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Moach

WindStar SSTV -- My First Ever Good-For-Something SpacePlane!

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Ok, The image above has been photoshop'ed - original was too dark anyways... but anyhow - the ship itself is a real thing - it flies, not only that, it also makes it to orbit with fuel to spare and some payload to boot! :rolleyes:

Ironically, this is a first for me in KSP (see signature below for why this is ironic)

Really, all my previous Kerbal spaceplanes were more or less death traps less-than-perfect pieces of machinery...

This one, on the other hand has only cost the lives of about a dozen or so kerbals to become a veritable "ticket to space" deal for anyone willing to settle for a South-of-Unbelievable payload tonnage (w.r.t. what my usual rocket designs (aka: madness (yes, you are reading multiple nested parenthesis)) would allow) :D

but 15 minutes after takeoff (a rather hair-raising experience, however little hair kerbonauts may have) it gets you this far:

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That is space! Sweet! - In fact it's a very precise 150x150km orbit, made possible by the tiny-but-trusty OMS thrusters you can see here above

well... that and the SABRE-RAPIER combo I got mounted on that thing - But if those don't become the end of you, they're actually quite a nice ride :wink:

Anyways - the murderous contraption SpacePlane has enough "hoomph" to get as high as Kerbosynchronous orbit is - That much we know from actual testing! It did indeed manage to fly there, even several less-capable versions ago... It only came short of some little details such as that whole "circularizing" thing, (which had the engines go "pffth") and afterwards, that pesky reentry deal didn't work too well either, as that cost us a couple of main elevators redundant control surfaces and brought about an unsurvivable supersonic nose-first crash uncomfortable emergency landing scenario... but that was only a test flight, the ship is clearly not meant to fly THAT high

:confused:

But to space, it does get you! - And after you get up there, there's science to do:

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It's equipped to handle the toughest conditions an addon-loaded space environment can throw at it - hazards include:

- Deadly Reentry

- RemoteTech2

- ECLSS

- Engine Ignitor (not applicable here, tho - but the ship is equipped for rescue missions, if needed)

- FAR

- & whatnot... :P

So there you have it:

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The WindStar SSTV EX-4A (Swift Space Transportation Vehicle; EXtended version 4; post-prototype revision "A")

She can even do landings too!

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A well-planned reentry gets you subsonic just above the bay where KSC is located (what's that place called again? - there was a map once, wasn't there?)

Do mind that CG-shifting is VERY important for this thing... Might be the doings of FAR - Just like the Concorde, once you go supersonic your center of lift shifts way back, so we gotta pump fuel from the strategically-devised [cough] learned the hard way [/cough] forward tanks to move the center of gravity in accordance, lest the elevators cause a lot of unnecessary drag - and/or eventually max out and we stall/plummet to our fateful (yet oft-repeated) demise

The process then repeats during approach, just before landing there's a slight moment of terror workload increase for getting the CG back into place for subsonic transition... if not, the thing stalls, and once that nose goes up, it ain't coming back down anytime sooner than the whole thing goes just that same way....

Anyhow... The Airbrakes are extremely effective, quite a relief after coming in for touchdown at just about 300km/h...

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that tail-strike wheel is something of a secret-to-success here... oh, how many good kerbonauts had to die before we got that thing figured out...

...but then we can taxi back on whatever momentum we have left!

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wheels stopped and everybody is still alive! unbelievable! indeed!

if you want the .craft files, here you go - just note that it requires pretty much every major mod out there in order to load up... oh well... that's reckless high-profile engineering for you, isn't that right?

But in that zip you'll find every iteration of the design process that brought us the EX-4A - and development continues! who knows what the future may bring for Kerbalkind?

any similarities to the G42-200 Starliner seen in the signature below are purely coincidental and/or because both are somewhat ripped off from the Skylon a bit :P

cheers!

Edited by Moach
whhhyyyy!? so many typos...

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