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Aircraft Update Review - DC3/C47 v2.5a by VSkyLabs Flying Lab Project

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VSL DC-3_v2.5_Header .jpg

 

Aircraft Update Review - DC-3/C47 v2.5a by VSkyLabs Flying Lab Project

 

This aircraft from VSkyLabs is being updated so fast it is almost requiring a separate monthly column in X-PlaneReviews. Here is the latest in v2.5a (note the 5a) and usually only a few weeks after the last release you wouldn't give an update like this a second glance, but boy there is a lot of really nice goodies in this update and so it is certainly well worth noting.

 

VSL DC-3_v2.5_Head 1.jpgVSL DC-3_v2.5_Head 2.jpg

VSL DC-3_v2.5_Head 3.jpgVSL DC-3_v2.5_Head 4.jpg

 

Images and conditions will be a little murky in this update, but that is for a reason...  Yes I also promise I will put the DC-3 into a another livery next time around, but I am still totally in love with the G-AMSY Air Atlantique white and blue colours on the aircraft, so modern on an old airframe.

 

Rain effects

I am a big lover of really good rain effects. There is nothing more challenging than a stormy night landing with the wipers going and poor visibility, it brings the hairs up high on your neck and not to mention the rising heartbeat...

 

This effect is heightened even more if the aircraft is old, like with PMDG's DC-6. And rain drops were on the early feature list for the DC-3. So here they are and how good is this.

 

VSL DC-3_v2.5_Rain 1.jpgVSL DC-3_v2.5_Rain 2.jpg

 

Sitting on the ramp you can barely see outside and you can now feel the sweat and moisture running down your back in tropical South Florida.  It is really well done. The side windows now open as well, but both together, but VSkylabs have noted they will be animated separately in another update.

 

VSL DC-3_v2.5_Rain 3.jpgVSL DC-3_v2.5_Rain 4.jpg

 

When set open they do certainly highlight the thickness and density of the old aircraft's glass. Externally it is well done as well, with the same effect visible from the external viewpoint and not just from the usual internal view, which too few developers actually do. With the windows open...  the external sounds are higher as well to create that full on engine and wind roar effect in your ears.

 

With the wipers in operation it is very realistic and the wind effect on the rain as you gather speed is really well done as well.

 

VSL DC-3_v2.5_Rain 5.jpgVSL DC-3_v2.5_Rain 6.jpg

 

The effects do change from the dark to brighter wet window a little bit too sharpish and it is noticeable, so the effects are still in the need a little bit more of some fine tuning but overall the rain effects are excellent.

 

VSL DC-3_v2.5_Rain 7 LG.jpg

 

Garmin GNS530

If you look hard at the above images you will see something else that has been added in to the cockpit of the DC-3...  a GNS530. There was a GNS530 before but it was only a popup that was activated by pressing the centre of the VOR pointer dial. 

 

Now there are not one but two GNS530 units mounted high centre...

 

VSL DC-3_v2.5_GNS 1.jpgVSL DC-3_v2.5_GNS 2.jpg

 

...    but seriously how good is this installation. It looks very realistic even on this classic airliner. Left GNS350 is Comm1/VOR1 and the right side is the Comm/2/VOR2 settings and of course they both pop-out as well.

 

VSL DC-3_v2.5_GNS 3.jpgVSL DC-3_v2.5_GNS 4.jpg

 

They both fold up neatly as well if you are not using them by pressing the fastening knob on the holding bracket. The compass (top right) in the earlier version v2.1 did jiggle around, but it was a last minute addition and the ends of the mounting bungee cords were not fastened down as the whole apparatus moved around. This has been refined here and is now perfect, with the compass now moving nicely but the rubber cord ends are now securely fastened down to the panel.

 

3d Yokes

The Yokes have had some attention as well...  the centre Douglas logo caps are now in 3d and are nicely rounded and are more authentic in detail.

 

VSL DC-3_v2.5_Yoke 1.jpgVSL DC-3_v2.5_Yoke 2.jpg

 

Systems updates

There has been few changes to the systems and avionics in v2.5a. The CHT and Oil Temp operation/temperatures have had attention and are more correct and so has the Carburetor Air Temp Gauge. The constant Carburetor heating alerts (X-Plane11) were annoying, so this has also had attention, with the Left handle for "locking" (non operational), while the other two are for left/right engines. Full aft position will now be for heating. (this feature is locked off in X-Plane10).

