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SSTOs! Post your pictures here~


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My next SSTO project. a 71-seat passenger SSTO "Grateful Sunray". She's able to fly unassisted after initial pitch at takeoff(I did not touch any of yaw, roll and pitch controls whatsoever) into suborbital flight on her own, during which I begin circularization burn after she leaves Kerbin atmosphere.





For the timeline of her maiden flight, see: http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/27292-what-did-you-do-in-ksp-today/&page=1336


Edited by ARS
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On 4/27/2017 at 9:14 PM, Jarin said:

Kerbal-X lies, that cockpit is not stock. Not that I'm complaining - I just want to know where you got it from and KX isn't telling me. :P


I'm getting more of a "podracer" vibe with that cockpit placement.

It's just an old picture... The file has the new standard Mk-1 cockpit.

- Jett 

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Well. after my first successful SSTO about a week ago, 
Remember, this thing:


I decided to make an ever so slightly bigger one...GQD0Wbm.png

Weighs in at 338.235 tons (compared to 28.140 tons for the first one) capable of delivering a 58.585 ton refueling station to a 150k orbit (in comparison to a 1.173 ton satellite to a 100k orbit) and has a grand total of 32 rapiers and 4 vectors, in comparison to 2 rapiers and 4 monopropellant engines.
here is a size comparison in between the first and the second one. 0pSQK1P.png

they are both completely stock.

Edited by CrazyCanuck
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On 04/05/2017 at 1:29 AM, MustaKotka said:

So this Panther thumper has evolved. Actually I'm naming it Panther Thumper from now on. Behold: Panther Thumper II

This will be the last entry in the now-miniseries of super light SSTOs. The margins are getting thin and I don't think I can do much more in the realm of superlight SSTOs after this. As always, completely stock game.

  • 7.03t, 18 parts
  • 200 units of fuel
  • 1 Nerv and 1 Rapier, air-breathing only
  • Two seats. No luggage or carry-ons.

The "Space Bird" by UK Space Agency. The name comes from the fact that it is almost like the Concorde, but not quite at all. Please enjoy.




Here are the passengers, brave Jebediah Kerman and Tixie Kerman!


CoM moves only ever so slightly forward by design when the tanks are empty. Makes return a lot safer when the plane is nose heavy.


I don't think I mentioned how thin exactly the margins are. This is now the product of ~ten hours of R&D of which two hours I spent on finding the pretty much only flight profile that a) won't blow up anything due to overheating b) will have enough fuel for circularisation and c) has enough height that it becomes a stable orbit above 70km.

Please, please tag me if you find a way to orbit with less than 200 units of fuel (that's Liquid fuel and Oxidizer combined, I just happen to have no Oxidizer).

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I completed my first Dual SSTO hybrid, enabling you to go anywhere and land anywhere (except for Eve), so I thought I should shill this creation here as well. It works by coupling the two parts in space. One acts as a lander, the other as a tug, please see the manual for additional details. You can find all the relevant details at:

Is it big? Check!

Is it insane? Check!

Is it easy to fly? Check!*

Is it awesome? Check!

Is it so, like, non-mainstream, like, you know, like? Like, check!


*It may not be that easy to fly as advertised. Please see the manual if something isn't working right.




See the commercial made especially for this.

Lol, KEK.

Edited by mystik
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On 4/20/2017 at 8:58 PM, Rune said:

-Also avoid unshielded surface-mounted stuff. These days, it pays to put everything inside cargo bays and/or fairings. You can check if a part is being shielded or not (and how much drag it gives) with the debug menu, by enabling the aerodynamic values to be displayed int he right-click menu. The arrow visualization tool is crappy, and will mislead you. This will teach you a lot, if you use it.

Very nice summary, thank you, but i have a question about this point.

How about RCS blocks ? I just designed an SSTO for 6 kerbals, the ultra basic LKO station crew swapping model, which gives me satisfaction appart for the fact that the RCS blocks on the side and below tend to explode on re-entry. Do you put them in cargo bays ? (It could fit in a small one)


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Here's a WIP,  unfortunately I'm getting less time to play these days so haven't finished it.

Someone on the "Gameplay Questions" forum was after a Laythe seaplane in career mode, he had IRSU techs, NERVs and rocketry was well advanced, but he hadn't unlocked much in the way of jet engines.   It got me thinking, what's the lowest tech self refuelling IRSU spaceplane I can come up with.    As a kicker, it has to be able to take off and land on water, though not necessarily fully loaded.

