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    • I don't think I mentioned "Streaming Textures" like what MSFS 2020 are doing, that was never a way Laminar wanted to go either as you mentioned, but Ben is caught. It is the one area in MSFS 2020, that X-Plane just can't compete with, the option in downloading the photographic tiles are worse in cost and storage space,and it also creates a patchwork of terrains so I am not personally a big fan. The answer is a real hard one, but my guess over the next few years Ben will find a solution, or new photographic developments may come along to fix the issue, but overall I think a new set of textures are still required as the current ones are now a decade old, that was a big disappointment with XP12, but like I said I think a half-way texture solution can still be done...  lets just get X-Plane12 out first.    
    • Hi, Great writing as always. I have one issue with your prediction and its the "streaming textures" feature, if I understood you correctly. What I understood from X-Plane blog, is that they are trying to make the Custom Scenery more hierarchical and better organized. I don't think they decided what is the "new/old" format going forward but they probably want to minimize the scenery conflicting issues etc. Regarding streaming textures, I don't think this is what they are going to implement, even as a feature, since as far as I understand (after few e-mails with Ben Supnik) this feature, if not used by LR, might seem as an opening door for illegal usage of that streaming feature. But if LR would have used this technique it might not be the case. Overall there is a legal issue and complexity of implementation.   What is interesting is that many years back, I think there was a plugin that did the same for X-Plane 9 or 10, but it was banned  by google for the texture usage, so it should be possible but maybe not as a built in feature.   Cheers Saar
    • Aircraft Update : Airbus A319-112 v1.6.3 by ToLiSS   The release of the Airbus A340-600 from ToLiSS was very significant aircraft for the developer. Most of the essential aspects including the modeling was brought in house by ToLiSS on the A346. And with those changes also came a more in-contact or hands on approach to more of the aircraft. This has created a breakthrough of more elements and systems being available and installed in the aircraft, plus the point that more external X-Plane features (like Libradio) have been released.   The "Baby Bus" in the A319-112 was last updated back in April to v1.6 , but ToLiSS is never one to rest on his laurels and has here quickly done another update here to include a lot of the newer features, plus a few nice fixes to the earlier aircraft.   In-between starting this update review, ToLiSS had then released another quick fix up date in v1.6.3 for the A319...  notable is to update to the new version ASAP as it covers a few bugs like the ELEC system-DC BUS1 and BUS2 FAULT(s) and non-working GHD in the original v1.6.2 release.   The changelog v1.6.2-v1.6.3 is quite long...   Changes from build 1460 (V1.6.2) to Build 1462 (V1.6.3) Bug fixes: - Date button on the chrono works again - Changed chock and park brake logic for better compatibility with 3rd party addons - Reduced wing flex induced by landing gear shocks - Fixed the issue with the cabin disappearing when cockpit door open - Manual engine start now uses both igniter channels - CVR ground control is now reset on engine start as it should - APPR PROC underline on status page now has the right length - Improved list of inop systems for electrical bus failures - Correction of GW indication logic on the SD   Minor new features: - ISI popup is now also scalable - Electrical system now allows both batteries to feed the same bus simultaneously - Electrical system now supports Battery charging test by switching them off and on. - Added cargo heating simulation - Added fuel temperature simulation - Added IDG temperature simulation - Rework of the SD COND, FUEL, and ELEC pages for better representational accuracy - Added overflow management for the SD status page - ISCS sliders now allow editing the values with keyboard for better precision - Cargo fire extinguishing test is now operational - Fault injections can now trigger on increasing or on decreasing values of altitude and air speed - Added approach procedure on status page in case of alternate or direct mode reversion - Added Backup Nav tuning to RMPs 1 and 2 - FCU lighting knobs below the FCU are now functional. - New external lighting - Addition of the smart thrust lever idle lock - Simplified CHOCKS option to allow switching off the park brake Bug fixes: - ISCS text entry boxes now display a cursor - ISCS dropdown lists are now constrained to remain within ISCS window - FMA capability