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Kerbin Helicopter Circumnavigation


Hotel26
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Hi @Hotel26

Great challange. :) Quick question: Would you consider a flight that was not meant to be a first leg as such? I´ve been toying around with tandem helicopters lately and one design just kept on going and going and at one point I thought, let´s fly to the dessert airfield.

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climbing up to the mountains - cape dessert - almost there

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I didn´t think I could participate because with my other helis this would take far too long and I could throw my wrists in the bin afterwards, but at one point during this flight I said to myself "wow, this one could do it."

One problem: There is no probe core on this craft, so no coordinates so far, but I think I could clamp one into the cargo bay if you would find that agreeable.

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30 minutes ago, KerrMü said:

Would you consider a flight that was not meant to be a first leg as such?

Yes, it's good because the important thing is that you did it.  Just register your start point and then continue on.  (Did you start at KSC?)  Be mindful of visiting the antipode (opposite point of the globe) and then return to the start point (by any route) and you will have conducted a good circumnavigation.  Please keep us updated and good luck!!

30 minutes ago, KerrMü said:

There is no probe core on this craft, so no coordinates so far, but I think I could clamp one into the cargo bay if you would find that agreeable.

There is some way to get the coords of a landed craft without a probe core.  I believe you can do it maybe in the Map View.  Yes, hover over a landed/splashed target in Map View and its coords will be displayed.

Welcome to the Expedition!!  (Very impressive machine you have there, too!)

Edited by Hotel26
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Cool!

8fzwfM1.png

Probe core delivered. First leg seen above: Starting point: KSC 0° 2' S, 74° 43' W End: Dessert Airfield 6°31' S, 144° 1' W Duration: 172 minutes. I´m in :D . Gonna top up the 19% fuel I´ve used so far and carry on later today. (will probably take a little while though)

30 minutes ago, Hotel26 said:

 Please keep us updated and good luck!!

You too mate, you too. Godspeed :)

 

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Great looking craft, @KerrMü.  What's the top speed of that bad boy? Judging by the duration of your first leg, I'm guessing around 75 m/s.

Flight update #1

LodwBGu.png

Leg 1
Departed
: Desert Temple(-6.5, -141.7) @ 0d 4h20m
Arrival: Inland Space Center (20.67, -146.42) @ 1d 0h11m

Leg 2
Departed: Inland Space Center (20.67, -146.42) @ 1d 0h22m
Arrival: Crashed Saucer (81.95, -128.51) @ 1d 4h23m

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Short and peaceful flight over the desert and picturesque mountains - until it's time to slow down and land. This contraption is so hard to maneuver and likes to flip over, at which point it's game over.
Managed to finally touch down successfully and let out a sigh of relief.

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Climbed up to 4500m at the start to dodge taller mountains. Thought it would be fine to fly this leg in the night, since most of the way was just plain and boring grasslands.
Flipped over and crashed once but luckily had no troubles landing this time.

Next destinations: Strange Helipad (located at the opposite side of the globe to Desert Temple) and CommNet Station.

Edited by silks
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11 minutes ago, silks said:

Great looking craft, @KerrMü.  What's the top speed of that bad boy? Judging by the duration of your first leg, I'm guessing around 75 m/s.

Thanks :) . Yeah, pretty much spot on.  Top stable speed at sea level is around 66m/s. At 5000m its around 80 but on average I tried to keep it around 75.  Six km from the Dessert Airfield during the descend the speedometer hit 110 when the heli made a half loop and fell out of the sky. I barely managed to recover and flared out at around 30m above ground...

7dtmsw9.gif

I don´t want to repeat that. EVER! (sry, I just made that gif. couldn´t resist ;) )

 

You have my utter respect for doing this in a stock bearig helicopter. BRAVO! My bearings were never quite stable enough. Keep it up. :)

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59 minutes ago, KerrMü said:

(sry, I just made that gif. couldn´t resist ;) )

Don't be. Use it as your profile pic! Or something. I like it.

Thanks for the inspiration, BTW. Still working on mine.

