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Behind the Screen : Year in Review 2022


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Behind the Screen : Year in Review 2022


When in writing up my review of the X-Plane 2021 year, there was a fear of 2022 for the X-Plane Simulator. In 2021 X-Plane was holding it's own and well against the onslaught of Microsoft's MSFS simulator, mostly through a lot of very high quality aircraft releases, but I knew the toy box was becoming increasingly empty coming into 2022, the feeling was not good.


To a point that anxiety was very much well founded, transition years usually are. Worse the world now is not the same world pre-pandemic, as everything is now different, and getting worse month by month. As our blessed lives are being turned upside down by shortages, rising inflation, crypto failures, extreme weather temperatures and God knows what else, so who cares about Simulation? Well we do, and to a point it is our salvation from all the mess outside the home.


Everything pointed to and relied on Laminar Research on to how the 2022 year went. It went good realistically, but also bad for all the other reasons. My prayers were for an early 2022 Easter X-Plane 12 release, but it didn't happen. Overall the non-release dragged on lower and lower throughout the Northern Summer, even Laminar Research ran out of promotional video's waiting, so they just made more, ten in the end.


This also created a blackhole of content, nothing was going to be released pre-version, even after the release of X-Plane 12 on 6th September 2022 as an "Early Access" Beta. Developers still kept away except for the odd few, even the Upgrades to X-Plane 12 were slow in coming, but in a few cases it still allowed you fly your current aircraft in the new simulator version. Taking no chances this year, developers have been waiting for the "All Clear" of a full X-Plane 12 release before this time committing to releasing projects, rare, as in the past with any X-Plane version releases they usually went bonkers straight after the version release, in other words you now have to write the whole year off.


That said the outlook going into 2023 has to be the best for years. Now X-Plane 12 has gone final...   the simulator will thankfully settle down and Laminar will still be also adding in new features, better scenery is also promised for X-Plane 12, even orthophoto, but don't expect that feature for a few years until the mid-version run, but for now thankfully the changes are done, welcome to X-Plane 12.


Laminar Research 2022

The 2022 year for Laminar Research was dominated by the public release of X-Plane 12 on the 6th September 2022. Released as noted as an "Early Access" Beta, it was expected to go Final just before Christmas, and in RC6 form it did, 17th December 2022.


X-Plane 12 was late, really late, and by a whole year to be exact. This aspect was compounded by the Vulkan/Metal (11.50) version of X-Plane11 in the required overhauling of the core basics of the simulator, with changes over to the far more efficient APIs (Application Programming Interface) Vulkan/Metal from the original OpenGL, in other words they "ripped the guts out of it".


So nothing could be done as everything in X-Plane 12 is built on or over these foundation core blocks of code, worse for Laminar was the fact that most, if not all of the major features in X-Plane 12, Environmental, Water, ATC, lighting et all, were also areas that had not been touched for years and were left in the "Too Hard" basket for far too long, mostly again related to the API construction.

But Laminar had to eventually face the problem. In doing so it took a huge amount of time and effort to engineer all the ideas into a working simulator. Laminar are also not a big development team compared to most high-profile software developers, but they are thankfully seriously talented.


Noises were made late February 22 that maybe an early release before the (northern) Summer was actually possible, but continuous issues with the water (meeting the land) and other niggles put paid to that. Overall all the elements were not ready even as late as August 22, a few rare viewings showed a Simulator that came with major elements that were still missing, then Austin Meyer went into full PR mode to cover the shortfall, he is good at it, but it didn't help with the crawling development speed.


Personally I was expecting the worse by the release point. But the surprise was X-Plane 12 was, or is actually very good, thankfully far better than any of my expectations...  everything now has a modern real life glow and feel.

But it was notably still buggy through the Beta cycle, and a few new announced features are still not present at the final release like the A330 FMS, a lot of the new objects and the announced scenery features, and I am not at all impressed with the night lighting, and don't get me started on the over the top windy weather system.

So after all the trials of the year, X-Plane in it's new X-Plane 12 guise is actually looking very good for next year 23, and a lot of things should fall back into place again, so basically all the upheaval was worth the end result. More good news awaits.