indication for GLS approach in manual flight is now CAT 1 (was AUTO LAND before) - Correct runway course indication on arrival page to consider magnetic variation with the correct sign - RNP value for non precision approaches does nto drop to 0 anymore, but correctly becomes 0.3 or 0.5 depending on the approach type. - Changes to the Autosave algorithm to make it less susceptible to crashes. - Made the fms plan loading function more robust to plans with invalid data - Fixed excessive ground friction when landing with alternate braking or AntiSkid disabled - DC BAT indication on SD ELEC Page becomes invalid, if both Batteries are selected off - Generator is now cut off, as soon as the ENG fire push button is pressed, even if the engine is still running on the fuel in the line - Fuel system crossfeed works correctly now, feeding equally from both tanks even when all pumps are on. - When preselecting a heading on ground, the FCU heading window will initialize with the current heading - Reduced IRS drift values by half for more realistic values - Engine Fire lights now work on battery power to faciliate procedure completion on ground - Corrected behaviour of FADEC ground power switches, they are now momentary switches that will power the FADEC for 5 minutes when depressed once. - Made behaviour of CLR button XPDR panel more realisitc - When selecting flaps 1 for landing, the Status page will now be called (As it should) if status is not normal - When status paged called automatically, the STS key now lights up and can be used to remove the status page - When Using Auto Brake to full stop, pressing pedals won't disengage it like is the case in real life - Now properly converting fuel amounts from kgs to lbs on PERF pages when imperial units selected - Miscellaneous FMGS fixes - Fixed FBW roll angle limits - Improved AP turn direction depending on FCU heading rotation knob - Corrected altnernate law reversion and AP loss logics for elevator loss cases - Fixed erroneous ECAM fault messages for center tank pumps - Fixed ECAM action logics for dual pack faults - Fixed Air conditioning sound loop in XP10 - VR manipulator improvements   The integrated standby instrument system (ISIS) is now scalable via scrolling, it doesn't make it bigger, but does make it far more smaller.     The SD (Systems Display) has had the COND, FUEL, and ELEC pages for better representational accuracy and also added is overflow management for the SD status page.     On the ELEC, the electrical system now allows both batteries to feed the same bus simultaneously and you can do battery charging test by just switching them off and on. Switch off both batteries and then turn them back on to see the test and the voltage irregularities.     On an Airbus aircraft the IDG(Integrated Drive Generator) is an aircraft power generation device which houses a Continuously Variable Transmission(CVT) to generate 400Hz constant frequency power regardless of the engine speed. That generation temperature (one per engine) is now simulated on the ELEC page.     Fuel temperatures are also now simulated (on the SD ELEC page).     Cargo Heating temperatures are also now simulated (on the SD COND page). And the Cargo fire extinguishing test (button) is now also operational.     On the "ToLiSS Interactive Simulation Control System" TISCS pop-up Menu panel. You can now insert the numbered data directly into the slider selections. Certainly a big fan of this aspect as I like to insert the correct Fuel Load to the EXACT block amount required for the flight, I find that sliders are just a little too wishy washy.       When the STBY NAV button is selected it enables remotely tuning the respected navaid and desired course. Each RMP (Radio Management Panel) tunes to it's respective navaid. Tuning and ILS on either RMP tunes both ILS receivers if both RMPs have their NAV button pressed.     Notable missing from v1.6.2 was the GHD (Ground Handling Deluxe) addon...  it didn't work at first simulator setup (in an odd situation the GHD DID work when you got to your destination?) however that bug has now been fixed in v1.6.3 (JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe addon is required)     I will note the v1.6.2 lighting changes in flight. This is a service from Heathrow (EGLL) to Kastrup (EKCH).     The "Baby Bus" was always a seriously nice aircraft to fly. Most will stay in AUTO mode throughout, but that is missing out on a great manual handling aircraft. The aircraft just responds to what you want, and when you want it. Highly recommended is the option of the "Baby Bus Symphony A319 BSS IAE soundpack" from BlueSkyStar. The ToLiSS sounds have certainly improved, but still get nowhere as close or as realistic as the BSS IAE soundpack.         