June 2016: NEW UPDATE for the VSKYLABS Hang Gliders Trike package is available. It is an additional sea/land version aircraft of the Trike S-1! CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE THE PROJECT PAGE.

Have you heard about ThumbSat? Stay tuned for more information and media of their miniature-suborbital vehicle - the StratoBooster!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016

VSKYLABS Powered Hang Glider project

The VSKYLABS powered Hang Glider project for X-Plane


VSKYLABS 'Trike S-1' version 2016-004.1 (X-Plane 10.45+)
VSKYLABS 'Trike S-1-F' version 2016-004.1 (X-Plane 10.45+)
VSKYLABS 'Trike S-1-FG' version 2016-004.1 (X-Plane 10.45+)
VSKYLABS 'Trike-Buggy S-2' version 2016-004 (X-Plane 10.45+)
VSKYLABS 'Microlight Trike S-3' version 2016-004 (X-Plane 10.45+)

** A free update link was sent to all buyers **

Buy now

The VSKYLABS 'Trike S-1'
The VSKYLABS 'Trike S-1-F'
The VSKYLABS 'Trike S-1-FG'
The VSKYLABS 'Trike S-2'
The VSKYLABS 'Trike S-3'
Current version is 2016-004.1

Last update summary:

11th June 2016 - Added an additional multi-purpose sea-plane version for the S-1-F model. This model features redesigned floats and landing gears for land/water operations.

In addition, all of the 'S-1' series are updated with front and rear wires for the control frame (upgrade for the 3D model).

All three S-1 variants were updated and now are version 2016-004.1
The S-2, S-3 remained version 2016-004.

5th June 2016 - Added a sea-plane version for the S-1 model.

28th May 2016 - VSKYLABS Hang Gliders Trike package update:
A new update was released. All Trikes in the package are now version 2016-004 (for X-Plane 10.45).

This is a MAJOR update for the S-1 Trike flight model, which is now more correct. In addition, engine shut-down during flight will not affect stall characteristics (just be prepared to "catch" the speed from bleeding down in an engine shut-down during climb) and engine sounds are improved.

The S-2 Trike is tuned up (stability in high Alpha/low airspeed).

The S-3 Trike had a minor fix to the instruments panel (gauges glass).


What is an ultralight trike aircraft?
An ultralight trike aircraft, also known as a flex-wing trike, weight-shift-control aircraft, microlight trike, deltatrike or motorized deltaplane, is a type of powered hang glider using a high-performance Rogallo wing coupled to a propeller-driven three-wheeled undercarriage. While many powered aircraft have three-wheeled landing gear, the term "trike" refers specifically to the form of aircraft described above.

Flight control in a trike is made by weight-shifting; the undercarriage structure is connected to the wing at a hinge-point, and the wing can be tilted in both X and Y axes. While on the ground (takeoff for example), pushing the wing control bar raises the angle of attack of the wing and lift is produced. As the aircraft is airborne, moving the control bar of the wing causes the undercarriage to swift both sideways or back and forth, and a weight-shifting control is achieved.

