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SSTOs! Post your pictures here~

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1 hour ago, Yakuzi said:

This thread's been pretty quiet lately... We can't have that!

I finished a couple of stock/vanilla SSTOs recently (apart from visual mods).

Wow, that's some beautiful work man!

Edited by Castille7
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On 7/20/2018 at 7:25 AM, Rune said:

I feel almost obliged to say, though, SSTA are notoriously simpler to design if you forget about efficient airbreathers. I mean, I managed to do it using Mk3 fuel tanks and their lower mass fractions (I wanted the aerobraking option with high heat tolerance). Heck, I even put on wings, mostly for looks but also useful for precise landings. And of course, if you can single-stage Kerbin, you automatically can single-stage Tylo with TWR to spare.





Rune. The flight profile is also quite simpler. :P

I am genuinely impressed :blush:

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So here are two space planes that share a common theme: wing design. They're not exercises in beauty - one is a quick mock up and the other wanted to imitate X-29s looks. Let's walk through them:





People often ask about the delta wings and how they're having problems getting CoMs and CoLs where they need to be. Well, here's a solution. Use Mk2 parts in the front, taper them to 1.25m towards the back and slap on simple delta wings. Clean and efficient. This one has ample room for error in getting to orbit. It's powered by two Panthers and a single Swivel.



I was just playing around with wings and copied  the X-29's famous forward sweeping wings and canards. I was shocked how stable this is. Whether I'm going 100m/s or 2000m/s I have full control over pitch, roll and yaw. I was able to enter a spin by being stupid but I definitely recommend trying weird configurations with canards; they're so versatile and stable. I see it now that I don't have a picture of the finished craft with all the science gear jammed in, but it was 16t and powered by a single Panther and six Sparks.

I hope these space planes served as an inspiration to you!

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This one needs some explaining to do: late 60s was the time when people went to the Moon. Everything was possible, most people believed we'd live in space by 2000. So here's another one of Gerry Anderson's visions: the Zero-X. A craft that splits into four parts (two remotely controlled wings, main body and a landing craft) that was sent to explore Mars. Here's the original:


And here's what I came up with.




The original Zero-X had many kinds of engines and so does this recreation.


After staging.


In space!

The reason why this is an SSTO is because the craft and its lifting bodies are all separately SSTOs. The movie Zero-X docked the wings mid-flight at Mach 5 or so but with KSP you have to dock them in space. Getting the wings into space is finicky, docking everything is insanity and reentry is just madness. Getting to Duna? Theoretically. Have I tried? Not yet. Enjoy the pictures!

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  • 2 months later...

I've been advised that this is the place to post SSTOs. 

Big Plane to Anywhere
(Nice try, Bill, but I don't think this is what they meant by "long range ISRU craft"...)


I've been fooling with this for quite a while, and recently I decided to inflict it on the world.  It may not have as much chrome or avant garde cred as some people like, but I think it's stylish in its own way.  It carries 6 kerbals and has all the standard science and a science lab to examine it in.  It makes LKO with 2800+ dV still in the tank (as of 1.8), and holds 4600+ after refueling with two large drills (4700+ if it's practical to launch on just the NERVs). 

BPA minmus

The design isn't very minimalist; if anything, it's focused on having lots of bells and whistles:  for example, it has two front wheels because one is better for taxiing (can steer) and the other is better for wilderness takeoffs and landings. 

It's been fantastic so far for doing all kinds of missions in Kerbin SOI (I got a surprising number of requests for 5-kerbal capacity thingamabobs); it's also en route to Jool but said Kerbin missions are slowing down the clock.  I'm pretty happy with it, but welcome any constructive criticism. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

For all you adrenaline junkie couples out there, are you looking for the perfect honeymoon ride? If you're just simply out of ideas for a good time, look no further.



  • Married couple Bill and Val Kerman parked on 0-9 KSC, ready for their suborbital date.
    • Though capable of a full orbit, it would be impractical to have a periapsis above 70 km unless you plan on staying in orbit for long.



  • When I told Bill to give the occupants a "hot time" when he designed the plane, this is not what I had in mind.



  • You can get good views of Kerbin from the varying heights.



  • Excellent glider after re-entry. 


You want a simple SSTO, there you go.


Further performance details in my posts for the Need for Speed challenge.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bet Mark Watney wished he had this bad boy while he was stuck on Mars.



The Mun Hoppers were lame when it came to Duna flight, so the KSP made a plane that had a TWR ratio of over 1 when it came down to NERVs alone. Though it required a refueling stop on Minmus after the first takeoff, the Dirtblood was able to fly to Duna easily. When it re-entered Duna's thin atmosphere, though it took a while to fire the engines and keep the stabilizers in place, the craft was flown like a plane.



  • As you can see, I'm getting the plane in an upward flight while going at a 45-degree heading - not something you'd expect from any other craft that just re-entered any atmosphere.



  • The on-board pilot (I forgot her name) hanging on the ladder while flying. Good thing the air was too thin to push her off.



