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Everything posted by Exothermos

  1. Wow, man. Fantastic! You really nailed all the lines, even the subtle dishing on the bottom. That header image says it all.
  2. A Cupcake video featuring a Cake song? Too much cake? ... nah!
  3. I've been playing with trying to recreate Boeing's proposed Hypersonic demonstrator. It's kind of a odd looking thing, like the world's fastest zeppelin. Mach 5 is the number they propose to reach, thats 3800 mph or so 1600+ m/s! In KSP we cant really get there on air breathing engines, but 1400 m/s is doable. It's not a lot of fun to fly right now as the shape isn't exactly stable in KSP. I'll keep tweaking...
  4. This was an early build of this model (it's just a good pic) and no it wasn't quite enough. I added one more spike per engine pod. Notice the Precooler part there: They add a lot of air without adding much drag to the assembly. The result is the equivalent of around 2 rapiers for every intake. This is more than enough if you are going to get to at least 600m/s at sea level before starting the ascent. 1.3.1 changed things up a little though. The compressor spike intake is very low drag now, so there isn't much disadvantage to using it for the front of every engine (except a little weight). If I were to rebuild the blimp shaped SSTO I would definitely tack on the spike intake for the drag advantage alone. It wasn't an especially great design though, very draggy with essentially two giant fairings (one fore, one aft). There are better solutions.
  5. Even out-sized payloads need to be encased in a fairing. Creating a payload bay out of other parts will not work (at least as far as the aerodynamic model is concerned-it may LOOK cool.) So the two methods I've seen are a center mounted payload, like Thor's Pteradactyl above and my Fusilid Extreme design: Or a payload mounted either above or below the craft like my Stratomaran. These ideas can be taken to some silly extremes.
  6. OK, I demand a sequel to featuring their jailbreak!
  7. LOTS of clever stuff in this video. I really like that cheeky cut from the above ground section of payload bay tunnel to the "underground" section. Also, that "tunnel" craft must have been enormous. And the railgun / accelerator launch at the end? Super fun.
  8. Yup. In the current build drop tanks really aren't needed. Just make sure all your nodes are aerodynamically "satisfied", do not surface attach things that can go in bays, slap some rapiers and an intake on it. Build speed above 400m/s at low altitude then gently climb at 10 degrees. BAM! space.
  9. Thanks @Raptor9 Yeah, I was kind of motivated to get this out before everyone forgets about the real mission proposal. Like most mars missions, I very much doubt it will proceed beyond the conceptual stage. As far as the lander goes, it experienced a lot of iterations to get to the relatively small size of the current lander. It's still a bit over-scale (or is the rest of the pack under-scale), but further shrinkage would mean dropping payload capacity significantly, and that is something I wasn't willing to budge on. There would be much more room for creative solutions if you aren't trying to adhere to the specific form-factor of Lockheed's design. In the case of this release, that form-factor was a high priority. Some things must take a back seat to practicality, however. My swing-arm deploying "round" Solar Panel design had a date with the chopping block, even though I was quite proud of it. Ultimately I didn't think the fidelity was worth the huge parts count and performance hit. Especially considering all the docking that must take place. From a practical point of view it offered nothing, and besides, it is something that can be quickly replaced by a suitable mod part if someone is so inclined.
  10. I'd better release these before the mission fades into SciFi obscurity... A somewhat simplified replica of Lockheed Martin's proposed Martian mission: This endeavor started when I thought it would be fun to replicate Lockheed Martin's Mars lander from their new proposal for a mars mission. Surprisingly much of the complicated mission profile of this lander worked fine in KSP. After tinkering with that for a while i decided to build the rest of the mission assets. "Should be easy," I thought "It's basically just a space station..." Famous last words; This pack ballooned into 5 separate craft files. Even then, much of the mission profile has been simplified just to keep it from being an outrageous burden. Lockheed's proposal is extremely complicated: It involves at least 15 launches assembling assets in Earth, Lunar, and Martian orbit. I don't recommend this. This pack should allow for roughly 7 launches; most assembly can be done in Low Kerbin orbit with minimal construction at Duna. Other options include a very minimal approach that could see a lander and simple station at Duna in 4 launches. Basically you can scale this mission to your attention span. Mine is quite short. Here are the included parts: The Lander with simple surface payload The Lab and Center Docking Node The Habitat Node The Fuel Nodes The Orion Tenders All nodes come with appropriate Launch Vehicles Dropbox HERE. KerbalX Below: Lander Docking Node Hab Node Fuel Node Orion Tender
  11. I think it was the fix for fairings. 1.3 had a bug where complex stuff inside of fairings exploded. Obviously this craft has a lot stuff going on inside of (and clipping through) those fairing parts.
