The Rutan Model-158 was a twin-engine racing aircraft, developed by Burt Rutan (at his company 'Scaled Composites'), for Bob Pond (1924-2007), a honorable aviator and inventor, to be flown at the Reno Air Races back in the early 90's.
Bob Pond envisioned modern aircraft racers competing at Reno, replacing the use of warbirds. The "Pond-Racer" was a twin-boom all-composite (graphite) aircraft, which was powered by two Electramotive automobile engines capable of 1,000 hp each.
The Pond Racer's made its first public appearance at the Reno Air Races in 1991, but dropped out due to mechanical problems. On September 14th 1993, during qualifying, the Pond Racer, which was piloted by Rick Bricket, crashed following engine failure, killing the pilot. The crash of the Pond-Racer ended its development.
The VSKYLABS Test-Pilot: Rutan Model-158 Project introduces a plausible aircraft variant, based on the original "Pond-Racer" aircraft. Initial project's objective was to explore the Rutan Pond-Racer aircraft design features, estimated performance and flight envelope using X-Plane flight simulator as an advanced flight simulation lab. The second objective was to design a plausible variant that extends the Pond Racer usability as a racing aircraft, to an all weather, cross-country sport plane.
The VSKYLABS Rutan Model-158 variant is an advanced flight simulation model of a high-performance turboprop aircraft, capable of flying approximately 1.5 flight hours up to ~30,000 feet while cruising and can cover more than 500 nautical miles in a single flight.
As with all VSKYLABS projects, actual and relevant real-life pilot-experience had a major part in the design, development and test flights process. In this specific project, several aspects of the aircraft had to be addressed or to be designed from scratch, to allow all required systems simulation and integrations.
The core of the project is a highly defined flight dynamics and PT-6A propulsion model which was built and refined to simulate the Model-158 variant in the most plausible and accurate way. In VSKYLABS perspective, this project reflects the basic concept of X-Plane flight simulator, where fictional aircraft concepts can be challenged and tested in the most advanced flight simulation environment nowadays. Although it is a *fictional* variant of the Model-158, it is NOT a "science fiction" project. It is a highly defined concept demonstrator.
Project's Main Features:
- VSKYLABS 'Test-Pilot' project.
- Highly defined flight dynamics model of the Model-158.
- Highly defined PT6 turboprop engine simulation (PT6A-28) including its associated peripheral systems.
- Built around the powerful, native X-Plane's 'Experimental Flight Model' environment.
- In-depth systems simulation: Fully equipped aircraft with deep systems simulation (electrical, lighting and warning systems, comprehensive fuel system, fire protection, bleed air and pneumatic systems, ice protection systems, pressurization system, landing gears system, flight control, oxygen system, canopy system, auto-feathering and auto-ignition systems and more).
- VR (Virtual Reality) Ready.
- Multi-Layer FMOD sound pack.
- 50-pages, comprehensive, illustrated Pilot Operations Manual, including checklists.
- STMA Autoupdater is included: Project updates are fast and efficient!
- Included Paint-Kit.
- Highly responsive VSKYLABS support forums.