As X-Plane 12 does cover so many outstanding aspects that have now been implemented. For the first time since the start of the Vulcan/Metal project and even far earlier, Ben Subnic finally has a clear table coming into the new year. Obviously for a fair amount of the time early on in 23 or for the first few months it will require more fine-tuning of X-Plane 12, but then a new focus will turn to better VR (Virtual Reality) via OpenXR, better Networking and the already mentioned better Ortho images. But I still think Supnic will have something new up his sleeve, something unique, clever, ideas missing from X-Plane over the last few years during the API onslaught.


Microsoft Flight Simulator 2022

By it's standards Microsoft's MSFS Simulator had a quiet year. Things quietly improved on all fronts via consistent regular updates, certainly in the dynamics, as that then allowed the former FS big guns to finally ship their products, notably PMDG and their Boeing 737 Series. Regular World Updates also kept everyone happy, in areas like the USA, Canada, Italy and Malta, Iberia, Australia. It's an impressive list, and notably challenging to X-Plane in it's frail transition period.

Microsoft also celebrated it's 40th Year celebration and ever since Bill Gates gave the world Flight Simulation, but still counted in also a decade of no updates and even a longer period of not actually being on sale on the market, until it was revived by Asobo only two and a half years ago, 30 Years is more realistic.


The 40th Year celebration bought up the year's 2022 biggest controversy in INI-Builds. 12th June, Microsoft announced a partnership with inibuilds to release free the Airbus A310-300 as part of their 40th anniversary celebrations. A notable X-Plane 12 Developer then did a fire-sale, and cut instant ties with the X-Plane platform. To say this was a very nasty thing to do was an understatement, but not unexpected by INI-Builds, who already had an questionable history in the PR department. But users that had heavily invested in their products was to find out that basically the aircraft was going to soon outdated and relegated only to a former X-Plane (11) version, in other words any INI_Builds aircraft were unflyable in X-Plane 12 and then the "Shit hit the fan".

Didn't INI-Builds realise that users that buy in X-Plane also buy their same products in MSFS, obviously not with major consequences and a reversal in late October that (Only) the A300 would now be updated to X-Plane 12 and will also be free, it is anyone's guess as when it will actually be updated, it is certainly is not going be a priority by INI-Builds.


The big aspect of the whole debacle, was did Asobo buy or throw huge amounts of cash at INI-Build's for a market share grab? Like kicking X-Plane while it was down or at it's weakest point, it was all round a messy affair, that did far more damage to the whole of Simulation than help it.



2021 was a huge year for X-Plane aircraft, as most of the big developers had releases (except FlightFactor) with Felis (B742) and FlyJSim (Q4XP) leading the pack and a big update to Colimata's Concorde FXP. So as noted I was quite fearful coming into 2022 and that aspect came to pass.


New developer AD Simulations released both a CRJ700, then the larger CRJ 900 a few months later, both very good, but newbie under-developed and required the services of DeltaWing to get them both up to scratch, this was a common theme thoughout the year, with good new talented developers coming into the X-Plane Simulator which is very good thing, but still on the steep learning curve. Another annoying aspect of this was releasing the aircraft in very under-developed states. All these developers are extremely good, but ticking off the i's and t's can give you a good reception or a poor reception to the marketplace, thankfully they were very good at quickly following up the fixes, but doing serious fixes for months in the open market is not overall a good look.


The biggest most anticipated release of the year 2022 came in March with Rotate's massive McDonnell Douglas MD-11. My first flight in this extremely complex aircraft was "oh my God". And it's complexity nearly did it in early. But once all the noise died down and with a few updates later, most saw through the pain and realised it for what it actually was, or is a masterpiece, or the best release of the year.


Although a late 2021 release, I finally was able to review Colimata's Concorde FXP in v2 guise, again a very complex (but hugely rewarding) aircraft to fly, but after the MD-11 it brought up the question of how to cope with these ultra complex aircraft and their systems (I still have nightmares about the Felis B742), brilliant in one aspect, but overwhelming in almost every other. 


FlightFactor resurfaced in July with another variant of the Boeing 767, this time it was the -400ER version, I totally loved this larger B767, it works in every area. One other new heavy release was part of Laminar's X-Plane 12 fleet, with an excellent A330-300, but it didn't have the promised Airbus MCDU, but still the basic default FMS. As that aspect is (still) coming and hopefully very soon but not even with X-Plane 12 Final. All other default heavies including; B738, MD-82 were also significantly updated.


But with that it put releases for heavies done for the year, the worst I can remember.


