New in the version 9.31 update
From X-Plane Wiki
New for 9.40:
RC16 Just a few tweaks to the plugin system read and adjust glideslope and flaps that were not working QUITE the way some people wanted.
RC15 Lat-lon waypoints from Goodway-generated flight plans import correctly. Rare crash bug when parsing liveries fixed. Normal maps are no longer distorted by customized gamma settings. X-Plane will generate an Apple crash report instead of a one-line X-Plane crash report in a few cases. This will give us more info when the sim does fail. Air driven generator needs to spin a bit more to power the system, as in reality. Tail wheel lock applies at any elevator aft of nuetral, as in reality.
RC14 - No crash when AI airplanes have panel tooltips. (This should fix a number of crashes during startup.) - No incorrect log warnings when loading liveries. - Updated the command list.
RC13 No more erroneous master caution on the Cirrus Jet. Indicated airspeed tweaked just a hair to get the Mach-compression effects... this tunes the fast jets jut a bit. A tiny modification of the file-reading system to solve a few random data-corruption issues. Objects and other text files with no newline at the end of the file load correctly. Airplanes whose default livery is not available run without fps hit.
RC12 A few bug-fixes for a few plugins. Your path should always plot on the map screen when in 3-d mode. Alignment of plugin text is now consisten with the rest of X-Plane.
RC11 A hair more refinement on the various hydraulic, vaccuum, fuel, and oil pumps. A few tiny refinements in the prop-pitch model. Glideslope indicator should only show up when desired. Livery should be auto-loaded in X-Plane ifd pre-selected in Plane-Maker. A few more datarefs now available for custom prop discs - sample plugin coming soon. No more crash on start on Vista with full screen selected. Calair FMS programmer should open without as many spaces. Pushback plugins won't get "stuck". x737 FMS should work again. Some cases of upside down video capture and hangs should be fixed with ATI video cards on OS X.
RC10 OK the FMS and GPS is now really awesome... better than anything you have seen before with X-Plane. Here is the deal: Enter any plan you like into the FMS... The distance and time enroute will display at the bottom from your CURRENT position to whatever the final destination in the FMS is... So as you scroll through waypoints in the FMS, you will see the distance and time from your current location to the displayed fix. Now, while this is going on, if you have a GPS in addition to the FMS, the GPS will always display the distance and time to THE NEXT FIX YOU ARE FLYING TO... No matter what fix you have selected in the FMS! In other words, you can set your FMS to the last fix in the plan to see when you will really arrive at the final destination, while the GPS is displaying the time and distance simply to the next fix. All of this runs at the same time, no problem. As well, you can enter a full FMS plans into the FMS, or, if you like, enter direct->to routes into the GPS... the FMS will simply display that single-leg plan that you just entered into the GPS! We have had GPS's and FMS's for a long time, but now all the pieces fit together just PERFECTLY. This is lots more important than it sounds: This is what will allow us to easily add even MORE GPS and FMS detail in the future! (Something, obviously, we have planned!) Various 'prop feathers on engine-fail/prop-pull/mixture-pull' and other odd engine-reverse cases should be perfectly operational. Emergency engine power is available only after engine failure, regardless of how many times you have flown since you started X-Plane. Spool time for jet engines is back... I THOUGHT we could get by without it, but it hurts the SHUT-DOWN spool-down times to take it away... so it is back! Radio altimeter decision-height selection should always move in steps of 10, as is probably desired. Idle-speed switches should be operational in all types of craft. A few little engine-sync/prop-sync issues should be sorted out... the systems should be good for jets, turboprops, recips, etc. 172 autopilot now operational.
RC9 Planet-map zoom does not affect map zoom, as is probably desired. A hair more internal code re-organization to avoid bugs in the future involving many different planes all flying at once. A nice new interface on the serial-port selections on the joystick and equipment screen, for things likeGarmin 430 and PFC hardware... The text indicating what serial device you are listening for flashes in the lower-right of the screen if data is coming in to that device. This is all about getting certifiable sims quickly developed, tested, installed, and running... And being able to quickly hook up and test serial devices is needed for this in many cases, with a nice UI showing which serial devices are talking and which ones aren't.
RC8 More refinements to the GPS-FMS-Garmin-430 model to make plugins work as they always have, even in the new improved internal organization of the code. Goodway Plugin can program GPS CAX FMS plugin can program FMS Yet a few more tony enhancements in the "autopilot/autopilot select/ott_seldisp_ALT_VVI.png" instrument, as we make it EXACTLY like the old KAS-297. 3-D Panel will animate for complex aircraft like the EC120. Fixed crash on quit on some machines.
RC7 More tuning on DEFAULTING the number of batteries, generators, and inverters to decent values, no matter what version, format, and method of controlling these things you used in the old ACF files. Prop "feather on fail" a hair better... If you have various 'feather on engine failure, prop control at min, mixture pulled' options in Plane-Maker Systems screen checked, the props will fail to feathered pitch at no oil pressure, whether on a single or twin, as you probably intend. As well, refinement of things like propeller-rendering and reverse and beta and reverse pitch on unusual planes that have a different number of engines than props.
RC6 Small refinement to auto-set the number of batteries and generators FOR you, if you have not specified them in Plane-Maker.
RC5 Small refinements in carb-heat model. Failures-page re-organized a hair... It is really nicely-organized now, with no redundant failures, but plenty of nice failures to have! Specify the number of batteries, generators, and inverters in the system window in Plane-Maker... No more guessing based on the number of switches on the panel! specify if the starter is electric or air-driven in the systems window in Plane-Maker... No more guessing based on the starter amperage!
RC4 Ever-so-slight tuning of a few bits and pieces of the low enroute map. Subtle difference in Plane-Maker, Engines screen, second tab over: The top number is the number of ENGINES, the bottom number is the number of PROPS... This is not QUITE what we had before, where the bottom number WAS the number of 'thrust points'... but this is a bit more intuitive, and clear, I think. A few really really ODD designs MAY require updates in Plane-Maker. Improvements in the flight-replay: The flight should be properly saved and re-playable no matter how many times you enter and exit replay mode at various different points in the replay. As well, the flight-replays should include ALL the planes that were in flight at the time, so replay of entire 20-plane formations should be possible! As well, replay for your flight now lasts about 85 minutes (up from about 35 minutes in earlier versions). BUT, that is assuming you are flying by yourself! The more planes you have flying with you, the shorter the replay duration! New autopilot buttons: Altitude ARM and TOGA... kind of nice! A few more failures in the g-1000 failure-list... lo and hi generator and battery voltage... They live in the g-1000 page for now, but do in fact work for everyone. A few more failures in the failure types tab in the failures screen for various engine indications Now your challenge: can you find any failures that DON'T WORK? Try failing every indication in that page, and check every engine instrument in the sim... Do all the indications fail, as they should? And do all SYSTEMS continue to FUNCTION normally, as they should? Gear indicator failure is a bit better... it just fails ONE bulb, as is typical in the real plane. Distances and times enroute on the FMS should update just fine. As well, the plugin APIs for the GPS and FMS have been fixed. If your GPS, FMS or flight planning plugin does not work in RC4, but worked in 931, please file a bug immediately! As well, a number of other datarefs have been fixed. Annunciator on the screen if FROZEN (different than paused!)
