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SSTOs! Post your pictures here~


KissSh0t
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Holy jesus, this forum exploded with the new update. I plan on making a SSTO soon.

EDIT: There needs to be radial heat shields. I think the only time I've had issues with reentry heat is with my SSTO.

Edited by Brownhair2
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All jet engines do now. Thrust varies with air density according to a curve in the config.

Given the habit of exploding when flying too fast on lower atmosphere and the fact that jets produce less thrust on high altitudes, would you agree the best ascension is a straight line at an angle? That's what I'm noticing so far. Every successful SSTO gets to orbit by picking some angle (usually 30) and going with it until it stops working.

- - - Updated - - -

Gah! I love KSP and I was pretty optimistic that this launch would be a game missing next to nothing. All these years it relied on some mods to fill in the blanks but I expected them to add the basics of everything that was missing by the time of launch. We still don't have INFORMATION! this has always been KSP biggest sin. It's a rocket science game and it doesn't tell you even how much delta-v you have, just the most important piece of information. Not during construction, not during flight. I can see a spark in that direction in the engineer's tab and the information tab in-flight but it's missing everything basically. Delta-v is just the bare minimum though, to make planes we would need waaay more than that, specially with the new aerodynamics.

Sorry. End of rant.

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Given the habit of exploding when flying too fast on lower atmosphere and the fact that jets produce less thrust on high altitudes, would you agree the best ascension is a straight line at an angle? That's what I'm noticing so far. Every successful SSTO gets to orbit by picking some angle (usually 30) and going with it until it stops working.

You probably want to flatten out through the sound barrier (which is a real barrier now!), and again at high altitude. Switch to rockets when parts start overheating, not when you run out of air. If you're careful you should be able to hit Mach 3 (1 km/s?) with 100% re-entry heat. Though personally I'm disabling it for now since spaceplanes overheating at Mach 3 is ridiculous.

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The reason most space-planes ascend at an angle and keep going till it stops working is because no one can be bothered to do an efficient ascent to a high altitude. The reason that the angle is usually 30 degrees is that most spaceplanes have a TWR less than 1 at low altitudes and speeds and instead rely on lifting surfaces to ascend. Once the straight line stops working you're usually at the point where you can begin your ACTUAL ascent to space. The problem is that the turboramjet with ram intake won't produce enough thrust to overcome drag past mach 1 at the highest point. This is why players level out just before max altitude to accelerate to mach 1.5-2.0. From here ascent becomes easy as you normally have an excess of thrust versus what your plane can handle.

Long story short we go high because we are bored. We go fast because we need to to go high, and we explode because we go fast.

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I'm noticing another important thing in my experimentations. The (turbo) jet engine seems to lose thrust as it gets less air, which makes gaining surface speed at high altitudes extremely challenging. On the other hand flameouts are less dangerous now.

I did a couple of SSTOs already but my goal is to get one there using jets and the nuke engine. I like the nuke engine because once you're up there with it you can go pretty far with less fuel. But this is pretty challenging now, as finding the sweet spot in the atmosphere where you won't burn to death but can still use the atmosphere to gain speed is super difficult. That is necessary because the nuke engine is very low thrust, you can only get to orbit with it if the jets put you in a high orbit with plenty of surface velocity.

I'm pretty sure it can be done, but it will take a while :)

The nuke is broken. It needs no oxidizer right now.

have fun with that ;)

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The nuke is broken. It needs no oxidizer right now.

have fun with that ;)

That's true? If so, that is the very opposite of broken! And it makes me very happy!

- - - Updated - - -

You probably want to flatten out through the sound barrier (which is a real barrier now!), and again at high altitude. Switch to rockets when parts start overheating, not when you run out of air. If you're careful you should be able to hit Mach 3 (1 km/s?) with 100% re-entry heat. Though personally I'm disabling it for now since spaceplanes overheating at Mach 3 is ridiculous.

Actually, the MIG-25/31 series of planes run into very serious issues hewn going into Mach 3, melting the engines so they were junk after the flight, and severely stressing the airframe. The SR-71 could sustain Mach 3 flight, but then agsain it had a titanium high temperature skin that leaked fuel in non-cruise conditions because it was designed to become airtight only when the heat expanded it into a tight fit. And even Skylon's precooled RAPIERs are meant to be used only up to 3.5 Mach, because heat management issues get them too eventually. So Mach 3 is a very reasonable place to put the heat barrier at, IMO.

Rune. Mi inner aerodynamic geek is SO happy that is the real speed limit now.

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That's true? If so, that is the very opposite of broken! And it makes me very happy!

It's true, but it's not broken for t'is by design. The LV-N is not meant to use oxidiser for nuclear engines don't :)

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That's true? If so, that is the very opposite of broken! And it makes me very happy!