There are the extremely nice pretty images and they certainly show off the quality of X-Plane as a realistic simulator, but that is not why we are up here. We are waiting for the light to fade.   Now in v1.6.3 the two under glareshield knobs work. These adjusts the  FCU (Flight Control Unit) lighting. The right knob adjusts the brightness on the display, the second left knob adjusts the main instrument back lighting.     Unlike the A320 Facia. The A319 has four instrument downlights connected together. These downlights are adjusted via the FLOOD LT knob (Captain's Side). Were as in the A320 has the down lighting knob adjusters are situated both under the glareshield.     The A319's external lighting has had some nice tweaking. Turn on your main landing lights and get now two beams striking boldly forward into the distance, brilliant in cloud. The Navigation lights,Tail and Wing lighting is all far tighter and better, but the strobes are still a bit too blobby for me... they look like the same style strobes as on the A346, but that is a far bigger aircraft, and as the A319 is far smaller so it doesn't quite work as well.     On approach the forward lighting is more effecient and on the ground the Taxi lights are better, as is the Runway Turnoff lighting. So overall a great improvement. Not that there is more work to do, as there are still dead overhead lighting in the cockpit, and the cabin lighting is certainly far too brightly lit... but it is still a nice forward improvement.   ____________________   Summary ToLiSS has updated the Airbus A319-112 to v1.6.3. The updates are really in two parts, in the earlier v1.6.2 then a patch update to v1.6.3.   Mostly this update was to bring to the A319 some of the features presented on the newer A340-600, that was released back in October 2021. There is nothing really outstanding here, but still includes those small intricate system details that create a whole experience, the main feature is the far better tweaking of the cockpit and external lighting, the RMP STBY NAV intergration and TISCS Menu panel direct numbered data input.   Over the last few years this shortened but very popular version of the Airbus A320 Series has become extremely popular in X-Plane, and it is not hard to see why as it is a brilliant small airliner to fly. And not only for it's complex systems but even in manual flight it is dream handling aircraft, and certainly a must have if you love short-haul airliners. This v1.6.3 update just adds even more of those intricate features on to the cake, like a lot of airlines at this development stage the ToLiSS versions are moving into a more mature context, certainly more features can still be added (and probablt will be)... but it is already extremely good aircraft, and certainly now a firm fan favorite...      Highly Recommended ________________________     Yes! the ToLiSS319 (A319-122) v1.6.3 by ToLiSS is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airbus A319 by ToLiSS Price is US$79.00   Note make sure you have v1.6.3 when downloading, All previous purchasers can now update via your X-Plane.OrgStore Account   Officially licensed Airbus product Highlights: FMGS with SID/STAR, Airways alternate flight plans, performance prediction, etc. Out of the box with TSS (Turbine Sound Studios) custom sounds for the CFM engine Realistic FBW with Alternate and Direct law reversions Fault injection interface with support for roughly 90 different failures and probability-based random failure injection Choice of CFM and IAE engine, and wingtip fences or sharklets. Choices affect aircraft performance and FMGS predictions. Detailed list of features: FMGS: Support of SID/STAR, including all leg types (Arc, course or heading to intercept, Radius to Fix, Holdings, etc.) Temporary and alternate flight plans Full VNAV guidance with TOC, TOD, Deceleration point, speed limits, fuel prediction, etc. Altitude and speed constraints as the real aircraft deals with them Ability to change the selected STAR while already in the STAR Support for go-arounds and diversions Step altitudes Airway support 2 independent MCDUs and autopilots Top-notch aircraft systems ToLiss uses the QPAC Fly-by-wire and autopilot module, augmented to support Alternate and Direct Law Unique feature: Control Surface hinge moment modelling allows the surfaces to float to the appropriate position after loss of all actuators on a surface. Fault injection interface allowing to inject custom selected failures, or randomly selected failure based on fault probabilities. Custom TCAS with resolution advisory function. Terrain on ND and Weather radar available (WX radar works with default X-plane weather engine) Brake temperature model based on the detailled physics of heat transfer between the individual brake components Hydraulics model in which the pressure is dependent on usage. This is most notable when dropping to RAT mode Detailed model of each ADIRU including alignment, small pressure sensor differences between the units, switching of sources for PFDs Custom air conditioning model supporting high altitude operations at airports like Cusco in Peru or La Paz in Bolivia without spurious warnings Flight warning system with ECAM actions supporting numerous system failure scenarios, e.g. engine failures, generator failures, hydraulic failures. Eye- and ear-candy Detailed 3D cockpit 3d exterior model with CFM and IAE engine Choice between classic wingtip fences or modern sharklets (controlled via livery names) FMOD 3d Sounds Custom sounds from Turbine Sound Studios (TSS) included for the CFM engine.  