Performance (VSKYLABS 'Trike S-1' / S-1-F / S-1-FG):
  • Climb Rate @ Gross weight: ~850 fpm / 700 fpm / 550 fpm.
  • Stall Speed @ Gross weight: ~40 knots / 35 knots / 35 knots.
  • Cruise speed: 55-65 knots.
  • VNE: 80 knots.
  • Descent Rate @ Gross weight / Idle: ~500 fpm @ 44 knots.
  • Fuel Capacity: 12 Gallon.
  • Fuel Burn @ Cruise speed: ~2 Gal/Hr.
Performance (VSKYLABS 'Buggy-Trike S-2'):
The characteristics of the pulse-jet thrust is quite interesting in such of an ultralight aircraft, when comparing it to a standard propeller-driven engine.
Take off run is a little longer, maximum airspeed is much higher (you don't cruise at more than 60% power!), and climb rate is much higher.
  • It is a completely experimental aircraft.
  • Climb Rate @ Gross weight: >850 fpm.
  • Stall Speed @ Gross weight: <40 knots.
  • Cruise speed: 55-65 knots.
  • VNE: 80 knots.
  • Descent Rate @ Gross weight / Idle: ~500 fpm @ 44 knots.
  • Fuel Capacity: Propane Tank (~60 lbs).
  • Fuel Burn @ Cruise speed: N/A
Performance (VSKYLABS 'Microlight-Trike S-3'):
The VSKYLABS Microlight Trike S-3 is an agile and challenging powered hang glider, bringing X-Plane simulation almost to it's limits because of its size and weight.
Treat the S-3 with caution. It is not as heavy and stable as the S-1, and it should be flown with great care, because it will give you the impression that you can do "anything" with it, jut until you lose control...
  • Climb Rate @ Gross weight: ~650 fpm.
  • Stall Speed @ Gross weight: <30 knots.
  • Cruise speed: 40 knots.
  • Descent Rate @ Gross weight / Idle: ~400 fpm @ 35 knots.
  • Fuel Capacity: 12 Gallon.
  • Fuel Burn @ Cruise speed: ~1.5 Gal/Hr
Flight model important notes for X-Plane:
  • The 'Trike S-1' is trimmed for 45-50 knots. Adding power will affect the pitch attitude slightly and produce a nose-down moment. I made this setup due to some limitations of X-Plane's flight model which concerns hang-gliders physics; in real life - the engine's thrust vector is in straight line with the CG location, and change of power settings doesn't affect the aircraft's attitude. In the 'Trike S-1' flight model, the vertical CG location is lowered, as much as possible, to eliminate "nosing-up" when tilting the wing upwards, while on the ground (X-Plane is shifting the weight backwards while on the ground...this doesn't occur in real life, when the weight is actually shifting while airborne). So...when changing the engine's setting from full power to idle, expect a slightly nose-up moment. Once the power setting is settled down to a ~50 knots flight, minimum pressure on the control bar will be required.
  • The 'Trike S-1-F' is equipped with large scale floats which are affecting its stability and total response; fly the Trike with ease, make room for maneuvers. The Trike is capable of taking off safely from water with waves up to 0.7 feet. When taking off from the water, apply full power and tilt the win up slightly. Once at~35-40 knots, apply an extra push to the control-bar for departure, but as you are airborne, ease it to gain airspeed before climbing. Landing is straight forward; judge for touchdown at ~35 knots, nose slightly above the horizon. 
  • Because the trike is trimmed to 45-50 knots, almost no pressure at all will be required on final approach, and when the engine is on Idle, it will keep gliding in a good attitude, near the stall speed, right until touchdown. This is a very fun exercise when landing the trike.
  • Do not exceed a 60 degree turn, nor abrupt movements of the control bar on steep turns. The lateral stability of the trike is limited, and it could snap out of the turn.
  • The 'Trike S-1-FG' - In order to make the S-1-F multi-purpose trike (land+sea), I had to redesign the floats, fix the landing gears alright and replace the propeller. This is a "dirty" configuration trike, very docile though. I wanted the trike to easily run in and out from the water/shores in X-Plane. Sometimes (in X-Plane) it is a rough phase as there may be an invisible foot-tall step as you go from water to land. This issue was solved with a carefully designed and positioned landing-gears, and redesigning the floats with a shorter structure. The modified S-1-F trike flying characteristics turned different, so I've added it as another aircraft, designated it as the S-1-FG. 
  • Taking off with the Trike S-1-FG from land is straight forward, but rotation speed is ~50 knots. This is not a "dirt-buggy'; land take-offs should be operated from paved runways.
  • When experiencing a dead-engine gliding with the S-1-FG, it is recommended to keep the airspeed at ~40 knots on the glide. This aircraft is 'dirty' and sink-rate is noticeably greater than the S-1/S-1-F. 
  • When flying the Trike-Buggy S-2: Take off with 100% power. Once airborne, set it to ~60%.
  • When flying the Micro-light Trike S-3: During taxiing, push the control bar slightly forward to have a better nose-wheel traction for steering. On take-off, judge to get airborne at ~30 knots. Landing is straightforward, but keep the airspeed above 30 knots right until touchdown. It is not recommended to flare the S-3 too much, and if so, do it with slightly additional power.
How to fly the VSKYLABS Trikes in X-Plane:
  • Point of View setup: 
    • Set the lateral field of view to 95 degrees.
    • You can do this from the 'Rendering options' menu in X-Plane.
    • You can toggle between 95 and 105 degrees by clicking on the screen of the smartphone which is in front.
  • Pilot Toggle Switch (S-1): Located in the cockpit panel. Push to toggle the pilot appearance in the cockpit (for not seeing the pilot object).
  • Joystick and controls setup: You can fly the trike with regular fixed wing aircraft joystick setting (pull the stick to pitch up, push the stick to pitch down). For more realistic training, joystick pitch axis should be inverted (joystick setting menu) to simulate the real style flying of the trike which is push the control bar of the wing to tilt it up and by that getting the nose up (push for up). When moving the control bar of the wing, the weight of the undercarriage is shifting also and once airborne it is the main control input for the trike.
  • How to fly a hang glider trike? I will write a brief manual soon. Until then, you can go to this YouTube links and get yourself familiar with this beautiful flying machine. It is from the channel of Paul Hamilton (I don't know him in person but his videos are great):
Here are some videos of the VSKYLABS Trikes:

