THE VSKYLABS C-47 Skytrain Flying Lab Project

Update Log

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Update to Version v2.8.02 (24th June 2019)

This is update only for XP11

The VSKYLABS C-47 Skytrain Flying Lab Project V2.8.02 - Features list:

  • VR interaction refinements:
    • Click zones are now visible for the radios, and separated for easy tuning.
    • All radios frequency knobs (COM/NAV/ADF/Transponder) - sensitivity adjustments for VR controllers (much more fine control).
    • Autopilot pitch and roll knobs - sensitivity adjustments for VR controllers (much more fine control).
    • Autopilot pitch and roll knobs are animated to give better feedback when rotating.

Update to Version v2.8.01 (30th April 2019)

This is update only for XP11

The VSKYLABS C-47 Skytrain Flying Lab Project V2.8.01 - Features list:

  • Project architecture:
    • Modified and optimized internal structure.
  • 3D modeling:
    • Mapping update with additional textures for new elements and improved existing ones.
    • Default livery added: "That's All, Brother" 3X-292847.
    • Cockpit night lighting rework.
    • Internal cabin structure modified to allow future hosting of C-47 interior elements (internal walls/space division/arrangement were made, including the removal of the front seats raw).
    • Landing gears structure repaint, remapped.
    • Engine Radiators grills textures refined.
    • Engine Exhausts remodeled.
    • Cockpit panel refinements.
    • Doors modeling+animation.
    • Engines physical location re-set (visual, flight model).
    • Clock/timer gauge seconds-needle texture fixed.
    • FPS optimization (flying in clouds).
    • Internal/external PBR maps were added.
    • Oxygen masks were added - two W2Ah13d-Leather flight helmets with Type A14 oxygen masks, each one located on each pilot seat arm.
    • Supercharges control panel was added.
    • Oxygen pressure and flow indicators were added.
  • Flight Dynamics:
    • Complete overhaul to fall in line with the latest XP11.30+ (non experimental).
    • Engines physical location fine tuned (shifted aft couple of feet).
    • Two-speed Superchargers system was added to increase power and allow high altitude flight.
    • Engines performance tune-up, max. HP in takeoff, cruise updated.
    • Engines exhaust and smoke - reconfigured.
  • Systems - additional:
    • Engines fire warning system was added.
    • Engines fire extinguisher system was added (floor hatch can be opened and operated).
    • Oxygen system was added, along with authentic regulator (incorporating 'normal'/'100%' supply), and pressure and flow indicators.
    • Engines two-speed superchargers system - lo/hi-blowers.
  • VR Interaction:
    • Complete checkup.
    • Manipulators rework.
  • Advanced damage simulation:
    • Engines spool-up sensitivity algorithm was added (the C-47 is not a fighter jet....spool up the engine gradually when it is in low-rpm to avoid severe engine fire).
    • Cockpit smoke in case of engine fire was added.
    • Engine fire, cockpit smoke and cockpit windows ventilation are interconnected.
  • FMOD Sounds:
    • Oxygen breathing when using the oxygen masks.
    • Fire detection system bell was added.
  • Existing systems - refinements - enhancements:
    • Dual portable GPS are normally folded now.
    • Fuel tank selectors are now initially OFF in 'cold and dark', and L/R accordingly in 'engine running'

Update to Version v2.79.4 (Released January 2019)

This is update only for XP11

The VSKYLABS C-47 Skytrain Flying Lab Project V2.79.4 - Features list:

  • FMOD snd error (AI attached sounds) which was causing X-Plane crashes was fixed.

Update to Version v2.79.3 (December 1st 2018)

This is update only for XP11

The VSKYLABS C-47 Skytrain Flying Lab Project V2.79.3 - Features list:

  • Hidden Yokes are now *hidden* to interaction as well (bug fix).
  • 'Hide-Yoke' feature was added to right seat position as well (same spot on the floor in front of the right seat, as it is in the left seat).
  • Autopilot sensitivity tuneup (50% more accurate for both aileron and pitch axis).
  • Autopilot manipulators are larger for more comfortable access (mouse and VR).
  • Passenger seats objects are now having _LIT attribute, and basic _LIT textures for the seats were added.

