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- Type: VAB
- Class: lifter
- Part Count: 126
- Pure Stock
When I was six years old someone offered me the first model I ever had, the microscopic 1/288 Ariane 44L by Heller. Since then Ariane 4 kept an important place in my memories and my heart as she clearly is the second launcher I love the most, just after Zenit.
Then about a year ago now I quickly built some kind of a 44LP, named Ariadne (as it is the original Greek name of the mythological daughter of Minos) just for fun and to see what it could be in KSP. Alas with its dual Jumbo-64 orange fuel tanks, the six non-adjustable Reliant and lack of performances, the model clearly was disappointing. The page was turned and I didn’t use it anymore… until today.
The first problem was partly resolved by the choice of using the 2.5 meters fairing part, trying to simulate the main stage whiteness and by placing multiple small tanks inside. Control also was resolved by powering the first stage with eight Reliant and four Swivel.
The same choice was applied to the P.A.L (Propulseurs d'Appoint Liquide or Liquid Boosters), placing the dual FL-T800 tanks in a 1.25 meters fairing. Their engines consist in one Reliant and a single Thud, ensuring a thrust of 308.87kn/31.49t for each booster.
The P.A.P (Propulseurs d'Appoint a Poudre or Solid Rocket Booster) for their part still only consist in a single Thumper, giving a max trust of 250kn/25.49t for about 45 sec at their full power.
I chose to build it like the real 44LP to give the choice to anybody to re-built any Ariane 4 variant: the booster-free Ariane 40, the 42P and 44P with dual or quadruple P.A.P and the 42L or 44L, each with two or four P.A.L.
About the second stage, it is powered by two Swivel trying to reproduce the real Viking 4B which had the role. The third stage got dual Terrier to imitate (really simply) the cryo' HM7B.
The initial flight was realized with a 7 tons payload and in the 40 variant to check if the launcher was better than its previous variant.
But the flight from which the screenshots are coming from consisted in a mission to place an 11 tons payload on a Kerbin 60 000 km circular orbit. And it realized it perfectly, the third stage still containing around 630 m/s of impulsion available after the last burn.
Now the bad part: the launcher was built using 1.25 to 2.5 meters parts only, which means that, even if the launcher get some nice performances for its category, it could not carry any big parts as its payload without looking absolutely hideous and/or ridiculous. Its price of more than 60k in the 44LP variant also made it a pretty
luxury unit which will not ensure an excellent benefit for the small size payload contract.
So it much more is a launcher for having some fun.
(It came with the pictured and useless 11.35t payload)
A stock rocket called Ariadne 44LP. Built with 126 of the finest parts, its root part is probeStackSmall.
Built in the VAB in KSP version 1.3.0.
As usual, here is the whole flight album.
P.A.P and 1st stage separations
2nd and 3rd stages accomplishing their job
15 February 2003. In its 44L variant Ariane 4 is lifting off for the 116th and last time, carrying the 4.7 tons Intelsat 907.
15 years of service, 113 success, 97% of reliability.
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