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Aircraft Update Review : McDonnell Douglas MD-11 v1.07 by Rotate


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Aircraft Update Review : McDonnell Douglas MD-11 v1.07 by Rotate


Nearly one year ago in March 2022, Rotate released their second major aircraft release after their well renowned McDonnell Douglas MD-80. This was the most anticipated release of the year, four years in development, and even by X-Plane standards that is a long time.


With such extreme expectations the release of the McDonnell Douglas MD-11, the iconic Tri-Jet was always going to be controversial. My first flights on the beta aircraft confirmed the worst, it was an extremely complicated machine, as the design straddled the era between the earlier 1970's analog dial, to the current glass computerised cockpits we fly today. The flight profiles were extremely complicated, as was the aircraft's management systems, it made a "Study" aircraft more like a university degree, and it took me a few weeks to work it all out, worse was that many users became fixated on the last quality MD-11 that was released for Flight Simulator a decade before, very good in it's time, but not relevant to the Rotate MD-11. basically though, for anyone one not prolific in heavy aircraft systems and new to flying heavies, the Rotate MD-11 was always going to be a mountain to climb.


For a comprehensive look at the aircraft, here is the X-PlaneReviews review of the release; Aircraft Review : McDonnell Douglas MD-11 by Rotate


Yes there were a lot of bugs in the MD-11 original release. From updates v1.0 to v1.04 the lists were endless...  but by the time the Skunkcrafts Updater was added in September 2022 (beta access was also introduced). The focus on updates then went to X-Plane 12, just released in the same September...  Basically then the last two up dates with v1.05 (October) and v1.06 (December) and both were focused on X-Plane 12.


This brings us to v1.07 (beta) currently, and this version can only be accessed via the beta channel in the Skunkcrafts updater. Note that both the "updater.cfg files, the main cfg one and the "_beta" one as well, are both required to update to v1.07.


v1.07 is in reality the X-Plane 12 release of the Rotate MD-11 aircraft. It is now fully compatible with X-Plane 12. And a lot of the detail in v1.07 is related to that aspect.


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In updates, oddly it is sometimes the smallest annoyances that you want fixed...  this annoyance was a blinder, in betterpushback.


Set the aircraft up for flight, that is twenty minutes of your life, then do the betterpushback...  and suddenly the aircraft went into a violent circular spin, burning out the front tyres in doing so. To get out of the drama you had to reset the aircraft, but you lost your perfect setup. As expected I hated it.

Now it has been fixed in v1.07 and your set up is kept intact, including your tyres. But currently it all now works, but the front wheels now don't turn but the aircraft does (Now fixed for the update!, if the aircraft still does this, then you have the wrong update). When loading the MD-11 won't beg up on it's tail anymore either, but stay level and flat, this weird X-Plane 12 bug seems to affect a lot of heavy aircraft.


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On the pushback I was very impressed with the rain effects. With X-Plane 12 you get a conversion of the old Librain plugin, most developers don't adjust the effects, but the swishing and pushing of the rain on the window by the wipers here was very effective, a small detail but an important one from Rotate.


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If you love heavies, then this MD-11 is a large aircraft that defines the category. Chunky, massive to taxi. Notable is the excellent wing detail, forward leading edge spoilers and the complex flap system...  It took four years to create, so revel in the work.


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My initial flight in the "Diva" was back in X-Plane 11. This release is certifies the aircraft in X-Plane 12, honestly the biggest plus+feature here is the MD-11 in the new X-Plane 12 version, it is glorious to look at. Notable you do get a few anti-aliasing marks along the leading edges and the cockpit instrument surrounds and the textures here are extreme quality 4K. So until X-Plane 12 is adjusted to the cope with excessive texture sizes, then they will show more anti-aliasing jaggies here than many other aircraft, retuned, it is going to be very, very good.


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One thing you will notice straight away is the XP12 MD-11 is far less dirty...  Rotate has reduced the dirty engine smoke effect, which I wish they hadn't as the dirt represents the period past, I never saw the MD-11 as clean aircraft, so it feels far too clean now.


