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Warning; Extremely hard to fly, but if flown right it can reach orbit with 2500ms dV available, enough to land on Minmus and return.
The strangest thing about the Rangers design is it is both a VTOL and an SSTO but only has the one rocket engine, meaning it has to flip 90 degrees during ascent to switch to rocket mode. That flip has to happen as high up as possible (around 34km) having reached speeds of around 1800ms. To reach that height on the single Jet requires high precision flying, I recommend adding MechJeb to have SURF control of pitch.
Right from the start this is a hard craft to fly. You must start to pull up as you hit 70ms or it will flip out at 100ms. It takes a while for the nose to come up, then it will suddenly lift up and you’ll smash the engine, so be ready to ease up on pulling up. It won’t lift off right away but if you time a bounce on the rear gears suspension you can lift off a bit sooner.
After take off pitch to 45 and climb till Ap is at 14km and pitch to 30, climb till ap is at 22km and pitch to 12 degrees (or a pitch around there which enables you to maintain a vertical acceleration of 100ms. From 20km to 30km you should be climbing at 100ms and still accelerating, as you reach 30km pitch up by a couple more degrees to increase the rate of climb.
When then engines flame out, hit action group 1, then select control from here on the top docking port, then set a pitch of 30 and a roll of 180 and hit action group 2 to bring rockets online. That switch over needs to happen as fast as possible. If you’re ascent from then on is optimal you should have 2500ms dV left after reaching 100km circular orbit.
For all flight in space the docking port needs to be selected as the point of control. It is set directly above the VTOL 909 engine which helps during docking, the Ranger does not have thrusters or any RCS (to reduce weight) so docking has to be done on engine alone.
- Type: SPH
- Style: spaceplane
- Part Count: 41
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