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SSTOs! Post your pictures here~

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10 hours ago, Thor Wotansen said:

@SkunkTwerks you might need to hide some vectors in there or something, the angled wing surfaces and sideways Mk 3 to 2.5m adapters are going to be awful for drag.  Your best bet would be to get a high TWR and punch out of the atmosphere as fast as possible.

I've tried a few partial air-breathing configurations (RAPIERs, Whiplashes) but kept coming up 750-850 m/s short. You are correct, the drag is just TOO REAL.

So I tried some pure rocket-fuel Vector+Aerospike versions on a typical rocket ascent profile. By trimming down nonessential parts (safe landings are no longer an option), adding fuel tanks, and ditching a pair of vertical engines (this makes takeoff tricky) I've gone from missing 75 km LKO by 750 m/s... to 360 m/s... to 100 m/s... to... this.


SO CLOSE!!! With MechJeb's ascent guidance (and smoothing the craft's wobbles with manual input), I'm coming up just 21 m/s dV short of a 75 km LKO. Which tells me that this is totally doable. But I'm exhausted and it'll just have to wait for another day.

May just a little bit more Force, a little less drag, and possibly a slightly different ascent path, be with me next time.




Edited by SkunkTwerks
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@SkunkTwerks Try adding a single NERV to the back in line with the COM and throwing a bit of LF in the wing tanks.  NERVs are at about 98% thrust at 10km so you can make use of it all the way up and use it to finalize circularization.  I'm not familiar with how this ship should look, but I'm guessing that that would enable it to SSTO.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Manta SSTO

Looks like a Kerbin Manta Ray. Carries a whole, load of tourists, and minimal cargo. Can takeoff from the runway or from the pad.


Strange looking thing, but it does fly. Make sure to release the auxiliary fuel tank after 10KM.Open the back end, and press backspace! 

Kerbal X: https://kerbalx.com/Andetch/Andetch-Shuttle-Type-X2-Manta


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Ok fine, you caught me,I lied. I didn't fly it SSTO. You can drag the empties all the way up to LKO if you like, but probably better to release the cargo before AP.

9 hours ago, Jens Lyn IV said:

Sounds like a filthy, heretical staging event to me! :sticktongue:

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!


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  • 2 weeks later...

1 pilot + 6 passengers, capable of orbiting Mun (or the Moon in SSRSS), or landing on Minmus, and returning again... which was unexpected! I thought something that looked this funky would end up just barely scraping to orbit, but it earned a spot as my go-to crew carrier until I need something bigger :D 


At 37 tons and 2 rapiers, ascent has to be slow, ideally aiming 8 degrees above the horizon. Gets warm but nothing blows up. Can leave ~1000 LF in low orbit if not going any further. The quadruple airbrakes are very much required because it really does not like to slow down after re-entry. Can get a little slippery on the final approach, but the CoL stays behind the CoM even when totally dry and it never actually loses control - but it does get slow to return to neutral after yaw input. Pumping remaining fuel to the forward tank helps. Minimum glide speed when dry is in the region of 60m/s, so very easy to set down, even in the rough if needs be.

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6 hours ago, JadeOfMaar said:

@eddiew RSS SSTO? How much KRnD magic is in this plane? :o 

Stock Scale RSS :)   Not actually using KRnD this time, I've scaled my tech tree to be excessively brutal. Probably going to need multiple biome samples from every jovian and saturnian moon to fill it out - meanwhile I'm on the first tier of Near Future engines, and 5m rocketry so... it's non-trivial to do this :o 

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13 hours ago, Vim Razz said:

I spent a few weeks derping about with Panthers to see what I could do with them.  These are some highlights from that:



Good job !   I started down that path when someone in career mode with well developed rocket tech started moving into aircrafts, and wondered if you could do anything with Panthers and Nervs




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Realised I've never made a 1-rapier crew carrier, so I made a 1-rapier crew carrier and carried some crew with it :) 


Just under 18 tons wet, this is a new personal best for weight per rapier, and the ascent has to be pretty darn shallow. That said, dust off at 95m/s, aim at 5 degrees, and it's a dead-stick flight all the way to 1450m/s (or more) and switching to closed cycle. Nosecone gets warm, but won't be a problem if flown correctly.

