Search VSKYLABS

VSKYLABS Solar Impulse 2 Project

The VSKYLABS Solar Impulse 2 Project




The development of the VSKYLABS Solar Impulse 2 Project for X-Plane 11 was approved by the 'Solar Impulse Foundation'. Although acknowledged by 'Solar Impulse', it is an independent VSKYLABS project which is not affiliated with and/or endorsed by the 'Solar Impulse Foundation'.

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, it is including a high-definition, fully animated representation for both the exteriors and interiors sections of the Solar Impulse 2 aircraft.


The VSKYLABS Solar Impulse 2 aircraft simulation is a plausible design 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 11.



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 10. It is a fictional aircraft which was greatly inspired by the MIT human-powered, record braking aircraft - the Daedalus 88. In general, the VSKYLABS Contraventus concept included the implementation of electric power propulsion to execute periodic powered climb-outs and un-powered 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 research and experiment the 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 of these kind of platform.

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

I was so fascinated with the 'Contra-Ventus' project, and right after completion and many enjoyable exploration sorties, I felt ready to begin my experiments and development of a much 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 three 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 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. Almost half of development time, up to now, is research.

The VSKYLABS Solar Impulse 2 Project incorporates more than 3 years of research, detail gathering and other resources which has been engineered altogether to recreate the magnificent Solar Impulse 2 aircraft.

Project Schedule

The three years project is already in a pretty advanced stage, so hopefully, I expect its initial version release by the end of 2018 (exact schedule may change though).


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