RC3 Minor enhancements: Plane-Maker: It is now possible to enter negative generator and battery current redlines and the like. This could be useful for some planes. Plane-Maker: You now enter the BETA pitch of prop. This is the prop pitch that you see when the prop is in beta mode, which turboprops often have, and this will happen when you hit the . key to go into reverse, but have not yet advanced the throttle to really hit the reverse. A number around -10 or so should work pretty well for most planes, if you do not know the exact prop pitch of the real plane. If you have an electric hydraulic system but no electric hydraulic pump switch, then the system will default to 'on', as is probably desired. When you show ALL ILS's or just the ILS you are trying to fly in the IOS window, the markers associated with the ILS are also show, or not, to further refine the ILS display. In the profile view on the IOS, where we see the plot of our approach down the glideslope, we now have better AI to tell what approach you are trying to fly, and you can see that approach description in the lower-right of the screen, and that information is stored for recall during replay! The autopilot/autopilot select/ott_seldisp_ALT_VVI and autopilot/console_filled_GA are very true to the real instruments, right down to every light-flash and operation, even including the test-modes. Be sure to assign a joystick button to 'autopilot test' if you want to fully use autopilot/console_filled_GA, which has the trim indicator stay lit up until that test is run, as in the real plane! Smoother action on the linear tapes in the cockpit, like you find in the SR-71 primary displays. More named lights for strobes and beacons. Example plane coming soon to the wiki. Bug-Fixes: AudioPanelHM instrument is now fully controllable... You could not set com-1 before this. We have functioning glideslopes to the carriers and frigates now... so use 'em! Little glitch in sky color that left a barely-visible seam in the sky is now fixed. Plane follows GPS paths entered in FMS properly The livery you select should be visible to multiplayers flying with you! LINUX: taxiways and runway lines and lights are fixed. ATTR_light_level works correctly even when shaders are off. Adaptive engine gauges will show arcs again. Generic rolling instruments don't have an extra mask o them. Panel texture will work properly for planes with very large cockpit objects. Engines will work for AI planes contorolled by plugins.
RC-2 Oil and fuel pressure modeling improved: Now we simulate both the pump and the over-pressure regulator. This should lead to more accurate simulation of these systems. Be sure to set the low and high oil and fuel pressure green-arc limits in Plane-Maker to really get the best use out of these systems, since the simulation I wrote does tune the pumps to try to keep the pressures in the green-arc range! New instrument: Select/engage vvi/alt, in the autopilot sel/engage folder... This is used on the Bendix-King autopilots that used to be popular. Making the aircraft out of 1 obj in Plane-Maker will auto-position the landing gear for you (rather than making you find the right dataref to place the gear), which makes things a bit easier to generate aircraft objects for airport scenery and the like, with the landing gear already in the right place. The 'x-mapped file ran out of memory' error that a few of you got sometimes should be solved... give it a try now! Memory use while flying is reduced as well. Airplane named lights can be used for static aircraft - they will stay "on" when used for a static plane rather than copying what the user's plane does. As well, there are new datarefs for airplane lights. Panel drawing optimized slightly for a hair more speed.
Beta 7 NEW FEATURES: New plane-maker autopilot option: Adjust alt hold when pitch buttons on autopilot pushed. If you have this option, then the nose up and nose down commands will adjust the held altitude if you are in altitude-hold mode when you send them. New Plane-Maker option: Auto-feather the prop on mixture-pull, as used in some prop planes. New plane-maker autopilot option: Go to pitch mode on altitude arm. Some old autopilots do this. Cool new command: Reset last flight... Available in the advanced buttons settings. This resets the last flight you did.
REFINEMENTS: Vacuum system gives annunciator lite and lo-vac flag if the vacuum system falls below the lo-end vacuum REDLINE, not the green arc! Set the lo-end vacuum redline accordingly in Plane-Maker. Better weather reports for airports that you click on in the Low Enroute map! We now scan the METAR file, if you have it, for weather at that airport, and give the clouds, visibility, wind, and baro pressure! If you do not have carriers or frigates selected, then the IOS will show the autopilot entries in that space instead... better for pro training! Sim-time and ground-speed multiplier both give on-screen text warnings now. Back course and APPROACH annunciators and modes tuned a hair. If you have 2 Garmin 430s in the panel, each can have it's own GPS destination. HSI, etc, will follow GPS #1.
BUG-FIXES: Airplanes should not appear backwards on the glideslope view in the map screen when heading back along on downwind to the ils-intercept. Simulated Garmin-430 commands should all work now. No water tiles shown in orbital view, and less pause when coming out of orbit, while we are on the that topic.
Beta 6 Autopilot: Alt will not arm when you do the arm-alt command if the glideslope is already engaged. This is as most real airplanes behave. New engine-failure mode: Thrust-reverser accidental-deploy... can be a tricky one to deal with. If you do NOT have the 'altitude tracks aircraft when CWS is held' checked in Plane-Maker, then X-Plane will NOT track your altitude when CWS is held... but it WILL track your vertical speed! This as the way some real autopilots behave. Improved EGT, TIT, and engine-braking modeling based on flight-test in the real plane. No more NAV signal wandering around near the edge of reception range. It seems that most modern systems can filter this out, in reality. Fuel burn should go with ground coverage speed now.
Beta 5 Refinements in EGT-modeling. We get closer to redline in redline power and mixture conditions. Refinements in CHT-modeling. CHT should not go to huge negative values when you enter unrealistic values in Plane-Maker. Better ability to hold position on the runway under high power settings, if the real plane would have the braking ability to do so. Flight path should plot in the proper place in the weather-map in the set-weather window. If the localizer fails on a localizer or ILS with DME, the DME will continue to broadcast, as in reality. If you are in approach mode and hit the APR button, it will drop you out of all approach modes, as in reality. New button in Plane-Maker to enter the number of degrees off that the autopilot will auto-select back-course on. Enter 0 to not auto-select back-course. X-Squawkbox works again!
