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Wheesley + Nerv SSTO!


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The Wheesley is a wonderful engine. It's not particularly wonderful for SSTOs, but hey it's pretty fuel efficient and the thrust reverser is a nice feature.

Like the Wheesley, the Nerv is also very fuel efficient.

So the only logical course of action is to combine them!

The aim of this challenge is to build a crewed SSTO powered solely by the J-33 "Wheesley" jet engine and LV-N "Nerv" Atomic rocket motor, which can take off from the KSC and fly to a stable 70x70 orbit and return intact.


There will be two categories:

1. Lightest launch mass.

2. Most delta-V in orbit.


In both cases, the pilot must be in a cockpit or command pod. This does not include lawn chairs, passenger cabins, ladders or storage bays.

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Here's my submission - I took it to Laythe also because I had enough delta-v in orbit.

Mass 37 tons, delta-v in orbit 2102. This is nowhere near as much optimization as I could get but it's a useful proof of concept I guess.

To fly it, climb at 10 degrees until you hit 20 km, and turn on the nukes once their Isp reaches 400. Then stay at 20 km until you hit 2000 m/s. Pitch up and fly the rest like a normal rocket.

Edited by camacju
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I changed the ascent profile a bit. I noticed I was burning at a high angle of attack at 20 km until I got up to 1300 m/s, which meant that I was relying on the engines and not the wings for lift, wasting fuel.

I fly at 10 km until 700 m/s, then climb to 15 km until 1300 m/s, then finally 20 km until 2000 m/s, at which point I push to orbit.

30 tons, 1188 m/s remaining in orbit.

For this craft I added more wing strakes and took off some of the Mk1 fuel tanks. I also added more air intake to get more impulse out of the jet engines, and removed one jet engine.

I could probably take off 7 more tons

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I built it not for challenge (because of 2 kerbals on board. with 1 i can make better BUT WHY? (i name ship the same :)  ), but for my game (sent kerbals to station). Just cool pics (this is really nice craft) for U.  29.6 tonns and 1.185m/s at LKO . You can make 2 kerbals leaderbord...but why? :) 










It is Much harder to make "Goliath" SSTO. Hell it is Hard to make! i have one. if you need pic here - looks like flying pregnant penguin...so i name it ..........





10966dab974f.pngyeah we have only 5 m/s at LKO =) look Jeb smile =) (as usual) BUT hi in chair.... not cockpit...

Edited by *MajorTom*
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/2/2020 at 8:11 PM, PaperAviator said:

I managed a wheesley and nerv SSTO that was only 8.X tons to orbit, but it can't reenter without the intake burning off

If you are interested in sharing the craft file, then I'm interested in trying to landing it. I haven't seen an SSTO yet that can't be brought back down without overheating. 

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