Update to Version v2.79 (October 29th 2018)

This is update only for XP11

The VSKYLABS C-47 Skytrain Flying Lab Project V2.79 - Features list:

  • 3D Modeling and Textures:
    • Internal engineering rework.
    • Cockpit enhancements/remodeled.
    • Sperry autopilot remodeled.
    • Photo-real textures gauges (phase1).
    • Preparations for cargo/cabin.
    • Windows textures re-work.
    • PBR Normals - interior workout.
    • Front door remap/rework.
    • Buffalo Airways livery is now a 'livery'.
  • FMOD Sound Pack:
    • fmod fixes - errors in log file fixed.
  • VR Experience:
    • VRconfig setup for realistic yoke and hotspots.
    • Magnetos switched sensitivity.
    • Various manipulators work around for better interaction in VR.
  • Systems and Operation:
    • Mixtures are in Auto-Rich mode by default.
    • Pitch trim tab is calibrated.
  • General Interactivity and Fixes:
    • Autopilot servo switch is easier to operate (larger touch zone).
    • Tailwheel lock lever is easier to operate (larger touch zone).
    • Various gauges re-calibration.
  • Pilot Training Manual:
    • VSKYLABS POH/Manual was added to the package (pdf format).
    • Look for it in the 'VSKYLABS-C-47-MANUAL' folder.
  • STMA AutoUpdater:
    • The project is including now the STMA autoupdater plugin.

Update to Version v2.7b3 (August 7th 2018)

This is update only for XP11

The VSKYLABS C-47 Skytrain Flying Lab Project V2.7b3 - Features list:

  • Solid project package updated to the latest version (v2.7b3).
  • STMA AutoUpdater is temporarily not included in v2.7b3 version - next update will be executed by fully downloading the new updated package.

Update to Version v2.7b2.3 (August 2018)

This is update only for XP11

The VSKYLABS C-47 Skytrain Flying Lab Project V2.7b3 - Features list:

  • PRB texturing fixes and additions for the cockpit.
  • New modeled pilot seats.
  • Seat/Yoke/Pedals accurate alignment.

Update to Version v2.7b2.0 (June 21st 2018)

This is update only for XP11

The VSKYLABS C-47 Skytrain Flying Lab Project V2.7b2.0 - Features list:

  • STMA AutoUpdate to v2.7b2.0 (reload of the base pack is needed).
  • PRB texturing preparations for the cockpit.
  • Gauges glass improvements (reflective + night appearance).
  • VR operations - Pitch trim has fixed axis for better touch controllers usability.

Update to Version v2.7b1 (March 5th 2018)

This is update only for XP11

The VSKYLABS C-47 Skytrain Flying Lab Project V2.7b1 - Features list:

  • XC-47C Amphibious variant added to the package. The variant is including EDO78 floats for land and sea operations.
  • Airframe icing visualization - 4 step effect, working with X-Plane icing algorithm.
  • Windshield icing visualization.
  • Deice wing boots switch added.
  • Damage visualization - "first step": Exceeding Vne, over-g, flaps overspeed, high velocity propellers seizure.
  • Night Lit textures added to the default Buffalo Airways and to the VSKYLABS liveries.
  • STMA AutoUpdater plugin included.

Update to Version v2.5e (January 29th 2018)

This is a VR update only for XP11

The VSKYLABS C-47 Skytrain Flying Lab Project V2.5e - Features list:

  • VR compatibility:
    • Added VR Dual operation for throttle/prop/mixture levers.
    • Side window can be opened in VR.
    • Pitch and Aileron trims operation fine-tuning.