Beta 4 A number of odd graphical artifacts fixed. You can now select buses for all systems in the amperage-selection screen in Plane-Maker... You could not select the amperage for a few systems before. Autopilot can be set to auto-load the current altitude into the altitude pre-select window, or not, in the Systems page of Plane-Maker. Spoiler deflection limits should now be perfectly respected. UI should always be visible... it was sometime a hair dark, or very dark, or red at night. We now just keep it the same no matter the lighting conditions to be a bit more consistent. Can anyone find any case where any bit of the user-interface is improperly-colored at night? A few more electrical-system details ironed out.
Beta 3 King-Air and a number of other planes should function normally that had an electrical-system glitch in beta-2. Mouse-wheel throttle should not conflict with joystick throttles any more Brakes should hold the plane back a bit better during runups, etc. The trim-deflection time is entered in Plane-Maker in seconds, rather than ratio, so we all understand exactly what it means. This lets you do a better job of acf-design: Measure the time it takes the trim to move full-distance from one extreme to the other and enter that in Plane-Maker to get the perfect trim speed. New feature in Plane-Maker Equipment Options screen: all engines: Shut off fuel when prop control at minimum! Check this to have the fuel to the engine shut off when the prop control is pulled back to minimum. This is used on some turboprop aircraft. New autopilot altitude-warning options. Check out the Systems window in Plane-Maker to see them all. Basically, you can have the X-Plane autopilot beep at various altitude warnings or excursions. Airports with old runways won't appear incorrectly oriented or mis-sized. New datarefs for additional failures and glide-slope detection.
Beta 2 Here is what's new for 9.40 Beta-2! NEW STUFF: The filled autopilot annunciator now displays pitch-mistrim 'TRM' alert if the autopilot is unable to trim out the pitch-loads, as it is in the real plane. Improved FDR (Flight Data Recorder) replay: We always read every line of the replay, and the propellers and rotors spin during playback of FDR files, as desired. New button in the weight and balance screen to set to max gross weight... Kind of convenient to flight-test at gross weight every time. Improvement in FADEC mode on recip engines to limit power more accurately for turbocharged engines. Plane-Maker:Panel Editor: You can now specify the buses that each instrument depend on, regardless of the number of buses on the plane. Remember that you can have up to 4 buses, and each instrument can depend on any bus! The generic needle can rotate around an arbitrary location. Useful for making various types of "wiper" instruments and fuel gauges. Key frames can optionally wrap around. Use the generic pointer with wrapping and clipping to make a "tape" or "ladder"-style instrument. Instruments can be tied to more than one electrical bus. Non-generic instruments can be tied to an electrical bus too! FIXES: Piper Malibu throttle handles should not turn gray in clouds. No stars in the water at very low reflection settings - before the reflections were pixelated and ugly. Real weather and version-checks should work. Glass instruments on bus 2 won't turn off when bus 1 loses power. Electrical system settings for panel should import better from 930 planes. IMPORTANT: if you have a 930 airplane you should go back to the 930 version for beta 2 - do not use the conversion for beta 1. 940 beta 1 had bugs in the airplane conversion code, so your electrical system and instrument bus settings will not have converted properly. 940 beta 2 should fix this.
Beta 1 Here is what's new for 9.40 Beta-1!
Systems Modeling New features, mostly added for total system-realism for FAA-Certification: New elec sys modelling improvements. Now you can have up to 4 buses, and each system can draw from any of, or all of, those buses. As well, you can assign any generator and any battery to any bus. As well, each generator can have a different max amperage. This really lets you start to dial in the electrical systems really well! New feature in the IOS: Shut down tailwind ILS. This checkbox in the map screen lets you shut down all ILS's that are not aligned into the wind, as is typically done in reality This is really needed at airports like KLAX, which have ILS's in opposite directions BUT ON THE SAME FREQUENCY! Any shut-down and failed NAVAIDs turn red so you can see that they are not operational. Kind of nice! New setting in Plane-Maker systems screen: Number of degrees of heading error needed for the autopilot to switch turn directions. 180 by default, 20 for the G-1000. New instrument: Radio alt decision-height light... A little light that goes off when you make it down to decision height. Oil pressure modelled a hair differently to show change in response to rpm change a hair more. Emergency gear extension override commands now avail... Can be assigned to any joystick button of course! New Plane-Maker feature: Import AIRCRAFT... This imports everything EXCEPT the panel... nice if you want multiple acf files that are the same except the panel! The ENGINE_VAC gages in the ENGINE ROUND folder show the suction from each engine... You can have two of these. The SUCTION_LO_LITE_GA instruments show the suction from each engine... You can have two of these. The SUCTION gage in the SUPPLEMENT folder shows the total suction of all available vacuum pumps... It shows what the instruments are GETTING, and you only want ONE of these! Inverter failure will fail the trq indicators now if the trq indicators are hooked up to the inverters as per the system screen in Plane-Maker. Click on any airport in the IOS screen... You should get airport info and the weather at the airport as well. New option in Plane-Maker: The altitude tracks the aircraft current altitude when the cws button is down: yes or no. Set your ports for listening and receiving in the net screens now. Oil pump failure a little more realistic... We see more gradual engine failure, with rise in oil temperature. A few (real) G-430 failures, useful if connected to a real Garmin-430. Cool new Plane: New plane: Stinson l-5.,. It is in the general aviation folder, and very nice. Nice little features and UI tweaks: Glideslope plot on the IOS now shows the width of the glideslope region, and shows the marker beacons as well.. kind of nice! Reversed/beta/forward thrust engine-mode saved in replays. Better throttle response from the fadec.. closer to linear. 3-D cockpit will let you look around when paused now. Toll-spoiler logic just a hair smarter with speedbrakes: Spoilers will not extend beyond max speedbrake deployment. Boat-drawing rendering-option is now separated from the forest fires and balloons. NAVAID failure-page shows the type for each NAVAID... makes it easier to see exactly what NAVAID you are failing. All 'situation-movies' are now referred to as 'replays' everywhere in the UI Engine-failure options that do not apply to the type of engine in your plane do not appear in the engine-failure list... A bit easier to spot the failures you want. New instruments and commands: New flight director/autopilot commands and instruments in the BUTTONS folder to turn the flight director and autopilot servos on and off. Commands restored: "sim/instruments/ECAM_mode_down" "sim/instruments/ECAM_mode_up" New command that you can hook up to any key or joystick button: Marker beacon mute. It's in the ANNUNCIATORS group. New annunciator: GPU connected. You can assign any joystick button to the COMMAND to connect the GPU, and when you hit it, you will see the gpu-connected light activate, and also get plenty of power to bus #1 on the airplane. Minor tweaks and Bug-Fixes: Mean time between failure causes random failures when checked in the failures screen, otherwise does not! IOS glideslope map properly labelled as AGL, not MSL, altitudes. EFIS-app tweaked a hair to display both adf's and display a few more things a hair more accurately, and let you enter initial fuel No blackout in external view modes ,and Cinema Verite should not respond to G-load at very low G. Planes with only 1 inverter switch should still drive all inverter-driven systems ok! Flaps deploy at the right speed now, ion all cases... they were sometimes too fast before. Arrow keys to scroll large 2-d panels in side-views, as is used for some older planes, now work!
