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KissSh0t
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Hey SSTO gurus . . .

Considering I can now SSTO pretty reliably in 1.0.2, what advice can I get in terms of a Mk3 SSTO?

A) How different from a typical Mk2 SSTO is it to fly/build?

B) I'm struggling with TWR to throw 1 jumbo in space. How many RAPIERs is enough RAPIERs? ALso would a turbo-rapier combo work for better jet TWR?

I'm not a ssto expert, but I will say that Mk 3 planes are way better in 1.0.2. Before I could not make one for the life of me, but now while they still are a bit of a challenge they are much easier. As for flying them, they fly pretty much the same (although in my case that's not a good thing. Is it just me or are planes much less stable?)

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So, you guys might have noticed that yesterday I did one big release of 1.02 SSTOs. It would be a shame if I didn't link them here for the people that miss them, wouldn't it? So, take a look, and if something catches your eye, there is a link to the dedicated thread below each picture. Enjoy!

Rune. Any bug reports would be greatly appreciated before I put them on R-SUV, you always miss stuff otherwise.

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Nimbus Mk II:

q0b6esv.png

Currently rated for up to 30 tons in the largest single Mk3 cargo bay.

LOTS of room for improvement. Has relatively mediocre lift rating except over 5km until you're doing about mach 4 (by which point it hardly matters) so wastes a lot of fuel using thrust in place of lift. TWR issues during the initial 30* climb between 10 and 14km alt.

Any suggestions on making it more efficient, more compact, and less ugly?

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Nimbus Mk II:

http://i.imgur.com/q0b6esv.png

Currently rated for up to 30 tons in the largest single Mk3 cargo bay.

LOTS of room for improvement. Has relatively mediocre lift rating except over 5km until you're doing about mach 4 (by which point it hardly matters) so wastes a lot of fuel using thrust in place of lift. TWR issues during the initial 30* climb between 10 and 14km alt.

Any suggestions on making it more efficient, more compact, and less ugly?

You obviously know you have a lift issue, so the most I can tell you is to make a nice root for your main wing, with two BigS Deltas on each side, one of them facing backwards, then put the wing you have now (probably attach it initially to the root of a delta so it starts straight on one axis). Maybe add the BigS strakes on one or both sides for good measure. Or take out fuel, if you can do 1,2km/s on air, you don't need that much LFO mix. Or both, since you can keep the liquid fuel on the wings and put less body tankage, gaining lift at the same time. If you want to give clearance to the bay doors (and a cooler airliner look in general), drop them a bit and give the whole wing a slight 5º dihedral (holding SHIFT with the rotation gizmo makes it go in 5º increments), and it'll still work at least as good.

Rune. My two cents.

Edited by Rune
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I'm finally getting somewhere with SSTOs again. It's been a real headache trying to combat the drag and the RAPIERs in 1.0.2, but I am getting somewhere.

I've decided that RAPIERs are a little iffy, sometimes working fine and managing to push you up to around 1300m/s, and sometimes deciding to not even breach the sound barrier despite an identical flight profile. The only reliable solution I have at the moment is to use them in unison with turbojets. The problem with that approach was that the turbojets died at around 16km ASL, often leaving a bit too much speed for the RAPIERs to pick up on their own, and so there would be no orbit-making. However, I discovered that air-hogging isn't completely dead, surprisingly, but it's so close to it that it only just proves itself to be useful. I get the feeling that beyond a certain number of intakes, the drag starts to counteract the operational altitude gains. That being said, I have managed to keep the turbojets going at as much as 23km up now, which is undeniably better.

frF2iPH.png

The only problem that remained after that was fuel, or more specifically the lack thereof. That's where those fuel pods on the wing tips come in; they provide just enough fuel to get this result:

UmHeXvh.png

You can see there's enough fuel to de-orbit comfortably or head for a refuelling depot that I've now placed at roughly 84km (my lowest orbiting station for Kerbin ever, made entirely necessary by all this).

GVd7PB9.png

b9LEPU9.png

eGYZ3Rm.png

It can land back at the runway just fine, but physical timewarp has obliterated two spaceplanes on the way down, leading me to try and pilot the remains back down (this is from a slightly earlier model of the Hypersoar):

EJG6RX8.png

They glide remarkably well, those half-spaceplanes. Jeb managed to land 'successfully' on both occasions. That is to say, just the cockpit survived and the rest of the plane blew up. Any landing you can walk away from... :wink:

All stock, save for the utility/nav lighting.

