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  1. News! : X-Plane goes 11.50 final Laminar Research have announced that X-Plane has gone 11.50 final. The statement is here: "X-Plane 11.50 Released, introducing Vulkan and Metal Rendering X-Plane 11.50 is a pivotal update to the app that provides faster graphics processing, fewer visual stutters and an overall increase of Frame Rate (FPS). Taking advantage of the latest rendering technology, X-Plane 11.50 ships with compatibility for Vulkan on Windows/Linux and Metal on Mac. Think of these as the language of your graphics card (GPU). We have measured improvement across a variety of different GPUs, including both AMD and Nvidia-built cards. As always, performance results with Vulkan/Metal will vary from user to user but we are quite pleased with the aggregate improvement". Details of 11.50 are: "X-Plane 11.50 is a major update that completely rewrites the rendering engine to use modern rendering APIs: Vulkan (on Windows and Linux systems) and Metal (on Mac). It is now out of beta testing and available to all X-Plane users! This version includes new options in the Graphics Settings screen to enable Vulkan or Metal, which require a restart of the sim to go into effect. Please note that the first load time with Metal and Vulkan will be surprisingly slow. This is lots of shaders/pipelines compiling for the first time; subsequent runs will be faster. Prior to 11.50, X-Plane used OpenGL exclusively. OpenGL is a standardized way to talk to a computers graphics card and put images on the screen. With version 11.50, X-Plane introduces Vulkan and Metal. These are similar standards but they are more modern and efficient than OpenGL. We chose to undertake this project because we were unsatisfied with the performance of X-Plane running OpenGL. This shortcoming was particularly visible in the form of stuttering, when the sim loses track of time and then jumps ahead. Vulkan and Metal work in a similar manner to provide images on the screen. Unlike OpenGL though, they were designed with modern hardware in mind. Vulkan and Metal simply reduce the amount of overhead necessary to talk to the graphics card. See the full release notes here for the list of all updated airports and the full list of changes/bug fixes. You can find instructions on how to update X-Plane here!" Comment courtesy of Laminar Research ______________________________________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 10th September 2020 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)
  2. X-Plane11 - First Conversions Challenger 300 and CRJ-200 This article is a quick look at the first payware aircraft to be adjusted for X-Plane11, they are the Challenger 300 by Ddenn and the CRJ-200 by JROLLON. Adjusted is the word here, and to also note that this article is based on the X-Plane11 beta version v1.0 so it a lot will change with a few more updates from Laminar and expect more changes to any aircraft being released as updated to X-Plane11, certainly this year. In most cases this article is out of date before it hits the site, but it does show what to expect from X-Plane11 as we transfer over our aircraft from X-Plane10 to the newer X-Plane11. No doubt most developers will want to make their aircraft X-Plane11 compliant as quickly as possible, but you can go too fast before the simulator is really sorted at best. There are two approaches as shown here with the Ddenn (Challenger 300) approach in just issuing a quick "patch" to which you replace the various components within the aircraft's main file folders. The other approach with JROLLON (CRJ-200) is to do a full download of the entire aircraft package and both systems have their bonuses and negatives. Challenger 300 by Ddenn Ddenn is always very fast to issue updates whenever any changes to X-Plane versions and updates appear, and he didn't disappoint here either. He posted a quick compatibility "patch" (cl300_xp11_comp_patch_1_0.zip) that has to be distributed within the main root folder of the aircraft to the various folders that require the changes. The changes include: -Removed default sounds -Removed old style GPS and FMC -Added XP11 FMC -Added clickzones to 3d cockpit for new FMC -Fixed APU not working when "Start with engines running" option is selected -Fixed half-transparent ADI -LIT textures of the salon made brighter -Fixed Fast Start function -Fixed landing gear animation -Generated new style icons for default liveries That list includes a few surprises, but also notes what is required to be X-Plane11 compliant. The change to X-Plane11 hits on a few different areas. One it affects the landing gear (and doors), transparency (more notable here because the Challenger 300 uses a 3rd party transparency plugin), certain textures are affected, different sound system, lighting, and the new style icons for that wizz-bang new interface and all those items are on the surface, as underneath there is a small list of items to comply to that are hidden in the aircraft (.acf) file. A note is required here in that I really doubt that any aircraft that is compliant to the new X-Plane11 standards will be able to be used in X-Plane10, and in fact as the download shows for the CRJ-200 there are now two files to choose from in a X-Plane10 version and an X-Plane11 version, that will either double your downloads or if your need to chose one simulator version over the other. We are used to the glossy exterior of the Challenger 300 because of the built-in transparency plugin, but it is noted the plugin has been dialed down a little, what is very evident is the sharp dramatic contrast of the lighting in X-Plane11 and that is even more highlighted by the high gamma (bright) background. Internally the changes are even more dramatic. A lot of the Challenger's panels are now very glossy and there is a very greyed or darkened out appearance to many of the areas, the striking lighting is very poor in resolution, so it is good effect, but spoiled by the poor resolution of the reflective areas and this is especially evident from the side views across the cabin. So overall the changes within the aircraft look quite different (again I will note that this is really far to early to say this is what X-Plane11 will be finally like, but to just note the areas that are affected). But many areas that should be only textured are in fact shiny and they don't look realistic, and yet in other aircraft I have tried in X-Plane11 like my Carenado Bonanza the same textures look amazing even at this early stage. With the plugin installed the corrected liveries do show, but if like me you have a large collection of 3rd party liveries for the C300 then you just get the ? mark instead of the visual livery. The biggest quick change to the Challenger is the insertion of the new default FMS (Flight Management System)... It is first to be noted on this default FMS is that it is just a GPS navigator. There are no aircraft preferences of that particular aircraft that this FMS is installed in (except for CLB, CRZ & DES speeds/altitudes) and it uses the same standard X-Plane navigational data that is installed for the current GNS340/350 GPS. Otherwise it is a quite powerful system with SID/STAR, RNAV and Air Routes built-in with DIR (Direct-To) functionality as well. One big bonus now is that you can use the local map on the same screen as the FMS pop-out panel. This helps in quickly locating fixes (waypoints) and inserting them quickly into the FMS flightplan and building up your route very easily. A nice point is that hard turns (say 90º to approaches) are rendered correctly for the turn and the FMS looks far better on the navigation display as the route is fully outlined. This was of course just a quick patch to get the Challenger 300 flying in X-Plane11 and it highlights the changes and features that have come with X-Plane11 and like with the quick insertion of the new default FMS on how quickly things will move forward with other aircraft. The Bombardier Challenger 300 Captain Edition is available from the X-Plane.org Store : Bombardier Challenger 300 Captain Edition Price is US$29.95 Use the link to the patch (cl300_xp11_comp_patch_1_0.zip) to update the aircraft to X-Plane11. I also recommend in duplicating an aircraft for just X-Plane11 in the X-Plane11 aircraft folder. _____________________________________________________________________________________ CRJ-200 by JROLLON The Bombardier CRJ-200 by JROLLON is