Update to Version v2.5c (January 8th 2018)

This is a minor-fix update only for XP11

The VSKYLABS C-47 Skytrain Flying Lab Project V2.5b - Features list:

  • VR compatibility:
    • Added Yoke control for VR operations.
    • GNS530 knobs refinements for VR operations.
  • Version designation:
    • X-Plane 11 - v2.5c (January 8 2018).
    • X-Plane 10 - v2.5a (October 23 2017).

Update to Version v2.5a (October 23rd 2017)

This is a major update release!

The VSKYLABS C-47 Skytrain Flying Lab Project V2.5a - Features list:

  • 3D Model internal:
    • Compass bungee cords animation - adjustment for the "shaking effect" with multi axis animation.
    • Cockpit windows slide-open capability (get some fresh air in...). While the window is opened - turbulence and external sounds will get into the cockpit.
    • Yoke-wheels remodeled - fixed geometry ("squashed" yoke-wheel).
  • 3D Model - external:
    • Main landing gears animation geometry during retracted state - retracted state position tuned.
    • Aircraft wheels discs textures - replaced to photo real.
    • General fixes to external textures and normal maps (default Buffalo and VSKYLABS liveries).
    • Prop spinner/hub 3d model improved, the spinner and the hub are now separated in texture to allow more realistic metallic textures for the bolt and for the hub in separate.
    • Operational landing gears skis added - Integrated into the flight model physics with correct drag forces and moments, can be switched on and off during flight!
    • Propeller disc rework.
  • Engine/Systems:
    • Engine performance - CHT and Oil Temp operation/temperature tuneup.
    • Carburetor Air Temp Gauge - Tuned up (X-Plane 10.51 does not feature this sensor, so X-Plane 10.51 users will keep having it in a fixed position).
  • Avionics:
    • OBS knob control - manipulators changed.
    • Dual GNS 530 (1,2) added - It is actually a dual GNS 530 terminals which are folding. While folded, they are set to 'off'. In addition, they offer full control over nav1,nav2,com1,com2 and separated dual display for maximum usability. Volume control knobs for com/nav on the GNS terminal are working also, so pilots who are using the GNS configuration are not required to use the upper old-school radio panel.
  • FMOD Sounds:
    • Extending ground roll sounds envelope to be heard on slow-airspeed landings as well.
  • Bug Fixes/Just fixes:
    • Co-pilot comm box textures fix.
    • Carburetor heating: Left handle will be for "locking" (non operational), while the other two are for left/right engines. Full aft position will be for heating.
    • On board time watch - hour needle fix, stop watch needle added (red needle).
  • Immersion:
    • Rain effect: effective rain effect "pack" was added. It is very effective, yet simple (practically zero effect on FPS).
  • Other:
    • Various internal "engineering moves" in preparation for its continuous development and evolution.

Update to Version v2.1 (August 30th 2017)

This is a major update release!

V002.1 - Major Update Release:

  • FMOD implementation:
    • FMOD project for the VSKYLABS DC-3/C-47 Flying Lab is COMPLETED.
    • Backwards compatibility remains - standard sounds folder will be remained. To disable FMOD, simply rename its directory.
    • FMOD sounds will continue to improve and expand side by side the the whole project.
    • Standard sounds of the initial release version will include:
      • Engines and Props with multiple layers for various rpm and distance from the engines.
      • Engine startup and post startup low rpm sounds.
      • Switches and knobs.
      • Gyro instruments, Booster pumps.
      • Gears, Flaps.
      • Ambiance (wind) and turbulence during normal flight.
      • Ground roll, tire screech.
      • Vocal Annunciation for mixture control (auto rich, auto lean).
      • Vocal Annunciation for tail wheel (locked, unlocked).
      • Vocal Annunciation for autopilot (engaged/disengaged).
      • Overhead Electric fans.
    • The standard sounds will expand gradually on a pre-planned and user-request basis B).
  • 3D Modeling:
    • Cockpit compartment - internal cockpit curtains removed, back wall of cockpit compartment is now featuring the same textures as the whole inter-cockpit covering. This configuration allows a more 'clean' cockpit environment, as a preparation for the freight/cargo update (current under development).
    • Cockpit Escape hatch (internal part) modeled.
    • Windshield wipers - working in opposite directions (fix).
    • Magnetic compass (on top of front panel) is now hinged with rubber-wires, as seen on many DC-3's out there.
    • Right hand windshield wiper re-alignment to work in an opposite direction to the left hand wiper.
    • Overhead electric fans - Added two (pilot/co-pilot).
    • Added co-pilot comm box for comfortable right seat operations.
    • Added two radio-microphones.
    • Added two overhead loudspeakers.
  • Systems:
    • GNS 530 pop-up window instead of the GNS 430.
    • Landing lights intensity adjusted (brighter).

