Version 9.00 is all
about refinement. It builds on the new architecture introduced in V8,
and there's been a huge amount of internal work. The graphics engine
has been seriously overhauled, and scenery looks a lot better. V9 comes
with a new version of the global scenery with more detail, and it
extends to +/- 74 degrees latitude, more or less, to cover the entire
world except for the extreme polar regions. Needless to day, there's a
ton of new features at the detail level.
Austin's words on 9.00
New For X-Plane 9.00:
As well, QUICKTIME MOVIES are now much, much faster, also using multiple cores, to give you much higher framerate during QuickTime movie creation.
AMAZING NEW PLANES with INCREDIBLE DETAIL: We now have a new Cessna 172, Piaggo Avanti (you have been waiting for this one!), ASK-21 glider, and even a Cirrus-jet! Be sure to load the Cessna, Avanti, and Cirrus jet in the 'General Aviation' folder, and hit the '|' key to check them out! The Cirrus Jet, as a matter if fact, is the SAME .acf file that Cirrus used in-house with their copy of X-Plane! (We also have first-drafts of ALL the Vans RV homebuilts, so if you are an RV pilot, you can use these as a quick-start to modelling YOUR RV!)
Aircraft panels can be up to 2048x2048. Those who want to every bit of detail on a B-36 or B-52 cockpit: Your time has come! Check out the 'Example Airplane WideScreen' in the 'Instructions' folder. Use the left and right arrows to see the whole screen, or run in a res of up to 2048x1024 to see more at once! Now you see you can make very wide-screeen airplanes! Of course, if you make the left half the panel the pilot's side, and the right half the copilot's side, and split your output to two monitors running 1024x768, then you get a pilot and copilot display from one computer, and one copy of x-plane! kind of convenient.
It gets better: If you want 3-D cockpits, the 3-D cockpit has 3-D lighting for panel texture, to really make flight with 3-D cockpits immersive! Get in the Cirrus Jet and hit 'control-o' to see this. Then use the mouse, arrow-keys, and page-up/page-down keys to move around the cockpit while flying. Try it as well in the Cessna 172 or Avanti. The 3-D clicking into 3-D cockpit tracks a lot better as well, so you can do full flight operations in 3-D... a real experience in the Cirrus Jet! (It's inside the 'General Aviation' folder)
Look at the 'Example Airplane WideScreen' in the 'Instructions' folder. You can make all the custom liveries you want, with all the names you want! Then, in X-Plane, go to the 'open liveries' menu item (right under the 'open aircraft' menu item!) and select the livery you want!
Moderate User-Interface overhaul. Every single menu and window has been re-evaluated for optimum placement. Every windows has been re-evaluated for optimum organization, with many changes. The interface has a mildly different look and feel, and much re-organization to be quicker and more friendly to use. This has included countless changes, including:
Generic Instruments! In Plane-Maker, Hook ANY variable to ANY digital readout, handle, needle, tape... ANYTHING.
You could, for example,
have digital oil pressure or hydraulic quantity
gages... Just choose the generic LED instruments (in the generic folder
in the instrument list in panel-editor of Plane-Maker) and select
whatever variable you want
to attach to each digital readout! Using this technology, you can
finally view any variable you want on the panel! This really lets you
make your own instruments.
Now, I am adding a new
variable and dataref: EFIS PAGE. This is an integer that can go 0 to
whatever, and you can hook it up to
a generic instrument rotary.
Find it here in the data-ref selector:
So, your generic rotary
instrument can run the EFIS PAGE variable to
any value. Great. NOW, the NEXT thing you can do with generic
instruments is set the
instrument to only be VISIBLE when a certain dataref is a
certain-value. Let that dataref be the EFIS-PAGE variable and you can
Look in the airliners in the 'Heavy Metal' folder in the 'Instructions' folder. You will see a file ending in 'icon.png'... this is an image of the airplane that will be visible whenever you scroll thru the aircraft-selection window in X-Plane. Now you can see what each plane looks like when deciding what plane to fly!