Rendering Engine The rendering engine is more heavily threaded for better use of multiple cores. The sim should start faster with very high tree settings, and forests will appear sooner on machines with many cores. Normal maps available for OBJs. File format information coming soon. Prop disc can be customized by plugins - see Custom Prop Discs Better memory efficiency with the apt.dat file. V7 cockpit objects don't slow Plane-Maker to a crawl.
New for 9.31:
New engine model
New engine-modeling system to handle critical altitudes, jets, turboprops and recips, with and without FADECs, with and without automatic waste-gates. It's all in the ENGINES screen of Plane-Maker, top right: Only 3 values to enter to control it all: Critical Altitude and two FADEC-equipped check-boxes.
Here's how it works:
Engines operate on air to product thrust or power, and the higher you fly your plane, the thinner the air gets, and the less power or thrust the engines put out. So, if you have an engine that is good for 300 hp, or 10,000 lb of thrust, the power or thrust will degrade as you climb into thinner air... the plane is running out of breath!
But wait! There are cures to this problem. For reciprocating engines, you can put on a turbocharger to pack more air into the engine as you climb, holding max rated power as you climb into thinner air. For turboprop and turbojet engines, you can simply design the engine to have more thermodynamic power or thrust capacity than is safe for the engine, and just run the engine at partial power down low, and then open up the throttle as the airplane climbs into thinner air to hold a constant power or thrust as you climb!
In both of the cases above, the engine has the ability to tear itself apart down low, but keeps reduced throttle settings down low in thick air, and then opens up the throttle (or turbocharger RPM!) as you climb into thinner air to hold that constant, max-rated power or thrust during the climb.
In some planes (Columbia 400), this power-limiting is handled automatically by the engine, In others (King-Air B-200) it is done manually by the pilot... he needs to be sure not to push the throttle too far forwards at low altitude or he will over-torque the engine!
So, how do we handle all this in X-Plane?
I made it pretty simple for you: You enter the maximum allowable power or thrust for the engines in Plane-Maker. Then, you enter the critical altitude... this is the altitude to which that engine can continue to put out that max allowable power or thrust. For example:
- For reciprocating engines like in my Cessna 400, the plane is rated to 310 hp (max allowable) but can put that full 310 hp out right to 15,000 ft.
- For turboprop airplanes like the King Air, the PT-6 is limited to 850 hp (max allowable) but can put that power out to maybe 18,000 ft.
- For jet airplanes, an engine might be limited to 100,000 lb of thrust, but put that thrust out clear to 10,000 ft.
To handle cases like these, simply enter that "LIMIT", or "RATED", or "MAX-ALLOWABLE" power or thrust for the engine in Plane-Maker, and then enter the critical altitude... the altitude to which that engine can put out that max rated power.
X-Plane, at this point, will understand that the thermodynamic power output of the engines may be far greater than the rated power output (based on how high the critical altitude is) and model the engine accordingly.
Next, you check the FADEC checkbox. This checkbox indicates whether or not the engine is kept within the limit power automatically or not. If you do not have the FADEC checkbox checked, then, if you push the throttle all the way forwards at sea-level for an engine with a critical altitude greater than 0, then you will over-boost the engine! You will get more than the max-rated power output of the engine, and, if you were in a real plane, you would risk damaging or destroying the engine in that case.
If you do have the FADEC checkbox checked, then X-Plane will automatically keep you from exceeding the limit thrust... you can just push the throttles all the way forwards with no fear of an over-boost: X-Plane will limit the throttle for you to avoid an over-boost!
So, let's look at the 3 possible cases mentioned above:
- Cessna 400: Enter 310 hp, 15,000 ft, FADEC to limit power checked. That will give you 310 hp, to 15,000 ft, just by punching the throttle to max at any altitude. At lower altitudes, you will see that the various cylinder-head temperatures and the like are a bit lower, and rise a bit as you climb as the engine works harder as you climb.
- King-Air: Enter 850 hp, 18,000 ft, FADEC to limit power not checked. That will cause you to over-boost the engine if you punch the throttle to max below 18,000 ft! At low altitudes, you will need to only advance the throttle enough for the engine torque to go to limit... and gradually increase the throttle as you climb.
- Airliner: Enter 100,000 lb, 10,000 ft, FADEC to limit power checked. That will give you 100,000 lb of thrust, to 10,000 ft, just by punching the throttle to max at any time. At low altitudes, for example for the take-off, you
will notice that you do not get 100% N1, because the FADEC is limiting power! Cool!
As well, there is a separate FADEC checkbox for mixture and RPM control of the reciprocating engines. Check this box if you always want the fuel-air mixture ratio to be optimized for the current conditions, much like the engine of a car. As well, this checkbox will add power to keep the engine from sagging BELOW idle, and cut fuel to keep you from going over redline. Again, this is just like a car.
So with only a few parameters to set (most of which we are already used to) we tackle critical altitude for recips, turboprops, and jets, with manual and automatic control of the power. This is the engine model that really covers our bases.
Now, just as you have that straight in your head, we move on to one new feature that can add extra power above that which is obtainable using the techniques above: Engine boost! Some engines have an anti-detonant, such as water or Nitrous Oxide, that is injected into the engine to allow increased fuel flow and power. This has been done with jets and props. If you want to simulate such systems, simply enter the throttle boost from your boost system in Plane-Maker, Engines screen, and the seconds duration of such a system. This would simply be the seconds of H2O or NOX that you have on board. As long as the boost (water, Nitrous Oxide, or whatever) does not run out, you will be able to run at increased power settings!
A few further engine mods: Jet engines do not windmill so much in the wind any more. They were probably windmilling too much before.
Plane-Maker, Engine screen, Propeller tab: Hit a button to set the prop pitch per-element manually if you like, rather than automatically. Only a propeller-designer should ever need to use this, I think.
