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  1. News! - Aircraft Update : Tecnam P2006T v5.0b1 Analog/G1000 by Vskylabs This is a small but excellent update to the vSkyLabs Tecnam P2006T... Changelog includes: Built in AviTab plugin compatibility - this is allowing 'on the fly' integration of the freeware AviTab plugin. The plugin is not included in the project and is optional by user preferences. 3D modeling refinements for glass objects and other bug fixes. Cockpit night textures expended, reworked, Various bug fixes to textures all around. The project has gone through several internal-engineering-maintenance actions, preparing it for the planned, upcoming future updates. The AvITab is a third party application/plugin, that can be downloaded here: AviTab - VR - Compatible tablet X-PlaneReviews release review is here: Aircraft Review : Tecnam P2006T v1.4 Analog/G1000 by Vskylabs  If you have already purchased the Tecnam P2006T then update now to the new version either from the X-Plane.OrgStore or from vSkyLab's directly ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Tecnam P2006T v5.0b1 Analog/G1000 package by Vskylabs is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : VSKYLABS Tecnam P2006T G1000 Price is US$28.50 Features: New Version 5 Two aircraft included for the price of one: P2006 Analog + P2006 G1000 variant Includes the LR G1000 GPS VR Compatible Support for Avitab Plugin Features Designed for X-Plane 11 Fully functional G1000 with integrated autopilot Analog cockpit is featuring GNS G530 + G430 Highly detailed and FPS friendly Designed to utilize the “out of the box” features of X-Plane FMOD sound pack project for both variants Highly accurate flight dynamics model Checklists text files included Additional Features: Highly responsive support system/forum. The VSKYLABS Tecnam P2006T is a project under constant development. All updates are free. Requirements: X-Plane 11+ only (no longer compatible with X-Plane 10) Current version: 5.0b1 (Last updated Sep 25th 2018) 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). ________________________________________ Update News by Stephen Dutton 26th September 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews
  2. News! - Released : Guimbal Cabri G2 Heli by vSkyLabs Is there nothing that vSkyLabs can't do? We have had from them... classic aircraft, experimental aircraft, lightweight aircraft and even pre-war aircraft, now here we have a helicopter in the Guimbal Cabri G2. The Guimbal is a two-seat light helicopter produced by Hélicoptères Guimbal, it is powered by a Lycoming O-360-J2A piston engine, 108 kW (145 hp). It was designed by Bruno Guimbal, a former Eurocopter engineer. Remember that all vSkyLabs aircraft are projects and not final release aircraft, you sorta participate in the development more than the final result... in saying that then this Cabri G2 is already very well formed and quite complete. Cockpit is very well appointed and detailed, and surprisingly the Cabri G2 very easy to fly, so it is a great nice little heli to learn on if you want to try to fly helicopters. Rotor head is very well constructed, and animated but only in the collective pitch and not direction. Doors can be opened but not removed. Currently provided are two liveries. The Guimbal is optimized for VR functionality. This means that the cockpit can be operated with maximum comfort and fluency using VR controllers... Features include: Project under constant development: Development plan and evolution are including EVERY aspect of the project (3D modeling and textures, flight dynamics modeling, fmod sounds, interactivity, systems etc...). Highly engineered, robust helicopter simulation which pushes X-Plane's out-of-the-box features and flight dynamics model to its extent. Highly detailed visualization of the Guimbal Cabri G2 helicopter. Designed for Virtual Reality experience, including a FULL-VR mode which enables to operate and fly the Cabri without using physical hardware for the pedals. Engineered as a 'Native X-Plane aircraft': Maximum X-Plane compatibility without the use of 3rd party plugins or external coding dependencies. Day/Night VFR instrumentation. Electronic Pilot Monitor (EPM) - Simplified yet authentic and effective EPM display. Built in compatibility with the AviTab plugin for 3D and VR AviTab visualization and interaction. Optional Experimental/LSA grade autopilot included. Perfect for new helicopter pilots and for helicopter conversion for fixed wings aircraft pilots - due to its docile flying characteristics and simple yet effective design features. Now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore or directly from vSkyLabs ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Guimbal Cabri G2 Heli by vSkyLabs is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : VSKYLABS Guimbal Cabri G2 Project Price is US$29.00 Requirements: X-Plane 11.25+ Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current version: Version v1.0b5 (Sep 12th 2018) Note: In order to use and enjoy VR environment in X-Plane, user hardware and system specs should meet the required specifications for OS, CPU, GPU, MB and RAM which are specified both in the given VR hardware websites and at X-Plane.com. Designed by VSKYLABS Support forum for the Guimbal Cabri G2 ______________________________________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 13th September 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) 
  3. 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... ... 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? 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. 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. So how far can you press the ice factor? and is that as far as you should be going as is this to far and you can't see out of the window... ... or even blizzard far? 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" 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. 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. Summary 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... ______________________________________________ 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 Features: 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 Features: 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!) 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). _____________________________________________________________________________________ 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
  4. Classic Aircraft : Rutan Model 61 Long - EZ by VSKYLABS In the early evolution of aircraft design it was the singular force of an pioneer engineer that drove the design and innovation. Think of the names of Curtiss, Boeing, Douglas, Hawker, Dornier, Junkers, Hughes and many more. But as the designs became more complex and they required more od the differential skills then most of these individual pioneers were replaced with teams or companies to build the aviation industry into what we know today, most of these manufacturers were still exceedingly clever in what they produced, but were also very conservative in the same sense in that their expensive products had to also be sold and be highly reliable, and so the maverick pioneer of the early times was reduced to the outcast nutjob the dreamer who lacked funds to create their designs. The only major aviation advances then mostly came from the expensive military aspect of pushing the boundaries, and then out into space itself. But one man in the last half decade has still been a total maverick an honor back those earlier pioneers and in the process has turned the principals of aviation on their heads, his name is Elbert Leander "Burt" Rutan. Burt Rutan is now retired but his legacy is certainly amongst being one of the aviation's greats. A "maverick" and yes that title is perfectly acceptable for Rutan, but his list of achievements is simply extraordinary... early designs were mostly homebuilt aircraft and specialized research aircraft, but it was the Voyager project in designing an aircraft that could fly a nonstop, unrefueled flight around the world, and do something that had never been done before. In December 1986, Voyager took off from the famous Edwards Air Force Base in California and flew around the world (westward) in nine days, fulfilling the aircraft's design goals. The oddly shaped Voyager was retired and now hangs in the Milestones of Flight exhibit in the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) main exhibit hall, alongside with the Wright Flyer, Spirit of St. Louis and Bell X-1 and all barrier breaking aircraft.Then came the GlobalFlyer which set a record for the longest flight in history at 41,467.53km (25,766.73 mi), and in doing so gaining the third absolute world record set with this aircraft. Then later again came Virgin Galactic SpaceShipOne and its carrier aircraft in the White Knight Two, and that is the spacecraft to bring space travel to everyone or anyone that can afford the 200,000 seat cost. His name is forever associated with the company he formed called "Scaled Composites" or SCALED and they are based in Mojave and only a stones throw from the huge Edwards Air Force Base complex in the high southeastern California and southern Nevada desert were Burt started his career in 1965 to 1972 , when back then Rutan was a civilian flight test project engineer for the U.S. Airforce. Rutan's first personal projects were the VariViggen and VariViggen SP which first flew in April 1972. It had the large rear wing, forward canard, and pusher configuration design elements which became his trademarks. But it was the VariEze and Long-EZ that came next that became the default Rutan design, in that with the unusual aerodynamic surfaces they were also built of the then new composite design. It was a collaboration with the great English Formula One designer Colin Chapman that both men wanted the new material to create both extremely light but far stronger racing cars and aircraft, but sadly Chapman died before the ideas were brought to fruition. (John Barnard created the first carbon-fibre composite chassis that was first seen in 1981 with McLaren F1 Racing). Rutan Model 61 Long - EZ Although the VariEze was a successful design, Rutan thought the idea could done be better with the use of the more readily available Lycoming aircraft engines in lieu of the VariEze Volkswagen-derived engines and so the Long-Ez was clean-sheet scaled-up total redesign of the earlier aircraft. Changes from the VariEze included a larger main wing with modified Eppler 1230 airfoil and less sweep—the canard uses the same GU25-5(11)8 airfoil as the VariEze—larger strakes containing more fuel and baggage storage, and a slightly wider cabin. Plans were offered from 1980 to 1985. As of late 2005, there is still approximately 700 Long EZ's are FAA registered in the USA. At that time Scaled Composites was then known as Rutan Aircraft Factory, Inc. But some owners complained of the "rain trim change" that had been experienced by all Long-EZ pilots. This trim change is usually a nose down trim change experienced when flying into rain and then requiring a small aft force on the stick to maintain altitude, which is easily trimmed out, using the bungee trim system. So a new canard was designed with the Roncz R1145MS airfoil, which produces considerably more lift than the original GU25-5(11)8 airfoil. Any Rutan design is always going to throw the aviation rule book out of the window, and so the Long-Ez looks nothing like your standard GA or even a homebuilt aircraft. It looks more like a sports racer from Star Wars film or any futuristic video game. Performance: Maximum speed: 185 mph (298 km/h; 161 kn) (max cruise) - Cruise speed: 144 mph (232 km/h; 125 kn) (40% power) - Range: 2,010 mi (1,747 nmi; 3,235 km) - Service ceiling: 27,000 ft (8,200 m) and the rate of Rate of climb: 1,750 ft/min (8.9 m/s) There are two liveries provided with the original test aircraft N79RA and a "Thunderbirds' (aerobatic display team) Red, Blue and White scheme, there is a very nice Swiss version but that is not included here. I'm going to stick with Thunderbirds as the original test livery is a bit bland. My thoughts of these series of aircraft was to create an aircraft that were extremely easy to fly, more car like in operation with fewer controls and sturdy handling than the rather with the complexities of flying normal aircraft. It feels and certainly flies that way compared to a normal general aviation aircraft There is a double-seater glass canopy, but the high lower sides means only your heads sit right above up there in the glass, it feels all very 70's Formula One one sitting in here with the high sides and with the front canard also highly visible... The view all round though is very good and the aircraft would certainly be great as a VR (Virtual Reality) candidate and is already VR compatible and the Long-Ez sorta also handles like a flying F1 car as well, tight but with flowing in directional changes. Instrument panel is quite comprehensive for such a small tight aircraft. Top row are all the electrical power and lighting switches... Standard six flying instruments are not all here with just the four in... Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row and the Vertical Speed Indicator bottom far right. An excellent EXPERIMENTAL/LSA autopilot type system is far left (we will come back to that instrument in a minute) and a Garmin OBS VOR indicator (VOR1) dial centre, below is a Bendix/King KT76 Transponder with a Mitchell Volt meter left... note the Heading Dial down lower centre. Key start and panel lighting knobs are far, far left. Native X-Plane GNS 530 also the standard pop-out, a floating compass is far right. Engine gauges are grouped lower left with a large manifold pressure (inHg) and fuel flow (gallons per hour) and RPM gauge. Oil temperature and Oil pressure gauges are above and below the centre Cylinder Head Temperature (CHT) gauge. On the right side wall are three gauges that cover both 26 GAL fuel tanks and an outside VDO temperature gauge ºC. Left side is the connected canopy release with below a trim lever and BRKE (airbrake). Mixture, Throttle and Carb Heat levers are front. Right side lower is the joystick and Aileron trim rear... The aircraft design plate is nicely well done here as well. The big handle is to retract or extend the front landing wheel gear, but the X-Plane key setting will do all the work for you... the (arrowed) hole allows you to see if the gear is down. Behind is the fuel tank switch in Left - Right and OFF. The internal cabin materials are excellent, with the weaved carbon-fiber matting and exposed fibreglass surrounding you and your single passenger... ... the aircraft has "EXPERIMENTAL" pasted across the glareshield, but that is what this aircraft actually is, a basic bare-bones flying machine, there are no comfort features in here, and the well created detailing also gets that message across, and you also feel the slight age now of the aircraft as well (1980) as that aspect has been very well recreated, in the wear, tear and soiled fabrics as this X-Plane aircraft has been designed around the original Long-EZ (NR79RA) prototype. Some Long-Ez's are equipped with a rear-seat fuel tank, and a Long-EZ has flown for 4,800 miles (7,700 kilometers) in this configuration. Flying the Long-Ez Externally the aircraft is of composite construction, and in X-Plane that aspect can come across as a little bland, but if you look closely then VskyLabs have created some nice wear, tear and visual points to give the fuselage some detail and aging, but it is still a hard aspect to cover completely. The pods beneath the wings are not fuel tanks but luggage containers or really places just to stow items than say full sized luggage. The undercarriage is unusual in that the rear gear is a one piece molded s-fibreglass/epoxy (resin) set out as two struts that is extremely strong but also flexible with excellent energy absorption, and also highly efficient aerodynamically. The front gear is as noted manually retractable, but again immensely strong. Most owners usually retract the front gear when parking up the aircraft to create a sort of nose down attitude and to start the engine via handpopping, the nose down in the dirt stops the aircraft running away from you... which when you think about that it is a good idea. One of the most interesting aspects of the aircraft is it's rudder arrangement... the rudders are on the end of each wingtip. But when you yaw or use the rudder pedals then only one rudder then moves while the other rudder stays straight, and vice-versa, both rudders can also go outwards to act like an airbrake but that is not simulated here. That nosewheel can be tricky? It is freewheeling or a bit like a taildraggers loose tail wheel situated on the nose and not the tail, so if you try to turn too tight it flickers from side to side... there is a trick to turning and taxiing smoothly and you will soon master it, but it is a strange feel to get right at first. Sounds of the Lycoming O-235 air-cooled flat-four engine, 115 hp (86 kW) are spot on and highly realistic, a pair of headphones can highlight the air-cooled engine. Sounds are 180º FMOD and I particularly liked the lower idle throbbing... With the Long-Ez I use the XPRealistic Pro dynamic movements plugin, which I highly recommend here, make sure you have the engine throttle movements (shaking) quite high to get the engine shake for realism... Throttle up and it is a neck back snapping experience, the Long-Ez just goes like a rocket with so little weight and the power of the 115 hp Lycoming. Rotate is around 70knts, and watch for any directional wind as this light aircraft can easily be buffeted off line by even just a breeze. There are no flaps at all, just rudders and aileron's, and the huge canard forward which does the lifting and the balancing act. If the trim is correct the Log-Ez is super easy to fly as you would expect it to be, as the turns and manoeuvrability are excellent, but don't go doing over excitable acts as this aircraft does have odd performance areas that you just don't want to go there, full performance and their limits are provided in the manual. The EXPERIMENTAL/LSA autopilot type system is an interesting tool. It has a built in rate-of-turn indicator by the red five boxes set either side of neutral. Then to hold an altitude and the heading you press the "ALT" (mode) button which acts like a hold and you get a green marker to say that action is activated... ... if you use the UP (Climb) or DN (Descend) buttons the green turns to yellow for the ATT mode, pressing the ALT returns you to the (ALT Mode) or straight and level. If you press the LT (Left Turn) or RT (Right Turn) buttons it stays in the ALT mode but banks to the required turn red box, clicking the opposite direction button will neutral the turn. I found that when in the normal ALT mode you need to centre the LT/RT to keep it tight on the heading or you will drift to the left or right (sort of trimming the heading), once set right the heading will stay on course. To disengage the LSA just press the ALT again to disconnect (cycle). The LSA is extremely easy to use and is very effective for long flights like In 1997, when Dick Rutan and Mike Melvill flew two Rutan Long-EZ aircraft that they had built, side-by-side around the world. This "around the world in 80 nights" flight was called The Spirit of EAA Friendship World Tour, and some of the flying legs lasted for over 14 hours. Landing can be a bit tricky with no flaps, but you have a great almost fishbowl outside view that helps in the coordination and focus of the runway. You have a two stage airbrake situated under the fuselage that helps in controlling the excessive speed, but the full position can easily stall you if you use it wrongly, but it is good in the case of losing height and speed. The single extension gives you the best option, but again you use it sparingly... The trick is to believe in the aerodynamics in that both that huge delta wing behind you and that canard in front of you will totally support you and give you the efficient lift you require, it takes a few landings to trust them, but in doing so and then the landing phase become easier, although I did find I used a lot of runway before accepting the ground as the ground effect lift is quite strong... You need to keep the approach above 70knts, but you landing speed target is usually around 55knts, but I found just under 60knts was fine, and overall the aircraft is quite stable unless you have a strongish crosswind, and then it is simply horrible! Lighting The Long-Ez has very simple lighting, the two knobs on the instrument panel control the main instrument lighting and the avionics lighting... ... but the instrument lighting does look nicely aged and authentic, as all the dials glow sweetly in the dark. External has the navigation lights and a two stage single light in the nose that covers the different taxi and landing light brightnesses, not totally effective, but most Long-Ez's don't have landing or taxi lights either. The strobes are very bright at night and it feels like your are flying through a bad lighting storm most of the time... Summary It is important to note that all VskyLabs aircraft are "Projects", and are not completed aircraft, in other words the work is on going and you must be aware of that in the purchase, this aircraft doesn't even have rudder pedals? which seems to be a really odd missing item, even on any launch aircraft. But they will come in an update soon, as with more canopy detailing (internal - strut), back cockpit detailing and extra liveries. The aircraft is basically a simple machine, not only to use but to also fly, but that is also the same brief set out by it's designer in the first place. There are no menu's, static elements, pop out checklists (they are checklists in the supplied extensive manual) or any other fancy features to devour, this is all about the unusual flying characteristic of a very if again unusual design and a Burt Rutan design at that. In that context VskyLabs have done a brilliant job in creating this classic aircraft, it is far harder to do than you can imagine as the flying performance is quite different from your usual GA aircraft, but the Long-Ez does fly and perform very much like the real aircraft. Certainly a lot of thought, sweat and tears have gone into the aircraft to do justice of it's original design and honor one of aviation's greats. So here is the test... would you fly right around the X-Plane world in the Long-Ez, and that alone is great challenge, but a worthy one. So overall this Long-Ez is a great aircraft, but still slightly unfinished in a few areas, but that is the "project' aspect of the deal. So if you like the very different, challenging experimental style of aircraft then this is your type of aircraft, it is certainly different and also very interesting at the same time. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Rutan Model 61 Long - EZ by VSKYLABS is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : VSKYLABS Rutan Long-EZ Project Price is US$27.50 Features The project is designed and engineered around the original 1980 'LONG-EZ Plans' and 'Pilot Operating Handbook' (N79RA). As a result, the VSKYLABS Rutan LongEZ Owner's manual is based on the real LongEZ owner's manual. The manual for the VSKYLABS LongEZ aircraft can be downloaded for free. The core of the project is a superb flight dynamics model with authentic aircraft performance and handling characteristics. Aeromatic propeller configuration (fully automatic variable pitch propeller). Highly detailed and animated aircraft model along with 4K textures. VR-READY - Highly detailed and functional 3D cockpit environment. FMOD sounds engineered with a 'rough and tough' feel for enhanced flying experience. IFR capability. Autopilot - Experimental/LSA grade autopilot included. Additional Features: Highly responsive support system/forum. The VSKYLABS Rutan LongEZ Project is under constant development. All updates are free. