Our Roadmap highlights some key features and improvements shipped with 12.0.8! Including:
- Engine model improvements
- Landing gear physics (Wheel Inertia, Weld Modeling and ABS Revisions)
- New fuel temperature model
- Networking and Ex-Visual sync updates and bug fixes
- Projector warping/blending improvements
- Graphics bug fixes
- Systems changes (see 12.0.8-beta-1: Systems changes and improvements section below)
- ATC bug fixes and tweaks (see 12.0.8-beta-1: ATC bug fixes and tweaks section below)
- 1 X-Plane-12.0.8-rc-3
- 2 X-Plane-12.0.8-rc-2
- 3 X-Plane-12.0.8-rc-1
- 4 X-Plane-12.0.8-beta-3
- 5 X-Plane-12.0.8-beta-2
- 6 X-Plane-12.0.8-beta-1
- 6.1 Bug fixes:
- 6.2 12.0.8-beta-1 ATC bug fixes and tweaks:
- 6.3 12.0.8-beta-1 Systems changes and improvements:
- 6.3.1 New jet engine max temperature and pressure
- 6.3.2 Magnetic Compass and Friends
- 6.3.3 Radio navigation
- 6.3.4 Cylinder and oil heating and cooling on fixed wings and helicopters
- 6.3.5 Cowl flaps
- 6.3.6 Landing Gear and Tire Inertia
- 6.3.7 Hydraulic body-mounted speed brakes
- 6.3.8 Anchors are back
- 6.3.9 Fuel system
- 6.3.10 Electrical system
- 6.3.11 Thread-safe refactors
- 6.3.12 Really weird feature
- 6.3.13 Pro use features
- 6.3.14 General small tweaks
- 6.3.15 Reliability and ruggedness improvements
- XPD-14827 – GPU Volts not set to zero when ground services terminated
- Fix setting of target RakNet port when selecting hosts in the network settings UI.
- When using a non-default receiving port, the host could not be selected from drop-down menus on other PCs in the network – they would just copy the address of the host as if it was manually entered and use wrong (default) RakNet port.The problem was in set_beacon_to_use(), it needs to set raknet port to that of received beacon, otherwise get_beacon_to_use() will not match usage for any beacons.
- Replay backwards compat fixes:
- During the V12.0.8 beta and RC run, some unplanned changes to the replay file format slipped through. This makes previous 12.0.8 versions incapable of correctly loading replay or situation files saved by previous versions of the simulator, and vice versa. This is now fixed.
- Loading situation or replay files saved at a custom airport would fail to load on a simulator setup without that scenery, this is now fixed.
- XPD-14808 – Crash when destroying the aircraft_grid_widget and the full size render icon has been purged.
- XPD-14806 – Crash when checking for available readback command when not tuned to a valid controller.
- XPD-14800 – External visuals go into infinite loading loop.
- XPD-14809 – The list of XP instances in the network for existing IP entries is wrong if new host shows up.
- XPD-14833 – Icing effect doesn’t properly work without thermal textures.
- XPD-14810 – Memory leak in telemetry system.
- XPD-14791 – “Reset UDP ports” button leaves inet init error displayed with updated port.
- XPD-14643 – Mouse wheel scrolling fails at right side of screen with FSR.
- XPD-14787 – Assertion failed when landing or loading Skyhawk float plane on solid ground.
- XPD-14786 – Crash when popping up ATC window at EGPR.
- XPD-14779 – Tons of PNG iCCP warnings with zibo & 12.0.8-beta2.
- XPD-14775 – Bug report “Complement to my last submission “impossible to push back.
- XPD-14554 – Tips during load don’t rotate anymore.
- XPD-14774 – Performance Regression reading “sim/aircraft/view/acf_livery_path”.
- XPD-14750 – Bug report “Carrier snaps and violently pulls aircraft to catapult location when taxing close”.
- XPD-14631 – Bug report “Freezing mode is not working properly”.