This flight required a rendezvous at 140x140km, and there was 500m/s of range available to come home on, plus a little LF beyond that. In the end, it came down with half of that still in the tank.

Re-entry requires some stick wiggling to prevent the pilot's cabin, brakes, or the shock cone taking too much heat, but the aerodynamics are good and Skylance straightens up nicely afterwards. This particular expedition had 180 units of LF left on final approach, which was good because I totally underestimated the drag once it got below 20km. Under 10 tons on return, those twin airbrakes are almost overkill, but there's enough spare range that I don't feel a need to minimise any more than it already has been.



Arguably there's more wing surface than required, but right now the handling's really good and I'm favouring easy landings over additional range that this model just doesn't need for its current purposes. There's a lot to be said for return glide speeds as low as 60m/s :) 

*edit* I lied! My ssto previous to this one lifted 37 tons on 2 rapiers... that is 18.5 tons each compared to 17.9 here. However, that one had a nerva which I kicked in at 10km. If I switched the nuke on when the rapiers went off, it would not make orbit. Under the circumstances, I'm still pleased with Skylance as an ultra-low-budget crew carrier.

Edited by eddiew
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There's a bit of a story behind this one.

I've been working on a planet mod, and I'm sending an SSTO to explore one of the gas giant systems in my career mode. At some point, this thing's going to have to refuel, so I'm sending mining rigs to 3 of the objects in the system for now. On two of these moons, the rigs need to travel long distances to get to landing zones, so I had to build a cargo plane to carry them around. Naturally, this cargo plane needs to get to the planetary system somehow, so I made it better. Technically it's an SSTO, but the RAPIER attachments are dropped in orbit.

One of the mining rigs for one of the moons


Here's its carrier:


Here's the "improved" version:




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So, i wanted to launch stuff into space but not use the mk2 or mk3 cargo bays. Also only run on only liquid fuel alone, panthers and nukes. How shall i do it ? With this lovely twin-fuselage monster.



The rest of the gallery visible on imgur: https://imgur.com/a/efCeD

Now thinking of it i would change the design a little bit for stability, but overall the design was a success. COM doesn't almost move at all, nukes activated after 6km altitude to get the maximum amount of speed available (since it actually doesn't have all that much thrust after panthers go out). Upon landing you want probably to run the nukes after atmo entry one more time to regenerate some electricity, otherwise control is hard to maintain.

Landing was surprisingly easy, i intentionally put it down in a slightly hilly place to test the ruggedness.

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In honor of @katateochi and the fantastic work he's done with KerbalX, meet the "Katateochi" class heavy transport spaceplane (with permission :wink:) )! The "Katateochi" is fully stock, delivers a 36 t payload to circular MKO  (250x250 km) and is a breeze to fly. Be sure to leave a thanks/like for katateochi in the dedicated KerbalX thread on the KSP forums and grab a your copy of the craft at KerbalX (where else) now!












Full album here.

Please keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times and enjoy your flight!

Edited by Yakuzi
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Well now you've got my attention! Give me a few hours and I'll probably have something ready. Does it still count as an SSTO if it uses a really really violent launch acceleration method? like, several seconds to space violent?

Edited by ShadowGoat
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  • 3 weeks later...

This is my first post here but I'm really happy with this SSTO and had to share. I call it the, uhhh, Jool SSTO.


Full album: Here

The ship flies well except when completely empty. It took several tries to get to the runway. But with better gravity assists and a better pilot than me I'm sure it could explore more of the Joolian system. I only did a Kerbin-Kerbin assist to get to Jool, not an Eve-Kerbin-Kerbin assist.


Edited by madison.madison
Thought control + enter was line break. Whoops
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@madison.madison That is an extremely cool design, and makes me want to try that idea too. That's a tiny amount of Ox on it! Does it have enough for SSTO both from Kerbin and Laythe without refueling?

I take it you use the Rapiers in airbreathing mode to get into orbit from Kerbin, and the same from Laythe, with the Ox only needed for a tiny final push? 

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  • 2 weeks later...

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