Versions 8.30, 8.31,
and 8.32 were released in rapid succession to include a couple of bug
fixes that didn't make 8.30.
Note!! The effectiveness of control
surface deflections has changed in 8.32. As a result, artificial
stability and custom autopilot constants are likely to need retuning.
Artificial stability systems are likely to flutter at low frame rate;
planes with custom autopilot constants are likely to bob up and down
like dolphins in the vertical AP modes (Alt Hold, VVS, etc.)
description of 8.30-8.32:
8.32 has a few tiny little big-fixes since 8.30, specifically the
ability to handle aircraft checklists larger than 200 lines, record the
date properly on all flights in the logbook, the ability to handle all
sorts of corrupt real-weather files gracefully, and run on good old
So what's new for 8.32 since 8.21?
Major frame-rate optimizations...
about an EIGHTY-FIVE
PERCENT FRAMERATE INCREASE!
Here are some frame-rates in the default case... the speed improvements
are even GREATER in the "Full-Screen With HUD" and "Full-Screen No HUD"
Mac Powerbook OS-X:
Mac G5 OS-X:
Intel P-4 Windows XP:
well, load times are about the 25% faster if you have TONS of objects
and roads turned on, and OVER ONE-HUNDRED PERCENT FASTER (less than half
the time required to load!) in many cases.
- More-advanced lighting model... we now have seperate light
the sun and moon to get our lighting DIRECTION correct in all cases...
and we worked on the moon phase to get it more accurate as well.
- Sergio has also tweaked some of the terrain textures a hair for
global scenery to look a little better.
- A nice default HUD is visible in the "full-screen-with-HUD" view
if your actual craft does NOT have a HUD.
- Landing and Taxi lights: Attach each or any of them to any
in the plane so you can mount taxi lites on nosegears and stuff like
- Rain on the windshield... Set the weather to rainy overcast and
- Go to the "Special" menu in X-Plane and view the sky color
right alongside the control deflections... This is for you if you want
to tune the backgorund sky color images like you can tune the control
- Helipads are now lit with green lites as per FAA spec.
- Night lighting is now darkened a bit... it was so bright before
the landing lights did not always come on if the moon was full!
- More accurate effects from control-surface deflections: Ailerons,
elevators, and rudders. Now we look at WHERE on the wing the lift from
the ailerons, elevators,
rudder, and flaps are applied (which of course we have ALWAYS done) but
now we use the LOCATION of that lift (how close to the wingtip is it)
to determine the lift DISTRIBUTION on the wing to determine the
effective ASPECT RATIO of the wing and TIP LOSSES and ANGLE OF ATTACK
CHANGE on the wing due to the deflections and resultant
In other words, if an aileron is deflected
near the wing TIP, that shifts the lift center OUT closer to the wing
TIPS, which increases the tip losses and reduces the aileron authority
since the ailerons are out near the wing tips where the tip losses
occur. this is not as much of a problem for elevators, though, which do
not concentrate their effects near the tip where the losses are but
instead distribute their lift equally since they are typically
full-span, so they keep closer to a theoretical distribution.
does NOT have any pre-conceived notions of where the controls are for
YOUR plane though... it looks at where the elevators, ailerons, flaps,
and rudders are on YOUR plane to see what the lift distribution will be
(every frame, depending on control deflections) ...so the tip losses
and resultant angle of attack and lift and drag change will be based on
the actual location of the controls on YOUR plane. This results in more
accurate stall-angle changes from deflection of control surfaces and
flaps as well!
- More-accurate windmilling of the turbines in those jet engines...
whether the engines are running or not.
- Induced drag and lift slope are now refined for swept-wing
be more accurate.
- As well, the aspect ratio of all flying surfaces now considers
delta wing chords you can tune in Plane-Maker, to be more accurate.
- Ground effect is improved for helicopters.
- Ice usually forms slowly in stratus (rime) but very fast in
(clear), as per real icing conditions... with its resulting impact on
lift, drag, and aircraft weight.
- Joystick DAMPING sliders are now gone! they are now replaced by
"control-addition" sliders, which should be at ZERO for maximum
realism. Rather than messing up the flight model by adding artificial
damping, like all previous versions, these sliders now ADD some
additional control input to help stabilize the plane, as you would do
if you were a better pilot. err.. uhh... if you were in the real plane,
- Joystick power-ratio logic is now reversed as well... sliders
at ZERO for most linear response, and dragged up as needed. Only add as
much non-linear response as you have to.