  • Took a while holding the controls down to change course, but I pulled it off. Now, would your average rocket do that?



  • After landing and repacking the chutes, the plane deployed its drills, panels, and radiator before refueling itself. 


Several days later, I did another flight test with the Dirtblood.


  • I loaded all the tanks up with fuel and oxidizer before using the rapiers only to take off. I relied solely on the rapiers for a while before the oxidizer levels got low enough, then I switched to the NERVs.



  • Once again, doing what it was designed for; flying with a good enough TWR with just NERVs alone. 



  • Flying over Duna's canyon as soon as I realized that I was in a suborbital trajectory bearing south - and overshot my target. I had to wait until I got back in the atmosphere to turn around.



  • Finally, I'm heading north again. Picture taken minutes before landing.


Need a cheap way to transport tourists and give engineers Duna experience? Here you go.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I think it's about time I showed everyone my most famous SSTO yet.



Successor to the Mun Hopper model which made it to Laythe, this bad boy can land on the Mun and/or Minmus to refuel before going anywhere else. 



  • Mun Hopper refueling on the Mun before returning to Kerbin.
  • The crew of this plane was sent to land near an ore transport to flag down a landing spot for later use.
    • The ore transport landed at a random spot before this plane was launched.
  • This variant has larger solar panels and a higher power capacity than the first successful model



  • The Mun Hopper in orbit of Duna; Ike is visible to the right.
  • After refueling on the Mun/Minmus, if you want to go any farther, stop at Ike to refuel.



  • Making its burn out of high Duna orbit to Jool.
  • The plan is to refuel at a small Jool moon (specifically, Pol) before moving on to Laythe.
    • Although, technically, the tourists only paid for orbit around Jool.


Although I don't have any pictures of this specific model landing on the KSC runway, it has proven itself able to "land on a dime" if you fly it correctly. 



  • The Neptune III, a Mk. I Mun Hopper variant, approaching the KSC after establishing a 150-km parking orbit around Kerbin after flying here from Jool.



  • The Neptune III landing picture.


The current model has aerobrakes to make it easier for the plane to slow down during the approach.




  • My KerbalX craft's current download stats. As you can see, the Mun Hopper has been the most frequently downloaded one of them.


If you want the craft file (no mods), all you have to do is look for it on my KerbalX account. If used properly, you can save a lot of money on craft assembly costs alone.

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4 minutes ago, Chakkoty said:

@Mars-Bound Hokie Now that is a badass looking spaceplane. How much DeltaV you got in there?

I don't know, nor did bother to write it down. I do remember it was in the low-to-mid 4000s.

  • And that was when I filled up the oxidizer tanks enough for only the initial ascent from Minmus (which is about a little over half the Ox capacity). 
  • The NERV engine is where it's at.


You could just download it yourself and find out for sure (depending on how you use it). It's on my KerbalX:

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I made a modest 8 tons to LKO SSTO. It's named 'Crazy Diamante' and is to be used to transfer high volume, low density payloads (for ex: Station habitation). It lifts 8 tons to 80 x 80 km LKO. Relatively stable at all flight regimes, it suffers a little 'twitch' in it's maneuverability that I have yet to fix.


Fully loaded, it needs to run the entire runway to takeoff.


It's a smooth trip thereafter. At a velocity of 1300 m/s at 20 km altitude the Rapiers are toggled to Rocket mode. An apoapsis of 85 km is recommended.




You will have about 800 m/s of delta-v once you unload the payload. More than enough for a deorbit burn to the KSC.


The flight down is actually quite boring. Sometimes the wings generate enough lift that it overshoots the runway.


If you feel that you are going to overshoot, feel free to use the landing drogue chute mid-flight to slow your vehicle down. The landing gear, especially the rear one, generates considerable drag.


At high velocities (>100 m/s) it is advisable to land on tail first, allowing the larger landing gear to take in all the stress. Otherwise, the craft may tilt and capsize if you land on the front gears.

There's also a crew version of this SSTO, called 'Shining Justice' but I am still working out the tiny details on that. It will carry 16 kerbonauts to LKO.

Edited by Selective Genius
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  • 1 month later...

Thought I'd post my latest SSTO for you guys as its been a bit quiet here lately.

Still tweaking the design but its almost there. Done on ps4.

Presenting X Shuttle Mk3 - ISRU capable 5-kerbal science SSTO capable of docking maneuvers, 3000m/s delta v in LKO during 'demo-1', Must accelerate to 400m/s below 2000 metres before pitching up to 5 degrees for the flight to orbit. Landing nearly empty is pretty simple, I haven't attempted landing with mostly full tanks but it should be possible at least.


Capable of Minmus OR mun return without refuelling. With some minor tweaks and better flight profile It should be capable of Duna return without using ISRU.









I also really like this things silhouette :D 



What happened to MK1 and 2 you ask? Whelp




Edited by SecondChance
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  • 2 weeks later...

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