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Offline Asid

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X-Plane 11.xx Release Notes
« on: October 27, 2018, 11:51:14 AM »
X-Plane 11.30 Release Notes



X-Plane 11.30 is a major update that includes a new ATC voice system, a new particle system, updated Gateway airports, bug fixes and a new experimental mode for testing flight model changes.

New features and improvements
•   New ATC voice system.
•   Particles editor for aircraft.
•   Autopilot & aircraft systems updates:
  o   Summary of AP changes in 11.30
  o   Propeller feathering
  o   Anti- and de-ice systems
  o   Oxygen system
  o   Autopilot parameters
  o   Fixed turboprop engine governor
  o   Vacuum systems
  o   Vacuum gyro limitations & caging
•   Improved industrial zones in US autogen & reorganized library.
•   FM improvements / experimental FM UI option
•   Shader system rebuilt as part of port to Vulkan.
•   All of X-Plane is now 8.33kHz aware.
•   Panel res bumped to 4k.
•   Updated airspace to 2018 & Navigraph default data 1708.
•   Added sector altitudes in VFR map.
•   Updated joystick config files to use sim/autopilot/servos_off_any.
•   New UI options to enlarge font size.
•   New UI for manually setting joystick curves per axis.
•   Settings UI for re-enabling notification windows that have a “don’t show this again” checkbox.
•   Situation files get you close to landmarks for quick sight seeing.
•   User submitted joystick config files.

Full release notes: here

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Offline Asid

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Re: X-Plane 11.xx Release Notes
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2018, 02:47:37 PM »
X-Plane 11.30 Beta 5 Release Notes

This patch includes multiple areas of performance fixes.

•   XPD-9287 Dataref doc update.
•   XPD-9315 Workaround for SteamVR controllers.
•   XPD-9365 Fix for top & bottom being swapped in XPLMGetAllMonitorBoundsGlobal() callbacks.
•   XPD-9512 Fix misaligned water reflections.
•   XPD-9532 EGT value from C172 is about 104 degree Fahrenheit per division.
•   XPD-9537 Low FPS over hard surfaces.
•   XPD-9540 Framerate reduction from 11.26r2 to 11.30b.
•   XPD-9544 Fixed cockpit positioning code.
•   XPD-9554 Plane Maker aircraft CoG corruption.
•   XPD-9558, XPD-9584 Fixed black textures.
•   XPD-9577 UDP CMND does not work.
•   XPD-9601 Application Name Missing From Title Bar.
•   XPD-9608 Wrong VR Pilot position in B58.
•   XPD-9618 Fix for crash caused by re-focusing X-Plane after a dialog is opened.
•   XPD-9619 Instrument Brightness dataref was wrong in the command predicates.
•   XPD-9621 Blow your tires put the plane raise your plane instead of lower it.
•   XPD-9622 “negative i dex request” error in FMC.
•   XPD-9626  CTD when using earth_424.dat.
•   XPD-9628 Whole-Stabilizer Trim Backward for Canards.
•   XPD-9629 Fixed missing triangles in cliff.
•   XPD-9630 Slight cleanup of aircraft log warnings.
•   XPD-9637 Added static water depth data to old DSFs.
•   XPD-9638 Helicopter auto-hover flight dynamics issues.

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Re: X-Plane 11.xx Release Notes
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2018, 04:59:26 PM »
X-Plane 11.30r1 release Notes

New and updated global airports
Total airports with 3-D scenery in the 11.30r1 release: 8247
Airports with 3-D scenery introduced since the 11.25 release: 937
        937 airports had either no scenery or 2-D-only scenery in 11.25, but have 3-D scenery in 11.30r1.
Airports introduced in the 11.30r1 release (137 total):
Airports with improved scenery in the 11.30r1 release (1222 total):