Thankfully a star developer of the year was ToLiSS, with consistent (and clever) updates to the A346, A319 and A321, their extraordinary feature of excellent aircraft condition saves, was for me the absolute tool of the year.

Magknight (B787, weak) and SSG (B748, strong) did a few updates throughout the year, and all the important updates came along after the X-Plane 12 release for compatibility, but that was about it for major metal.


General Aviation

After a very quiet 2021, General Aviation was a little bit brighter in 22. Mostly the main difference was coming from Thranda Design, now moving away from pure utility aircraft to GA Cessna's. First was the excellent Cessna 208 Grand Caravan in April, then they followed that up with the Cessna U206G Stationair in September, then to finish the year on a high came the announcement of the sensational 337F SkyMaster, the 208 and U206G also came with Amphibian/Floats variants. Their strong ex-association with Carenado, would mean far more in this vein to come in 2023.


Although a late 21 release, the C172SP NG DIGITAL by AirfoilLabs was simply sensational in it's X-Plane 12 conversion. No new releases from vFlyteAir in 22, but their excellent PA28R Arrows G5-E1000 had a lot of attention with major updates in Jan, Mar and June, but to date no X-Plane 12 version, but I expect that version to come in very early Jan 23.


Aerobask had a busy year. First there was the Diamond DA50RG, then the twin Diamond DA-62, and a major update to the ViperJet eX. All currently are X-Plane 12 compatible. The Dassault Aviation Falcon 8X from Aerobask was still not released again in 22, but will now be with certainty an X-Plane 12 aircraft, I have simply given up on a release date with the consistently delayed 8X...  Okay sometime Q1 2023, if not then Q2.

Aerosphere could be classed as a "Classic Style" developer, but two releases this year were very good, in the PA-28-180 Cherokee C and the PA-28-235 Charger / Cherokee 235.


The Cessna Citation 560XL by AirSim3d was another Citation Jet, very good, sadly being only released in X-Plane 11 and that aspect it clipped it's wings a little, but one to checkout and love in X-Plane 12, as I found it a great aircraft to fly and it very quickly became a favorite.

2022 also finally gave us a decent Gulfstream in the Gulfstream 550 by AKD Studio's. Like AirSim3d, AKD are both newbie's to aircraft development, both are very to brilliantly good, but still in missing the finesse that comes with extensive experience, but both well worth watching in the future.


The "Hotstart" Challenger 650 was a notable release in 2023, but at AUS $171.30 Australian Dollars (US$116), it is in silly money territory, certainly way, way out of my budget, and them some.


SimSolutions had two releases, the AMD Alarus CH2000 and the Diamond DA40NG XP12, both very capable aircraft. vSkyLabs had three aircraft on cycle in 2022. The Maule M-7-235B Project XP12 (The first X-Plane 12 aircraft released), the Rutan Model-158 Project that was updated for X-Plane 12, and another X-Plane 12 aircraft with the Aeroprakt A22-LS Project XP12.


Notable were the default fleet aircraft for X-Plane 12. All aircraft received significant upgrades for the new simulator version including the: Cessna 172 SP, King Air C90B, Cirrus Vision SR22, Super Cub, L-5 Sentinal, ASK 21 and Aerolite 103. New entrants included the excellent Citation X, Van RV-10 and the sensational BETA Tech ALIA-250 EVA (Electrical Vertical Aircraft) aircraft released in Beta 8.


Classic Aircraft

Virtavia dominated Classic Aircraft releases in 2022. Both then were upgraded old modeling only (no texture) aircraft in the Handley Page Hampden and the Short Stirling Mk1-4, but both aircraft were highly likable and fun. The Piper J3 Cub by SimSolutions was well done, but a real pain to fly without Rudder Pedals, it put me off taildraggers for life. Late 2022 was the release of C-47 conversions; The DC-3 Airliner and the coming TT-3 Turbine conversion and all for X-Plane 12.


Worrying for Classic's is the departure of classic developers like Flying Iron to MSFS, will they come back to X-Plane? and the much desired Vickers VC10 conversion to X-Plane project by JustFlight was abandoned.



The Lockheed Martin F22A Raptor from AOA had a big update in July, and AOA also released the T6A Texan II in November (X-Plane 11 only), a X-Plane 12 version of this aircraft will be very nice. vSkyLabs also released the abstract F-19 Stealth Fighter, a service design that was never to be past the prototype flying stage, but you can still fly it in X-Plane 12.



