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Good Morning to all of KSP Community,

Now I want to speak about Airliners Challenges, they were my favorite  kind of challenge and makes me sad to see they are not common nowadays, designing an airplane, having to balance fuel efficiency, passenger capacity and try to design the best plane for every category.

I would like to host and judge a new challenge like this, but English is obviously not my main language and I am worried that my reviews of your planes and my writing of the rules can be extremely horrible to read and enjoy.

I suppose that there are many of you who would like to participate in a challenge like this, and even some of you can help drafting the rules and judging planes.

Right now this is more a desire and a hope than a challenge you can participate, but with your help we can get the airliners challenges back.

Thanks to all KSP Community for reading this horrible message.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, espartanlast1 said:

I would like to host and judge a new challenge like this, but English is obviously not my main language and I am worried that my reviews of your planes and my writing of the rules can be extremely horrible to read and enjoy.

I didn't even notice the errors (they were very minor) until you mentioned them.

However I did look at the previous threads for the old challenges and I got the impression they were pretty complicated to carry out, and needed some serious work from multiple judges, etc.

I would be willing to help with some of it (if you'll have me) but I do think the challenge will be doomed to die out eventually if you organize it in a way that relies on a small group of people to act as judges. Not everyone has a lot of time, all the time, and even extremely popular challenges like the Air Superiority Combat challenge from way back when end up dying because they could only function if the people in charge put in a lot of work. Add to this lax submission rules (for the ASC challenge, at least initially, you could just spam submissions) and judges are quickly overwhelmed, backlogs grow a mile long, and people burn out.

If you make something, I would strongly recommend you design the rules so that every participant plays a small role in judging, or testing planes, or helping out in some way.

Edited by Earthlinger
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Thanks!

I have been reading the old seasons of this challenge and I think your concerns are extremely real, the work of the judges is more a school writing essay than a ksp competition, and i don't know if there are something that can be done to ease the workload.

I though that is possible to make judging easier without destroying the challenge spirit, but the writing part of the review should be shortened.

It is possible to streamline the review process making it more fact based and less test based, basically stuff like passenger comfort can be thrown of the window, and others like engines or maintenance can be evaluated according to the other submissions on the same category, fuel efficiency by passenger would be provided by the submitter and it can be one of the most important criteria for the review.

The numbers of categories must be rationalized and user may only post variants to compete on a different category, and we can even request users to judge another aircraft after posting, so all the parties are involved and the challenge can run on its own.

These are my main ideas about how to make the challenge fun and sustainable in time, but I recognize that this is a kind of challenge that is harder to keep going compared to more numerical challenges.

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If you wanted to keep it as a primarily-judged challenge, it might be an idea to say that entrants must judge two previous submissions for each entry of their own. While different entrants might not have very comparable reviewing, with a bit of momentum we'd hopefully get a "wisdom of the crowds".

Alternatively you could go over to using objective measures. Cost, capacity, range, speed, and fuel burn are all straight from the game. Perhaps by using stock craft and the real-life airline business as a reference point we could make some sort of an operating costs estimate.

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1 hour ago, cantab said:

Alternatively you could go over to using objective measures. Cost, capacity, range, speed, and fuel burn are all straight from the game. Perhaps by using stock craft and the real-life airline business as a reference point we could make some sort of an operating costs estimate.

I do think previous airliner challenges suffered a bit from being subject to individual interpretation. I think there is sufficient room to use objective in-game parameters to judge operating efficiency. A few examples:

