The VSKYLABS SF-25 Falke Project
The VSKYLABS Scheibe SF-25C project for X-Plane flight simulator
The VSKYLABS Scheibe SF-25C Falke Project - Introduction
The VSKYLABS Scheibe SF-25 Falke Project development for X-Plane was approved by Scheibe Aircraft GMBH (although it is an independent VSKYLABS project which is not endorsed and/or affiliated with/by Scheibe Aircraft GMBH). The project is featuring the SF-25 C variant (Falke 2000), which is equipped with a 80 hp engine, driving a two-blade wooden fixed pitch propeller (alternator and electric starter are included).
As in all VSKYLABS Projects, aircraft performance, flight dynamics and handling characteristics are the main core of the project. More than one hundred hours of pure flight dynamics testing and evaluation were made to bring this aircraft to maximum accuracy in terms of performance and handling qualities.
Designed for Virtual Reality experience
The VR development process in this project was made with the native VR environment of X-Plane 11.20 (beta).
Note #1: In general, In X-Plane 11 itself, Rudder control solutions for VR are currently lacking and/or missing. This particular aspect is undergoing evaluation at VSKYLABS and It will be addressed in the first scheduled update for the package.
Note #2: 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.
Project Main Features
- Advanced simulation of the Scheibe SF-25C Touring Motor Glider.
- 3D environment designed especially for X-Plane 11 native VR.
- Accurate Flight Dynamics Model.
- Highly detailed and fully animated 3D cockpit.
- Interactive presence (detailed and animated exterior to include wing flex, sprung loaded wing mounted wheels, wing spoilers, canopy, cowl flap, cockpit air vent and more).
- Fully functional GNS 530.
- FMOD sound suite.
The Scheibe SF-25C FalkeThe Scheibe SF-25C Falke is a German touring motor-glider which flew for the first time in 1963. The two-place powered sailplane is featuring a low wing configuration, an 80hp engine and side by side seating. High performance in its operation range, easy handling, robust construction, reliability of both airframe and engine are the main features of the SF-25C Falke.
It has very easy and pleasant flying characteristics and is docile when stalled. The aircraft has good soaring capabilities with either one or two persons aboard. Takeoffs and landings are easily performed, and effective wing spoilers (air brakes) are provided for effective glide angle control. Good ground handling characteristics is provided with a steerable tail wheel, and visibility is excellent through the blown plexiglass canopy. The SF-25C Falke is a classic motor glider and it is well known as a trainer in clubs around the world.
To have some practical idea regarding the aircraft, down below are some performance facts of the Falke, taken from the Schiebe Flugzeugbau GMBH Flight Manual of the SF-25C Falke (May 1990 Edition). This manual and the procedures within are all specified in the Manual and Instruction Section of the project's pages.
The Falke can taxi unaided and is steered on the ground with the tail wheel (biased to rudder control). The main wheel is featuring a braking system. Minimum airspeed for level flight is 43 knots (50 mph), and the best cruising speed is about 70 knots (81 mph). Maximum cruising speed is 81 knots (93 mph).
The Falke can be landed with the engine either running or stopped. Approach is at 49 knots (56 mph), and the glide path is being controlled by the wing spoilers. With spoilers extended the sink rate at 49 knots is approximately 3.7 m/s (~720 feet per minute). Minimum touchdown speed is 38 knots (44 mph).The Falke has been flight-tested for take-offs and landings in crosswinds up to 13 knots. Landing run is about 300 feet and can be reduced effectively by the main wheel brakes (which is operated by the spoilers control on the last part of its travel when pulled fully back).
Flying as a glider (with the engine stopped): The aircraft handles very well at 43-51 knots (50-59 mph) with a sink rate of about 1.2 m/s (~230 feet per minute) in a straight flight. Flying the aircraft in X-Plane (as in real life) is a rewarding challenge, as it requires a very clean and coordinated flying. With a little practice and accurate flying, very good thermal climbing is achieved.
Range and endurance: with a 55 litre fuel tank (14.5 US gallons), flight duration may exceed 5:15 hours, covering ~680 km (~422 miles). With 80 litres (21.1 US gallons), flight duration could reach 7:30 hours while covering ~975 km (~605 miles).
Cockpit panel layout: The SF-25 panels are very much different from aircraft to aircraft, having the panel itself taller or shorter, with a variety of avionics combinations. You can find a really...really messy front panel, with switches and gauges scattered around without any logical order, but you can also find more ordered and uniformed configurations too. Same goes to avionics - from almost GA standard to almost a minimal glider type configuration.
The VSKYLABS SF-25C is having a custom, simple Motor-Glider style of a cockpit configuration, as I'm finding the aircraft most interesting to fly as the avionics features drops down, with a "Minimum requirement" analog panel.