Usability features Situation loading and saving. It is possible to save the flight at any point in time and resume it another day. This can also be used, e.g., to save the position just before approach and practice just the approach many times. Autosaving allows recovering where you left off, should the X-Plane session end unexpectedly. Jumping waypoint-to-waypoint through the cruise phase: Shorten your flight to focus on the more interesting parts as you like. Integrated takeoff performance calculator supporting the use of flex temperature.   Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows (64bit) , Mac (OSX 10.11 and up) or Linux (tested on Ubuntu 14.10) 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Version 1.6.3 (November 30th 2021)   _________________________   Update Review by Stephen Dutton 1st December 2021 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews    (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)    
    • Behind the Screen : November 2021   I am amazed really on how much knowledge I have accumulated with flying X-Plane in over more than a decade. Laughable was the fact that I was doing reviews at the turn of the decade without really any flying abilities at all. That is not totally true. As I always had an extremely good eye for detail and what makes something good, even brilliant from what is basically crap. So it is not the difference in something in being actually good than crap in every aspect, as it is what is in the lines between that sometimes can be very fine.   I could quite well fly an aircraft, that is take off, fly around and sorta land... In most cases back then I still cheated by using the ILS to bring me back to the ground.   But it is in the lower contexts that you learn to "Really Fly an Aircraft". The art of aviation and the point that everyone has to learn...  first the basics (If going straight into flying a Boeing 747 is notable as basic aviation, but then you could do that in a Simulator), then the real learning the complexities of moving around in a 3d space. This was the motivation for doing simulation in the very beginning as I wanted (still do) in the learning, mastering, and achieving the skills to fly an aircraft. Which brings you back to the old simulation adage, that could a "simulator user actually fly a real aircraft".   In most cases this scenario has been disproved, mostly by a clown called Richard Russell after he stole a Horizon Air Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 airliner from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) and then died after crashing it on Ketron Island in Puget Sound.   If you would put me in an aircraft a decade ago, and said "Go Fly", there is an extremely good chance I would not be writing this article right now. Same could be said of most gamers, who think they can fly, but would really only end up in Puget Sound like Mr Russell.   But what about now, could I fly an aircraft (and survive). My gut says "Absolutely", that is not being obnoxious or macho posturing. But having faith in my learned abilities and refined skills. I mean if you watch Austin Meyer's simulator skills, then certainly I could do far better than that and he flies and owns a plane.   So what does make the differences between then and now. As I have admitted, I really didn't know how to fly an aircraft back then, but I took each separate component and learned and refined the skills to acquire the knowledge to master them.   My interest was picked up via a real world transfer flight from Proserpine Airport (ICAO: YBPN) in Queensland, Australia to Great Barrier Reef Airport (ICAO: YBHM), also known as Hamilton Island Airport in a Cessna 172. In typical laid-back (She'll be sweet) Aussie Style in the barefoot only shorts wearing pilot (nice sharktooth necklace though), bundled me and my two cases into the very tired Cessna for the short hop over to the Whitsundays Paradise resort. Simple. The pilot took off from Runway 11 and headed east towards the Conway National Park.   