What's Changed in Version 9?

V9 is more of an evolutionary release, and builds on the new scenery format and other features introduced in the V8 run. Make no mistake! A lot has changed internally. The scenery rendering engine has undergone major work and scenery visuals are much improved. Externally, there are several new, really nice looking aircraft, and the default airport has moved to Innsbruck, Austria. And of course the list of new small stuff is, as usual, endless. For the details, see the 9.00 history page.

Compatibility with older versions:

The global scenery has been re-done for V9 and looks even better. There's more scenery detail, more texures, and some of the rough edges in the V8 global scenery (like no beaches in the southern hemisphere) have been cleaned up. The V9 global scenery covers latitudes from 74 degrees south to 74 degrees north (more or less - basically the entire world except for the polar regions). For details, see the global scenery page. The kit is available from the X-Plane order page, the X-Plane.org store, or through a variety of retail channels.

For all the gory details on what's been happening with V9, see the detailed history pages.

This page describes changes specific to V9.x. Also see the Installing and Upgrading page for general information and details on installing.

V9 current Favorites

How do I update to the latest V9.x version?

Run the updater from inside X-Plane. On the left end of the menu bar, click "About" and select "About X-Plane". The information box tells you what version you have and what the latest version is that's available. If yous is out of date and you want to update it, click the "Update X-Plane" button. This will download the network updater and run it to update X-Plane.

System requirements:

There are no hard and fast requirements on system software and hardware above and beyond V8.64. In fact, with equivalent rendering options and scenery detail, V9 runs as fast and sometimes faster than V8 on the same hardware. However, the top end of the rendering options has been substatially raised. V9 uses pixel shaders extensively and can put much more of a load on your video card than V8 ever could. If your system is more than a year or two old, a video card upgrade may be worthwhile. The usual rule applies: the more hardware you can throw at X-Plane, the better.

A word of warning on video cards and drivers: V9 works the OpenGL subsystem really hard and is much more vulnerable to bugs in the video drivers than V8. If you get strange video artifacts or application crashes, either on startup or while running, the usual remedy is to go looking for more up to date video drivers. (Usually. There have been a couple of cases where video problems were fixed for an older video card by backing off to an older version of the video driver.) For details, see the Video FAQ page.

What about my custom scenery?

Custom scenery for V8 should work fine in V9. It should be installed in the Custom Scenery folder as before.

Current Favorites...

X-Plane freezes almost immediately after startup (V9.20-9.21)

This can happen if you don't have a connection to the internet. See the Bugs FAQ page for details.

X-Plane identifies itself as a "web demo" in the startup screen

And I have the full version DVD set.

You get the "web demo" identification if the earth orbit textures are missing. These are not part of the demo download and are only installed from the DVD kit. You'll get into this situation if you installed the demo download and then installed the global scenery. If you have the Laminar Research DVD kit, you can use the "repair X-Plane" option to install the earth orbit textures (this will also get you some terrain textures that are missing in the demo). If you have the retail kit from Graphsim you'll have to reinstall from scratch.

I've gotten lost! What's the new default airport?

It's Innsbruck, Austria, ICAO code LOWI.

Where are all the airports?

I opened the Select Global Airport menu and all I see is the airport I'm at! (This problem only occurs in 9.00 and 9.01. It is fixed in 9.20.)

The current airport's name is pre-entered in the airport name box in the menu. The list of airports displayed is automatically reduced to match the name you've entered. Erase the airport's name from the input box and you'll see the entire list.

What happened to the "local takeoff" and local approach" menu items?

They've been incorporated into the Select Global Airport menu. Once you've selected an airport, you'll see a list of runways and buttons to place th aircraft at takeoff position, or 3 mile or 10 mile final approach.

What happened to all the special situations?

Like carrier cat shot, in flight refueling, space shuttle approach, etc.

They're in the File->Load Situation menu (even though they're not files).

The autopilot doesn't work!

If you're coming from an earlier V8 version, a number of subtle but important changes in how the autopilot works were introduced in V8.60. See the Autopilot Problems page for commonly encountered problems.

The autopilot really doesn't work and won't hold altitude!

As my speed increases the plane starts flying up and down like a roller-coaster!

This is a new feature in the V9 autopilot: overspeed protection. As the aircraft approaches Vne, the autopilot pitches the aircraft up to slow it down. Then after you've slowed down it allows the nose to drop and you pick up speed again... This is especially a problem in the Cirrus Jet, which has a rather powerful engine and a low Vne (250 kt).

Why are there no buildings at most of the airports?

The X-Plane global scenery does not include airport buildings. There are many custom scenery packages available at X-Plane.org that populate selected airports. They range in quality from generic to photo-realistic with animated boarding ramps. A (free) membership in X-Plane.org is required to download.

What is my global scenery doing in the Custom Scenery folder?

Um, er, because that's where it got installed. The initial V9 kits installed the global scenery in two folders, -global overlays- and -global terrain-, in the Custom Scenery folder. It's OK - it works there. Later versions install the global scenery in a separate Global Scenery folder.

Why am I getting "missing scenery" messages when my scenery is correctly installed?

Scenery is packaged in one file per square degree of the earth's surface, but there are no files where there is open ocean. X-Plane's local map always shows a 3x2 degree area. If you are located at, say, a coastal airport, then part of the local map may be open ocean and there will be no corresponding scenery file. X-Plane has a list of where scenery files are supposed to be, but the list appears to be inaccurate. You can turn the warning message off in the Settings->Operations and Warnings menu.

I can't network my PPC Mac with an Intel machine

Power PC cpus and Intel cpus use the opposite byte order to represent numerical values. X-Plane versions 8.64 and earlier rearranged the byte order to make cross-platform networking work. The logic to rearrange the bytes was removed from V9, and dissimilar cpus cannot be networked. The same problem applies to saved situations and replays - they cannot be loaded on a different cpu type. Intel Macitosh works OK with Intel Windows or Linux.

I have a really powerful video card, and I still get frame rate warnings and fog

You're probably running out of cpu power, rather than rendering power in the video card. This is most likely to happen with high object density (lots of buildings and trees, streets, taxiways, etc.) For details, seet the video card FAQ page.

How do I edit terrain in the V9 scenery format?

You have a couple of choices. Overlay Editor, available from X-Plane.org, allows you to create custom object overlay scenery. Beta versions of the new World Editor are now available at the Scenery Tools web site. World Editor is the tool of choice for gaphical editing of airports. None of the tools allow you to edit the actual terrain elevation mesh.

Where can I learn more about the scenery format?

See Ben Supnik's scenery design home page.

I downloaded a plane from X-Plane.org and it doesn't work in V9.

It's probably for an older X-Plane version. You'll have use the V8.64 PlaneMaker to convert it to use in V9.

How do I convert V8.x planes for use in V9?

For many V8.x planes no conversion is necessary. V9 will accept them as is. Older planes and planes with legacy custom panels may require conversion. To convert a plane open it in PlaneMaker and resave it. (Depending on the age of the plane you may have to use an older version of PlaneMaker.) For details and exceptions, see the Aircraft Format and Conversion page.

After flying at high altitude for a few minutes the screen slowly goes black.

You're suffering from hypoxia - oxygen starvation. This will occur in a plane that has pressurization controls and you forgot to set them, or it has an incomplete set and you can't. For more details see the Flying FAQ.

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