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X-Plane Version Release! X-Plane11.10 beta by Laminar Research

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X-Plane Version Release! : X-Plane11.10 beta by Laminar Research

 

Laminar research have released the first step upgrade beta (1 and now 2) for X-Plane11 in v11.10. As a note beta versions are buggy, that is why they are called betas and not a full release. That said my first viewing was extremely positive in that framerate (the devil's work) is certainly improved and by my numbers by around 10% to 15%... for a beta this is one very smooth running simulator.

 

Impressed, yes very impressed...

 

v11.10 is a very significant upgrade, the first after the initial release of X-Plane11, so a lot of what should have been part of the formal release that required a bit more work or just didn't make the earlier cut to be in X-Plane11 is going to be in here. So the best way to look at this release is that it is the follow up and refined version of X-Plane11 which will be completed when this beta run has run its course. Any newer beta versions after this one will focus more on new features and mainly on the VR (Virtual Reality) aspect.

 

Besides the banner features in here, there is I notice a few really nice little touches and positive changes (from my point of view in flying).

 

Garmin G1000 GPS

The biggie of course is Philipp Münzel's (strangely now he is also noted as Phillipp Ringlar?) as Garmin's G1000 dual screen GPS system. One thing you can say about Phillipp is that that he is a brilliant programmer and this G1000 was always going to be very good, and it is. But do note that X-Plane default GPS systems always side on the point of being a little basic, but highly efficient and fast...  and so that is case here.

 

X-Plane11.10 beta G1000_1.jpgX-Plane11.10 beta G1000_2.jpg

 

On the primary or left display it has all the main G1000 layouts correct with the artificial horizon dominating the screen with the heading rose/course with built in DME VOR 1& 2 pointers and the two Speed and Altitude tapes with bank and pitch displays top with the radio settings. there are no deep G1000 features (mostly usually buried in the menus) here as you would expect, but it is very functional and easy to use and nice on the eyes.

 

X-Plane11.10 beta G1000_3 LG.jpg

 

The second Map/Nav display is however really good. There is the standard engine performance strip to the left of the right hand screen, but the rest of the display is taken up with the map and navigation layout. It is a copy of the local map inserted into the G1000, but that is more a huge advantage than a drawback. You can DCLTR (De-Clutter) to clear out the layered items and set the map to either Standard or Topo. Map Tracking or North UP is available via the menu and both are good, but the Map Tracking were as the map rotates as you turn the aircraft's heading is simply beautiful and smooth, and a long way from the usual draggy stop - start rotation you usually get, it doesn't go off map either, so you don't get those nasty white out box spaces that marks out the currently loaded scenery tile.

 

But it is in the map's zoom resolution that it is...  well a revolution!

 

X-Plane11.10 beta G1000_4.jpgX-Plane11.10 beta G1000_5.jpg

 

Under 15nm range you get the runway layout defined (above left), under 3nm you then get the airport's layout defined (above right)...  but it doesn't end there...

 

...   under 1.5nm you can easily navigate around the taxiways or find your runway...   and still at 2000ft you can easily navigate around the map!

 

X-Plane11.10 beta G1000_6.jpgX-Plane11.10 beta G1000_7.jpg

 

Spectacular it is and how long before it is duplicated in other aircraft is going to be not very long. The default Cirrus SF-50 also has the G1000 installed.

 

Aircraft Dynamics
The C172SP has had  a lot of development for X-Plane11 with FMOD sounds as part of the release version. But there has been a huge amount of dynamic work done to the aircraft's (and all aircraft, but mostly with GA's)  flight model. Austin Meyer has been hitting the numbers in many areas that including a completely asymmetrical new airfoil format for Reynolds numbers to save foil data for the right Reynolds data numbers and then attach them to the “Lo Re” and “Hi Re” slots for prop or wing areas.

 

There is also better propwash direction, which is important for propeller-powered VTOLs that tilt their thrust vectors around, and helicopters that might cast downwash onto their horizontal stabs. There is more tuning of the propwash (and thus hover power requirement) and vortex rings state and effective translational lift based on momentum conservation and actual helicopter performance data. In other words it makes helicopter downwash more realistic and have easier to control in those very critical areas when you are close to the ground.

 

Also new is the flap and leading-edge flap and slat extend and retract times, all of which can be different, and also the flap speed ratio when retracted, so the flaps can move slower near the smaller deployment angles, and faster at the larger angles, as real flap systems realistically do. Rudder, elevator, and aileron trim now only moves the control surface when you have some airspeed over the control surface to really move it.

 

Flight dynamics have also new vector and not trig based geometry for all the lift and drag vectors. To see this in action then pull major G in an wing-flex aircraft at high speeds and now…  the lift vectors will now all bend around with the wing. Also refined is the down-wash model off wings in the ground effect mode.