Release Candidate 1
•   XPD-9460 Shadow LOD bias adjusted to artist recommendation.
•   XPD-9495 Particle FX are canceled by replay.
•   XPD-9498 Engine FX follow thrust vectors.
•   XPD-9520, XPD-9725 Fixed shader compile issue with old drivers and dome.glsl.
•   XPD-9599 Fixed light level differences when using auto-adjust.
•   XPD-9609 Fixed asan trip on exit due to OGL_shader.
•   XPD-9615 Turned off cloud-based lighting in particles.
•   XPD-9662 Auto-toe-brake set to 11.26 versions in file loader for old planes.
•   XPD-9687, XPD-9682 Fixed particles appearing in C172.
•   XPD-9697 Sounds are killed for AI aircraft that are removed.
•   XPD-9702 Disable the Stinson for AI.
•   XPD-9705 Fixed crash with glass blend in scenery.
•   XPD-9706 Probe heat doesn’t turn on static heat in the 737.
•   XPD-9707 Took new art to fix tree transparency.
•   XPD-9710 Fixed inverted hard surfaces.
•   XPD-9711 Fixed incorrect low LOD when HDR 4x SSAA was on.
•   XPD-9713 Fixed crash adding OBJ in Plane Maker.
•   XPD-9718 dv-inc as fm2 dataref.
•   XPD-9719 Enabled vector thrust without check box for old ACF from 11.26.
•   XPD-9721 Logbook not showing the destination/arrival airport ICAO in the Logbook.
•   XPD-9722 Transparent objects cast shadows when “draw shadows on scenery” is enabled.
•   XPD-9724 Aircraft objects loaded as AI cause VR config file error.




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Re: X-Plane 11.xx Release Notes
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2018, 01:56:10 PM »
X-Plane 11.30r2 release Notes

Bug fixes
Release Candidate 2

•   Fixed extvis machines getting out-of-sync after resuming from a long (1h+) pause.
•   XPD-9094 747-4 reverse thrust not adjustable.
•   XPD-9220 sim/engines/thrust_reverse_toggle not working on 747.
•   XPD-9708 Ground vehicles run OFF TRACK on one-way segments.
•   XPD-9732 Fixed AI aircraft not flying at right flight level.
•   XPD-9734 Took Cessna with wider nose wheel steering.
•   XPD-9735 Auto-toe-brakes didn’t work for free castoring ACF.
•   XPD-9737, XPD-9746 Fixed broken interior/exterior lights in 737, Baron.
•   XPD-9741 Missing interior lights in BD-5 1.6 in HDR on Mac.
•   XPD-9744 Fix for missing default keyboard preference style options.
•   XPD-9747 Fixed VR head position of 747.
•   XPD-9749 Sun flickers in VR.
•   XPD-9750 Shadows missing from some AI planes in external views on Windows.
•   XPD-9752 Baron sound placements are wrong.
•   XPD-9754 Don’t allow rotated cockpit objs.
•   XPD-9756 Helicopter heat blur too visible and showing in tail rotor.
•   XPD-9757 Particles occluded by exterior aircraft model in interior view.
•   XPD-9763 Bug in S-Tec 55 autopilot code in NAV GPSS mode.
•   XPD-9767 Fixed jitter on nose wheel of airplanes with custom gear params.
•   XPD-9769 Heat blur present in C172 cabin in VR.
•   XPD-9770 Fixes to auto-toe-brake compatibility code.
•   XPD-9771 Heat blur NOT present from wing seats in 737 in VR.
•   XPD-9773 Fixed broken AI back taxi.
•   XPD-9774 Set tow plane back to L5.
•   XSG-6635 LIRN ILS Rwy 06 has wrong offset.


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Re: X-Plane 11.xx Release Notes
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2019, 01:50:26 AM »
X-Plane 11.30r3 release Notes

Bug fixes

Release Candidate 3
•   XPD-9749 Fix more sun flickering.
•   XPD-9755, XPD-9800 Fixed Windows manifests.
•   XPD-9782 Fixed runway centerline lights appearing inside C172 in VR.
•   XPD-9790 Taxi/Landing lights do not illuminate night scenery in 3D cockpit view.
•   XPD-9795 Fixed crash when OS language is set to Korean.
•   XPD-9796 Remove rain inside the cockpit.
•   XPD-9813 Fixed bad scenery path.

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Re: X-Plane 11.xx Release Notes
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2019, 12:05:18 AM »
X-Plane 11.31r1 release Notes
January 26, 2019

X-Plane 11.31 is a bug-fix patch and minor update to X-Plane 11.30. This update addresses some crashes and graphics bugs.


