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  1. Behind the Screen : March 2021 On the Laminar Research Facebook page in early March the announcement suddenly came up in... "Something BIG is coming". Immediately the one BIG thought that flashed into your mind was X-PLANE12 or whateveritwillbecalled in X-Planesomething. Now we know or very quickly some sleuths worked it all out, that it was not anything to do with X-Plane12 or even with Laminar Research, but the formation of the Flight Simulation Association, that was formed by the same people Reiter and Coyle that brings you the yearly FlightSimExpo. The association
  2. Behind the Screen : February 2021 In most past years X-Plane has come out of the box at the start of a New Year, in 2020 for instance I was already doing big reviews, even before I had restarted after the Christmas/NewYear break, head down... a New Year and a time to get on. Easter has now become the bigger purchasing period for X-Plane add-ons... the maths are simple, as with even Black Friday sales, most cash is focused on loved ones or spending up big over the holidays, not on simulation. Easter though is different, except for a few Easter Eggs, then you have the spare holiday
  3. Behind the Screen : January 2021 Another year in 2021, after 2020 it has to be better, change and a whole lot of it dominated the year, even in our little virtual corner of the world in Simulation. Did we mention Microsoft's new flight simulator release of last year, of course we did. The reality was that X-Plane didn't actually get atomised by MSFS on it's release, or anything else, in fact something interesting happened. According to the Navigraph Flightsim Community Survey which is always interesting reading, is that the mostly rejected FSX/FS9 and Prepar3D users did
  4. Behind the Screen : Year in Review 2020 Even coming into the year 2020, you knew it was going to be confronting, and certainly the year did not let anyone down in that regard. But from a simulation aspect it was the introduction of the Microsoft Simulator in a completely different form and this time from game developers Asobo Studio's that was the major significant impact of the year, released on time August 18, 2020 it certainly got everyone's attention. You can argue about the new simulator's ramifications for years, but one thing was for sure was that the MSFS release was certai
  5. Behind the Screen : November 2020 Here at X-PlaneReviews we do the reviews as we see them and in the moment. The idea is that what we see, you see warts and all, in other words "being honest" and overall the results are usually pretty close to what the product or addon on really is. That is important to you in making decisions on the product and how it will fit into your simulation aspect. I will admit I don't like ongoing development products, yes we know that most released aircraft (or even scenery for that matter) are not completely 100% completed (except maybe for A
  6. Behind the Screen : September 2020 First up that happened in September is the X-PlaneReviews site refresh, after four years you needed a new paintjob for the site and that with Invision then released more tools to allow you to do more ideas and add in more more features, then gave us the opportunity to bring out the ladders and paintbrushes. The old look was actually still quite good, but we felt we needed a more dynamic look and interaction. The results are nice on the eye, and easier for reading the reviews. I have always liked a clean if simple design (less is more)
  7. Behind the Screen : August 2020 Well the sky didn't fall in! X-Plane is still here and actual still flies, burrrr dom. The Hype of MS2020 or is it MSFS came to a crescendo as the release date of 18th August 2020 got near (in fact it was available on the 17th here in Australia), and then everyone hit the download button, and most crashed at the same time as the herd mentality kicked in. In fact a lot of users had serious problems in not only getting MSFS downloaded and working and trying to keep it working through crash after crash and a fix is coming soon (3rd Sept). So did I do