What I came up with was this thing,  I'm kind of fond of the way it looks
Climbing with 2 panthers -




Nukes help us through mach 1.  Takes about 45 seconds to go from 250 m/s to 400 m/s

Nukes off again once past the sound barrier -




This is about as fast as the panthers will take us, feeling daring, i use the space bar to start the nukes and surprisingly, the shrouds don't cause my craft to disassemble as they pop off -




At this point we bring in the incredible power of our Terrier boosters





Booster separation.   The non-reusable component is actually pretty cheap, mk1 lf tanks aren't worth much empty (unlike rocket fuel tanks) and the Terriers are low rent too.    Also, structural pylons are cheaper than rocket decouplers, for some reason.








The underside is covered in wing panels to make it hydrofoil across the water


The cargo bay has a science junior, a load of solar panels and enough batteries to mine all night long


https://www.dropbox.com/s/93e76xjbxmaqci0/laythe mk2c.craft?dl=0

The idea was, this craft would land on Minmus, refuel itself and then go to Laythe.     But, it just falls short of making a landing on minmus.    After correcting inclination (70m/s) I had about 240 dv left after getting an encounter with Minmus, which isn't quite enough. So I need to add more fuel.   Yeah I know, people always say that and it seldom ends well, though i really feel this craft could lift more fuel easily enough - it takes about 45 seconds to cross the transonic region, and makes it to space easily. 

The problem is it would mean a major redesign of the craft to shoehorn more tanks in.   I already have 6 mk 0 tanks in the cargo bay, can't get more in without abusing clipping.   They have me another 350 dv in kerbin orbit.

I suppose the obvious answer is to lengthen the booster pods.    Make them 3 mk1 tanks each instead of 2?   I'll need to add more LFO, because I'd timed it nicely so the oxidizer for the terriers (stored in the bicouplers and mk2 adapters) runs out just as the drop tanks run dry on liquid fuel.

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19 hours ago, kermand said:

Very nice summary, thank you, but i have a question about this point.

How about RCS blocks ? I just designed an SSTO for 6 kerbals, the ultra basic LKO station crew swapping model, which gives me satisfaction appart for the fact that the RCS blocks on the side and below tend to explode on re-entry. Do you put them in cargo bays ? (It could fit in a small one)


Hi! Well, RCS blocks do have a few things to keep in mind. First, they are physicsless parts, IIRC, which means that, on their own, they generate no drag. Or rather, they don't generate drag on themselves, but they do add to the drag (and weight and so on) of the part they are attached to.

Which means, you could probably exploit that, place them on a shielded part inside a cargo bay, move them outside with gizmos, and unless I'm mistaken you would have drag-less RCS ports. Not that I actually do such things, but it's the way I think that would work.

Now, what I do, that's different. First, I eat the drag as a small inefficiency, just like I sometimes place parts for aesthetic purposes only. Once you design an ultra-efficient prototype, you can tape more stuff on to it, to make it also practical.

And of course, I never use the four-way RCS block on spaceplanes. Temp. rating is a measly 1500°, and it looks very wonky in any case (IMO, YMMV, and all that). Instead, linear RCS ports can be hidden quite flush, and both them and the uber-powerful (and expensive!) Vernors have temp. ratings of about 2000°, which is much more reasonable to handle your typical reentry.

Besides, you can try some weird ways of getting six-degree control authority that way, and some of those can actually tailor your RCS subsystem to you plane's actual moments of inertia on each axis (a long plane has big moment of inertia in the yaw axis, but a small one in roll). A few more parts than the 4x RCS blocks radially spaces 45° that we always use, but a nice change sometimes!


Rune. Experimentation is encouraged. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

A few of mine.

These are all multirole SSTOs from the Battlestar Galactica series.

The Raptor and Heavy Raider can carry cargo, science, passengers etc, and can do short takeoffs and landings with the rapier engines.

All hosted on my KerbalX account here.


Heavy Raider


Viper Mk7
Cylon Classic Raider
Viper Mk2
Cylon Raider Mk2
Edited by atassiedevil
Moving ship pictures to imgur
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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm assuming those are the 2 engine node with rapiers with 2-8x attached radially and sunk in?! How many nukes does it have? That looks really good.

NVM, saw the youtube video description.

I like the engine output when they are sunk in together too. I never tried that.

If you want it to be even more fun below 20k. Add a whiplash at the end of each Rapier. Sink it so the ends are on top of each other or one or one half notch sunk in to avoid damage. It'll go really fast! 8) Assuming it doesn't overweight it. That or something like going down to three Rapiers with 3 whiplash or similar. Might get more out of RF and LF from using less rapiers overall. Unless it's designed on the margins of what is needed.

And the pelican reminds me of the 500ton lifter design I did. But smaller and sleeker. I've always enjoyed that wing configuration.

I need to get in game again. 8)

Edited by Arugela
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