Helicopter releases were huge and plentiful in 2021, and that wasn't expected to continue into 2022...  and it didn't. We started the year with the Bell 47G-2A1 by FlyInside, a great solid design, but only a modeling version of the famous bubble cockpit. CowanSim had two releases this year with the 206L LongRanger, and the excellent but extremely difficult to fly CowanSim H125 (AS350 B3e). The update to X-Plane 12 of the SA 315B Lama by Philip Ubben and Khamsin Studio showed what to expect in the future in X-Plane 12 Helicopters, I'll give you a hint, it's going to be brilliant.



The report at the end of 2021 for X-Plane Scenery was not good, so it could only get worse, and it did. Notably is the loss or migration of flocks of scenery developers to MSFS, they are simply piling them out over there, too many, and all at a very low cost.


Nobody knew if X-Plane 12 would actually change the landscape (no pun intended), it didn't, but nobody cared anyway. But a late release during X-Plane RC5 meant a revamp of existing scenery tiles noted as v2.1.1 Scenery Update does change your very old (decade old actually) tiles for a fresher set to incorporate X-Plane 12 elements. But you have to totally re-download the full 54.6 Gb of scenery to update.


More annoyingly about this scenario is that with the new X-Plane 12 lighting, as any 3d scenery looks brilliant in the new simulator, also the added seasonal effects are sensational as well, so you just hang your head.

A few noises in that some developers are creating both platform scenery MSFS/XP12, but will we or would we buy it? We are so adverse to it, in they simply won't care about X-Plane now at all, as the developers are very vocal in telling us so...  so it is a very odd situation, they sell below the price rate in MSFS (or simply give it away), but don't care about us either? Doesn't look like a great business model to me. 


So 2023 will be a very decisive year for X-Plane Scenery. Either with X-Plane 12 now released, developers will come back with their wares, or the migration to MSFS will continue. The horrible thought here is that the market for good quality scenery, and huge scope of it to compete with MSFS...   is wide open, more so in that by default MSFS already delivers most of it by default...  you can see the problem.


But in all the gloom there was some very good bright spots. Nimbus finally delivered a big delayed scenery in March, KIAD - Washington Dulles, one I love, but it's very (extremely) heavy on your framerates?


One scenery developer I labeled in 2021,


"Worst of the year : Any Taimodels airport sceneries, a lot of ambition but absolutely no talent.", but what happened in 2022!


Four extensive sceneries were released by TaiModels with; YSSY - Sydney International Airport in May, OMDB – Dubai International Airport in July and the first scenery released for X-Plane 12 in OOMS - Muscat International in October. But there was more...  as EGLL Heathrow, the biggest and largest scenery yet from TaiModels was released a week before Christmas 22. More shocking is that they were all very, very good. Quite brilliant in their cores, but most still weak on the boundaries...  they were however a huge step forward and a most wanted collection of all four. A side note for TaiModels was the update of their earlier LFPG - Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport to X-Plane 12 in that it was glorious, shockingly good, and as mentioned if showed on how well or how good X-Plane 12 is for scenery, or could be.


Globall Art released SBGR São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport in June, so I added in the full monty with the São Paulo Mega Scenery package of three airports, well worth checking out. Another big package was the Genova COMPLETE 5 by Grifo Creations.


Basically Aerosoft were quiet in 2022, but the one airport released was the excellent DGAA - Accra XP, in Ghana, exotic and worth your while.


We expected it to be good, but KSFO - San Francisco Airport Definitive by ShortFinal Design was simply outstanding in August, head and shoulders above anything else, this year and even past years. Big, complex with clever lighting effects it had it all.


A new developer called Airwil Sceneries gave us three Philippines based sceneries with Davao International Airport, RPVE - Boracay Caticlan Airport and RPSP - Bohol Panglao International Airport, all nice to explore.


NorthernSky Studio's were quite busy with very small but very highly detailed regional airports in Hawaii and Alaska. PHNY - Lanai Airport, Hawaii, PAWD - Seward Airport, AlaskaPATK Talkeetna Airport, Alaska. Another Alaskan scenery was PACV - Merle K Smith - Cordova, Alaska in X-Plane 12 from DC Sceneries. Notable is that NorthernSky has moved on to MSFS, hopefully not permanently.