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Requirements: X-Plane 11 - (X-Plane 11.20+ is required for VR) Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM minimim. 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 220Mb Installation Download of the Lon - Ez is 216mb and it is installed in your General Aviation Folder as a 302mb folder. Documents Documentation is excellent with one (large) manual included: VSKYLABS-Rutan-Long-EZ-POH-001 (download) More Information: BurtRutan.com: Burt Rutan's web pages - contains interesting articles, 'must read' PDF documents etc... Burt Rutan Wikipedia page: The Aerospace Legend Burt Rutan Wikipedia page. Rutan Long-EZ Wikipedia page: ez.org - A community of Rutan canard aircraft enthusiasts: Includes Forum, articles, links, various downloads (drawings, POH plans etc...). Canards for X-Plane: An interesting resource of freeware, good quality models for X-Plane: _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 9th May 2018 Copyright©2018: 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 11.20 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - KMHV - Mojave Air & Spaceport - Scenery Packages (v11,v 10, v9) (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  5. News! - Added Version : DC3/C-47 v2.7 by vSkyLabs VSkyLabs have added in a new variant to their excellent DC3/C-47 aircraft that is coming in the next v2.7 update, as details noted by the developer... "The VSKYLABS DC-3/C-47 Flying Lab Project (FLP) upcoming update to v2.7 will include a second variant! The new variant will have a new designation within the package: XC-47C. The XC-47C was an amphibious C-47 floatplane, fitted with Edo Model 78 floats. The metal floats featured retractable landing gears, allowing it to operate on land and sea. The XC-47C will be added to the base package, which will include two variants from that moment on. Release window for update v2.7 is planned to be opened within the end of February/mid March 2018. Cockpit: at first, cockpit will be the same as in the initial DC-3/C-47 variant v2.5e. There is an ***extensive development plan*** for the interiors, which is including a new PBR-textures-layer for the cockpits, which will be executed for the future v3.0 update. Wow...it seems that the development plan for this exciting project has just begun! X-Plane 10 note: The VSKYLABS XC-47C variant will be added also to the X-Plane 10.51 version of the package, but it will be the last planned update for X-Plane 10.51. Although the package will continue to include both the X-Plane 11 and the X-Plane 10.51 versions, the VSKYLABS DC-3/C-47 Flying Lab Project will continue to evolve for X-Plane 11 only." Just repeat that point in from now on is that this DC3/C-47 project is X-Plane11 only. Last vSkyLabs update overview is here: Developer Updates and Aircraft Release : vSkyLabs ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 16th February 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews Images and text are courtesy of Just Flight/Thranda
  6. Developer Updates and Aircraft Release : vSkyLabs Nobody is as prolific in developing and updating their aircraft as vSkyLabs are. So here is an overview of their current releases and updates. VskyLab's is unlike other developers in that they don't have a single product to develop and then release, but they have instead a lot of projects on the go at the same time. That is good in one way in the fact that their aircraft are updated very often, but that also means a lot of downloads of the same aircraft concurrently. Most developers only update when they have a significant amount of fixes and bugs cleared up, but with every download of a vSkyLab project aircraft it could just be two or three items and so both development approaches have their strengths, but also their weaknesses. Currently there is the release in the Scheibe SF-25C Falke and three other updates to other projects of the Tecnam P2006T, Air Phoenix U-15 and the DC3/C-47. The updates to the last three aircraft are mostly focused on VR - Virtual Reality compatibility for use with the X-Plane VR beta that is now available. But first a Motorised Glider... Scheibe SF-25C Falke (Falcon) This SF-25C is a is a German touring motor glider developed from the earlier Bergfalke glider by Scheibe Flugzeugbau. Developed in 1963, the original SF-25 was a high-wing powered glider, but the wing was lowered to create the SF-25B/C. There are a lot of variations of engines powering these gliders, but this model known as the Falke 2000 is using the 60 kW (80 hp) Limbach 2000 EA, and driving the propeller at 3,450 rpm. The aircraft is of basic construction with a single underfloor nose wheel and two support wheels under each wing. It is a twin-seater, but with a tight cockpit. The Fuel Gauge is located on the rear panel of the cockpit, which makes it slightly difficult to read while in flight, lock above is for the canopy. The instrument panel is particularly well done and looks quite professional. The main flying instruments are to the left, with a - Vertical Speed Indicator, Airspeed Indicator and Altimeter. A Rate of Turn instrument is far left. Centre panel is a large Cylinder Head Temperature Gauge, with the RPM gauge centre right. As this aircraft is a glider it uses a dedicated Variometer and this Energy Variometer gives information regarding the change in total energy of the aircraft. This is expressed in vertical speed (Meter per Seconds) and has an audio on/off switch and a dedicated volume control. Right side of the panel consists of a large aileron trim gauge, then engine gauges far right with a Suction Gauge, Oil Temperature and Oil Pressure. Far right is the Voltage dial and Radios in COMM 2 and Transponder. The Aircraft comes with a GNS 530 that covers the COMM 1 and VOR 1 frequencies. Switch gear and (working) circuit breakers are lower panel and there is a really nice Elevator trim lever to the left, but a warning on using this trim lever, a little movement is still a lot of elevator trim movement, so use with care. Canopy holds a compass and a yaw string. The free flowing string is used to find the correct the yaw of the aircraft, mostly for landing. Canopy opens forwards with just a touch of the glass. A note that this aircraft like all the latest vSkyLabs Projects are now VR compatible, so turning switches and pressing knobs can be done with the hand controllers and so are all items for 100% VR usage of the stick, throttle, spoilers, circuit breakers, levers and handles, but remember all VR in X-Plane at this point in time is in the beta stage, so things may change later. So how does the Scheibe fly? Well it is a very, very simple aircraft, and the it flies in that manner. The low output engine is there only to pull you up to an altitude or to get you out of trouble, so once the engine is shutdown, you are in gliding mode and all the tricks of flowing on warm rising air is at your disposal. So this is an aircraft for the purist here. The engine maybe of a low output, but it does make a very nice sound and that is courtesy of a very good FMOD sound package, 3d surround sound and great for directional VR movement. There are no flaps, but just very long ailerons... Landing speed is controlled via two stage air-brakes that pop up out of the wings, and they are highly effective. There is only one livery supplied and that is the F-ALKE one currently on the aircraft. Summary This excellent Motor Glider is at its heart a very basic aircraft, so that means really anyone can fly it. For a Pro-Glider pilot then they will certainly get more out of the aircraft. The instrumentation is really good and well laid out, as are sounds, but there is nothing else really in features except for the aircraft's very accurate flight dynamic modeling and that has been tested by pilots that know the aircraft well for the perfect representation of the SF-25C. Overall the Scheibe SF-25C Falke is not a flashy aircraft, but simply a good motor glider and an easy flying machine. The Scheibe SF-25C Falke Project is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : VSKYLABS Scheibe SF-25C Falke Project - Price is US$25.00 ______________________________________________________________________ The following aircraft are all updates, and all are mostly focusing on the VR intergration. Tecnam P2006T v1.4 Analog/G1000 v4.2 I was impressed by the P2006T that I reviewed late last year, but the G1000 version was the standout of the two aircraft supplied. It is a nice clean aircraft and the update to v4.2 covers mostly the use of VR and better sound with the addition of FMOD (vSkyLab's does note that the FMOD application is still an ongoing project). VR compatibility update: Both Yokes, all levers, knobs, switches, handles are defined for VR operations. Simultaneous (dual) and differential, throttle operations: control EACH or both throttle levers with a single VR controller. Avionics: Fixed G1000 fine altitude selection fixed. Flight Dynamics Model: VFE maximum flaps extended speed fixed for T.O. position. Performance - landing gears drag refined. Ground handling refinements - nose wheel steering setup fine tuned. FMOD sound pack added: FMOD sound pack In the package you do get both the G1000 above and the analog instrument version below... The analog version does feel different from the G1000 aircraft, and the single livery is different as well, but overall this is a nice modern utility aircraft and this v4.2 is also a nice update to keep it current in the Flight Dynamics. The Tecnam P2006T v1.4 Analog/G1000 v4.2 is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : VSKYLABS Tecnam P2006T G1000 - Price is US$28.50 ______________________________________________________________________ Phoenix Air Phoenix Project v4.5 This vSkyLab project is based on the Phoenix U-15 aircraft, which is a kind of a 'hybrid' aircraft and powered aircraft by a powerful Rotax 912 ULS 100 hp engine, and at the same time it is like the above Scheibe a high performance glider. There is a lot of similarities and certainly in the instrumentation with the SF-25C, but this Phoenix feels like a far more modern design. The Phoenix is a derivative of the Urban Air Lambada motorglider, developed by Martin Stepaneck who was formerly with Urban Air before that company's demise. The Phoenix was designed to comply with the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale microlight rules and US light-sport aircraft rules. It features a cantilever wing, a T-tail, a two-seats-in-side-by-side configuration enclosed cockpit under a bubble canopy, fixed conventional landing gear and a single engine in tractor configuration. (wikipedia) The aircraft comes in two versions, the extended wingtip (above) that gives it a 15 meter wingspan (49 foot). And the short wingtip (below), that turns it into an 11 meter span (36 foot). There are two sets of update notes with one update released late 2017 and the other update early in 2018... Version v4.5 (January 14th 2018) VR compatibility update: Both control sticks, all levers, knobs, switches, handles are defined for VR operations. FMOD sound pack included. Update log for v4.4 (nov 21st 2017) Maintenance update for future X-Plane 11.10 compatibility: This update was triggered to encounter some engine issues which were detected in X-Plane 11.10 beta versions. It is a minor update in terms of features, but a major update in terms of internal engineering and preparation for the upcoming updates. Compatibility maintenance: The aircraft is X-Plane 11.05 model, but with the needed fixes to it's engine's simulation model for X-Plane 11.10 compatibility. Interactivity: Improved cockpit manipulators layout. Flight Dynamics Model refinements: Wing spoiler/brakes efficiency tuned. X-Plane 10.51 support ended: The package is no longer including and supporting X-Plane 10. The 2018 update covers the same VR compatiblity and the addition of FMOD sound. If the Scheibe SF-25C is a bit outdated for your tastes then this Phoenix U-15 is then more versatile and more powerful... again a nice update and the VR experience is always going to be better in these confined spaces. The Phoenix Air Phoenix Project v4.5 is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : VSKYLABS Air Phoenix U-15 LSA Project - Price is US$19.95 (Currently on special for US$17) ______________________________________________________________________ DC-3/C47 Flying Lab Project v2.5E The Classic DC-3/C47 was the outstanding release from vSkyLabs in 2017. It was also the most updated aircraft project with updates coming at times only weeks apart. The last and significant update was in October with the v2.5A update which X-PlaneReviews covered in depth here: Aircraft Update Review - DC3/C47 v2.5a by VSkyLabs Flying Lab Project Since October it has been quiet on the DC-3/C47 project, but in this early part of 2018, we then got two updates in succession. Version 2.5e (January 29 2018) VR-Related update: Added VR Dual operation for throttle/prop/mixture levers. Side window can be opened in VR. Pitch and Aileron trims operation fine-tuning. Update is only for the X-Plane 11 version. Version 2.5c (January 8 2017) VR-Related update: Both Yokes, all levers, knobs, switches, handles - including the lower and aft landing gears and flaps handles are defined for VR operations. Update is only for the X-Plane 11 version. Mostly the updates were the VR compatibility changes in the "C"release, but the "E" release then was required to fine-tune a few of the VR actions. Note these updates are only for the X-Plane11 version as X-Plane10 is not applicable for VR. No doubt the VR environment for this DC-3/C47 would be phenomenal, but I would prefer the cabin to be finished off first with the promised opening cabin doors... but it is not bad actually in look, but feels incomplete. The DC-3 is still sensational to fly, and very slow and pondering compared to the current jets, but "oh" what a way to fly, and very tricky to get the landings correct... ... especially with strong Icelandic crosswinds! But I don't care as I love it. The DC-3/C47 v2.5e by VSkyLabs Flying Lab Project is available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : VSKYLABS DC-3/C-47 Flying Lab Project - Your Price: $24.95 ______________________________________________________________________ vSkyLabs Aerospace Simulations has a full extensive website on all projects for updates and information including aircraft manuals available here: www vSkyLabs.com All projects are also available for purchase from the X-Plane.OrgStore here: VSKYLABS _____________________________________________________________________________________ Updates and Review by Stephen Dutton 31st January 2018 Copyright©2018: 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)
  7. Aircraft Review : Tecnam P2006T v1.4 Analog/G1000 by Vskylabs In the six months since the May 2017 release of Vskylabs Tecnam P2006T the aircraft has been under constant development, but then almost everything under the VskyLabs banner is under constant development, because all the aircraft are in reality only ongoing projects and not release aircraft. So you go on a journey with Vskylabs projects as they are if nothing else very interesting and progressive aircraft. Certainly the Vskylabs DC-3/C47 has took all the attention this year, and as it should because it is a great aircraft and a lot of fun, but the P2006T has been progressing forward as well. This latest v1.4 version is significant as it is the first payware aircraft to use Laminar Research's new G1000 GPS system that was introduced with X-Plane v11.10, that noted is that to use this aircraft you have to use only X-Plane11 and the v11.10 (currently beta) update and upwards as well. So this review is mostly focused on that factor in the two different versions in the standard original analog aircraft and the new G1000 glass panel version of which you get both in the same package. Costruzioni Aeronautiche Tecnam is an Italian aeronautics manufacturer that was founded in 1986. The company has two primary activities in one is that it mainly makes aircraft parts for other manufacturers, and in two it makes its own range of light aircraft. It is in the first activity of making parts is in why the Italian company's name doesn't really roll off any aviation's bluffs tongue, like say Piaggio or Augsta, but it is still a manufacturer and it is in this their latest aircraft the P2006 that was certified in 2010 that is the company's push for mainstream sales. The P2006T is currently the lightest twin-engined certified aircraft available, and is a four-seat aircraft with fully retractable landing gear and has liquid-cooled Rotax engines that can run on 92 octane unleaded automotive gasoline as well as 100LL (Avgas). It is unusual in that the Rotax 912S3 horizontally opposed four-cylinder geared piston engines, 73.5 kW (98.6 hp) as each of the cylinder heads are liquid-cooled and there are cooling vanes on the cylinder barrels (a la the Volkswagen Beetle). Thus both cooling airflow through the nacelle, and so a cooling radiator is required in each cowl. Electric starters are used to start the engines on the ground, but must also be used for an inflight restart, since the highly geared engines cannot be turned by airflow alone past the stopped propeller. Thus, for FAA certification, the company was required to add in a backup battery in addition to the standard battery. Tecnam P2006T v1.4 Analog/G1000 You get two versions of the P2006T in the analog and glass cockpit G1000 version. They are actually the same aircraft, but strangely feel quite different? I think it is down to the more matt flat feel of the analog livery than anything else, but they do still also feel different internally as well. Considering the releases are only six months apart it feels more like years. P2006T Analog P2006T G1000 Modeling is good, but not in the high notch caliber, there are the slight bumps and off rounded areas and points that you can see really close up, but in most overall views the aircraft looks really good. The Tecnam looks like a composite but it is an all metal construction, Italian styling gives it that smooth clean look that only Italian designers can. The Rotax engines and their housings look and feel different than the standard usual low bulbous US styling, but they are well recreated here. Internally it is where all the action is, first the Analog ... ... the analog panel layout is very basic. Standard Six instruments that are centred in line of sight of the flying pilot with the Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row and the bank/turn coordinator, Heading Dial and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below, there is right the two large VOR OBS dials for VOR1 above and VOR2 below. Deep below is a pitch indicator. Centre panel is dominated by both a GNS530 (top) and a GNS 430 (below) that both pop out... ... an S-Tec FiftyFive X Autopilot in centre top. Centre panel bottom is a Decker ADF dial and transponder. Lower radio unit is the standard Garmin GMA347. Co-Pilot's instruments are more disarranged in their layout with only the Artificial Horizon and Airspeed Indicator centre with the Attitude Indicator set far below. The rest of the instruments cover Manifold pressure, Fuel pressure PSI (both engines), Temp, Amps/Volts (engines) and both fuel tanks deep below left.. A full set of two gauges cover the engine outputs with RPM (x100), CHT, Oil Temp and pressure. Lower panels cover all switchgear with Pitot, AP, Main and RH Field left and lighting right, centre is the main Avionic and bus 1&2 switches. Flap indicator is the only function on the left lower panel. G1000 Glass panel The retro fitted Laminar Research G1000 system is excellent, but in Laminar's basic set of features way. What you don't get in high features from the LR G1000 you make up for in sheer performance. Most third party G1000's including Carenado's and vFlyteAir's and make no doubt they are both very good... except in performance, because of the sheer size of the G1000 displays they lagged performance in map animation and data input. Not so with Philipp Münzel's highly polished coding and these G1000 systems are excellent in all those areas. Fitting in the large two screen G1000 layout then moves the other dials around the panel and deletes a few items as well (mostly the radio and autopilot). The main Standard Six instruments now become the backup instruments that are now spaced centre below the panels. Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator are all that is now required with the Fuel Pressure (both engines) left centre. Manifold pressure, RPM (x100), CHT, Oil Temp and pressure with Amps/Volts now down low are all squeezed together on the right hand panel, but it somehow all works fine. The Decker ADF dial is now far left lower panel and a few of the main power switches are now on the centre panel lower panel where they look better, standard lighting switchgear is right lower panel. The G1000 displays do pop-out and can be resized (scaled) or made into pop-out windows (computer windows). Most of the switchgear/avionics is transferred to the G1000 system in radio settings/transponder, autopilot controls, engine readouts and the main primary flight instruments (PFD). The lower mini-pedestal is nicely done with twin levers for throttle, Carburettor Heat and Propeller (feather), rudder pedals have an odd yellow wear on them, but look authentic. The biggest visual difference is created by the main metal facia of the instrument panel... ... it is very well done with the distinct crafted metal panel and the nice chrome screws, but if you run your texture settings anything lower than "max" it looks very old fashioned and poor texturing. The G1000 system hides most of these average areas and so at a lower resolution the lovely crafted G1000 display surroundings hides most of the metal paneling which looks like a different sort of metal as well, and it is in this area the G1000 then looks far, far better in the cockpit than the Analog version. Textures in both canvas, leather and metalness have shone this year in X-Plane11 and have risen to far more realistic looking heights... so anything now that was by last years standards is now needing a higher quality and finer attention, and here it shows with that critical if small difference. The interior is very good, but not of the high super quality in detailing although there is a few nice touches like the seatback pouches. Roof mounted Fuel Pump and Ignition/starter switches are required not only to start the aircraft but to shutdown the engines as well, which the props can be strangely odd in that they don't wind down but simply electric stop mid-rotation, The fuel tank switches are up here as well. There are no menus with the Tecnam, so if you open the pilot's door then the rear right passenger door opens as well... there are no static elements. Undercarriage assemblies are very good and very well animated. Wheel linkages, hydraulic pipes and brake assemblies are all covered and the tyres look realistic... Lighting The analog panel lighting is again different from the G1000 version. Three knobs set the lighting for instruments, panel and switches. The basic lower setting gives off a nice glow from the instruments and mid-dial (lower right) is nice... ... but turn the knob