Lots of new objects for Europe from Cris. Taxiway signs are now always lit (even during the day) to make them easier to read. Lighting on cars at night.
Prop alpha is a little
bit more opaque at high RPM.
And scenery improvements for scenery authors: Animated objects and lego-brick instruments can animate based on whether commands are pressed.
Check out the new
example planes in the instructions folder to be
sure you know the latest options for liveries and stuff! You can see
how to make custom cockpit objects and misc objects that
hold multiple liveries for one plane.
In Plane-Maker, you can
specify that any part of the plane is not
visible, so it is not drawn... this can increase framerate! Now, why
would you NOT draw parts of the plane? Because you use a
custom object for the aircraft visual model! If you do that, then you
can run at the same or higher framerates than
before by having X-Plane NOT draw the physical geometry created in
New spoiler and speedbrake options for Airliners in Plane-Maker to really get those airliner speedbrake, spoilers, and ground speedbrakes perfect!
New control phase-ins and phase-outs: See the "Control Geometry" window in Plane-Maker, in the "Phase-Outs" tab... This lets you set the controls to phase out smoothly above certain speeds, or BELOW certain speeds! This really lets you get smooth, accurate controls simulation for a wide range of craft.
We now have speedbrake 1 and 2 on the wings for different speedbrake deflections, just like with spoilers and ailerons. As well, we now have an option to have some speedbrakes only deploy for GROUND deployments.
Windshield wipers! You add them in the panel-editor on Plane-Maker, just like any other instruments! The button to turn them on and off is in the 'buttons' folder, and the wipers themselves are in the 'supplements' folder.
New Pressurization option: Auto-pressurization. In the Systems screen in Plane-Maker, this checkbox will automatically keep reasonable pressure inside the craft at all times.
New Pressurization option: Automatically dump cabin pressurization below 1000 ft radio altitude!
This is pretty nice, and exists in some planes. Check this to automate pressurization systems in this regard.
All airplane engine noises can now be customized to be different as heard from the inside and outside of the plane! This has been an oft-requested feature. Look in the resources/sounds folder for the _inn and _out sound files, which you may customize for YOUR planes as well.
Here are the naming conventions for the engine, starter, and prop, inner and outer, for engine number 1, which you may run up to 8 of course:
Look in the
panel-editor in Plane-Maker. Look in the 'buttons' folder for the
'slider' instrument. You can have up to 20 of these sliders in the
cockpit. They are 'slider switches'. In Plane-Maker, you can set the
times' in the 'Systems' window, third tab. Those times control how long
it takes the slider to go from full-off to
full-on. In X-Plane, you can turn the slider switch off or on in the
running the slider from 0.0 to 1.0 over the time specified in
Plane-Maker. Then, simply hook any part of the aircraft object up to
float dataref in your 3-D object-editor to watch it move in X-Plane...
this would be used for doors, refueling booms, canopies, etc. So, we
finally have a very easy way for you to control variables to
drive doors, refueling booms, or anything else you care to model in a
3-D editor and hook to a dataref. One more detail: By default, SHIFT-F1
will toggle slider #1, SHIFT-F2
will toggle slider #2, etc, up to SHIFT-F16.
Custom parachute texture now possible for any plane: aircraftname_chute.png
Plane-Maker aircraft object export includes a few polys to show where the landing gear is.
'Insert' section button in Plane-Maker so you can insert a section in the middle of your fuselage or nacelle or misc body or whatever.