- XPD-14755 – Default MD-82 fails to draw fuel from CENTER fuel tank: engines quit when wing fuel runs out
- XPD-14760 – X-feed selected L or R causes Opp engine shut down in AirSim3D C560XL
- XPD-14753 – Planemaker: can’t select “None” for tank-moves-with-wing option in weight/balance
- XPD-14638 – In FakeVR mode, the mouse cursor is behind windows and the panel and can’t interact
- This fixes the depth readback being broken in fake VR mode as well as the blue bar at the bottom of the VR preview.
- XPD-14746 – Blue bar at bottom of VR rendering
- Fixed the fake VR window being valid memory and allow de-referencing it, leading to the blue bar bug in 12.0.8.
- XPD-14748 – Lightning Strikes Glitch Frame on OS X
- This fixes flt_rand to not create a new random device (an OS call) per flt_rand call – this was costing 30 ms in an optimized build on my Mac per lightning strike
- XPD-14777 – CDU #2 datarefs may get truncated depending on current CDU#1 page
- CDU#2 datarefs use wrong size function (for CDU#1), so text on CDU#2 may get truncated (or have garbage) depending on what is shown on CDU#1. Likely caused a by copy-paste error with CDU#2 dataref defs.
- Fix 737 – ground power avail light to be in sync with sim
- The annunciator in the 737 would indicate based on logic that was similar, but not identical to the sim, thus making the light out of sync with the actual power. So, deleted the custom logic in Lua script that would handle the “ground power is available now” annunciator light in the 737 cockpit, and instead hooked up the annunciator to the actual GPU voltage available in the sim.
- Restore fuel valves init to “any” for multi-engine planes
- Restore fuel valves init to “any” for multi-engine planes with no 2D fuel selectors (this matches 12.07 behavior for C90, MD80, with no plugin setting the fuel selector on start up).
- XPD-14740 – Crash due to broken navdata not being handled correctly
- XPD-14735 – Dataref Read/Write Ability Gone
- XPD-14736 – 2D panel rendering broken with panel/always_render art control
- XPD-14718 – Missing OBJs of new fire extinguishers
- XPD-14670 – Icing effect doesn’t properly take thermal sources into account
- XPD-14689 – Window icing glows in the dark
- XPD-14692 – Rain on windshield visible in “forward with nothing” view and disabled windshield effects
- XPD-14673 – Hot Start CL650 crashes on startup due to a previously writable X-Plane dataref having been changed to read-only
- XPD-14717 – Aircraft Class in Analytics Needs to be Untranslated
- XPD-14721 – New Gateway/Global airports recut!
- Further tuning of pitch-down effect upon wheel spin-up
- XPD-14729 – Thousands of new log warnings
- Fixes flood of iCCP: known incorrect sRGB profile in log.
- XPD-14716 – FMOD event velocity is apparently set the same as the vehicle velocity
- FMOD events in the past did not take rotational velocities into consideration but now they do!
- Fix fuel temperature NaN on airplanes that don’t have wings:
- This fixes the NaN crash on the NHadrian planes that only use misc wings and no wings 1-4.b
- Fix OpenXR Frustum Junk Data:
- VR Frustum and Interaxial are no longer junk for the first few frames if the HMD isn’t ready to render just yet
- XPD-14521 – Citation X fuel transfer annuciator test failure.
- XPD-14512 – Eagle claw landing gear ‘pops’ during ‘rotate’.
- XPD-14510 – B738: Max throttle gets less N1% than less than max throttle.
- XPD-14378 – Crash when selecting Details tab – VRAM Profiler .
- XPD-14201 – Assertion failed – platform_x != flt[p_we_watch].dob_x().
- XPD-14167 – Unable to quit sim on Linux box with pawel_network_integration_1207b1 .
- XPD-13944 – Expand Electrical Bus-Tie Capability.
- XPD-14478 – Clicking “next tutorial” button results in assert failed: flight_in_progress().
- XPD-14426 – vpaths missing in XP12 for Global Airports.
- XPD-14262 – Valid ATC options may be unavailable after cancelling or when filed but not cleared.
- XPD-14231 – 2K textures for taxi signs.
- XPD-14221 – Testing branch build won’t launch on Windows .
- XPD-14218 – Assertion failed: intrange(this_p, 0, num_fm_planes() – 1).
- XPD-14217 – Assertion failed: fltrange.
