JadeOfMaar

[WIP] Jade's Dev Thread - Sterling Engines

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Posted (edited)

With OPT development largely out of my way now I'm shifting my focus onto part packs that I have started and don't count as adopted and maintained.

For reasons™ I'm going to keep this post short and just list a few not-too-big things currently in my sights.

  1. Sterling Engines
    This is an expanded title which will contain my proposed SABR3 Sterling parts, remade and less ugly, and more jet engines (including nuclear options that were requested a lot in the SABR3 Sterling thread). This title makes reference to the term "Silver Sterling" and is not to be confused with the "Stirling Engine" thermoelectric generator.
  2. Rational Resources
    To add all of the planned and missing parts for more ISRU opportunities, and to deprecate all of the borrowed models-- the cloned bread tanks, the ZZZ boxes, and the old school HECS probe core model used by the scanners need to go. Stirling engines (the power source) may appear here. Actually, this one is kinda big so I don't want to list anything else.
Edited by JadeOfMaar

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Posted (edited)

Sterling Engines

Rebrand of, and expansion upon my partially abandoned SABR3 Sterling project. It also assimilates a portion of the advanced plans for my old mod Thor Tech and partially answers the call for certain engines missing from stock. @Redacted @Northstar1989 I bet you guys will be happy to see this. :)

Planned items:

  • 1.25m, 1.875m, Mk2 turboprop engine.
  • 1.875m turbofan engine with mount for a small rocket engine.
  • 1.875m turboramjet engine (Whiplash alike) based on the P&W F135.
  • 2.5m jet engine ("SCIMITAR," concept by Reaction Engines, child concept of SABRE).
  • 2.5m, 3.75m SABRE (separate parts only, no compound engine this time).
  • Propfan/Contraprop UDF engines based on the GE36, Antonov An-22, An-70.
  • 1.25m, Mk2, maybe 2.5m scramjet.
  • A suite of RCS thrusters like in Thor Tech. No more clones. All will use B9PS for fuel switching like with OPT spaceplane RCS.
  • 1.25m, 2.5m toroidal aerospikes.
  • Nacelles/Intakes where appropriate.
  • Curved SABR3 intakes will not return.

Suggestions open.

Edited by JadeOfMaar

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One thing i see missing from the game is viable "small" jet motors for 1.25 or less. It's likely that your work could help here.

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4 hours ago, JadeOfMaar said:

2.5m jet engine ("SCIMITAR," concept by Reaction Engines, child concept of SABRE)

Just one thing that I noticed, Near Future Aeronautics also has a SCIMITAR engine. Won't that cause some mod conflicts?

 

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Idea: a combined cycle engine, SABRE style, with an RDE combustion chamber and Aerospike nozzle, arranged around a traditional central nozzle.

As an extension to the idea, MPDT with airbreathing mode and closed cycle, or an electric boost mode for above design that boosts exhaust velocity with MPDT derived technology.

So an engine that would have switchable mode for air/oxidiser, and a boost toggle that adds Ec to the mix. Efficiency of Ec consumption and propellant mix adjusted to suit gameplay balance, But I'd imagine if you arc-boosted, you'd want a nuclear reactor onboard, or a ton of solar in orbit.

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4 hours ago, Redacted said:

One thing i see missing from the game is viable "small" jet motors for 1.25 or less. It's likely that your work could help here.

Are you thinking of use cases such as where 1.25m planes have Juno engine clusters? Or 1.25m jet engines for Eve? I have that covered, at least partially.

3 hours ago, Misguided_Kerbal said:

Just one thing that I noticed, Near Future Aeronautics also has a SCIMITAR engine. Won't that cause some mod conflicts?

No. There will be no conflict.

2 hours ago, Gryphorim said:

Idea: a combined cycle engine, SABRE style, with an RDE combustion chamber and Aerospike nozzle, arranged around a traditional central nozzle.

As an extension to the idea, MPDT with airbreathing mode and closed cycle, or an electric boost mode for above design that boosts exhaust velocity with MPDT derived technology.

So an engine that would have switchable mode for air/oxidiser, and a boost toggle that adds Ec to the mix. Efficiency of Ec consumption and propellant mix adjusted to suit gameplay balance, But I'd imagine if you arc-boosted, you'd want a nuclear reactor onboard, or a ton of solar in orbit.

