Hello there!

Laminar Research is keenly aware of the current pandemic situation facing our world. We recognize that this is a challenging time for everyone, and our hearts are burdened for everyone who has been affected by this outbreak.

We do not foresee any disruption to the X-Plane development process or its delivery systems however, and our productivity is not significantly reduced by COVID-19. Since the inception of the X-Plane franchise, our team has worked 100% remotely. As a result of this, each aspect of our infrastructure is designed to thrive while in this setting.

Upcoming Events

  • AERO Friedrichshafen – Cancelled

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, events worldwide are being cancelled to keep attendees safe. We will be adjusting our team’s event and travel schedules accordingly, and we’ll keep you posted on the latest through this newsletter, and on our social media channels.

X-Plane 11.50 Public Beta

The long awaited public beta for X-Plane 11.50 that includes the new Vulkan/Metal rendering API is now available! Vulkan (for Windows and Linux) & Metal (for Mac) are smaller, lower level APIs that change how X-Plane interacts with the graphics card. They are faster than OpenGL that X-Plane has used in the past. Overall, you may see improved frame rate and reduced stutters when using Vulkan or Metal.

In X-Plane 11.50, there is a check-box in the rendering settings that enables Vulkan or Metal; you’ll have to restart for the change to take effect. If for some reason you can’t use Vulkan or Metal, OpenGL is still available as a fall back so you can always run X-Plane!

X-Plane 11.50 has been in private beta testing since the end of 2019. During that time we encountered a variety of road blocks that caused the delay of public beta, but the primary culprit was scope growth, or “adding more stuff than originally planned.” We added better handling of plugin drawing as well as better handling of texture paging. Our process of developing texture paging required three separate rewrites, with additional testing and bug fixing each time, and definitely delayed public beta more than we had hoped.

If you’d like more of a technical overview behind our extended private beta, check out this X-Plane Developer blog post. Otherwise, you can grab X-Plane 11.50b1 now to experience it for yourself!

Beta Instructions

Mobile News

The next update of X-Plane Mobile will feature pushback trucks and other airport ground services like fuel trucks and crew vehicles. These features will be available to users for free, regardless of subscription status! Check out our video preview!

play X-Plane Mobile truck video

Tips & Tricks

X-Plane 11.50 brings a new Graphics Settings checkbox option to turn on Vulkan or Metal. We’ve made an updated tutorial of the Graphics settings screen to match the latest UI.

Check out our round up of the latest aircraft and scenery here!

March add ons

Gateway News

We recently received a nice submission of Wellington International (NZWN) airport by scenery artist ronb62! This airport will be included by default in the X-Plane 11.50 update.

A Note from Austin

Hey! I was just interviewed on Patent Trolling on the Jordan Harbinger show, and you can watch it here.

AAANNNNNDDDDDD a Patent Troll just sued someone for making a coronavirus test. The patent was acquired from (sigh) disgraced bankrupt company THERANOS and sold to (sigh) an INVESTMENT GROUP called FORTRESS INVESTMENT. So the patent went from a bankrupt company based on fraud to an investment group that makes its money from filing patent lawsuits. The only company actually making anything useful is, of course. the company getting sued.

So situation-normal in the patent world.

Oh and also I got as close to the prop of my airplane as I ever will when it’s running to bring you…. THIS!

Happy flying!

— The X-Plane Team