Other new flight model enhancements
Auto-throttle preserves the differences between various throttles in multi-engine airplanes, if you dragged the throttles apart yourself, as is the case in real planes. In other words, if you manually drag the throttles in a multi-engine plane to somewhat different settings, such as, for example, 10% more throttle on engine #1, and then engage the auto-throttle, engine #1 will continues to run at 10% higher throttle than the others.
When you turn the artificial stability off, the control deflections are not limited by any art-stab system constraints.
Better flight dynamics on the fuselage... most noticeable in odd cases like a hovering helo, where the nose is level, the craft is not moving, but the angle of attack of the fuselage is negative 90 degrees at 30 knots due to rotor wash!
Joystick button/key commands for rudder pedals are back! I found a way to do this that makes sense: Hitting the rudder key commands is exactly like moving real rudder pedals left or right 10%... with all the results in nosewheel steering and rudder deflections that this implies.
New option in Plane-Maker: Auto-slats below a certain speed. We already have the option to auto-lower the slats near the stall alpha. Now we can also lower them below a given indicated airspeed.
Folding prop option! Check it in the special equipment options screen in Plane-Maker, and the prop will fold up when not turning, and spread to normal disc at idle speed.
With oil pressure failure in prop-driven planes:
- if you are in a single-engine bird, the prop fails to flat pitch
- in a multi-engine bird, it fails to feathered pitch, as happens in real planes.
A few more autopilot commands with regard to connecting and disconnecting. Done to get the Eclipse-500 sim just right.
Further flight-dynamics refinements... I think we can actually, consistently, pull off a pretty decent approximation of a spin now! The secret: No longer does the airplane really have any idea of a flight path! Instead, each part of the airplane has it's own flight path. So now, an airplane is not really a single entity: It is a whole bunch of parts all moving in formation! As odd as this seems, this is the way to understand how each bit of the airplane has it's own flight path (different for each bit of the airplane if the plane is pitching, yawing, or rolling), and THIS is the secret that really allows us to get a good spin: Each bit of the wing, stabilizer, etc all have their own flight path angle and speed... this builds up the forces in the dynamic cases of hi spin-rates: Most noticeable, not surprisingly, in a spin. We have had an approximation of this since version 1.00, but only now, for 9.30 Beta 8, have we really completely overhauled the physics to really have no concept at all of the flight path of the 'airplane', and instead handled it totally independently for each element of each surface of the plane. This, combined with the new wind model that has no concept of the wind on the 'airplane', but instead knows the wind on each bit of the airplane. This is really where we start to get into serious computations to learn new things about how the plane will fly.
Just a hair more refinement to the lift, drag, and moment lookup calculations... just enough to make the propeller efficiency model just a hair more accurate, in theory. A little more refinement in the transonic flight-model as well: That tricky speed between Mach 0.85 and 1.00. It's a very minor refinement, but we may see a hair more accuracy here. Remember: If you mean to break Mach-1, you really will want thin wings to make that happen! (And plenty of power, and altitude, and a jet engine inlet efficiency speed of more than Mach-1). To give you an idea of the accuracy we are seeing here, if you design a wing with a bit of extra incidence near the root, or an airfoil that produces more lift near the root, and less so at the tip, then X-Plane will see, in flight, that there is more lift near the root of the wing, and increase the effective aspect ratio of the wing in flight, reducing the spillover of air around the wingtip, and increasing the efficiency of the wing. Warning: As in reality, the reciprocal is also true!
Improvements in the propulsive-efficiency indication: It used to indicate the transmissions losses as well, which was really sort of wrong, since most people would not lump the transmission-losses into the propulsive efficiency of the propeller... so now the propulsive efficiency of the propeller is really showing the ratio of power going to the prop that is making it to the airstream as thrust, not making any reference to losses in the transmission. This also now properly indicates propulsive efficiency for unusual configurations, such as where multiple engines drive one prop, or vice-versa. This is only a difference in indication on the data output screen, and should not actually effect the flight model, but there you have it.
Further electrical system modelling... We should now handle the various cases properly where the APU, ground power, air-driven generator, and regular generators are all overloaded, going into a voltage sag and passing the load down to the battery, all as in reality!
Flap-Overspeed protection system (Plane-Maker, Special Controls screen), Flap-Overspeed Indicator (EFIS airspeed indicator as moving red barber-pole), and Flap-Overspeed flaps-removal (Operations and Warnings screen) are all now scaled to run the max allowable flaps smoothly between Vfe1 and Vfe2 based on all intermediate flap deflections and speeds.
A bit more tuning on the FADEC system, to give finer throttle control and make overboost a bit less likely.
Oh man, this is cool. We no longer try to track the downwash on a per-element basis on the wings, but instead we now deflect the air down behind the wings in 3-D space. This means that fuselages, bodies, air flow into pro-discs.. everything, is affected by the downwash of any wings in front them. As well, we continue to consider all props in front of all wings, tracking prop-wash in 3-d space as well. This means that all wings and props and bodies are in the propwash and downwash of all wings and props in front of them, in all cases. You can even see this!
Get in a plane and go flying. Hit the / key twice to see the airflow vectors.. you will see the downwash (vectors going down) and propwash (vectors going aft) in 3-D space... these vectors affect the bodies, other props, other wings... everything! The Math. The Math! (Note that the downwash vectors will point straight down... this is because you only see the change in airflow-vector from the free-stream, so you only see the the downward part of the downwash).
We now have improved fuselage lift, drag, sideforce modeling... this even helps the helicopters hover more accurately. How? Well, in a hover, the body of the helicopter is in propwash, putting out significant force even though the machine is not moving! We are getting these dynamics right on the money now, tracking the airflow over the bodies in propwash even if that propwash flow is totally different than the freestream flow, as shown above.
New graphics enhancements
"Rotating beacon is STROBE" option in Plane-Maker: This will make the 'rotating' beacon be a strobe light, if desired, as in some planes. Some guy reeeeeeeaaally wanted this, so, um, here it is!
Option in Rendering Options screen to auto-sync the rendering options in the external visuals to the cockpit... or not!
The 'show your aircraft' checkbox avail to show, or not show, our aircraft on the map is back. This was removed, but some folks wanted it back, so, ummm, it is.
X-Plane now featuers per pixel lighting when shaders are on (requires GeForce 6 or newer or Radeon X800 or newer). This means rounder, smoother looking airplanes and nice tight specular hilights. Specular hilites are separated from regular lighting and match the sun color for better glare.
