Nertea

[1.8.x] Mark IV Spaceplane System (November 16, 2019)

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I love mk4.

Mining rig delivery test.

http://imgur.com/a/Jp3JA

Sweet!

Thunderbirds are go!

- - - Updated - - -

THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!

Actually i was lying about the Speedometer. I noticed that yours can be switched between SRF and Orbital mode which is very cool.

But ... FAR has a special hack included that changes the default speedometer display. Doing this for modded displays is not going to happen on FARs side and i won't ask you to support FAR in this way. So nevermind!

*raises eyebrows* Actually, RPM supports effective airspeed display natively. I'll just have to create an MM patch to add EAS to the speed display as an option when you click on it.

I have had some issues with rovers partially dropping through the bays: mounted just clear of the floor on a docking clamp, when the clamp is released the rear wheels fall through the floor. I suspect that the wheel colliders may have flexed outside the bay during the initial drop.

Is there any way to fix this apart from strutting before release to ensure that it doesn't sag during the initial drop?

Mount it slightly higher? It's even more fiddly than that - if the wheel collider is even inside the floor collider, it'll drop through. Not much I can do about this, I'll check the alignment of the bay

In other news, the fixing of the colliders is going slowly but surely. A few (almost all) of the parts have some minor symmetry issues with their collision meshes, so I'm making sure that these are all perfect. This will probably improve handling at speed in atmo and in space. Additionally, I've managed to reduce their complexity without compromising accuracy, so the parts will cost less in terms of the physics engine. Expect an update on Sunday, maybe. Time is pretty limited right now.

I've added the SCIMITAR thrust curve bug and the intake bug to the OP in the meantime.

Edited by Nertea

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For those interested, I wrote up some RealFuels configs for the MkIV.

Posted it here in the RF thread. I've also submitted a pull request for so these should be in the next RF update. (the engine config only replaces the stock fuels. Nothing else like RF engine configs and alternate fuels)

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/64118-0-25-Real-Fuels-v8-1-Cold-War-Nightmare-Edition-%28Typos-fixed%29-Oct-18-14?p=1577309#post1577309

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Could you make a pointier tail? This one looks to stubby. Other than that, Very nice!

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It would help to have longer versions of the tanks and the cargo bays. My spaceplanes are very floppy.

Recommend Kerbal Joint Reenforcement. Doesn't make the problem go away entirely but means that you can get away with a few struts rather than dozens for complex designs.

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Recommend Kerbal Joint Reenforcement. Doesn't make the problem go away entirely but means that you can get away with a few struts rather than dozens for complex designs.

I have it. Flopping is still a huge problem with all but the shortest planes.

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Thunderbirds are go!

- - - Updated - - -

THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!

So,... uhh,... does it come in green?

For reasons.

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I have it. Flopping is still a huge problem with all but the shortest planes.

Actually, looking at the CFGs, it's possible that the nodes being size 2 rather than size 3 has something to do with it. These parts are really considerably larger than 2.5m so they should probably be size 3.

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I thought I'd pop in here to add my voice to all the support for this mod, it's fantastic well done!

tAzU5Fy.png

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Actually, looking at the CFGs, it's possible that the nodes being size 2 rather than size 3 has something to do with it. These parts are really considerably larger than 2.5m so they should probably be size 3.

I've actually changed this in the latest version already! Additionally a couple nodes got strengthened.

Captive plane with FAR:

http://imgur.com/a/lMjMS

It would help to have longer versions of the tanks and the cargo bays. My spaceplanes are very floppy.

Yes, patience, they are coming.

(very nice entry :) )

Could you make a pointier tail? This one looks to stubby. Other than that, Very nice!

Stubby is the goal!

I thought I'd pop in here to add my voice to all the support for this mod, it's fantastic well done!

http://i.imgur.com/tAzU5Fy.png

Ahahah! It's great! I'm going to make legs eventually.

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Stubby is the goal!

That's not what she said...(borderline? :P)

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Stubby is the goal!

While I very much appreciate the Thunderbird 2 aesthetic (:D) adding some conventionally shaped cockpit/nose and tail pieces would greatly expand the design options.

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Mini Challenge!