Helsinki Metropolitan Area v3 by FA Simulations gave you another nice city skyline, and a welcome (for me) destination of LROP - Bucharest Otopeni International Airport by Chudoba Designs was also in X-Plane 12 guise. But in areas LROP was a slight disappointment in being so under developed.


One scenery not covered by X-PlaneReviews but very well worth checking out was YBBN-Brisbane by Orbx, my local airport is a sensational scenery, and in X-Plane 12 guise as well, yes we would like more of this please Orbx. lastly to round off the year, FlyTampa released Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (EHAM) and for X-Plane 11/12. The first or the last scenery for X-Plane 12, as the big boys are not looking our way anymore.


It is not a new scenery, Alps UHD XP12 by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini was an extended and a repackage of four previously released Alpine scenery packages for X-Plane 12, so it's sort of new, but excellent


As noted, 2023 will be a very important year for scenery with X-Plane 12 being Final. I will say that a lot of the scenery going into MSFS is still old stock (highly upgraded), and even a lot of ex-X-Plane stock. Going forward, hopefully, and scenery released will be cross-platform, as we noted with Orbx and FlyTampa, we will see.



I will state upfront that I am not a huge plugin connoisseur, so I only run what I call essential plugins in my simulator, running the VRAM profiler (Menu/Developer) can give you the horrors of how much these little monstrous tools can gobble up your framerate and their overall efficiency, I took to taking out as many of these laggards as possible. Again as a rule Plugins were also quiet in 2022, but the simulator's hatus in waiting for X-Plane 12 was the biggest cause this time around.


Classic Jet Simulations (Now called "Ascend Tech Simulations") released another banner v3.5 update to the WorldTraffic 3 Plugin in April (a XP12 compatibility release was also done). Traffic Global had several updates (again upgraded later to XP12) throughout the year and more aircraft were added. 


Both XPRealistic and WebFMC Pro both went X-Plane 12 compatible. xEnviro released v1.17, but for X-Plane 11 only. they noted that they couldn't do X-Plane 12 development because Laminar wouldn't help them, but an announcement at the start of the RC release cycle noted that Laminar will now give limited 3rd Parties access to the environmental model, so maybe that will change the situation in 23. Dark Space (xEnviro) have also released a version for MSFS, but with the average development in X-Plane over years I can't see it as being any better than the current X-Plane situation, and the high price remains.


One tool I did like was ProCam XP by Aerosoft, a viewpoint tool, tricky to learn and not as flexible (or as complex) as say X-Camera. It fills in a niche for users that want a simplistic tool over a complicated one to get good views and saved views, it was a lot of fun to use.


After purchasing SimBrief in 2021. Navigraph did a complete and total overhaul of their main product to Navigraph 8, plus a price increase. But the extra cost is well worth this now very expansive Navigation tool. New features include; Worldwide VFR Charts, Drag and Drop Route Construction, Seamless Zoom, 3D Globe Projection, Autopinning of Procedure Charts, Airport Crosswind and Weather Information and Vector Charts... its very impressive.



Not only in 2022 did we have expansive simulator changes, but X-PlaneReviews has also had a very revolutionary year. With the coming X-Plane 12 revolution, we had to think hard about hardware updates.

If we wanted to get the best out of the new simulator version, then an (expensive) upgrade was required. I documented my journey, which was interesting, and hopefully helpful if you are faced with the same investment, notably I still will need a newer Graphic Card in 2023, but overall the foresight to upgrade was a very worthy one.

Another part of the journey was also replacing my decade old iMac (2009) with a Mac Mini (M1). A forced update because of an old computer trying to run new software (Photoshop), when suddenly and abruptly Abobe made my machine obsolete. Obviously it totally blew my carefully created budget, but the final result was a total revamp of all my systems... it sort of summed up the year.


X-PlaneReviews also took on a fresh look in new reviewers, six in fact. Most of the new reviewers in Dominic, Felicity, Stuart, Nick, LPNils and Joshua came over from the old FlightSim site with a few from Jude as well, so that gave our XPR site a much more varied look and feel, plus we can do far more reviews, so a big win, win. And finally we added in a new banner (header) system for more review details...   it was a big year for changes, and overall for a far better site going into 2023.