When shaders are on, the airplane shadow is calculated dynamically, showing wing sweep and other changes to the ACF shape. This is only a stop-gap measure, not an ultimate shadow solution.
Panels use linear filtering on large monitors, so they won't look pixelated or chunky.
OK now we have a really cool new feature: A really improved 3-D airflow physics model and tools to see it!
First just look at it:
Open the Cessna 172 or Cirrus Jet and take it to 10,000 ft and set the time of day to dusk or so in clear weather.
Now go to external view with the | key and hit the / key a couple of times, watching the result with each press.
The RED vectors are at 10% speed BELOW ambient.
The GREEN vectors are at ambient speed.
The VIOLATE vectors are at 10% ABOVE ambient speed.
Now try it at low speed, flaps down, nose up, near the stall, full power.
Now pull up into the stall.
Now you really start to SEE what sets X-Plane apart from: ALL the others.
You can SEE the propwash (accelerating the air-flow to violet under full power, or decelerating it to yellow on the engine-out).
You can SEE the downwash (the downward-moving vectors behind the wing).
You can SEE the wake (decelerating the airflow behind the wings due to the drag of the wing!).
Of course, this airflow, modified by downwash, propwash, and wake, impacts the wings, bodies, and even propellers that live in that airflow!
And this goes beyond anything we have done before: We now find the downwash and wake not just from each wing, but from each element of each wing!
This means that if you have a flap or aileron on a wing, the downwash on the surfaces behind that bit of the wing (such as the horizontal stabilizer) are affected differently depending on where in the flowfield the various parts of the stabilizer are!
There will be more downwash on the part of the stab behind the flaps when the flaps are down, for example! Everything is handled per element, not per wing, so all the different flow off of and onto wings and stabs that varies across the span is considered!
Then it gets better: This new 3-D model with wake looks at the geometry of each wing casting downwash and wake in real-time, so the origin of the wake and downwash actually move aft in real-time as you sweep the wings, for example, if you are in an F-14 or F-111!
And it gets better: We now have an improved stall model that psuedo-randomizes the flow when any wing is stalled! Pull aft enough to stall in the | view after hitting the / key see the flow and get ready for information-overload!
Try getting in various different planes at various different speeds, power settings, and flap settings, and hitting the / key a bit in the external view... you will see how the streamlines and velocity vectors are affected by all of these things. Then turn on some turbulence if you want things to get really wonky!
Who else does this math? Nobody that I can find!
Data Output text modified a hair to line up perfectly and be easier to read. This will make it a bit easier to do the step above. ;-)
Horizontal and Vertical 'bow' options in the Rendering Options screen to hook up many computers to form a spherical projection. ATC interface should be fine at all resolutions.
General new features
Plane-Maker: Export 'Basic' or 'Detailed' OBJ files. The difference is the moving control surfaces. The 'Basic' export does not have moving control surfaces, so it plots faster! This makes it ideal for building airplanes to have around the airport scenery. The other option is the 'Detailed', which gives you moving controls surfaces.
This should not be used for custom scenery packs that have airplanes lying around the airport, because it would waste CPU and RAM, but it is perfect for making starting points for custom 3-D object aircraft.
Room for more parking spots in the airport-selection dialog.
A number of new failure modes: engine indications.
FDR display is better: Fills in indicated altitude and angle of attack, and a number of other things.
V-22 osprey flight model improved based on feedback from a V-22 pilot.
More accurate flight modeling... the drag of the various misc bodies is now more accurately predicted.
The HUD in the FSNH view has a full-screen field of view... much more convenient for sure!
Real-weather wind phases in the wind more gradually, as requested.
Lift of blimps is now constant regardless of altitude, as is the case in the real thing.
Plane-Maker, systems screen: Specify whether or not the plane has a radio-altimeter audio call-out when reaching decision-height, and how far in advance of the decision-height the audio call-out is made.
Thrust-reversers should be part of replay in custom acf that have visible thrust reversers.
Some new commands to control the EFIS:
- "sim/instruments/EFIS_wxr "
- "sim/instruments/EFIS_apt "
- "sim/instruments/EFIS_fix "
- "sim/instruments/EFIS_vor "
- "sim/instruments/EFIS_ndb "
Screen Resolution is now saved in the preferences, and the Screen Resolution list in Rendering Options screen is not cluttered with duplicates.
Jet engines have a bit more inertia: They spool up and down slower, and even the spool-DOWN time is controlled by the throttle response time.
Airfoils labelled a hair better in Plane-Maker.
3-D cockpit view panning and tilting working as desired.
Replay mode should be a little more reliable... Tt could get confused with many airplanes coupled with airport placement coupled with rapid toggle in and out of replay mode before.
New airport and nav data.
GPWS annunciator stays lit up for as long as the GPWS system is activating... it does not just pulse.
If you hit the fire extinguisher, the engine is recovered normally when you open a new plane or reset the flight.
A handful of new gps commands to control the software Garmin-430.
Various fail-at-speed-altitude failures should be operational.
Twin fuel gage instrument can now handle it properly when people put the fuel tanks on the wrong sides of the plane in Plane-Maker. (Obviously, the left tank should be tank #1, and the right tank should be tank #2, in twin-tank planes... a number of people have been breaking this rule... the new fuel gage should be smart enough to handle that).
The control-o view lets you get a bit closer to the ground, as needed for some really low airplanes.
Map mode is transmitted from master to external cockpits.
Ramp-start option applies to initial start of the sim as well.
Conditions under which rain is encountered are tweaked a bit.
1 more decimal for wing sweep and dihedral in Plane-Maker.
ARC on engine ECAM in Cirrus shows up in 3-d cockpit now.
Allow_rosetta flag allows plugin authors to test ppc plugins on an x86 mac.
Helicopter rotors, and tail-rotors, no longer require rpm to change pitch.
Turbulence effects somewhat less strong.
'Ramp-start' option should start you on ramp when opening new planes, as well.
iPod/iPhone app 'X-Plane Remote' should work with old Power-PC Macs now... give it a try!
Greater flexibility in setting up g1000 software version numbers to facilitate testing with new planes when driving real g-1000's.
The dynamic airplane shadow is now an optional rendering setting.
Per-pixel lighting is now a rendering setting. If you have a cheap card (GF7300, GF8400, HD2400, X1300, etc.) then turning off per pixel lighting will help fps a lot, especially when FSAA is on.
Every single plane made in 9.30 Beta needs to have it's 'FADEC automatically keeps engines from exceeding max power' option reversed in the Engines screen. This is to maintain compatibility with version 9.22 and earlier... though you will need to change this setting in 9.30 if you made a plane in 9.30 beta.
