Ares X
by OrionAerospace
uploaded 2021-12-14
stock aircraft


  • Type: SPH
  • Class: aircraft
  • Part Count: 202
  • Pure Stock
  • KSP: 1.12.1

This was an idea of mine before I even bought the game. I had never seen anything remotely like it on Youtube or the KSP subreddit, and was eagerly anticipating the day I finally opened KSP for the first time. This is the third of three radically different designs, built several months ago, but it didn’t occur to me to make a video until now. The first one essentially copied Matt Lowne’s box-wing Hypersonic Minmus Bus, and almost worked, but in the end I was unsatisfied with it. My second design was a working SSTO, an objective from the beginning, but completely ignored the essential VTOL aspect. Finally, I realized I could never build a craft with the design I intended that satisfied both requirements, and decided to remove the SSTO goal and focus on VTOl development. Thus began an formidable engineering project, with many twists and turns. Three main variables dictated how the craft would be built, the center of lift, center of mass, and center of thrust. First of all, the center of lift needed to be close enough behind the center of mass that it could fly properly and not pitch directly into the ground; a hilarious but expensive failure. Second, The VTOL engines had to be placed exactly under the center of mass, a difficult feat, since I could not move the engines but instead had to balance the entire aircraft around them. And, as you’ll see, it isn’t absolutely perfect and requires some skill to fly. All of these things influenced each other in different ways, and getting them all right took days. An interesting element of the design was the VTOL engine clusters. My first design had a system of girders with jet engines attached linearly, making for very confusing action groups and difficult attachment. This, the third, uses two seven-Panther clusters barely packed into the one medium cargo bay segment. Much simpler, and I think, looks better. Perhaps the best use for such a ridiculous aircraft is for transporting the Kerbal Hyper-Elite. I have a system of 10 Veteran Kerbals, and when they all want to go somewhere at once at mach 3, this is what they take. (Note, it can only reach these speeds at 8-12 km altitude because of drag. The fanciful wing design isn’t the most aerodynamic.) Anyways, here are the controls:

Action group 1: Toggles forward-thrusting Whiplash engines on/off
Action group 2: Toggles VTOL engines on/off-(Make sure to first open the cargo bay.)
Action group 5: Opens/closes the VTOL engine bay doors
Action group 6: Deploys the drogue-chute for slowing down upon landing


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