•   Fixes for networked external visuals.
•   XPD-9784, XPD-9824 New datarefs for snow & experimental FM.
•   XPD-9789 Fixes Celsius/Fahrenheit switch on the 172’s clock instrument.
•   XPD-9790 Taxi/Landing lights do not illuminate night scenery in 3D cockpit view.
•   XPD-9814, XPD-9825 Fixed Intel GPU HDR compile.
•   XPD-9820 Removed custom scenery earth.wed files from new installs.
•   XPD-9826 Fix white PFD on 737 after plugin loads it.
•   XPD-9830 Fix for XPLMGetNavAidInfo.
•   XPD-9831 Cirrus CG fix.
•   XPD-9840 Default landing lights still illuminate the cockpit at night in VR Non-HDR.
•   XPD-9843 Fixed flashlight in HDR + VR.
•   XPD-9844 Added some gain to the pilot channel to make it louder.
•   XPD-9848 Fix livery change on cockpit objects.
•   XPD-9850 Crash when entering a long string into the ICAO field on the flightplan dialog.
•   XPD-9853 Networking recognizes VPN again.
•   XPD-9854 Fix for crash in autopilot code.
•   XPD-9855 Heat Blur Misaligned on Multi Monitors of Different Sizes.
•   XPD-9860 2D panel viewport set up fixed.
•   XPD-9865 Fixed Baron heat blur.
•    XSG-6635 This is a compromise taking published site coordinates but ignoring Jeppesen published course.


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Re: X-Plane 11.xx Release Notes
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2019, 12:10:08 PM »
X-Plane 11.32r1 release Notes
Feb 06, 2019

X-Plane 11.32 is a bug-fix patch to X-Plane 11.31. This update addresses crashes and weather download failure.

Release Candidate 1

•   Fix for NOAA redirects preventing weather download.
•   XPD-9895 Fix shader compile error on OSX 10.10.5 with HDR. Also fixes Nvidia.
•   XPD-9897 Fix crashes with short and empty tail numbers.
•   XPD-9904 Fix crash in taxi instructions.
•   XPD-9905 Read weather downloads fail due to NOAA redirects


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Re: X-Plane 11.xx Release Notes
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2019, 11:58:18 AM »
X-Plane 11.33b1 release Notes
April 13, 2019

X-Plane 11.33b1 is an incremental update that includes updated Gateway airports and translations, crash fixes and diagnostics, and bug fixes.

Beta 1

•   XPD-8450 Separate engine temperature scale datarefs for F & C.
•   XPD-8808 Ensure settings window displays properly at 1024Χ768.
•   XPD-9330 Scale of text / userinterface not possible when not using 2nd monitor.
•   XPD-9441 Weight, balance and fuel- Total weight (lbs) does not include weapons.
•   XPD-9504 New naming scheme for screenshots.
•   XPD-9505, XPD-9914 Create temp route present positions as objects in their own right.
•   XPD-9531 C172 stalls way too early now.
•   XPD-9573 Fix dome glare being screen aligned and looking silly when we roll.
•   XPD-9670 Fix for dropdowns being left open after the ATC window is closed.
•   XPD-9683 Fix dupe banks in FMOD crashing the sim.
•   XPD-9690 Min cloud altitudes set based on first airport you visit.
•   XPD-9759 Airport picker UI displays wrong magnetic variation.
•   XPD-9772 Option to disable VR green glowing boxes.
•   XPD-9786 Fixed German typos.
•   XPD-9815 2D panel on separate display depends on view direction of main 3d display.
•   XPD-9849 Make keys_class robust against key-presses and releases not being in balance.
•   XPD-9878 Autopilot speed and altitude select digits do not line up in windows.
•   XPD-9882 Fixed KOAK nav data.
•   XPD-9919 Lightning appears in cockpit in VR.
•   XPD-9965 Com radio can’t hear ATIS if marker beacons electrical bus is failed.
•   XPD-9967 Default Baron 58 de icing not working.
•   XPD-9969 Make oil temperature datarefs editable.
•   XPD-9971 Fix for single engine driving multiple props.
•   XPD-9986 Helicopter icon generation too small.
•   XPD-9991 Crashes on older Intel GPUs.
•   XPD-9992 Default FMC, Holding Pattern will only be flown once.
•   XPD-9993 Dialed back ice mass accumulation.
•   XPD-9997 Updated Plane Maker UI when auto-start enabled.
•   XPD-9998 Fix crash off VNJS RWY06.
•   XPD-10003 Landing lights has no effect on battery amperage draw.
•   XPD-10007 Fixed slip ball limit.
•   XPD-10011 VR projection matrix is bad.
•   XPD-10021 Add launch option for Steam VR Lobby.
•   XPD-10029 Can’t select COM transmit on GMA audio panel.


