X-Plane 10.10B1 - Ultra-realistic flight simulator (beta).. (Updater): "
X-Plane is the world's most comprehensive, powerful flight simulator, and has the most realistic flight model available for personal computers.
Welcome to the world of props, jets, single- and multi-engine airplanes, as well as gliders, helicopters and VTOLs such as the V-22 Osprey and AV8-B Harrier.
X-Plane comes with subsonic and supersonic flight dynamics, sporting aircraft from the Bell 206 Jet-Ranger helicopter and Cessna 172 light plane to the supersonic SR-71 and Space Shuttle. X-Plane comes with 35 aircraft spanning the aviation industry (and history), and several thousand more are freely downloadable from the internet. (See www.X-Plane.org as a good place to start).
X-Plane scenery is world-wide, with scenery for the entire planet Earth between 74 degrees north to 60 degrees south latitude. We also have MARS scenery! (thanks to the Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter, which mapped that planet's elevation). On Earth, you can land at any of over 33,000 airports, as well as test your mettle on aircraft carriers, helipads on building tops, frigates that pitch and roll in the waves, and oil rigs.
Weather is variable from clear skies and high visibility to thunderstorms with controllable wind, wind shear, turbulence, and microbursts! Rain, snow and clouds are available for an instrument flying challenge, and thermals are available for the gliders! Real weather conditions can be downloaded from the internet, allowing you to fly in the actual weather that currently exists at the location of flight!
X-Plane also has detailed failure-modeling, with multitudes of systems that can be failed manually or randomly, when you least expect it! You can fail instruments, engines, flight controls, landing gear, or dozens of other systems at any moment.
While X-Plane is the world's most COMPREHENSIVE flight sim, your purchase also comes with Plane-Maker (to create your own airplanes) Airfoil-Maker (allowing users to create airfoil performance profiles), and Weather Briefer (to get a weather briefing before the flight if you use real weather conditions downloaded from the internet).
X-Plane is also extremely customizable, allowing you to easily create textures, sounds, and instrument panels for your own airplanes that you design or the planes that come with the sim.
X-Plane's accuracy (in flight model), scope (in aircraft and terrain coverage), versatility (in aircraft type and weather conditions), add-on programs (in aircraft and scenery editors), customizability, downloadable aircraft, and downloadable scenery makes it the ULTIMATE flight simulation experience for Macintosh, Windows, and Linux platforms.
BE SURE TO TURN ON THE >BETA< option in the installer before you run it to get the beta!
The demo contains a limited scenery area to keep the download size reasonable. It will run for 10 minutes before it begins to ignore the user's input, at which point the simulator must be restarted to fly more.
- X-Plane now features a "Quick Flight" screen, which can open on load if desired. Besides being a nice way to quickly set up a simple flight and see all of your airplanes, the Quick Flight screen will save you time, because it appears before scenery is loaded. No need to wait for scenery to load, then change airports, then wait again. Start your flight where you want with the plane you want.
- Q E R F < > arrow keys to move around: SHIFT to go FAST CONTROL to go SLOW this gives more control for movie-makers, as requested by various movie-makers.
- 20 new commands: 10 MEMORIZE view in 3-d cockpit 10 RECALL view in 3-d cockpit The 10 views, called "Quick-Look" views, are commands in the VIEW group in the keyboard assignment screen, but if you delete your preferences in the output/preferences folder, then they will default to the 10 numeric keypad numbers, and hit CONTROL plus that number to memorize a new view.
- Joysticks can now be hot-plugged; X-Plane detects your joystick changes as they happen; no need to restart!
- X-Plane now features automatic crash reporting. When X-Plane crashes (due to its own code or a plugin) it will gather up a crash report, which goes into its Output/Crash Reports folder. It will then present you the _option_ to send the report to Laminar Research automatically.
- Whether or not you choose to send the report, the report is retained in Output/Crash Reports so you can see what data was collected and would have been sent. Reports you choose to send go into a database so that we can analyze them and search by common problems (e.g. do all of the crashes at this point in the code happen on this graphics card).
- X-plane will attempt to detect low memory conditions before an actual crash happens and warn you. If possible, it will stop loading scenery but not terminate the app so you can save any preferences if desired. This is not a replacement for 64-bit but is designed to help differentiate low memory vs. an actual crash bug.
- If X-Plane crashes, it will offer to optionally start up in 'safe mode' on the next run, with rendering settings set back to factory defaults. If you change a rendering setting that takes effect on restart and thus cannot restart the sim, this gives you an easy way to restore things.