right up and the panel overglows and spreads even on to the windscreen. Overhead light is very nice, but doesn't work? The G1000 panel is very different and in a nicer way... the G1000 displays can be quite bright but can be adjusted, but overall a better look again. External lighting is basic with a landing and taxilight and a bit blobby. Liveries There are no liveries provided except one each of the default liveries, a paintkit is however included. A few liveries have already popped up the X-Plane.Org. Flying both the Analog and G1000 Tecnam I flew the G1000 version outbound from KLAL (Lakeland) to KRSW (Florida Southwest) and the Analog on the inbound leg back to KLAL. You have to get your head around first the fact that the P2006T is not a big aircraft, it looks it, but it is only really the size of a small -twin. But for a small-twin the performance is impressive. Maximum speed is 287 km/h; 178 mph (155 kn) with a cruise speed of 250 km/h; 155 mph (135 kn) with a range of 1,374 km (854 mi; 742 nmi). However the rate of climb is 1,260 ft/min or 250 ft/min on single engine and the service ceiling is 4,300 m (14,000 ft). So the Tecnam will go fast, but climbs slowly and to only 14,000ft. Most twins in this category can climb at 1600 - 1900 ft per min to 25,000ft. The G1000 GPS system is very nice though, modern and feels (as in touch) more realistic than the other versions. I floundered a little looking for the autopilot command button when they where right in front of me... I focused more on the left display than the right of which where they are actually situated (the AP commands are on the left display on the pop-up). But finally homed in on them and in reality it makes sense that the central position is the correct one for both pilot and co-pilot access. Sounds here are very good and are already FMOD directional dynamic. It is amazing how quickly new features mature and become part of the background in a very short time. Only issue in sound is the exterior sound is very high (almost irritating) to the low but better sound internally and I had to set the X-Plane external volume two thirds down to not get such a higher change of sound between the two. Moving from point A to point B is quite fast, so for traversing distances it is great aircraft... ... but I do think in many angles the P2006T does look like a Osprey V-22 tilt-rotor or have I been out on the town again. The Tecnam is genuinely nice to fly if you keep it well within its performance boundaries. The only area that is to be aware of is the final landing speed or zone, stall is 87 km/h; 54 mph (47 kn)... or around 50knts which quite slow. But the speed area between the full flap and 60knts it is very tight, and it is only 10knts higher. So you have very little room to adjust the speed to keep the aircraft airborne and getting too much lift, or either stalling into the runway. You adjust to the situation but you feel bottled in by it as well Then add in any wind factor and it is an interesting landing in controlling the aircraft at such low speeds. The first landing was not too bad, but by the time I had arrived back at LAL the wind was stronger and my landing was a bit of an arm wrestle with no different speeds available to use to control the aircraft. That space at between only 70knts to 60knts I feel is too tight, but that is the skill required to fly the aircraft. The return leg to LAL in the analog aircraft was the feeling of a far more older aircraft than the G1000 version and it just wasn't the change of the Avionic system either. You bite yourself and say "this is EXACTLY the same aircraft" but it doesn't feel that way when you are actually in there. Maybe it is the feeling from the panel or just the aircraft in general. A lot of users will certainly note the same thing but in the totally other way around with a much more love of the older analog version than the G1000 version... everyone to one's own. All I do know it was as noted quite a handful on landing this time... ... go just slightly under that 60knt mark and your in trouble, problem is you can't put on too much more speed either. I'm down, but in X-Plane you sometimes have to really work for it. Summary In a year or so then Laminar Research's G1000 GPS system will be fitted in countless X-Plane11 aircraft and it will be as familiar as the current GNS430/530 we have used for years. But here in the Tecnam P2006T you can seriously see the difference this new X-Plane11 GPS feature makes. It is the same aircraft as Tecnam P2006T that was released earlier this year and it is a good solid design if still in development. Modelling is great without being that pure extreme tick all the boxes look. There are no menus or special features, but Vskylab's doesn't always do those sort of addon's anyway, and what you do get is an interesting aircraft in two types with the original analog aircraft and the G1000 glass cockpit version. There are a few areas that need attention like the lighting (more tuning than working except for the none working internal roof light), and I am not crazy about the older analog panel metal textures. Some liveries would have been nice at that price and certainly would have helped out in the look of the analog version being far more bland than the G1000 version. For value you get two aircraft for the price of one and the ongoing development that comes with a Vskylab's project, and I am a big supporter of the Vskylab philosophy and the on going value and development that they deliver. Any aircraft from Vskylab is an investment, and this is a great interesting aircraft if not the usual run of the mill American design of the standard 4 seater light-twin. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Tecnam P2006T v1.4 Analog/G1000 package by Vskylabs is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : VSKYLABS Tecnam P2006T G1000 Price is US$28.50 Features Very First Aircraft to feature the new G1000 by Laminar Research !!! (XP11.10 required) New Exclusive Features for v4.0 Two aircraft included for the price of one: P2006 Analog + P2006 G1000 variant Includes the brand new LR G1000 GPS - X-Plane 11.10 only Features Designed for X-Plane 11 Fully functional G1000 with integrated autopilot (usable only from X-Plane 11.10 and above, including the beta) Analog cockpit is featuring GNS G530 + G430 Highly detailed and FPS friendly Designed to utilize the “out of the box” features of X-Plane FMOD sound pack project for both variants Highly accurate flight dynamics model Checklists text files included Additional Features: Highly responsive support system/forum. The VSKYLABS Tecnam P2006T is a project under constant development. All updates are free. Requirements X-Plane 11+ only (no longer compatible with X-Plane 10) X-Plane 11.10+ required for the G1000 variant 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). Installation Download of the VSKYLABS_Tecnam_P2006T_Project_v4.1a 386mb and it is installed in your General Aviation Folder as V11 VSL Tecnam P2006T-G1000 v4.1a (111.10mb) V11 VSL Tecnam P2006T-Analog v4.1 (110.20mb) Note the v4.1a on the G1000 install. Make sure you download the v4.1a version of the aircraft as there is a v11.10 conflict on startup. And currently the X-Plane11.10 beta to fly this aircraft. Documents For all documentation you go to the Vskylab site for all downloads and manuals: VSKYLABS Aerospace Simulations: VSKYLABS Tecnam P2006T Project A link to a real flight manual is here: P2006T - Aircraft Flight Manual 2nd Edition - 2010, November 12th Rev.2: _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 29th November 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 11.10rc1 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 1.0 by NAPS (uploaded by Nicolas) - (X-Plane.Org) - Free- KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.99
  8. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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... ... 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. 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. 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). 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... ... 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... ... these Ski's are huge massive heavy duty contraptions, and they are again extremely well done. 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. 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. The hubs certainly do look far more realistic andmore polished in their design, a nice touch... ... 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. 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 ... 42-100882 USAAF TS422 RAF RCAF 422 RCAF Training Command CF-KAZ Keir Air Transport C-FKAZ Trans Provincial C-FKAZ Soundair N5831B IFL Group N5831B McNeely Air Charter N5831B John Johnson 2002 N5831B John Johnson 2003 N5831B Dakota Heritage 2004 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. ______________________________________________ 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)
  9. Aircraft Update Review - DC-3/C47 v2.1 by VSkyLabs Flying Lab Project . Only weeks ago, 22nd July 2017 actually I did a full new release review of VSkyLabs Flying Lab Project's DC3/C47. At X-PlaneReviews we do have a lot of new releases and with this year's new X-Plane11 revolution there is a full roll-out of aircraft and scenery that is being updated to the new format as well, so it has all been very busy. In reviews we do the review and unless there is a significant update and then we move on to the next release. I really loved VSkyLabs project of the DC3/C47, and noted so in the review. But there was at the time a few reservations of the current status of the project. It was really, really great, but and then there was that... but. In a few areas there was a feeling that it could have better in its release form, I thought about this for some time as the hardest points in any new release is the objectivity of a reviewer, over harsh and the developer can lose sales, but too lenient and the punter who is putting down the cash will not be impressed... so it is a very fine line. You do as a reviewer have more background evidence and your extensive knowledge to make the right call. The case for the VSkyLabs DC3 was correct for the time as was a cheaper entry price of US$19.95, which was the right price at the time as well. But two things unusually happened with this aircraft. One, I found myself in my spare time flying the DC3 extensively, even getting lost over the North Sea and nearly running out of fuel... I will come back to that one later. Two, was VSkyLabs hammered out updates like chickens pops out eggs. The result was this very quick update to v2.1 and for one of the most already wanted and in demand, loved aircraft in X-Plane this year. VSkyLabs Douglas DC3/C47 v2.1 My very first initial view of the release VSkyLabs DC3 was actually a groan... This is 2017 and the aircraft looked like it was from the X-Plane9 dark ages. Normal mapping creates that raised surfaces or 3d look on the aircraft's surfaces and here there was none. So the very first priority was to fix the aircraft's maps. This was done by Oleg Tronov who has also created an official paint kit for the DC3. The results are well... spectacular! Rivet... Rivet... Rivet, you feel like a beaver creating bodywork going at it full thrust, but just look at all those amazing rivets, panel lines and saw edges... you have gotta love it. Now that is a 2017 X-Plane11 looking DC3. The other poor performance on the release version was the liveries, but that has also changed now big buckets as well and mostly thanks to Arcticpilot and his great work... (Metallic VskyLab's is now the new default livery) The older "Flightgear Liveries" don't work anymore with the new metallic base and mapping, but I have persevered with the lovely Air Atlantique livery