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Re: X-Plane 11.xx Release Notes
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2019, 02:44:05 PM »
X-Plane 11.33 Release Notes


X-Plane 11.33 is an incremental update that includes updated Gateway airports and translations, crash fixes and diagnostics, and bug fixes.


Release Candidate 2

•   XPD-9851 “Newly released” tags for AG.
•   XPD-10070 Fixed missing buildings in KSEA – global airpots was masking it out.
•   XPD-10071 Fixed missing AG library path.

Release Candidate 1

•   XPD-9995 Fix for motion platform output.
•   XPD-10047 Lower min FOV for pro customers.
•   XPD-10050 SegFault in setDestinationAirport(…). Condition was off by one.
•   XPD-10053 Hand-tuned the scroll wheel’s zoom rate in the map on Linux.
•   XPD-10057 Satellite misspelled in Map.
•   XPD-10062 New error message for sound bank conflicts due to users copying old planes.


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Re: X-Plane 11.xx Release Notes
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2019, 12:58:53 PM »
X-Plane 11.34 Release Notes

X-Plane 11.34r1 is an incremental update that includes crash fixes.

Known bugs
•   XPD-9388 Software hangs upon exit when using VR.
•   XPD-9501, XPD-9449 AMD driver bugs with displays & weapons.
•   XPD-9729 Contrails and wing condensation missing in replay.

Release Candidate 1
•   XPD-10050 Crash using default FMS in a custom Aircraft.
•   XPD-10081 Crash setting up weight & balance screen.
•   XPD-10083 Restored engine location coordinates for Jets and Rockets in Plane Maker.


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Re: X-Plane 11.xx Release Notes
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2019, 01:04:18 PM »
X-Plane 11.35 Release Notes

X-Plane 11.35b1 is an update that includes updated Gateway airports, FMOD sound for the Boeing B737-800 and KingAir C90B, improved aircraft systems, and landmark scenery packs for New York and Washington D.C.

Known bugs
•   XPD-7871 Dark contrails instead of white.
•   XPD-9388 Software hangs upon exit when using VR.
•   XPD-9501, XPD-9449 AMD driver bugs with displays & weapons.
•   XPD-9729 Contrails and wing condensation missing in replay.

New features and improvements
•   Updated fuel system  https://developer.x-plane.com/article/the-x-plane-fuel-system/
•   Updated bleed air and pressurization systems https://developer.x-plane.com/article/the-x-plane-bleed-air-and-pressurization-systems/
•   Updated ILS data
•   FMOD sound for B737 & C90B
•   Updated art assets:
 o   New York landmarks
 o   Washington D.C. Landmarks
 o   new boats
 o   updated aircraft & sim objects
•   New datarefs
 o   fuel_intro_time_prop
 o   fuel_intro_time_jet
 o   for the CDU screen
•   New autopilot type Collins65
•   Updated Portuguese translation

New and updated global airports
•   Total airports with 3-D scenery in the 11.35r3 release: 10257
•   Airports with 3-D scenery introduced since the 11.33 release: 445
 o   445 airports had either no scenery or 2-D-only scenery in 11.33, but have 3-D scenery in 11.35r3.
•   Airports introduced in the 11.35r3 release (112 total):
 o   These 112 airports did not exist at all in the 11.33 release.

Bug fixes

Release Candidate 1
•   Portuguese translation strings.
•   XSG-8179 ILS Tower in the middle of RWY 4L.
•   XPD-10219 No fuel burn if electric engines.
•   XPD-10221 Cannot load procs for Vegas approach.
•   XPD-10226 Added VR command toggle.

Beta 6
•   XPD-10200 Unable to use Valve Index controllers with X-Plane.
•   XPD-10214 X-Plane hangs when using auto update.

