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It’s frequently said that necessity is the mother of invention, and that statement could be no truer of the Jeb’s Junkyard and Spacecraft Part’s Mk 1a Mobile Laboratory
After the Stargazer disaster put rocket launches on hold, and with the KSC in a dire financial state, Jebediah Kerman decided that if they can’t afford to build another rocket, well, we need to go cheaper. After getting permission from Gene to use the up-to-that-point disused Hanger 1, Jeb disappeared into the newly christen
Spaceplane Hanger, only briefly emerging to gather whatever bits of metal and bits he could get his hands on.
As such, the JJSPC Mk1’s fuselage built out of empty fuel canisters, its wings are machined metal, and a spare command pod forms the passenger section at the back. Upon it’s unveiling, Bill Kerman noted that the JJSPC far exceeded the safe duct tape limit of any craft built up to that point.
To the surprise of all, the JJSPC has proven not only air worthiness, and an exceptionally stable (if somewhat slow) aircraft, and its scientific and data gathering facilities helped getting the ailing rocket program back in the black.
Although no longer used for scientific research, the Mk1 is used in breaking in new pilots, and teaching them the basics of in-atmospheric flight. Valentina Kerman has noted that it
practically lands itself, and that nine out of ten flights come back down with almost all the bits still attached.
The 1a variant includes a
physics warp device designed by Jeb and Bob, allowing it to fly safely at four times the speed.
- Pure Stock Parts
- Part Count: 30
- Type: Aircraft
- Primary Purpose: Trainer + Low Attitude Contracts
- V1 - ~65 m/s
- Top Speed: 150 m/s
- Service Ceiling - 6000 km
- Stable at 4x Physics Warp with SAS turned on
- Necessary Tech: Aviation (only)
- Needed facilities - L1 Runway + L1 SPH (aka nothing)
Although possible to take off and land on the dirt strip, the service manual strongly recommends landing and taking off from the grass fields around the KSP especially for newer pilots as the bumps can bounce the Mk 1a into the air before its gotten up to its takeoff speed.
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