Before I introduce my second iteration of a lunar lander, I want to talk about the OX.1. This is a fantasy experiment gone horribly right. One of the mods I was using in KSP at this time in 2015 was a stealth wing package, and I wanted to create a stylish, SciFi jet using these handsome stealth wing parts.
The result was this awesome looking craft that looks and flies like Batman's Batwing (minus the VTOL), but in light of that already being a thing, I named this one the OX. Despite having too many unnecessary surfaces in place for aesthetics, too many control surfaces to compensate for competing lift directions, strange yet effective lift chambers and pockets created by the various part configurations, and probably some broken physics programed into the parts package, the result of this was an incredibly maneuverable and stable craft.
What amounts effectively to a high tech bush plane, the OX.1 is really slow at top speed, but incredibly nimble and responsive. It's an all electric vessel with a combination of turbine and ionic thrusters. The OX can pierce the veil into orbit and sit quietly in observation like the 'Black Knight Satellite' due the onboard ionic thruster, or whip around tight turns and acrobatics in atmosphere with the turbine combinations.
Liftoff can occur as slow as 30 meters/second, and landings are a little floaty but very gentle and stable. It's most likely broken physics simulation data, but if I dropped to landing altitude, set trajectory to the horizon, and cut engines, the OX would test one's patience before it ever touched gear to ground. It would just float along on the lift pockets built into the body. Yes my computer really was that slow, and this video is sped up 4x.
The HovMoth or Hover Moth was my first attempt at a Moon (Mun) lander. I wanted to see a Hydrogen Ion driven, VTOL, single stage to orbit vessel capable of lateral atmospheric flight, but built to gently touch down and navigate multiple Lunar encounters. It took some adjusting but the HovMoth hit every mark as a prototype. It didn't have lights, airbrakes for reentry, and the thrust configuration wasn't the greatest, but worked as a first round draft.
If you look close you can see that I changed the nose cones from the funky mandible looking ones, to a much smaller dome shape in the videos. I unfortunately don't have a hangar photo of that configuration.
VTOL Takeoff to lateral flight
"Skidding" to a stop
The little ship was really stable as a VTOL machine, but was really unpleasant to fly aerodynamically. That was okay to me as I designed the optional wing functionality as a mechanism for Earth (Kerbin) reentry to fly laterally to a landing zone, once within atmosphere just in case reentry position ends up not being optimal.
The HovMoth touched down on and navigated Lunar encounters really well, but the thrust configuration angles were a little too aggressive in the slight gravity of the Moon (Mun). Between the thrust angles, and not having lights for better proximity orientation, there were a few more Lunar crashes than I care to mention, but the successes guided me in my next Lunar lander design.
More on that later.
Got lucky recently and was able to wander a little. I thought I'd share the views.
I hope you get to explore as you'd like to, sooner than later, and more than you thought was possible.
Wander wisely and enjoy.
An honorable mention is this little guy, the Fruit Bat. It was one of my early designs in KSP and is mostly aesthetic rather than innovative or extraordinarily capable. An all electric atmospheric plane, the fruit bat is not particularly fast and is not designed for orbit. It is fun to fly though, and performs like a solid little jet. It was designed to familiarize myself with the all electric propulsion systems in KSP and to proof the onboard electric generation systems for long range flight.
The Fruit Bat is reliable and fun to fly, plus it looks like something straight out of a sci-fi anime, and that was kind of what I was going for.
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