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Nimbus Mk II:

http://i.imgur.com/q0b6esv.png

Currently rated for up to 30 tons in the largest single Mk3 cargo bay.

LOTS of room for improvement. Has relatively mediocre lift rating except over 5km until you're doing about mach 4 (by which point it hardly matters) so wastes a lot of fuel using thrust in place of lift. TWR issues during the initial 30* climb between 10 and 14km alt.

Any suggestions on making it more efficient, more compact, and less ugly?

As already Rune said wings with fuel inside are the best wings for SSTOs (especially big delta wing). This wings have lift-to-mass ratio as standard wings and additionaly have fuel inside, it looks like massless fuel tanks :). Also your initial 30+ climb looks too sharp, try pith 25 (maybe 20) and start dive for speed at lower altitude (11-12 km). Set SAS to prograde for minimizing drag (prograde is reducing drag in several times), wait until your pith will be 0...-5, switch SAS back to standard mode and wait for surface speed 450-500 m/s. Then slowly increase pith back to 5...10 (depend on your craft TWR) and enjoy with fire show. On RAPIERs it is very easy to achieve 1200 m/s in atmo mode (maximum 1400-1450 m/s).

- - - Updated - - -

Small multipurpose shuttle in cargo variant (6+ t to orbit and back). Yes, this bird can land with 6t payload in gliding mode (with middle piloting skills and some training, gliding in KSP now is more close to real world). Middle part can be easily replaced by any equipment with size in on one middle Mk2 bay (all of these things are lighter then 6t).

RNJ8tkHh.png?1

Y6DiXGgh.png

Bottom view

7tF94RGh.png

Edited by Mesklin
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Nimbus Mk II:

Any suggestions on making it more efficient, more compact, and less ugly?

You've got two basic problems. One, too much fuel. And two, you're craft isn't balanced which creates control surface drag. You need to be able to fly level with SAS turned off or have very small control surfaces. I like to rotate my v-tail fins to get some downforce at the back.

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Well its a SATO but its still an SSTO.

Thunder

GxxzTRl.jpg

Storm

BRou10h.jpg

Thunder Storm ASATO

9P1sia9.jpg

Description: Thunder

Thunder is a heavy lifter capable of lifting craft up to 90 tons into LKO, It burns fuel evenly across the board, it is extremely stable in atmospheric flight and the design is made to work like clock work with its baby, Storm.

Description: Storm

Storm is an Interplanetary space plane with VTOL capabilities which has a choice of 3 propellants once in space, LFO for fast burns, spare LF for nuclear burning and Xenon gas for emergency situations (when you run out of the good juice basically), Boasting over 10,000m/s of delta V to play around with once in orbit what more could you ask for?

Action groups:

Storm:

1: Toggle Nuke

2: Toggle aero spikes

3: Toggle Dawn electric engines

4: Toggle VTOL engines

5: Toggle solar arrays

Thunder:

6: Toggle turbo jets

7: Toggle rapiers

8: Toggle rapier engine mode

9: Toggle aero spikes

10 : Toggle landing engines

Flight instructions:

First things first, Never use time warp under thrust and never put the brakes on while on the runway under thrust.

On launch pitch up to +40 degree and climb until 10km, at 10km bring the pitch down to +10 degree and gain speed until 1000m/s, at 1000m/s bring the pitch up to +25 degree and continue until at 20km.

At 20km hit action group 9 to toggle aero spikes, at 22km hit action group 8 to toggle rapier engine mode and at 26km hit action group 6 to turn off turbo jets, from here continue to orbit and adjust pitch as needed. Good luck and have fun.

Orbital flight instructions:

Once in orbit you will need to take control of Storm, decouple it and activate fuel flow on all the tanks (including wings) and make sure to look inside the craft so you can activate the 6 internal fuel tanks. Sorry but for some reason you can not disable fuel flow between Thunder and storm so it was the only option.

Download links: Part count 502 (Both craft together, 160 parts in Storm.)

http://www./download/ic1qb4bpf0gn822/Thunder+Storm++ASATO.craft

http://kerbalx.com/Roflcopterkklol/Thunder-Storm--ASATO-carrier

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ï ÿрþÑÂтþ ÑÂтþ ÷ôõÑÂÑŒ þÑÂтðòûю ;)

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Today I finally succeeded in building that nuclear/turbojet SSTO I'd been agonizing over!