Accepted.

Unfortunately, I didn't grab nearly as many screenshots as I intended, and I didn't want to go back and take additional shots that don't match up with the video, below the gallery. :cool:

Javascript is disabled. View full album

If anyone wants to check out the KX-55/KX-27.5, the .craft file is here.

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LOVE this set of parts! Can't wait for updates, and yeah - the only major complaint I have is also the floor colliders. I can drive a Rover up the ramp into the cargo area, but then trying to attach it with KAS parts drops the rover through the floor! Glad to know that's being worked on!

A poster on Facebook (where I learned of this set of parts first) said:

"I was wondering if I was going to make orbit.

I need not have worried.

The Scimitar Engines crushed orbit, saw orbit driven before them, and heard the lamentations of their women!"

I literally LOLed and told him the first design I made with the Mk 4 parts would be called Conan the Cargoplane. :D

And so it was.

Javascript is disabled. View full album

So yeah - the Conan 2 could get to orbit and her cargo bay was big enough to load an orange fuel tank.

But could it LIFT it? Lifting an orange tank to orbit is after all, the "standard benchmark" for truly large SSTO cargo planes. Like the all-stock ones that Mr. Overfloater designs.

Sadly... no. Conan 2 came up short in the power department. She could fit an orange tank. But she could BARELY struggle off the end of the runway and stagger into the air with it. Much less get it to orbit!

So... back to the drawing board once again.

Well Conan The Cargoplane 1 and 2 both failed to loft an orange tank into orbit. But what I learned from their failures begat the SSTO Spaceplane that CAN!!!

I present to you - an SSTO that truly lives up to the potential of this parts set, and thus earns the name for the true inspiration behind it -

THUNDERBIRD!

Javascript is disabled. View full album

The Thunderbird is a keeper. So's this entire parts system. Awesome work!

Here's the Craft File for the Thunderbird at my Mediafire dropbox.

BTW - I love Gerry Anderson's works. And I'm doing my best to keep Devo's Wayland Mk 3 Space 1999 Eagle mod alive. Which still works in .25 Sandbox! Link below to a download of the parts with mods I've created for it and craft files for pods for it. The reason I mention it is because you might want to take a look at the Eagle's VTOL engines for help in designing VTOLs for the Mk 4 in case of a full-on TB2 Style mod. ^_^

Thanks for an awesome mod set!

Edited by Logan.Darklighter

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While I very much appreciate the Thunderbird 2 aesthetic (:D) adding some conventionally shaped cockpit/nose and tail pieces would greatly expand the design options.

This is the other cockpit I'm intending to add. I would be interested in your opinion of what a 'conventional' tailpiece would look like.

Accepted.

Unfortunately, I didn't grab nearly as many screenshots as I intended, and I didn't want to go back and take additional shots that don't match up with the video, below the gallery. :cool:

http://imgur.com/a/j1lB1

http://youtu.be/hHNrCcMG1Fw

If anyone wants to check out the KX-55/KX-27.5, the .craft file is here.

Very nice! I like how you managed to land both of them!

LOVE this set of parts! Can't wait for updates, and yeah - the only major complaint I have is also the floor colliders. I can drive a Rover up the ramp into the cargo area, but then trying to attach it with KAS parts drops the rover through the floor! Glad to know that's being worked on!

Holy baloney. Holy... crazy nice plane!

(yes, the heavy structural intakes are broken. They're about 400x as effective as they should be :P)

Some new adapters. Fills out the basic set. Mk2 (and the future Mk3) are the only ones that are left.

newadapters.jpg

Edited by Nertea

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Y'know, Nertea, you're gonna have to stop being so awesome eventually, otherwise all the other modders are going to start feeling extremely inadequate. ;) That is, if they don't already.

