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Spaceplanes on Eve!


Quasar
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Here's a personal challenge I've been trying to complete in my spare time since 0.17 came out, and thought I'd share: fly a spaceplane on Eve.

Rules:

1. Plane must be able to fly horisontally in the Even atmosphere for at least a minute. (Edited to clarify: this means powered flight, not gliding. If you’re losing speed or altitude, it doesn't qualify).

2. Plane must have landing gear. You don't actually have to land it, but the plane must be capable of landing on it's wheels.

3. Modded parts are fine, <i>so long as they're fairly balanced</i>. I'll leave it up to you to decide what that means.

Achievements:

1. Interplanetary Spaceplane. (success)

2. Touchdown (land your plane on the Even surface)

3. Suborbital (return your spaceplane to a stable Even orbit after entering the atmosphere)

4. Vanilla (stock parts only)

5. Make Jeb Proud (no Mechjeb)

6. Spaceplane Ultima (land on the surface, then return to orbit: maybe impossible)

My own attempt, the Everis I, has gone through more than a few iterations: blown up plenty of kerbals getting the interplanetary stages into orbit, and then stranded a few poor Kerbals around the sun with bad ejection and phase angles. Hoping to get there tonight! Will post pictures.

(EDIT) Welp, my attempt failed... sorta.

Utterly stuffed up the ejection burn and used up most of my cruising fuel fixing that (good thing I brought along an absurdly large cruise stage), but managed a successful insertion into the Even atmosphere after two rounds of aerobraking. Then I hit the same problems other people have been facing. In the upper atmosphere, the Everis I was completely unable to pull up.

By the time I was low enough that I had enough control to pull up, the drag on the plane was incredible. It overpowered the planes engines: Jeb could glide it for half a minute or so by putting it into a brief dive to accellerate, but not much more than that. On the bright side, it was rediculously easy to land: I think spaceplane landers are a decent way to go when it comes to landing on Eve.

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I think a *proper* Eve-capable plane will require a very different design to a Kerbin-capable plane: something with minimum drag and maximum thrust.

[b]Leaderboard:[/b]

RedDwarfIV - The Kittyhawk - [i]Touchdown[/i]

Edited by Quasar
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\o/ Been working on one, just some final tweaks left to try out. Bill is gonna have a good or bad day. Jeb is in orbit of gilly right now waiting. Took him half a year to get there, but oh well. IIRC, eve has less gravity, or so it seemed since I had trouble keeping from leaving orbit when trying to catch gilly. Or was that just an illusion caused by long range orbits, but don't think so....

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Here's my little plane on Eve. this thing is pretty fast on kerbin. I clocked it going 200-300m/s on below 5000m on kerbin. Possible faster. Very maneuverable too. I thought this would be a fun plane to fly around Eve with. That didn't pan out well:

screenshot20-1.png

here's our brave kerbonaught, Genezon kerman, who just arrived on the surface of the planet with his little spaceplane.

ATTEMPT TAKE OFF IN 3 2 1...

screenshot21-1.png

...... well that was anti climatic. I could only climb up to 100m in the air. I need to keep this ludicrous nose pitch just to keep from descending. And I can only go around 12m/s.

He later tried landing back but ended up destroying his plane when he hit invisible water. I'm working on a rescue mission right now.

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Hilariously, the Everis I can take off on Eve without using engines. Perhaps because I landed on a slight slope, when I try to tilt the nose up the plane accellerates quickly, and leaves the ground at 30m/s. I can only do short hops up to about ~20/30 meters, because without the ground to push against or any engine power I lose speed extremely rapidly, but still: unpowered, gravity-assisted take-off. Awesome.

I wonder if it's a first? (I'll have to try it out on the mountains to the west of KSC).

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Nah, just kidding, that wasn't the entry.

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Some might say that 3m NERVA was OPed, but it wouldn't have got me close to Eve without the eight jet-boosters that gave it fuel all the way up to 13,000 metres. It would have spent itself just getting Kerbin escape.

It's my favourite stage though because it does have high thrust and high specific impulse.

I flew this thing for ages until I gave up on reaching land after running out of fuel. It flies fine.

Edited by RedDwarfIV
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  • 11 months later...

well, assuming that your allowed to use rockets to get there, i got there with full fuel, , glided down landed perfectly, got out, and realized i forgot to add a ladder. going back to quick save, i got down in the atmosphere, then throttled out. got back to kerbin and exploded on landing. nailed it. checked my fraps and realized that i forgot that i had changed the record key. Sometimes i can be such a genius.

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