one of the truly great aircraft in X-Plane. Originally released in January 2012, the JRollon CRJ-200 was a landmark release for the X-Plane simulator and it still is a great aircraft, and more so since BSS created a brilliant sound package for the aircraft. But lately upgrades for the CRJ-200 have been a little slow on the ground, and so it was a bit of a surprise that the CRJ-200 was one of the very first aircraft to be updated for X-Plane11, or is it a big surprise? It is noted that J Rollon is a developer that does create some of the default aircraft that goes with the Laminar Research package, so in some ways J Rollon had an inside feel to the needs of X-Plane11. There is both now a download for either X-Plane10 and X-Plane11 so make sure the correct version goes into the correct X-Plane Application. There is another point that window's users have to install a new Visual C++ Redistributable, this is included in the download of the CRJ-200. The changes are small but interesting The X-Plane 10 update contains: -all previosusly released separate patches and hotfixes, e.g. for flying on IVAO network, high resolution cockpit, autopilot stability fix, etc... -new plugin architecture from the Steam version, which is more fps friendly and has lower memory footprint -plugin compatibility with newer MacOS systems -navdata update to X-Plane 10 default (1601) The X-Plane 11 update contains: -everything listed above for the X-Plane 10 update, plus -new cockpit object with materials, to achieve realistic effects in X-Plane 11 with PBR -new cockpit textures to match XP11 materials -mouse-wheel manipulators added to the cockpit Straight out of the box the CRJ-200 feels far more complete and at home in X-Plane11 than the Challenger 300. In other words it felt normal. The dramatic lighting only enhances the great look of the aircraft in flight. In The CRJ-2100 the panel textures have been adjusted for X-Plane11 and it makes a significant difference, but a few areas are still over glossy. The poor resolution lighting effect still makes it feel odd like it does in the C300 and certainly if it falls across the actual panel. Notable here are the sounds. They do feel far better than the original version sounds, and that brings on the question? As noted X-Plane11 does have a different sound engine that to a point has not been refined or even utilised yet. but it is different. Someone asked the question in how does that relate to the BSS (Blue Star Sky) brilliant audio package and does it work in here?, the answer is it is far to early to tell yet as the X-Plane11 system is far to green to be considered stable and BSS have yet to adjust the packages to the new system, but I would expect updates for the packages to X-Plane11 very quickly... otherwise it is just too early yet for BSS to make changes when the beta is still very much in transition. But a quick short 88nm hop showed the CRJ-200 to be very much ready for X-Plane11, it is X-Plane11 that will need to change around the CRJ and not the other way around, but make no mistake overall the aircraft still needs an update, because two working FMS units would be nice and that damn annoying GPU still doesn't work until it feels like it. At the gate one other noticeable point was the glossy coating over items that shouldn't look like they are covered in a thick plastic cover. In this case the undercarriage,wheels and tyres... funny enough it is not like that on the Challenger 300? _____________________________________________________________________________________ The CRJ-200 by JROLLON is available from the X-Plane.org Store : CRJ-200 Price is US$39.95 (on Sale right now!) Usual price is US$49.95. If you purchased the CRJ-200 via the X-Plane.OrgStore then go to your account and download the X-Plane10 or this X-Plane11 version of the updated CRJ-200. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Overall it is far too early to make real assessments or start wanting things to working totally right now until X-Plane11 goes stable or to a release version. Fixes and updates will come quickly (version 11.00b2) was released as I do this article), but my guess is that before the Christmas Season we should have something quite solid to fly over the holiday break. Stephen Dutton 7th December 2016 Copyright:X-PlaneReviews 2016
  3. Laminar Research : X-Plane 11.30 Analysis On Friday 25th October 2018 (US time) Laminar Research released the next version of X-Plane11. This is version 11.30, and as per all new releases this originally was the beta test version of the simulator. You could get the test beta version via the "beta" checkbox on the X-Plane Installer app. (Steam users were excluded). The full release of X-Plane 11.30 is now (final) and is available for download (Steam users update is to follow) and you can update to 11.30 by doing an "Update X-Plane" on the Installer app. Officially on release it is version 11.30b1 or by my moniker 11.30 2.0. As this is a very significant update, and will certainly be a companion the coming Vulkan update now noted for 2019 if targeted for Q2 or mid-year which will be a noted another significant milestone for the simulator. That is a yes in performance, but the ground work for that Vulkan version is actually built into this 11.30 update and so this is in reality the really important one. As with most groundwork code you will very rarely see it, but as I noted earlier this year it is in that the whole internal structure of the simulator that is currently undergoing a total revolutionary change as it is significantly being rebuilt from the ground up or inside out, so it is just not about Vulkan/Metal we are talking about here but the whole complete internal X-Plane code structure itself that is undergoing an extensive transformation to another new era.... "Yes Jim, it is X-Plane, but not as we know it". And so in this 11.30 beta you are starting to feel it's presence, as the changes do however pop up here and there, but mostly they are still all still well hidden and buried from view. This approach can make many users think that it is only what they can see is only what has only been changed, but also a lot of this analysis can't be revealed until other parties (i.e. developers) start to use and mostly adjust their products to take advantage of the full suite available of the new features and ideas presented here, in fact it will be months long after 11.30 has gone final in that it will be then that everyone realises the large effect this version will have on X-Plane. Obviously the special effects noted below will come in all shapes and sizes and many will be totally (even stupidly) overdone, but in many ideas it will be also very clever (as X-Plane users can be) and show off how good the simulator has become. Since the release of X-Plane11 and in many respects the simulator has already changed totally beyond our original expectations, now here there is the start another level of transformation that has got even the most hardened FSX/P3D users wondering what baby they are now left with to hold on to. Internal changes 11.30 is the first installment of API (Application Programming Interface) changes that will switch from the older OpenGL API to the new Vulkan (Windows/Linux)/Metal (Mac) API's. This is to update the simulator to work far better with more modern hardware in processors and graphic cards (a graphic card moniker is really a bit outdated now? as they are more now the size of a mini-computer itself and than be rather of what the installed graphic engine producing machinery really is). Originally we expected that the new Vulcan/Metal API's to all come in together with one major update, but the introduction here shows that is not the case as the API's can be introduced in blocks of areas, and it may also serve as a good test on how X-Plane itself responds to the changes out here in complex-land before going in for the full change over API deal. You may find the API change over in not one but maybe even as many as four updates to complete the full API changeover, you could with this release to note it as the block 1 release. The area most affected in v11.30 is the shader system, so it has been completely totally Vulkanised because it won't work with the .glsl format, so it was changed early. There are huge bonuses here as well, in that the older slideshow shader system was pretty crappy anyway, slow, not very realistic and even really annoying as the light faded or increased