- XPD-14166 – Assert on exvis machine during replay – m_history[hcn-2].get_remote_time() .
- XPD-14480 – Add Korean language support.
- XPD-14459 – Panel Preview Command broken for F-14.
- XPD-14451 – Switching the roles of master and exvis slave sometimes leaves exvis in standby.
- XPD-14450 – Ships Update.
- XPD-14449 – Update library.txt in sim objects.
- XPD-14435 – Update of containers for big ships.
- XPD-14431 – Updated LODs of container loads for container carriers.
- XPD-14430 – Updated LOD of big ships.
- XPD-14414 – Bug report “Headlights pointing to the opposite direction”.
- XPD-14403 – 180 degrees FOV can dev assert or corrupt screen.
- XPD-14402 – assertion fail in window management after loading a config with popped out proj params.
- XPD-14400 – Add Reset Edge blending button?
- XPD-14399 – Projector config testing: Assertion failed – succeeded .
- XPD-14393 – Add linux HOTAS Warthog joystick configs contributed by Marco Auer.
- XPD-14339 – New library items: ground markings, fire extinguishers.
- XPD-14265 – Add Ukrainian language support.
- XPD-14246 – Repeated inappropriate altitude compliance calls from ATC in some combinations of terrain and weather.
- XPD-14239 – Check-in calls use actual altitudes rather than indicated.
- XPD-14232 – Adding AI aircraft when in multiplayer reports invalid number of AI aircraft.
- XPD-14227 – San Francisco Landmarks update.
- XPD-14216 – new art in the airport library – legacy towers replacement, military shelters.
- XPD-14200 – Hypoxia and blackout on EXVIS machine only.
- XPD-14199 – Case which results in some exvis aircraft displays flickering.
- XPD-14190 – Broken airport definitions can cause continuous logging.
- XPD-14185 – Crash when arriving at untowered airport with active flightplan.
- XPD-14184 – Wingtip vortex effect and condensation not visible on extvis.
- XPD-14180 – Parts of ATC are still running on exvis machines.
- XPD-14163 – Review behavior when switching machine from Exvis standby to master whilst in flight .
- XPD-14159 – Airfoil editing datarefs are broken.
- XPD-14145 – Make “Reset on crash” alert more visible on Settings UI.
- XPD-14134 – Slaving meter uses wrong dataref on both King Air and Baron.
- XPD-14119 – Bug report “Baron 58 no autopilot information light”.
- XPD-14106 – Unpausing the sim triggers bogus DELTA/ABS_DELTA in sound events.
- XPD-14103 – Crash reading certain array datarefs.
- XPD-14099 – Race condition in otto_class.
- XPD-14489 – Error in italian translation
- XPD-14531 – Planemaker ignores settings for body parts attached to landing gear
- XPD-14672 – Crash on startup with no wifi
- XPD-13835 – Per-airport flatten switch creates floating beaches
- XPD-14654 – A333 MCDU Perf page distance to TOD keeps thousand digit below 1000 nm
- XPD-14579 – Map Window – Aircraft move, Altitude, Speed, and Pitch changes all turn the aircraft clockwise.
- XPD-14587 – Some aircraft engines were shutting down after loading flight (via .sit file)
- XPD-9386 Bug report: Tiling extension causes artifacts
- Fix crash when popping out and full-screening offscreen windows
- Now you can put more than 2 engines on a helicopter… no physics changes, just some tweaks in the UI of PLN to make that a bit more clear
- After loading a replay file and continuing the flight, the newly recorded replay gets corrupted and cause a crash-to-desktop. This is now fixed.
- Added support for Yawman controller
- “sim/flightmodel/weight/m_jettison_kg_sec” shows water flow dump rate from water bombers
- New in 12.0.8 – string concat in the ACF part loader scribbles over memory when part names are long.
- Stop planes leaning around on the carrier deck
- Fixed B737 acf to not use EPR limiting, which the real one doesn’t have
- Add a decimal place to the N1 edit fields in Plane Maker, so you can limit to, say 100.4% like you need to on the B737
- Fixed the water mesh index buffer being incorrectly size
- Tire spin up adjusted and checked by Jan.