Completely different throttle-governor and fadec systems are now simulated! Go to the Engines screen in Plane-Maker to equip the plane with either, both, or neither system. Put switches for either, both, or neither system on the panel. Run either, both, or neither system in flight based on the switch positions. Now you wanna know: What's the difference between a governor and a fadec? Here is the answer:
New button in plane-maker SYSTEMS screen: Autopilot altitude-hold is ALWAYS armed. Checking this button ON is the modern convention, used in the G-1000, for example. With this type of autopilot, you simply enter any altitude you want in the altitude window, and as long as you are in VVI, PITCH, or LEVEL-CHANGE mode, the plane WILL level off when it hits the altitude in the altitude window. In contrast to this, older autopilots did NOT do this. They would simply fly any mode you gave them forever, and hold altitude if you hit the altitude button. UNcheck this button to obtain that functionality.
Speedbrake extension and retraction times are now customizable in Plane-Maker!
Custom limits for transmission temperature and pressure now settable in Plane-Maker Engines screen, and new instruments to show them (in the round engine instruments folder).
Plane-Maker: Default to 9 vertices per side for the fuselage.
Plane-Maker: Main aircraft screen is hi-contrast now to really see the aircraft design better.
Plane-Maker: Running Plane-Maker in hi res gives you more room for editing the airplane fuselage in top and side views.
Check out the SYSTEMS window in the DEFAULT menu in Plane-Maker. You can now assign various different electrical systems on the craft to run on different electrical buses. Now you can really get all the right systems to drop out when a bus fails! Simply specify what bus each system is on, and if you lose that bus in flight, those systems will go down with it!
Different standard and emergency max throttle. IF there is an engine failure, then you will get the emergency max throttle value! This is done in the real Eclipse jet.
Engine markings can be chosen for APU N1 in Plane-Maker 'Engines' screen, 'Markings' tab... Seems sort of 'minute' but it was requested!
New trim option: "Trim extends maximum control deflections" Most systems should NOT have this box checked! This is because the trim only changes the resting-point of the controls, NOT the maximum deflections! But, SOME planes MIGHT use the trim as a floating nuetral-point for control deflection that allow the controls to EXCEED their normal, zero-trim limits! Check this box in that rare case.
Cool new feature: Auto-Wing-Sweep with Mach number. In the 'Special Controls Screen' in Plane-Maker, you can enter a lo and hi Mach number for the wing sweep. Do this, and the wings will automatically sweep smoothly between those two Mach numbers. This really makes planes like the B-1 easier to manage!
3-D cockpits can use 4 sub-sections of a large panel - save VRAM if the 2-d panel is huge.
Plane-Maker, I have now labeled the 'invisible parts' screen wheel
fairings to include the wheels themselves as well. This lets you build
custom landing gear properly: By hiding the gear here and making a
custom OBJ, not by making the tire out of a clear texture that messes
up the rendering a bit, as authors have been doing.
parameter in Plane-Maker: Additional gear flatplate area. Tune it to
get your gear drag just right, so the plane comes down at just the
right rate when the gear is deployed.
Custom landing gear constants operative, BUT YOU MUST OPEN AND RESAVE ANY PLANE IN PLANE-MAKER that you have custom gear constants for.
option in the SYSTEMS window in Plane-Maker... 'TOGA disconnects
autopilot servos'... hit this and if you hit the TOGA autopilot
joystick button then the servos will disconnect and you will fly
manually. Some planes are like this in reality, some not.
import: Will only import the 2-D panel in the 2-D
panel window, and ditto in the 3-D panel.
keys to zoom and pan fuselage and other body cross-sections restored...
click on the part description box to enter descriptions, or away from
it to pan and zoom.
New generic instrument
TRIGGER generic instrument type now gives you access to all commands, so you can do everything in X-Plane from generic 'TRIGGER' instruments.
2-D and 3-D panels can now be different! See the 'Example Plane-Widescreen+Objects' plane in the 'Instructions' folder. This shows you how you can have 2-D cockpits, and, if you like, DIFFERENT panels for your 3-D cockpits. This can be nice if you want to lay our your instruments in a neat pattern to build a panel textures for your cockpit that has nothing to do with the 2-D layout.
