afford to fight them on that, so I did, figuring I’d at least get paid for my troubles. Since then I’ve been having strange dreams about being back in the Gogol and pulling back on the flight stick, climbing steeply to see what she’s capable of, only to be transported to a place that looks nothing like Earth. Then I wake up. Each time I’ve had the dream I awake with a migraine that lasts for hours. I haven’t heard from KRASSH since, but I’m certain they continue to test their aircraft with new test pilots, perhaps using them to uncover features of the ship that even they aren’t aware of.

 

The Verdict:

The KRASSH Gogol is a strong performer in the supersonic medium regional jet category. Airlines expect to pay considerably higher costs to operate supersonic aircraft, and the Gogol is no exception, but it performs very well in that role. Operational costs may be higher than other supersonic aircraft due to its unconventional design, but they may be offset by additional ticket sales--that same unconventional design may serve to attract customers.

We recommend Trans-Kerbin Airways purchase four KRASSH Gogols for further testing and cost-evaluation before a larger order is made, but it is a strong contender.

Edited by keptin

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Posted (edited)

Test Pilot Review: [@keptin 's Valara Longboy]

 qvAUXqI.png

(Pictured: The Valara Longboy's variants in formation flight)

Figures as Tested: Regular variant

  • Price::funds:33,766,000
  • Fuel: 1120 kal with 800 more capacity
  • Cruising speed: 285m/s
  • Cruising altitude: 9500m 
  • Fuel burn rate: 0.16kal/s
  • Range: 2000km

Figures as Tested: EX variant

  • Price::funds:40,530,000
  • Fuel: EX:1440 kal with 560 more capacity
  • Cruising speed: 245m/s
  • Cruising altitude: 9500m
  • Fuel burn rate: 0.22kal/s
  • Range: 1600km

Review Notes:

It's long, without a doubt.

In fact, the EX variant might be *too* long. The fuselage visibly 'noodled', for lack of a better term, when flying turns, pitching and such. Also, we were slightly surprised at the positioning of the tail empennage being almost directly behind the exhaust of the jets. This might result in more maintenance needed for the control surfaces, should they deflect into the jetblast.

As with any Valara plane, it possesses incredible roll and yaw authority, not to mention respectable pitch authority. The roll is so powerful that we are able to do a full revolution per second. This power does come at a price though: The plane is extremely sensitive to roll and could spin the brains of our passengers if rolling too hard. Only minute inputs were needed for a sharp roll. During landing, this makes alignment slightly difficult as the plane consistently rolled too far in the opposite direction. Regarding yaw authority, despite the relatively small control surfaces, it is capable of pretty significant sideslipping. During extreme testing, we were able to reach angles of 30 degrees sideslip. However, this does cause an issue during landing, as the plane needs to slip pretty far for the direction of travel to change.

Both variants of the Longboy are also capable of respectable takeoff runs. The regular variant takes 450m, Vr 50m/s to take off while the EX variant requires 750m, Vr 60m/s to take off.

Apropos to the engines, while for the most part the passengers will be fine, we must say that the position of the engines at the rear of the plane, and the fact that they are connected directly to the cabin, will result in 'unfavourable' comfort for the passengers at the rear of the plane.

Perhaps the biggest problem lies in the landing and the design of the nose gear. It is extended by a piston which we guess compensates for the rather tall main landing gear. Upon landing, the piston actually buckled and collapsed in on itself. While it did right itself after the aircraft had come to a stop, the jolt of the landing gear collapsing and the damage to the piston assembly was less than ideal, both for the passengers and maintenance. Furthermore, it was found out that the nose gear would splay to the sides when taxiing at a reasonable speed. In regards to this significant issue, we figure that lowering the plane as a whole (making the main landing gear shorter) would be enough to solve this issue. It would also make maintenance easier as the plane is lower to the ground. Unfortunately, this suggestion is less feasible on the EX variant as its generally long tail could lead to easy tailstrikes.

That being said, landing performance was still admirable. For the regular variant, it had a landing roll of 150m at VTD 50m/s. For the EX variant, it had a landing roll of 300m at VTD 60m/s. We figure that these distances could be made even shorter by incorporating more powerful brakes or the addition of thrust reversers.

In simulated emergency situations, both Longboy variants performed impressively well. Surprising even the executives, both variants were able to take off with only one operating engine. In water ditchings, both were able to successfully ditch, although admittedly the EX variant took a much more significant impact at the nose section.

 

 

The Verdict:

Impressive plane. However, we must implore that you fix the landing gear design.

The regular variant could be useful as a feeder service. It's a relatively quick and comfortable bird (save for the rear passengers). Due to the minute number of moving parts, we figure that maintenance would be pretty easy, although hindered by the plane's tall height from the ground. It's also relatively fuel-efficient, great for the short hops around smaller airports. We'll look into taking 10 of these into our fleet.

However, regarding the EX variant, it has several drawbacks which makes it not-as-worth as the Regular variant. For one, the aforementioned 'noodling' could cause some fuselage damage, which will be costlier to upkeep. The 4 engine layout instead of the regular's 3 also means slightly less efficiency. Despite all this, the increased passenger capacity, almost double the regular variant, could prove useful, and so we'll look at taking 3 of the EX variant.

 

Edited by Maxorin

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