Beta 5
•   XPD-9892 Fix for some users not being able to customize weather.
•   XPD-9958 Glider should not be used as AI.
•   XPD-9996 Fixed editing of baud rate field.
•   XPD-10078 ATC taxi routes were misaligned at high altitude airports.
•   XPD-10107 Marker beacon broadcasts in a circle, not ellipse.
•   XPD-10123 AI Pilot dos not adjust directional gyro.
•   XPD-10140 Some objects do not show alpha transparency correctly during night time.
•   XPD-10155 Fixed spurious log errors for AI FMOD sound.
•   XPD-10157 C172 airspeed indicator not updating on ex vis machine.
•   XPD-10162 METAR “TS” does not give thunder in sim.
•   XPD-10173 Crash in zip code in DRM on Linux.
•   XPD-10178 Pitch Hold or CWS P mode does not hold the current aircraft pitch.
•   XPD-10188 Always export physics mesh to OBJ/STL even if hidden.
•   XPD-10196 Fix VR keyboard for plugins.
•   XPD-10197 Fixed fuel levels for 3 tank aircraft.
•   XPD-10198 Ticking sound on the MCP during cruise when match is selected.
•   XPD-10204 Fixes for military beacons.

Beta 4
•   XPD-10073 Garmin moving maps issues.
•   XPD-10147 Crash to desktop when writing to plugin preference file.
•   XPD-10168 Fix crash if plugin deletes menu from menu CB.
•   XPD-10172, XPD-10177 Fix truncated ramp start count in apt data.
•   XPD-10181 Fix freeze on quit when nav data fails to parse.

Beta 3
•   XPD-9928 Fix reference to classic locale.
•   XPD-10049 Fixed carrier starts for seaplanes.
•   XPD-10084 Fix for Weather Data Over UDP Incorrect for Negative Lat/Lon.
•   XPD-10137 Fix grunge obj has no texture.
•   XPD-10141 Fix crash when multiplayer ACF has drag chute.
•   XPD-10146 Static aircraft were not parsed.
•   XPD-10151 Issue fixed with JARDesign 320 and 330.
•   XPD-10159 CG_indicator dataref broken.
•   XPD-10164 Don’t notify plugins on pseudo-ACF used for only UI.
•   XPD-10165 EDLP runway length for AI traffic.

Beta 2
•   XPD-10143 Clouds rendering broken with HDR and 2xFSAA+FXAA.
•   XPD-10145 Fixed NYC scenery pack typo.

Beta 1
•   XPD-7915 Fix for crash in ATC when AI goes off end of route.
•   XPD-8020 UDP RREF dataref reportage is inconsistent.
•   XPD-8106 Weather screen temp based on sea level not airport.
•   XPD-8224 Removed duplicates in the command bindings UI.
•   XPD-8424 MD-82 idle is wrong.
•   XPD-8518, XPD-8839, XPD-8876, XPD-9422, XPD-9962 Fixes to metar.rwx interpretation.
•   XPD-8715 Reverser failure issue.
•   XPD-8898 Fix to real weather winds.
•   XPD-8942 DataRefs.txt file description error.
•   XPD-9193 Turn and bank indicator limited on Aerolite 103.
•   XPD-9531 C172 stalls way too early now.
•   XPD-9670 Drop down left behind if ATC window closed via menu icon.
•   XPD-9709 Aerolite flaps break when fully extended, even when aircraft is parked.
•   XPD-9743 Option to assign keyboard shortcuts to pop out g530.
•   XPD-9861 Errors in MD-80 POH.
•   XPD-9917 SF50 VR pilot view is in the dash.
•   XPD-9937 ATC Phonetic Constructs corrections.
•   XPD-9970 ATC Callsign Change.
•   XPD-9981 B738: APU EGT levels and availability don’t match the real aircraft.
•   XPD-9982 B738: Battery switch and guard mismatch.
•   XPD-10030 C90B: audio panel COM selection, marker selection not working.
•   XPD-10032 Cirrus type changed to cumulus in metar.rwx.
•   XPD-10034 FCS-65 climb and descend modes not working.
•   XPD-10050 Crash using FMS near an airport that has no runways.
•   XPD-10052 AreaFlood_HighMast.obj not showing in x-plane.
•   XPD-10057 Satellite misspelled in Map.
•   XPD-10064 Serial Port Yoke Restricted/Stuck Movement.
•   XPD-10069 Problems with G1000 popout.
•   XPD-10070 No Buildings at LOWI & KSEA.
•   XPD-10074 Jet engine high idle and lo idle – cannot write to dref.
•   XPD-10080 All airports are marked as 3-D.
•   XPD-10087 Default King Air C90 – duplicate texture problem.
•   XPD-10088 C172 flaps 40 degrees in Plane Maker.
•   XPD-10094 KCLT missing from 11.33 Gateway export.
•   XPD-10100 Outdated airport names in ATC spreadsheet.
•   XPD-10106 ASK total energy fix.
•   XPD-10130 Fix crash when control pad disconnects.



