KSP 1.1: UPDATE 18-5-2016
Changed aerodynamics, increased lift, tweaked CoG, changed placement of Cargo bays. See changelog.
The S8 Mastodont and it's cargo variant are the S7 Mammoth's series bigger brother and are ideally suited for ferrying Kerbals and/or cargo into space. It can carry a maximum of 25 tons of cargo into high kerbin orbit (max 400 km), reach altitudes of 1000 km without cargo, or do a transfer to the Mun/Minmus with around 10 tons of cargo.
Both craft are easily controllable and responsive and relatively safe from stalling. Take-off is simple
- Accelerate down the runway until 100 m/s is reached.
- Pitch the nose up by about 7 degrees
- Take-off at about 130 m/s (depending on loadout)
- Accelerate at 10 degrees pitch until 300 m/s is reached, then pitch up towards 15-18 degrees. Due to the curvature of Kerbin, nose up attitude will adjust upwards automatically. When done correctly, a speed of about 1100 m/s will be reached @ 20 km.
- Switch to closed cycle by closing the air-intakes by pressing the custom 2 key.
- Continue ascent, adjust as desired.
Custom key 4 and 5 operate solar panels and fuel cell, respectively.
NOTICE: The Cargo variant should be flown differently depending on the load-out. When lightly loaded, the RATO's may be removed, take-off speed lies at 110 m/s and recommended pitch lies at 13-15 degrees. When at max capacity, let engines spool up before releasing brakes, activate RATO's at 30 m/s, pitch nose up at 130 m/s and take off at 140 m/s. Recommended pitch lies at 10 degrees until achieving at least 400 m/s, then pitch up to 12 degrees only to be further increased (to 15-17) with speeds in excess of 800 m/s.
Descending is trickier, due to the high weight of the spacecraft. When coming down from kerbin orbit, place the periapsis no lower than 30 km, when returning from Mun/Minmus the periapsis may not be placed lower than 40 km, and at all times, an Angle of Attack (AoA) of 10 degrees from pro-grade is recommended. A higher periapsis is recommended, but may not slow down the spacecraft enough. Use airbrakes to aid slowing down. Landing speed lies at aprox 80 m/s. When landing, chutes may be deployed (through staging) to aid in braking.
- Kerbal Attachment System (KAS) (http://www.curse.com/ksp-mods/kerbal/223900-kerbal-attachment-system-kas)
- S8 Mastodont
- S8 Mastodont Cargo
Other craft in the S-series
S4 Apollo (taken out of service as per 1.1, it's superseded by the S5 Arrow)
S6 Axe (due to come online later)
S9 Beluga (due to come online later)