  • A hollow (toroidal) RDE that allows another engine to be mounted through it? (I intend to make a convention out of my SABRE ramjet ring being a separate part/engine.) Or a hollow RDE with a typical engine welded and in its center (so that it's one part, easy for switching/action grouping)?
  • I'm not aware of any examples of an MPDT that can produce enough thrust for crewed spacecraft...except that of the Endurance ship (sci-fi movie). As on Wikipedia there are a few nice options for MPDT propellants. That's the easiest part to do. I guess this is for large probes or any use case where the stock NERVA is effective.

 

The new SABRE Sterling models

  • 3.75m ramjet ring. Will have a stack node for other engines to mount through it.
  • 3.75m ramjet ring and nested rocket.
  • 3.75m nested rocket alone with its own cowl/boat tail for flush mount to 3.75m stack.

bBRsKiG.png

  • 2.5m SABRE ramjet ring and nested rocket.
  • 3.75m SABRE engines.
  • 2.5m SCIMITAR engine. Unlike Nertea's SCIMITAR, this is not an SSTO engine. It's a super-efficient hybrid/exotic jet engine which uses the SABRE intercooler and allows airplanes to cruise at Mach 5. In my opinion it would be the highest thing to unlock in the line of non-spaceplane jet engines in stock.

YuHnWwc.pngs007kyN.png

Extra

  • 1.875m F135-based engine. The big Whiplash. No codename yet. After this (in progression) comes the SCIMITAR mentioned above. No 2.5m Whiplash is happening. I think I can get the turkey feathers to animate properly in-game. There's no animation at all on it right now but I'm prepared for it.

lBS0FnP.pngaS50aWZ.png

 

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I really like the concept of the ramjet-ring as this will allow the user to mix and match what goes inside the ring.

Case in point... want to add a Nerv or an ion-engine. Maybe add a docking point or tail cone to reduce drag. Lots of options with potential synergy here!

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Posted (edited)
On 6/10/2020 at 4:37 PM, JadeOfMaar said:
  • A hollow (toroidal) RDE that allows another engine to be mounted through it? (I intend to make a convention out of my SABRE ramjet ring being a separate part/engine.) Or a hollow RDE with a typical engine welded and in its center (so that it's one part, easy for switching/action grouping)?
  • I'm not aware of any examples of an MPDT that can produce enough thrust for crewed spacecraft...except that of the Endurance ship (sci-fi movie). As on Wikipedia there are a few nice options for MPDT propellants. That's the easiest part to do. I guess this is for large probes or any use case where the stock NERVA is effective.

 

 

For the first point: Whichever allows you the flexibility for what you want to achieve. I've been researching RDEs ever since they were brought up in my uni this year (Aerospace propulsion.) They seem to inherently have a toroidal or annular shape, so either could work. You could describe both the ramjet ring and the core engine as RDEs.
As an aside, I see no reason why, with sufficient tech, an RDE couldn't be stretched into a near linear form, with detonation travelling like the belt of a conveyor. Mk2 fuselage possibilities for the future?

As for the second point, I'm mostly referring to this: https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/a32405613/microwave-air-plasma-thrusters-compete-jet-engines/ promising research. Probably an absolute power hog, as it's still very much experimental, but it looks high thrust, potentially. I saw another article about a NTR that boosts exhaust using an Arcjet, to give near nuclear lightbulb isp. in theory at least. I think it was called the scorpion engine. 
Basically, I figured that based on the concepts above, it should be possible to electrically heat exhaust from any jet or rocket, and accelerate it well past the chemical limits, if there were enough power available.

Having some alternate thrust generation options for the ring engine and core engine, to allow players to mix and match would be pretty cool.
Imagine electric ring around high-thrust core, or vice-versa. Or optional nuclear versions, for those so radiologically inclined, or having the ring or core being set up as RCS controlled and the other as main engine control. Or going way off the deep end, a long aerospike sci-fi drive and ion ring drive for Star Wars prequel fans.

Edited by Gryphorim

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Turboprop and Propfan collection

The following engines, including a comic relief 1.25m or smaller engine (for very small planes, not drafted yet) are my offering for their collective niche and all will be able to operate in atmospheres without oxygen. Along with SABRE, SCIMITAR and the big Whiplash, I think stock will be quite nicely filled in.

