Hello there!

There hasn’t been much news about the mobile product recently but that’s only because we have been working on some new features! We didn’t want to talk about them until we had them running reasonably well on a variety of devices. Well, we have made some great progress and now we have official news.

What’s the big secret?

So what have we been working on…..? Taking the entire X-Plane 10 Desktop flight model and aircraft systems! That means all of the physics, all of the systems, all of the datarefs, as well as 99.9% of the panel system and instruments. We cannot emphasize enough how unprecedented this is on a mobile device…and it will be free of course!

The mobile product sharing the flight model and systems with desktop is HUGE. It means that mobile instantly gets an FAA Approved flight model (the same one that real pilots train on), an instantly improved autopilot, no more bounced landings, full electrical, hydraulic, engine, prop, fuel, radios, navigation, pressurization, starter, trim and gear systems.

With all of those systems available in their entirety, it means that the beautiful 3D cockpits that our artists have been developing can come to life with interactivity to touch and manipulate all of the same systems that you can on desktop. Start/shutdown the aircraft the right way, tune all of the radios, operate the full autopilot and more.

When can I get it?

Soon? It will be done over several small releases, and we expect the first update to happen by the spring for iOS and Android.

The release schedule and contents are still not completely concrete at this point but we believe the first release will include the complete flight model. This will be an incremental update for end users because, while the flight dynamics will change, your interaction with the sim will not change much. It will have the same simple 3 button autopilot and minimal interactivity with the 3D cockpit. The subsequent releases will start to expose much more of this new system.

With this kind of leverage, we can release new features faster than ever before. We’ll have even more details when we’ve finalized more.

(Read more from Chris Serio’s article on the X-Plane Developer site. Images taken on iPhone with no editing.)

Read the full article

Tips and Tricks

Flying gliders is a big change from airliner or general aviation flight. Glider pilots fly unpowered aircraft using naturally occurring currents of rising air to remain airborne. If you’d like to change it up and try your hand at gliding through the X-Plane skies, first download a copy of the free Góbé below, then pick a location with nice scenery.

Once your glider of choice is loaded, we need to get in the air. X-Plane provides two ways to do this: glide winch and glider tow. Both are located in the Aircraft & Situations dialog box (found in the Aircraft menu). The Glider Tow button will load another aircraft (by default the Stinson L–5) which will pull yours along behind it. The Glider Winch button will set up a stationary winch on the ground which will quickly pull in a wire attached to your glider.

  1. Click the button for either the tow or winch.
  2. Release the glider’s brakes (the b key by default) to command the towplane to take off, or the winch to start cranking.
  3. Once you reach your desired altitude, release the tow line by pressing the space bar
  4. Soar away!

Don’t forget to set up the weather! Open the Weather screen and set calm weather uniformly for the whole world. To turn on thermals, the columns of rising hot air that are useful for prolonging glider flight, drag the thermal coverage slider up—15% coverage or more with 500 ft/min thermal climb rate makes for a nice flight.

Take to the skies in this R-26S Góbé (pronounced “go-bay”), a Hungarian two-seat training glider. It’s a simple model, but the author describes it as a “very forgiving, good-natured aircraft, ideal to learn the fundamentals of fixed-wing flying.” Grab your copy of the Góbé and try out the glider tow described above!



Happy flying!

— The X-Plane Team