The VSKYLABS Aeroprakt A22-LS Project for X-Plane by LaminarResearch has reached final preparations for version v1.0. The aircraftis now being prepared for its first flight in *your* hands, includingthe required manuals, documentations and other accessories such as"The Hand"...an easy to use *on-the-go* 3D checklist companion(Work-In-Progress screen shot is attached to this post). Release ofversion v1.0 is expected by the end of April 2021, if all goes asplanned.
Project announcement: The VSKYLABS Test-Pilot: TT-3 Project!
Time has come (actually already came, about a year ago), and theVSKYLABS C-47 Project has reached its designated *split* milestone,where a completely new variant project is being developed in parallelto the *initial* C-47 Project.
A lot was considered before deciding on which variant it wouldevolve to, and the options were quite wide in scale. The somewhatobvious route was to develop a modern DC-3 variant along with a moderncockpit and avionics configuration. Since any development of aC-47/DC-3 aircraft is of a years-scale effort, once being committed toa development route, it quite shuts-off any other DC-3 variantdevelopment for about a year or two...so deciding which variant wouldbe the *next* is quite crucial.
During early 2020, it was decided. The new VSKYLABS DC-3 variant isgoing to be based on the Conroy Tri-Turbo-Three DC-3 conversion.
From VSKYLABS perspective, this project is a natural choice. Theunique aircraft, which is powered by three PT6-45 engines is withinthe core of the VSKYLABS experimental, 'Test-Pilot' projects seriesconcept. There are so many flight dynamics, performance andoperational aspects to explore with the Tri-Turbo-Three, and it "won"all other options...by far.
A little background regrading the Conroy Tri-Turbo-Three (TT-3)conversion:
Designed and built by John M. Conroy, a fascinating aircraftdesigner who also built the "Super-Guppy aircraft" that carried the3rd stage of the Saturn V rocket, during the Apollo space program. TheConroy TT-3 was a DC-3, powered by three PT6A turboprop engines, withthe #3 engine mounted on the nose. It was first flown in November1977, and two aircraft were built. The TT-3 was designed specificallyfor long-range flights (up to ~2300 nautical miles) and it was capableof operating from unprepared snow "runways". It was able to cruise atabout 200 knots. Its main missions were flying in the North Poleregion, into Antarctica, and it was used also for maritime patrol andrescue missions.
The project is introducing a highly defined simulation of the 3 xPT6A-45 turbo prop powered TT-3. In the case of the real TT-3, actualdata and documentations are quite rare, and VSKYLABS had to step in tofill in some missing gaps regarding its on-board systems. Although theVSKYLABS project may have several differences from the real TT-3, thedesign and development approach is being made with great care and deepunderstanding of the DC-3 aircraft, as well with a great respect tohonor John M.Conroy and all other men and women that were involved inthe TT-3 development and operations. Cockpit configuration andavionics are modern.
The project has reached advanced stages, and it is aimed to exceedv1.0 milestone later this year (2021).
Important Development Note
Although being a completely *NEW* aircraft and project, by concept,the VSKYLABS TT-3 project was designed to share similar designarchitectures with the VSKYLABS C-47 FLP. This is allowing to continueand develop the C-47 FLP Project side by side with the development ofthe VSKYLABS TT-3 Project, where each project is evolving from anyrelevant progress that is made with the other project. The VSKYLABSC-47 FLP development continues without any pauses, and the projectwill continue to evolve following its development road map. There areseveral major update releases that are planned for the C-47 later thisyear, with the main focus on visuals, 3D modeling and appearance andFMOD sound package.
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