  12. My tinkering continues with the replicating the Lockheed Martin mars mission proposal. Iv'e built a kerbalized version of the "base camp" station, tender, and transfer vehicle modules. Here is part of the assembly just cheated from low Kerbal orbit to Duna orbit for a glamour shot. Things are getting awfuly parts-intensive with those Solar arrays. To make it playable on my computer I might resort to the large rectangular arrays. Much of the complication comes from a set of stock hinges to extend the solar array arms after launch. This is my first foray into stock moving bits in a loooonnnngggg time. I'm quite pleased with them! I will probably omit the probe body and reaction wheels as simply rolling the station flings the arms out nicely with centripetal force. A much simpler solution. These big modules need big rockets! I also scaled-down the lander from the previous post. It is still over-sized in relation to the station, but this is as small as it is going to get in the game and still actually DO something. I was pretty worried that the lander wouldn't be able to transition to retrograde after re-entering conventionally. Testing on Kerbin made this seem dubious. Thankfully Duna is another story. The lander easily transitions over to vertical flight once below 250m/s in the middle atmosphere. Landing is a breeze. Even though the lander is very tall, all the mass is in the tail, so it is nice and stable. Again, I'm pretty chuffed with how it is turning out. The payloads still need work as they are a little on the explodey-side when deployed. I'm glad I'm playing around with this kind of mission as it is taking me well outside my comfort zone. I may never actually run the whole mission in earnest, as it is Absurdly Complicated. With atleast 12 launches and 12 rendezvous to perform in both Low Kerbin Orbit, Munar Orbit and Dunar orbit to assemble and transfer all the different vehicles, It would be one hell of an undertaking. I could definitely do it, but I just get much more enjoyment solving build challenges than fiddling with maneuver nodes.
  13. Lockheed Martin has been promoting a Mars mission that includes an orbiting Martain space station as well as a lander that looks like it is right out of 60s SciFi. These kind of proposals always inspire me to tinker with KSP, and I've managed to get a reasonable facsimile working nicely. It's totally overbuilt for what KSP requires for a Duna lander, but I was trying to copy form rather than adhering to KSPs needs. The result is that the lander has way more DeltaV and thrust than is really needed for Duna, but hey, i suppose it is capable of lots of other missions around the Kerbol system. It's delivered on a stubby booster with a faring to match the back of the lander, and uses much of the lander's fuel to reach orbit. Lockheed's proposal includes refueling at the Orbiting station for multiple missions to and from the martian surface, so I figured they would refuel the lander in LEO before ferrying it to mars. This helps keep the booster short , keeping the Center of Lift behind the center of mass; a problem when topping rockets with "wingy" vehicles. Anyway, maybe I'll make an entire mission pack, the hard part is essentially done.
  14. I've been playing with Tylo capable ISRU SSTOs lately. I know you've had this one out for a while, but I have gained a lot of perspective from doing the Tylo run. That makes this design doubly impressive. AND it looks good!
  15. Here's a sneak peak at something I'm playing with. It's an SSTO based on the early Rockewell proposals for the X-30. The "X-plane of the Day" thread inspired me to try to make something like this work, hopefully I'm not stealing anyone's thunder over there. In keeping with the technology of the day, RAPIERs are out. Instead the craft is powered by 6 Whiplash turbofans and one Vector rocket. This was a fun challenge but I wasn't sure I could pack-in enough fuel for the Vector and still preserve the x-30's lines. This is a fairly difficult planform to make work in KSP, as everything is so tightly packed, and the engines are so far aft. This creates inherent instability as the fuel burns, but I think I have that particular nut cracked. Thanks to the engine selection the payload fraction won't win any awards, but it can lift any standard station module that fits in the bay. I still have a ton of polishing and revisions to make before this is ready for release. That wimpy tail has to go, it needs some mono-propellant control, and the wing sections are a little haphazard, but the bones are there and I was excited that it even works!
  16. Don't aim that thing at my space center or you'll be met by furious hellfire like you have never seen! Don't make me implement some sanctions here...
  17. A functional x-30 in the late "surfboard" configuration is going to be a challenge with the current aero. KSP doesn't like the hypersonic wave-rider / compression ramp structure at all. Huge drag. The early concept art with the pointed nose should be easier to achieve by far. The X-30 is one of my favorite concept aircraft and most of my early SSTOs were based off of it. I was super bummed when the new aero made it mostly nonviable. I'm excited to see what you can come up with!
