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  1. blakemw's post in Engine Plate drag? was marked as the answer   
    2.5m engine plates produce more drag than a tri-adapter and less than a quad-adapter assuming 3 or 4 1.25m engines are attached.
    The amount of drag they cause is actually dependent on the amount of surface that doesn't have an engine attached. So if you attach 4 engines to a plate, it'll produce less drag than if only 2 engines of the same size are attached, an engine plate smothered in engines causes basically no drag at all.
  2. blakemw's post in Optimum altitude to jettison fairings? was marked as the answer   
    Techcanilly, yes. :
    thrust * fairing_mass / rocket_mass kN of thrust is lost accelerating the fairing
    popping the fairing will increase drag, also measured in kN
    Since these numbers are directly comparable, once the rocket is wasting more kN of thrust accelerating the fairing, than the fairing is reducing drag, it is time to pop the fairing.
    However often in KSP you will complete the main burn to nearly gain orbital velocity, while still deep in the atmosphere ( < 40km) and as such there is no advantage in jettisoning the fairing until out of the atmosphere since you're just coasting.
    If I am using a steep trajectory I'd usually pop the fairing at 50-55km - I have a hunch it'd often be profitable to do so earlier (depending on payload) but it's one of those "better safe than sorry" things, keeping the fairing on for longer than necessary is just a small penalty to deltaV, jettisoning it too early can cause serious problems.
  3. blakemw's post in Use of structural tube vs fairing was marked as the answer   
    Structural tube seems to have drag issues. So sadly, if you want to use structural tube you should put it in a fairing or it'll cause massive amounts of drag.
    edit: To elaborate. Sometimes the game won't recognize the ends of structural tube as being connected, and so treats it as a draggy end (this is probably when the game, for reasons known only to itself, decides to connect the tube using its inner node rather than outer node). So in some cases merely using structural tube can result in excessive drag. But you might be okay using them as pure structural components.
    However AFAICT structural tube NEVER shields its content from drag so they are no kind of substitute for a fairing or cargo/service bay. If you're using the inner nodes of the tube and care at all about drag, you'll be needing to put the whole thing inside a fairing.
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