The first major update to X-Plane 11 is available as beta 1! featuring ‘new features such as joystick & keyboard profiles, the G1000, new art assets for airport artists, and landmarks. It also includes numerous bug fixes and rendering changes’. to get the beta, simply select ‘get betas’ in the options of the x-plane 11 installer. Here are the details of the beta…
New Features & Improvements
- Version 3.0 of the X-Plane SDK (XPLM).
- Joystick & keyboard profiles available to save different set ups per aircraft.
- XPD-8070 We now allow aircraft to be marked as AI-only or user-only. This is configured in the Author window of Plane Maker. The default for legacy aircraft is “user-only.”
– User-only planes will be hidden by default in the AI planes configuration (for legacy support, users can go into “unsafe” mode and pick AI planes that don’t explicitly support doing so).
– AI-only planes will *never* be shown in the aircraft grid.
- XPD-7574 Commands are back, because people wanted them: “sim/flight_controls/left_brake” & “sim/flight_controls/right_brake”
- Quick-look views: There used to be 10 pre-saved viewing locations but now we have 20–enough for plenty of cockpit and exterior presets now.
- G1000 GPS available. Included in a new Cessna 172 version & in the Cirrus SF-50.
- Weapon improvements & fixes when using them in .sit & .rep files
- Improved AI & ATC
- We now log the complete diagnostics of the ATC system
- XPD-7206 fewer repeated instructions
- New electric and remote gyro system commands & datarefs.
- Separate GPSS autopilot mode.
- Screen-only popup instrument windows.
- Rendering changes, including the algorithm to compute the shadow volume.
- New art assets for terminals & airport buildings.
- New airfoil format! Now you can save all the Reynolds numbers you like in each airfoil file! So this is pretty cool: To really do a good job of making an airplane, we USED to have to make a LOW Reynolds number airfoil for the low speed flight regime or the root of a prop, and a HIGH Reynolds number airfoil for higher-speed flight regime or the tip of a prop. We had to come up with foil data for the right Reynolds numbers and attach them to the “Lo Re” and “Hi Re” slots for prop or wing in Plane-Maker. This was annoying and cumbersome and nobody ever bothered to do it properly.
So NOW, an Airfoil-Maker, you can enter lift and drag curves for ALL the Reynolds numbers that you want, and they are saved in ONE file. This is especially good because it lets the airfoil-designer enter TONS of data into a single file, and SEE ALL THE REYNOLDS NUMBER PLOTS AT ONCE for a given foil, to really compare them all and be sure they they all lay out just like the real foils.
Then, in Plane-Maker, there is no need to fumble around looking for the Lo Re and Hi Re foil… just drop these new multi-Re foils into both slots and X-Plane will find the best Reynolds numbers in there to use and even interpolate for you, without you having to worry about selecting the right foils in Plane-Maker.
So this is really really good: The people that make airfoils can do an amazing job in creating their foils if they are up to it, and the airplane designers can then just drop their foils onto the plane in Plane-Maker without having to worry about Reynolds numbers, and X-Plane will choose the best Reynolds number data to use, interpolating as needed. This can result in more flight-model accuracy because if the person that enters the airfoil data enters curves for 2, 3, 4, or even up to 10 different Reynolds numbers, then X-Plane has more Reynolds numbers to choose from and interpolate between, giving more accurate forces.
- Added animals (birds & deer) map layer.
- XPD-8077 KSEA w/painted ground signs.
- New analytics messages about renamed/moved runways.
- New command line option –accurate_runways which will, when loading procedures for an airport, perform runway renames and even location fixes in-memory on the X-Plane scenery and then reload the region.
- Command line can be used to override desktop topology for Linux setups.
Flight Model Changes
Rotor and propwash:
- Better propwash DIRECTION, which matters for propeller-powered VTOLs that tilt their thrust vectors around, and helos that might cast downwash onto their horizontal stabs.Here is how it works: X-Plane USED TO cast wash on whatever was BEHIND THE PROP. This seems to make enough sense, but NOW we do it a bit smarter: NOW X-Plane runs wash off the props that flows with the vector SUM of the propwash speed and airspeed hitting the airplane! This is a wake that does NOT simply track aft of the prop disc, but instead flows aft along the airplane as the airplane speeds up, as the incoming speed displaces the propwash stream tube. Whatever wings or bodies are in that new vector-sum flow-field are now affected by propwash. This is probably a bit more accurate than what we had before.