  • 1.25m turboprop engine based on a product of Hartzell Propeller Inc. Expecting 1.875m and Mk2 frames/variants, and a 3-blade version.
    icLTaDl.png
  • 1.875m heavy propfan engines based on the Antonov Design Bureau. Bigger brother to the stock J-90 engine. What if your Virgin Stratolauncher was made by soviets?
    aHDDqwJ.png  jF4XEvQ.png
  • The GE36 propfan. Big brother to the stock J-90. Will include pylon. It's designed for 1.25m (well, just the blades and tail. The body spans nearly 1.5m).
    4XKsyXG.png

 

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If you're looking into doing prop engines, there is one I'd like to request.

A (preferrably) stackable prop engine with folding props, so that in it's retracted state, has minimal protrusion from the size of the mounting points. 

This could make for an ideal Eve engine, or could be incorporated into spaceplane designs, to allow for a powered final approach on landing.

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Love your mods Jade. You and Linuxgurugamer are keeping KSP alive and well.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/15/2020 at 3:46 AM, JadeOfMaar said:

@Gryphorim I've pondered this on and off since you raised your request... I ended up with this chart: 7qXkso1.png

That is awesome! An inline ducted fan and or a foldable prop would potentially be great for an Eve ascent vehicle with minimal radial size, so it can be delivered to Eve without a mushroom fairing assembly.

 

Edit: Assuming it were electric or could run on internal oxidiser, like a fuel cell does.

Edited by Gryphorim

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5 hours ago, Gryphorim said:

That is awesome! An inline ducted fan and or a foldable prop would potentially be great for an Eve ascent vehicle with minimal radial size, so it can be delivered to Eve without a mushroom fairing assembly.

Yep. Foldable would stow neatly meanwhile Stackable could be capped off with a dedicated intake or nose cone for aero and thermal optimization.

5 hours ago, Gryphorim said:

Edit: Assuming it were electric or could run on internal oxidiser, like a fuel cell does.

All of those options will be available. The OPT VTOL engines are demonstrators for this.

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Would it be possible to include the option to have the turbo-props be run from electric?

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Awesome a useful electric turboprop would be excellent. What about a Hybrid Prop or engine, something like what Boeing and CFM are working on? With the ability to have regenerative power and running electric only at certain power levels. Not even sure if thats possible but would be awesome to have some hybrid options finally.

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18 hours ago, KIMCHI said:

What about a Hybrid Prop or engine -snip- running electric only at certain power levels.

Easily done. I believe I can use thrust curve to force the electric mode to die when EC levels reach a certain minimum. I would make this into the inline ducted fan (suggested above), maybe as an upgrade (or not) to the Hartzell turboprop I've shown above, and maybe an airliner engine smaller than the stock J-90. I don't think I want the GE36 to be hybrid. And the Antonov engines definitely won't be.

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16 hours ago, JadeOfMaar said:

Easily done. I believe I can use thrust curve to force the electric mode to die when EC levels reach a certain minimum. I would make this into the inline ducted fan (suggested above), maybe as an upgrade (or not) to the Hartzell turboprop I've shown above, and maybe an airliner engine smaller than the stock J-90. I don't think I want the GE36 to be hybrid. And the Antonov engines definitely won't be.

Absolutely perfect! This will really give us a lot of interesting options! I am going to be interested to see how people implement this.

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I answered a request thread, taking it as a challenge and an exercise to prototype the texture styling for the Sterling parts. Too much (by surface area) of this engine is shiny, not to my liking, but it's shiny within reason (it's not all 100% shiny like some TU patch mods do to the stock parts).

Spoiler

The reference engine: JetCat brand P300-RX mini turbine engine for model aircraft.

Uv3gLXD.png

First image is a render in Cinema 4D.

riVMWml.png

3aAJizg.jpg5Y2P0Pc.jpgPigugaC.jpgkJQ1tFc.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Mk3 Intakes

  • Turbofan
  • Ram (dual-chamber)
  • Shock Cone

These are not planned to have open/close animations. They will have differing operating speed ranges just like stock intakes. I may make them a fair bit longer so that they have convincing volume for holding engine internals (or use as precoolers).

hdYQgbr.png

The "dual chamber" Mk3 ram intake brings the assumption or expectation to physically and most naturally direct supersonic or hypersonic air streams to two rows of air-breathing engines on the back, specifically linear ramjets or scramjets.

y6Te6CO.png

 

Mk3 Engine

I made a rule not to produce Mk3 engines (The stock Mk3-3.75m adapter is your best friend.) but I gave in to a strong tug to make a matched "dual chamber" Mk3 ramjet or scramjet to accompany it. This engine is unique enough to deserve to be made.

