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Suggestion: J-8B "Karrier" rotatable jet engine for VTOL aircraft

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VTOL aircraft are awesome, they're fun to fly and land and generally are super cool:



A big problem however is that KSP2 does not have any robotics parts, which severely restricts the options available when it comes to building practical VTOL aircraft in the game, and even when worked around you're still enduring a heavy performance penalty (both in terms of the aircraft's capabilities and your literal PC's performance) when compared with anything you can build in KSP1, those Whittle clusters and reaction wheels cost quite a bit!

So, with the understanding that robotics aren't coming anytime soon, I figured I'd put forward my own suggestion for a nice alternative that'd fill this role perfectly, in the form of a brand new jet engine part:

Introducing the J-8B "Karrier"


Mass: 0.8t

Maximum thrust: 80kN (Lifting capacity of 8.15 tons per engine on Kerbin)

ISP: 6500s

Alternator: 0.5 EC/s

Deploy range: 90° (+10° single-axis gimbal, for a total authority range of 110°)


Modelled after the Hawker Siddeley P.1127's engine nozzles (One of the experimental aircraft designs that eventually led to the Harrier Jump Jet)


This engine is designed to be radially attached in pairs on the sides of an aircraft and can deploy for a full 90 degrees of freedom, plus 10 degrees of single-axis gimbal, giving it a large range of pitch control to alleviate the need for large numbers of reaction wheels to counteract torque.

It can rotate its thrust vector downwards for vertical take offs and landings:


And then, once off the ground, it can swivel its thrust vector around for horizontal flight:


It can also be freely deployed to anywhere between the two angles to facilitate short take offs or other use cases people may think of.

This engine fills a much needed niche in terms of VTOL jet aircraft, and would allow for so much more creativity in terms of plane design and functionality, as well as making it possible to build VTOL aircraft that are actually aerodynamic and aren't hard capped to the sound barrier (Whittle clusters suck).

In terms of its stats, it needs to have a high amount of thrust for the obvious purpose of being a VTOL engine, and it also needs to be relatively light and not use too much intake air, that leaves its ISP as the main variable in terms of balancing this engine against other jet engines (Particularly the Panther, which it is rather close to in terms of thrust), I also didn't quite want to give it terrible ISP either as it may be used as the primary engines on certain aircraft designs.

In the end, I decided that 6,500s of ISP feels like a nice middle ground, it's far more efficient than the three hypersonic jet engines (Afterburning Panther, Whiplash and Rapier), but simultaneously it's still well below the standard Panther and Wheelsley in terms of efficiency, ensuring that it does not replace either of them for general usage.

Generally (in my very totally unbiased opinion) as someone who's spent a rather unhealthy number of hours designing VTOL aircraft across both games, I believe this would be an amazing addition to the game that would open up so many new opportunities for aircraft design and construction, the specific stats I've laid out for for this engine are not solid "this is absolutely how it must be implemented" caps, but just represent how I personally feel it'd be best implemented should it become a real part in the game, I hope this post reaches the development team and they seriously consider implementing a part like this to fill this role.

Edited by DibzNr
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Mate, I 100% love this idea! The biggest provlem with VTOLs in KSP 1 was that you needed a DLC to make a good one. This solves it very nicely!


Just one question: where did you get the pictures of the part? It already looks like a real part that’s already in KSP 2!

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40 minutes ago, TechieV said:

Mate, I 100% love this idea! The biggest provlem with VTOLs in KSP 1 was that you needed a DLC to make a good one. This solves it very nicely!


Just one question: where did you get the pictures of the part? It already looks like a real part that’s already in KSP 2!

Made them myself!

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On 11/20/2023 at 11:21 PM, Lowi_Sace said:

Would also be handy for gameplay. Not needing to build runways for every colony

wait... not every planet can support turbofans, so wouldn't there need to be a version that can operate on those planets as well?

honestly, not a bad idea. is there a mod part like that for the original?

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That sounds amazing! One of Nertea's mods (Near Future Aerospace, I believe) also had really nice VTOL engines. Maybe something like those could be implemented.

I'd also love to have a methalox/standard fuel VTOL engine, instead of jet fuel + intake air powered ones. This would allow for VTOL vehicles to land on airless or oxygen-less bodies with atmospheres.

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