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100% Stock Airship: The Kindenburg!


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Hey Y'all!

Many past players have used all sorts of means to simulate airships in KSP, from jet engines to control surface spamming to landing gear glitches and even awesome mods like HooliganLabs. Since the game will calculate lift on an aerodynamic body regardless of how it's occluded (unless it's inside a fairing/cargo bay), we can build a helicopter that sure looks a whole heck of a lot like an airship using the new DLC parts. To this end, I've got another entry into the stock airship category:

 

L2ZRn38.png

 

The Kindenburg utilizes two R7000 Turboshaft engines with 16 medium helicopter blades each, mounted to counter-rotate inside the wing-only section of the envelope. Outside the envelope along the sides, there are two electric rotors with duct blades which will provide our forward thrust. The lift engines are fed by liquid fuel and intake air, while the rotors and reaction wheels are run by the lift engine alternators along with a pair of fuel cells. The crew capacity is 10: 2 in the lander can, and 8 in the upside-down modules. Hanging the passenger modules upside-down was mainly for aesthetic reasons, as I found it to be the best and easiest way to make a good looking passenger module for an airship. I hear bats love to travel in this thing.

 

l8FLtA7.png

 

Action Groups:

AG1) Toggle lift engines power and fuel cells

AG2) Toggle forward engines

AG3) Toggle ladder

 

Flying the thing can be a little tricky. The lift engines are mapped to the main throttle via RPM limit, and a throttle level of 1/2 corresponds to roughly neutral buoyancy. When taking off, it's best to do so with a little forward velocity for stability. Start out by hitting AG1 and releasing the breaks, then hit AG2 to start moving forward. Set your autopilot to prograde lock. Once you pick up speed, throttle up to ~1/2 thrust and you'll be off the ground. Don't try to gain altitude too quickly, otherwise you'll pitch up too far, flip out, and crash. Keep your nose close to the horizon and rely primarily on yaw for steering, bumping the throttle up and down from neutral buoyancy for pitch. Yaw works better for steering while at low speeds, but at higher speeds rolling is preferable. I've gotten it up to ~60 m/s at sea level, but you can probably push it beyond this. When landing, shut off the forward engines and deploy the gear. The massive drag of the fairings will slow you down, so drop the throttle slightly to descend and touchdown, then reapply the breaks.

 

Craft file: https://kerbalx.com/Jamie_Logan/Kindenburg

 

Gallery:

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OH THE HUMANITY!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this, please check out my last post too (also an unconventional vehicle novelty):

9IkUHxK.png

 

Edited by Jamie Logan
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/26/2020 at 7:33 AM, SchweinAero said:

Wonder if it's possible to lock the lift rotors to the up vector.

Good question. It is, but only if the control point on the lander can is set to "up" instead of "forward". Unfortunately, doing this will flip the yaw/roll axes and the SAS seems to just freak out. Maybe there's a way around this?

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