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Re: X-Plane 11.xx Release Notes
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2019, 11:12:32 AM »
X-Plane 11.40 Release Notes

X-Plane 11.40 is a major update with changes to the experimental flight model, including seaplane handling, stalling, and prop wash improvements.


Known bugs
•   XPD-7871 Dark contrails instead of white.
•   XPD-9388 Software hangs upon exit when using VR.
•   XPD-9501, XPD-9449 AMD driver bugs with displays & weapons.
•   XPD-9729 Contrails and wing condensation missing in replay.


Features and improvements
•   Updated experimental flight model
o   Watch Austin’s initial video here




o   Read in detail about the changes here
https://developer.x-plane.com/2019/09/experimental-flight-model-changes-in-x-plane-11-40/


Bug fixes
Beta 1
•   XPD-8518 Incorrect metar QNH interpretation (/// entries).
•   XPD-9659 Propwash flow in reverse incorrectly swirls behind the prop disk and flows ‘straight’ after the prop disk
•   XPD-9872 Ground trucks slow to a crawl when passing on the same network segment.
•   XPD-9984 Update UI to indicate GPS commands work with G530.
•   XPD-9969 Make oil temperature datarefs editable.
•   XPD-10003 In some planes turning on and off the Landing lights has no effect on battery amperage draw.
•   XPD-10005 Area-ruled correction factor added to Plane Maker.
•   XPD-10017 Removed duplicate DRM alert.
•   XPD-10199 Wetted area in cycle dump documentation updated.
•   XPD-10227 Updated docs for sim/flightmodel2/controls/left & right_brake_ratio.



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Re: X-Plane 11.xx Release Notes
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2019, 01:46:00 AM »
X-Plane 11.40 Beta 8 anda Roadmap Update
Posted October 11, 2019

This post has been on my todo list for a while – long enough that X-Plane 11.40 came out before I had time to write up a post saying “X-Plane 11.40” is coming. But just to put 11.40 into context, here’s what our patch roadmap looks like for X-Plane 11 this year.

All Physics All the Time
X-Plane 11.40 is a physics release. Almost all of the changes in X-Plane 11.40 come from Austin’s work on the physics engine over the last six months. This is a new approach for us. In the past, when we’ve updated the physics or systems, it would be in a giant “omnibus” release, where everybody’s latest code went out at once (e.g. X-Plane 11.10).

The problem with the omnibus releases is that they would take forever to get debugged. With so many people changing so many things, we never knew what had gone wrong when a bug report came in. And with all of the code changed, we had to investigate every single bug report carefully (no matter how unlikely or vague the report) because anything could have been broken.

So far, at risk of jinxing the beta, it appears that the physics-only approach is working a lot better. It has been quicker to find bugs when they are reported, and the overall level of crazy is a lot lower than in past releases.

NaNNaNNaNNaNNaNaNNaN Batman!
There aren’t many open bugs left in the 11.40 beta, but one particular bug has caused the beta count to run up: we were seeing crashes due to NaNs in the flight model.

NaN stands for Not A Number, and it’s what you get when you have divide-by-zeros run amok in the physics. To catch them, we’ve turned on a lot of auditing code and we’ve been collecting automatic crash reports. At risk of jinxing it, I think Austin has fixed one of the two root causes in beta 8. We are going to keep chasing them until the other one is fixed, then turn down the checks once we’re done. So we may make it to beta nine or ten and we may have another week with two betas; the high tempo is just to get more checks in fast.

Experimental Physics
There have been a number of questions in the comments on the state of the experimental flight model, so I want to clarify how it works and what is happening in 11.40.

Normally, new X-Plane features get beta tested during the beta of an X-Plane patch. This means we have somewhere between two and eight weeks to debug the feature and get it ready to ship. Once it ships, if we change the feature, we have to consider how this would affect authors using the feature and whether it would screw up their add-ons.

