X-Plane 11

The most advanced Airbus simulation was released today by FlightFactor. Go get your copy for $89.95 while you’re still able to access the .org store!

Yeah, finally! The wait for the FF A320 is ended a hour ago as FlightFactor released the plane while the testers, also me, received some days ago the RC. This is quite a surprise as most of us were expecting the ToliSS A319 to come out first, but FF worked quietly and released one of the best plane for X-Plane today.

A good news also for Tom’s Cockpit. We told you it would have released around the middle of February, and that’s it. Ok Auto-Celebration is finished :).

The full features of the plane are listed below while you can get your plane here:

“The model has its own flight model and a system depth never seen before on any flight sim. The goal was to provide an experience as close to the real aircraft as possible.
Custom Flight model
  • Flight developed by professional to mimic the real aircraft
  • Precise aerodynamic model with unique features like transonic effects, hi speed stall etc
  • Specific engine model with realistic performance and dynamics
  • More than 10,000 simulated objects like computers, sensors, units, data buses, busbars, relays, etc. with its own logic and behavior
  • Simulation of data exchange in ARINC data protocol between aircraft computers with precision loss and delays
High-Definition Model
  • Hi-quality and realistic interior and exterior visual model
  • Hi-quality and realistic sound pack with hundreds of sounds from the real aircraft
  • Hi-quality display graphics (4K panel)
  • Unique rain effects
  • Fast access popup panel system
  • Precise aerodynamical model with unique features like transonic effects, hi speed stall etc
  • Specific engine model with realistic performance and dynamics
  • More than 10,000 simulated objects like computers, sensors, units, data buses, busbars, relays, etc. with its own logic and behavior
  • Simulation of data exchange in ARINC data protocol between aircraft computers with precision loss and delays.
  • Realistic simulation of transition effects, self-tests and other real aircraft undocumented features
  • Physically based implementation of electric, hydraulic, fuel and pneumatic systems with realistic responses and state transitions
  • Precise flight management system with full profile predictions and modes of operation
  • Autopilot, indistinguishable from real aircraft, with all modes, transition effects and undocumented features
X-Updater
  • The model come with the X-Updater for easy update of your aircraft. The X-Updater will easily update your aircraft to the latest version without having to re-download the entire file.”

I advice you to avoid the livery packs as some of the liveries are way less detailed than the one you can find for free on the forums, like the ones done by MB Liveries who’s working right in these minutes to release Alitalia New.

Read more

Quick review of SimHat by rkApps (deveoper of XPRealistic) that deserves to be the best alternative to more expensive infrared trackers on the market

It’s the wish of all the iOS users without enough money to buy a TrackIR. For Android addicts is way simpler to set up a good head tracker while it’s too difficult for Apple’s devices owners. SimHAt is the latest demonstration of the cleverness of RK, that also developed XPRealistic.

Roy is quite a certainity as everything he released was mentioned and reviews by almost any blogger or similar X-Plane addicted on every site or facebook group, and that’s my turn.

I found this application by chance, as I didn’t really know the existance of such a thing. I built a decent Android head tracker latest summer based my old htc One S, that was quite accurated, but nothing compared to an original TrackIR. So I gave up on my project in September since I found out my mouse was a lot more confortable, at least until yesterday when I bought this application.

The app has a price of 9.99$ on the USA store but it costs 10.19€ on the italian one (more expensive), and you can buy it here. I think this didn’t happen by author choice, but by Apple’s policy. Of course it has also an official site, with a forum and a customer care that are simply excellent. I had some issues yesterday by installing and using SimHat but in less than 2 hours I sorted it out with Roy’s help.

Once I could connect the app to X-Plane 11 (it works also with the v10 and with FSX/P3D), I built a quick support using an old cover for my iPhone 6S plus, you can see the broken corner, and a hat I got in my wardrobe for ages. The cover is arranged to the visor with a bit of biadhesive tape and hot glue to stabilize it.

To know how it works you can just visit the “Manual” page of the site, all you need is X-Plane and your ipV4 address. I’d focus more on the experience you can get with this tracker.

Without the mediation of any other program between your phone/tablet and X-Plane the smoothness is wonderful, but you need to find the best setup with the sliders of the app for every single axis. This ensure you the best possible quality that, obviously, depends a lot on your hardware and field of view.

As soon as you are in X-Plane you feel the difference between the mouse and SimHat, adding realism and immersion. I advice you to enable the TrackIR option both on X-Plane’s rendering options and on XPRealistic panel to get the best experience you get. To be fair, the best experience requires X-Camera that I don’t use, but if I was you I’d give it a chance.