in brightness in the significant changes from one shader to the next. The new system uses a very much larger spectrum of shades, it is also quite complex and even fully updatable. More interesting is the new shader system is now off limits to the tinkerers, so you won't be getting loads of experimental shader downloads any more, as there was a full X-Plane industry running on that side of the simulator. An interesting side point is that Laminar note the new (and very complex) shader system will get intermittent updates as the shader system can be refined or reshaded to match conditions and on the fly with updates, which is a sort of window to what to expect from all the different areas of X-Plane in the future, this new feature is one of the most important to understand, because it is the future in not only for its assembly in Vulkan but also in the way it brings in a much more different engine into the original X-Plane machine. So you are starting to see the future changes of X-Plane happening right here, and right now in this version 11.30 update... think of it more like the windows ongoing system updates than major releases. One of the biggest first impressions of beta 11.30 was how brighter it all was, and the change of the basic X-Plane background in light and colours. Besides the actual new shader system, 11.30 has had a lot of fine tuning of the PBR (Physically Based Rendering) effects as well, this is noticeable in those sudden light to dark light changes in the cockpit, that were just as (if not more) annoying as the slideshow in the dawn and dusk periods. Seriously impressive the shaders are... lighting changes are minimal and the only way to see the actual lighting shader movements now is via speeding up the simulator to fast forward. Does the PBR still pop!, unfortunately yes it does and sometimes in a dramatic annoying way, but it also shows the PBR can be fine-tuned... I just don't think this area is the focus for Laminar right now. What strikes you the most though is the sheer smoothness of the simulator, it felt almost quite crude before to what you are experiencing now. Yes you will still get pauses (as scenery loads) and the odd pause as X-Plane shifts from one tile to the other which is still a major obstacle for ultimate smoothness, but that constant shutter and stutter in flight is gone, and it now all feels far more linear. I lost 2fr -4fr frames in the changeover as my 11.30 beta download was nearly 2gb, but I expect to claw that back and far more with the full Vulkan conversion later in the year, but that minimal framerate loss is somehow eliminated because the simulator seems to be not working as hard to achieve the same results, hence the smoothness. Everything feels sharper, cleaner than before. I will note that the framerate was better in the beta 11.30b2 than b1 and more gains came in v11.30b6 (b4 and b5 were absolute duds), but it all came good again in b6 and b7... by the RCs (Release Candidates) 11.30 was excellent. The star patterns at night are back, yes they were fixed before 11.30, but now you can actually see them feel them now while traveling at night, and with the even more refined night ground patterns, it is like X-Plane9 all over again, but far better... yeah! It certainly all bodes well for the future. Particle Effects Yes the showstopper! The particle effect generator has been in development hell for as long as I can possibly remember. "It's coming" was the usual mantra in X-Plane version release after version release, but now it is finally here... was it worth the wait? Of course it was. Like a lot of areas in b11.30 it is important to understand that although the current aircraft all work with the new particle effect engine, most of the aircraft have not been adjusted to get the best of the effects just yet, which it is like when the FMOD sound engine was first introduced... so every aircraft will have to be tailored to the effects engine to get the very best out of the effects, and then some more. Because certainly many developers will want to push the boundaries on what can actually be achieved with the custom particles. It is certainly an exciting time to be in that scenario. Vortices are amazing... and a far cry from the old smoke effect. They are extraordinary at night, as you can see the trail standing rearwards in the turn, as they dissipate of where they stand, and then fade away realistically back slowly into the sky. It is in the subliminal as not the direct effects that the effect change the nature of the simulator. The engine heat blur is excellent as the haze unfocuses the background with absolute realism. You knew something was missing before, and now you realise what that "something" actually was... realism. The biggie effect was always going to be fire. X-Plane already had a sort of animated fire effect, but not the adjustable realistic effect of fire. Now here it is and it lives up to it's dramatic entrance. The are different types of (particle) emitters from smoke, haze to fire and different styles for say streaming continuous smoke or for violent explosions, other effects cover wing vortices, engine blast, tyre contact smoke and wing, engine cowl condensation. The Particle Effects will have a multitude of uses within X-Plane, but currently they are restricted to only aircraft use, and with the odd ground explosion. This has been highlighted by the issues during the beta of smoke or particles in the aircraft (cockpits!)and not the filtering out of the new elements, and more fine tuning of the contrails in certain lighting conditions are still required. But static ground objects will soon have access to the same effects which will be interesting. As a note I never really took to the old X-Plane smoking "puff, puff" chimney effect, I thought they didn't look very realistic and even looked cartoony awful. However I really like the idea more of a hazy chimney or a steam (power plant) effect than the usual and expected black puffing variety. All elements for developers (or anyone) are accessed by the new "Particle System Editor" in the "Developer" X-Plane menu and the layout and the use is very similar to the FMOD sound editor. Access to the various elements are through the particle system definition files (.pss files), which brings up an editor to create, adjust and even delete the particle elements set out in the texture menu. A full dynamic adjustment of : rate, speed, velocity, pitch, heading, size, Alpha and Lifetime (Seconds) are available via keyframes of the all these different elements. ATC Voices A surprise feature included in v11.30 was the new A.I. based ATC voices. There was a comment about these new speech tools by Chris Serio in the mid-year Q&A session, but we never expected the actual release until in 2019, or even longer. The new ATC system now builds up real commands and sentences, as was in the older current version in that the ATC as it was then built up around .wav files to say they were very stilted conversations was an underestimation. But the main problem with this system was it was totally inflexible and very limited in speech capacity. So the new way is to use a text to speech (TTS) engine that is used in Amazon Alexia and Google Voice and of which are both a development of the Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech recognition software. TTS can learn and be adjusted on the fly and you will be even able to contribute to the engine. So instead of the older communications of just the repetitive "X-Ray, Beta two five.. Runway five left" you can or will have "Speedbird 231, taxi cleared to runway five left"... The ATC system will learn and grow and get better as does all current TTS software working now. The system will be also able to work with a multitude of different voices and not just the current male and female choice or no choice at all. Accents in regional or national voices will be available as well as the ATC is more fully developed. Obviously the ATC voice system is still only very limited to the style and the current natural feel vocally until the full ATC system is intergrated later, but it does show that the pace of development is certainly taking place and going forward, which also means that the full ATC feature should be expected during a beta run in 2019. 