Update to Version v2.0 (August 15th 2017)

This is a major update release!

V002.0 - Major Update Release:

  • 3D/model Textures:
    • Landing gears re-modeled, re textured.
    • Passengers seats re-modeled, re-textured. Two sets were made, one for the default Buffalo Airways livery, and a second one to the VSKYLABS livery.
    • Ultra-high definition rivet-mapping:
      • 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.
    • Overhead Panel model and textures rework.
    • Overhead and pedestal panels: fixed sun-reflections on overhead panel.
    • Cockpit panel 3d model additions and preparations for v3.0
  • Instrument panel:
    • Airspeed indicator textures works and needle fine tuned (for 0-80 mph scale).
    • Airspeed Indicator - added speed tabs + an adjustable tab for personal use (mouse manipulator for fast set-up).
  • Systems/Engines:
    • Emergency Gear Pump - added! When no hydraulic pressure and gears up:
      • Set the gear handle to the down position.
      • Click (repeatedly) on the Emergency Gear handle (down to the right), and observe the landing gears light indications.
      • "Pump" it with mouse clicks until the "transit light" turns off, and the "down and locked" light turns green.
      • Safe landing.
      • Note - this handle is operational, but not animated yet, probably will be animated in the following update.
    • CHT operational temperature tuned - the engines should run now with a lower CHT.
  • Flight Dynamics Model:
    • Elevator trim tab setup for better takeoff handling.
  • Sounds:
    • FMOD project initiated but not included in v2.0. Because the FMOD is a full scale project on its own...it will be added to the next update only.
  • Liveries:
    • Default Buffalo Airways livery touch ups. Authentic Buffalo Airway interior lining for the seats added.
    • Additional livery added - VSKYLABS Livery.
    • I set up the objects files in the package so it will eliminate the hassle with the file in a text editors (for changing NORMAL_METALNESS and GLOBAL_specular values).
  • Bug fixes:
    • Propeller levers will never go out of their gimbals, no matter which hardware is being used and with any settings.
    • Magnetos operation - magneto arrow direction corrected.
    • Auto-Lean / Auto-Rich Mixture click zones enhanced for better interactivity.
  • General features:
    • Toggle Passenger seats - When clicking on the first two seats (right hand side seats, when looking to the tail section from the cockpit) - they will disappear. Clicking again on the same spot will bring it back (preparation feature for future implementation of cargo livery).

Update to Version v1.2 (31th July 2017)

This is a major update release!

Liveries:

  • Folder structure for easy livery implementation (added Livery folder).