as it looks excellent and it is a more modern livery, but sorry I don't have permission to distribute it and it is still a work in progress, but you can have a go on the original if you want to from flightgear. FMOD Sounds Sounds originally included were not actually not that bad, but that has all been swept away with the intergration of the FMOD sound engine, and all round the sounds are now excellent. New 3d directional sounds include: Engines and Props with multiple layers for various rpm and distance from the engines. Engine startup and post startup low rpm sounds. Switches and knobs. Gyro instruments, Booster pumps. Gears, Flaps. Ambiance (wind) and turbulence during normal flight. Ground roll, tire screech. Vocal Annunciation for mixture control (auto rich, auto lean). Vocal Annunciation for tail wheel (locked, unlocked). Vocal Annunciation for autopilot (engaged/disengaged). Overhead Electric fans. Good? no brilliant, it shows with just the addition of 3d sounds on how quickly you can elevate an aircraft to excellent from just the very good. More sounds are promised but a few areas are counteracted by the XPRealistic plugin I am running here (Highly recommended for this aircraft). Cockpit In the cockpit there has been a lot of changes. The basics in the instrument panel though are all the same, but there are a lot of very nice new additions and fixes. The pop up GNS GPS unit has been upgraded to the GNS530 up from the GNS 430 for a bigger screen to use, the popup is still activated by pressing the centre of the VOR pointer dial. The centre mounted magnetic compass has also been mounted on rubber-wires, it does also move around and looks excellent, but the idea is not finished yet as the way the animation works is that the connection ends move as well? But VskyLab's have noted this will be worked on more to get a better result. Added animated fans are a welcome relief from the hot cockpit, they can be a bit distracting when the going gets tough, but a desk mounted fan is certainly advisable if you want the full wind in your face effect. Wipers are now correct in sweeping to the centre and not left-right, and FMOD wiper sounds heighten the effect for more realism. Wipers feel very realistic when battling low visibility on Norway's west coast! Emergency Escape hatch has been added to the cockpit roof, it is noted that in the future it will be functional, if you want to bail out? Speakers have been added into the roof on each side, which is another nice touch. The patterned wall cladding has been updated to a better quality feel as well, looks and feels far more realistic than the original cladding. Other fine tuning notes in the cockpit are the Seat, Yokes and Pedals have been fine-tune to fix minor alignment issues, added in a co-pilot comm box for right seat operations (I bet you didn't notice it was missing?) and the added in two radio-microphones. Cabin Another area that was average in the release aircraft was the silly stilted thin cabin passenger seats. Again there are now more detailed and thankfully wider seats for the passengers, I still think they could be a little wider, but they are certainly a big if huge step forward. You can expect a few nice variations of the cabin as already ArcticPilot has put out a very nice Icelandair version for his Icelandair livery. I myself has adjusted the cabin for my Air Atlantique livery, with a blue seat cover from ArcticPilots version (Thanks), instead of the odd coloured Buffalo Airways coverings. VskyLab's has already noted there is more to come yet in the cabin in the next version. The doors however still don't open, but the fuselage has been cut, ready so expect them sometime in the future. A full and more modern FMS is promised as well, but I really love the Sperry Type A-3A autopilot already installed so I am personally not too fussed. Flying the updated v2.1 DC3/C47 I have become a little addicted to this aircraft, as you should with any great aircraft in X-Plane. In my mind if you are always going to say "I'll give give that aircraft a go" then there is something special going on and the return of the experience from the simulation then fill's in the rest. So many things contribute to a great simulation, but aircraft feedback and the challenge of flying the machine is part of the fulfilment factor. The original release did feel a little unfinished, but then this is an ongoing project. This version is certainly more like what the release version should have been, and it feels far, far more complete. One area to note is the fuel tanks. On the original you emptied the main tanks and then the Aux would then empty, but not by switching them over? In a quirk in X-Plane you can't do this so you drain the main and then automatically switch to the backup tanks. This caught me out while flying from ENBR - Bergen to EGCC - Manchester as I almost emptied the main tanks but just thought I could switch over to the Aux as you do... My position was that well over the North Sea I was suddenly running out of fuel? Switching them over ran an engine dry? so I had to divert to EFPH - Edinburgh on what I thought was the last drips of fuel, but landed still with my Aux tanks brimming full. The tanks have been changed in v2.1 to drain ALL tanks at the same time, which personally I still wish we could have done a real tank to tank switch, but there you go... Manchester thankfully will certainly be in range now. Tank switches are on the top of the pedestal and the tank fuel gauge can be switched on the panel lower co-pilot's side, it is a shame you can't use them. The old bird is tricky to fly, first this old badger is a taildragger, but the aircraft is heavy as well. Plenty of power just gets it moving and then it is going too fast once you are, so you have to find that throttle balance, instruments are old, so they can be hard to interpret sometimes and at critical times in poor weather you can lose where you are in the balance. But poor weather condition brings the aircraft alive as well, so that is the challenge and why the DC3 is so renowned in getting in there and getting out again into areas that normal aircraft just can't fly around. The aircraft's wing lights in v2.1 have been adjusted and are far brighter now and more workable, they were pretty feeble in the original version. Approach speeds are tricky, you need a little speed, but flap use is restricted to below 115mph, so you are losing, losing speed all the time in trying to get the speed lower to get that flap lift of the use of the lower speed of 80mph. You work it out, but you work for it as well... who said flying was easy? Crosswinds cause you havoc, if you are not using a lot of full rudder then you will not fly a DC3 correctly, trimming the tail straight before dropping down on to the tail-wheel is an art form you have to master. So flying this bird is going to test your skills, but that is the idea right, fly hard and get the job done. You can sit for hours just looking at it... Summary The obvious question comes up here in that was this DC3/C47 by VskyLabs released before it should have been. It is a fair point and in a way the answer is yes as my original review reflected, an ongoing project is still an an ongoing project, but this is 2017 and the entry standard into X-Plane lately is now high. Certainly the special early release price of US$19.95 is going to have a lot of the early punters smiling with this significant update. The aircraft was saved overall because the earlier basics are so good, but now you are still getting a real absolute bargain even at the new US$24.95 price so five dollars here and there is only a decent cup of coffee. But that $5 is getting you a far, far better and more rounded aircraft. The changes here with that excellent normal mapping, far better quality liveries and better cabin seating are well worth the extra admission price alone.... and we are not finished yet here either, as VskyLabs has a list as long as your arm in coming features and detailing and the announced Freight/Cargo version. Another significant point is the response time in getting the aircraft to v2.1. The sign of a good if great developer is to listen to feedback and delivers, and here VskyLabs certainly delivered and quickly and you can't fault that, you certainly can't expect the rollout and changes to keep coming at this pace either because that is not realistic, but you can be confident that this DC3/C47 is already going to be one of the really must haves in X-Plane, it is an exciting project that continues... but for now with this excellent v2.1 update of the aircraft is already right now a great aircraft to totally enjoy in flying one of the really great classic airlines of aviation history.... a must have! _____________________________________________________________________________________ The DC-3/C47 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. 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 180.40mg 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) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 5th September 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 11.02 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 2.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.95 - ENBR - Bergen Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$21.59
  10. Aircraft Review - DC-3/C47 by VSkyLabs Flying Lab Project What marks the ultimate in greatness. In most cases it is something or someone that has had an significant impact and has created enough of a shift in the way the whole world works or lives. In the case of aviation the impact it was total. From the destruction of distance, time and even the cost of moving around the planet can not be challenged in any shape or form. But like most brilliant inventions the changes that we take for granted today are usually in steps, and some steps are small but important, but some are huge and changes almost everything in the way we used movement and in the way you traveled before that introduction of absolute change. In modern thinking you could say the same about the before and after the iPhone and the effects on the way we communicate. We are today too far removed from the changes of aviation in its formation years between the World Wars, but the effects from that era are all around us every time we go to an airport and fly. In the area of greatness then that title has been lavished onto the DC-3 or Douglas Commercial 3. The aircraft was one of the greatest machines to have ever been built, but the reality could have been different. In truth only 607 DC-3's were ever built and the aircraft was already in line to be superseded except for the insertion of the Second World War. The military need aircraft, in fact thousands of them and they needed to be reliable, fast (in 2WW terms) and mostly cheap and quick to produce. So the DC-3 became the C47 Skytrain and over the course of the war they manufactured 16,000 of these Goony Birds. War time surplus demands then put a huge majority of these cheap flying aircraft on the market and the rest as they say is history. Even in innovation it was the DC-2 that was the innovation aircraft in being an all metal aircraft with a tapered wing, retractable landing gear, and two 690 hp (515 kW) Wright radial engines driving variable-pitch propellers. It seated 12 passengers. The DC-1 was in reality just a development prototype aircraft and only one was actually built. The DC-3 was just an upgraded version of the DC-2 with 21 passenger seats, 1,100-horsepower (820 kW) Wright R-1820 Cyclone engines but also filled in that sweet niche point of making and in creating RPT airline routes (now known as regional) profitable. So you have cheap to buy, fast at 200 knts (370 km/h (230 mph) at 8,500 ft (2,590 m)) with a cruise speed of 180 knts (333 km/h (207 mph)), cheap to run and bingo you had an airline. Beyond