11.30 Systems and Avionics Phillipp Ringler outlined the extensive navigation and avionics coming in 11.30 in the Vegas seminar. Ringler's overhaul of the X-Plane navigation and avionic areas since becoming part of the main Laminar team have been a total revolution in detail, dynamics and data use and most notably the GNS 430/530 pair, G1000 and the native X-Plane FMS. Certainly Phillipp's unique talents has certainly totally enhanced the basic avionics of the simulator. With the main navigation elements in now place (although I do find the main FMS still a bit wanting in detail), his attention has moved on to the more cosmetic areas of the systems and most notably the Autopilot. So 11.30 comes now with brand autopilots that can installed in your GA aircraft. These include the position based units GFC-700, KFC-250/Century and the rate-based S-TEC 55, KAP-140 and the Piper Autocontrol. The autopilots come as single or dual axis and with or without altitude select and also with or without electric trim functions. The GFC-700 Autopilot is also now part of the G1000 system, which is a high-end position-based digital autopilot, and the new version is now giving the G1000 more realistic capabilities. The Piper Autocontrol Autopilot is a generic low-tech non-microprocessor autopilot, and this AP can be either rate-based or position-based and has the usual dual-axis modes, but does not have any logic for automatic mode reversions. The AP modes are obviously quite basic as all Laminar default systems are, but entirely usable and effective. Here is the S-TEC 55 (C172SP) and the KAP-140 which are the most popular and both can be set as noted with/without altitude preset. One major surprise is that the AP panels don't pop-out?.. ... as with the already branded C90 Collins APS-65 (below) it is impossible to use effectively without a pop-up panel, as the distance from the AP panel to the navigation display on this aircraft is very wide... an oversight? Airliner autopilot systems have also been upgraded as auto-throttle can now use both N1/EPR modes, Control Wheel Steering (CWS) (yoke movements to adjust pitch, mostly on older aircraft), Master FD (Flight Director) or source selection, duel and triple channel preconditions and checks (computers compare two or three channels of data and select the best option), flare and roll out guidance and a three axis DAS/Data Acquisition Systems. GPSS autopilot mode is also now available. All these AP operations are quite comprehensive but mostly hidden, but you will suddenly find you will have more options and get closer to the real world operations of flight deck autopilots once their features start to flow through to the aircraft. In 11.30 system changes the areas focused on have been for the more realistic oxygen systems and anti-ice/de-ice systems, and the propeller itself now has four different propeller failure modes of fine pitch, anti-feathering springs and the full feather position... as not on all aircraft if when the engine fails does the propeller go straight to full feather mode and auto-feather. Also included are more extensive systems to replicate the unfeathering of the propeller realistically with pumps and negative torque sensing, and also fuel-topping and overspeed governors, vacuum gyro limitations and caging is now also being available. With the release of 11.30 Phillipp Ringler is also now responsible for these system changes besides the avionics portfolio which was once the domain of Austin Meyer, so expect more extensive and thankfully more speedier changes to aircraft systems than was the case in the past. While in the realm of systems, in that X-Plane is now also 8.33kHz aware. The old 25kHz spacing has been divided by three 25/3 = 8.33333. to allow more channels to be used which will help in congested airspaces, it became mandatory in Europe as of January 2018 if you are flying in controlled airspace in Europe, as you must have now an 8.33kHz radio to meet that mandate, as you now do also in X-Plane 11.30. The panel resolution has be enlarged to 4K (4096x4096) to get rid of poor resolution text and give a better quality fascia, which is another step away from the original X-Plane standards. Flight Model Although X-Plane is known for its incredible ability to simulate real airflow and air dynamics through its “blade element theory” calculations, it is still not the full range of forces on the aircraft while flying through the air, or on the ground. The aerodynamic basics are of course correct, but in the last few years Laminar has been focusing on more detail of the more secondary forces that affect the aircraft. To that end Austin Meyer has been doing some pretty outlandish if quite bizarre experiments with a Telsla S car to get more realistic data on fuselage, wing forces (post stall), inboard wing air dynamics (the join between the wing and fuselage), propwash and helicopter downwash and tailwash is also being done via more conventional data driven calculations and a follow on from the earlier 11.10 dynamics, as with the earlier asymmetrical new airfoil formats for Reynolds numbers (fluid flow past a body in this case an aircraft). All these new calculations are now included into PlaneMaker 11.30, but you can have the choice in to either opt in out opt out of using the data. These changes are not actually for the X-Plane simulator per se, but for more comprehensive real world data of forces that can be applied to the aircraft's airfoils and wing forces, and PlaneMaker will now do a batch convert to the new settings, but also show you where your drag was not realistic. This aspect is to find a more realistic feel with say the landing and flare dynamics, and with an emphasis on post stall drag factors which are still X-Plane's main limitations, as also for better helicopter downwash and tailwash dynamics which are also currently still not totally highly realistic. My personal beef on this has been the ground friction (or grip) that seems lacking in the simulator... or in other words the weaving and poor tracking on the ground when taking off or landing as I just don't feel that rubber contact grip that I expect to be real world realistic. So has that aspect been fixed or at least refined better than the last set of changes? again personally I don't think so, but in reality the jury is still out on that aspect, it depends on if the 11.30 default aircraft have been updated to the new aerodynamic data, if so then the answer is no, but it will be extremely interesting when the developers do their own calculations... they know their numbers far better than the default aircraft developers as in reality Laminar default aircraft at their heart are quite simple, it will be the specialist developers that will refine and home the data closer to the real world conditions, so when the top payware releases come around after 11.30 goes final then that will be interesting and ralso eflected in the reviews and I will certainly be focusing hard on that aspect. Ditto for helicopters, once say a top helicopter developer like say Dreamfoil does the new 11.30 downwash and rotor dynamics will we see if the improvements are actually realistic. A side note to that is the new "joystick curves" see below... in fine tuning your hardware gear to be also more refined in their inputs. So the changes in 11.30 are actually quite extensive in these areas, but again to stress that you won't see any of these extensive benefits until the developers sort out their own flight model calculations and dynamics to match the more comprehensive flight modeling avaliable to them. Late in the beta run (RC 1) Laminar also inserted the Toe-Brake option for users that have NO hardware (i.e. Rudder Pedals) in controlling aircraft such as tail-draggers, which are notorious to control currently. Previous versions of X-Plane we had this automatic toe-brake behavior that was automatically applied based on some rules that were originally coded into X-Plane. Now aircraft authors can now explicitly control whether toe brakes are auto-applied for users without hardware, and if so, how aggressively. This control is auto-populated for older aircraft with the choices set for X-Plane 11.26 and earlier versions. Engine Improvements Austin Meyer since the start of the X-Plane 11.00 version has been focusing on more realistic engine dynamics. Earlier focus (11.26) was on turbine outputs, specifically in single turbo-turbine outputs. In 11.30 the focus is more of the same but more on the larger jet-turbine aircraft (B737/A320). Believe it or not until 11.30 both the twin-spool tracking of the n1 and n2 engine outputs was