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NEWS! - vSkyLabs update Rutan Model-158 Pond Racer - Test-Pilot Project to X-Plane12

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NEWS! - vSkyLabs update Rutan Model-158 Pond Racer - Test-Pilot Project to X-Plane12


Pond Racer Header XP12 Header.jpg


It's the weird and the wonderful, it's of course a Rutan design, the Model-158 Pond Racer, now this over-powered machine is available in X-Plane 12.


First is the name "Pond Racer"...  it is not an aircraft designed to fly over water, but the designation is taken by the person who wanted to compete in air-races, Robert J Pond, he also created the Palm Springs Air Museum in California.


Bob Pond commissioned the Model-158 design with the idea of developing a modern aircraft that could compete with the vintage warbirds in the Unlimited Class at the Reno air races. Bob Pond was concerned that each year at the Reno Air Races, valuable and historic aircraft were being crashed and destroyed, not to mention many engines being damaged or wrecked beyond repair. The Pond Racer was hoped to be an alternative to vintage aircraft like the P-51 Mustang and the Hawker Sea Fury that would be as fast and spectacular in the air as the warbirds. To do this he turned to the most avant-garde of all the aviation designers in Burt Rutan, and Scaled Composites.


The Model-158 airframe was constructed of composite materials, carbon fiber and Kevlar. This resulted in a very light, strong aircraft. And to power the plane, then two Electramotive 3 liter V-6 engines were chosen. These were based on the Nissan VG30 automobile engine. The engines were originally developed for auto racing and were turbocharged to produce 1,000 hp (750 kW). However, those fitted to the Pond Racer only ever achieved a peak of around 600 hp (450 kW). The engines drove 4-bladed propellers via propeller speed reduction units.


The result was something out of Star Wars or the racing machines in "The Phantom Menace" episode one of the series. Huge massive twin engines are connected to what is basically a glider cockpit, it flew, and by the results it actually flew very well, but overall it was a flying death trap.


This is the full X-Plane12 version of the Model-158

XP12 - version 3.0 (25th January 2024):
Deep flight dynamics engineering:
  • PT6A-28 tune-ups to include the latest X-Plane 12.0.8+ turbo-prop engine simulation features and calibration variables (including propellers and power gradients).
  • Overall aerodynamics tuneups to fall in line with the latest X-Plane 12.0.8+ features and calibration variables.
  • New 3-d Heads-Up-Display.
  • Cockpit night lighting systems re-engineering.
Graphics and modeling:
  • Remodeled cockpit compartment to include engineering improvements (lower floor, improved rudder pedals).
  • Extensive PBR tuneups for the cockpit to fall in line with the latest X-Plane 12 lighting physics.
  • Textures enhancements in and out.
XP11 model is still available and is in version 2.1
Project's Main Features:
  • Fully Optimized for X-Plane 12
  • X-Plane 11 version still available as a bonus
  • VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' project.
  • Highly defined flight dynamics model of the Model-158.
  • Highly defined PT6 turboprop engine simulation (PT6A-28) including its associated peripheral systems.
  • Built around the powerful, native X-Plane's 'Experimental Flight Model' environment.
  • In-depth systems simulation: Fully equipped aircraft with deep systems simulation (electrical, lighting and warning systems, comprehensive fuel system, fire protection, bleed air and pneumatic systems, ice protection systems, pressurization system, landing gears system, flight control, oxygen system, canopy system, auto-feathering and auto-ignition systems and more).
  • 3D Heads-up Display.
  • VR (Virtual Reality) Ready.
  • Multi-Layer FMOD sound pack.
  • 50-pages, comprehensive, illustrated Pilot Operations Manual, including checklists.
  • Skunkcraft Updater.  Project updates are fast and efficient!
  • Included Paint-Kit.


X-PlaneReviews review (Early beta X-Plane12 version) is here:

Aircraft Review/Tutorial: VSKYLABS- Rutan Model-158 Project


Images are courtesy of vSkyLabs...


Rutan Model-158 Pond Racer by vSkyLabs is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore



X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


Yes! Rutan Model-158 Pond Racer X-Plane 12 by vSkyLabs is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

Rutan Model-158 Pond Racer - Test-Pilot Project

Price is US$39.00, on sale for US$29.00, You Save:$6.00(17%)



X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11

Windows, Mac or Linux
8 GB+ VRAM Recommended
Current version:  3.0  XP12 (January 25th 2024)



News by Stephen Dutton

26th January 2024

Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews


(Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved


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