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VSKYLABS Solar Impulse 2 Project

The VSKYLABS Solar Impulse 2 Project



Project Introduction:

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

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.




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 development effort which lasted, in-and-out, for almost two years now. X-Plane 11 was released along the way, and up with its updated versions which included a more thorough electrical systems simulation definitions for me to explore, I've made additional progress.



The Virtual Reality "Knock-out" trigger

While developing the VSKYLABS Scheibe SF-25C Falke project, X-Plane 11.20 (beta) 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 project of the Solar Impulse 2 and get it done ASAP in order to virtually (VR) be able to sit in the cockpit with a 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

The two years project is already in a pretty advanced stage, so hopefully, I expect its completion and release around September 2018 (exact schedule may change though).


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



15 comments:

  1. Love it love it love it! Can I say it enough times, I will be first in the queue to buy it as I also am interested in the HAP space. https://youtu.be/k2cTwAQGCL0 I need a major computer update for 11 though. Just making a video with your M2-F1 a great model, and using the Beaver in others!

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    1. Hi :)
      Thank you for your supportive feedback!

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  2. Amen to Gary Mortimers remark. Ill really like your -different projects, and in the wonderful flight dynamics in X-Plane, wonders happens. Ill be looking out for release of this one too, for sure.

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  3. Yes, ditto all on Gary Mortimer's response. Gary is a fine example of how the high level design and dynamics that X-Plane and related developers gives us can be the basis for even higher level exploration. The designer-user loop keeps provides endless new hills to climb to each of our tastes and abilities. The networking power of then linking those disparate hills is looming large on my horizon.

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  4. I am so looking forward to this release! I'm amazed with all of your projects, and this one is going to be one of my favorites for sure!

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  5. Do you have a planned release date for your solar impulse?

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. (Sorry, I appear to have accidentally deleted the original comment.)
      It looks great so far! Looking forword to its release.

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