Now, here is a reminder mentioned earlier, but it needs mention since people are still asking:
Let's say you want an airplane door to open over 2 seconds.
more tuning of the propeller/rotor model to rack real helos
ever-more-perfectly! A military helo pilot (Brett Sumpter) is flying
every X-Plane beta and feeding back info to get the rotor effects just
Rotor turbulence when passing through effective translational lift (around 5 knots).
Floatplane dynamics tuned a hair as well.
Bodies on the plane
that move with gear, control surfaces, etc,
interact with the ground and water as they move.
More tuning of the
rotor model to get rotors (and props, for that
matter) more realistic.
Weapons-selection joystick buttons work more like most people expect them to: turning the weapons-select handle in the cockpit.
You can load flight-plans in 3-D cockpits.
More tuning of the
rotor system. We are tuning effective translational
lift, vortex ring state effects, settling with power envelopes, cyclic
deflection requirements, and ground effect to match real helos
A bit of flight-model tuning to handle hi-rotation rates more accurately (read: spins!)
flight model improvements: propwash over-haul! We should have a better
sense of WHAT parts of the plane are blanketed in propwash.
Engine model in Cessna
172 tuned a hair.
Helo model refined a
bit, improving the accuracy of the propwash
through the rotor, which was too high in earlier betas. This is
improving pitch response at high speed, and making the
auto-rotation descent rates more accurate as well!
Set in the Special Controls window in the Expert menu of Plane-Maker.
The ME-109 used this. In X-Plane, the cowl flaps will automatically
open or close to maintain
a CHT right in the middle of the green.
After an engine fire, you aren't getting that engine back. ;-) Put out the fire with the extinguisher button, but the engine is down for the count. Interesting note: In an engine fire, the engine will continue to put out power for some short period of time... but hitting the extinguisher will stop the engine NOW. So here is the interesting point: On take-off or go-around, you may be better advised to let the engine run (even though on fire) for a little while before hitting the extinguishers, if the airplane depends on having the engine for a few more moments.
Terrain-following radar now follows the altitude entered into the decision-hight of the radio altimeter, if you have one. (It shoots for 200 feet, otherwise).
More accurate hail,
precip, and snow selection model. Hail is, in
actuality, formed by balls of ice forming at cold altitudes, falling
down into warmer altitudes, getting coated in rain, then being pushed
back UP into the cold altitudes by updrafts!!! At the colder altitudes,
the water on each ball of ice freezes... the ball of ice is now
bigger!!! The extra weight causes the ball of ice to fall down to lower
altitudes. At the lower altitudes, the rain from the thunderstorm coats
the ball of ice with more water, and the updrafts push it right back up
into the freezing levels again! This water freezes and now the
hailstone is bigger yet again! This process can go on and on... the
greater the updrafts, the greater the rain, and the greater the
temperature differential, the bigger the hailstones! X-Plane now
understands all of this, and the hail model has been updated as a
result to consider all of this.
Other planes fly at a
much nicer speed for formation flying.
Autopilot airspeed can
now be set in Mach as well as KIAS... the
Mach mode had problems in earlier betas.
Cool new failures: Bird
strikes and wind shear. Rather than the random strikes and wind shear
which can already happen, the instructor can trigger those in the IOS
as well. Good for training.
incidence, and wing-retraction now stored in
replay-mode... let me know if they do not work for you properly.
For multi-machine setups, the external visuals now track location in the cockpit if you move around with the arrow and page up/down keys in control-o mode. This is kind of nice because you can move around the cockpit while surrounded by many screens all giving you a wide field of view!
Profile view in the
a hair smarter on plotting, and can show time or distance-based
profile. As well, the aircraft icon now appears on the glideslope on
the map window as well.
Replay mode is now perfectly-controllable from instructor console.
For networked setups, set the rendering options in the IOS, and they go out to the master and external visuals to keep everything in sync!
is more carefully defined for the 3 mile and 10 mile approaches to put
you at a 3 degree glideslope on short final, below that on long final
to give you time to configure for glideslope intercept.