 

VSL DC-3_v2.5_Avionics 2.jpgVSL DC-3_v2.5_Avionics 1.jpg

 

The on board time watch has had a hour needle fix, and a stop watch needle added (red needle) and the OBS knob control has had the manipulators changed.

 

I (finally) worked out the "EX" side switch (top right) above the wiper switch in that it is "expert mode", this is used in taxiing with the tail-wheel in it being either easy (normal) or hard/realistic in (EX).

 

Cabin

Internally in the cabin you can now hide the seating...

 

VSL DC-3_v2.5_Cabin 1.jpgVSL DC-3_v2.5_Cabin 2.jpg

 

...  this is of course to provide the provision for the coming Cargo version. The doors still don't open which hopefully will come with the cargo version?

 

External

The biggest new feature externally is the addition of Ski's...

 

VSL DC-3_v2.5_Ski 1.jpg

 

...   these Ski's are huge massive heavy duty contraptions, and they are again extremely well done.

 

VSL DC-3_v2.5_Ski 2.jpgVSL DC-3_v2.5_Ski 3.jpg

 

The design is well in keeping of the size and weight of the DC-3 aircraft and are really well modeled and fitted well on to the undercarriage of the aircraft.

 

Lowering and raising of the ski's is done via a box and lever on the pilot's left rear side, it is tricky to use, but just move it and don't force it and it does the rest.

 

VSL DC-3_v2.5_Ski 4.jpgVSL DC-3_v2.5_Ski 5.jpg

 

You can fly with the skis on, but with the gear retracted they fit very nicely and snuggly under the engines. There is a drag penalty as well with the skis attached and more wind noise and as these are huge skis then the drag penalty is quite high on your fuel consumption.

 

Propellers and Gear

Both the propeller hubs in the spinner and the hub are now separated in textures to allow more realistic metallic textures for the bolt and and for the hub itself in separate conditions to heighten realism.

 

VSL DC-3_v2.5_Props 1.jpgVSL DC-3_v2.5_Props 2.jpg

 

The hubs certainly do look far more realistic andmore polished in their design, a nice touch...

 

VSL DC-3_v2.5_Gear 1.jpgVSL DC-3_v2.5_Gear 3.jpg

 

...  the undercarriage has had similar attention on the inner wheel textures to photo and realism, and they too look excellent.

 

The animation of the undercarriage geometry has been revised as well, it does feel a little slower in retracting or extending but it is and feels more authentic, and the whole gear setup is more correct in the extended or retracted positions.

 

That pretty well covers this excellent v2.5a update and note the 5a version as that is the one to download, with a few last minute fixes completed.

 

VSL DC-3_v2.5_Final.jpg

 

Summary

How quick these updates come along, but boy do you get some great new features and ideas and this new v2.5a certainly doesn't disappoint there.

It doesn't seem like it was only a few months ago the Vskylabs DC-3/C47 was initially released but the development changes are exhausting but exciting in turning this great classic airliner in to what will be a certain X-Plane classic as well.

 

Great new features include those atmospheric rain effects, great heavy duty skis, installed GNS530, opening side windows and a lot of refinement and system fine tuning. As noted this Vskylabs DC-3 is always an ongoing project and it is purchased as such, but there is no doubt you get a lot of features and aircraft for your money.

 

The rain effects still need a little more refinement, and I am missing opening doors which I hope will come sooner than later, but otherwise this aircraft is one of my absolute favorites at the moment...  I am flying in it everywhere and anytime, you should as well...  This DC-3 is just simpy brilliant and already an X-Plane classic.

 

______________________________________________

 

Legacy of Liveries Upon MSN 19345

 

This is related to VskyLab's DC3/C47 aircraft and so the package is well worth noting in this update.

 

The DC3/C47 only comes with one livery, their own in "VskyLabs". There is however already a great livery selection and paintkit on the X-Plane.Org in a now a dedicated download section : VSKYLABS DC3

 

But there is nothing like an expert painter in doing justice to the aircraft and more welcome is that it also includes a few currently lacking military (C47) liveries as well.

 

This is a payware livery package of mostly original artwork for one Canadian aircraft in MSN 19345, but all are of very high quality by Robert W. Heyen or SimSmith. It includes twelve liveries in the package and they are ...