Stay tuned for updates

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


The VSKYLABS Jet-Pack X-1

This is an experimental Jet-Pack. Control is achieved by a mix of weight shifting and thrust vectoring system.

You will have to do a lot of practice to master the Jet-Pack. For a good start, remember these tips:
  1. Use the throttle for general thrust. It is not a conventional aircraft, so while landing, you will need to add power.
  2. You will have to notice and "feel" your general velocity vector. It is hard, since there is no peripheral vision while using a PC.
  3. Keep in mind that you can drift SIDEWAYS, and in order to stop the drifting you will need to BANK against the drift. If you will try to yaw, you will continue to drift due to inertia forces.
  4. When landing, most important things are to be stable and horizontal, with no significant drift. Add enough thrust to make a soft landing.
  5. Watch out from reaching high speeds. The aerodynamic forces will increase, and you will have insufficient power to correct your attitude.  

This is an experimental Jet-Pack, and for the moment, the fuel system is setup so you will have more than enough time to practice. Future updates will include an accurate fuel consumption specifications and control system improvements, folding wings etc...

Here is an interesting link to Jet-Packs history and information:

Have fun :)


Friday, April 8, 2016

VSKYLABS Autogyro Project

The VSKYLABS Autogyro Project: 'Cricket'
Current Version: 2016-001 (for X-Plane 10.45+)

Buy now


So, I've decided to build an Autogyro in X-Plane...and I fell in love!
Although I new a lot about these flying machines, I never thought it will be so amazing flying it, controlling it, skim along the terrain for sightseeing and landing it. This flying machine provides the most fun, thrill and challenge you can squeeze from X-Plane. 

The VSKYLABS Autogyro project is definitely going to be a multi-aircraft project, with several types of Gyroplanes.

The First Autogyro to introduce in the project is a lightweight Autogyro, which is in general based on the Bensen B-8 Autogyro (as well as Nasa's X-25A Autogyro). Tail section design was modified, making the Autogyro longer, and with a Tail-wheel underneath the extended boom.


What is an Autogyro?
An autogyro features a free-spinning rotor that turns because of passage of air through it.  The downward component of the airflow through the rotor gives lift for the vehicle, and sustains the autogyro in the air. A separate propulsion unit (usually propeller driven) provides forward thrust, and can be placed in a tractor configuration with the engine and propeller at the front of the fuselage, or pusher configuration with the engine and propeller at the rear of the fuselage.

Controls of an Autogyro:
There are three primary flight controls:
  • Control stick.
  • Rudder pedals.
  • Throttle.
Typically, the control stick tilts the rotor in both axes to provide pitch and roll control, but there are Autogyros which do not tilt the rotor at all, or only doing that one dimension, Such Autogyros have conventional control surfaces. Rudder pedals provide yaw control, and the throttle controls engine power for forward thrust.

Most autogyros features a system called "pre-rotate", which when engaged drives the top rotor to start spinning before takeoff. 

Autogyros usually doesn't features Collective pitch controls, but it can be found on some Autogyro aircraft. Unlike a helicopter, common Autogyros need a runway to take off; however, they are capable of landing with a very short or zero ground roll. 

Controlling an Autogyro:

  • Pulling back on the stick tilts the rotor back, increasing lift and decreasing forward airspeed.
  • Pushing forward on the stick decreases lift and increases airspeed. 
  • The rudder pedals move the rudder on the vertical stabilizer and also control the nose gear, making it possible to steer the Autogyro on the ground, while taxiing...
  • Throttle for the engine, as in any conventional, fixed wing aircraft.