Also all Mk2 fuel fuselages have been (force)filled with more fuel, and when I loaded some 0.90 crafts using that fuselage, they weren't updated, soo we may have to replace a lot of mk2 fuselages.

Old ones have 270 - 330

New ones have 330 - 440

crafts from older versions with the old fuel tanks all have to be... manually replaced.

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Also all Mk2 fuel fuselages have been (force)filled with more fuel, and when I loaded some 0.90 crafts using that fuselage, they weren't updated, soo we may have to replace a lot of mk2 fuselages.

Old ones have 270 - 330

New ones have 330 - 440

crafts from older versions with the old fuel tanks all have to be... manually replaced.

Yeah, that I noticed that. Has happened more than once, actually, though used to be the RCS tanks changing pretty much every version. But what will probably convince me to finally ditch my save (I was trying to resurrect it yesterday, I think it could be done in spite of the gazillion bugs I found) is actually the nuke thing. I would have to sacrifice too many kerbals on outbound nuke-powered missions that just won't work with all the oxidizer as ballast. Still, it is probably for the best. That save was from before we got the contract system...

In other news, I am closing in on the 1.0 White Dart. Should be just as capable to orbit as the old one, with the added twist of having more delta-v when refueled for pure rocket operation, and maybe slightly less maximum orbit when going to LKO with maximum payload. Oh, and twice the initial mass, but the same ridiculous low part number and good looks.

Rune. I was asking for that change for the nukes the same update they were introduced, after all.

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Also all Mk2 fuel fuselages have been (force)filled with more fuel, and when I loaded some 0.90 crafts using that fuselage, they weren't updated, soo we may have to replace a lot of mk2 fuselages.

Old ones have 270 - 330

New ones have 330 - 440

I was wondering about this last night... used to do the old tank-in-a-cargo-bay trick, then noticed it didn't gain anything anymore.

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Yeah, that I noticed that. Has happened more than once, actually, though used to be the RCS tanks changing pretty much every version. But what will probably convince me to finally ditch my save (I was trying to resurrect it yesterday, I think it could be done in spite of the gazillion bugs I found) is actually the nuke thing. I would have to sacrifice too many kerbals on outbound nuke-powered missions that just won't work with all the oxidizer as ballast. Still, it is probably for the best. That save was from before we got the contract system...

In other news, I am closing in on the 1.0 White Dart. Should be just as capable to orbit as the old one, with the added twist of having more delta-v when refueled for pure rocket operation, and maybe slightly less maximum orbit when going to LKO with maximum payload. Oh, and twice the initial mass, but the same ridiculous low part number and good looks.

Rune. I was asking for that change for the nukes the same update they were introduced, after all.

Seeing that most SSTOs seem to only achieve LKO, maybe this is the time for the rise of LKO refueling stations! they may have been built before, but now they're more practical than ever! Nuke rocket is gonna kick some V!

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I've given up on Mk2 spaceplanes for now; I can't manage to ascend without exploding the cockpit and in my test save, LKO is littered with headless SSTOs.

Mk3 heavies are definitely still a thing though, which will come in useful with the nerfed engines for lifting bountiful amounts of fuel to orbital refueling stations.

PbbDESL.png

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I need help with SSTO design ideas. I've tried building the Valkyrie SSTO from Avatar, but the thing performs flips of death everytime it is airborne, and my other SSTO designs just look like typical planes and not the epic designs you guys come up with.

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I need help with SSTO design ideas. I've tried building the Valkyrie SSTO from Avatar, but the thing performs flips of death everytime it is airborne, and my other SSTO designs just look like typical planes and not the epic designs you guys come up with.

It's a learned art. I've been playing since 0.13.1 and I still don't have the hang of building SSTOs. Heck, I only managed to ever build two successful models in the last version, and each only flew to space once as testing models.

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Seeing that most SSTOs seem to only achieve LKO, maybe this is the time for the rise of LKO refueling stations! they may have been built before, but now they're more practical than ever! Nuke rocket is gonna kick some V!

Then again, 1km/s less to LKO for chemical rockets. I predict that after a while, we will actually see the rise of the chemical SSTO: up like a rocket, down like a plane, for 100% recovery while still having a decent payload fraction, or at least greater than in any previous version. You only need a mass ratio of about 3.3 with 300s engines, after all, and when we finally get the reentry profile, setting down planes must be easy (if you heat up, pitch up to arrest your descent and burn speed at the same time)... My K-33 is now probably quite useful, if it still flies without excessive drag and no thermal bugs appear (parts sucking heat much more than their neighbours, I've seen that happen already).

Rune. Then again, I've always been a fan of doing the whole "reusable launchers / fuel depots / assembled spaceship" shenanigans, so yeah, I'm happy.

Edited by Rune
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