just the obvious the DC-3's claim to ultimate greatness was simply reliability. These strong tough wartime birds would simply keep on flying no matter what you threw at them, pilots loved them and the rest is history. Incredibly even after eighty years since they first flew there are operators with 2,000 DC-3s still in revenue service and as many converted as cargo aircraft. But most DC-3's today are now either in restoration or flying around at air shows. The oldest current DC-3 still flying is the original American Airlines Flagship Detroit (c/n 1920, the 43rd aircraft off the Santa Monica production line and delivered on March 2, 1937), which can still be seen at airshows around the United States and is owned and operated by the nonprofit Flagship Detroit Foundation. VSkyLabs Douglas DC-3 "Flying Lab Project" Vskylabs have been around for a few years. There are not in a general sense full developers, but more of a an older style X-Plane community that loves aircraft in all their shapes and forms. So their output is very varied, mostly cheap but interesting aircraft like the Tecnam P2006T Project, Phoenix S-LSA Project, Hang Glider Project and the Autogyro Project and many more. But note the word "Project" behind every aircraft. As noted most developers develop aircraft for X-Plane for income, a few do it for the love of aircraft per-se. But Vskylabs create projects of aircraft that you can invest in. They are built to a price and are not developed to the high end degrees of detailing and systems, yes Vskylabs do create interesting aircraft but not to the so called "Study" depth of simulation. This background is important to note when reading the review below, the aircraft is an ongoing project and there is more to come as it is developed out more, but it is important to note that the aircraft is certainly developed as to a current fine flying state, and so most of the on going development is more in the detailing and filling in areas than the main systems and flying performance, and it is priced accordingly in that category. The aircraft comes in the now famous "Buffalo Airways" livery from the "Ice Pilots NWT" TV series run by Joe McBryan (aka "Buffalo Joe"). External modeling is very good, but does not have extreme detailing that comes with say a Carenado. One reason is that the liveries are not created in house but are used from "Flightgear Liveries" and are flightsim textures and not X-Plane art. They are 4k or 4096px x 4096px in size but the quality is noticeable. More liveries are available, but you will have to adjust them yourself to fit, in saying that the effort is worth it as they can look actually quite good in X-Plane11 considering their heritage, and I show a few converted liveries at the end of this review. They are freeware Flight Gear DC-3 liveries and they are under a GPL licence, which means you can adjust them but you have to acknowledge the source. There is also paintkit also available, but it will be interesting to see if any of our great artists can up the game for this DC-3, in fact one for Lufthansa has already been released. The Buffalo livery has been more extensively modified by Vskylabs and is now part of the project with permission from flightgear But there is no doubt this bird looks great, certainly in the great light of X-Plane11. X-Plane10 is also available as well but you will not get those great lighting reflections you see here. You don't get a load of intimate riveting and panel detail, there are some really very nice detailing work where required. The engine cowling and the internal detailing of the Wright R-1820 Cyclone radial engines looks magnificent, but the highlight here is the lovely chrome prop spinner. The undercarriage is also well detailed, I would have really expected a bit more grease and wear and tear, but otherwise the struts look good. The retraction animation is very good as well as the gear goes up slowly into its bay, or extracts easily down for landing. There are no menus or ground elements with this DC-3, and the doors don't open either, which would have been a great feature and certainly in it's current cargo role. But the old bird does look great on the ramp, it is a DC-3 and DC-3's are a very unique aircraft. Cockpit and Cabin Internally the Vskylabs DC-3 is quite good. The textures are in places a little average in resolution and so slightly blurred, but otherwise it is well done. This aircraft is from the 1930's in technology, and so panels with instruments mounted on them is par of the course. It is all straight forward in that there is no detailed wear and tear or worn levers and yokes, which would have added in a bit more period authenticity, but it is well done and you feel the age of the aircraft from the flying position and in the way you access the controls. A highlight is the aircraft's glass. The windows are aged worn and feel great when looking through them in an authentic way, a bit of poor weather highlight's their old faded transparency... I like them a lot. In the cabin is is pretty much in the same vein with average textures and seats that look too small, certainly in the width. For all the ages then aircraft back then had a lot of seating width within reason, more like the luxury trains of the same era, and nothing like the tight pitch of today. The DC-3 could be four seats abreast, so a three abreast like here would give you a lot space to play with, remember there was no aisle carts either back then to bang up and down the aisle between the seats. Again the faded windows are great as are the fancy red curtains, there was no overhead lockers then either but instead shelving for pillows and hand baggage. Instrument Panel You can see why these aircraft were so highly regarded as their instrumentation is very good even by modern standards. Not in the glass cockpit sort of fit-out, but any good GA is not that dissimilar to the familiar layout viewed here. You can click on the base of the pilot's yoke to make both of them disappear, which is a great feature as they do hide the rate of turn instrument and even a little bit of the rate of climb instrument as well. It is a slightly odd feeling of finding the right perspective of looking out of the high windows and wanting all of the instruments in view as you can't have both. None of the standard six can be in view unless you change your perspective quite significantly as they are positioned well down the panel, and then in perspective they look odd in that fishbowl look. So viewing up and down will take a bit of practise in the way you fly the aircraft and setting up for landings via the instruments does mean a limited view out of the windows, so you can only have one view or the other. Instruments are highly reflective as well. Maybe too reflective in some conditions, but I would far rather have the feature than not. All the instrument are huge, large and easy to read... no squinting in here to read anything. Standard Six instruments are low set for the flying pilot but with a different set of instruments set high for the Co-Pilot. On the left is the Airspeed Indicator, Attitude Indicator and the Artificial Horizon on the top row and the Radial compass (heading), Turn Coordinator and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below. Left of the six pack is a clock and top of the panel center is an Omni Bearing Selector, or OBS and to the right a VOR 1&2/ADF 1&2 pointer. On the panel's far left is your flap position indicator, it is basic but easy to see. For the co-pilot there is only the Airspeed Indicator and Altitude Indicator with the free air temperature gauge between them. Second row has the (both engines) Oil temperatures, Cylinder temperatures and Carburettor Temperatures. Lower row has fuel gauge (switchable), hydraulic Pressure and De-Icing pressure. Centre panel is the Sperry Type A-3A autopilot, which we will cover more in the air. And below four gauges covering (both engines) Oil Pressure, R.P.M, Fuel Pressure and Man (Manifold Pressure). There are two overhead panels with one over each of the pilots upper left and right. Pilot's left side covers all the aircraft's power, external, panel lighting and de-icing switches, with a big red left propeller feather button. The right side panel covers L-GEN and R-GEN (Generator) switches and Carburettor de-icer. The red right propeller feather button and the main external aircraft navigation lighting, the co-pilot's instrument lighting switch is here as well. Overhead centre is lower the two engine ignition switches and above the radio panel to cover your COM 1&2, NAV 1&2 and ADF 1&2 frequencies. Also here is the DME-A and DME-B (Distance Measuring Equipment) and ATC frequencies (ATC is the aircraft's Transponder). On the co-pilot's side wall are two sets of instruments covering with gauges Landing Gear pressure and Hydraulic System pressure. There is another panel for two switches that operate the engine cowling (cooling) positions from open to close. You can also use the X-Plane default GNS430 GPS system by pressing the VOR pointer dial and you can still set your COM1 and VOR1 frequencies here as well. Pedestal Central pedestal is a lovely bit of gear. Like the nice thin metal yokes you get the full vintage long lever feel that covers both engines in P-Propeller, T-Throttle and M-Mixture. The mixture levers have two zones that you can pre-select either Auto-Rich or Auto-Lean like on the real DC-3. The main switchable fuel tank switches in MAIN or AUX are on either side of the levers. On the left of the pedestal is the main trim wheel (very nice) and the Aileron and Rudder trim wind handles are on the lower front of the pedestal. Two other items here cover the "Autopilot" on/off switch and the tailwheel lock lever. Park brake is just a small pull switch hidden low on the front of the pedestal (arrowed), and difficult to use. As are also both the undercarriage gear lever (lower) and the longer (higher) flap levers on the rear right side of the cockpit, I have all these three items set on my joystick/throttle system, so it wasn't an issue, but if you want to use any of the three manually it does mean taking your eyes and hands a long off the all important flying matters... ... they would all be easy to use in a real world sense, but in a 3d virtual cockpit you would have to have a different solution. Flying the DC-3/C47 This aircraft is not a study sim, so you won't be put through all the pain of starting those old tired cantankerous Wright R-1820 Cyclone engines. This point is a debatable one in either you want a complete realism simulation, but too many then starting these old style aircraft can be more frustrating than the fun aspect of the flying. Starting engines on many simulated aircraft can be an absolute painful experience, but it depends on how you want to approach realism. Here it does help to use XPRealistic Pro by rk Apps and their realism effects. Set up correctly it does at least give you some more general feel and shudder to create a more realistic environment around such older style aircraft, in reality this app should be part of the deal with the aircraft, but on start up it does create an excellent prop shudder and running effects. I have flown in a DC-3 and even if it was a $50 joyride, but it was a sensational ride that you never forget if you love aviation. It is noisy, bumpy but the aircraft does sort of come alive around you as a living breathing machine that is quite unlike modern era aircraft. Old taildragger hands will do the deal and fly the aircraft with the tailwheel loose. It is a trick to do, but using a twin-throttle arrangement does allow you to do that... but it is not easy. I have mastered it.... to a point, but when it lets loose it just goes... So a sort of sanity does and has to prevail. A flip of the tailwheel lock on the front of the pedestal will make the tailwheel behave to the