Trainer 1
by Reiver
uploaded 2016-04-26
stock aircraft


  • Type: SPH
  • Class: aircraft
  • Part Count: 26
  • Pure Stock


A quick'n'dirty little plane to help my buddy out with learning to land, whilst stubbornly using Career mode so he doesn’t even have the fun parts to make doing so easier.

Flight School

Taildragger landing gear is actually harder to land than usual, because it prevents the flare-up-and-slam-down method, but that’s why we’ve slaved airbrakes to the ‘gears’ button. Your actual landing gear is fixed, after all.

Retract airbrakes before takeoff, simply throttle up and the thing will lift off hands-free. Turning around and landing on the spaceport greens is almost as easy - head back toward the coast and kill your engines. Don’t worry, the thing will happily laze along at even ~55-60m/s at 5 degree inclination.

Get down to a couple hundred meters (remembering that you lose more speed climbing than you gain by descending again), and then once you’re at the final few meters… hit ‘gears’ again. They’ll pop out and force you to descend without tilting your level.

Once you’ve mastered that, then start worrying about the runway… Once you’re good enough, you can use it for science collection missions to nearby biomes, too. Of course, you’ve probably done them all, but it’s the principle of the thing. :-)

Engineering Notes

Simple isn’t the same as dumb. This craft has a couple features to make it easier to fly which may be useful for beginner aeronauts to keep in mind.

  • Center of Lift (CoL) is about a Science Jr behind Center of Mass (CoM) (which is in line with the engines), and the whole plane has a static Thrust to Weight Ratio (TWR) of roughly 1:1, so it’s got ‘forgiving’ handling characteristics - it’s no dogfighter, but nor is it a lawn dart.
  • What little fuel is in the tanks is nonetheless balanced on the CoM, so handling won’t change as it’s depleted.
  • Taildragger gear is set to a roughly 5 degree upward angle on launch, which is (as noted above) convenient for level flight and liftoff. It’s also important to keep your landing gear straddling your CoM so you don’t fall over!
  • There are clipped ailerons in the wings either side of the CoM, set to act as reverse flaps.Engaging ‘gears’ will open them, slowing the plane and providing an even down-force to help the thing contact (and stay in contact) with the ground.
  • It carries Mystery Goo and Science Jr modules, so it’s even theoretically got a purpose. These two are the only modules with appreciable weight, and the only two you can be ‘sure’ of at the start of career when you hit planes. If you’ve got anything else, their massless properties mean they can be thrown on with relative abandon, so placement wasn’t worth restricting the accessibility any further.

A stock aircraft called Trainer 1. Built with 26 of the finest parts, its root part is Mark1Cockpit.

Built in the SPH in KSP version 1.1.0.

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