- Stop planes leaning around on the carrier deck!
- XPD-14353: Add dataref to allow plugins to disable autotune. Requires XPLM branch feat_XPD-14353_Disable_autotune
- XPD-13882: Fix flows changing too rapidly
- XPD-14343: Disable dev_assert which can happen if the pilot’s being arsey
- XPD-14143 + XPD-14169: ATC dialog and autotune were resetting COM1 active when COM2 tx had been selected.
- XPD-14316: Various problems with controller handoff being ignored.
- XPD-14246: Fix discrepancy between flight model and ATC ISA altitude
- XPD-14239: Radio calls used correct indicated altitude even if altimeter setting was wrong
- XPD-14193: Request diversion mentions the previous destination
- XPD-14192: Ensure the AI closes *all* aircraft doors, not just the ones it would have opened itself, when service completed.
- XPD-14190: Don’t continually regenerate fake flows except at load time – if the flows are unusable, this never stops.
- XPD-14189: LSO left/right commands were reversed
- XPD-14539 – Crash when routing AI under rare conditions
- Was using copilot QNH setting in radio calls in most cases
- Fix excessively sharp turn onto departure runway
- Tweak VMC decision point
- Don’t do frequency balancing if a handoff is imminent
- Allow direct-to plans to be sent to the FMS
- Only allow readback if the listening controller is the one that expects the readback.
- Remove spoken turn instruction which is not needed (after takeoff from FISO, flying IFR plan)
- Block altitude change, descent and diversion calls when talking to a tower that isn’t controlled
- Ensure we issue altimeter setting for aircraft that start on VFR/IFR approach position.
- Prevent flow changes while any aircraft is on zone 2 or higher, instead of just on final.
- Minor voicepack tweaks
- Any airport with procedures can’t be a FISO.
- Fix rotating the aircraft using the compass in the map in pause mode
- Uncertain of Position wasn’t always available when it should have been.
- File from untowered airport working.
- Make com_[rt]x datarefs work on aircraft with no Garmin unit
- Fix altitudes in ATC check-in calls
- Potential fix for being unable to contact ATC at all after cancelling services
- Change some ATC calls to allow use as VFR when filed but not cleared.
- Fix double call for “Cleared to Land” for VFR flights to controlled airport
- Allow request for a different parking spot when one is already allocated.
- Expand log for inappropriate radio frequency.
- Fix being able to request IFR clearance from inappropriate controllers
- Don’t try to create flows for airports with no taxi network (either defined or generated)
- Map airport detail tab correctly shows “untowered” airport type text
New jet engine max temperature and pressure
So here’s a thing about jet engines: They work a lot more like props inside a duct than you might think, and just like a prop, they lose thrust as they speed up. Only a certain amount of POWER is available, and since thrust = power / speed, the faster you go, the less thrust you get.
Just run on a treadmill: The faster that thing goes, the harder a time you have pushing it at all.
Luckily, jet engines have a secret weapon: RAM AIR. The faster you go, the more RAM air effect you get, and the thrust manages to largely recover from the treadmill-effect of the air coming in faster.
This effect can only go so far, though: At some point shock waves will start building up on the inlet, or pressure will get high enough that the engine can’t keep absorbing the extra load. As well, the same thing happens with temperature. As the speed builds, the temperature climbs, and at some point the metallurgy fails. Sure, you can climb to higher altitudes where the air is cooler, and indeed, you DO get a reprieve from the heating by doing so! But only up to a certain point. As that Mach number builds, that temperature comes up, and at some point you will hit metallurgy limits no matter how high you fly. The Concorde was speed-limited by… how hot the nose got.
Now, we have these limits set in Plane-Maker and simulated in X-Plane. See the Plane-Maker engines tab, jet engine 3 screen, so see where these parameters are set, and check out the YouTube video I have linked to that page in Plane-Maker that explains how it all works.