 

  1. 42-100882 USAAF
  2.  TS422 RAF RCAF
  3. 422 RCAF Training Command
  4. CF-KAZ Keir Air Transport
  5. C-FKAZ Trans Provincial
  6. C-FKAZ Soundair
  7. N5831B IFL Group
  8. N5831B McNeely Air Charter
  9. N5831B John Johnson 2002
  10. N5831B John Johnson 2003
  11. N5831B Dakota Heritage 2004
  12. N473DC Dakota Heritage 2006

 

Which is a clever history in liveries of one aircraft MSN 19345 throughout its long career....   totally recommended.

 

And they are well worth adding into your collection for the VSKYLABS DC3/C47.

Note. These liveries are NOT part of the VSKYLABS package as they are a 3rd party addon.

 

VSL DC-3_SimSmith 1.jpgVSL DC-3_SimSmith 2.jpg

VSL DC-3_SimSmith 3.jpgVSL DC-3_SimSmith 4.jpg

VSL DC-3_SimSmith 5.jpgVSL DC-3_SimSmith 6.jpg

VSL DC-3_SimSmith 7.jpgVSL DC-3_SimSmith 8.jpg

VSL DC-3_SimSmith 9.jpgVSL DC-3_SimSmith 10.jpgVSL DC-3_SimSmith 12.jpgVSL DC-3_SimSmith 11.jpg

 

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X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

The DC-3/C47 v2.5a by VSkyLabs Flying Lab Project is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


VSKYLABS DC-3/C-47 Flying Lab Project

 

Your Price: $24.95

 
Features:
  • Two packages included: X-Plane 11 + X-Plane 10.51
  • Highly Realistic Flight Performance DC-3/C-47 Simulation: Highly accurate performance and handling simulation of the DC-3/C-47. Aircraft performance and handling qualities were designed and tested in a "Research level" approach and went through a validation process of more than 200 hours of flight testing and evaluation, made by real world C-47 pilot and aircraft performance expert. This model is stretching X-Plane to its limits in terms of delivering the authentic flying characteristics of the DC-3/C-47
  • Fully equipped with Radio and Navigation aids: along with a full set of traditional/old school navigation and autopilot systems, it is also equipped with a pop-up G430
  • Workhorse for practicing DC-3/C-47 pilot skills: Experience authentic flight performance and handling practices (takeoff, landing, single engine operations, flight planning, long range flights and old school navigation). It is a perfect platform to recreate and fly historic routes using authentic performance simulation
  • Unique look and feel: The VSKYLABS DC-3/C-47 is a mixture of a simplified yet very engaging design and “feel” of the DC-3/C-47
  • Systems - easy to operate by beginners: All relevant systems are simulated but with the focus on getting the “Flying Lab” airborne without the need to go through a long “ground school”
  • FPS friendly
  • Designed to utilize the “out of the box” features of X-Plane
 
Additional Features:
  • Highly responsive support system/forum.
  • The VSKYLABS DC-3/C-47 Flying Lab is a project under constant development. All updates are free.

 

If you have already purchased the DC3/C47 from Vskylabs then just login to your X-Plane.OrgStore and go to your account and download the current v2.5a (note - that you download the 5a revised version!)

 

Requirements
Minimum System Specifications:
CPU: Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 CPU with 2 or more cores, or AMD equivalent.
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Video Card: a DirectX 11-capable video card from NVIDIA, AMD or Intel with at least 1 GB VRAM
 
Recommended Hardware Requirements:
CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K at 3.5 ghz or faster
Memory: 16-24 GB RAM or more
Video Card: a DirectX 12-capable video card from NVIDIA, AMD or Intel with at least 4 GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD).
Current version: v001.1 (Last updated July 24th 2017)

 

Installation and documents:

Download for the DC-3/C47 by VSkyLabs Flying Lab Project is 353.90mg and the unzipped file is deposited in the "Heavy Metal" X-Plane folder with two version for both X-Plane10 and X-Plane11

 

V10.51 VSL DC-3 C-47 Flying Lab v002.1 (253.40mb)

V11 VSL DC-3 C-47 Flying Lab v002.1 (253.40mb)

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Legacy of Liveries Upon MSN 19345

Set of twelve liveries of the career of Aircraft build MSN 19345

 

SimSmith liveries

 

Your Price: $12.00   X-Plane.OrgStore
 
_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Update Review by Stephen Dutton
25th October 2017
Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews
 
(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)
 

Review System Specifications:

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.05

Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9  effects US$19.95 (recommended with the DC-3)

 

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