Takeoff procedure:
To take off the rotor must be pre-rotated to produce enough lift and stability during the takeoff run. Trying to lift of an Autogyro with its rotor not rotating fast enough will usually end up in a crash, or a very long runway. In small Autogyros, pre-rotation is usually done by using a small electric driven engine, but there are other methods as well (even rotation by hand). Once the rotor is up to speed, the pre-rotator must be disengaged and the Autogyro is ready for brake release and takeoff run, to be lifted by autorotation of the rotor.

Landing procedure:
When power is reduced, the forward speed decreases and the Autogyro goes into a steady descent path. The lifting force is not enough to maintain altitude, but even when the engine at Idle or even stopped, The Autogyro will descend and land safely (this aspect is an advantage over the helicopter. The helicopter's pitch angle of the rotors is ~11 degrees, and without power, Drag will quickly get them stopped, or slowed down, unless the pilot quickly reduces the pitch angle the rotor blades so that the rotor autorotates).

X-Plane Flying Instructions:

Recommended Field-Of-View setting is 65-95 Degrees:
The Autogyro is a very intuitive flying machine, with minimal cockpit. Mostly recommended is to set the Field of view to 65-95 degrees, and "feel" the Autogyro motion as you fly, especially in low-level, sight seeing flights. The actual pilot POV was set to be slightly lower to make it comfortable to see the panel while flying. NOTE: You can toggle the Field-Of-View by pressing the Smartphone screen!

Before Takeoff:
  1. Taxi slowly to the Take-off spot.
  2. Apply Brakes.
  3. Pre-rotate switch to "ON".
  4. Wait for the Rotor to rotate and stabilize. Usually it takes 10-15 seconds.
  5. You can "help" the main Rotor to reach the needed rotation speed by gently advancing the throttle to ~30%.
  6. When the RPM of the main rotor (Yellow needle in the RPM gauge) reaches ~160 RPM, it is safe to proceed to the Takeoff procedure down bellow.
  7. CAUTION: Do not throttle up the engine while Pre-rotate switch is "ON". Torque moments might cause the Autogyro to crash while on the ground. 
Pre-Rotate is NOT engaged

Pre-Rotate is engaged and rotation is ~160 RPM


  1. Pre-rotate switch to "OFF". Do not wait too much after switching it to off so it won't slow down too much.
  2. Release the Brakes and apply full power for Takeoff.
  3. Pull the stick as you start running and gently keep the Takeoff run straight using the Rudder (it is very effective so be gentle).
  4. Expect liftoff at ~20-30 knots.
  5. As the Autogyro is airborne, push the stick forward and let the Autogyro to gain airspeed before starting a climb or other maneuvers. 
  1. Pretty much like a conventional fixed-wing aircraft.
  2. Use rudder for coordinated turns.
  3. Use rudder for tight maneuvers.
  4. If you fly slow - make sure you gain speed before attempting to do "something stupid" ;)
  5. Flight envelope: 45 knots is a good airspeed for cruise.
  1. Fly the Autogyro to the desired landing area.
  2. Enter a final leg, maintain reasonable airspeed and sink rate (not below 20 knots and not above 40). Final approaches may be steep enough to overcome obstacles.
  3. Just as you a low enough (20 feet or so), pull the stick gently for slowing down. Judge for zero airspeed just before touching down. This "exercise" requires some practice, but it is very easy and controllable situation.
Short videos

Newer video:

(this video was edited during development, so there are new features now such as the 3D instrument panel etc...):


Monday, March 14, 2016


(for X-Plane 10.45+)

Scroll down to read information and flying tips for X-Plane

Main project features:
  • Highly detailed, animated 3D model.
  • High-Res 4096x4096 textures, Ambient occlusion, Specular and Normal mapping. 
  • Great handling and flying characteristics, cooool Knife-Edge capability :)
  • Great sounds.

"Gee Bees" were some of the most successful airplanes of the Golden Age of air-racing during the 20s and 30s. Using gigantic engines they were build for speed.

The R3 is an upgraded racing version of the Gee Bee types R1 and R2, but it exists only on the drawing boards. This aircraft is alive mostly in the Radio Control model airplanes community, having it's designs flying from control-line to giant scale models.

I have decided to bring the R3 concept to full-size in X-Plane flight simulator. This project will include sport aircraft and variations, inspired by the R3 design. 

The first variation in this package is the reciprocating sport plane, the VBR-3.