Wh4mzjHm.pngkvPFM6Am.png

It's not perfect, but it makes it to orbit with just enough fuel left to dock with a station or something before heading back down. The only real issues:

- the front intake generates too much drag at low altitudes and should be toggled off until around 10km

- the arrangement of the wings requires a very gentle stick on takeoff.

Lemme know if I should post a craft file.

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Since stock atmo is pretty much water at sea level, why not draw inspiration from an ancient oceanic predator that evolution disposed of? Turns out to behave remarkably well. Surprising amounts of control even doing 1km/s at 20km altitude; delicate handling is required, but it also doesn't want to flip or spin and generally just settles out into whatever direction you point it. Cracks mach 4.5 on air when handled well :)

Rated for 13 tons to LKO, basically good for fat-sats, but could also be used as the launch stage for a small Mun orbiter or Minmus lander.

.craft file for the bold. If you do give it a try, make sure to control from the internal probe core before take off - cargo bay is open by default as a reminder. Do not IVA in-atmosphere or during burns! KJR is highly recommended and Stock Bugfixes is mandatory to avoid insane drag from the MK3 parts.

3LHNntf.jpg

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This palaeontologist approves!

I'm curious to know: what does happen if you IVA while in-atm?

Win, was wondering if anyone would know what I was on about :cool: I just wish I could turn the cockpit lights on in the mk1s...

Re IVA: both cockpits are off-centre and on a weird angle, so your SAS will think you're off-course and try to correct for it. It's not as bad as accidentally switching to your rear gunner during ascent, but it'll cost you so much delta-v that you can't make orbit and have to revert to launch or ditch it in the ocean. Where it looks rather at-home :)

...you might get away with it with SAS in stability mode. Pro/retro/grade while IVA'ing in-atmo or while burning is a guaranteed fail though since that's an immediate re-orientation when you IVA. Feel free to do so while in vacuum and not using the engines though, but sadly the cockpits are angled just enough that they can't see each other. I checked :(

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First attempt at an MK3 SSTO, flies well until 16 km then becomes unstable. Need to play around more with proper balancing.

My suspicion would be that you're getting asymmetric thrust-reduction due to having a weird number of intakes vs engines. I'd recommend 1 RAM intake per air-breather, then use Intake Build Aid to make sure they're being assigned nicely :) (If you do the pre-coolers at all, again, 1 per engine or you're making problems for yourself when air starts to run low since you'll get asymmetric air assignment.)

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My suspicion would be that you're getting asymmetric thrust-reduction due to having a weird number of intakes vs engines. I'd recommend 1 RAM intake per air-breather, then use Intake Build Aid to make sure they're being assigned nicely :) (If you do the pre-coolers at all, again, 1 per engine or you're making problems for yourself when air starts to run low since you'll get asymmetric air assignment.)

Yes thank you, I got into orbit and deorbit, landing was a minor problem. :cool:

18065725786_123b600d4d_c.jpg2015-05-25_00032 by Christian, auf Flickr

17904537320_a689fc325d_c.jpg2015-05-25_00035 by Christian, auf Flickr

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So I figured out one good way of building a Mark 3 SSTO...

SdgZlqW.jpg?1

vXrvkrk.jpg?1

C8v7C8O.jpg?1

...TweakScale abuse! There are a couple of odd effects but it happily carries a full Jumbo tank to orbit and back with a single TweakScaled Rapier.

All well and good in sandbox mode, not sure how/if I'll use this in career though. Even if the scaled parts themselves are balanced, which I'm not 100% sure they are, unlocking 3.75-meter Rapiers at the same time as 1.25-meter ones feels like cheating. Really wish we had bigger stock air-breathing options... guess I'll have to wait for B9 to be updated.

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So I figured out one good way of building a Mark 3 SSTO...

http://i.imgur.com/SdgZlqW.jpg?1

http://i.imgur.com/vXrvkrk.jpg?1

http://i.imgur.com/C8v7C8O.jpg?1

...TweakScale abuse! There are a couple of odd effects but it happily carries a full Jumbo tank to orbit and back with a single TweakScaled Rapier.

All well and good in sandbox mode, not sure how/if I'll use this in career though. Even if the scaled parts themselves are balanced, which I'm not 100% sure they are, unlocking 3.75-meter Rapiers at the same time as 1.25-meter ones feels like cheating. Really wish we had bigger stock air-breathing options... guess I'll have to wait for B9 to be updated.

For a second I thought you shrunk the whole Mk3 body xD

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