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The VSKYLABS Douglas DC-3 C-47 Flying Lab Project

The VSKYLABS
Douglas DC-3/C-47 Flying Lab Project V2.5a

A HIGHLY REALISTIC FLIGHT PERFORMANCE AND HANDLING SIMULATION
OF THE DC-3/C-47 AIRCRAFT
For X-Plane 11 and X-Plane 10.51
Current Version v2.5a (October 23 2017)

VSKYLABS Copyright Notice:
The Flight Gear DC-3 liveries, which are compatible with the VSKYLABS DC-3/C-47 Flying Lab Project are NOT a part of the VSKYLABS DC-3/C-47 Flying Lab Project, and should not considered to be so.
© 2017 VSKYLABS.

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Project Under Development notice
Like all of the VSKYLABS projects, this project status is "Under Development". Development areas are: Flight dynamics model refinements, 3D Model and texture works, systems integration, FMOD sounds and more. Every time a certain aspect will be upgraded or new feature will be added, an update will be pushed to all users through the VSKYLABS Online Store and through the X-Plane.org store.

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO READ IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND NOTES


INTRODUCTION
The Douglas DC-3 is a fixed-wing propeller-driven airliner. Its great performance (range of ~1500 miles and speed of above 200 Miles per Hour) revolutionized air transportation in the 1930's and 1940's. It is a twin engine all-metal monoplane, capable to operate from short runways.

It was able to cross the United States, and made transcontinental flights and worldwide flights possible. These characteristics of the DC-3/C-47 are very fascinating, and were one of the triggers for me to come up with the idea of creating a DC-3/C-47 Flying Performance/Research Lab for X-Plane. With it, I will fulfill a virtual dream to cross the Atlantic with a DC-3!

Down this page you will find useful information for operating the aircraft, and I'll work on the Trans Atlantic flight route for the DC-3/C-47 in another page (link will be available in the future).

Meanwhile, I'm recommending reading and using the following amazing, DC-3 dedicated website. I've "bumped" into it a while ago, and I've found it very useful and "concentrated", especially with all that is related to flying practices of the DC-3: http://www.douglasdc3.com/dc3throt/dc3throt.htm

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO READ IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND NOTES

Project Highlights:
  • Highly Realistic Flight Performance DC-3/C-47 Simulation: Highly accurate performance and handling simulation of the DC-3/C-47, along with a full set of traditional/old school navigation and autopilot systems.
  • Workhorse for 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.
  • Unique look and feel: There is nothing to hide - the VSKYLABS DC-3/C-47 is a mixture of a simplified yet very engaging design.  
  • Systems: All the relevant systems are simulated, but in terms of "hardcore systems simulation", it is not a "study level" DC-3 nor intended to be so.
  • Aircraft Performance: 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 (just for the flight model). My long years flying career and profession as an aircraft accident investigator, being an aircraft performance and flight path recreation expert, gave me a "home-field advantage" in this matter...stretching X-Plane to its limits (and it delivers some amazing results!).
  • 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”.
  • Still under development: Although "all systems are go!", the initial release version is only the beginning-point of the long-term development plan for the package, which will include continuous work and refinements on the Flight Dynamics Model, and adding/improving 3D modeling qualities.

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO READ IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND NOTES

Additional Information:
  • The ancestor of the 3D model which was used and heavily developed in the VSKYLABS DC-3/C-47 Flying Lab Project was created years ago by Emmanuel BARANGER (long years contributor to the Flight Gear community and a great guy!). His original model was licensed to this project, and had gone through a complete "VSKYLABS restoration" and development process, bringing it to the high level of X-Plane 11 requirements. Emmanuel's model was licensed to the VSKYLABS Douglas DC-3/C-47 project for further development, and The VSKYLABS copyright and disclaimer notes are fully applied to this package.
  • The default livery for the aircraft is of 'Buffalo Airways', approved to be used as a livery in the project by the Buffalo Airways company (Thank you Buffalo Airways!). The livery was originally painted by Brett Harrison, and was heavily modified, by his permission of course, for the purpose of this project. Brett is texture painter and a long years contributor to Flight Gear, and a great guy too ! :)
  • The Ultra-High Definition rivet lines texture map of version 2.0 was created and contributed to the project by Oleg Tronov, Sochi, Russia. Oleg is a long years DC-3 enthusiast. He had created the rivets layout based on real rivet map technical drawings as a reference. The rivet map source and paint kit are not a part of the VSKYLABS project.

Future Scenery Development
Custom airstrip for snow operations:


31 comments:

  1. Oh my god. Amazing news and all the best for it to be authentic and a good selling product.

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    1. Thank you :)
      It will sure be a special aircraft!..."will" is understatement...better refer to it as "is"..chances that I will be able to release it within a week or two! (I was working undercover for quite some time ;)

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  2. Are you able to add a handheld GPS somewhere above the handhold. Will make awarness in modern airspace structure better. Especially if flying online with Vatsim.

