Ultra-Realistic Flight Simulation

Aircraft Development with Javier Rollon

Laminar Research: Can you provide a little background on yourself and your interest in aviation?

Javier Rollon: Well, as a flight sim enthusiast, I always tried to fly anything that was possible in any computer, starting from the Spectrum 48k, Amiga (F18 Interceptor was a blast!), and PC. Of course I spent a lot of time in the Microsoft Flight sim series, and finally I arrived at X-Plane 8 and 9. Coming from FS9 I saw how X-Plane was still using 2D cockpits (something I hate. I know lots of users love them….).

After some flights with X-Plane, loving its flight dynamics but not its graphics, I decided to make a 3D cockpit for a plane that I liked which only had a 2D one–the Texan. I used my background as a graphic designer in the games industry, working in titles such as Crysis2 for Crytek in Germany.

LR: Why did you decide to start making aircraft & how long have you been creating X-Plane aircraft?

JR: As I said, I love flying so it was the most natural step when I felt that I wanted to have a better experience with the Texan. I didn’t decide to make a plane, just a 3D cockpit. After that then, when I was successful with it, I decided to make the jump into a plane.

I have been creating X-Plane aircraft since 2008. (more…)

Real Pilots Fly X-Plane

Jan Vogel is a very active supporter of X-Plane and does a lot of work for the X-Plane community. He has contributed hundreds of airport improvements on the Airport Scenery Gateway and told us a little about himself in this recent interview for the X-Plane newsletter.

Jan is also a captain for a major European airline. Even though he flies hundreds of hours each year for his job, in this video he tells us why he loves to fly in X-Plane during his spare time as well.

X-Plane 10.40 and Control Pad now available

The latest update for X-Plane 10 is now available for all users. X-Plane 10.40 is a major release that includes a new DSF loader, ATC functionality, digital download, and multiple performance enhancements. Scenery updates to almost 500 airports, including major locales such as London Heathrow, Hong Kong, and Atlanta, are also included.

Visit the briefing page for more information on the major features in X-Plane 10.40.

Instructions for Updating

To update your copy of X-Plane, simply start the simulator and choose to update. It will automatically download and launch the latest installer.

Free for X-Plane 10.40 Users: X-Plane Control Pad

In addition, the new Control Pad app is now available as a free download in the Apple App Store.

Control Pad allows you to control X-Plane dynamically without pausing or interrupting flight. You can change weather, position, and more with the app, or even use it as a portable instruction station to throw emergency situations into the mix.

X-Plane 10 Mobile App for Android is Here!

X-Plane 10 Mobile is now available for free on the Google Play Store! This new version has all of the same amazing features, high quality aircraft, missions, and performance as the iOS version. X-Plane 10 Mobile is not just another game–it’s a highly sophisticated simulation that models the aerodynamic forces found in flying real aircraft.

X-Plane 10 Mobile for Android devices contains numerous features including:

  • Multiplayer over the internet
  • 12 different aircraft available as in-app purchases, including combat aircraft, a helicopter, and multiple airliners
  • Aircraft liveries
  • Over 20 challenging scenarios featuring the different aircraft
  • Tutorials that include the basics of takeoffs, landings and more
  • A modern interface
  • Realistic simulation of combat weapons and airport environments

Download X-Plane 10 Mobile now on the Google Play Store and receive a free Cessna 172SP aircraft as well as training missions and challenges.

X-Plane Featured on Disciples of Flight

Many X-Plane users know what a great training resource flight simulators can be (in addition to being great fun, of course!), but a recently published article on Disciples of Flight gives numerous examples of how flight simming has benefited a pilot.

The title “Flight Simulator flying skills translate into real world abilities” of the article on the site leaves you no question on how the author feels about flight simulators.He thoroughly defends the validity of using simulators to train. He also gives personal examples of the ways his simulator experience has helped him and impressed instructors. The author also compares three of the top desktop flight sims currently on the market, and while he doesn’t make a specific recommendation, we think it’s no accident X-Plane is at the top of the list.

