Stephen

Laminar Research : X-Plane 11 Beta Released!

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Laminar Research : X-Plane 11 Beta Released!

 

Laminar Research have releases as predicted on Thanksgiving 2016 a "Beta" copy of X-Plane11. That note of a "Beta" is very important in the fact this is not a release version of the simulator, but an early in test version of what X-Plane11 is. And yes it is quite buggy, so if you want the full effect of the new X-Plane version, then I recommend a wait of a few weeks for the system to find a better level.

 

You have two choices at this point in downloading the free "Demo" version or with a payment of US$59.95 for the Global version (key) with X-Plane10 thrown in for free. A second note is that to run the global version you will need the X-Plane10 "Global Scenery" as at this point in time there is only a internet download version of 6.90gb available to acquire X-Plane11.

 

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Getting the X-Plane11 Beta

To download the X-Plane11 beta then go to the Laminar Research site here...  www.x-plane.com

 

From this download page you can download a X-Plane11 installer that is pretty similar to the one used in the past for X-Plane10...

 

Laminar Downloader 1.jpgLaminar Downloader 2.jpg

 

On startup of the installer are five segment in installing the simulator with the first with you have to agree to "End User" license and for that Laminar Research can use your user data for diagostic purposes

 

Second segment the installer will check your servers (hard drives/SSD) for where to install X-Plane11. If you don't agree to the favored selection then give the installer your own install address position.

 

You still have the options to cancel the install or buy the full "Global" version before continuing with the installation.

 

Laminar Downloader 3.jpgLaminar Downloader 4.jpg

 

Press "Continue" and the install will commence...  There is as mention 6.90gb to download, and mine over a slowish ADSL2 broadband took around 1h.30m which was quite good with no issues.

 

X-Plane11 startup.jpg

 

X-Plane11

Where as in X-Plane you had one long startup procedure. It is now split into two sections, and initial start to the selection page is quite short.

 

The full screen setup is very, very nice and feels far more modern than the old startup screens

 

In the Demo mode you get the introduction video to X-Plane and again like X-Plane10 the Seattle area is the default demo area.

 

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Main selection page

 

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Four selection choices cover...

 

New Flight

Load Saved Flight

Flight School

Settings

 

"New Flight" goes to the main "Configuration" setup panel...

 

Laminar Startup Config.jpg

 

This allows you to set up the Aircraft, Location, Weather and Time of Day selections. When done just press "Start New Flight" and X-Plane11 will do the final loading of the selections and area selected.

 

No doubt X-Plane11 does load far faster than X-Plane10, and is far smoother in its complete operations, but I did get a few screen freezes and more than I would like at this stage.

 

I have a Saitek x52Pro  (black) joystick & Throttle, I have been able to set it up, but have issues saving the settings as it crashes the sim every time, and I can't set the switches and buttons on the add-on to my liking (yet).

 

Menu Bar

There is a new drop down menu bar with now two sets of menu options with Titles left and Icons right

 

Menu Bar.jpg

 

Title (word) menus consist of Five drop down menus including:      File - Flight - View - Developer - Plugins

 

Menu File.jpg

 

Icon Menus consists of Six selections

 

Pause Icon : Now you can "Pause" the simulator via an icon besides still using the standard "P" key

 

Menu.jpg

 

Aircraft Icon : Pressing the Aircraft Icon brings up the earlier "Flight Configuration" panel

 

Menu 2.jpg

 

Headset Icon : Pressing the Headset Icon brings up the ATC (Air Traffic Control) panel

 

Menu 3.jpg

 

Pick Icon : Pressing the Pick Icon brings up the "Local Map" panel with built in glideslope (which makes it much more accessible)

 

Menu 4.jpg

 

Settings Icon : Pressing the Settings Icon brings up the "Graphic" settings panel

 

X-Plane11 Graphics.jpg

 

The "Graphics" set up page is now greatly simplified (maybe too much?) with most selections replaced by sliders...  biggest change is that the standard - HDR setting is now one setting, so there is no HDR off selection! 

 

Monitor settings are here also, but make sure you get the right monitor settings correct or it affects your computers settings as well!

 

Other Menu Tabs here consist of: General - Sound - Graphics - Network - DataOutput - Joystick - Keyboard - GPS Hardware

 

? Question Icon : Pressing the ? mark Icon starts up your default browser and loads up the Laminar Research "Manual" page

 

Menu 5.jpg

 

You very quickly find your way around this excellent menu system, and it is fast, very fast and smooth in operation. But many items required do require a drill down procedure to get to the setting you require. But overall it is a very efficient interface.

 

First Impression

Overall still a bit buggy, CTD (Crash To Desktop) is common when configuring the joysticks (as noted) and I haven't yet completed the settings.

 

First notes on the forums note poor gamma, and X-Plane11 is very bright, and there is no gamma setting as I can find it

 

Simulator view 1.jpg

Simulator view 2.jpgSimulator view 3.jpg

Simulator view 4.jpgSimulator view 5.jpg

 

Reducing the day light towards dawn or twilight, brings a little colour (top) but otherwise it is all very bright.

 

The Citation Aircraft is missing as well?

 

Summary

This post was never meant from the start as a full in depth review of X-Plane11, but just a how to load the new version and a first impression point of view. It looks good, but you feel a loss of a lot of settings as many have been combined together to do the same job, but you do feel a little loss of visual setting up control. Certainly the adjustment will be in there, and with time and a learning curve you will get the visual feeling correct. But X-Plane11 feels very efficient, smooth and quick in loading and use.

The simulator here is also set at it's (very) basic settings. So there are no 3rd party aircraft or plugins yet running in here, as noted you can with the download version swap over your "Global Scenery" and "Custom Scenery" folders, but I recommend to add in your 3rd party aircraft into X-Plane11 and don't just swap over the "Aircraft" folders because of the new way the aircraft are noted in the new visual menu system.

 

Certainly more to come to this post as the menus are quite deep and slightly complex. So X-PlaneReviews will keep posting more on the simulator as it settles down from the beta versions to the full release version...  but it looks good.

 

Stephen Dutton

26th November 2016

Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews

 

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Hi Stephen,

 

You're right, IMHO, the Graphics set up page is far too simple to be able to tweak maybe the most tricky part of the sim.

We'll see how LR will receive the calls from the community (see on .org: http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/forums/topic/109921-xp11-advanced-rendering-settings/ )

 

I'm still looking for the (missing?) feature of the local map to be able to change the location (drag-n-drop), the speed, the altitude and the heading... It was useful when you want to debug a scene. Maybe I didn't looked deeply enough :-) (edit> right after this post, I found the solution, thanks to the community: http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/forums/topic/110186-maps-are-lacking/&do=findComment&comment=1082732 )

 

Anyway, I thought that the Canadair CL415 could be updated, maybe Javier is a bit late ? And what about the Citation X ?

 

Cheers,

 

Christophe

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