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    1. Hi! Yes! There will be modern GNS as well, for those who will ultimately want to focus on the "stick and throttles" or mission considerations aspects of the plane.

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  3. This is great news! Sounds like it will be a fun and challenging plane.

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  4. I think, the modern GPS unit must be remoweble.

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  5. Great news thank you very much for this great peroject.

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  6. wow this looks really nice!! well done...

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  7. Little question: did You make a another classic planes, like Beech 18, Lockheed Electra...

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  8. Coming soon an excellent aircraft like you knows to do.
    Essential! ;-)
    I vote for D-Day liverie.

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  9. Excellent!! I will buy this as soon as released. I was on the beta team for Jahn's excellent C-47 v3 for FSX/P3D and wrote the manual for it. The DC-3 is one of my favorite plans, and except for the Cub, probably most most flown virtual aircraft.

    You are doing excellent work. I have almost all of your aircraft. I LOVE the gyro in particular! I will buy the Tecnam just to help support your work!

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    1. Thanks :)

      I really hope that the DC-3 will meet your expectations! It is a different project than the Tecnam P2006T...started as a really casual project and evolved into something wider...

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  10. Jetmanhuss, you continue to throw out some goodies.....I see a Buffalo repaint in the future. Look forward to the release of this classic. Thanks again for bringing this to Xplane, TD68

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  11. May I please make a request? For old-school flying, include two ADFs, and also include a way to turn the ADF audio on/off and even better to adjust the volume. I have implemented the four-course range navigation system as a plug-in. Please see http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/35825-the-lf-range-experience/ and note that V2.0 is about to release with many improvements and more realism. It would be great if I could have a dataref to turn the white IM/FM/Z marker light on and off as well. See this video using the LES DC-3 and my LF Range plugin plus the Lighted Airway scenery I am working on. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXJJZeeH5Po

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    1. Two ADFs! (added, and I'm working on the marker light/ADF volume switching mechanism :)

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  12. Please add the 530 as GPS option. Looks stunning already.

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    1. Hi! the 530 will be installed next week. It will not be on the front panel, but it a rather "secondary" place...

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. Thanks to bring this beauty to X-Plane 11.

    Will you add anytime soon classic paint schemes like TWA, PAA, and so...?

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    1. Hi :)
      Thanks!
      At the present, only Buffalo Airways will go to the package. It may be changed though, but not "soon".

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    2. Thank you for your quick response! believe me! many of us will sink our teeths on your DC3 when you add classic paint schemes! :P

      Think about all the people looking beautiful pictures in the VA forums of your product with those skins and thinking: I NEED THIS FOR MY FLIGHTS.

      (Sorry, I work in Marketing. I had to try to convince you).

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    3. Hi!

      Yes, I'm aware of that...

      But notice this: As a principle, every classic paint scheme, showing a brand/logo or other copyrighted material in my projects is approved by its original owners. Buffalo Airways approved the use of their brand name and logo specifically in my project. I'm working on getting approvals to other ones also (as you referred as the "classic ones"), so these additional liveries are expected to be added to the package. But I will do it the right way (thus the longer way)...

      Anyways thank you for your feedback, and also for your "convincing methodologies" LOL :)

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  15. Let's be possitive: they will give you permission. You have a beatiuful plane crafted!

    Best regards!

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  16. Still LOVING this plane after hundreds of hours (It's "my" plane in FSEconomy). Such a wonderful job that you've done here, as with your other work.
    Just two very small, aesthetic suggestions... 1) doors that swing (including emergency escape hatch up front), and 2) when clicking the seats "off", the overhead bins should go away, too. Hmmm... maybe add some passengers to the seats and strapped-down cargo when the seats (and overhead bins) are gone?
    Also, when it's filled to the gills it appears that the rate-of-climb seems better than actual. No, I've never flown one, but when I've seen them takeoff many times before they seem to climb much slower than what I'm seeing here (at 35"/2400RPM).

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    1. Hi :)
      Thanks!

      OK...regarding the cargo configuration - the seats to "off" feature is only a temporary solution that I've implemented, following a user request. The Flying Lab will include a *complete* cargo configuration, which is currently under development. Passengers, and cargo will be added, of course, and the overhead bins will not be a part of the cargo configuration.

      Rate of climb etc..yes, it might be some variation of aircraft performance, but it is within reasonable margins. It is an acto of balance, keeping as many as possible "flight envelope regimes" within reasonable outcome. Note that outside temperature is also a factor, so try and set its value to match your simulated scenario (or real weather...). Anyways, thank you for that input. The flight dynamics model is an active part of the progressive project development, and it will continue to fine tune. Your input was noted.

      Thanks for reaching out and having the time to write your inputs!

      JetManHuss :)

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  17. Here's a little video I made for fun with "our" DC-3. I hope you enjoy the video as much as I do the aircraft.
    https://vimeo.com/232203688

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    1. Now that is a great video! love it! :)

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