Lol, I REALLY like that new cockpit design! Is that photo a screen grab from a Thunderbirds movie? If so, I don't remember seeing that one. Looking forward to that, and also the new engine adapter and fuselage parts are looking good too! :) One small request: On the one that tapers down to a flat edge, with no engine mounts at all, how about instead of the rear edge being just straight across, what if it had a slight 'chevron' shape to it, coming to a point in the middle of the part? It wouldn't need to be very pointy, just enough to add some visual style instead of being just a straight line, that's all. Although, ideally in my mind, the angle of the trailing edge of the fuselage would match the angle of at least one set of the now-stock wings, so that we could attach the angled ailerons if we chose to. Or to just match the angle for a smooth design. :) Anyway, just an idea. Perhaps there could even be BOTH parts available, one straight and one pointed. :D

Alrighty, I'll keep an eye open for the new parts. Later, all. :D

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Hey, Logan.Darklighter, would you consider using an imgur album or including spoilers with any possible series of pics in the future? Page kept spazzing out because new photos were loading.

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This is the other cockpit I'm intending to add. I would be interested in your opinion of what a 'conventional' tailpiece would look like.

You already have stubby and long cone endcaps (really more like domes but that works for this set). An upswept cone with a 1.25m attachment point (so it's straight along the top) might be a good addition, as well as an endcap like the cargo door but without a door.

Another idea, some hull pieces with additional bumps along the top to facilitate smoother roofline wing attachments, like these:

225047_634.png

Edited by ultrasquid

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Hey, Logan.Darklighter, would you consider using an imgur album or including spoilers with any possible series of pics in the future? Page kept spazzing out because new photos were loading.

I use imgur already. But I can't seem to figure out how to imbed an album structure into a post.

Edit: NVM - I think I see the problem. I've just been dumping all my KSP pics in a single album. In order to make it work like you are suggesting, I have to separate out a sub-album and then embed THAT. I can't just select individual pics for the code to embed on the fly. Let me see what I can do with that.

Edited by Logan.Darklighter

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quote_icon.png Originally Posted by Alfondoo viewpost-right.png

I thought I'd pop in here to add my voice to all the support for this mod, it's fantastic well done!

tAzU5Fy.png

Ahahah! It's great! I'm going to make legs eventually.

You know - I looked at that and it got me to thinking.

What would you need to make a Thunderbird 2 style modular cargo pod?

I realized I had some experience in creating something similar that would work. On the Space 1999 Eagle mod, Devo made the central truss body of the Eagle a one-piece affair. It was flat on the forward and rearward facing inner sides. I think he was eventually going to make docking ports to fit on those surfaces, but never got around to it.

(Image: The basic Wayland Mk 3 Eagle with no central pod. If you look closely, you can see the LLL CFG docking port I attached along the rear inner facing surface of the truss body.)

RIygneI.png

But I experimented and eventually hit upon a system that worked. The LLL Parts made perfect sized rectangular pods, and the thin CBM square docking ports could attach either via node or flat to any surface that would allow a general non-node attach area. Fortunately the Eagle truss had that type of colliding surface in those spots that I needed.

So I was able to make pods that fit perfectly in-between the two docking nodes. The Eagle could even drop a pod, and then move off, come back and pick it back up again. As long as one of the docking ports "Locked" on, the other would as well. (I improved the ability to strengthen the links and align the pods with Quantum struts, but it was possible to do it without them)

(Image: Eagle with LLL parts making a passenger pod fitted under the truss.)

3YUxmj9.png

Here's a closer look at what I'm talking about - the CBM Docking port is fitted to the Eagle truss, then a matching CBM on the pod mates with it.

DYZYnvb.png

IoGZdH0.png

So what's the point of the above example? Well think about it - instead of a single truss going over the top - what you want is to make a single fuselage part that has forward and aft sections that mate smoothly to the other fuselage mod parts, but has a "cut-out" in the middle between the outboard "bulges" and a cargo pod that will fit in that space smoothly.

I can only do this crudely, but take the example below - imagine that the hollow "RCS" hull parts at the fore and aft end and the girders make up a single part. Also imagine that the sections of hull below do NOT have the bulges on them so that the central part fits into the cut-out.

quDOhDZ.png

qqxl3by.png

Now - what else would you need to make this work? I suspect that it's not possible to have docking ports integral to the "cut-out" piece. So you'd need to make docking pieces that fit on the ends of the cargo pod and on the matching surfaces on the inward facing parts of the cut-out section.