Magnetic Compass and Friends
Updated magnetic variation to 2024 (X-Plane adjusts the actual variation each day you start it based on annual drift – this update adds another data point to have magnetic variation accurate beyond 2025. See this article for details: https://developer.x-plane.com/article/magnetic-variation/)
Added magnetic dip – the magnetic field in X-Plane now has the correct vertical component everywhere on earth, leading to severely worse compass turning errors when the field is mostly vertical (i.e. close to the magnetic poles). Try flying a compass turn in the mid latitudes, then go to CYZF in northern Canada and try to fly a turn to heading again using only the magnetic compass. Hint: You can’t. Even small banks will introduce huge errors.
Slaved gyro indicators now correctly show dip errors in turns: you can see that on the PFD of the Citation, but also in analogue instruments on the Baron and King Air.
The radiocompass (ADF) now exhibits more pronounced dip errors, like the magnetic compass. The X-Plane ADF always had a small dip error based on a theoretically perfect antenna, now we see a dip more appropriate for the ancient technology involved.
ADF now shows a more pronounced noise at the edge of reception range, instead of just cutting out in a binary fashion.
For a more comprehensive look at the compass and ADF effects, see this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvQFseanX2Y
VOR signals now fluctuate at the edge of reception range in a realistic manner and you will see the TO/FROM flag bounce multiple times as you fly into or come out of reception.
The localizers and glideslopes now use distinct beam forms that change the reception range based on your relative position to the emitter. For example, you will receive the localizer at a much greater distance if your airplane is along the main lobe, i.e. close to the center line, but you will lose the signal at a much smaller distance if you are further off to the side. This allows ATC to vector aircraft onto the localizer much further away from the airport, as is done at some airports in the real world and on VATSIM as well.
The G1000 flightplan now shows the correct label when removing a hold-in-lieu of a procedure turn (thanks Mark Kolber of Odyssey Aero Club).
The GFC-700 go-around button now correctly sequences the missed approach on the G1000 (thanks Timm Preusser of the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association).
Cylinder and oil heating and cooling on fixed wings and helicopters
This started out as a fairly simple bug: The Robinson R-22 helicopter wouldn’t warm up after a cold start when you didn’t have the clutch engaged yet and were just idling the engine. In real life, we warm the engine up a bit before engaging the clutch, and in X-Plane this didn’t work.
As we tried to fix this, it turned out we didn’t have any good data on how the piston engines in airplanes warm up and cool down. We dipped into maintenance data of the Odyssey Aero Club to solve this: All their airplanes’ engine monitor data gets uploaded to an analysis site monthly to track engine trends for maintenance. This trove of data of many flights from cold-starts and warm starts, through rich-of-peak climbs and lean-of-peak cruises served as the basis for the new temperature model for piston engines. Now, you can start an engine cold and observe it come up to temperature in the correct amount of time. Next, we needed some data on cooling down, and that was a bit harder, since no data was ever collected AFTER the airplane was shut down. For this, we pushed a plane into the hangar immediately after shut-down (to eliminate any cooling effects of ambient wind) and hooked it up to external power to keep data logging running for hours after shutdown, allowing us to see the cooling of the exhaust stack and the cylinder head.
Armed with the new temperature model, we could finally tackle the R-22 helicopter, which has a cooling system quite different from the fixed-wing airplanes. Instead of airspeed providing the suction needed for the low-pressure under the engine that pulls air through the fins of the cylinder head, on helicopters a fan pushes air over the engine, so cooling is independent from forward speed so the helicopter can hover.
We now have access to flight-record data of a fleet of recip airplanes, so we’ve used that to improve the CHT temperature (with some subtle improvements to EGT and ITT as well), and how fast they get there, based on engine power, aircraft speed, local air temperature, etc. A bunch of new cowl flap modeling as well, to go with this:
X-Plane used to simply equip all aircraft with cowl-flaps. For an airplane with no cowl flaps, you would “just don’t touch them” and hope the user didn’t have a hardware axis assignment for cowl flaps that would override it. Now, you can choose in Plane Maker the type of air cooling system your plane has:
- No cowl flaps at all. In this case, the cooling rate is fixed and even writing to the cowl flap axis won’t change it
- Manual cowl flap. That is the default – the cooling can be manually adjusted by commands, datarefs, or hardware axis
- Trailing cowl flaps. This is a poor man’s automatic cowl flap system. It’s passive and works purely based on airflow. The cowl flap lever has three ranges: Fully closed, Trailing, and Fully open. The extremes of the lever do what you expect. In the mid-range, the cowl flaps are trailing in the airflow and open further at low airspeed, but are pushed towards closed with increasing airspeed, thus providing good cooling during takeoff and climb, and closing aerodynamically at higher cruise speeds. For descent, they can again be manually closed by the pilot.
