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Kerbin Circumnavigation Challenge - updated for KSP 1.10

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The Kerbin Circumnavigation Challenge 1.10

So, things have changed a great deal in the game since I took the mantle of this challenge.  So it's time for a new leaderboard!

The Challenge: Fly all the way around Kerbin in an air-breathing craft, without landing, refuelling, etc. Rutan Voyager style.

The Rules:

  • Please use KSP 1.10.something.  The aerodynamics and thermals in the game seem to tweak from one major revision to another, so we all need to be using the same model.
  • Stock parts only [Mechjebs AR202 is ok]
  • Your craft must carry a kerbal in a cockpit or capsule. Command seats don't count. (Rule change thanks to Foxster)
  • No mods that change physics/aero/thermal are allowed.
  • Autopilot mods (like Pilot Assistant) are allowed.
  • Informational mods are allowed [Mods that give you Delta-V, TWR, mass, ect.]
  • Only jet engines are allowed for generating thrust.  RAPIERs are fine, as long as they only operate in air-breathing mode.
  • If your craft has 1 or more R.A.P.I.E.R engines, as well as a tank with Oxidizer capacity, you must show your resource panel before takeoff to confirm you are not bringing any Oxidizer.
  • No physics exploits, like intakes inside of fairings, infiniglide (is that still a thing?), kraken drives, sticking nose cones on the back of engines, etc.
  • No electric propellers.
  • Debug menu settings that change the physics of the game will be at default. Informational debug settings are allowed.
  • A runway takeoff is required (You may use VTOL's and STOL's.)
  • You must land back at KSC (runway landing is not required, but you must land within 1.1 Kilometers of it).
  • When your Circumnavigation is finished, show an F3 screenshot for the details of your flight.
  • Do not offset parts to be separate from the craft [They must visually connect]
  • Your aircraft must stay perfectly intact the whole flight [No drop tanks, burn-offs, or otherwise lost parts]
  • You may only do an equatorial or polar Circumnavigation only. None of that 89 degree stuff [Just kidding, but don't deviate too far]
  • No part clipping in order to exploit the game engine.
  • Anything that ruins the spirit of the challenge is also not allowed.
  • Smokey Yunick rule(*): If you find a creative way around the rules, kudos!  I'll allow it once, but since other players won't get to use the same loophole, you'll get an asterisk on the leaderboard

How to submit your entry:

  • If you are going around (Standard or Velocity division), you'll need a screenshot from just before takeoff, a second screenshot somewhere on the opposite side of Kerbin, and one more after you touchdown and come to a complete stop.
  • If you're going around more than once, please also include a screenshot roughly once per circumnavigation.
  • Imgur is an easy place to stick your images
  • Reply to this thread with a link (or embed) of your screenshots.  If you're entering the Velocity division, include your time.  If entering the Voyager division, include the number of times you went around the globe.

There will be three divisions, each with its own leaderboard.  If you complete it, feel free to use the appropriate badge in your signature.


Standard Division

Make it around Kerbin once.  You win by completing it!




Voyager Division

Fly around the globe as many times as possible without stopping or refueling

  1. camacju - 27 circles
  2. jinnantonix - 12 circles
  3. swjr-swis - 11 times around.  With no autopilot!!
  4. Krazy1 - 8 times around


Velocity Division

Make it around as fast as possible!  Lowest time wins!

  1. jinnantonix - 38:36
  2. Bob_Saget54 - 38:54
  3. linuxgurugamer - 38:54
  4. MakerTribe - 39:47
  5. GDJ - 40:13
  6. KingDomino - 40:44
  7. linuxgurugamer - 42:39
  8. Bryson - 43:54
  9. Mars-Bound Hokie - 53:35
  10. Krazy1 - 55:59 (posted in the old thread)
  11. Nantares - 59:43


Mods which you might find useful:

...for those multiple-circle attempts

...for tweaking your craft for maximum performance.  And, so that you don't have to babysit your craft:



Edited by zolotiyeruki
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Thanks for keeping it going. I'm working on a big plane that should do 4 times around in 3 hours... theoretically, based on a few test flights that ended suddenly. I do need to get autopilot working for Voyager. Getting Pilot Assistant in CKAN now. 

How do you feel about Simple Fuel Switch? It changes LFO tanks to LF. Seems like that should be stock IMO. 


Edited by Krazy1
mod question
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I'm interested in this challenge, and I deleted FAR to participate, but I forgot how.....SOUPY.....then stock aero is for this game.
It's easier to land, but I'm finding that I'm missing FAR already and it's only been a day without it.

No matter. If the challenge calls for stock physics, I'll comply.

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Okay, consider this my standard division entry:

The Delta Flyer (Yeah I like Star Trek Voyager too).


Twin Panther Afterburning Jet engines
1200 units of fuel capacity
Cruises easily at Mach 2, can peak out at Mach 3.2

Took off, and pic after reaching speed of 625 m/s and cruising altitude:


Halfway around the planet:

Almost home, and thinking about sprinting to the finish line!