General New Features:
- The glideslope indicator should be accurate even in hilly
stuff where it would sometimes be off by a bit before. This involves
X-Plane resolving any discrepancies between the various
terrain and NAVAID databases to make sure that the radio, actual, PAPI,
and VASI glideslope all agree! This issue was most clearly found and
pointed out by Alex Unruh, who noticed that the radio glideslope was
not always taking you down right to the runway touch-down zone. What is
interesting about this problem is that the USGS says that the elevation
of the touch-down zone is one thing, but DAFIF says the elevation of
the glideslope transmitter is something DIFFERENT than that! Oops! They
can't BOTH be right! So now, X-Plane uses the USGS data to "break the
tie", since that is where X-Plane puts the actual physical runway and
the VASI and PAPI lights. This way, even if some government database or
another is a bit in error, X-Plane "auto-locks" these critical
elevation points together by setting the glideslope elevation to the
runway touch-down zone elevation (whether you have sloped runways
allowed or not) so that you always get a glideslope that takes you
right down to the touch-down zone in the simulator... with the VASIs
and PAPIs in agreement about how you should fly as well.
- The EFIS airspeed indicator for jets is now more realistic... the
speed bug moves depending on your flap settings, and the Vne bug comes
down as needed to never indicate higher than your max allowable Mach
number. As well, the MAX allowable speed comes down as the flaps come
down to respect the max allowable speed with flaps down. Real jets do
this... flying the (real) 777 or 777 type-rating simulator involves
always keeping your eyes on the airspeed tape, which has little bugs
that creep up and down depending on your flaps, Mach number, altitude,
- If your monitor resolution is a healthy dose bigger than your
resolution, then you can drag the X-Plane window around on the
screen! This applies to Plane-Maker
and the other apps as well, so you can drag multiple windows around on
your desktop to see Plane-Maker and X-Plane at the same time... You
can quickly experiment with designs in Plane-Maker, save them, and
re-load them in X-Plane without exiting any applications!
- Look in Plane-Maker, "Viewpoint" window, "Viewpoint" tab: You can
the camera offset there in pitch, roll, and heading. What does it do?
Well, if you have the camera instument in the plane,
then the offset will be this much. Why? Well, the cameras in the SR-71
and U-2 do indeed look straight
- "Special Controls" screen in Plane-Maker: Now you can specify
the various control additions like "ailerons with flaps" or "elevator
with aileron" can take you OVER the maximum deflection of
the "Controls" screen or whether to keep you limited to the "basic"
control deflections as specified in that screen... this
lets you do mechanical systems like the Bonanza, or fly-by-wire systems
like the F-22.
- New VTOL/helo option: "tail rotor pitch change with speed"...
like the "cyclic change with speed". May be kind of useful. Some guy
- Change the carrier and frigate heading in the "Map" window if
- Tune your radios to the ATIS frequency and you will hear nearby
reports as long as you are tuned to that frequency, as in reality. Of
course, if your radio happens to be on the frequency of a nearby ATIS,
you will keep getting ATIS until you change the radio frequency.
- New artificial stability option: Get conventional horizontal
track alpha just like the canards can now!
- Retractable skids: Just set up the skids like any other helo
existing helo in Plane-Maker for reference, and hit the "set to default
skids" button in the upper-right of the
landing gear page to turn the fairings into default skids) but then
enter different retraction angles for the legs... the skids
will retract properly to act as snowplanes! (then, to do a nose skid,
add 2 more gear (positions 5 and 6) and
fairing number 5 will be the nose skid! Edit the fairings to look like
snow skis rather than helo skids.
- Add the "button map mode" switch from the "EFIS" folder in
and set it to PLAN mode in the sim... then the map will center on the
current waypoint dialed into your FMS,
which you can cycle thru using the "PREV" "NEXT" buttons on the FMS.
This lets you cycle thru all the waypoints in your plan before take-off!
New Joystick Buttons:
- Joystick button options to run the magnetos up and down in
lets you cycle all the way through the magneto options with the
- Joystick button to toggle the CLUTCH on a plane or helo. Kind of
- More joystick buttons for autopilot control.
New Instruments Selectable in Plane-Maker:
- New auto-reverse on touchdown arm/dis-arm switch available for
panels in the "buttons" folder in Plane-Maker.
- "Alternate Static Air" handle now available... use this when your
primary static port fails, or you will get bad airspeed, vertical
speed, and altitude indications!
- Electric and Manual engine primers now available! They are in the
buttons and handles folders in Plane-Maker.
- "No Smoking" and "Fasten Seatbelts" switches... these are not the
exciting switches in the world, but the real jets have them, so we do
now as well. These ones are modelled after the switches in the Boeing
- New start button with 3 positions: engine start/engine run/engine
down. The Eclipse jet will have this!
- Per-engine fuel on/off switch rather than mixture handle. A
easier in some cases.
- POWER gage! The real Cirrus has this. Select output in either
horsepower or PERCENT power in Plane-Maker "Engines" screen.
- Thrust-vector indicator for the HUD.