- New oil rig... see it in the oil rig approach... really amazing detail.
- New plane: Columbia-400!
- Piaggo Avanti updated to be really nice, and is our default airplane for now.
- Updated scenery textures. New textures for dry regions and Volcanos, as well as enhancements and refinements, including color adjustment.
- New lights - the light texture and table of colors has been tuned up for better night lighting.
- More "stuff" in the airport library.
- (Autogen improvements are still in progress and will be available in a later beta.)
- The entire HDR pipeline has been rewritten to fix bugs and boost performance. It may be a bit before the bugs are all thrashed out.
- Tone mapping in HDR mode now features dynamic exposure as you move the camera. The dynamic exposure is set to very small changes for now; we'll tune it during the beta.
- Night lighting performance has been tuned considerably.
- The "ATI Windows" issue is fixed: the ATI Windows driver is a bit slow to map memory compared to other drivers/platforms, so we use an alternate code path. This should provide lower CPU use for clouds on ATI Windows systems. If you still have slow clouds, then X-Plane is slow or your machine is slow or your settings are too high.
- X-Plane creates a .ini file in Custom scenery to manage your scenery packs. You can reprioritize scenery without renaming folders by editing the file. This feature is meant as a base; someday we'll get a UI in front of it. Disable a pack you don't like by replacing SCENERY_PACK with SCENERY_PACK_DISABLED. New packs will be added to the .ini file automatically as they are found, so you never _have_ to edit this .ini file.
- Scenery packs in custom scenery can be symbolic links, short cuts or aliases to other hard drives. Link the pack - that is, put the pack anywhere, and put the alias in custom scenery. draped objects work without specific LOD
- The road rendering code has been overhauled to not put roads up in the sky and to avoid putting powerline towers on roads when possible. If you see a case where a road goes straight up into the air, please, re-report the bug against 10.10b1. But note that we are still tuning and fixing bugs in the roads.
- Line-style forest rendering fixed - the lines could be garbled.
- Facade roof textures flipped horizontally - they were wrong before.
- Placement of tiles in autogen strings improved.
- Objects with draped geometry work even if there is non non-draped geometry and no LOD instructions. In 10.05r1 the default LOD was miscalculated. To ship scenery that works with 10.05r1, just use the explicit ATTR_LOD_draped command.
- Controllable ram-air recovery for propeller engines assign the ram air recovery percentage for your recip or turboprop engine installation, and see what kind of power boost you can get at speed with a properly-designed inlet! this used to be hard-wired at 10% (pursuant to flight-test in my Cirrus) but is now controllable by you per-aircraft.
- Electric motors are limited on torque and power, so if you exceed redline rpm, the torque will be gin to fall off to hold constant power! electric motors can have efficiency as well, indicating what percentage of the watt-hours coming out of the battery make it to the prop! electric motors can re-gen power as well, if you enter a re-gen efficiency in the engines screen of Plane-Maker (Spool-Up tab.. where the engine efficiency mentioned above is also set) the re-gen model causes the prop to go into re-gen mode if the throttle is at idle, running the braking torque (and thus battery charge) up linearly with rpm until braking torque equals max allowable drive torque at redline prop rpm. These things are designed to make electric motor simulation really run well in X-Plane... even well enough to plan how a real electric airplane will perform!
- Manifold pressure tweaked still more! I am sorry to keep twiddling this one parameter, but i sure do want to get it right! we now DO use the max manifold pressure that you enter into Plane-Maker, so you should be able to control the results well.
- When you fail the left or right flaps, they simply stay in the position they were in the moment the failure occurred. this makes it possible to fail the flaps when extended, so only one side RETRACTS! rather interesting for go-arounds with failed flaps on one side when you start to clean up the plane!
- The weight and balance predictor in Plane-Maker (designed by me to test out real airplane designs!) now has a different weight and balance entry for each fuel tank, so you can see CG ranges at all possible fuel tank load-outs.
- Metal coefficient on concrete increased a bit... this will reduce skidding on helos a bit, and make dynamic roll-over more likely!
- More refinement of the transition from subsonic to supersonic flight model, with input from an F-18 pilot that spends time flying in both speed regimes. In reality, the air accelerates to (and beyond) the speed of sound as it moves around the body of the aircraft... even BEFORE the airplane makes it up to the speed of sound. We now start to emulate that effect a bit, starting to move to the supersonic flight modeling as the aircraft speed approaches Mach 1, with drag rising as shock waves form.