It gets hard to predict a new coming year, so you go for your gut and in 2022 it was unfortunately pretty spot on. It was a major transition year and a slow one at that, as the slow release (delay) of X-Plane 12 really didn't help the simulator, but you can't right off 2022 completely.


Were now done with X-Plane 12 going Final, so we can now get back in 2023 and to do some serious flying, it also means that the heavy full table is now done for Laminar Research as noted.


How do I feel...  It's a big question isn't it and a marked one for the X-Plane Simulator as a whole. It was easy going into 2022, but going into 2023 not so much. The huge positive is X-Plane 12, it's brilliant really, better than anything Laminar Research have ever done, their proud of it, and we love it. But how much ground has X-Plane lost in getting it all to the table, to be honest here.


Momentum is my most favorite word (after Critical Mass). It's an important word here in relating to X-Plane 12 in 2023. As the simulator will need momentum and a lot of it. X-Plane certainly has a lot of aircraft waiting to be released (Upgraded), including two mega aircraft in the Boeing 777 and 787 from FlightFactor, and Thranda have noted they have also have created a substantial list, The Falcon 8x is also well past it's due date. And almost every developer will need to update their aircraft or products to X-Plane 12. It's going to be a very, very busy Q1, even a Q2 of 2023.


But that word momentum is critical here, X-Plane needs to build and build quickly, and with a whole new batch of developers and users. we need a lot of both, needed to break away from the niche and embrace the mass audience out there. Those that will sample MSFS, should also try out X-Plane. As the niche is now currently too small, worse it could relegate X-Plane to just a few. Many would like/love that promise, but it comes with a deadly caveat as the serious interest will go elsewhere, and in the end the simulator will simply dry up. Dramatic, maybe, but X-Plane needs the momentum and a lot of it to go far more the other way in 2023.


Laminar Research knows this. They are hiring, mostly in Public Relations or to run the X-Plane site, not coders or content developers (well two), but mostly in expanding the simulator out to a wider audience. Personally it's about time.


Again this review site cannot function without all the great and exciting work by the tireless developers that give us all this exciting and incredible product to fly and use, as they and X-Plane has come a long way and created leaps in quality and complexity in the last few years, and to a point I was very proud of the work they have produced, it is world class if not the very best in simulation product ever produced, and they are all top notch and very clever. To the X-Plane.OrgStore who supports this site with review products, service and updates, a really big thanks, this site just would just not function without that outstanding support.



We will finish off with X-PlaneReviews famous best of the year awards…   So I will now list my Best of the Year 2022🏅

(note the awards are given to only products I have seen and tested and the only ones I can vouch for)


Overall Best of the Year : KSFO - San Francisco Airport Definitive by ShortFinal Design 🏅 🏅🏅


Best Aircraft McDonnell Douglas MD-11 by Rotate.🏅
Complex and a total brute of a machine to fly, everything a great simulation should be
Honorable Mention : Boeing 767-400 by FlightFactor, a great variant of a great aircraft


Best General Aviation Aircraft : Cessna Caravan 208 and Cessna U206G by Thranda Design 🏅

Not one but two winners in this category, but both from the same developer. Innovative with buckets loads of clever ideas and waterbourne features, nobody else really came close.
Honorable Mentions : Both Aerobask DA50RG and DA62 are exceptional quality, great to fly as well.


Best Classic Aircraft : This category was poor this year, and the much desired Vickers VC10 conversion loss killed it completely.

Honorable Mention :  Concorde FXP by Colimata is excellent and highly complex, the X-Plane 12 version should be off the planet.


Best Business Aircraft : Cessna Citation 560XL by AirSim3d

It's a winner by default as in being for X-Plane 11 only, but will be totally brilliant when in X-Plane 12.

Honorable Mention : Gulfstream 550 by AKD Studio's, great potential, but still really in development. Hotstart Challenger 650, too expensive.


Best Military  T6A Texan II 🏅

Not the absolute best for the category, but reviewers loved the Texan and note it will be very good in X-Plane 12.


Best HelicopterAérospatiale SA 315B XP12 Lama by Philip Ubben and Khamsin Studio 🏅

It nearly won in 2021, but in it's revised X-Plane 12 guise it is simply sensational.

Honorable Mentions : Bell 47G-2A1 by FlyInside. It is very good, excellent to fly, but by only being modeled (but well done) and no textures the 47G just doesn't quite live up to the quality required today.