And to make it fit smoothly into the cutout, both the cargo pod and the hull cut-out sections will have to be recessed far enough to fit the needed docking ports AND allow the sections outwardly to fit together with minimal seams.

Further - how would you make a cargo section that has a door AND space for a docking port?

Well - Thankfully - your parts are large enough to accommodate both. Plus - you've already got a good visual texture that might serve as the starting point for a docking port already. Check out the image below. Ignore the RCS fuel pods and imagine this plus the wall of the pod attached to it as one end of the proposed "cut-out" section. Note the door with the windows on either side near the top? Well imagine that as the node location for a docking port. (which could look quite similar to that door/window section)

lUsf1As.png

Now, turn your mental viewpoint around 180 degrees and imagine you're looking at the matching end of the cargo pod (sans the bulges).

You've got that docking port area up top - plus enough room below that section for a fairly wide aperture - whether that winds up being a simple open "walk through" area, or an actual drop down ramp/door (like what you've done with the ramp/tail of the plane) is up to you.

If you're going to make telescoping legs, then docking/redocking a cargo pod is possible. As I mentioned above with the example of the Eagle - if the fit is close enough, then if one docking port connects and locks on, so will the other. Trust me, it works! I've done it many times! And with a TB2 style arrangement, it might be even easier!

IIRC, TB2's cargo pods had rollers or wheels on the bottom of them. I think they were mainly so that TB2 could taxi. But if you allowed for some small rover wheels to fit along the bottom of the cargo pods, then it would likely make lining them up for re-docking much easier. Which brings me to my last observation.

On the Eagle pods, they needed to have their own internal power supply in the form of an RTG or solar panels, a battery, and a probe control body. That way they became their own "craft" when separated and not register as "debris". If something is debris, it can't be docked to again (unless you hook to it with KAS or something like it so that it becomes powered and part of the main ship again. The cargo pods could be written to have those qualities like a probe or command pod inherent to them in the part instead of it being necessary to attach other parts as I did with the Eagle pods. If they had rollers/wheels on the bottom (possibly created as extremely low profile landing gear?) then the cargo pod itself could act as a limited rover.

Hope these ideas and observations help!

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Tons of stuff

Lots of info there! I would also say, yeah, bundle your images into spoiler tags or albums :).

The issue with the TB2 pod in my mind has always been locking it on correctly in a way that would allow it to be retrieved. I can never quite ensure that two docking ports (one on each end) would actually connect at the same time. I can't do it that frequently in stock KSP, requires timing and precision. My current best theory is, like yours, to have a 'frame' part that would be placed pretty much as you show with the struts in the image. However, instead of docking port on either end, I abstract it and have a docking node placed invisibly in the centre of the frame, at the top of the fuselage (facing downward). The pod piece has a corresponding docking node placed invisibly at the top, facing upward. This way the pod can easily "dock" to the frame at one point, without worrying about connecting multiple ports. Since the port is in the centre of the assembly, it should flex less than if it was connected at one of the ends.

You do make good points about the technical makeup of the pod though. Give it a probe core is not a bad idea, along with some storage. I'd leave the RTG out of it though, players can attach their own power source (put a NFT nuclear reactor in the pod whaaaaat). Wheels are a must as well.

Y'know, Nertea, you're gonna have to stop being so awesome eventually, otherwise all the other modders are going to start feeling extremely inadequate. ;) That is, if they don't already.

Lol, I REALLY like that new cockpit design! Is that photo a screen grab from a Thunderbirds movie? If so, I don't remember seeing that one. Looking forward to that, and also the new engine adapter and fuselage parts are looking good too! :) One small request: On the one that tapers down to a flat edge, with no engine mounts at all, how about instead of the rear edge being just straight across, what if it had a slight 'chevron' shape to it, coming to a point in the middle of the part? It wouldn't need to be very pointy, just enough to add some visual style instead of being just a straight line, that's all. Although, ideally in my mind, the angle of the trailing edge of the fuselage would match the angle of at least one set of the now-stock wings, so that we could attach the angled ailerons if we chose to. Or to just match the angle for a smooth design. :) Anyway, just an idea. Perhaps there could even be BOTH parts available, one straight and one pointed. :D

Alrighty, I'll keep an eye open for the new parts. Later, all. :D

Yes, it's from the episode "The Cham-Cham". Amusingly, it carries rockets (maybe ICBMs) in the internal bay :). I already actually modeled it a while ago - haha. One of my favorite sci-fi planes ever (close to tied with the Fireflash).

rtl2top.jpg

Looking at it now, it's not super accurate, did this before I had access to any dvds or high res shots from the episode. I think I can do better now! As you might be able to tell, I already "borrowed" the engine pods ;).