No I am not at all a nervous flier, I understand aircraft, but this pilot set up the Cessna 172 at around 3,000ft and as we trundled towards Hamilton Island at around 90 knots, and I was scared beyond death that I was going to die...   The reason was the pilot wasn't at all flying the aircraft, in fact he was leaning back over the seat trying to get at his lunch sitting on the back seat, worse the Cessna was NOT on automatic pilot either, he retrieved his lunch and then proceeded to eat a variety of fruit and a cold meat pie, swigged it all down by water in a bottle. Any interaction with the little Cessna was only via the slight movements of the rudder pedals, otherwise we both serenely motored on. On arrival at the Hamilton Island Airport, he did a wide masterful curve around the airport and went directly into Runway 14 absolutely flat (no nose down pitch) and into very nice three-point landing. It was thrilling and terrifying in the same instance... no doubt he was an excellent aviator (If with a casual attitude).   And the point of the story? Well how did he do that, in fly the aircraft without actually holding of any of the controls, and with no autopilot functioning as well. "was it "Magic", but it served to fire my mind on how and why he did that, as there is no way I could take my hands of my car's steering wheel in the same way without ruining my very lovely car and me ending up in hospital... how did he do that, and the answer is how you fly aircraft correctly.   That small flight has always been in the background of my memory when learning to fly correctly. The trick or tricks he used are obvious, first as I was too obsessed at looking at the instruments as he had adjusted the trim, but not only had he finely adjusted the trim of the aircraft for pitch, but used (most of the time) slight touches to the rudder to trim the aircraft to go directly forward, even in a slightly angled flight to compensate for the wind direction. Set up correctly like this the little Cessna was perfectly balanced, to note he also loaded my cases behind us in the front seats and not in the rear baggage hold, but to keep their 30 kg weight centred, a small but clever loading idea.   So first if I wanted to be really good at the "Flying thingy", I needed to learn how to trim, but trim well. Not only in pitch only trimming the aircraft (like in the 172), but how to balance a big airliner correctly with no auto servos doing the job for me. Watch any good landing of a DHC-8 Q400, one a very, very tricky aircraft to land nicely (I have watched loads of YouTubes Q400 lately on flying the Q4XP better), and watch the pilot's left thumb on the electric trim buttons on the yoke, they are constantly moving the trim on the descent into the approach, adjusting and adjusting consistently to keep the aircraft balanced and which could be fatal if you get it wrong, but this is how the Pro's do it.   The Q4XP is a very interesting aircraft to fly well, a simple bugger to land well, so you have to know the tricks to master it, trimming is one, and certainly getting the balance right on approach and landing. As a side point I have been moved seats quite a few times on a Qantas Q400 to set up the balance of the aircraft.   Once I learnt to trim better or master it, it totally changed the way I fly aircraft. Secondly is not using pitch in landing (unless for a slight final flare). The trick again that I missed on the fateful Hamilton Island flight, was that the pilot was using his throttle (power) to go up or down and not the yoke. Less power and you descend, more power and you go upwards. It is a total feel thing between you and the aircraft, and you have feel the lift to keep the aircraft airborne and land it correctly... I personally don't think you can fly in X-Plane via key input (up and down throttle power), I think the inputs have to be more minute than that, and you need that touchy feel to get it absolutely right.   I also cheated with landings...  Back then I usually set my weather wind settings at below 5 knts or mostly zero to make perfect landings. That is another area I explored to master, severe crosswind landings are always a challenge, but I can now pull off a realistic landing in any conditions, to a point you have to with xEnviro as you can't turn off the wind direction or strength. Another area I had to master was taking off with heavy weights on board. X-Plane is very good in creating aircraft at different weights, and how aircraft react in different loads, so I fly consistently at both ends of the spectrum of flying very heavily loaded aircraft to very light to understand the feel between the two conditions. A point is that it is good to fly older aircraft. 1960's machines are very good with no or basic automation and have under powered engines, so you have to work harder to fly them well in trimming and navigation.   