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Las-pen

A staging concept

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I have a concept for a new kind of staging system.

You would have <insert number> of individual fuel tank-engine -combos balanced around ship. See image below.

stage.jpg

Here the four "arms" form a square. You would drain one fuel tank at a time and then drop the empty arm off. Rest of the arms would then rotate to form a triangle to balance your ship. So kinda like asparagus staging, but involving moving parts.

I guess it could be done with Infernal Robotics, but would be easier if there was a structural fuselage with rotating parts in it (hence the choice of sub-forum).

What do you think?

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While they're rotating, the thrust would be unbalanced. So you'd have to shut off the engines, drop the stage, rotate the other engines, then start them again.

Even doing that, it would be aerodynamically unbalanced, which would cause the ship to turn or even flip.

So.. it would look cool, but it's terrible engineering.

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Yeah, balance is one of the primary reasons why asparagus and onion staging are used so often. With an unbalanced thrust OR drag, your ship would have lots of problems no matter where it was, and while you can control unbalanced thrust by shutting off engines, you can't do the same with unbalanced drag.

Still. I think it's a really cool idea to have mechanically position-able engines attached to the body!

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