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Wingflex has also been adjusted to be more realistic, an interesting point when you can step back from the initial development, then you can fine tune these more specific areas.


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Landing gear bogies have also had the same refined attention. The outer mains have had their tilt reduced, to only a slight tilt, not as dramatic, but more realistic to the real MD-11...  just check out the videos. Center landing gear geometry has also been fine-tuned.


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Over the year, there has been a lot of bug fixes and adjustments to the FMS, noted as the Operative Flight Management Computer.


It is a very good FMS system, very deep and detailed, it has also had a lot of attention over the past year and here again with v1.07.


SID/STAR procedures LNAV display and guidance have had attention, as has again (and again) the focus is on LNAV trajectory calculations. Users had a fixation of the aircraft's projected curves at a waypoint turn, obsessive even. Personally I never saw this aspect on the MAP display or with the actual maneuver in flight...  but still they go mad on about it?


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More items include VNAV flight path calculations and guidance, and now you have an Implemented flight path interception after early descent command. There are also Improved deceleration distance calculations and better deceleration distance calculations. And there was also a bug now fixed on the AIRWAYS page.


X-Plane 12 differences include; CG Calculation and a new GO AROUND page on the FMS. This feature can only be accessed when the TO/APPR is in APPROACH mode (or close to the arrival airport). The K6R key gives you access to the GO-AROUND approach page...


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...  this page will give you the GO-AROUND mode settings and parameters, a nice new detail. Included now also are slope/wind FMC fields in Situations presets.


Finally ILS selection is now by frequency in NAV/RAD page. This one is interesting as the selection of ILS selections can be quite large, and you need the ILS Designator code to find it, sometimes it is easier to set the ILS code closer to the arrival airport as it moves closer to the top of the list


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There is better throttle and reverser hardware configuration, which is now more user friendly. A lot of addons didn't reflect the aircraft, and a lot of work has gone in to making sure the interaction is now more easier, and there is now support for better throttle beta/reverse axis configuration.

In the same sphere, the brake commands and toe-brakes will now work together. But you still can't unlock the parking brake from a default command, a small annoyance, but you will get used to it...  also there is the ghosting on the throttles in AUTO-THROTTLE mode, which I find annoying, and there is no selection to turn it off? However keeping your addon throttles at the full MAX position will keep them to a minimum.


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Now that X-Plane 12 (slightly) more mature, the developers can try to get the lighting more realistic. When a pro developer gets it right, then you see the ambition of X-Plane 12's lighting effects. Here it is excellent. Thankfully adjustment is very easy via the twin OHD panel knobs and the single instrument panel knobs, there is also the side (Briefcase) pilots seating lights and the usual STORM (THNDSTRM) and DOME lighting. 


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Low reflection TakeOff and Landing adjustments are excellent, for a good external view. But the rear cabin/rest area is still completely dark? A needed function as you do a lot of overnight flying in this intercontinental MD-11. I'd like a working toilet as well if possible?


Externally it is very good as well, as the lighting is nicely defined... no landing or taxi lighting in the wings on a MD-11, as they are positioned on the fuselage. Navigation, Strobe (HI-INT), Wing & Runway Turnoff and LOGO are all (really) well done.


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The first update to configure the MD-11 when X-Plane 12 was released, also created probably the worst blackhole aircraft in X-Plane, it was a total blackout in here. Now it is a very nice space to be in. Controversial is the effect of the change of lighting, from the darker front screen view to the "look down", brighter cockpit view. Myself I love it, it works and it feels very natural. You spend a lot of flying hours in here, and you don't want it to grate on your nerves, for me as a well confessed "Hauler", the Rotate MD-11 is probably currently the best Long Haul Freighter you can fly in X-Plane.


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Note the sharp light silhouettes, the lines are clean and no (if very fine) jaggies. So the cockpit environment is now excellent, yes i'm impressed.