done not separately, but notably as one joined calculation. But now it is possible to select both single or twin-spool jets in Plane-Maker to really get the jet engine dynamics (output numbers) better in the spool-up and spool-down phases, and watching N2 lead the N1 output on the spool-up, or the other way around on the spool-down. And the engine output modeling has also be validated of real engine starts and throttle run-ups and shut-downs taken on a (real) Airbus A-320 for realism. (throttle input/output data was a real mess on the release of X-Plane 11.00) Specifically the area noted is the improved Jet 1 spool. Again Jet 1 spool in X-Plane is currently still very basic and the data comes actually from the earlier (now really outdated) X-Plane releases .This current model always has the N1 spinning at a ratio to N2 that was a simple power curve. This is good enough to mimic a real jet engine which was in the past sort of close, if you don’t look at how fast the various turbines spin up and down compared to each other. Jet 2 spool is also a new jet engine model for X-Plane as well with N2 is the power turbine is in the hot section, and it spins up and down as fuel is applied. and is independent of the N1 that is spun by the torque generated from N2, spinning the bypass fan. So a more accurate model, taking into account that the N2 can surge while N1 takes some time to respond, and N1 can windmill briskly even if N2 is shut down and is barely spinning. You can see where all this is going with more internal engine dynamics being realistic in the simulator, and with N1/N2 windmilling which are now more accurate as well. This new modeling should also be more specific in the cruise phase as well. There has been also focus on fine tuning and the modeling of actual dynamic pressure and the resulting Bernoulli effects in the Venturi tube itself to see when ice will form, this will give you a more realistic feedback on ice formations as the Bernoulli principle applies to the motion of air over an airplane wing, to air flow through a carburetor, to the flag flapping in the breeze, and to the low pressure systems in hurricanes. The earlier focus on PT6 turboprops still continues in 11.30, which now in the new model, of which is more accurate and very carefully matched to real PT6 performance. This uses now N2 for Ng which is more accurate, of which there is also now a new manifold pressure model for non-turbo airplanes. The new functionality now allows the simulator understand that lower back-pressure at altitude for non-turbo airplanes provides a bit more power per inch of manifold pressure... all in the quest for realism. Garrett turboprops (Honeywell TPE331) that is an fixed turbo-prop engine that is used extensively with X-Plane aircraft like with the Dornier Do 228/King Airs/Turbo-Commanders is next on the list after the PT6 for the same intensive attention. Aircraft There was a lot of noise in discussion of an F-14 (Tomcat) in pre-release notes, but the actual F-14 Laminar default aircraft didn't appear in the 11.30 release, but is that a spelling mistake? Could it be the F-4 Phantom that has had all the attention and could it all be just misleading? Including the noted F-14 above there was no new aircraft released in 11.30, but a few aircraft had some significant work done on them... obviously the Cessna 172SP was given a lot of attention to highlight most of 11.30's new features including the new S-Tec autopilot (above) and performance/tuning gains. The Boeing 737-800 is of course the showcase aircraft for X-Plane11, so besides the new performance, particle effects and new triple-channel autopilot features the aircraft also acquired something special... ... a cabin! But not just a filler cabin, but a full and very detailed cabin. And it puts even most payware cabins to shame... yes it is that good. At night the internal lighting is even better to sensational with the "Sky Interior" theme... ... even if the Austin Meyer graphic is a bit cheeky, the detailing is just as good in the excellent and realistic galleys that are also payware quality. With the internal structure in place (cabin) then you can also have opening doors as well... ... even if they are not actually attached to the aircraft? and they are hard to open in all have to manhandled directly, I am not sure if the cargo doors open? but the cargo internal 3d containers are in there, so if not now, then certainly the cargo doors will open in the future... obviously still a WIP. Boeing 747-400 has had attention as well... as neglect goes it was way on the top of the list, in fact it was totally unflyable as I found out earlier last year... which is certainly not good enough for an aircraft that is there to promote the simulator. The bug XPD-9644 "747 catches on fire in replay" said it all. In a short flight I found the 747 aircraft at least now usable. there are important elements still missing like the heading pointer on the rose navigation display, but "hey who needs that!" but a lot of the major issues have been addressed including the reverse thrust (yes you need the reverse thrust as well!)... it is flyable... maybe even usable for a long haul, I'll do a route and see how it all goes. Autogen While you have been flying around overhead, then Laminar Research has been very busy filling in your autogen. Europe got the treatment back in the v11.25 release. This is mostly to fill in Urban Industrial Autogen aspect and in 11.30 the US got the same makeover, and it is all pretty impressive, although here it is a much more dirtier and darker theme than the steel and glass of Germanic Europe. Government buildings with the old PWA Moderne 30's 40's styling, glass office towers and excellent modern residential buildings now fill a large area of your X-Plane autogen landscape... even Ben Supnic has now got his own Computer outlet chain! along side the usual US fast food outlets. Building quality is also high class and it all comes with great nightlighting detail as well East US coast New Jersey terraced housing is also now visible and it is again highly detailed. Urban industrial is now also filling in nicely those empty grey spaces, and it is all very highly detailed. And while you are flying around, then the kids can have a go on the swings. Still no churches though? I always get a little annoyed when the scenery developers cover over this expansive quality autogen for something usually quite flat and average with mostly poor orthophoto textures, why not take advantage of the already comprehensive tools the simulator delivers... you won't find better. Landmarks Dubai has been added into the landmark list with two buildings now present... The tallest (for now) building in the world with the Burj Khalifa and the sail like Burj Al Arab, but the modeling comes with no Jumeirah hotel at the rear. Both landmarks are well done, but feel a bit lonely as being the only buildings sitting in a vast landscape, no tall city Dubai autogen and only housing leaves them markedly exposed. User Interface U.I. Some fine tuning of the U.I. interface includes options to enlarge font sizes and the new layout to configure joystick curves in more detail with the option to set the joystick curves per axis., and users can also now submit joystick config files. Other items on the interface include new added sector altitudes in the VFR map. U.I. Options to enlarge the U.I. font size. You are now able to re-enabling of the notification windows that have a “don’t show this again” checkbox and the situation files can now get you close to the landmarks for quick sight seeing. X-Plane data The default simulator data has been updated its airspace to 2018 & Navigraph default data 1708. Which is out of date unless you have an account for the latest cycle (1901) 3rd Jan 19 - 31st Jan 19, but at least it isn't years old. And the total Global Airport count with 3-D scenery in the 11.30r1 release is now 8247. Summary For all its new features and tools, X-Plane 11.30 is a still a bit like an iceburg, there is a little bit sticking up out of the water, but with a lot going on in size under the surface. It will be months and even months before X-Plane users will get the full effect of the update as the developers adjust to the new tools and feature details. We also have to get used to the delay of change than the usual instant gratification of an update and that instant wow factor... like the new autogen in 11.30, it sort of creeps up on you now more than coming in an explosion and all of a sudden you realise that just how much more expansive, responsive and smoother the simulator all is, and just thinking back to even the release version of X-Plane11 you then realise how far the simulator has come in just two years, it makes X-Plane10 now feel almost arcane. And that change didn't come either with huge system or framerate set of penalties, as if you only have even still a fair 4K graphic card you will still find a lot of efficiency. This is also again the underlying factor of this 11.30 update, efficiency, but with not yet getting the full effects of the Vulcan/Metal API core changes. Yes some parts and others are now operating on Vulkan API, like the new shader system... but overall it is all still very much a Work In Progress, as noted... 