Here are some specifications:

Crew: 1
Length: 32 ft 
Wingspan: 36 ft  
Height: 12 ft  
Empty weight: 1930 lbs
Max. takeoff weight: 3350 lbs
Powerplant:  830 hp
Maximum speed: 300 knots 
Stall speed: 65 knots

Flying tips for X-Plane:

  • Use 65-95 degrees Field-Of-View setting (in 'rendering options').
  • Don't forget to release brakes before taxiing.
  • Its a fixed propeller, no Flaps aircraft, just hop in and you are ready to Rock n Roll!
  • Keep your speed on final, touchdown below 80 knots.
  • Knife Edges, inverted loops and inverted flight are mostly recommended !!!

Please read this COPYRIGHT and DISCLAIMER information before downloading and/or using files from VSKYLABS.COM

Friday, November 27, 2015

VSKYLABS F-19 Stealth Fighter

Testors/Italeri version of the
** VSKYLABS development of the F-19 is approved by Italeri **
This package contains files with virtual content for usage with X-Plane flight simulator.



In General:
The VSKYLABS F-19 Stealth Fighter aircraft is designed around the Testors/Italeri's concept, which was based on research and information that was available back in the 80's through the media and public sources. The assumptions back then were that the stealth fighter was a sub-sonic aircraft, small, light and with dimensions which made it air-transportable in a Lockheed C-5A Galaxy. It was assumed also to have only internal fuel tanks, and used the same General Electric F404 engines as the F-18 Hornet but without afterburners. This is the most comprehensive project of VSKYLABS, and it features a fully operational aircraft and systems.

The VSKYLABS F-19 Stealth Fighter is an upgraded version of the 80's concept. The upgrade is mostly done with a replacement of the old F404 engines with a newer, more powerful F414-GE-400 engines.

Flight Dynamics Model:
This is the core of the project: Is the F-19 design plausible, considering its design and mission estimations back in the 80's? X-Plane's Flight Dynamics Model is based on the physical dimensions and structure of the aircraft, and this was a really great opportunity to test the design and see if it meets its estimations regarding it's range of operation, lift to drag ratio and power to weight ratio, service ceiling, maximum speed, low speed characteristics, payload management, center of gravity behavior and the performance of the GE F404 engines when propelling it's platform.

The Testors/Italeri F-19 Stealth Fighter design history:
summary from an article, published in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, by Paul Ciotti:

In the spring of 1985, the Testors model kit company introduced it's model of the super-secret F-19 stealth fighter, and immediately created an international sensation. An irate congressman held up the kit during testimony from the chairman of Lockheed and demanded to know how a toy company was able to sell plastic models of a plane that members of Congress weren't allowed to see.

The man who came up with the model, Testors plane designer and airplane buff John Andrews, claimed it to be a result of sound engineering and common sense. Because Andrews had learned from public sources that the stealth fighter used the same General Electric F404 engines as the F-18 Hornet but without afterburners, he knew the plane was subsonic, which was no surprise. Figuring out the size of the stealth fighter was less difficult than one would suppose. "We knew that it was air-transportable in a C-5 (the Lockheed C-5A Galaxy)," Andrews says, which meant the plane had to be small, light and not burdened with external fuel tanks. "You wanted to be able to roll it out of the C-5 and fly away."

Operating on the assumption that the plane, like the C-5, had to be able to take off from unpaved runways gave Andrews a wheel tread the width of the main landing gear of 15 1/2 feet. That and the fact that the plane had to have internal fuel tanks dictated a wingspan of 24 feet. Because the cargo bay doors on the C-5 are only 18 to 19 feet wide, Andrews knew that the stealth had to have folding wing tips. The size and weight of the engines determined the center of gravity, which in turn determined the location of the forward landing gear.

For weaponry, he gave the stealth the same AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground laser-guided missiles used by the Air Force and Marines but mounted them internally.

To reduce the infrared signature left by exhaust, Andrews says, he added flush-mounted air intakes for adding bypass air to the exhaust and a rectangular nozzle for scattering engine gases.

In deciding on the model's basic shape, Andrews had a lot to go on. Twenty-five years earlier, Lockheed had built the SR-71 high-altitude reconnaissance plane with its classic sharp-edged, wedge-shaped cross section ("a very stealthy plane," Andrews says). He had also seen the CIA's Mach 3.5 D-21 photo reconnaissance drone in an aircraft "boneyard" outside Tucson. Andrews says he combined the primary features of these pre-stealth aircraft with what he already knew, then took the design "to the ultimate."

Please read this COPYRIGHT and DISCLAIMER information before downloading and/or using files from VSKYLABS.COM


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