The VSKYLABS Contraventus Project

Renewable Energy Glider

For X-Plane 11

The VSKYLABS Contraventus Project

Explore the fascinating and challenging world of precision flight in an electric powered, experimental aircraft. It is a robust, highly equipped, electric powered prototype design which was inspired by the MIT 'Daedalus 88' (the human powered, record breaking aircraft) design.

Version 2.0 was released!

Update highlights:

  1. Flight dynamics update to the latest X-Plane 11.
  2. Full VR compatibility.
  3. FMOD sounds.
  4. Built-in AviTab plugin compatibility (plugin not included).
  5. Autopilot.

Project Introduction

The design concept of the VSKYLABS 'Contraventus' prototype is to experiment and research the practical use of electric power coupled with wind energy utilization for 24 hours battery cells charging capabilities. The 'Contraventus' is a concept demonstrator and educational tool for experiencing some of the fascinating aspects of aerodynamics and flight envelope limitations.

The idea of the 'Contraventus' operation is to drain (consume) the operating battery during an initial climb out to ~5,500 feet QNH, and then recharge it completely while performing an ultra shallow glide, utilizing airflow (forward motion of the aircraft and wind milling). In a series of climb outs and charging-descends, the 'Contraventus' can be flown and recharge during day and night time. Its superb design as an efficient sailplane makes these climb-outs to work like climbing steps for reaching its cruise altitude (the 'Contraventus' is not a pressurized aircraft therefore it is limited by the physiological aspects of a human pilot).

The 'Contraventus' cruise altitude is derived from its electric motor and propeller's maximum RPM. As the aircraft climbs to high altitudes, the actual 100% RPM could be achieved easily in a lower power setting (because the atmosphere is getting thinner), meaning that in a certain altitude, operating the motor at 100% will not generate sufficient thrust within its operation limitations, and the operational ceiling altitude will be reached.

The 'Contraventus' features automatic solar cells, mainly for research purposes . It is a non-operational system at the moment, as the project is focusing on utilizing the aircraft potential/wind energy for recharge. The Solar cells will get into action in future updates of the project, in which the purpose of initial and in-between flights Sun 'refueling' will be its main purpose.

This aircraft design was focused on simplicity in operation, so you can get it flying quite easily and start exploring the fascinating equations of potential, wind and power management, as well as flight planning and any other considerations of your own.

This aircraft will squeeze out the aviator skills of endurance flying, precision gliding, aircraft potential management, electric power management and weather flying.