11.30 is just block 1 of many components that will probably go in and keep going in right up to the X-Plane12 new version release. Highlight visually in 11.30 is of course the Particle Effects and their earth wind and fire elements. Yes it is nice to have them back and it will be interesting to see how the developers use the editor skillfully to use their maximum effect. Scenery particle effects are coming soon. ATC A.I. Voices were a nice surprise but limited until the rest of the ATC is intergrated, as is the nice finer details of new autopilots and avionics, Flight modeling has again improved upon earlier changes with even more adjustments available as has deeper engine modeling and this time focusing on larger jet engine output. Default aircraft had all the above features inserted and with that bonus cabin on the Boeing 737-800. 2018 saw the X-Plane simulator finally shake off it's "hobbist" tag and with respect... thus 11.30 update again pushes the boundaries higher and better again, but this version update is however not a final solution waiting for the next update, but part of a simulator in transition, but a transition that will build it into a far higher platform of a quality and an extremely efficient simulation platform... the words "head and Shoulders" and "above" start to come to mind. _________________________ X-PlaneReviews can't cover absolutely every change or bug fix with the version update, and so the 11.30 Release notes are available here at the Laminar Research Development pages: X-Plane 11.30 Release Notes X-Plane 11.30 is available now for download. Run your X-Plane installer application or download from Steam. ______________________________________________________________________ Analysis review by Stephen Dutton 12th January 2019 Copyright©2019: 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)
  4. News! - X-Plane goes 11.20 Final... Usually X-PlaneReviews will cover any significant X-Plane version release, but v11.20 will always be known as the VR version, or Virtual Reality and you need (expensive) addon gear to access the VR feature. By all accounts most users have lavished praise on the tech, but remember and more the reason I haven't yet took the plunge into VR (I have tried it though) as the tech is still in development and the noted cost factor barrier will hopefully soon come down... as a long time tech nut I was always the head in first in new tech, but now I just have been burnt financially to many times and a $600 headset is certainly to come down to a more reasonable price and better features... the new Oculus Go may be the answer but it does have a few limitations, a sort of Oculus Go Pro would be the perfect choice. Currently supported are HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality (WMR). Full detail on specifications on LR VR here... this knowledge base VR article But kudos to Laminar Research in bringing this major tech to X-Plane, X-Plane had 64bit long before other simulators and now VR as well. The new aircraft addition in the Aerolite 103 a brand new ultralight aircraft was also included in v11.20 for trying out VR The X-Plane LEGO construction set was also extended with more customisable jetways giving airport developers far more options in creating jetway components and actions. Note the far better lighting textures on the jetways and the terminals... ... more terminal variations and styles (facade) have also been introduced. It was Sydney's turn to get the "Landmark" Treatment with the Opera House and the Coat Hanger (okay Sydney Harbour Bridge) being added with great detail.... But overall this is still not the Sydney skyline that is required for a visual simultor, but it is a good start... Of course there has also been added in another huge batch of "Global" airports that now total 6665 WED sceneries. Other v11.20 notes include: Many GPS & FMS fixes & improvements. Higher performance graphics code enabled for AMD drivers. In-app purchasing option for new demo users. Updated German translations. New alert messaging system. Fixes for dead-reckoning improved for formation flying. Enhancements and new options for .joy configuration files. Improved night lighting textures in far views. Columbia 400 aircraft with new G1000 (3D work by Captain_Noob 75) So v11.20 was a more a tweak and touch update, but the simulator does feel very stable and efficient. But overall it was for all the virtual fliers out there. Here are the full X-Plane 11.20 Release Notes Images and text are courtesy of Laminar Research ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 8th May 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews
  5. X-Plane11 As Laminar Research's X-Plane11 is getting nearer to its release, then it is warranted that articles, posts and items related to the X-Plane version have a home or place on X-PlaneReviews... so here it is. X-PlaneReviews will cover the the version in depth with features and articles allowing you to get the very best from X-Plane in this new generational version. So check back here often to see what is new in X-Plane11. X-PlaneReviews
  6. X-Plane11 : Look, Feel and Visual Features In the first two months of the year 2017 as X-Plane11 rides it's way to release through beta after beta, it is a lot of pleasure and pain. The pain is to be expected as the simulator forms itself into the future, which will be soon be part of our everyday flying. But the pleasure is seeing what we actually have in this new step version of X-Plane in it's new coming form. The notes here are in the frame of "coming soon" than more of "here it is right now" so don't expect the points made here to materialise in their complete form at the time of X-Plane11's release, as we know X-Plane is always a work in progress. What you get here are the building blocks that you get with every new X-Plane step release, but it will be only in time and through updates (betas) and the collaboration of developers and the X-Plane community that we will see the full implementation of the ideas and features built into the 11th interpretation of X-Plane. I am going to note that through the X-plane11 phases of this review, is that I have the xEnviro environmental plugin running and not the default weather. This plugin is also still in a beta phase, but my (personal) view is that the plugin delivers a fundamental difference and in the way it interacts with the standard default X-Plane weather system to create a look and feel (and a breathable framerate) that is the future of excellent simulation. So both items together will create the perfect environmental vehicle to get the very best out of your flying. To see the steps of progression of X-Plane then let us go back to X-Plane9® and to the year 2009. X-Plane9® This was our world back in 2009 with X-Plane9. These images will no doubt send a lot of you very misty eyed. These were the days of 5.6gb custom folders and 100+ framerates, but it all showed on the screen. It is surprisingly how good the x737 by EADT was then and still is now. Back then the mist was paramount, but mostly there to cover the jagged edges of the tiles and the limitations of the scenery. But it looked good unless you got the flat slate of grey when you had a whiff of a cloud. 2d Panels were de-rigueur of course and the light shading was good but not exceptional, only the exceptional single Boeing 757 had a VC or virtual cockpit back then. X-Plane10® The release of in beta form of X-Plane10® was in November 2011, with a full version in 2012. The focus visually with X-Plane10 was to get the ground textures to a higher quality and the use of Open Street Map (OSM) to create a plausible ground focused autogen. Your synthetic world certainly looked less bare, and the advent of 100nm visible distances opened up your visual aspects, and HD (High-Definition) textures add in a lot of ground information and you finally had a quality depth to the landscape. 