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DerpenWolf

Yep so the updated Ion engines are fantastic

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So after doing some math I discovered that an ion engine powered craft, if built light enough, could actually take off vertically from the surface of Duna!!! Curious, I decided to modify one of my heavy ion landers slightly to see if I could make a hopper for exploration and well here are the results

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To my amazement I had enough fuel to get to orbit (with quite a bit to spare)!!! So then I decided that I should refine my design a bit (add a way to refuel and bring the number of solar panels to a minimum) and I got this.

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After a bit of work I even managed to get a mini variant working!!!

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The mun was not very compliant while I was testing a larger 2 manned variant...

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So yea basically I felt I should share this concept with everyone and see what the comunitiy makes of this curious concept. I defiantly found these craft to be EXTREMELY entertaining to fly around Duna (It really takes awhile to get used to landing) and I think that they might make a very interesting replacement for science gathering rovers when Duna finally gets multiple Biomes. So what do you think of this? Are you super excited to try to make a vertical takeoff Duna Ion SSTO? Do you think that the fact that this is possible is a testament to the overpowered nature of ion engines in the game?

If you want something to play around with here is the latest version of one of the craft I have made, I have yet to fly it on Duna but it should still work (its only slightly different from one of my most successful versions). Also the craft is a sub-assembly so make sure you put it in the right folder!!!

Edit- I've just tested the craft and it is fantastic!!!

Link to the craft

http://pastebin.com/zW1AdkjN

And a picture

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Edited by DerpenWolf

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You can improve it further by not carrying that many solar panels.

The Z-100 battery is massless, so you can just hog those until they give you enough delta V to orbit whatever body you have the TWR for. Then add one tiny solar panel to recharge.

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Very nice, I think I'm inspired. Rovers are a pain so I usually use a lander for multiple descents rather than surface-hopping but this would provide a happy alternative to wheels :-)

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I've made similiar craft but have yet to test them on Duna. Very impressive and more fun than rovers.

You should make one with all the science equipment though. An ion plane might work better for the extra weight.

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Looks cracking, really nice design. And I think it's better with the panels, massless batteries seem a bit cheaty even if it is just how they are in the game.

Out of interest, which batteries aren't massless? So I can pick them to make my ion craft if I do any "honest".

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You can improve it further by not carrying that many solar panels.

The Z-100 battery is massless, so you can just hog those until they give you enough delta V to orbit whatever body you have the TWR for. Then add one tiny solar panel to recharge.

Not with the stock rebalance project if you're using as you seem to say in my thread :wink:

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Haha, nice! I've only gotten a Dual Ion plane to work so far. But it gets a respectable 50m/s in the lower atmosphere and has a really long range if i adjust my fuel balancing so it doesn't flip out.

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You use, or at, this is what I do, you use the little single-panel solar cells. They only break when you hit something with 'em.

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This is incredible :D

I should tell you it inspired me to make a showcase thread for Ion ships. It would be fantastic if you got in on that.

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This is incredible :D

I should tell you it inspired me to make a showcase thread for Ion ships. It would be fantastic if you got in on that.

If I can find the thread I most definatly will!

I've made similiar craft but have yet to test them on Duna. Very impressive and more fun than rovers.

You should make one with all the science equipment though. An ion plane might work better for the extra weight.

I've been working on a two manned lander that can be equiped with a payload of the reuseable science equipment or a parachute or two. So far the craft has been working quite well but I still want to improve the landing gear.

I thought the solar panels tore off when you go fast in atmosphere?

Its way harder to do on Duna do to the thin atmosphere, I have yet to break my pannels off despite moving at rather high speeds!

And now here are even more pictures of some of my craft that I have recently been testing

The current version of the two manned varient

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Despite hardly being able to fly I managed to fly and land a mini hopper to my origional Duna landing site 18Km away!

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Also I finally tested the version of the craft I had given the save file for and I must say that is very functional!!!

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