Edited by NH04
No reason. Just forgot to add something.
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Leg 8 [prev] [next] [progress]

qWkWSKC.png   1GGYMC4.png   EcLsPLp.png   SQ5TgfG.png   [click & arrows]

Departed: -1.14/-133.24 @ 3.160.5.38    Airborne: 26m    Heading: 245    Distance: 126.0 km    Altitude: 3.1 km    Arrival: -6.53/-144.03

The majority of the terrain on this leg was flat but flying a helicopter is never boring.  We felt like we were being wafted along by thermals, as the machine climbed easily and the airspeed was generally 'hovering' around 95 m/s.  In truth, Dick has become adept at tuning the flight controls.  He even feels he might get that 170 km endurance the support crew had predicted.

(First shot above: a glimpse of the Temple in the left distance.  Fourth shot: "finding a parking place".  "Las Vegas", as the pilots call it, is one of the busiest airports, with multiple Air-Sea Rescue crews operating out of here.)

A big relief and a lot of satisfaction making this first, major milestone.  :)

bX62fSq.png

 

Edited by Hotel26
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Leg #2 from Dessert Airfield 6° 31' S, 144° 1' W  to the Crater Rim Tracking Station 9° 26' N, 172° 6' W. It was an uneventful but beautiful flight lasting 103 minutes.

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We´ll be staying here for the night. I wouldn´t want to cross the ocean in the dark and the view is amazing. :)

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Btw: The crew consists of Mirke, Elson (pilots), Philemy and Roley (flight engineers) who are smirking all the time. We´re just having a lovely time. :)

Edit: Don´t park on the tracking stations. Bad idea! I just hit m and the heli exploded. Had to F9 for the first time in this endeavor to my first landing spot and suddenly there are trees everywhere. :D

QAPT7AN.png

Edited by KerrMü
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Flight update #2

kZhzyoA.png

Leg 3
Departed: Crashed Saucer (81.95, -128.51) @ 1d 4h30m
Arrival: Strange Helipad - antipode of Desert Temple (6.5, 38.3) @ 2d 4h12m

Leg 4
Departed: Strange Helipad (6.5, 38.3) @ 3d 0h52m
Arrival: CommNet Station (-11.95, 33.73) @ 3d 2h16m

Crossed the polar cap and ocean during the day, ending with a landing pad. Misjudged the distance of this long flight and had to land in pitch dark as a result.

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Had a few close calls with gorgeous mountain tips and tipped over after landing on a slope.  I guess these prop bearings also work as safety bumpers - the blades remained intact.

bd2H0m0.pngEoEfoAH.pngpxxattE.pngFE82p40.pngO4L5vlF.pngqB5xrtg.png

Third and final update will be a video of compiled flight footage.

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25 minutes ago, KerrMü said:

Edit: Don´t park on the tracking stations. Bad idea!

Haha I was just wondering if I made a mistake by avoiding that nice flat surface. But yeah, collision detection on these structures don't seem to work in map view, so the craft falls through (learned that on KSC 2 roof).

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2 minutes ago, silks said:

snip

First time that happened to me. Hey, congrats to reaching your antipode coordinates. The strange heli platform is a really nice touch. :)

Oh guys, I´ve been staying up to watch the SN8 flight. absoulutely incredible. But now it´s bedtime. More flying tomorrow. Good night/day to you all.

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Regroup [prev] [next] [progress]

5ACVXx4.png   5A7qBfh.png   3lLquLT.png   [click & arrows]

As the whole team enjoys a little R&R in "Vegas" (Dessert Strip), Logistics are taking the opportunity to regroup the mission, based on progress so far...

Mitlas Kerman [shot 1] got the Pterodactyl airborne after the Chippewa had radioed in a successful landing at the Strip, only to note a low fuel gauge.  Yup.  Funny how one keeps doing the sums on the calculator and it keeps falling short, but the pilot's mind continues to hope the flight is going to make it somehow.  9 kms or so before reaching the Strip, the Pterodactyl flamed out.  Touch-down at a mercifully slow 33 m/s in the blinding dessert [sic] glare.  Mitlas, following Air-Sea Rescue regulations, used his electronic wristwatch to dial in the coordinates to the sats above, to command the teleport recovery of the equipment, after he had first unloaded the Gryphon.  The drive back to the Strip wasn't too bad and another fuel truck is always welcome at Base!