- More tuning of the propwash (and thus hover power requirement) and vortex ring state and effective translational lift based on momentum conservation and actual helicopter performance data. Definitely more accuracy there now, based on a lot of testing against very precise Bell-206 performance data in ground effect, out of ground affect, and at various flight speeds as well, and also in various decent rates including settling with power and power-off vortex-ring-state.
- As well, new propwash SWIRL model. This is tested against flight-test in N844X which is a plane with huge power, very low speed capability, and a very in-efficient vertical stabilizer: All of the ingredients to get huge side-slip from spiraling propwash, so it is the perfect airplane to measure side-slip from spiral propwash, and therefore the spiraling propwash that causes it. So the propwash speed and swirl are more accurately modeled, with resulting performance improvements in all aspects of propeller and rotor thrust.
- NOTE: Now in Plane-Maker, go to the Engines screen, Prop Geo tab. Now on the right you can see the prop advance ratio and prop “pitch” in inches, as is commonly used by propeller designers. This is controlled by the prop design speed and RPM in the Engines screen, Location tab as always, but now you can see the prop advance ratio and pitch since that is how prop data is commonly published.
- We now have flap and leading-edge flap and slat extend and retract times, all of which can be different, and also a flap speed ratio when retracted, so the flaps can move slower near the small deployment angles, and faster at the larger angles, as real flap systems commonly do. So the flaps and slats are really dialed in here, done specifically for the Airbus project (certifiable flight Airbus A-320 sim we are working on) but with upgrades available to all as always.
- Rudder, elevator, and aileron trim now only move the control surface when you have some airspeed over the control surface to really move it, as per real airplanes. What’s cool is that even if the plane is not moving, you might still have enough speed to move the flight control due to wind or propwash, which would likely be over the rudders and elevators, but not ailerons! X-Plane tracks the speed over each flight control, so the trim force in moving the control surface and force feedback forces on each control surface are all tracked, even for unusual aircraft configurations because X-Plane tracks the airspeed over each element of each wing on the airplane! Cool!
- Effective angle-of-attack increase with control-deflection on the elements of the wing with ailerons, elevators, and rudders now a little more tuned (using an average of two DIFFERENT theories to give an averaged result that is known to be correct for very-small and very-large controls, with two different ways of interpolating between those cases that largely agree with each other, and both fit various experimental data). As well, we have adjusted lift and drag from speedbrakes as per documentaion on those.
- I also added a new command called “sim/flight_controls/magnetic_lock”: “Controls magnetic lock.” This is for flying helos, which have magnetic control locks to lock the stick down in a given location. Deflect the controls as desired, hit a button to effectively lock the stick there, and then immediately release the stick. Bang: Leaving your stick centered, hands-off, will effectively hold the stick in that new location. This is done when flying the S-76 helicopter, for example.
- In the controls screen in Plane-Maker, we now have a control-deflection time for the nose-wheel steering, so we can do nose-wheel steering more smoothly on those tiller-equipped airliners.
New vector not trig based geometry for all the lift and drag vectors. Get in a plane with WING FLEX and hit control-M while puling major G at high speeds to see it in action…the lift vectors now all bend around with the wing! Cool!
This is so totally tested as being perfect that I have tested it by flying BACKWARDS: That’s right: Tail in the front of the airplane and flying BACKWARDS in reverse to check that all physics are good from 0 through 180 degrees angle of attack and sideslip. This matters!
Helos hovering backwards? Helos hovering in a tailwind? Taxiing slowly with a tailwind? Tailslides? SPINS, where SOME PART of the plane may be going backwards? These are all reasons we want to handle flows at ALL angles perfectly… all the way to REVERSE! Crazy but true, and all part of the obsessive quest for mathematical perfection!
Slight change and clarification in vacuum pumps:
X-Plane simulates the vacuum system for physical vacuum-driven gyros as follows:
- There are two vacuum systems: One for the pilot instruments, one for the copilot instruments.