  • There's three actual runways in the stock game (KSC, Island, Dessert). One can request evidence to be submitted of flights between those runways, 1) as proof of flight and landing capability, and 2) with starting/ending fuel numbers shown to calculate fuel efficiency. KSC-Island is bare minimum on flight range, while KSC-Dessert is a good validation for medium-range liners. Island runway is a good measure for short take off and landing (we are focusing on airliners here, not carrier-graded planes), offering sufficient contrast with the KSC runway length.
  • A few other locations can serve for additional judgement/points on landing capability, and serve as examples of typical tourist routes. KSC-Temple and KSC-Baikerbanur come to mind. The geography of those locations add some extra difficulty to approach and landing compared to the runways.
  • Long-range capability can be judged by successful flights from KSC to Poles, opposite side of Kerbin, and/or a full circumnavigation. Lat/Lon can be shown even in full stock games as proof.
  • Cruise altitude can be divided in 'bands' to add different point values. Same with cruise speed, cost, passenger capacity.
  • Fuel burn is a tricky one. From an operating perspective, I think I'd rather know total fuel usage after landing at destinations. Reason: a plane that can cruise very efficiently once at altitude might still burn off quite a bit on the climb to said altitude. Which could make such a plane very inefficient for short(er) routes.
  • 'Maintenance' can be simplified to part count. Divide in bands for different point values.

Use a few of these parameters to define a few separate categories. Range and passenger capacity come to mind as the most prominent separators. This will allow people to submit planes tuned to their best affinities and encourage more people to submit entries.

I think using things like the above would allow people to pretty much judge their own entry already. The OP or judges would just need to confirm the given information and check on the entry being within the requested category parameters.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, swjr-swis said:

I think using things like the above would allow people to pretty much judge their own entry already. The OP or judges would just need to confirm the given information and check on the entry being within the requested category parameters.

What's the end result for that type of challenge though? Just that you get your plane added to a list and receive some sort of official recognition?

Random idea, this could be organized in a way that makes the judges a 'government board' that reviews entrepreneurial individuals (forum users) that are attempting to construct their own airline. There could be a list of parameters that you can try to hit in order to get your airline recognized as a fledgling organization < booming business < downright monopolistic powerhouse, etc etc.

We could compile a list of the nicest-looking areas on Kerbin and draw routes between them. Each route might have particular requirements because of its length, landing location, and so forth, so players can design purpose-built planes and slowly amass a repertoire of craft for their airline. The more routes they can cover with their craft, the bigger their airline gets and the more badges/official government recognition/etc they receive.

Some routes might be long-hauls, others could be non-passenger and simply revolve around delivering cargo to a tricky location, or be scenic and require a maneuverable plane that can navigate fjords, etc.

Judge reviews could start once you pass a particular level, or be limited to specific routes (or something else, I'm just throwing ideas around).

Edited by Earthlinger
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In addition to what @cantab and @swjr-swis have said, I have couple of more suggestions on the metrics that can be used to judge the submissions

  • Yes, passenger capacity is certainly important for a commercial airplane, but we should not forget about cargo: airline passengers rarely travel without any luggage. EVA Experiment Kit and EVA Repair Kit weigh 20 and 10 kg respectively, so you could use the Experiment Kit as a baggage and Repair Kit as hand luggage. You could use the inventory slots of Crew Cabins as baggage space or add additional space via Cargo Storage Units
  • It is important to set certain limits on sizes and weights of the submitted aircrafts: you could build an equivalent of say an Airbus A380 which can haul lots of passengers and cargo in one go, but what use is such a big plane if it is too big and/or heavy for the destination runway? Of course you don't have such constraints in KSP, but for the purpose of the challenge I think it would be good to set limits on weight and size of the aircraft (length, wingspan etc.) or outright classify the entries depending on these factors

As for the Maintenance, I think I might have a good way of rating it:

Say, after certain amount of flights we need to do engine servicing. From quick Google search, price of the Boeing 747 jet engine ranges between 12 and 21 million dollars. According to Wikipedia, an engine overhaul for jet engines in general takes up about10-20% of the price of a new engine (in B747 case it is 4 million dollars). So, what we could do is take the engine that the plane uses, divide its price by some number, multiply it with the amount of the engines the plane has and you can get the Maintenance price. This way is simple to understand, easy to rank and it also will influence the coming entries, since the challenge contenders will need to pick their engines more carefully if they aim to make the plane as low-cost as possible

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@OJT I like most of what you're saying but I feel like adding semi-arbitrary stats like maintenance would just stifle more creative entries and wouldn't really serve any concrete purpose outside of making the challenge feel more grounded in real-life. Which, I mean, it might be fun for some but is there honestly much point in designing restrictions around that sort of statistic? It doesn't reflect anything concrete within the game and it's superfluous tape more than anything else.