- You now enter the starter HORSEPOWER in the engines screen, and it's behavior should be more realistic in flight. As well, starter current draw should be a lot more realistic now, and the starter torque should fall off as the rpm comes up due to power limits of the starter and it's associated circuitry.
- New variable in Plane-Maker: Prop pitch time to enter beta. Enter a value here (in the Engines screen, Spoolup tab) to set how quickly the propeller can move. While you only enter the time to move from idle to beta, this prop speed is then used for ALL propeller operations.
- Translucency is fixed in HDR mode - translucent glass should look the same in forward and HDR renders. If you have a model whose translucency changes, please re-report a bug!!!
- V9-style lights don't "leak" - landing light affect exterior objects and global interior spill affects interior.
- Prop disc overrides fixed.
- X-Plane won't reset your livery choice if you turn HDR mode on and off.
- Textures can now be up to 4096 x 4096 pixels. Use good judgment as this can eat a lot of VRAM!!!
- A new OBJ attribute GLOBAL_no_shadow excludes an object from shadow calculations. This is both good for performance and gets rid of ugly shadows on objects like grass that should not have shadows.
- Autogen and roads can have attached objects that appear more often in higher rendering settings. Our artists will be using this to tune rendering performance.
- Draped geometry in an object now has all of the same shader options as a road or autogen tile. Docs on this coming soon!
- Changing weather datarefs will not regenerate cloud puffs unless cloud-related datarefs change.
- The sim no longer tests for a "crashed" airplane when the sim is paused. This test was causing the sim to believe that the user had crashed the aircraft when a plugin changed the airplane's position in the world. So now writing the airplane's position should work correctly even for far-away locations.
- The screenshot command still works in Plane-Maker.
- Landing lights light up the rain and snow now... kind of a nice detail
- Heat blur moved according to the exhaust location even with tilting engines for VTOL ops...nice if you want to try something like a JET V-22 type aircraft.
- Less water spray effect form hovering helos over wet terrain, as per reality.
- No more brakes hanging on free-casting nosewheel craft. (oops!)
- The LOCATION of the jettisonable load on the aircraft is now considered on all aspects of the flight model
- In the weight and balance screen, add a nice big jettisonable water load and put it out on the wingtip! let the fun commence!
- Situations can be saved even if you just loaded a situation to start up with! kind of convenient. situations within situations.
- Mouse controls rudder again, as desired, when no joy controls found
- New file-open is nice... try it! should be much quicker to use. as well, new livery selection is nice... it is integrated with the aircraft-open, and always remembers what was the last livery used for each airplane, which is kind of convenient.
- More failures that do not apply to your airplane are culled from the failure UI list
- New command: "sim/flight_controls/brakes_toggle_auto" to toggle auto-brakes, as requested.
- The cloud layers can now be as close together as you like
- SLIGHT change in the icing model: you now only need ONE switch for bleed air or pneumatic on the panel now. it will active
- Any bleed air and pneumatics on BOTH wings.
- New command: "sim/autopilot/knots_mach_toggle" This is a new command (assignable to a joystick button or keyboard, and one shat should be used by custom-aircraft makers) that properly toggle between speed and mach number on the airspeed hold.
- New command: "sim/flight_controls/tail_wheel_lock" Toggles the tailwheel lock.
- New commands: ADF 1 and 2 cards, pilot and copilot, rotate up and down.
- Much less turbulence from RAIN... you have to select STORMS or the turbulence slider to get noticeable turbulence,or fly into CUMULUS clouds.
- Shooting down other airplanes works.
- Lift fans possible, as intended.
- These are insanely fun.
- Equip your plane with 1 (or more!) jet engine but set up 2 (or more) props.
- Be sure that the jet engine is set so it can be VECTORING! set the vector range in the helos and VTOL screen to at least 90 degrees, and check it as vectoring in the engines screen
- For the props, set them to type LIFT FAN and give them plenty of RPM and make them ducted and at a vertical cant of 90 degrees
- If you balance out the fan speed and radius number of blade and chord to absorb the right amount of power from the jet, then you should be able to get the thing balanced out to fly nicely like an F-35!carrier catshot mission won't launch prematurely off the deck just cause you have toe-brakes, and should have better physics in place holding you before the shot
- Mac OS X 10.5 or later
- a 2 GHz, dual-core CPU
- 2 GB of RAM
- a DirectX 9-capable video card with 128 MB of on-board, dedicated video RAM (VRAM). See here for compatibility and graphics cards.
(Via MacUpdate - Mac OS X.)