  8. Behind the Screen : July 2020 All is lost! The day is coming, note that Microsoft has announced the release day and prices for their wonderkind FS2020 Flight Simulator and the momentous day is 18th August, barely three weeks away and the cost is set out in three packages: Standard Edition $59.99, Deluxe Edition $89.99 and the full monty package is Premium Deluxe Edition $119.99, in my currency that is Australian AUS$150 big ones... gulp! But there are also a few sort of demo options that is available through the Xbox Game Pass channel and there will also be a physical
  9. Behind the Screen : May 2020 The month of May had a bit of everything, but the biggest overwhelming point was that how far we have really come in simulation. This aspect comes in, in various ways, but the march into the future just continues. One aspect that I loved in May was actually an old X-Plane feature, this was reflections. Reflections got sidelined for me about five years ago as the processing pressure built and the complexity came in... framerate rules! You couldn't have this processor intensive feature running as it sucked too much computing power away from t
  10. Behind the Screen : April 2020 April was Vulkan month, and Vulcan month as well. You had to believe that the extraordinary Avro Vulcan cold war bomber could come out the same month as the Vulkan (that of Star Trek fame) API in the actual same month, sheer coincidence but still mind-boggling in get the spelling right for either, and how many times I spelt Vulkan instead of Vulcan in the review and then had to change it.... the brain is wired in a certain way to do the daft way. Well Vulkan finally hit the simulator. In a way we didn't know what to expect except for Vulka
  11. Behind the Screen : March 2020 Are you coping? Do you need help? How are you doing in Self-Isolation? How do you want to get through this? Do you need tips to help you get through this? This is how to get through your day? These are messages that I get every day, I am thankful that people care, I really am... but. Well a month back in what was then looking like normal life and pretty well for a long time before this virus event unfolded this was my average day. Get up and have a cereal breakfast, go out and buy a newspaper, have a coffee and read the newspa
  12. Behind the Screen : February 2020 Anticipating the release of Laminar Research's v11.50 or the Vulkan/Metal Apl in the last few days of the last decade 2019, I did what I usually do in creating a completely new and clean X-Plane application, now already into the first days of March and with still no v11.50 release, I now realise that I shouldn't have wasted those last few precious days of 2019 of having a restful break than in hunched over a computer. But creating a new and clean X-Plane application is not something I do only when things go wrong, but it is also usually
  13. Behind the Screen : Year in Review 2019 In many ways simulation in 2019 was transmogrified from one situation to another. In early 2018 Laminar Research's X-Plane11 was seen as the saviour of simulation, as Microsoft's long winded, long dead and bankrupt "Flight Simulator" series finally died at the hands of another saviour in Dovetail Games in the form of Flight Sim World (FSW) but was still based on the original code based in Flight Simulator X... so finally FS was dead... dead and gone, buried on May 15, 2018. So they finally came to X-Plane, the users and dragging
  14. Behind the Screen : November 2019 It is great and even a relief to be back behind the computer after a very demanding house move, actually we moved just 150 meters, but it was a difficult transition. So thanks for all your patience. And then we hit the keys hard in trying to catch up the lost ground, and covering the new releases, and boy what a big month it was in November, and so much going on and even a few mis-steps as well. In another note is that we will again be missing again a few weeks in December also as with the move holding everything up a family situation was put on ho
  15. Behind the Screen : September 2019 First of all the September edition of "Behind the Screen" is quite short, mainly because my personal interaction with X-Plane in September has been quite minimal. Real life sort of got in the way of my online life in that I had to secure a new home, but that aspect, plus the packing to move has now been completed. The actual move in the middle of October is still to be completed, so again the site will be quiet again for another week or so in that period. Certainly we are sorry in the lack of output from the site, but it is what it is.