(Feel free to ignore me by the way I wasn't involved in the original challenge and I don't know how it works, just thought I'd bring in an outside view).

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Thank you for all suggestions 

While @swjr-swis suggestion is more inline with the classic challenge he gives extremely good ideas about the possible classifications and how to make the challenge more sustainable, I like circumnavigation for long range, desert for medium, but we still lack a short range destination, the fuel from runway to runway is a great idea, so users can use, for example a formulae like this: fuel at departure - fuel at arrival / seats. To calculate their aircraft efficiency, the smallest the number the better. On the other hand, @Earthlinger propose a different kind of challenge which I think it could be the first time challenge in the forum.

Regarding @OJT suggestion, I think the hassle of dealing with luggage, in the great scheme of things would be negligible weight and more a hassle, and for the weight and size restrictions it would be possible to create weight classes so submitters try to be has lightweight has possible to reduce airport fees, but the lighter the aircraft the less fuel it consumes so submitters already have a interest in not designing their aircraft with useless weight.

 

 

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A challenge that's based mainly on some sort of metric becomes an optimisation challenge. Whether that's good or bad is subjective.

As for luggage. I think the only extent I'd use it would be to say that designs using external seats need to provide cargo space. For designs using crew cabins, those cabins can be assumed to have plenty of luggage space. It's desirable that external seat versus cabin be balanced.

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this is my first draft on the modifications of the previous versions of the challenge, changes are minors but I expect community reviewing of the planes solves the problems suffered by challenges like this before, I am open and expect any feedback you can provide or translations errors that I may have done.

 

Thanks!

 

This Challenge is a continuation and modification of by HolidayTheLeek (which in itself is a continuation of three other threads)

Kerbin International is an airline taking the place of the now-defunct Trans-Kerbin Airways. KI is a large client and aircraft ranging from turboprops to jumbo jets are in high demand. Does your aircraft company offer the right kind of aircraft for the job?

Kerbin International wants comfortable, profitable aircraft. They're looking for aircraft that meet or exceed their requirements for fuel efficiency, speed, range, passenger load, ease of training, comfort and cost of maintenance, for the right price that gives them the best return on investment. They also want a design that's flexible, offering variations of the same design for a variety of different routes. 

Kerbin International is also looking to avoid the same fate that all kerbin airlines suffered before, outsourcing the review of the aircraft instead of doing it in house, it should avoid the backlog that plagued the previous seasons of this challenge

The Rules:

  • Must be compatible with KSP versions 1.12.X
  • Stock Parts + Both DLC are allowed. CRAFT MUST BE STOCK!
  • Passengers must be in an approved crew cabin
  • No rocket engines. Aircraft engines only.
  • Aircraft must stay in atmosphere (no sub-orbital hops) and below 20km.
  • Any kind of engine is allowed for any category. 
  • Clipping is allowed only for visual reasons
  • The aircraft should have a rolling takeoff and landing.
  • Takeoff & Landing speed of no more than 80 m/s on land, or 120 m/s on water. 
  • No drop tanks. Your aircraft must stay intact.
  • No afterburning engines unless you are building a supersonic airliner.
  • Variants must still resemble the original aircraft. If it is too different it will be considered a different type.
  • Mach 1 speed limit (343m/s) unless you are building a supersonic airliner.
  • To submit you have to review, unless if it is your first submission or there are no remaining submissions.

Passenger Cabins:

Not all in-game values for how many passengers a cabin can carry will be used for this challenge. Here is a list of what each cabin part can carry:

  • MK-1 Cabin: Carries 4 passengers. 
  • Mk-2 Cabin: Carries 8 passengers.
  • Mk-3 Cabin: Carries 24 passengers.
  • PPD-10 Hitchhiker Storage Container: Carries 12 passengers.

 

What is a variant?