Plane-Maker: Option to run it in metric-dimensions mode! Thrust and the like are still in pounds, but all dimensions are in meters. This should make things easier for our European customers.
New flap option in Plane-Maker: Flaps are infinite-adjust. Hold the button or keyboard flap command to move the flaps up or down smoothly as long as the button is held. Please check all flap functionality: Long deflection times of over 60 seconds, failure to deploy with flap failures, failure to deploy with and hydraulic failures if hydraulically activated, failure to deploy with electrical failure if electrically activated, manual-pump deployment, auto-deployment with landing gear, or approach-to-stall, and overspeed-protection on deployment. (And, of course, aero, visual, and sound effects for all of the above).
New settings in Plane-Maker SYSTEMS window: Conditions under which the gear warning will activate: You can make your warning systems a hair more accurate here.
New Plane-Maker entry: Min runway length. Your moving maps will only show you airports with runways longer than this length to cut down clutter and select good airports for your particular bird. Also enter whether you can accept grass runways and helipads on your moving maps there.
Frame-rate enhancements with cumulus clouds... you should see nicer frame-rates with scattered and broken clouds.
Aircraft carrier catshot: Better physics and placement when locked down for the cat!
When starting up without engines and systems running, the manual electric hydraulic pump will be left in the OFF position by the last pilot.
Contrails should not typically come forward of the engine at hi-speed/lo-power conditions.
Contrails should expand a bit slower. The contrails will start a hair smaller, and fade in smoothly as the ice crystals form from the engine exhaust.
There should be no rain under scattered or broken clouds if not selected in the weather screen... let me know if you still see any!
Localizer on the map screen is plotted at exactly the same width as the localizer as presented on the HSI and VOR displays.. This means that if you are exactly full-scale deflection in the cockpit, then you are exactly on the edge of the localizer on the map. As well, the glide-slope on the map should exactly match the glideslope you have tuned, if any.
When using the FMC, the VVI will auto-set to the perfect VVI to hit your target altitude for your next fix. Feel free to over-ride it if desired.
Refinement to helo auto-rotation model... should be more accurate descent rates.
Rotors should be visible on all craft, whether a zero-design-speed is entered or not... Earlier betas did not handle the proper properly if it had a zero-design speed. (What can I say: When I wrote X-Plane, I was really only thinking about propellers that were design to.. umm... move a craft forwards).
The control-o view should function just fine in external-views, as long as you only wander around in the cockpit area.
New "button"-style manipulators. See the Manipulators page.
LED instrument lets you customize the number of rows on the texture
World level of detail distance fixed for very wide monitor resolutions.
New datarefs for the TCAS system, as requested to make custom TCAS systems.
Quick tech note: If you are designing your own autopilot plugin, you may want to set "sim/operation/override/override_autopilot" to TRUE so X-Plane does not over-ride your autopilot commands.
Bouncers: Damping constants now go to 0.1 digits... so you can do better bouncer control.
A few little refinements in the fuel-consumption and FADEC-response code for engines with very high critical-altitudes, to make things a hair more realistic.
Small refinements in landing-gear warning system for FAA-Approved customers.
New failure: Engine-driven pump LO. This will simply cut the fuel pressure from the engine-driven pump in half, possibly activating the lo-fuel-pressure annunciator for that engine. Turning on the electric standby pump should solve it!
CHT and Oil temp start off at ambient if you are not starting with engines running in the operations and warnings screen. New commands for previous and next checklist-item in the checklist that you can open in the special menu. If you make the Plane-Maker window big enough, the airplane will be visible to the right of the main window. This lets you see the plane while you move the CG or attached objects.
Use the control-number keys to toggle visibility of the attached objects. Use this to see inside the plane more easily. Note that you may need to delete your keyboard preferences to get the new commands, or manually set up the keyboard equivalents. Visualization of 3-d cockpit lights has been improved.
OBJ parts animate when "show with moving parts" is checked.
Cool new plane in the 'Experimental' folder: the XM8-Sparrow... an imaginary design by Ben Harber.. check it out! Space Shuttle orbiter model improved... some dimensions were off before.
More realistic night vision... kind of cool.
Engine nacelle angular offsets should be properly represented.
Missiles should only draw their little fire-trail if they are firing, and not during the drop-phase, if they have zero-thrust for that phase.
If you have a custom 'compass_GA-1' in your plane, be sure to copy that file from the resources/bitmaps/cockpit folder, and/or customize your compass heading file, being sure to follow the same heading range as the 'compass_GA-1' in resources/bitmaps/cockpit!
- Instruments will automatically align to avoid blurred pixels.
- Object offset is not cleared when an object is cleared.
- Generic Annunciator flashes when instrument animation is turned on in the panel editor.
Helo rotor-wash tuned way down.
Wake turbulence from other craft, most visible in the glider-tow, tuned way down.
Various volume sliders should control the correct sounds now.
Improved Avidyne PFD pointers and frequencies and the like.
DG Linear instrument wraps properly through all headings.
2-D Panel horizon should match X-Plane 922's behavior.
Changes to framebuffer handling - might help shadow problems for 10.4.11 users.
Airplanes that use generic triggers should load correctly.
More monitor modes are available. We are still tuning this - if your monitor mode list overflows, please file a bug with a screenshot!
You can load a scenery pack with missing objects - it's a warning now, not an error.
Window resize box looks nicer on OS X.
Towplane should circle to the left on climbout, as desired.
EFIS-App Avidyne now has ADF-1 and option for ADF-2, as requested.
If you put the mouse over the lower-right corner of the screen in X-Plane, then a small rectangle appears there to remind you that you can just drag the corner to re-size the X-Plane window now!
Tuned mouse-control input now follows the non-linear power-curves that you can set for the joystick, which is kind of nice for mouse-users.
Generate OBJ from ACF gives a much more detailed OBJ for you to use as a starting point for your aircraft OBJs for the plane or custom scenery.
New commands for transponder and fuel-transfer.
Sound volume sliders show %, as requested.
Sliders can go to a power curve as specified in plane-maker, now.
Mag compass and clock should function in FDR replay mode. No change in fdr format at all, we are just extracting more data from it to display!
Track-IR should run smoother.
Nosewheel tiller should have a 10% nullzone
A bit more tuning on the thrust-reverse joystick axis... They should be just like airliners now!
Various 'throttle with pitch, roll and yaw' options, as you can set in Plane-Maker, now work for engines offset at any angle.. so you can build little puffer-engines at all angles now to maneuver your plane!
new commands: sim/radios/RMI_L_to and sim/radios/RMI_R_tog to toggle the RMI VOR/NDB sources.