laws of X-Plane and you can control it with the yaw aspect, in other words taxi where you want to go and not where the tailwheel wants you to go. Certainly a major miff from the diehards, but I feel the X-Plane freewheeling tailwheel is not right either in it's actions, I never see tailwheel's go opposite rearwards when taxiing straight ahead on real aircraft but it does here, so it is bit of both. Anyway the tailwheel has to be locked for any takeoff or landing, keeping it unlocked will certainly mean a crash. The view forward is very restricted, but that is part of the fun, not so much fun is that you can't see your instruments, so there is a bit of guessing going on on speeds, experts say it is normal, you just know and feel on what the aircraft is doing where and what. It is very easily if touching the controls manually to select the wrong levers? It is the P-Propeller and not the T-Throttle levers that comes to hand easily as the throttle levers are in centre here and not to the par de course to the left, so you have to look to make sure you are pushing up the correct ones, personally though as I am using a twin-throttle system it is not an issue, but I did try the manual operation and had to check to see if I was doing it right, again a twin-throttle system is great for keeping the old bird straight on the runway, certainly if there is a bit of a crosswind. Tail lifts quite easily at around 60mph and that helps the view, but with that tail hanging out back there then needs some fine rudder control to keep it aligned straight. Thankfully at only 110mph you are airborne. Undercarriage animation as noted is excellent, as one wheel assembly will be slightly behind the retraction of the other wheel for authenticity. The DC-3 has a climb rate of 1,130 ft/min but you keep it around a 1,000 ft/min as so not to strain the Wasps, but she will climb and with no fuss or loss of speed. Total ceiling is around 23,000ft (7,100 m) but I will climb only to 8,500ft for this trip. If you are familiar with PMDG's DC-6 you will find it easy in here. The same conditions count with the first important issue which is to fully trim the aircraft. As you know on the DC-6 it is a far more easier aircraft to fly than to fight it, if the trim is wrong. And so it is in this DC aircraft as well. Second is when you have trimmed the aircraft is too manoeuvre the aircraft to a clean and level flight, and trim again if you have to. The Sperry Type A-3A autopilot is about as basic as you can expect it to be. This is not a complicated in depth system, and in fact all it does is adjust the basic flying surfaces to your settings. It is activated by the switch on the lower front of the pedestal. And like previously mentioned the aircraft has to be steady, ready and trimmed to accept it. Three dials in RUD (Rudder), AIL (Aileron) and ELE (Elevation) will adjust your flying surfaces, in reality it is just a trim function but one that you can control easier. Turn the ELE and you will see your yoke go towards you to climb, same movement in forward to descend. AIL will bank the aircraft to a new heading and so on. It works quite nicely but you have to watch your instruments in that you are going in the right direction and not slightly banking towards another one. Overall it take the strain out of holding the controls for long periods of time. The DC-3 has a range of 1,500 mi or 2,400 km (1,346nm), which is very impressive, but in most cases around 400 to 500nm is usually the go. Note the built in excellent gyro bank and climb instruments, and they work as real too. This is vintage flying. You are certainly not going to get anywhere very fast, but there is a sort of trundling along with the engines pounding away on mostly on all cylinders in the background, the excellent XPRealistic Pro giving the old bulkheads and window frames a constant shake and everything feels quite nice with the world. Sounds are not to bad actually, but VSkyLabs has noted that FMOD sounds are coming soon (to X-Plane11) and that will be certainly a great addition to the all round aural experience. Could this be called "Classic" flying, I think so as the world sorts of moves by rather than flies by under the aircraft and at only being 8500ft up you get to see a lot more of the landscape. If you are familiar with PMDG's DC-6 you will understand most of the actions here also, so you will feel quite at home in either aircraft, the DC-3 is certainly easier to fly than the bigger DC-6, but feeling is the same. The DC-3 is known as a pilot's, pilot's aircraft. And I can understand that, as the bird is very hands on, but more to the point you feel the DC-3 in the way you fly it, well trimmed it is a nice aircraft to manoeuvre as long as you understand it's limitations and performance. Overall the aircraft is very addictive, in that fly it once then you just want to have another go and in that aspect VSkyLabs has got something very right here. Wipers do work. There is no actual switch at the moment and so you have to press the centre of the wiper motor box to activate them, but they are great in poor weather... The DC-3 is nice to manoeuvre when setting up for landing. "Hands on" is the thought that comes to mind, but you know you are in control. Flaps are not stepped but continuous, so you have to hold the lever down all the time to drop them, but harder is that they can only be used at around or under 100mph, so you have to get down to that speed before using them... and it is harder than it sounds. Once there you can then actually lower the flaps and then they provide their own drag to adjust your approach speed, so then it becomes a balance of flap drag vs throttle thrust to keep the approach correct. Stall is around 60mph so 80mph feels about right. She will float very easily, but the trick is to use it and not fight it... ... you are very conscious of your tail. Even in light crosswinds the DC-3 can be very tail light and of course we have all seen the great footage of these taildraggers in real action in heavy winds, and then they are a real handful. But once you are over the threshold you have to learn to straighten up the tail by instinct before you put the aircraft down, so yes using the float point is a great benefit to you if you can get it right, so you hold, straighten then hold it tight and reduce the speed to meet the runway. It took me a few landings to get it perfectly right, but then it just becomes a background natural instinct and feel. Nightlighting As to be expected the lighting on the DC-3 is basic. External lighting is not adjusted, but it is effective. Note the high light on the tail. Instrument panel lighting is not overly dramatic, but it is easy to use and t actually read at night and so in that case it is effective. Taxiing at night is a pretty dark affair, but it does feel very authentic, the frosted old windows certainly help a lot to the atmosphere. Overall a bit more work is required here. Liveries As noted the only livery is provided is the Buffalo Airways which was created originally from "Flightgear Liveries" but with permission is now part of the project. And if you want to you can convert more for the aircraft from the Flightgear site. It took me about 20min to do about four... in a very nice Air Atlantique, BUA, CP Air and a Chilean Airforce livery. They are (very) basic and there are sadly currently no Military C47 liveries in the list. There is a paintkit here on the X-Plane.Org. One livery for Lufthansa (below) has already appeared so there is no doubt this aircraft will attract a lot of painters. It is in the liveries that others can help this project as to throw some serious talent at these liveries would certainly lift the already underlying good aircraft. A final note that this review was completed with the v001.1 update that has a had a lot of changes since the release version. A few images in here were still from the original release version (mostly the reflective instruments). Any new purchase will download the v001.1 version, but if you haven't then do so as the update is significant. Another point is that I highly recommend both a twin-throttle system and the use of XPRealistic Pro by rk Apps effects as they both are a huge bonus in flying this aircraft. Summary To be clear what you are purchasing with this VSkyLabs DC-3/C47 aircraft is a project still in progress, an advanced one, but it is still far from the completed aircraft. There are no special features in menus or elements and the cabin is really also still not fully completed. This is also not a deep simulation in the way you would totally operate a DC-3 either, certainly not in the systems and in some areas the operation and the price which is set below US$20 does reflect that. The liveries are also quite basic, but workable. The normal mapping is also basic (the textures that highlight pixels to make lines and grooves on the aircraft) and it is here that I think most visual improvements could be made. You want to see every rivet and panel in it's glory as these older aircraft are built that way, and this missing visual aspect is noticeable. Certainly X-Plane11 goes a long way in bringing up great lighting and saving an aircraft which could have be quite dull without it, so in X-Plane11's light the aircraft does look quite nice and interesting and it does show the potential of what can be yet added to this aircraft as the basics are excellent. If you accept the above then you will take the aircraft to your heart. It is a great aircraft to use and fly, and very hard to ignore and even addictive, actually very addictive in the fact the more you fly the aircraft the more you want more of it. It can be tricky of course, but again all these sort of taildraggers are interesting machines... but that is all part of the fun as well. So what you get here is a great deal, a great if even one of the really greatest aircraft of all time to fly and enjoy and I can guarantee you now there are already a lot of X-Plane pilots out there with a wide grin on their faces as they trundle around the slow moving landscape with a beating heart of happiness, not even money can provide that, so get with the project and be a part of the movement to thoroughly enjoy the ride along the way. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The DC-3/C47 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: $19.95 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. 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 199.80mg 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 v001.1 (147.20mb) V11 VSL DC-3 C-47 Flying Lab v001.1 (166.00mb) There are no documents, but recommended there is a full suite of original Douglas manuals at "www.avialogs.com" but you have to pay to access them. RECOMMENDED: PILOT TRAINING MANUAL FOR THE C-47 / 1943 / USAAF T.O. 01-40NC-1 Pilot's Flight Operating instructions C-47 Airplane. T.0. 1C-47B1 Flight Handbook C-47B - C-117A -R4D6. A.P. 2445A & C - PN - Pilot's notes for Dakota I & III. AAF Manual 51-129-2 Pilot Training Manual for C-47 Skytrain. DC-3C Operation Manual. DC3 Emergency Check List. DC3 Preflight Check List. DC3 Check list. Pilot Training manual for the C-47. A.P. 2445D-P.N. Pilot's Notes for Dakota IV. C-47D Skytrain Characteristics Summary - 26 September 1952. T.O. 1C-47(A)D-1 Partial Flight Manual AC-47D. Strength and Operation of DC-3 Airplanes. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 27th July 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 11.02 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 2.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.95 - ENBR - Bergen Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$21.59 Note the winter textures by xFlyer called Winter_Package or Simple Seasons with the MODS program was used to create the winter scenario for this review.
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