Amelia Kerman experienced no such problem in the Euler and touched down without trouble.  Her machine, too,  was recycled, leaving Amelia in the bar for some catch-up with the lads.  Her new ride, a brand new Manta++ [shot 2], containing an Invader rover and a Gryphon III fuel truck.  (The Pterodactyl simply didn't carry enough fuel to last very long in the field as a fuel resupplier  for the expedition.)  The Manta++ carries so much fuel that the Strip Base Commander insisted it be parked on the other side of the runway, far from the flight line!

Dick Smith, naturally enough (being the financial backer of the expedition), also received new equipment: a brand new Chippewa LR [shot 3], with long-range skid tanks that more than double its LF capacity.  The LR has the same cruise characteristics as the base model -- just longer range, presumably.  It hasn't been tested yet, but it may also be able to alight on water and stay serviceable.  (The base model simply turns over, blades in the water, quite useless.)

Thanks to all others who have reported in, especially for their peachy-keen tourist snaps!!  I've posted an Honor Roll in the OP and a Participation Badge should be ready by the end of the week.  Cheers!

Edited by Hotel26
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Leg 9 [prev] [next] [progress]

0vzzvR6.png   eLdKgTI.png   OlGEAKJ.png   tL7wGlU.png   [click & arrows]

Departed: -6.53/-144.03 @ 3.163.0.15    Airborne: 62m    Heading: 295    Distance: 293.8 km    Altitude: 6.1 km    Arrival: 5.46/-170.07

Dick is very happy with the new, long-range Chippewa LR!  Leg 9 was a big, 300 km push and is still possibly only 75% of what the LR can do.

A pleasant surprise was to see Ben Creag come into view.  (Amelia phoned it in when she landed her new Juice Goose[1] just behind it.  Yes, the Logistics team talked Dick out of using the massive, 147t Manta++, which would have been a nightmare.)

For the very observant reader (with a monocle), close examination of shot 3 above may reveal the location of the remains of some other, unfortunate rotary pilot who has left the remains of his machine dumped into a twisted heap on the slopes of Ben Creag.  (Nobody hurt, but a nasty lesson about what happens when you get your blades out of the power band...)


QrqNlWl.png

 

[1] Juice Goose is another reverse-engineered knock-off that I happily credit @purpleivan for.  It carries a heap of fuel and its nose claw is near-perfect for refueling the Chippewa...

Edited by Hotel26
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Leg 10 [prev] [next] [progress]

BkIdBkA.png   FqDNb6H.png   KOxJU7v.png   csknEVZ.png   [click & arrows]

Departed: 5.46/-170.07 @ 3.164.0.36   Airborne: 70m    Heading: 240    Distance: 333.1 km    Altitude: 5.2 km    Arrival: -10.794/161.983

Mostly an over-water leg, but some pretty scenery.  This is the Juice Goose in action, refueling the Chippewa.

TiGmjaF.png

 

Edited by Hotel26
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Leg 11 [prev] [next] [progress]

SgfqDkw.png   5wVVMxJ.png   lqpzcTz.png   1gyy9ia.png   [click & arrows]

Departed: -10.794/161.983 @ 3.167.1.38   Airborne: 48m    Heading: 240    Distance: 237.7 km    Altitude: 2.8 km    Arrival: -10.017/138.732

Flight over the Land of the Lakes.  (Mission Control has 2 weeks leave from IRL, starting today.  Yahoo.)  2020 will come to a conclusion and so, too, will this mission!!

 

Edited by Hotel26
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Leg 12 [prev] [next] [progress]

4DvgeeS.png   HtxXtRl.png   yYiv8NW.png   560XzX9.png   [click & arrows]

Departed: -10.017/138.732 @ 3.178.1.56   Airborne: 26m    Heading: 240    Distance: 157.7 km    Altitude: 0.5 km    Arrival: -17.151/125.015

Dick Smith will refer to this flight in his subsequent autobiography as his "Apocalypse Now run".

