Nova G3b Ronin
by Ottomic
uploaded 2015-07-20
mod spaceplane
#multirole #small #mk2 #b9 #procwings
click to edit


  • Adjustable Landing Gear
  • B9 Aerospace Procedural Parts
  • Bahamuto Dynamics (Parts pack)
  • Ferram Aerospace Research
  • HeatControl
  • Magic Smoke Industries Infernal Robotics
  • MechJeb 2
  • RasterPropMonitor
  • RealChute Parachute Systems
  • Squad (stock)
  • TAC Life Support
  • TweakScale - Rescale Everything!
  • TweakableEverything

- Modular Fuel Tanks as well (dunno why kX doesn’t pick it up)

click to edit

click to edit

– von Kewl Dynamics ‘Nova’ G3-bis modular multirole spaceplane Ronin variant –


The Nova G3b ‘Ronin’ spaceplane is a small, recoverable platform that has been designed with versatility in mind. Capable of vertical launch, it can be used as a crew transfer shuttle, science orbiter, suborbital payload delivery spaceplane, lander or light cargo vessel. It has also been designed to be flown from IVA.


The Nova line of multirole spaceplanes started in v.0.25 as a directable reentry vehicle as part of the vKD Pug rover system. By then the procwing surfaces were designed as merely a means to better direct the pod’s trajectory into as close to the KSC as possible before popping its single chute. It was a symmetrical design with two down-facing thrusters, meaning the mass consumption was perfectly balanced, making it ideal for not only orbital duties, but also as a lander and rover.

One of the Nova’s coolest features was the inclusion of Klockheed Martian deployable heatshields, which have sadly fallen into disuse with dtobi’s departure from the modding community.

Obviously, the next step in the Nova’s evolution would come when tests showed that the tiny control surfaces were actually capable to maintain lift during the descent. After overhauling the system to b9 mk2 fuselage, the Nova Kliper was born. It sacrificed symmetry, meaning it was strictly for lko and reentry duties, but its efficacy was unprecedented, especially thanks to the superb b9 interiors.

Several design changes in the development of the Nova Kliper were introduced on the original Nova, resulting in the Nova G2. Both G2 and Kliper were introduced as part of von Kewl Dynamics' Recoverable Vehicle Division, being the only design that could be fitted inline into a rocket. They were retired from service at the release of 1.0, when the drastic changes to FAR required a complete redesign of the vehicle.

After 1.0 hit, von Kewl Dynamics veered towards surface base construction for some time, meaning the Nova designs sat on the shelf for the months immediately after 1.0. However, experimentation quickly begun again and it finally resulted on the genesis of the Nova G3.

It was a larger design wingspan wise, but it retained the basic Nova principles. The problem with this design that its centers of lift and mass were very close together, which added to the shortness of all control surfaces, resulting in very difficult control over 300 m/s and high possibility of tipping over.

von Kewl Dynamics decided that the Nova line needed to step away from its original symmetrical design as well as being capable of more roles than just oribiting and crew transfer, and so a total redesign resulted in the G3-bis variant.

The G3-b showed to be a superb design, with surprisingly good control in high speeds, impressive lift capabilities, and capable of more than 1000 delta-v in vacuum on itself, all packaged in a 5m wingspan that allowed it to be launched inline, if with some difficulties due to the increased mass and size.

A larger variant was designed with a tug and an inline skycrane capable of lowering it into Mun. The Nova would afterwards get into orbit with the RAPIER and rendezvous with the tug for the trip back.

The design was quickly switched over for the Atlas G2 and G3 line of launchers, that dragged the payload instead of pushing it.

After a number of experimentations and improvements, the Nova G3-b was divided into two variants that specialized in one of the two main uses of the ship: the G3b Griffon hypersonic plane, and the G3b Ronin shuttle.



The Advanced Retractible Propulsion array featured on the Ronin consists of three BahaSP pack engines working off each other to offer a more efficient alternative to a stock RAPIER engine. On its vacuum configuration two small engine clusters flip up from the wings to occupy the space that would otherwise be used by the Vector on atmospheric configuration. That allows for a propulsion system that, while having a low vacuum TWR, allows for more flight time in atmosphere, making it less likely to run out of fuel when returning to the KSC.


The ship itself costs 30k to launch, up to 120k with a LKO launcher.


The small wings allow for feathering on the upper layers without risk of disintegration, while the stable Center of Lift prevents flipover on reentry. The radiator on the back allows for emergency temperature purge, giving it a reasonable array of attack angles depending on how reentry develops. It features 4 stock small airbrakes , which as we all know are impervous to overheating, allowing it for emergency speed reductions if needed.


The Nova was conceived with versatility in mind. That means it includes several parts in its body that can be swapped around without hassle: the cargo bay can be replaced with a crew module or a fuel tank,the nose section can be changed between life support and battery, and the rear radiators provide protection for any small radial part up to battery size. The engine array can be swapped by a RAPIER or any other kind of engine and the Modular Fuel Tank compatibility means both the tanks and the wings can be adapted for a variety of fuel and resources.


The Nova includes several safety features that will ensure that the vehicle behaves appropriately and that it will be controllable in the case of failure: The front tank is locked by default and reserved for atmospheric use only, ensuring proper ballast during reentry; the two sets of control surfaces as well ensure controllability in case of Kraken attack; the airbrakes are positioned in such a way that they will not strike the ground on landing, and a small landing gear has been fitted directly under the engine to prevent tailstrikes. Finally, the radiator on top of the engine can be used to emergency dump reentry heat if such an action becomes necessary.

click to edit


Although the Ronin has been designed with vertical launch in mind, it is highly recommended that it be tried on horizontal flight configuration first.


  • SAS engaged.
  • Flap deflection to 3. (flaps are horizontal surfaces on the back)
  • Stage once. (to enable atmospheric engine)
  • Full throttle.
  • Pull up at around 150 m/s.
  • Gear up.
  • Flaps to 0.

[WARNING: Be mindful that accidental parachute firing can happen if takeoff is erratic or too hard.]


  • Flaps to 1 or 2.
  • Half throttle, initiate turn.
  • Once speed starts falling, apply throttle as needed to maintain positive climb.
  • Veer to heading 180 and maintain until enough distance for landing.


  • Flaps to 3.
  • Airbrake until 200 m/s, maintain speed. Glide slope of about 3-10º recommended.
  • Drag chutes are designed to pop on contact, but can be deployed just before touchdown by staging.
  • Line up and land. Apply brakes.
swipe to switch images, tap to close