- If you have no copilot instruments, the no problem: The second vacuum system goes unused, like it is not even there.
- Each vacuum system has exactly one vacuum pump, which may be failed by the instructor.
- For a single-engine airplane, that one engine turns both pumps… and if your plane has only one system, no problem! Just don’t specify any instruments as “Copilot”, which would have them use the second system.
- For a multi-engine airplane, engine one turns the pump on system 1, engine 2 turns the pump on system 2… and if your plane has only one system, no problem! Just don’t specify any instruments as “Copilot”, which would have them use the second system.
- The low-vacuum annunciator goes off if EITHER vacuum system runs low, but if you want to make an instrument that tracks WHICH system has run low on pressure, the simply use these datarefs
- For airplanes that have TWO vacuum pumps on ONE system, we just don’t simulate that, just like we don’t simulate both the tire and innertube inside it… we only simulate the actual outgoing force that you see. So, for the dual-vacuum pump planes that have two pumps on one system, simply fail the vacuum pump in the failure list to take out BOTH pumps, since that will remove the pumping pressure from the system.
SOOOOOOOoooooooo there you have it!
Slight jet engine improvement:
Plane-Maker, Engines window, Jet Curves 2 tab: Now you can see your thrust as a function of N1 to dial in the those intermediate thrust settings as well! Cool!
Slight recip engine improvement:
Now we map the TEMPERATURE and POWER SEPERATELY as a function of mixture. This means that the mixutr for best POWER is above the mixture for MAX TEMPERATURE, as in reality. So a lean mixture is best economy, then a bit richer is max EGT, then a bit richer is best power… all as in reality.
We now follow the amperage output-curves of real alternators and generators, and you can now specify how fast the engine has to turn at idle to output it’s maximum amperage. Do this in the SYSTEMS window in Plane-Maker, ELECTRICAL tab. Some planes can put out max amperage at idle, but other planes, like the Columbia-400, need to spin the engine faster to output the needed amperage. So it is pretty cool to set that minimum generator threshold RPM percentage in Plane-Maker, so in flight you have to set the idle as needed to meet the electrical load on the plane, certainly a real part of operating the (wondoerful) Columbia-400.
New prop type:
Constant tip-AOA: This adjust the prop pitch to hold a constant average angle of attack across the prop, weighted for dynamic pressure, so this will tend to hold a constant angle of attack near the blade tip, which is probably best for efficiency since that can hold your prop tip at the angle of attack that gives the best lift over drag ratio for the airfoil used by your propeller.
Better prop thrust visualization diagnostics
The first command-m shows where propwash is being applied on the airplane, with propwash speed shown. Then, hitting command-M again, we see the lift vector tilted back due to the forward speed of the aircraft (lift vector in green) and the red dag line, and the yellow line that is the net force, all drawn in the right directions. Hit command-M to cycle through the flight models.
Developer beta 4:
- Removed dependency on MSVC redistributables.
- XPD-8321 Map does not display correctly with 3rd party aircraft.
- XPD-8323, XPD-8305 Fixed the lit attenuation not being correctly set.
Developer beta 3:
- Fix for Linux joysticks being completely broken.
- Bans writing to prop_dir to fix Carenado torque.
- Fix for spurious popup open/close events.
- XPD-7535, XPD-8318 Adjusted sim/weapons/action_mode so that it will work exactly as it did in XP 10.
- XPD-8012 The missing cockpit datarefs for chaff and flare qty have been restored: [sim/cockpit/weapons/] chaff_now & flare_now.
- XPD-8311 Bug report: Afterburner output location not linked to exhaust offset.
- XPD-8312 Bug report: Instrument Brightness fader does not correctly correlate to G1000 screens.
- XPD-8313 Bug report: G1K map when NOT in north up mode, TOPO view map is not aligned.
- Additional joystick configurations added.
- New ignition start command.
- Better data output for flight model diagnostics, and rather arbitrary and probably-non-optimal wash taken off of the prop hub… we figure it per-element.
Developer betas 1 & 2:
- XPD-4738 Jitter in camera system.
