Search VSKYLABS

VSKYLABS Solar Impulse 2 Project



VSKYLABS MAJOR PROJECT FOR 2018 - ANNOUNCEMENT

I am very proud to introduce VSKYLABS major project for 2018:


The VSKYLABS Solar Impulse 2 Project Introduction

The VSKYLABS Solar Impulse 2 Project is designed especially for Virtual Reality (VR) experience in the rich and detailed 3D environment of X-Plane flight simulator. Along with an advanced and comprehensive Flight Dynamics and systems simulation, it is including a high-definition, fully animated representation for both the exteriors and interiors sections of the Solar Impulse 2 aircraft.

It is a fully operational virtual Solar Impulse 2 aircraft simulation in which the round-the-world flight paths of the real Solar Impulse 2 aircraft could be recreated with realistic flight dynamics characteristics and relevant operation and mission related considerations in the amazing, dynamic world of X-Plane.

Although highly accurate in every aspect, for some of the real-world Solar Impulse 2 technologies and systems, the VSKYLABS Solar Impulse 2 Project will not include a 1:1 detailed simulation, and it is to be replaced with a comprehensive and plausible solutions featured within the detailed systems and avionics simulation of X-Plane.

The VSKYLABS Solar Impulse 2 Project was acknowledged by 'Solar Impulse'. However, it is not affiliated with the Solar Impulse foundation.


Project's Genesis - The VSKYLABS 'Conatra-Ventus'

I've always been fascinated by renewable energy and clean-Earth technologies, especially when it is combined with aerospace and aviation applications. As a thrilled enthusiast of the Solar Impulse project, I've decided to make my first experimental steps in better understanding some the challenges and aspects of designing and flying a 'Clean Energy' efficient aircraft. X-Plane was the perfect test-bed for my experiments.

In 2015, I've created the VSKYLABS Contra-Ventus Prototype aircraft for X-Plane. It is a fictional aircraft. I derived its general aerodynamic design features from the MIT human-powered, record braking aircraft - the Daedalus 88, along with the implementation of electric power propulsion to execute periodic powered climb-outs and unpowered descents, using the propeller's windmilling to re-charge the batteries while soaring in the skies in prolonged glide periods (practically using wing energy which is a "conversion" of the potential energy gained in the powered climb). The design concept was to experiment and research the practical idea of electric powered flight coupled with wind energy utilization for a 24 hours battery cells charging capabilities.



The 'Contra-Ventus' is more of a concept demonstrator and educational tool for experiencing some of the fascinating aspects of Energy management, aerodynamics and flight envelope limitations.

Getting deeper - The birth of the VSKYLABS Solar Impulse 2 project

I was so fascinated with the outcome of the 'Contra-Ventus' project in X-Plane, and right after completion and many enjoyable exploration sorties, I felt ready to begin my experiments and development of a more complex electric-powered simulation model in X-Plane. It was the Solar Impulse 2 aircraft. It was a completely self-learning and experimenting, "backyard" development effort which lasted, in-and-out, for almost two years now. Time went by and I found myself having a pretty advanced project in my hands. X-Plane 11 was released along the way, and up with its updated versions that included a more thorough electrical systems simulation definitions for me to explore, I made additional progress.



The Virtual Reality "Knock-out" trigger

While developing the VSKYLABS Scheibe SF-25C Falke project, X-Plane 11.20 came into the picture with its native VR capabilities. The development of the SF-25C turned its focus on VR design and usability. I was so impressed with the VR experience!

As a Solar Impulse enthusiast, I was very familiar with an inspiring video in which I saw so many times, called: "Solar Impulse 2: An Exclusive Insight into Life Onboard | WIRED" in which Dr. Bertrand Piccard (the initiator and co-pilot, with AndrĂ© Borschberg, of the Solar Impulse project), explained how he lives and operates the Solar Impulse 2 as he crosses the Atlantic ocean during a 5-days flight. It was clear that I must NOW take my "backyard" project of the Solar Impulse 2 and get it done ASAP in order to virtually (VR) be able to sit in the Solar Impulse 2 cockpit with a fully detailed and interactive 3D environment, while crossing the virtual Atlantic ocean in X-Plane!

I made contact with the Solar Impulse foundation and got the approval to proceed with my project as a VSKYLABS design model for X-Plane, bringing the excitement of using, understanding and "feeling" the Solar Impulse 2 aircraft and its mission out in the open.

Project Schedule

This project had changed some of the priorities in the VSKYLABS planned road-map for 2018, pushing down some planned projects to be waiting for its completion.

February 2018 will be dedicated for updating the entire VSKYLABS fleet with VR capabilities, and to complete the VSKYLABS DC-3/C-47 Flying Lab Project expected update for version v2.7.

Main focus in March/April 2018 will be channeled to the VSKYLABS Solar Impulse 2 Project. The 2-years project is already in a pretty advanced stage, so hopefully, I expect its completion and release around April 2018.


Stay tuned as this page will include development news and other updates



No comments:

Post a Comment