There has not been a lot of changes around the instruments. However there are few to mention. The  Flight Mode Annunciator (FMA) has had the FMA modes adjusted during descent and approach. The navaids auto-tuning system had a few issues that have been fixed. Heading Bug indicator in LOC mode and ARC commands have also both been fixed. The TCAS symbol is now within the the confines of the ND as is finally the ND aircraft icon during TRK mode is now correctly visible.


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As i mentioned earlier, the real star of this release is X-Plane 12. You take the two elements of a far more featured Simulator, then add in a sensationally developed aircraft and you get the serious wow factor. In a way this combination shows you the future of X-Plane in both a complex aircraft and a very good simulator environment. Flying from one end of the Mediterranean Sea and back to the other, it was a sensational simulation, I have never in a long time been so enthusiastic in my flying. All I wanted to do was to do it again....  maybe again after that, as this combo really delivers.


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Look out of your windows at the glorious scenario... the towering cloud formations!


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This is not X-Plane 11 bland anymore, this is X-Plane 12 spectacular. Admittedly X-Plane 12 is not yet perfect, but the dream is happening, and the future is now here...  Fly the Rotate McDonnell Douglas MD-11 in X-Plane 12 and live the dream...  I did.




Released just under a year ago in March 2022. The Rotate McDonnell Douglas MD-11 was a complex and buggy aircraft. With a year of numerous updates from v1.0 to v1.06, here is the official update in v1.07 to X-Plane 12.


Overall this v1.07 update is just another long bug and fix update. There is nothing here in real new features or details, although the GO-AROUND mode page is new. Everything else here is X-Plane 12 refined, from the details to the internal and external lighting, various FMC refinements as is also the PFD and ND/MAP display bugs and fixes, the full effect of both the refinements and the use of X-Plane 12 cannot be underestimated here, it is spectacular outcome, one very much worth experiencing. And thankfully the betterpushback atrocity has also been fixed, it won't destroy your aircraft anymore!


A few points are more wishes...  Key input to open the menu. Wanting to load, then unload the same cargo at the other end would be nice (Cargo disappears when the doors close?), upgraded rear cabin area with toilet and lighting... some users ask for the passenger MD-11 version, personally I'm not fussed. VR (Virtual Reality) still needs a few areas addressing.


Reading through this update review, you are going to think if purchasing the aircraft if it is just too far in it's complexity. I'm not going to waver from the fact that this is noted as a "Study" aircraft, yes you need a skills and heavy aircraft skills to fly it. But once you understand the systems and preferences, it is a brilliant aircraft to fly, so it is well worth investing your time to learn and master the MD-11. The refinement now coming into the aircraft actually makes it easier to fly, because the aircraft does what you want it to do, and does it well, I think the MD-11 has hit a mature level with all the work put in, I rarely had any issues...  understand the MD-11 and enjoy the immense rewards the aircraft delivers...  the best aircraft in X-Plane 12 at the moment? That aspect is always debatable, But Rotates MD-11 is certainly currently my best simulation aircraft, addictive and rewarding.



X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


Yes! the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 v1.07 by Rotate is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

Rotate MD-11

Price is US$83.95


The feature list is HUGE, so if you want to read it, then open the text file.

Feature List.txt


X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11
Windows 8 or  Mac OSX 10.12 or newer (using Rosetta for ARM Processors) , Linux Ubuntu 64b 18.04 or newer
4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM recommended
Current version: 1.07 (March 5th 2023)
Currently the v1.07 update is only available for download using the Skunkworks Updater, the "beta" selection also needed to be selected.


Designed by Rotate
Support Forum at X-Plane.org or http://support.rotatesim.com/


Full v1.07 changelog is here;

MD 11 v1.07 Changelog.txt



Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton

10th March 2023

Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews


Review System Specifications: 

Windows  - 12th Gen IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU - 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 - Samsung 970 EVO+ 2TB SSD

Software:   - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane Version 12.04r3 (This is a beta review).

Plugins: JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99

Scenery or Aircraft

- LIRF - Airport Rome XP  by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$25.99

- LLBG - Airport Ben Gurion XP by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.99 - Full review availble here: Scenery Review : LLBG - Airport Ben Gurion XP by Aerosoft


(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) All Rights Reserved


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