- XPD-6038 Ground shaking in Ridealong view.
- XPD-6445 Datarefs for weapons have been removed.
- XPD-6748 “Don’t send me co-located points!”
- XPD-6806 ATIS should distinguish between arrival-only & departure-only airports.
- XPD-6869 Shadow Map Does Not Take Weapons into account when scenery is not shadowed.
- XPD-7008 Dataref feature request: carb temp: this_flt->enpr [en] .carb_temp_C
- XPD-7076 Generate icons cuts off half of VFlyte Air aircraft.
- XPD-7465 Centre of gravity indicator should be visible in weight and balance screen.
- XPD-7817 Bug report: 172 floatplane water-rudder handle is reversed.
- XPD-7824 Icon generator should use physics model to pose airplane.
- XPD-7856 Cargo is now a valid type for aircraft.
- XPD-7858 Bug report: Newly enabled dataref outputs are 0.0 until restarting X-Plane.
- XPD-7862 Compass rose turns into jumbled numbers when zoomed in too far.
- XPD-7872 Bug report: C90B C0-pilot airspeed indicator incorrect.
- XPD-7896 Save AI acf assignments in .sit files.
- XPD-7923 Prop Sync Dataref has incorrect values.
- XPD-7924 Auto-Feather up/down commands not working.
- XPD-7941 right engine anti ice bug is now fixed.
- XPD-7952 Bug report: Helicopter flight model.
- XPD-7959 Improve AI 747 behavior.
- XPD-7981 Bug report: MD-82 wrong flap/slat schedule.
- XPD-7982 Command to stop push back once started.
- XPD-8012 Bug report: flare and chaff qty not working.
- XPD-8060 Bug report: unrealistic pitch down moment in ground effect.
- XPD-8082 Bug report: Nav light tooltip wrong.
- XPD-7896 Save AI acf assignments in .sit files.
- XPD-8087 Bug report: ADF needle needs to turn into the turn.
- XPD-8091 Bug report: Default GNS430/530 saves VOR waypoints as type “11” in .fms files.
- XPD-8110 Joystick hover text is wrong for axes.
- XPD-8113 One blade of C90’s propellers isn’t angled the same way.
- XPD-8114 Bug report: Ctrl+A (Select All) or Ctrl+Shift+Left or Right (Select Word) does not work in X-Plane input boxes.
- XPD-8121 Bug report: Some autopilot datarefs not working.
- XPD-8130 Changing the engine state in Flight Config blocks any other changes made.
- XPD-8131 Pause replays when another window is opened.
- XPD-8134 Bug report: C90B Electrical system is wrong.
- XPD-8135 Bug report: 747 tailstrike.
- XPD-8142 Proper plane only shadows.
- XPD-8150 Crash with analytics beacon.
- XPD-8155 default rendering settings on high res monitor.
- XPD-8177 Bug report: crashes with Saitek x52 Pro.
- XPD-8180 visual approach request wasn’t issuing visual approaches due to a state machine bug.
- XPD-8184 Navdisplay now draws at magnetic north direction.
- XPD-8192 Bug report: Night Vision Google (NVG).
- XPD-8193 Removed Aerosoft airports where a better Gateway airport exists.
- XPD-8216 Bug report: Checkbox to not show Quit confirmation.
- XPD-8217 Bug report: Checkbox to not show start new flight on crash.
- XPD-8228 We now correctly handle prefs for multiple instances of identical hardware on macOS & Windows.
- XPD-8229 Mouse cursors don’t work with multiple popouts.
- XPD-8231 Garmin window restored into popout.
- XPD-8233 Stop warning about invalid ICAO before input is done.
- XPD-8235 Bug report: Incorrect label in Data Output.
- XPD-8240 Pitch Trim annunciator dataref no longer seems to work.
- XPD-8257 Max wind too low.
- XPD-8269 ADF2 not being set when using Map UI.
- XPD-8278 Warp controls for warped projection.
- XPD-8284 The fuel tank selector is not moving.
- XPD-8292 Alt+F4 bypasses X-Plane’s quit dialog on Windows.
- XPD-8294 We now collapse the command list when you choose the “currently assigned” filter.