Yeah, lets do it!

Eyeballing the runway, lining things up.


Starting the descent:


And stopped.


So, depending on how the time is calculated, I touched down back on the runway at 1 hour 42 minutes and 23 seconds, but I was within the 1.1 km max distance (1009 metres away from the nav marker).
I was fully stopped at 1 hour 42 minutes 48 seconds and 245 metres from the KSC nav marker.

Either time works for me.  

I have to say this was one of the most relaxing flights ever. Set my speed to just over Mach 2, and let the cruise control take over until landing procedures.

Edited by GDJ
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I believe the clock stops when the plane stops. But I'm not the judge. I'm sure it was fun to fly your plane. Panthers are more enjoyable than Rapiers that I'm fighting with now. Up and down and up and down. I just reinstalled Waypoint Manager - looks like that will help with the approach.  

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9 minutes ago, Krazy1 said:

I believe the clock stops when the plane stops. But I'm not the judge. I'm sure it was fun to fly your plane. Panthers are more enjoyable than Rapiers that I'm fighting with now. Up and down and up and down. I just reinstalled Waypoint Manager - looks like that will help with the approach.  

That is correct--the clock stops when your plane's velocity hits 0.

Nicely done, GDJ.  And in a nice-looking plane as well!  You have been added to the list.  Feel free to enter either of the other two categories!

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3 hours ago, zolotiyeruki said:

There have been times when I've left a flight going overnight :)

I should have but I didn't expect it to go that long. I didn't use Automated Screenshots. I had to learn the hard way I guess. 

So first is the disclosure - I used Simple Fuel Switch. I asked about it above and didn't hear back so I'm hoping no news is good news? It doesn't change the parts, just what's in them. Like putting a basketball in the gas tank. :wink:

9 laps in 6h, 5m, 12s. Rapiers really soar at high altitude.


Imgur post with all screenshots and captions:



Edited by Krazy1
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@Nantares How many passengers?! Yeah I had a similar challenge with overshooting and diving and climbing again... I had to throttle back when it hit 500 m/s and keep the climb angle under 15 deg.  It's odd the engines are overheating but not the nose. 
What's the mod that shows the HUD indicator? The right bottom green icon?

Edited by Krazy1
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Krazy1, I'm really sorry, but I can't allow Fuel Switch (c'mon, Squad or whoever is developing it now, we need 2.5m LF tanks!), since it violates the "stock parts only" constraint.  That said, you may find it of comfort to know that the 2.5m-to-3x1.25m adapters are terribly draggy, and you'd be better served by using Mk1 fuel tanks. :)

Nantares, you get points for style.  Which division would you like to enter with that pass?

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@zolotiyeruki OK. I'm not surprised. I have a long weekend to cry in my beer try again. 

Thanks for the adapter tip. It wasn't obviously that bad but I'll try Mk1. I knew it would be better than surface mounting the engines directly to the tanks or using radial attachment points- that's very bad because it doesn't model any airflow occlusion by the tank (I believe). I think I can go higher anyway.

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41:46 around Kerbin.

Be afraid.Very afraid!  &)

EDIT: Be mostly afraid of my sanity. Flying this fast is like courting Kerbal death. One false maneuver and POOF!

Edited by GDJ
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1 hour ago, Bob_Saget54 said:


Finally, after about 10 failed attempts with landing, it has been done. A blistering 40:19 around Kerbin, including an unfortunate loss of control due to fuel balance. I'm sure I could do better if I remember to transfer fuel forward before final descent.

Oh ho ho ho! Competition! I LOVE it!

Seriously, excellent flight and time. Since we both really can't go faster than 1745 or so, it's all technique and how well we can descend and stick our missiles-with-wings down on the ground.

2 hours ago, Bob_Saget54 said:

We've got a new competitor in the works. Test trials proved times of sub-40 minutes are possible, but I need to learn how to land it properly.

GDJ has a point, the hardest part about this flight is the slow-down. My airbrakes keep overheating lol.

Mine too. I had to kick them on and off before they blew up.

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Upon careful consideration of my attempt, and realizing that the plane wasn't at a full stop, I've decided to try it again with a much better and less self-destructive landing gear.

Behold! The adventures of the Lawn Dart Mk. 9, complete with more photos!


The dart in cruise, Beazy Kermen is debating why he chose to fly in this death-trap of a machine


Mandatory post about the quarter-way around Kerbin point (roughly)



Approach, descent, and full stop on the KSC runway with an even faster time of 39:19! This plane was much easier to control with a newly-installed counterweight, as well as a revised landing gear that doesn't want to flip the plane during any ground maneuvers.

I think I should try for an endurance challenge next... We're loosing money since these air frames can only be used once...

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3 hours ago, zolotiyeruki said:

Why can they only be used once?

At the speeds that the air frames travel, only Jeb is brave enough to get back in one after a flight. The wings, gear, and nose cone have a perpetual overheat bar during the flight except for takeoff and landing, so none of the other pilots want to fly a half-melted aircraft

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