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Smallest of original ARX series, the Volley is super-maneuverable SSTO. This SSTO does not use RAPIER or turbojets. Capable of reaching 100x100km LKO with 500m/s of dV left. Intended to operate on both Kerbin and Laythe; current variant designation is R.
- Rotate at ~30m/s.
- Pitch up and maintain 20 deg pitch angle.
- Around altitude of 10km, press 2 to ignite rocket.
- Around altitude of 25km, shut down jet engines.
- Around altitude of 40km, pitch down to prograde.
- Keep burning until desired apoapsis is met.
- Deploy solar panels and circularize at AP.
* Note: If you want to land with full tanks, be cautious. With full tanks, at reentry maintain small AOA and if you do enter flat spin, don’t worry. You’ll regain control at lower altitudes.
- Stock?: Yes
- Version: 0.25~0.90, 1.0.5
- Type: Super-maneuverable SSTO
- Crew: 1 (remote operation capable)
- Operational weight: 21.03t
- Empty weight: 9.03t
- Payload capacity: N/A
- Propulsion: 2x J-404, 1x T-1
- Size: 11.7m x 7.5m x 3.2m
- Part count: 53
[Origin of ARX series]
Let’s admit, it was fun hogging the upper atmosphere with turb-OP-jet back in good ol' times. A time where one can effortlessly build Laythe-return capable SSTOs. With turbojet functioning as full-pledged combined cycle engine still putting out thrust at speed in excess of Mach 7, it was ridiculously easy to construct sci-fi SSTOs with it.
The golden age of turbojet, however, was meant to end at some day. Anticipating the nerfing of turbojet and intake spamming rendered useless, I started working on series of non-turbojet SSTOs. The development plan evolved into Aircraft Research eXperimental program. The followings are goals of the ARX program;
- Build reliable and functional SSTO without using turbojet, intake spamming and later, RAPIER.
- Time to orbit must be within 10 minutes.
- Vital components must be protected.
- Must be capable of ground refueling.
- Most importantly, the design must be compatible with future updates.
Born out of my ambition to create smaller ARX SSTO, the original Volley was the culmination of whole ARX program. Smaller but still retaining useful on-orbit dV capacity of 750m/s, it was optimized for drop-off by interplanetary motherships.
Current renovated variant, R, has sacrificed dV capacity for improved airworthiness. Instead of single basic jet, it now has 2 afterburning J-404s; this grants wet TWR in excess of 1 at all times. Increase in dead weight (jets) is counteracted by relying more on jet propulsion (transition occurs around Mach 2) and higher transition altitude of 10km. High TWR grants extreme STOL capability (taking off within first mark of KSC runway), post-stall maneuvers, and vastly reduced time to orbit of 10 minutes (circularization burn included). The new variant also gained characteristic ‘saw-tooth’ leading edge extension.
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