by whale2
uploaded 2017-09-13
(updated 2017-10-22)
mod spaceplane
#drone #unmanned #cargo #small


  • Type: SPH
  • Class: spaceplane
  • Part Count: 36
  • Mods: 8


  • B9 Aerospace Parts Pack
  • Ferram Aerospace Research
  • Kerbal Attachment System
  • MechJeb 2
  • Mk2 Stockalike Expansion
  • Procedural Wings
  • Squad (stock)
  • TweakScale - Rescale Everything!


A mod drone space plane called X-drone.

This is inexpensive fully-reusable delivery vehicle for light (up to 2 ton) payload. Every time you have a contract for some satellite deployment, this space plane could be very handy.

Built with 36 of the finest parts, its root part is dockingPort3.

Built in the SPH in KSP version 1.3.0.
Previous version proved to be very bouncy on touchdown and tended to jump back in the air as airbrakes were creating unwanted significant pitch moment. Latest variant behaves properly.

Flight manual

This space plane was tested only with Ferram Aerospace Research, your experience with stock aerodynamic could be significantly different.
Using Atmosphere Autopilot Fly-by-Wire is highly recommended. Also note, that most orbital maneuvers can be carried out without using RCS.

Take off

  1. Engage brakes
  2. Engage Fly-by-wire
  3. Set full throttle
  4. When trust is around 80%, release brakes
  5. Rotate at 120 m/s if fully loaded (earlier otherwise)
  6. Gear up


Achieving orbit

  1. Set speed control to ~250 m/s
  2. Set climb rate to 80-100 m/s
  3. When altitude of 8500 m reached, disengage speed control and go full throttle
  4. Keep accelerating while keeping climb rate between 50-100 m/s.
  5. Accelerate using air breathing engine mode to speeds around 1500 m/s keeping altitude around 20 km
  6. When speed of 1500 m/s is reached or when fuel tanks in wings are close to 50 units, switch engine mode to closed cycle and pitch up achieving vertical speed of 200-250 m/s
  7. Accelerate until desired apoapsis is reached
  8. Coast out of atmosphere, disengage Fly-by-Wire and circularize using MechJeb or your preferred method.



Recommended re-entry periapsis for 100x100 orbit is 35 km. Re-entry AoA is about 30°. You should have some fuel saved for cruising to landing site, use it for balancing the weight so that CoM is close to main gear root. This re-entry profile usually leads to significant downrange distance, you might want to experiment with Pe latitude. Heat usually does not represent any problem.


Landing speed is 65 m/s for weight of 6-7 ton, 70 m/s for 7-8 ton. Craft does not utilize any kind of flaps, so just line up properly and keep safe glide path. Using NavUtilities ILS and HSI is recommended.

swipe to switch images, tap to close