- Automatic cowl flaps. This is an active system using a thermostat, driving the cowl flaps open or closed in response to the CHT, trying to keep it in the middle of the green.
Existing aircraft will import with either the “Manual” or “Automatic” cowl flaps depending on how they were configured in earlier versions of Plane Maker.
Landing Gear and Tire Inertia
We now need a little MORE thrust especially on those heavy jets at max weight to GET moving. This is called break-away thrust. It’s a subtle effect, but important to get right! So we have that in there now, as well as more intelligent placement of the ‘tire weld’ that keeps the airplane locked in place when it comes to a stop. As well, we now have improved tire-inertial, resulting in an amount of pitch-down on touch-down that is now accurate… The tires had a bit too much inertia before, taking a moment too long to spin up, and thus pulling down the nose on touch-down. This inertia is now tuned to be much more accurate, with commensurate feel being improved on touch-down.
Hydraulic body-mounted speed brakes
Speedbrakes that are body-mounted instead of wing-mounted (think of a BAe146 or a Fokker 100) can now be assigned to individual hydraulic systems, just like flight spoilers on a wing, and be totally separate from ground spoilers (or lift dumpers, as they are called on a Fokker). This allows failures of the speedbrakes if there are hydraulic failures… kind of useful.
Anchors are back
We now have the option back to have anchors on the seaplanes. Hey, somebody wanted them! The B key operates them on seaplanes IF you have the box checked for anchors in Plane-Maker.
The fuel system now contains a new, important component for jets: The fuel/oil heat exchanger.
This one is fun: Have you ever noticed that jet airplanes do NOT have any OIL COOLERS visible?
WHERE ON EARTH ARE THEY?
Every Cessna has a big ugly GRILLE in the front like an old Buick, and even turboprops have oil cooler radiators in there somewhere.
So how do jets get away without those??
It turns out, the jets hide their cooler very very well.. INSIDE THE FUEL LINES TO THE ENGINES!
YEP! The hot oil runs through radiators in the FUEL PATH TO THE ENGINES, both cooling the oil and heating up the fuel a bit to help it atomize and burn better!
But then what happens?
As it turns out, the motive-flow fuel pumps that jet engines use have NO MOVING PARTS, so they can NOT control their flow rate (!!)
Because of this, jet engine fuel pumps always move way too MUCH fuel to the engine. at least half of which recirculates right back to the fuel tanks!
Now, this fuel is warm, right? Because it was just used to cool the oil!
So WARM FUEL is sent right back to the wing tanks, heating the wing up by a pretty decent amount compared to the outside air.
Of course, that hot fuel in the wings is cooled down by the ice-cold metal of the wings at altitude, so the oil-cooling radiators of a jet airplane actually are… THE WINGS!
We simulate all of this now, complete with tracking watts of thermal energy from the oil cooler to the fuel back to the tanks and out the wing!
There is now a DATA OUTPUT (you know, the one where you check the little boxes to output data in the settings screen) for fuel temperatures… check that box to the cockpit display in a jet and watch what happens! Watch the temps go up as you go to full power, go down as you climb into cooler air, stay a bit warmer than ambient in the descent, pick up a bit more temperature at high speeds due to compression of the air on the leading edge of the wing, heating the fuel as well, and the whole happening a lot faster when there is LESS FUEL in the tanks cause there is less thermal capacity in the whole system, so the temperature swill change a lot quicker and be more extreme!
X-Plane now tracks the thermal mass of the fuel in the wings and how it cools off as the jet climbs into colder air. The fuel temperature is now tracked in various locations and can be seen in datarefs: sim/cockpit2/fuel/fuel_temp_at_fuel_tank[N] will give the fuel temperature in each fuel tank, whereas sim/cockpit2/fuel/fuel_temp_at_oil_cooler[N] shows the temperature after the fuel has been warmed up in the oil cooler.