 

One area that has drove us simply bonkers is the poor ground traction on either takeoff or landing...  in other words you simply weave badly down the runway in taking off or in the hardest area of landing in a just simple straight line without toppling from one set of wheels to the other. And I can confirm this now works and very well...

 

X-Plane11.10 beta Landing 1.jpgX-Plane11.10 beta Landing 2.jpg

 

....    you still have to account for natural forces like asymmetrical thrust and wind, but otherwise stability and tracking is thankfully a huge improvement.

 

The full effects of all this development on the C172SP is that it is now a very different aircraft than it was even a few years ago. Overall it is still a basic design and focused on mostly new pilots to the simulator, but you feel the better dynamics and the huge improvements the aircraft has been through. Certainly all these dynamics are flowing through to mostly all of the aircraft in X-Plane and that will certainly keep the simulator at the edge of what it was designed for in the first place with brilliant dynamics to allow replicated real world flying in a simulator.

 

New 3.0 SDK (XPLM)

v11.10 also comes with a new Version 3.0 of the X-Plane SDK (XPLM). This allows for improving plugin drawing performance, Aircraft-specific menus, Menu items that show keyboard shortcuts, More joystick axes & buttons, to match X-Plane 11.10's support for 20 USB devices, new features for plugin-created UI (User Interface), Support for "popping out" windows and automatic UI scaling of all drawing in your window. In other words it provides a load of new features and is far faster and more efficient than the older API's. Older plugins (SDK's) will continue to function of course but they will quickly be bypassed by this newer and more efficient version now available.

 

One instance on this new SDK is the now separate aircraft "Manage Keyboard & Joystick Profiles" feature.

 

X-Plane11.10 beta Profiles 1.jpgX-Plane11.10 beta Profiles 2.jpg

 

You can now set and and change a specific aircraft's settings in keyboard and joystick profiles. This allows you to have a specific setup that will change to the specific aircraft you select. So if say you have a dual throttle set for twin-engine functions, but select the Boeing 747-400 with four throttles, you can now have that specific setting already set ready when you load in the B744 without going to the joystick menu and resetting the throttle settings to cover all four throttles and not just the left side two engines.

 

There is loads of great new features and changes in here, but sometimes it is the smaller items that cause you the most headaches...

 

One was the default pushback tool. It is very good in it's basic sort of way...  but it drove me simply sparse sometimes in that you couldn't stop it reversing?

 

X-Plane11.10 beta Pushback 1.jpgX-Plane11.10 beta Pushback 2.jpg

 

Now you can!  There has been a "Stop" button added to the ground handling window. Thank you!

 

More...

Quick-look views, In there used to be 10 pre-saved viewing locations but now we have 20 settings and enough for plenty of cockpit and exterior presets.

 

There is Improved AI & ATC with complete logging of the diagnostics with the ATC system and far fewer repeated instructions.


A new command line option for "accurate_runways" which will, when loading procedures for an airport, perform runway renames and even location fixes in-memory on the X-Plane scenery and then reloads the region. This function is with the changes that X-Plane will now automatically reset runway headings with magnetic variation changes. So if the runway's angle changes due to magnetic changes, then X-Plane will reset the correct angle for you but still note what it has done.

 

New "Global" scenery is 75 airports and 620 sceneries have been revised. Laminar have also pulled a few of those earlier Aerosoft sceneries if there is a better version available.

 

There has been more custom landmarks scenery packs with London getting the honours, I checked but there wasn't much to look at, I think that the UK autogen art has also been included.

 

My X-Plane11.10 beta came in at a huge 1.5gb, but it was compressed to 548mb, it loaded however in 20min which I thought was very efficient, but you will need that space and more to update to X-Plane11.10.

 

Summary

This is just a very quick overview of the highlights of X-Plane beta 11.10. Certainly there is tons more and it is in the small minute details that usually makes or gives us the biggest changes to our simulator. 

 

The highlight here is the new Garmin G1000, it has been promised and has been worked on for a fair while now, but the results are well worth the wait, and no doubt it will be fitted into countless aircraft to become an X-Plane standard like the already great GNS 430/530 combo.

 

Everyone will note that the VR (Virtual Reality) aspect is not included in v11.10, but Laminar Research did note earlier in the year it was a more ongoing feature and would be inserted in a more custom manner than with this update, but a few things have been placed (manipulators) and set with this download but not actually activated at this point.

 

First impressions are very impressive, that framerate improvement is excellent for a beta, but a few users have had issues with a few plugins (Gizmo) and a few other with addons, but overall I had no issues.

 

So here is a great start to X-Plane11.10, hopefully the beta run won't be a long one, but you never know do you...

 

Full Developer v11.10beta release notes are here: X-Plane 11.10 Release Notes

 

____________________________________________________________________________________

 

News analysis by Stephen Dutton
13th October 2017
Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews
 
(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)
 
 

Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

 

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lol... out of all the new features, it is the "stop" functionality on the groundhandling window which I am looking forward to most! Sometimes it's the little things......

 

Thx for the news review.

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