  16. Behind the Screen : August 2019 In reference to the first six months of 2019, August slowed down a little for us to all catch our breath. As the northern summer got hotter, the releases got slower, but that does not mean X-Plane per se is slowing down as we have a huge amount of releases now well into their development and expect a very big September and October for a lot of significant releases, with Carenado's Fokker 50 a great way to kick you up and into the next gear. FlightFactor are about to deliver their Flat Panel Display System avionics package for the FF Boein
  17. Behind the Screen : July 2019 First of all I will state my credentials. I do like ultimate realism in simulation. I do start many a simulation flight right at the start with a cold and dark set up although I do prefer the turnaround starting point. I go through every procedure, load in the route, the aircraft's preferences (fuel & weights) for the flight and then do the full palaver of using the airport vehicles to load in the luggage, fuel and passengers, the whole shebang... clearance, pushback and finally leave the departure airport. Enroute I follow SimBrief and Navigraph d
  18. Behind the Screen : June 2019 The June 7th/8th/9th FlightSimExpo in Florida was a great success, a lot of simmers showed up and had in house a lot to see and hear, for any simulation enthusiast that has to be a good thing. Again Laminar Research dominated with three seminars with one on the Friday covering WED 2.0 (WorldEDitor), The main Seminar on Saturday and a landing competition on Sunday. But the overwhelming announcement at the Expo was the new 2020 Microsoft Simulator, and a mind boggling video to go with the announcement. Yes it came out of nowhere and even the
  19. Behind The Screen : May 2019 At the end of Behind the Screen in March we left you with the Military Visualizations Kickstarter donation of to create the ATR 72-600 and he wanted $27,000 CAD dollars before putting mouse to CAD software. The results are in and as expected they are not in or our favour, but that was always expected. The KIckstarter campaign achieved only 15.2% of its final target of CAD $27,000. And final donations came in at CAD $4,111.29 (approx. GBP £2,417, US $3,057, €2,742). Milviz, has obviously confirmed that development of the ATR for X-Plane has now been te
  20. Behind The Screen : April 2019 You sorta own them for their requirements that you need, yes someone else created it, yes you paid for it out of your hard earned money, so it is sort of yours, more so in the fact how for one in much you use it and secondly... on how much you like it. It gets personal as you know your away around it so well, the best areas, the best ways to approach it... it actually becomes important to you. The only thing is that X-Plane is constantly evolving, changing morphing and even the very, very best in time starts to feel it's age after a few years, so whe
  21. Behind The Screen : February 2019 The question is always going to be asked in why some products are reviewed on this site and not others and why does some very obvious releases don't get the exposure. The first point is that X-Plane is always very fast moving in this day and age, with a lot of products being released simultaneously, and sometimes even three to four releases a week. In the past years you could drop one this week and pick it up again in the next to cover the release period. but mostly you would still cover most if not all of them. But in those high release periods i
  22. Behind the Screen : January 2019 Welcome to the New Year and a new version of X-Plane in version 11.30 going final. The release didn't make Christmas 2018 (the original Laminar roadmap goal) but it was quickly through the Release Candidates once they restarted in 2019, sometimes it is great just to give up. That is the one thing I find really weird... a lot of developers try to make the Christmas deadline and then put out the product, and it is either in aircraft, scenery or mostly plugins and then just close it all down until the next year.. so most then say to the huge amount o
  23. Behind the Screen : Year in Review 2018 With a long reflection on the X-Plane year in 2018, it was certainly an interesting one. 2017 was a mega year, so could 2018 be bigger, better or just more of the same? In fact it all went slightly sideways in being different instead as more external factors came to bear on the simulator, but one fact was totally overwhelming in that as simulation goes it is still a very strong and growing market, there are no doomsday forecasts coming anytime soon as simulation is still very much in demand and new users are still overwhelmingly discovering t
  24. Behind the Screen : November 2018 It is almost a decade now since I discovered and joined X-Plane. And over the course of that time I have come to know many developers through their work, and obviously the impact of their work on the simulator. Ten years ago the X-Plane scene was very different (X-Plane9®) than the familiar feel and look we use today. For developers it was even a more arcane age. Back then 95% of X-Plane aircraft were "PlaneMaker" based with 2d flat panels. but don't get me wrong as developers were very inventive and clever, and the aircraft were actual
  25. Behind the Screen : October 2018 It is not you, but it... what ever it is! In my early days of learning the X-Plane simulator, I took everything for granted that X-Plane was correct and any mistakes were solely your own fault. From this distance and experience that is known as "Going up totally the wrong road". But the point is you were not to know, you were learning and gathering experience. To say I was not just focused, as I almost laser like in wanting to be really, really good at this simulator, flying thingy. So when somthing went wrong I automatically assumed it was my
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