Check out this article and keep it in mind if  you ever need evidence for friends or family that the hours they think you spend “playing” on your simulator isn’t time well spent.

X-Plane 10 Global Digital Download Edition Now Available

Today Laminar Research unveiled the digital download version of the X-Plane 10 Global flight simulator. The X-Plane 10 Global Digital Download is the full Global X-Plane 10 product, containing all of the same features and scenery areas as the DVD version. The digital version allows new purchasers the convenience of downloading the simulator without having to leave the X-Plane website or wait for DVDs to arrive via mail. It is safe, secure, and the same price as the original DVD product.

X-Plane 10 Global digital download is only available for new orders here on X-Plane.com. Please visit the store page to purchase your copy, or read the Knowledge Base article, X-Plane Digital Download, for more information.

Free Scenery for Oshkosh AirVenture

We have a special X-Plane 10 scenery package for the Oshkosh Wittman Regional Airport (KOSH),  enhanced with buildings, custom objects, and aircraft, all designed around the annual  AirVenture Expo.  Each year sees thousands of fly-in aircraft, campers, and visitors to this huge aviation event sponsored by the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association). This year’s event is taking place this week, from July 20 to 26.

The scenery was created by X-Plane scenery contributor Jan Vogel and is now available for free download on both X-Plane 10 Steam (automatically through your Steam client) and here on the X-Plane website. Get your copy now and take part in the fun in X-Plane!

AirVenture 2015 Scenery

 

The State of X-Plane July 2015

Hello! Austin Meyer here.

We are cranking madly on X-Plane 10.40, adding tons of new features that you have been asking for, but also re-organizing the code from the inside out to be cleaner and better organized. THIS is what will allow us to have faster load-times, better frame-rates, and fewer bugs in the future (which is an ever-present goal that simply never goes away)!

In addition to the new features for X-Plane 10.40, I have also been working on Xavion, continuing to flight-test it in real airplanes. I use Xavion not just for guidance, but actually hook it up to the autopilot in real airplanes and watch as the iPad guides the airplane down after engine failure. This is fun, to say the least. We are currently working with TruTrak (the autopilot that Xavion can hook up to via an iLevil ADS-B receiver) to make the protocol between the devices as robust as possible, so that signal and GPS interruptions in flight have a minimum impact on the flight. Don’t forget you can grab a free copy Xavion on iTunes. (more…)

X-Plane at FlightSimCon 2015

Members of the X-Plane team will be attending FlightSimCon 2015 in Hartford, CT on June 13-14. You can learn more about X-Plane in person when creator Austin Meyer gives a presentation on Sunday, June 14 at 12:15pm. In general, our developers are a friendly lot, so please stop by and say hello!

Scenery Creation with Jan Vogel

Laminar Research: Can you provide a little background on yourself and your interest in aviation?

Jan Vogel: My interest in aviation started in childhood, probably when I clenched my fingers around the chainlink fence of the Kiel-Holtenau Airport at age 5. It culminated with getting my Airline Transport Pilots License at age 26, flying jet airliners for a major German airline ever since.

LR: Why did you decide to start making scenery & how long have you been creating X-Plane scenery?

JV: I have always had a vivid interest in personal computer based flight simulation, ever since flying FSII in 1984 on my Commodore 64. Back in those times, the flying areas were very limited, you often had a few airports to fly to. That always bothered me, and I guess it planted the seed for scenery design later on.

In the late 1980s we had “scenery disks” that would expand those areas, but still didn’t contain all airports in the enclosed area. I ended up marking the aiports on my flying maps with a coloured pen.

Needless to say that I still had to go to any airport I passed by, and I was intrigued by the special architecture and layouts of airports. The markings, lighting, the signs, terminals, airside and landside structures. All very clean and functional, yet every airport is different and has a special character! (more…)