• VSKYLABS Making Progress On "Hopper" Balloon

    VSKYLABS Making Progress On

    The VSKYLABS 'Hopper' Hot Air Balloon Simulation for X-Plane by Laminar Research development news:

    The VSL 'Hopper' simulation is already capable of complete full 'hopping' flights. Several effective 'cockpit' instrumentation panel configurations are being evaluated. Current leading flight instrumentation configuration includes Altimeter, VSI, Ambient-air temperature and Envelope-air temperature, AviTab compatibility to allow a moving map and other features during the flights and a Magnetic compass. Beside these, there are the Burner and engine required instrumentation (pressure/remaining gas/fuel and so forth).

    Recommended weather setup is using real-weather. This way, meteorological information for flight planning can be obtained directly from any real-world sources. The Hopper will be carried out by the wind, and the pilot can manage the flight path by climbing or descending. By doing so, the Hopper will change its flight path according to the wind direction and strength on the selected flying altitude. Flight path management is limited and depends on the existing wind direction and strength.

    VSKYLABS Making Progress On

    In emergency situations, or when needed, the back-pack engine may be used to avoid obstacles or to slightly shift the flight path for short periods of time.

    The pilot must plan ahead the landing. This is usually done during the flight plan process, and the general point-of descent (location, altitude) is determined before taking off using a map, the weather info and a short navigational planning that takes into account the wind direction and speed in the landing-zone area, as well as the intended descent rate of the Balloon.

    The power-pack allows fine corrections prior to touchdown. It increases the safety aspects of the landing, as power-lines and other obstacles may be avoided. In real-world Hot Air Balloon operations, a ground-crew usually follows the Hot Air Balloon from the launching zone and intercepts the actual landing site, waiting for the pilot and assisting him during the landing phase, which btw not always goes as planned. Communication between the pilot and the ground crew is very important throughout the flight.

    Although flying very slow...flights are very challenging and rewarding, especially when doing the complete cycle of flight planning, trying to follow it, and landing like in real life.

    VSKYLABS Details Test-Pilot: Hopper Project

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