That’s not a lot of time to debug! In particular, it’s really not enough time for the flight model, where people need months just to develop the aircraft and measure the performance to get us feedback.

The experimental flight model is basically a giant year-long open beta of a future revision of the flight model that hasn’t shipped yet. By checking the “experimental FM” box, you’re getting to beta test the flight model of the future, now. By keeping the experimental flight model as an experiment for so long, this frees Austin up to simply fix bugs and improve it, as opposed to worrying how the X-Plane 11.40 experimental FM changes will affect X-Plane 11.30 users.

To be clear: there is no attempt at backward compatibility between the experimental flight model from one sim version to another! The goal is to have the experimental flight model not interfere with the “normal” flight model at all.

Physics changes in 11.40 fall into two broad categories:
•   Simulation changes that can change how an aircraft flies, improving the accuracy of X-Plane’s predictions about the airframe. An example of this is the delay in wash propagation from the prop to the tail of the aircraft. This makes the aircraft more stable, but may change how it flies; an author might have added artificial stability or reduced control surface efficacy to work around the lack of this feature in the past, and these work-arounds would be inappropriate with the new, more accurate physics.
•   Simulations that change how the aircraft flies in unusual circumstances that you can’t tune your aircraft to. Examples of this include stalls and wake turbulence. There isn’t going to be a book value for the effect, so all we can do is try to produce the most sane results given an aircraft that simulates properly in regular flight.

Features in the first category require the experimental flight model to be enabled, while the second category of features is always on.

At some point in the future, the experimental flight model will become the flight model for X-Plane, but we are not there yet, and we are not planning to do this as part of making X-Plane 11.40 final.

Third Party Aircraft
If you develop a third party aircraft, you need to test it now against both the experimental and non-experimental flight mode. If the non-experimental flight model doesn’t fly the same as 11.36, please file a bug, and please provide flight testing details. For the experimental flight model, you may see book numbers change a little bit; the real question is whether the overall physics response is better or worse.

Vulkan and Metal
X-Plane 11.50 will be the next major patch once X-Plane 11.40 is out of beta, and it will feature Vulkan and Metal support.

The marketing guys showed the Vulkan build of X-Plane live at Cosford last week; that build did not have any support for texture paging. Since then, Sidney has a basic texture paging implementation running, so hopefully we’re in good shape to get this into developer’s hands after 11.40.

Our expectation for add-on compatibility is:

•   Add-ons doing supported things, like 2-d panel drawing and UI should just work in Vulkan and Metal – we’ll take bug reports to fix compatibility issues.
•   Add-ons doing unsupported things won’t work in Vulkan and Metal at all. Your 3-d drawing callback won’t be called, or your attempt to grab internal GL resources will just fail (because none of our resources are GL).
•   X-Plane running under OpenGL should “just work” for pretty much every add-on, including ones doing sketchy things, and should be faster than 11.40 but not as fast as Vulkan or Metal.

I expect the Vulkan beta to be a relatively long one. We want it to start this year, but it probably won’t end this year, and my guess is that initially Vulkan will be fantastic for some users and will crash for others. During the beta we’ll gain useful information about how well Vulkan works “in the field” for different cards and drivers.
One reason I am looking forward to the Vulkan beta: we now have tremendous visibility into what the rendering engine and driver are doing. With OpenGL, the driver was often a black box. We still get reports of “the 3-d mouse in VR make my machine really slow” and frankly, we may never know why this happens to just some users and not others with the same hardware, drivers, and version of X-Plane.

With Vulkan and Metal it is going to be different. A lot more of the graphics work happens inside X-Plane, and the work that happens inside the driver is much more predictable, bounded, and can be viewed via modern profiling tools.
So while we will have a lot of debugging to do based on user feedback, it should be straightforward to get the information we need to really make the Vulkan renderer scream.

After Vulkan
It’s a little too soon to discuss what comes after Vulkan, but I can say this: for almost two years now, Sidney and I have been rewriting the rendering engine with a rather strange goal: performance and predictability, but with the same visual output. So anything that looked ugly on the screen is supposed to keep looking ugly. Vulkan was a change of the how but not the what of our rendering engine.

Once Vulkan is out the door, that all changes. We have a number of fundamental changes we want to make to how we deal with light, with the atmosphere, with color, and with organizing our frame. Once we have Vulkan, we get to use it as our foundation for what comes next.


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