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Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System


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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_Aircraft_Launch_System

This came up when discussing designing aircraft for Duna using a runway. As a possible upgrade in the tech tree it would be nice to have a launch/capture system similar to an aircraft carrier. Imagine you build your super fast plane but you don't have enough runway to take off or land.

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Just now, BekfastDerp13 said:

This would help a lot, because if you are landing on Duna, I think it would take more runway space to slow down than on Kerbin.

Yeah, at the moment when trying to land on Duna I'm normally going like 190m/s without parachutes and with all those hills it's a bit of a nightmare.

If it was up to me, I'd add a part similar to landing gear that acts as a hook for landing.

If we wanted to get really fancy, imagine if you could angle the runway upwards with a system like this :P

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12 minutes ago, AtomicTech said:

I'm not sure how I like this, it sounds a bit cheaty.

True gameplay wise, though my reasoning would be it's a real world technology and also think of the similarities between how SRBs are used at launch :)

Edited by PSNDanjam123
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Planes on Duna? With a measly 6kPa at “sea level” (so considerably less on the hills) and low gravity, Duna is far better suited to pure rockets- there’s not enough atmosphere to support a plane at low speeds and it would be considerably easier to just do it all with rockets.

Now Eve, on the other hand, is exactly where you’d want to use planes- thick atmosphere that makes rockets drastically less effective and high gravity for said rockets to fight against makes a plane much more viable both for point to point transport and for hauling stuff to orbit and back; I’d imagine the high-gravity Ovin would be a similar story.

Having arrestors and catapults on the ground might work for a fighter jet, and maybe even for a larger plane like an E-2 or an S-3, but you’d need a really massive catapult to throw a fully laden cargo spaceplane up to flight speed and an equally large arrestor system to catch it on the way down, possibly full of cargo then too. Honestly, at this stage I’m not sure if we’d be flying all these missions by hand or just letting the colony automation do it in the background, as by the time you’ve built a big arrestor and catapult system you’ve probably got a pretty big colony beside it.

As an aside, apart from air-breathing jets and rockets there are other means of propulsion in an atmosphere, even  one with no oxygen in it- electric propellers would be a pretty low-tech solution, though obviously using a fusion reactor for power would mean bigger and better props, but more exotic propulsion systems are also feasible- nuclear ramjets like Project Pluto, for example, which have been demonstrated successfully on Earth (static fired only, for obvious reasons!)- or nuclear pulse drives (Orion) which would produce a lot more bang for their, er, bang(?) with an atmosphere to amplify the shockwaves, though probably best not to use those right on top of your launchpad. 

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4 hours ago, PSNDanjam123 said:

Yeah, at the moment when trying to land on Duna I'm normally going like 190m/s without parachutes and with all those hills it's a bit of a nightmare.

If it was up to me, I'd add a part similar to landing gear that acts as a hook for landing.

If we wanted to get really fancy, imagine if you could angle the runway upwards with a system like this :P

maybe they could add landing skis?

Edited by BekfastDerp13
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