Re: the flat tail - it's not a bad idea, but it's an addition that could't be undone, if you see what I mean. Someone could make it into a chevron shape quite easily by adding some of the stock structural wing pieces on the back (I will blend as seamlessly as possible). However, if I built the chevron in, a player couldn't take it off... and we would need another part without the chevron. This pack is large enough that I really have to start thinking about part count as a resource.

You already have stubby and long cone endcaps (really more like domes but that works for this set). An upswept cone with a 1.25m attachment point (so it's straight along the top) might be a good addition, as well as an endcap like the cargo door but without a door.

Another idea, some hull pieces with additional bumps along the top to facilitate smoother roofline wing attachments, like these:

http://www.antonov.com/media/gallery/227/225047_634.png

Hmm, those wing mounts would be a bit of a pain to do. I suspect that to do that, I would either have to make a purpose-built part for surface attachment, or a newly-shaped fuselage piece. It's not out of the question, but... it's probably not in any of the envisioned scope.

The other two tails are a possibility. Drawing out all the hull plating for all these adapters takes a lot of time :o. However, I suspect that when I go to IVAs for the crew cabin and similar other things, I'll somehow find that time :P.

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Lots of info there! I would also say, yeah, bundle your images into spoiler tags or albums :).

The issue with the TB2 pod in my mind has always been locking it on correctly in a way that would allow it to be retrieved. I can never quite ensure that two docking ports (one on each end) would actually connect at the same time. I can't do it that frequently in stock KSP, requires timing and precision. My current best theory is, like yours, to have a 'frame' part that would be placed pretty much as you show with the struts in the image. However, instead of docking port on either end, I abstract it and have a docking node placed invisibly in the centre of the frame, at the top of the fuselage (facing downward). The pod piece has a corresponding docking node placed invisibly at the top, facing upward. This way the pod can easily "dock" to the frame at one point, without worrying about connecting multiple ports. Since the port is in the centre of the assembly, it should flex less than if it was connected at one of the ends.

I found that when using a docking port located centrally under the Eagle's truss that it did not in fact stay stable in flight. They wobbled quite severely when the rear thrusters were applied. The pod would hang from the docking port and swing angled back or forward depending on the amount and direction of thrust applied. Even just flying the Eagle solely with the VTOL thrusters and angling it to move like a helicopter was problematic. I tried attaching the pods via a docking port that was clipped further up into the truss so that it fit more snugly against the rails (even if the docking ports looked strange). It didn't help. the pod part would simply clip through the truss structure and still wobble.

In fact the effect was similar to

when he attached a payload to only one docking port and forgot to use the KAS struts to secure it. The relevant bit starts at about 11:30 in the video.

I can't tell you how many hours I spent trying to crack the problem and tearing my hair out! I REALLY wanted the pods to attach to the truss rails. But that's why I ultimately had to go with the "docked at both ends" route. It locked the pods more securely to the parent craft, making the Eagle pods truly part of the main craft while attached.

Mind you - the single port attachment method was with the regular stock docking ports, so perhaps it's different than with the invisible docking node you are describing.

Anyway - I'll be more than happy to help you test pilot anything you want to make and work out the bugs! :D

You do make good points about the technical makeup of the pod though. Give it a probe core is not a bad idea, along with some storage. I'd leave the RTG out of it though, players can attach their own power source (put a NFT nuclear reactor in the pod whaaaaat). Wheels are a must as well.

Good point. I'd give it an inherent electrical charge like command pods have. But leave extra power generation to anyone building a craft. If they think the cargo pod they've dropped is going to stay where it is a long time, leave it to them to attach something to recharge the batteries in the SPH or attach it in the field with KAS.

Edited by Logan.Darklighter

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