I once spent days trying to get a fully loaded Boeing 747-200F off the runway and into the air, or grabbing the air, then getting the aircraft up to altitude with a consistently falling speed. It was a challenge. But I learnt well in how to fly heavies really well, and how they respond to marginal limits. I was quite proud of the way I mastered (finally) that challenge.   Another target was to understand my 3d space. I spent a lot of time adding in and using correctly the course pointers on the Rose Dial. The HSI (Horizontal Situation Indicator) is a very valuable tool when used correctly. If flying off a flightplan, or General Aviation, these tools are essential to understanding where you are in relation to the airport and the runway angle. Important in getting your approach position in height and distance right. The tools are there with the Navigation pointer arrows and the revolving Course pointer, and that is why I rally  even rant quite high when a developer does not include Nav Pointers on the HSI, as they are essential tools.   I wrote in Behind the Screen : April 2021 of the challenge of arriving at your destination airport at the right speed and altitude. It is still the one area that can still bug me from time to time, in being too high at the arrival point having to do a dreaded "Go Around". And yes I did that annoyance just the other day on approach to London, worse I did the Go Around three times as it was in very poor conditions...  Epic Fail.   Watching videopilots is interesting. They are exceptional at throwing all the right switches and finding their way around cockpits, but a fair share of them have very poor piloting skills (which probably killed Richard Russell). The real life pilots are certainly far better to watch, but you won't learn a lot of good aviation skills by following most deskbound videopilots. Real world videos are a far better learning tool, just keep to the ones that show the instrument panel numbers to learn what they do and when. In fact you would be shocked on how violently they control the aircraft on approaches for a smooth touchdown. I am forever shouting out errors to the videopilots of what they are not doing or of what not to do in flying aircraft... They do have a responsibility to show you the right way, and not get off on their own"Jollies".   I understand I say or describe things in over detail or repeat points review after review in X-Plane-Reviews. But everything described has a reason to be there. From a new layout of a FMS (Flight Management System) to a new addon tool you can now use. We provide a tutorial and review in one, to get you very quickly up to speed on that aircraft without all the head desk bashing I have gone through in trying to work it all out. (The Felis Boeing 747-200 was a NIGHTMARE). But overall it ups my own skill set in working through it all.   That above point was worn in a decade ago... you were back then pretty well on your own to work it all out, no videopilots, no tutorials and everything was page by page manual learning, but you learnt it well, and and I will make the point the aircraft were quite simple to learn back then...  not today. This year 2021 has been a complex level raising year for simulation complexity, good in one way, but far harder to work though in another. But the exceptional level of releases has certainly raised the standards of both developers and pilot's alike.   So here is the big question, could a good experienced simulator pilot fly a real world aircraft, I personally think yes, if they are of a certain grade of experience. There is only really only one way to find out, fly a real world aircraft and find out...  in 2022.   There will be as usual no Behind the Screen December 2021 issue, but our full yearly round up of the year review to be published on 17th December 2021, so watch out for that.   Stephen Dutton 2nd December 2021 Copyright©2021 X-Plane Reviews    
    • Wonder if there'll be a special "Take a beta to lunch" price or if you'll have to fork up full price to discover how far behind the power curve you're going to be.  Hopefully at or prior to release, Laminar will be forthcoming on what is and isn't going to port from XP11. 
    • I changed the review "Note that you will need the Q4XP v1.09 for the WebFMC Pro v1.8.0 version to work in the Dash8.."...  Just to clear up the issue.
    • You understood everything ! You probably are a diviner 😉 WebFMC v1.8.0 is now working perfectly with my Q4XP Thanks a lot Robder
    • There may be some confusion. I also wondered about the release numbers… The way I interpret this is that the version of WebFMC is 1.80 and it requires version 1.0.9 of q4xp.
    • Probably a typo or an earlier release...  we are at v1.8.0...  not v1.0.9? 
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