  18. A decent onto Laythe. (Edit. I know, It's an SSTO... but it's a plane on ascent and decent )
  19. Needed more air? Why the adjustments? Though, I do like the position of the vertical stabs.
  20. Mine is purely a Sandbox-mode design, but it the basics should translate to a lower-tech one for career mode (gonna need those mods listed above). Basically the whole thing is built off the center mk1 fuselage section embedded in the wing. The large, strong, wing sections provide the "bridging" needed without using a ton of struts. The main wings ARE auto-strutted to the catamaran hulls, however. The mark 3 fuselages are great because they are tall. That allows a lot clearance without super tall landing gear. The center wing section is also cantilevered-up to further accommodate larger loads. Of course super-sized loads could be lifted by puting tall gear on the tall fuselages. You just have to watch your CoM. (SSTO version shown) Your payloads need to be pretty aerodynamic or any Stratolaunch plane will perform very poorly. This design was aerodynamic enough to make an SSTO out of it, though reentry must be done with care. Link to more description and Craft Files.
  21. The recent roll-out of the Stratolauncher inspired me to play around with the basic catamaran hull design. The result is a pair of aircraft that are surprisingly capable. The two ships are so similar in form that I have not bothered to name them differently, even though their capabilities are much different. For simplicity I will call them both Stratomaran. The Stratomaran Air Launch takes the basic Stratolauncher mission profile to a higher performance level. The ship is capable of launching its payload at 1300m/s and 22+ kilometers. This greatly increases the range capability or weight of the payload compared to a ship powered by Turbofans. Bulky payloads are accommodated under the cantilevered center wing section. The plane is easy to fly, but a little hair-raising to land on the runway due to its wide-track landing gear. The Stratomaran SSTO takes the air-launch vehicle and gives is a kick with more engines and fuel. Rotation is no problem due to high clearances. Even more clearance is possible by changing landing gear sets. Now payloads can be taken directly to orbit! The real challenge is re-entry. Much like the NukeWing SSTO in the prior post, it is critical that a certain re-entry profile is observed. The idea is to use the huge wing area to slow down as fast as possible before the wimpy large wing sections overheat and explode. Lots of air brakes, a shallow trajectory, and a High angle of attack does the trick nicely. You slowdown like a badminton shuttlecock. Payloads for both designs must be aerodynamic or contained in fairings. The Air Launch version can lift 30% heavier payloads, but the SSTO can take them directly to space, so it's a bit of a wash.
  22. I thought it might be fun to share some steps of development of a plane. Seems like the WIP thread is a good spot. After seeing the Stratolauncher get rolled-out I tackled a build of the craft again. I'm sure many of you have done this, and in fact, a small version is stock in the game. I started with a conventional version to lift a Mun-mission rocket. But to be honest, I hated the performance of the Goliath Turbofans. They are total dogs. The plane could barely muster 8km and 180 m/s after a long, arduous climb. The rocket would never have enough dV to get to the Mun. So instead I switched things out for Whiplashes and Rapiers and cut the drag. This led to a ridiculous jump in performance. It's so satisfying to watch the rocket peel away from the plane. This is 20+km and 1000 m/s: MUCH better. The spindly looking airplane is very easy to fly, but can be a challenge to land on the runway due to its wide stance. The whole rocket made it to the moon. Not exactly efficient, but the payload was not really my focus here. Just a proof-of-concept. Still, the gang seems jazzed about the whole thing. After the successful moon mission I wanted to ramp things up. There were some weight-and-balance issues with the design that cropped-up when heavier loads were attempted. The original design had the engine mass under the wing. This new design puts it all at the back. Some ballancing with Oxidizer "ballast" was an inelegant but effective solution. To carry heavier payloads, that ballast needs to go. The Center of Mass was migrating too far forward when loaded, which meant that the Plane needed fuel pumping after launching the payload. It worked, but was a cumbersome process. Pushing the whole wing back was a near instantaneous fix. With that taken care of, I decided to find out how much this thing can lift. Answer: A lot. But it was clear that ground clearance was going to be a problem on takeoff. The wider payload, and the fact that it was pushed farther back made rotating for takeoff... unwise. I needed to either use taller landing gear (which would eliminate steering), or cantilever the center section of the wing. I decided the later was a better idea. This gave plenty of ground clearance for a 5 meter (or so) fairing piece on this Eve-bound space station rocket. Up to orbit to await a transfer window. I am certain I could turn this thing into an SSTO by swapping some engines around and carrying some oxidizer. It seems silly to do that: so I am certain I will try it now. The real challenge is going to be slowing the plane down fast enough before the wings heat-soak and explode. We'll see!
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