To maximize the one use case for this engine (air-breathing sustainer engine for Mk3 spaceplanes) I will allow it to serve as both a ramjet and scramjet (derived from the RBCC, "Rocket-Based Combined Cycle" engine concept) and be operational from as low as Mach 1 up to Mach 12. Or better yet, I may make this a complete RBCC engine, having a rocket mode included. Comments?

itGX1dK.png

Complete nacelle with Mk3 mono tank (temporary filler) between intake and engine.

KiMYHn0.png

Edited by JadeOfMaar

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I'm in no position to give even a rough date yet. I've finally listed just about all the parts I want to make and it's quite a lot.

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Mk2 Engines

I love spaceplanes. And I love spaceplanes whose fuselage have lifting surface, so there's a guarantee for an array of Mk2 shaped engines. Note: These are still in the (well-colored) 3D sketch phase. They're not at all playable yet.

  • Linear aerospike
  • Turbojets
  • Scramjet & Shcramjet

Linear aerospike

My vision for the Mk2 linear spike isn't quite as beautiful as I'd like, but where it fails in style, it makes up in raw form. This one is designed to nearly make a seamless wall when stacked horizontally (so it tapers from Mk2 shape into a rounded rectangle). Such can't be done well or at all with the QuizTech engine (which I loved way back in the 1.0.5/1.1 days). I might revise this but I can't see how, as yet, anyway.

iacsRLy.png

Turbojets

Mk2 Expansion's engines alone made me pretty happy. They've inspired the designs here. I've worked out how I'll setup vectoring nozzle action for these so they won't be static when gimballing. These are Whiplash-class engines and will bring much bang for the buck. The mono-jet (with 1.7m chamber) intends to have greater performance or be more versatile than the bi-jet but I can't decide what/how. I'm considering a rocket form to the uni-jet but there's a myriad of use cases to pick from and of nozzles to create to answer them. Perhaps I'll make an engine cowl/plate and call it a day. kfE6sOK.png

Scramjet & Shcramjet

I was advised quite a bit where these are concerned. These are arguably the ones trying hardest to be scientifically accurate. A lot of care was paid to the intake and exit geometry to be faithful to the reference "Waverider" engine shapes and flat surfaces but also to deal with a conflicting awkwardness caused by the Mk2 profile.

To those not in the know, a scramjet (upper row) and shcramjet (lower row) are very much not the same thing.

8lb2SPp.png

In addition to Mk2, there will be a 2.5m scramjet, a 1.25m shcramjet, and the Mk3 RBCC engine (rocket, ramjet, scramjet) a few pots above.

 

Mk3 intakes improved look

The turbofan's blades are better now (vs the previous sketch), the shock cone will get to extend/ retract, and their lengths will now differ according to their assumed internals...or lack thereof. Matched Mk2 intakes TBA.

aSpTJ6k.png

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On 7/7/2020 at 1:15 PM, JadeOfMaar said:

 Mk3 Engine

I made a rule not to produce Mk3 engines (The stock Mk3-3.75m adapter is your best friend.) but I gave in to a strong tug to make a matched "dual chamber" Mk3 ramjet or scramjet to accompany it. This engine is unique enough to deserve to be made.

To maximize the one use case for this engine (air-breathing sustainer engine for Mk3 spaceplanes) I will allow it to serve as both a ramjet and scramjet (derived from the RBCC, "Rocket-Based Combined Cycle" engine concept) and be operational from as low as Mach 1 up to Mach 12. Or better yet, I may make this a complete RBCC engine, having a rocket mode included. Comments?

An RBCC engine sounds amazing, and already powerful as a ram/scramjet combination. I have mixed feelings, however, about the inclusion of a rocket engine. It WOULD be cool, and it WOULD also be accurate to the real concept if it was a ducted rocket engine. It would, also, make high payload fraction JNSQ spaceplanes possible. Take that as you will with your vision for these engines. Finally, it is possible that including a rocket engine would cause this to be an easy solution, something that creates a plug-and-play approach to SSTOs not only by power, like stock-scale rapier, but also versatility. While combining three powerful modes in one admittedly large part may save on part count and mass, it might be too powerful.

My opinion in the end is that this third mode would make an excellent addition to this, although I do have some reservations about how overpowered it might be. Just guessing that the power level of this and degree of absolutely insane aerospace stuff in it, it seems like a level or two below OPT. In my head, an RBCC sounds perfect.

 

TL;DR:

RBCC is cool, don’t make it too powerful.

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