New Systems Simulations:
- Hydraulic systems can be pressurized by electric pumps, engine-driven
pumps, and ram air turbines, and that hydraulic pressure can
drive gear, brakes, flaps, flight
controls, and/or nosewheel steering! This way you can get the hydraulic
sources (and the systems that will
fail when the hydraulic system fails!) just right for your plane! As
well, you can set an instant and total hydraulic system failure,
rather than just a pump failure (which can be overcome with other
pumps) or slow leak (takes time to
lose all presure). All of this is set in the "Systems" window in
- As well, you enter the SPEED at which your gear will freefall if
hydraulic system has failed!
- The "Failures" page now fails the vacuum PUMPS, not the systems.
There is one vacuum pump per engine, up to 2 engine-driven vacuum
pumps. These pumps pressurize the primary vacuum system, and the
either pump in a twin is ok since the other pump will still pressurize
the system... the SECOND vacuum system is powered by the ELECTRIC
system though... so simply choose the second vacuum system for a
horizon to get that instrument working on a standy system that is tied
to the electrical rather than engine-driven vacuum system.
- The number of generators, batteries, and inverters is now
THE NUMBER OF SWITCHES FOR THOSE THINGS ON THE PANEL, not the number of
engines. Why? Because a Cirrus has 1 engine but 2 batteries and 2
and a B-52 has 8 engines but does not have 8 generators! This lets you
simulate electrical systems with more accuracy.
- Afterburner failure option! It's in the "Failures" window with
other engine failures.
- New failure options: "Control lock left in" and "Fuel caps left
off." You guess what happens when you activate them.
- More airport lighting failures... individually fail the VASI,
and runway lights.
(This new system simulations stuff is new detail for FAA-certified
flight training, but you still get the benefit.)
- Generator and Inverter switch states are saved in the situation
and sent to external cockpits as well.
- VASIs and PAPIs are always lined up perfectly with the glideslope
transmitters, so you never get conflicting information on the "perfect"
- Seaplane physics refinements.
- Dragging your plane on the map turns OFF the map auto-center, as
- Better indicators and data ouput for the CLUTCHES that helos
theory, airplanes!) can have.
- In the map view you can turn plotting your own plane on or off...
Turn it off if you want to practice navigation like in old-style planes
with no moving maps.
- The logbook now saves the entire aircraft name, not just an
- The screenshots you take in the "Special" menu now save in PNG,
BMP... smaller that way.
- There are text files in the cockpit bitmaps for the TRIM
now... you specify the range of indicator motion.
- Weapons stay hard-locked to the craft until launch, even during
- Smoke puffs from touchdown are now visible in replay mode, and
multiplayers touching down as well!
- Also, we have more accuracy in the replay: Data is stored 10
second rather than 5 times a second to give more fluid replays.
- Threading can be turned off... might be useful if you do not have
processors or a dual-core CPU.
- Engine instruments are now auto-labelled on both left and right
for the multi-engine all-in-one gages, even if the plane has "mirrored"
instruments as specified in the "Limits" screen in Plane-Maker.
- X-Plane no longer draws the aircraft geometry when in
- Cabin pressurization inited to a bit BELOW the airport elevation,
pressurizing the plane a bit right from the start, as in reality.
- If you already have movies on your hard drive with the same names
the movies you are about to make in X-Plane, X-Plane won't complain and
exit, but instead choose a different movie
- If you do a vertical descent from over 100,000 feet, scenery is
if needed so you do not descend into waterworld.
- No more starting off on helipads just because you were close to
when you crashed your plane or opened a new plane.
- Various cockpit instrument verbal warnings (radio altimeter
total-energy variometer) now play whether the instrument they are
attached to is off-screen due to the panel scrolling around or
- DG and HSI show magnetic hading now, not true heading, on the
external cockpits and replays, as they should.
- Cockpit objects for OTHER planes always use the OUTER cockpit
both an inner and outer object are defined, as they should.
- "Open Text File for Viewing" no longer ignores vertain types of
returns on certain types of computers.
- Non-standard FMS size will not make the text in the flight-plan
open/save page non-standard as well!
- Standard-6 panel instruments functional on the IOS screen.
- World-Maker now saves facades.
- Plugins can control the ground bumpiness now.
- Railroads and powerlines appear in lower road rendering settings.
- The 'Nearest VOR' function on the Garmin 430 should give the
- The overlay images for fuselages work in Plane-Maker, even if
size is NOT power-of-2.
- No more water-runway flags floating over the runways at KLGA.
- Beaches no longer float above the land when runway-flattening is
with global scenery.
- Cockpit objects no longer have only gray texture.
- No more crash using V7 scenery in V8.
- Joystick nosewheel steering toggle is now operative.
- Autopilot disconnect annunciator now operative.
- Cockpit obejcts visible in other planes at the right times.
- G430 more speed-optimized... it does not slow the sim down in any
- Runway and aircraft lites can run in the daytime now.
- Rain effect works fine in all views now.
- Approach lites always lined up with the runways.
Version 8 Overview
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