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Aircraft Update Review - DC-3/C47 v2.7b by VSkyLabs Flying Lab Project


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VSL DC-3_v2.7b1_Header .jpg


DC-3/C47 v2.7b by VSkyLabs Flying Lab Project


Ice! The airman's nightmare...  Laminar Research has added in a great new ice feature into X-Plane that uses an icing algorithm. Never one to miss an opportunity when you see one, then vSkyLabs has added the feature to the DC3/C47 Skytrain aircraft. So this release version is interesting in that we new get to see the new Ice feature in action, and very good it is as well.


The DC3/C47 already had a great visual feature with the excellent rain effects that are very effective and realistic...


VSL DC-3_Rain 8.jpgVSL DC-3_Rain 9.jpg


...  you can almost feel the damp wet moisture trickling down your back, never mind the windows.


So if you thought about leaving your valuable classic Gooney Bird out in the elements now, then you need to think again?


VSL DC-3_Ice 10.jpgVSL DC-3_Ice 11.jpg

VSL DC-3_Ice 12.jpgVSL DC-3_Ice 13.jpg


As what you will now get is a very frozen bird...  solid!  So visually it is very effective and the ice creeps up and over the aircraft gradually and slowly if you leave it out in the snow and ice or like this in a cold Norwegian winter. Not just on the outside airframe but the windows are also frozen all over from the inside as well.


VSL DC-3_Ice 14.jpgVSL DC-3_Ice 15.jpg


So what does the ice look and feel like in the air.  Of course you have to have the right icing conditions set in X-Plane, so anything below -5 and a bit of rain/snow (precipitation) and a bit of low dense stratus are for the best effects. And it didn't take long to get some nasty icy bits to starting to form on the wings.


VSL DC-3_Ice 16.jpgVSL DC-3_Ice 17.jpg

VSL DC-3_Ice 18.jpgVSL DC-3_Ice 19.jpg


So how far can you press the ice factor?


VSL DC-3_Ice 23.jpg


and is that as far as you should be going as is this to far and you can't see out of the window...


VSL DC-3_Ice 22.jpgVSL DC-3_Ice 20.jpg


...  or even blizzard far?


VSL DC-3_Ice 21.jpg


No you can't go too far past that caking ice point without switching on the wing boots...  because soon you will start to lose speed and altitude till the stall point, then it is...  all over, your going down. The note says it is an "Icing issue!"... "No kidding"


VSL DC-3_Ice 24.jpgVSL DC-3_Ice 25.jpg


Switches for activating the wing de-icing boots, Propeller de-icer and Carburetor de-icer will keep you airborne and the window de-icer will mean you can see where you are going...  They do all work, but the wing boots are a little bit too efficient, one moment you are heavy with snow and ice, the next a absolutely clear clean wing? I would have liked a more less abrupt look, a sort of clean leading edge, but a still slightly dusted wing to be more realistic, or to peel away the ice in sections. It will be interesting how other developers will approach this same icy feature.


But icing does look and works very well in practice and flight so the feature is a great addition to the aircraft. And note the now more damage when hitting the ground, as the aircraft fragments on impact... not good, but good at the same time.


other v2.7b1 notes are:


  • XC-47C Amphibious variant added to the package. The variant is including EDO78 floats for land and sea operations.
  • Airframe icing visualization - 4 step effect, working with X-Plane icing algorithm.
  • Windshield icing visualization.
  • Deice wing boots switch added.
  • Damage visualization - "first step": Exceeding Vne, over-g, flaps overspeed, high velocity propellers seizure.
  • Night Lit textures added to the default Buffalo Airways and to the VSKYLABS liveries.
  • STMA AutoUpdater plugin included.


The STMA update plugin is also now included, but I am not a fan of the way the STMA intrudes constantly on to your screen if you go over to the left side, I find it annoying and turn it off in the plugin menu. But it will ease the way for quicker updates.


monoblau on the X-Plane.Org has put up a set of float livery textures for this v2.7b1 aircraft (won't work with the earlier versions). The top float design is the default one with the aircraft...  the others are clockwise : Aluminium, Galvanised Metal, Blistered Yellow, Rusted Metal Plates, Copper and Orange.


VSL DC-3_Float default.jpg

VSL DC-3_Float Gal Metal.jpgVSL DC-3_Float Alimin.jpg

VSL DC-3_Float Orange.jpgVSL DC-3_Float Yellow.jpg

VSL DC-3_Float Copper.jpgVSL DC-3_Float Metal Plates.jpg


Overall I wasn't really excited by them, the only standout was the really good realistic rusted metal plates (above) that didn't look as plastically as the rest.



Another quick update here for the excellent DC3/C47 aircraft from vSkylabs. It is very feature driven and a cabin and opening doors are promised in the next major update v3.0 that will certainly lift it to new heights again. All updates including this one are free to current users


The icing effects are excellent and very realistic, and very detrimental you your flight if you push your luck too far. So they work well, but I would have liked a slightly more realistic after effect when using the wing boots... and like a lot of the effects in here they are all very on - off.


Only thing you need now is some engine and wheel cover blankets for the Dacca, anyone know where I get a set cheap...




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: $26.95


New: Two variants included
  • DC-3/C-47 Plus XC-47C Amphibious version
VR Ready
  • X-Plane 11 Native VR ready. will be updated as needed
  • Project under constant development
  • 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
  • Windshield rain visualization effect
  • Windshield Icing visualization effect
  • Airframe 4-step Icing visualization
  • Aircraft Damage visualization (exceeding Vne/g limits/flaps overspeed/propeller high velocity seizure)
  • 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 built-in 3D 2xGNS530 (folding terminals)
  • Comprehensive FMOD sounds.
  • 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”
  • 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
STMA AutoUpdater plugin
  • you always have the most updated project version. Fully automatic
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!)


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).



Review by Stephen Dutton

9th March 2018

Copyright©2018 : 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)


Review System Specifications:

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.10

Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini

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

Scenery or Aircraft

- ENGM - Airport Oslo XP by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.95

- Winter Textures -  MOD by Xflyer (X-Plane.Org) - Free


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  • 2 months later...

To be honest Mat I found it very hard to generate the icing conditions, in both xEnviro and with the native X-Plane11. It does work, but I feel this area still needs some more development from LR as I found the same situation on other aircraft with the same icing feature.

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Yeah...weather engine sucks in X-Plane. They really should work on this, cause has been a big lack in this sim since the beginning. Now they basically built everything, even the less important things, and they should focus on weather. But at least someone is trying to make an effort to be more realistic.
By the way I'm almost an I.R. pilot now, and I know that ice will likely build on tail before wings...so why the tail of the DC3 is perfectly clean? I'm seriously considering to buy this bird in near future, and would be really nice to fly it in adverse weather conditions and in difficult procedures on remote airports!!!

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