Best Landscape Scenery : Alps UHD XP12 🏅
Their back, and with a revamped Alpine package by Dainese and Bellini, Briliant as usual, this time with X-Plane 12 effects.

Honorable Mention : Helsinki Metropolitan Area v3 by FA Simulations, X-Plane desperately needs more city scenery.


Best Airport SceneryKSFO - San Francisco Airport Definitive by ShortFinal Design 🏅🏅🏅
A scenery the "best of the year"? yes absolutely, it is a mega scenery and by a genius.

Honorable Mention : It has to go to Taimodels airport sceneries for being the most improved for YSSY, OMDB, OOMS and even EGLL, but Orbx YBBN and FlyTampa EHAM are brilliant (if expensive) X-Plane 12 filler releases.


Best Plugin(s) : Navigraph 8 🏅

They asked for more money, but you got a brilliant new concept in return, essential.

Special Mention(s) : None really, with no exceptional ideas released.


Person(s) of the Year : Ben Supnic and the X-Plane coder team

How the guy does it I just don't know. A magician that consistently just pulls rabbits out of the hat, not seen at all much this year, but the work is all there to see in X-Plane 12, no Ben Supnic, no X-Plane, simple as that, also less Austin would be a better thing all round.


Best Moment of the year 2022 : Obvious, 6th September 2022 and the X-Plane 12 release, then relief as it was far, far better than expected...  then came the beta.


Worst Moment(s) of the Year 2022 : Austin Meyer's was up there again with his antics, but the INI-Builds, and Asobo debacle left a bad taste in my mouth, personally my Adobe software lockout?

Biggest distractions of 2022 : ...  Updates, and more updates...  more updates!


Biggest overall feeling of 2022 : Under developed aircraft...  released far to soon, with the development being made in public and in not using beta testers anymore, new developers need to lift their game if they want our money.


Personal Favorites of 2022 : Any ToLiSS (the save system allows ultimate flexibility), Q4XP (Dash) brilliant, FlightFactor A320U, good but badly needs updating, Rotate MD-80 still awesome, Thranda C206G, IXEG 737 Classic (until X-Plane 12 put it in the hangar). Notable is I really love the Rotate MD-11, Colimata Concorde and the Felis Boeing 742, but their high complexity (mostly in setting up the aircraft) limits flying time.


Routes...   Copenhagen, Copenhagen and Copenhagen, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Edinburgh, Vienna, Brussels, Barcelona, Roma, Helsinki, Oslo, Munich, Tel Aviv, London Heathrow and Dulles. Notable is that with the newer scenery, Brisbane, Amsterdam will come on-line in 2023.


That is X-PlaneReviews for 2022, and we will be back after a very much needed recovery and the review site returns again early into the New Year on the 4th January 2023.


So Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year 2023


Stephen Dutton

19th December 2022

Copyright:X-PlaneReviews 2022


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I like X-Plane, the company behind it, the high quality add-ons, the community and XPlanereviews. Your analysis is unbiased and correct in my opinion, and that‘s the scarry part. If Lamminar does not come up with a better overal scenery, X-Plane will keep on bleeding users to MSFS2020, especially this year, as more and more complex aircraft will hit the market.


I also fear that X-Plane is well on it‘s way to get back into it‘s niche it once was. The Mac and Linux Users have no serious alternative, so they will stay. I think also that a lot of people who like complex airliners will still feel attracted to X-Plane. But most of the people are visual beings, and in this regards X-Plane has lost the battle. Maybe they should strike a deal with Google, in order to get access to their wonderful Google Earth satellite imagery, letting users the choice between stock scenery and Google Earth streaming. I hope they will make it somehow.

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I just downloaded, installed and tried X-Plane 12. I have to say that I quite like it, the visual engine has had a nice upgrade and performance wise I'm also quite happy with the fluid experience I got. My PC has a i7 9700k and a RTX 2080, so not new and fancy. I waited so long because I was reading many complaints about performance of former X-Plane 11 users who have made the switch, but I'm positively surprised.


If MSFS2020 would not exist, I think we would all be very happy with this new version, which is an upgrade in many regards, compared to the already good X-Plane 11. The scenery and the clouds could be better, but I like the atmopheric haze very much, it's quite realistic. The flight dynamics are as always real a pleasure, and I'm saying this as a former licensed private pilote. 

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