3d virtual cockpits are now of course the normal and shading has also become quite good. X-Plane10 also brought in the feature of HDR or "High Definition Rendering". I personally was not a big fan of HDR. It made X-Plane very bright and contrasty, so reviews and images were still done mostly with the HDR switched off and I only had HDR on at night as were it had great night lighting effects. If you compare the above two images with the higher HDR off images and the lower HDR images are far more washed out. X-Plane11® Basically X-Plane11 does not change the foundations of the landscape (textures) of X-Plane10, just a few of the textures and the tile data is a little higher, but out there really nothing has changed between the 10 and 11 versions. X-Plane11's features are more really focused on the shading, the minute of the detailing more than the larger canvas like with X-Plane10, but in a strange way the differences are very much more pronounced. It is the definition of the detail that now stands out at you. X-Plane11 comes with a new visual tool in PBR or Physically-based rendering that has the accurate simulation of photorealism as the ultimate goal. HDR really didn't work as well as it should have done in X-Plane10 as noted, but with its companion in PBR it now shines and works extremely well. We will get on more with PBR in a minute. Mist Another big aspect is that the mist is back and big time in X-Plane11. In X-Plane10 everything was sharp and clear, but with X-Plane11 it is anything but, with everything here visually is in that quite soft and well very... misty feel. A certain "What the..." on release, but when you use X-Plane11 the soft effect quickly becomes the normal and it is very highly realistic, almost completely believable. Altitude flying now is "SO" real and go and look at any old images taken out of the window in any real aircraft and it looks just like this. It is of course a "feel" thing, but the feel here is unbelievable good. Definition There is more going on here than with just a out of focus background to get the full X-Plane11 effect... ... PBR is bringing out the harder definition of the aircraft, as the shadows and shading is glorious. All aircraft now have a distinctive shine, but PBR works its magic in a lot of different contexts. PBR brings metal surfaces alive, as developers can adjust the correct effects to get the shine or the correct dullness feel quite perfectly. Chrome is now perfect also, and in all of it's different types of metalness of the different gradients. Realism is now paramount and the realistic is now very photographic real, but it also puts a lot of pressure and the need for perfection on the developers as any imperfection is magnified and highlighted... but when it is good, it is now simply glorious. Inside the cockpits in X-Plane11 they are all very highly dramatic. Light cascades around you as it changes as you move. All the aircraft's features are highlighted and defined... it is like being in another world. Cockpit textures come alive and every instrument is highly realistic and defined. Just how real do you want your vinyl glareshield or metal based instrument panel, it can just not get any more realistic than this. The devil is in the detailing and this is why X-Plane11 is such a huge step forward in realism... the game has certainly moved on. ... as with the lighting effects which are just sublime, note the changing sunlight on the metal wings. These effects are not just restricted to aircraft. A few months ago I took these images of a wet runway, and most said they were not an X-Plane11 feature? but they are. Scenery developers can now adjust the feel of the wet look to give surfaces a distinctive feel and look, and if you want a rain soaked runway you can have that as well, and when you want one as they are on a dataref. This opens up a lot of areas for scenery developers, and glass in their reflectivity is another feature of X-Plane11. JustSim used the effect in their Hamburg scenery and it is excellent when used in the right context. Glass can now also be transparent, but in the density of transparency you require. Autogen Justsim used another new feature of XPlane11 to create an environmental regional feel around their EDDH - Hamburg Airport. Quality autogen was included with X-Plane10 from the beginning, but the feature was neglected from the start with only a few efficiency touches covered during the run. Regional autogen placement was actually placed in the code during the last v10.50 update, but was never used until the art was ready with X-Plane11. Even then it is only Germanic in style but very high quality. JustSim used this Germanic autogen to add feel to not only their Innsbruck scenery but also to Hamburg to great effect. And that shows the quality and versatility of the autogen system when used correctly as it has huge potential to cover all the very and various different regions of the world as Chris K has done an AustralianPro version (below). Here it shows in how a third party regional autogen can and does work although it is still a work in progress, but work well in its current form it certainly does as you now have a great Aussie feel all around the country. But this third party autogen system is still in its very early days, the important point to make at this time is not to let it become neglected all over again with X-Plane11, in fact it should be put at the top of the list for attention by both Laminar Research and any third party as it can make a significant and profound contribution to the look and feel of the new simulator. xEnviro The inclusion of xEnviro in this review is because of the way it dovetails into the X-Plane11 features and uses them for it's own uses and highlights X-Plane11's uniqueness for the future. The same effects do work in X-Plane10, but not to the extent they work for you in X-Plane11. It is the X-Plane11 mist feature that combines to create the best effects for xEnviro. The same effects do work without xEnviro, but they don't have the same impact or those totally visually stunning visuals. These excellent fog images are the approach to EGCC - Manchester... ... It is stunning stuff and you work hard to land in such soup as well, it is exhilarating flying. Manchester again on approach, and this time with the amazing ground cloud shadows and aircraft shadow on the wing making it a very realistic view for the passenger. It is also in the way the PBR light reflects up from the ground as well... Look deep at the mountain folds in both of the above images. That below is just standard X-Plane10 scenery, but you wouldn't know it by the way it reflects the light and gives a higher more stronger definition to lighter and dark sides of the elevations as the folds become highly realistic. X-Plane11 turns the ordinary... into the extra ordinary! It is very good but Many people will point out that first person shooters or car games are of a higher quality than what we have here, and they are correct, and most of the features and ideas used in X-Plane are directly from the video gaming industry. But the video game is a closed box and created to run within a very strict set of boundaries, were as X-Plane is a very open platform with a lot of very different elements and contributions, that works for the simulator but also against it. So there will always be a compromise between what we see in the video gaming environment and the simulator world unless it is a closed region and finely tuned aircraft to fit totally within that region's boundaries as with say a Formula One game were as the cars are perfected to run within the the racetrack's boundaries. With X-Plane we have to cover the whole world, literally. Many of you would also point out that we had reflections and shadows in X-Plane10, and too a point that is correct, but it is in the fine detailing that that makes the complete difference in X-Plane11, use it and X-Plane10 suddenly looks dull (and old), it is all in the move forward and it is very hard to go back again just as it was with X-Plane9 over X-Plane10. X-Plane11 feels new compared with X-Plane10. But one of the biggest achievements is that these lighting