Quicktime movie now records movies in SIMULATED time rather than REAL time, so even if things get a bit slow during the Quicktime RECORD, they still play back in proper simulated speed.
place-aircraft-by-airport screen, the current airport is
auto-loaded into that screen the first time you open it (convenient)
and hitting ENTER will TAKE YOU TO whatever airport you have entered
there. (kind of convenient)
Carrier and frigate
pitch and roll tracked in replay.
Visibility slider in weather screen re-labeled a hair to by in sync with the cat-1, cat-2, cat-3, etc buttons.
New feature in the
Internet screen for multiplayers: Set the number
of transmissions per second to the other players.
If you are NOT playing on a LAN, then you can lower this number to keep from overflowing a slower net connection when doing multiplayer games online.
Click on various
NAVAIDs, airports, fixes, etc on the Map screen and
the data is displayed in the upper-right of the map without the
background rectangle being too large for the data.
10% nullzone in the
brakes so they don't hang or drag at all if you
use CH Pro Pedals or any other axis for brakes. As well, the braking
model improvement: Dragging along with partial
brake application should now be handled properly.
Assigning a joystick
axis to look left/right/up/down does not put
you in the control-o mode automatically, but simply lets you look
around whenever you DO hit control-o. As well, the joystick input is
'smoothed' a bit, making for smoother
address of the master machine is auto-set on the external visuals and
cockpits by the master... Kind of convenient for multi-machine setups!
In the joystick
windows, the flight realism sliders are labeled in
%, so you can set them precisely if you like!
feature: Check it out in the operations and warnings
screen in the settings menu: Flight models per frame! 1 is recommended,
2 or more may be needed for very fast, light, small
aircraft if you are flying at low framerate! Here is the deal: If you
set this to 1, then X-Plane will run 1 flight
model for every frame of the sim. This is usually fine! BUT, if you are
running a plane that is very small and lightweight, and
goes very fast, then, in REALITY, this plane might maneuver VERY
quickly! In that event, you need to run MANY flight-model frames per
predict what this plane is going to do! Now, if you are running at a
lower frame-rate because you have a slow
computer or tons of scenery cranked up, then you may need to do
MULTIPLE flight-models for every visual frame! In that event, enter a
number like 2 or more here, to get more flight
models done each frame, giving the hi-speed integration that is needed
for quick- manuevering planes! NOTE: If you see a fast plane suddenly
tumble out of control at high
speed, then it is a good bet you need to crank up the flight models per
You should be able to
raise and lower the landing gear when in the
water... amphibs need to do this!
Joystick pan/tilt buttons do more stuff in more views, as requested.
Mouse-steering cross-hair reminders now remain at last yoke position, not center position, as requested.
View indicator in side view stays center-screen now.
Parachute texture mapping is now handled differently to really let you customize chutes.
Airplane draws at perfect location on the map, no matter the altitude.
Refined Garmin 296,
396, 496, f30, and g1000 driving.
New button and command
to show auxilary fuel tanks... It's nice if
you have more fuel TANKS than fuel GAGES. Hit this button to show the
other tanks on the same gages.
This works if you have twice the number of tanks as you do gages. (2, 4, 6, or 8 tanks are all OK, if you just have half that many gages). The KingAir, for example, has 4 tanks but only 2 gages... hit this little button on the panel for the gages to show the aux tanks! Cool!
commands: Prop sync on, off, toggle. Avionics
off/on as well.
commands for all the various de-icing sub-systems. Nice if you are
building a big sim with plenty of buttons and switches in it to control
New command that you can assign to any key or joystick button: FADEC power. Hit the CUSTOM COMMAND button in the upper-left of the Joystick Buttons window to get to it.
VS and ALT selection
autopilot commands are now available to hook to
any joy button or key press.
New command: Gear warning horn silence. So you can assign a joystick button to it now. Kind of convenient.
Version 9 Overview
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