Systems:

  • Audio selection box installed in the left inner wall of the cockpit, just below the window (C-166/AIC-3 intercom box).
  • Cowl Flaps operation calibration made.
  • Fuel Pressure needles correlation FIXED.
  • Turn and Bank indicator tuning. Note that it is a Bendix type Indicator - Turn and Bank Army Type A-8, which doesn't indicate turn rate as in the more modern turn and bank indicator. You may notice the missing markings for the needle (actually they are not missing, it is how the indicator is built). It was very difficult to obtain the manual for this instrument, and its current behavior is based on the Turn and Bank Indicator - Type A-8, from the "OPERATION, SERVICE AND OVERHAUL INSTRUCTION WITH PARTS CATALOG FOR TURN AND BANK INDICATORS, published under joint authority of the Commanding General, Army Air Forces, the Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics and the Air Council of the United Kingdom, MARCH 1945."
  • Parking Brake indication light in the front panel - added (user request). For convenience, and for those who doesn't want to bend down and reach the parking brake handle down at the lower section of pedestal - clicking on the light itself will toggle the parking brakes (user request).
  • Tail-wheel lock indication light added also (user request).

Engine Simulation:

  • Engine spool-up times in X-Plane 11 version were tuned.
  • Engine Idle RPM tune-up.

3D Model and textures:

  • Windshield wipers mounts and switches installed.
  • Pitot-heat left/right system FIX (including fix to the pitot heater switch labels - users request).
  • Interior model minor fixes.
  • Exterior model minor fixes.
  • Removed bad textures plates from cockpit's back wall.
  • Landing Lights glass textures improvements (user request).
  • Parking Brake handle manipulator added.

Flight Dynamics:

  • Landing gears handling tuning (planned update): as a result, the aircraft will not have tendency to drop its nose down upon aircraft download.
  • Tail wheel operation was changed: Two modes of operation:
    • Novice (default): "Locked" is actually and "augmented lock" state. While "locked" the aircraft can be operated as a conventional tail-dragger with additional tail-wheel steering ability (not realistic, but will make taxi more easy for the novice pilots).
    • Expert (toggle mode): "Locked" is totally locked. To enable this feature simply click on the Lock-Light-Indicator, and the letters "EX" will be visible on the light cover, indicating that it is now in "Expert mode"0
    • In both modes...Tail Wheel Lock should be made using the Tail-Lock handle at the lower pedestal.

General Matters:

  • Nav lights position in wingtips aligned.
  • Added a text file to the package, named "Instructions", Inside to be found a link to the project instruction page at VSKYLABS.COM

Update to Version v1.1 (24th July 2017)

Systems and Engines:

  • Propellers will not feather automatically when shutting down on the ground (X-Plane 11 and X-Plane 10 are quite different in how this works...to make it short, in X-Plane 11 it is a "real" manual feather system for each propeller, while in X-Plane 10 version is kind of a "mimic". Actual result is the same.
  • Aircraft is "awaking" with unfeathered props when cold and dark.
  • Electric system tune-up: Radios and other equipment are not connected to a "hot bus" anymore (need to turn off battery to use).
  • Trim/Flaps/Gears *actuators* are not electric-dependable.
  • Aggressive start-up of the engines - resolved.
  • External lights are now divided to "NAV" and "Strobe" switches.
  • Electrical system refinements, including connecting the two Generators Ammeters (over head panel) to the generators, which are monitoring load on the Generators.
  • ADF Frequency manipulator fixed (+ for up, - for down).
  • Windshield wipers installed and working. Currently you will have to click on their motor to turn on/off. Down the road and not too far I will model their mounts and switches, and will install it in the cockpit, so operation will be by using the designated switch.

Flight Dynamics:

  • Rudder physics slightly tuned. It will have another "batch" of tuning in the future.

Sounds:

  • 'Talking man' speech removed (until it will be greatly improved when FMOD sounds will be available for the package).

Visuals:

  • Windows and instruments glass are now fully reflective and shiny. It is an experimental state. I want to "live" with it a bit before I'll decide to make it final...
  • Propellers texture-works: replaced (visible when engine is not rotating, or course).
  • Fixed needles alignment in the engines gauges (user request). I've also enlarged a bit the "1","2","L","R" markings on the needles.
  • Cockpit night lighting FIXED.

Paint Kit:

July 20th 2017 - Initial Version Release: v001