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- Type: VAB
- Class: lifter
- Part Count: 143
- Pure Stock
When I was six years old someone gave me the first rocket 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.
About a year ago 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. I turned the page and I did not used 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. 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.
Now the bad part: the launcher was built using 1.25 to 2.5 meters parts only, which means that, even if it get some nice performances for its category, it could not carry any big parts 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.
It is more a launcher for having some fun rather than an economical solution.
Update I: the whole launcher now is
surrounded by fairings, making it a bit more nice to look at. Also, the payload is now consisting in a medium size relay comsat.
A stock rocket called Ariadne 44LP. Built with 143 of the finest parts, its root part is toroidalFuelTank.
Built in the VAB in KSP version 1.3.1.
Flight 106 album.
P.A.P and 1st stage separations
3rd stages first burn to raise the Ap to 80360 km, and the final result of the flight.
15 February 2003. In its 44L variant, Ariane 4 is lifting off for her 116th and last time, carrying the 4.7 tons Intelsat 907.
15 years of service, 113 success, 97% of reliability.