Flying low over water, he had time to discover that the Chippewa's top speed could be extended from 100 m/s to 113-115 m/s by selecting SAS Sfc Prograde and then dialing the collective back to 0.  (@ralanboyle is going to say, "well, I did tell you".)

The difficulty was in dialing back for the transition.  Dick says he has finally gotten it through his millionaire brain that the most reliable method to transition back to the hover is to maintain a modestly positive climb rate of 1-2 m/s while the airspeed decreases, using attitude to maintain that climb and, only finally, pulling up collective approaching the real hover.  Well, the engineers have said it's only the landing pontoons that took the 15 m/s impact that have to be replaced and, rather luckily, they have that in their standard kit.  Repairs will be made and the mission will continue!

Just to remind everybody that the KHC Challenge is primarily an endurance challenge, although not limited to that single aspect.  Only those who continue to the end, ehm...  will make it to the end.  Figuratively speaking.  You know what I mean...

[Update: I've added the correct images, now.]

Edited by Hotel26
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  • 2 months later...

I'm very impressed by all the stunning helicopters you guys made!

I also made a (much less impressive) helicopter a while back. Does this count as a valid entry? I only did a equatorial circumnavigation though ... it took me around 7 hours to complete. 

 

 

Edited by xendelaar
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I just found this challenge, and I'm now attempting a polar circumnavigation (with the obligatory stop at the other side of the planet) with a helicopter designed to do this in one fell swoop.

Pictures will come soon, she's pretty slow at only 68.5 meters per second but she is very stable with autopilot

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5 hours ago, Bob_Saget54 said:

now attempting a polar circumnavigation

Good on you!

I myself hadn't forgotten about this and was still hoping to be only the second recipient of the Kerbin Helicopter Circumnavigation badge (after all the work I put into it!).  You look set to beat me out for it.  :)

Go for it!

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A small snag on the initial helicopter, it has decided it does not want to fly anymore. A new helicopter is on its way to replace it, as well as collect the crew for the continuation of the voyage.

zcOVkeJ.png

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54 minutes ago, Hotel26 said:

A very nice machine!  What's its speed & range?

 

Speed is about 120 m/s, and its range is undetermined as of now. There are hopes of making it a quarter of the way around with one tank of fuel though

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On 3/19/2021 at 3:47 AM, Bob_Saget54 said:

A new helicopter

I'm very curious about this beautiful machine.  Are those rotors tweak-scaled or do these super-large parts exist in some version later than 1.7.3?  Also, I see that you have both sets "sunny-side up", i.e. with the paint markings visible on the upper surface.  Yet they look reversed in the manner that would be consistent with them being contra-rotating.  How did you do that?

OK, I see you have a KerbalX site: https://kerbalx.com/Bob_Saget54.  Any chance of posting this appealing machine?

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11 minutes ago, Hotel26 said:

I'm very curious about this beautiful machine.  Are those rotors tweak-scaled or do these super-large parts exist in some version later than 1.7.3?  Also, I see that you have both sets "sunny-side up", i.e. with the paint markings visible on the upper surface.  Yet they look reversed in the manner that would be consistent with them being contra-rotating.  How did you do that?

OK, I see you have a KerbalX site: https://kerbalx.com/Bob_Saget54.  Any chance of posting this appealing machine?

I can do so, and the rotors are stock! (Helicopter Blade "S"). They are contra-rotating with the motor below being set to 230 RPM, while the upper motor is set to 460 RPM in the opposite direction

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 3/16/2021 at 11:12 PM, xendelaar said:

Does this count as a valid entry? I only did a equatorial circumnavigation though ... it took me around 7 hours to complete.

Yes, it does, above and beyond the call of duty, and a very impressive job, @xendelaar.  Congratulations, you have joined the Honor Roll at position 2 and you have earned the badge, which you can find in the Original Post.

If you wish, you are welcome to post it in your signature and encouraged to embed it with a link to this challenge (OP).  Well done!

P.S. and my apologies for taking so long to acknowledge your entry; I missed it some how.

Edited by Hotel26
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