Various issues with full-screen mode and aircraft icing rapidly loading the plane up with ice are now addressed.
Minor visible flow-field improvement: The streamlines are now oriented along the flight path so you get streamlines over the plane at all angles of attack and sideslips.
Minor FADEC enhancement: FADEC hold MANIFOLD PRESSURE, not POWER, on the recips. This lets you see subtle power-variations with manual mixture control, as in reality!
New command: sim/view/hold_3d_angle.
Assign any key you like to this command in the joystick button/keyboard command-binding screen and then hold that key when in 3-D cockpit mode to keep your viewpoint from moving around with the mouse... This makes it easier to click on stuff in the 3-D cockpit because the viewpoint is not moving as you move the mouse, as long as you hold that key or joy button down!
New joystick axis: Nose-Wheel steering Tiller. Nice for airliners if you set that up! The tiller axis always steers the nosewheel thru the 'lo-speed steering' range specified in Plane-Maker, no matter the aircraft speed.
Generic rheostats can "wrap" their dataref values. Use this to make OBS knobs that go from 360 back to 0 degrees.
Back-lit (additive) style lighting is now available on all instruments.
You should now have trim on the helicopters, no rocket thrust on the rockets without fuel, rudder key-control whether the mouse-screen is up or not, runways, not icy ones, de-ice systems should be able to keep all the ice off the jets, replay mode should show smoke-puffs from touch-down in the right place, and external cockpits should give good engine indications. We fixed crash that could happen sometimes on Startup on Vista, and a panel jittering when you scrolled with a strange-size window.
Check "Matrox triple-head" in the equipment settings dialog box and the sim will not try to zoom the cockpit across all three monitors.
ENV files will render correctly, and the runways will not flicker in the textured map.
Cursors for generic rotaries and rheostats work better, and the default rolling generic instrument will default to six digits.
VOR reception range is increased by 25%, and the show-hide for instrument groups fixed.
Windows plugins can override the mouse cursor without flicker, planet textures are fixed to not have a big black square over Southern California, the Mac version can run without sound even if OpenAL is not installed, and Windows and Linux versions can run without internet!
Non-generic instruments will follow the correct lighting rheostat, and 3-d Panels should load using any naming convention.
Plugins replay mode dataref works, fixes x737 and ACARS plugin, and the engine start command is fixed, which fixes x737 plugin.
Linux build should properly detect whether it is a demo or full install, and you can animate a non-deck hard surface in an OBJ.
Custom full screen settings are saved properly in the preferences.
Reducing control authority with speed in the controls screen in Plane-Maker should no longer reduce TRIM authority. This makes for some interesting dynamics: If you reduce the control effectiveness to 10% at high speed, but the plane has 20% trim authority, then the trim is actually more powerful than the joystick input once you get moving fast enough!
Of course, this is perfectly correct: It means that at high enough speed in the real plane, the trim is more powerful than you are!
This can be perfectly true!
All plane designers: Please check all control deflections and mixing and authority-with-speed and trim and everything...
Lets make sure all the trim, authority, phase-outs-with-speed, and mixing are all perfect!
While looking at special-cases of interesting control-systems, the 'Auto-Set RPM based on Throttle' option in Plane-Maker SPECIAL EQUIPMENT screen now works just fine with planes that have beta and reverse. This lets you do Cirrus SR-22's, PC-12's, the works.
And now another FADEC option: RPM-limit. This adds power as needed to keep you from sagging below idle, and cuts fuel to keep you from going over redline. We have had this option for a long time, but now have separate checkboxes for the mixture-ratio, power-limit, and rpm-limit functions of the FADEC in Plane-Maker.
As well, we now have further jet and reciprocating engine model refinements, pursuant to new data I have gotten on engine performance. We are taking no prisoners in the engine-modeling.
We now have independent throttle control possible for VTOLS and the like... useful for modern blimps.
Props can auto-feather, even if if single-engine, if that option is selected in Plane-Maker.
'Spool Time' for jets variable is back. This lets you control the spool time of the jet engines independently of the start-fuel-intro time, throttle-advance time (which are fuel-introductions rates) and starter strength (which is starter motor strength). This is pure engine inertia.
The 3-d cockpit now has real 3-d lighting - set up to 3 global spot or omni lights in Plane-Maker - tie them to any rheostat or any dataref you want.
Plane-Maker can save a PNG file of your 3-d panel texture - use it to model 3-d cockpits in ac3d or Blender.
Attached objects can now be set to "interior", "exterior" or "glass". Use glass to get translucency without Z-order problems; use interior objects with the new 3-d lights.
You can now walk away from the airplane in 3-d mode without the airplane disappearing. Use the 3-d viewing mode to do a walk-around. (See Modeling below...)
The HUD should be visible in the 777 in 3-d cockpit mode no matter what the graphics card.
Plane-Maker can import and export all or some of a panel as a text file. Use this to save or share parts of panels, or to quickly edit dataref names using a text editor.
Generic glass instruments can fade to transparency.
The pie generic instrument can be used to make arcs.
Modeling and scenery
OBJs can have an attribute to make geometry impassable to the camera. Use this to keep the pilot from leaving the 3-d cockpit unless the door is open.
Hard surfaces can be animated. Put the plane on an elevator!
DSFs can have patches at multiple LODs withot artifacts.
The _LIT texture brightness can be controlled with a dataref. Dim the lit texture based on cockpit lighting.
Object geometry can be set to not draw at all. This can be useful for making OBJ triangles that are only used for clicking, stopping the 3-d camera, etc. For example, you could make a very simple mesh to keep the camera inside the plane, separate from the real 3-d cockpit.
Windows can be resized simply by dragging on the corner. Go full screen without restarting.
X-Plane's Gamma control is available in the rendering settings now. Windows users: if X-Plane is too dark, try turning gamma up from the default 2.2 to perhaps 2.5.
Mouse look will stop panning while you click. 3-d free viewing mode (ctrl-;) will start viewing at the current camera position.
Warning: pixel shaders have been changed a lot and are not yet optimized. It will be a few betas before they are really tuned.
X-Plane does a better job of skipping off-screen objects for OBJ-based planes.
Replay mode uses a lot less memory.
Clickable cockpit geometry is much faster.
Large panel textures (larger than 1024x1024) should run a bit faster.
As well, we have various framerate optimizations. You may, or may not, SEE these improvements because we now spend more time doing the 3-D flow-field math for the new physics specified above.