features don't come with the heavy penalty of X-Plane10. You will see the difference of course, but Laminar Research has made a huge effort to contain the efficiency of the processing to keep these great effects within the confined parameters that bridges that gap. Older processors will struggle of course and drop out of the bottom, but most users if they are honest with themselves will know that X-Plane10 was already pushing their boundaries there anyway. For most users the change over to X-Plane11 will be seemless if they can manage their habits of not having all the settings in the full on position all the time, as even for myself I have to use some discretion in the settings for more to the efficiency and smooth running angle than the total visual impact angle. But X-Plane10 was that way as well so nothing has changed in that area, but you do get more visual impact for the same numbers. All the points here are created in a beta in a beta, as there are no current set final situations and we won't be won't be for a while either. But the features noted above will be soon be the everyday normal and sadly it will be quickly just all be taken for granted. It will be also a while for developers to use these features to their advantages, and so you won't get a sudden complete change to this feel overnight, but at a time in the future you will suddenly realise you are now flying in a totally different X-Plane environment than you were only a year ago. I have transitioned through many phases of X-Plane's development, what was once brilliantly great can look ordinary now, as does your ten year old Apple computer. But the transition to X-Plane11 on the surface may not look as up fronting as the new user interface, but it has the potential to completely change the way you fly and feel in a simulator. More than anytime than in the past over the last few months have I been taken by the sheer visual magnificence of what I am interacting with, more "wows" and "brilliant" as I absorb in the new world around me, and X-Plane11 is not even out of it's beta phase yet and I admit it still has a few limitations in a few areas. But the biggest vote for X-Plane11 is already in... your going to totally love it... a lot a real lot. ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 3rd March 2017 Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews
  7. News! - X-Plane11: Beta 3 is now available As the tuning of X-Plane11 continues with the release of beta 3, I still predict that you should get some sort of a stable release over the Christmas Holidays. No one more than the aircraft and plugin developers would be more pleased about this as they can move on to stabilising their products and releasing them, but the changes between the the two X-Plane versions are more significant than expected. The big guys are already pushing out beta tests with JARdesign and FlightFactor wanting some stable X-Plane11 version on your desktops before Christmas, but note again they will still be a stop gap till early 2017, but the aircraft at least will be usable and flyable over the holidays. First look at beta 3 is wow... and (I may have actually missed this in the release?) is wet runways... Simply excellent!, Taxiways and runways look realistically wet, and depending on the density of the rain also have rain splatters on the runway, so realistic... brilliant. Images show far less mist (or fogginess) and a far clearer better view, X-Plane11 now looks far more natural and realistic. Now the mist has cleared, you get a better look at the Euro autogen, which lifts Manchester away from the American look towards some sort of closer feel to the UK, but roll on the UK autogen for the real deal, but it looks really good for the future in this area. Austin's new nosewheel flexibility works very nice as well and the aircraft now feels more sprung (bouncy) and moves to the power changes. So the changes are now coming thick and fast, so enjoy... only three days to Christmas, shame we opened our presents early! To update to X-Plane11 Beta 3 then run your installer, or just start X-Plane11 and it will direct you to the upload installer, make sure the beta tickbox is ticked! Full beta 3 details here: Public Beta 3 Key Features & Improvements XPD-7219 3rd party plugin brakes fixed. Networking, crash, and joystick fixes. New electrical system model changes. XPLMNavigation API should work for third party plugins. XPD-7070 Provide plugin per frame callouts even when paused. Changes to .sit and .rep file types to make them stable across updates. Pilot defined waypoints saved by the FMC now go into the user_fix.dat. FMS will now correctly use GPS alt or barometric altitude for approach VNAV as per approach setting. Default is GPS altitude as for LPV approaches. FMS fixes when using VNAV. Backward compatibility in ARINC 424 interpreter. Free global resources at program end to avoid memory leak false positives. Fixed crash when loading DSFs while flying really, really fast. Updated tire model. A fix for weapons that have OBJs but not custom particle effects. Additional Bug Fixes XPD-7289 IP address of receiving network data was wrong. XPD-7288 IPs are sorted in order and fixes missing IP address list. XPD-7203 Crash with Open Air file. XPD-7078 Fix for non-fogged interior objects. XPD-7091 Failures now get applied only for the aircraft you set them on. XPD-6851 Fix sky color through alpha texture in HDR mode. XPD-6958 Changing plane altitude or speed in map changes heading as well. XPD-7281 We now explicitly support approach targets that are not in our “nearby approaches” list. XPD-7217 We can now separate the enum and order of the API. XPD-6863 Take windows down to windowed mode before destroying them. XPD-7060 Fix dev assert reloading 737. XPD-7249 Fix for crash when you add a monitor while looking at Settings > Graphics. XPD-7273 Updates to KSEA demo area. XPD-7271 Removes G1000 C172 from installs. XPD-7252 Update to LOWI demo area. XPD-7064 Added ability to bind hat switches to any command, not just our suggested ones. XPD-7061 Fix for setting aircraft heading via the inspector being wonky due to live editing the text field. XPD-7268 Remove separate selection style from map. XPD-7009 We now hide localizers in the map view that might interfere with seeing your “target” ILS. XPD-7159 We can now select an approach at any time, and we no longer show downwind ILSes if applicable. XPD-7245 Fixes dragging the plane icon on map when not paused. XPD-7246 Tow plane does not tow us on the runway. XPD-7256 Landing light switch dataref is a float. XPD-7254 Fix for ATC window crashing when in “AI Flies Your Plane” mode. XPD-7251 fix for crash in r-tree when the r-tree is empty. XPD-7227 Fixed autobrakes. XPD-7110 Stopped hover help tips from getting repositioned. XPD-7221 Determine if an aircraft supports 2-D panel mode. XPD-7236 Search in the command mappings table now includes children of matched folder. XPD-7154 Fix for windowed -> fullscreen -> windowed transition increasing the window size and moving it. XPD-7232 Fix for failures trashing your currently-loaded aircraft’s livery. XPD-7210 Fix for crash when loading a bad .sit file in quickflight mode. XPD-7211 Fix for crash caused by trying to load airport from prefs that no longer exists in your installation. XPD-7212, XPD-7228 GPS has a problem with “degenerate” STARs that only consist of transition segments and no trunk route. XPD-7233 Crash when changing location with IOS. XPD-7032 Fix for “manual” network connections defaulting to port 0. XPD-7186 Center map on PPOS if empty flight plan is viewed in PLN mode. XPD-7193 Fix for missing NDB or VOR in flight plan. XPD-7018 Restored ability for “optional” dialogs to be auto-dismissed on external visuals & machines under IOS control. XPD-7083 We only display the “Save Configuration as Default” button if you do not have an image mapping for this joystick. XPD-7044 Fix for incorrectly identifying monitor resolution when using mixed DPI displays. XPD-7088 We now read your language prefs before falling back to prompting you to pick a language. XPD-7184 AI can fly your aircraft again. XPD-7220 Additional sounds added to C172 cockpit. XPD-7250 Push-back working for AI aircraft. XPD-7160 Stop labeling both ends of helipads in the map. ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 21st December 2016 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
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