Basic Tourist SSTO
by AeroGav
uploaded 2016-11-06
stock spaceplane
#career #panther #terrier #tourist

A simple career mode orbital tourist SSTO. The design keeps fuel around CG, there are no CG changes when fuel burns off. This version just sneaks within the 30 part limit, just watch out for electrical power. It is quite stable and should not need a pilot Kerbal to make orbit.

Golden rules -
1. Do not let the nose rise more than 5 degrees above prograde.
2. Do not climb steeper than 30 degrees
3. Don’t light the rockets below 750 m/s or 10km. If it climbs too high for the jet to make proper power while going less than 750 m/s, just wait for it to come back down.


  • Type: SPH
  • Class: spaceplane
  • Part Count: 30
  • Pure Stock

After getting supersonic, there are various ways to fly to orbit, but all will achieve similar results provided you obey the cardinal rules

1) get to at least 750 m/s on jet power before using rockets
2) maintain nose at 5 degrees above prograde (where supersonic lift/drag ratio is best) once on rocket power

jet power peaks at 750 then fades very quickly to almost nothing by 800. Up to 14km altitude drag falls quicker than thrust, but after that it gets hard to maintain a good level of performance.

I tried two different methods of getting from supersonic to orbit -

Zoomer Method

After going supersonic, halve the pitch trim again when the climb angle reaches 10 degrees. When airspeed reaches 750 m/s, increase nose up trim to simlilar levels to first pic to get nose @ 5 degrees above prograde. This is best lift/drag ratio. Aircraft will start to climb steep. When speed falls below 750 m/s, start rockets. As the air gets thin you’ll need to reduce nose trim up trim or use SAS to stop nose from rising more than 5 degrees above prograde.

Cruiser Method

Climb steadily with 750 to 800 m/s and nose not more than 5 degrees above prograde. When you can no longer maintain 750 m/s and a 5 degree climb angle (probably around 19km) then start the rockets.

One method got me to orbit with 104 oxidizer and the other with 108, so that’s within the margin of error.

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