The fuel transfer can now involve multiple steps from AUX to MAIN to FEEDER tanks. The on/off thresholds for transfer pumps can now be set in Plane Maker (but still changed at runtime through dataref).
There is now a new failure for a fuel leak. It will cause you to lose fuel that isn’t registered by the fuel totalizer.
The “bus tie” switch can now be used to tie a group of some, but not necessarily all, busses together. Previously, the “bus tie” would simply tie all (up to 6) electric busses together. Now, the busses participating in the tie can be selected in Plane Maker, but also changed at runtime through a dataref: sim/aircraft/electrical/bus_tie_selective is a bitfield that allows grouping busses together.
The ground power unit now has a distinct state of “connected” vs “disconnected” for new aircraft, allowing for “hot buss” items, that are powered from external power even if the main switch in the cockpit isn’t turned on. The ground power is always available for existing aircraft. Aircraft authored with Plane Maker 12.0.8 and newer need to call for power by calling for ground services.
All generators, including APU and GPU, now have voltage datarefs that work before the generator is connected to a bus.
More sub-systems of X-plane, including all instruments (pitot, static, vacuum, AHRS, etc), sensors (radio altimeters, magnetometers, gyros, etc.), the navigation radios and the autopilot have been refactored for thread-safety, to help with the push for better multi-core utilization.
Really weird feature
Smart towline. In Plane-Maker, you can put a smart towline on an airplane. That towline has little fins on it that make it SEEK OUT any airplanes close to it in flight!
Just enter all the towline specs in Plane-Maker and find the command in X-Plane to extend/retract the towline to deploy the smart towline in flight!
Then, make another airplane that has a tow-hook attach point (just like the glider already has, for example) and in a multiplayer setup, fly your plane to get towed up to the smart towline of the towplane! Leet one person tow another! If brought into reality, this smart towline may have the power to let… KC-10’s tow F-15’s with their engines shut down? Efficient, long-range drones tow fighters across the ocean or into combat zones without the expensive, in-efficient, and dangerous refueling we do now? Or who knows what else? Simulate it in X-Plane now to see where this technology could go. My test cases were a Lancair Evolution towing a Cirrus jet. Why would a turboprop need to tow a jet? Well, you can see the inefficiency of the jet design in this video: https://youtu.be/Rso7FcEjPOQ?si=HPAtEB1TosZdLTE8
Pro use features
If you have a pro-use license, check out the new projector settings in the developer menu: We are really getting good at letting you warp and blend for multi-projector setups now! You can drag around the warping, see test patterns, save configurations as files, stuff like that. As well we now have commands available to present various test-patterns that are used to certify Level-D sims.
General small tweaks
The flight data recorder file now scans files with timing even in the micro-fractions of seconds, useful for some hi-res replays of drone flights, etc.
And various other small bug-fixes for over general clean-up and reliability so we always get expected performance.
Reliability and ruggedness improvements
Fix-up of a few rarely-accessed corners of the flight-model code that could cause sim crashes in rare circumstances, which is routine ongoing improvement and bullet-proofing of the code.
Various improvements in data output and internal error-checking, and communication of internal errors, so if you ever enter impossible data for an airplane or take some other unusual action that crashes the sim (such as entering cowl flaps of 98456439856349865 on a scale of 0 to 1, which someone recently did!) X-Plane will do a better job blocking the impossible data and alerting of what went wrong. This is really useful moving forwards, and an area we are always improving.
OK this is one you’ll never see, but it’s important: X-Plane now has an internal flight-model TESTER that runs hundreds of auto-pilot driven flights for each airplane in the fleet, measuring a hundred or datarefs PER FLIGHT, resulting in tens of thousands of variables checked after a suite of thousands of test-flights are automatically flown. Then, X-Plane automatically compares the results of those flight tests to PREVIOUS VERSIONS OF X-PLANE TO LET US KNOW WHAT HAS CHANGED. This lets us make sure that any flight model changes… are the exact improvements we intended, with no accidental back-sliding! This, along with the internal checks and alerts mentioned above, improve the overall reliability and diagnosability of the sim.