CTS-9 Skymaster SSTO
by ssTALONps
uploaded 2015-12-11
stock spaceplane
#SSTO #cargo #ramp


Cargo Transport Shuttle series' first ramp-loading capable SSTO, the Skymaster is developed from CTS-7 Stallion. Sporting 10x RAPIER engines, this cargo shuttle craft is capable of putting ~40t of payload to 100x100km LKO. Intended to operate on both Kerbin and Laythe; current variant designation is D.

Ascent profile (full load)

  1. Rotate at ~100m/s.
  2. Pitch up and maintain 10~15deg pitch angle.
  3. Around altitude of 10km, you should’ve hit Mach 2~3.
  4. Around altitude of 15km, pitch down to 10 deg.
  5. Around altitudes of 22~25km, switch to rocket mode.
  6. Around altitude of 35km, pitch down to prograde.
  7. Keep burning until desired apoapsis is met.
  8. Deploy solar panels and circularize at AP.


  • Stock?: Yes
  • Version: 1.0.5
  • Type: Heavy cargo shuttle
  • Crew: 4 (remote operation capable)
  • Operational weight: 141.43t
  • Empty weight: 56.43t
  • MTOW: ~185t
  • Payload capacity: ~40t
  • Propulsion: 10x RAPIER
  • Size: 29.4m x 26.1m x 5.8m
  • Part count: 160

Development history

As 1.0.5 brought cargo ramp to vanilla, I decided it was time to implement it to main SSTO fleet.

One of consistently requested functionality that has been deleted since CTS-5 Skymule was ground steering capability. So instead of nose-mounted LY-50, I reverted back to LY-10 with steering unlocked. And addition of cargo ramp door meant that the new aircraft was to lose rear-dock capability while adding 4t of dead weight.

This, combined with stretched cargo bay adding another 1.5t, meant that the prototype had to increase number of engines from traditional 8 to 10 for easier ascent. The increased wing loading had to be mitigated by ~20% increase in wing area to maintain maneuverability.

While the new aircraft no longer had to stick with wing-mounted main gears (a crucial feature that enabled bottom-opening cargo bay found in CTS-5 and CTS-7), I left them alone as the wing itself can potentially function as shock absorbers.

The resultant aircraft, now named CTS-9 Skymaster, achieved my very own operational certificate when it successfully delivered 41.1t NRX-L module to 100x100km LKO, shown in screenshot.

Current variant (D) has improved RCS layout, revised canard control surfaces and slight tweaks to main wing structure.

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