To improve your design's competitiveness, your company can submit a variant of the same design (See Wants section below). A variant is built on the same model platform with minor changes in design to give it, say, extra range, or extra passenger room. This is most commonly achieved by adding fuel tanks or lengthening the cabin, sometimes with minor changes to wing and fuselage design. To qualify as a variant, it must generally have the same structural layout, meaning engines, gear, and lift surfaces must be in roughly the same location & design. Basically, if you make it too different, it will be considered a separate model/submission.

In order to avoid submission saturation, variants must participate in a different category than the original design

What Trans-Kerbin Airways wants, By Category:

The categories are more like guidelines rather than strict rules. An aircraft doesn't need to meet one requirement if it's particularly good at something else.

There are three categories in range and sub-categories for each in capacity. Match up your aircraft to both the appropriate range and capacity requirements. For example, if you have an aircraft that carries 48 passengers and reach the desert runway, it would be a Medium-Haul, Low-Capacity aircraft.

Special categories that do not conform to these requirements will be listed below as 'special categories'

ANY CATEGORY CAN BE MADE INTO A SUPERSONIC

Range Requirements:

Short-Haul Airliner

  • A cruising speed of 110m/s or greater is preferred
  • Must reach the peninsula eastbound of KSC
  • Short takeoff and landing is preferred. Must be capable of operating on the island airfield.

Medium-Haul Airliner

  • Cruising speed of 230m/s or greater is preferred
  • Must be capable of reaching the desert runway
  • Should be equipped to operate at smaller airports.

Long-Haul Airliner

  • Cruising Speed of 240m/s or greater is preferred
  • Must complete a circumnavigation of Kerbin

Passenger Capacity Requirements:

Low Capacity

  • Maximum 100 passengers

Medium Capacity

  • Must carry 100 - 300 passengers

High Capacity

  • Must carry more than 300 passengers

 

SPECIAL CATEGORIES:

These categories do not correspond with the ones above

 

Cargo/Combi Aircraft

  • Must carry cargo.
  • Combi aircraft must carry both passengers and cargo

 

 

 

Judging Criteria:

Every submission that meets the requirements will be ranked with feedback from TKA Jet test pilots (If you don’t know how to review, check previous seasons of this challenge), but how well it ranks depends on: (Note, this is elaborated on later)

  • How well it meets or exceeds the category requirements
  • Cost of Aircraft
  • Fuel Efficiency will be calculated according to: (fuel at departure - fuel at arrival) / seats. The smaller the number the better
  • Ease of maintenance. 
    • Maintenance is judged through the amount of engines and complex parts (landing gear, moving parts, fuel piping, etc) rather than pure part count alone. This is so higher-part count designs can compete.
    • Engine configuration is also important in how easily the aircraft is maintained. 
      • Engines low to the ground would allow easy access for ground crew
      • Having the same kind of engines (if you have multiple) can help ease load off maintenance crews.
  • Passenger comfort
    • Distance of engines to passenger cabins will be considered
  • Aesthetics
    • We want nice looking aircraft so they're more appealing to our customers and advertising
    • If it looks right, it flies right.

Feel free to ask questions about anything you find confusing in the judging process.

How to Submit. Your post must include the following:

  1. The name of your aircraft company and model names for the designs you're submitting. Please clarify what category you're entering the plane in.
  2. At least one screenshot or very large bold text or something in your submissions. This is so we can more easily see it is a submission, we don't want to accidentally skip yours.
  3. Screenshot of the aircraft before takeoff and after landing at the required destination, both must show fuel
  4. A link to your craft files in your submission post. No PMing me. PREFERABLY ON KERBALX
  5. The price of your aircraft times 1,000. (If $23,555 in-game, submit as $23,555,000. This is just for fun to make prices more realistic.)
  6. The recommended cruising speed and altitude for your aircraft. This is the speed and altitude you've fine-tuned your designs for, ensuring the best balance of speed, range, and fuel efficiency. It's also what the test pilots will be testing your aircraft at for judging.
  7. (Optional, but will help in review) Pitch your aircraft to the TKA executives, selling them on why it should be purchased for their fleet. Include any notable features (even if fictional).

==========================================================================================================================================

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