Despite the great quality and the utility, for me greater than the one provided by XPTracker, this app seems not to be so famous, but it should be at least for the ones not using VR or other infrared tracking systems. Anyway it clearly deserves the 5 stars on the App Store (even if it misses the zoom feature) while the Android version is under development.

I leave you with this demostration video recorded directly by the developer, you can find it on the official site.

 

I want to clarify that this review it’s totally independent since the developer did not influence my judge neither he provided me the material reviewed.

Do you enjoy X-Plane? Are you experienced enough to help members? Are you a newbie looking for help? As long as you breath and use X-Plane feel free to join XPD facebook group.

Read more

Simheaven latest release is truly outstanding. The result of more than 500 hours of work is already a must-have for european simmers! Introducing X-Europe.

Simheaven is always a certainty. Everything they release is always at the top of the users’ choice with any doubt! Today they released X-Europe, they’re latest marvel ehnancing the experience of flying the ‘Old Continent’.

The scenery package contains only X-Plane 11 original, and optimized, objects taken directly from Laminar Research that are placed following Open Street Map data. That means a more precise and realistic layout of landmarks and towns compared to the default autogen.

 


As you can see from this video the experience is excellent and yet similar to the one provided using the Ortho4XP tiles. In my opinion the photoreal scenery is still a step up, but it takes lot of space on our disks to build up the Europe land. X-Europe is heavy, 4GB compressed, but still lighter than the amount of tiles you’d need.

In less than a day this scenery package became a must-have for all the euro-simmers like me. I spent at least 500 hours flying in Europe since 2014 (only on IVAO) but I cannot understand how I did before this.

Also for the ones used to World2XP it’s hard to leave X-Europe as it’s more accurate and… beautiful! Still more enjoyable then the X-Plane 11 version of the worldwide famous W2XP.


Of course the scenery that you can download here is not made for everyday CPUs. You’d need at least a 3.00GHz CPU to run it smoothly, but with some compromises. For who is looking for a reason to update is processor, what else?

 

Do you enjoy X-Plane? Are you experienced enough to help members? Are you a newbie looking for help? As long as you breath and use X-Plane feel free to join XPD facebook group. I hope to meet you the 18th of March in Ciampino for “La Magia di un respiro” event, for more info contact me on facebook or official mail. Thanks!

 

Read more

JAR, unbeaten leader of the Airbus market in X-Plane until now, is preparing to compete with ToLiss and Flight Factor products with the update of the A330 that makes us feel the A340 even closer.

The busses’ market is getting busy in  these days, don’t you think? And JARDesign just wanted to confirm who leaded it in the past years, with that innovative touch byu who wants to lead this growing market also in the future with the A330 v3 in public beta and the A340 underway as the FMGS of the new A330 will be the base for the 340.

I had a chat recently with Mr Eugeny Romanov from JAR’s high floors. He explained me something about the 330 v3 that I am saying to you in this short post.

First of all let’s look at his photo, you see finally the pop-up instruments that I have ever dreamed on my JARDesign A320. As JAR reworked the code of the aircraft, using a C base instead of a SASL one, many features became possible to implement, and one of this is the pop-up displays and MCDU.

As you can see the cockpit graphic are basically the same and fantastic ones of the older versions, but my impression is that they got a refresh to a higher definition, but this is not confirmed by anyone of the team, and I can also think that PC from wich the shot was taken is actually a beast

In those years, I am a JAR customer since 2015 if I remember well, I heard lot of compliants about the MCDU. Now you have no more excuses, the MCDU was revisited and it seems more realistic to me, even in the operations. The best compliment I could heard about this new version is “It flies like a normal Airbus” and it feels great, I’d add.

Also the plugin which driven the doors and GHD operations has moved from the plugin menu in X-Plane to the MCDU’s menu, accessible by “MCDU MENU” key on the right side of the computer, and this feature alone could have convinced me to buy this aircraft… anyway the full changelog is public, but I’ll write you down here:

+ compatible with GHDeluxe v.040118
+ new MCDU MENU functions (you can operate with Ground Handling, Doors, Loading, Tow)
+ operate settings via MCDU MENU
+ separate Ground Handling operation (MCDU MENU -> Handling, next – select neeeded cars and click Drive Up)
+ MCDU movable widget (click on 3D MCDU or use Command jd/fmgs/CommandShowMcdu)
+ ND non-movable widget (click on ND)
+ Save coRoute flightplan using MCDU DATA -> Click right Arrow -> Pilots ROUTES, enter name and click SAVE
+ takeoff with heading preset
+ ND && MCDU indication and functions reworked
+ follow Speed Constraints
beta 2:
+ enter Cruise Level/TEMP as 410/-62 = CTD fixed
+ no SPD Cnstr on DEScend fixed
+ VLS is too high fixed
+ Heading knob turns with the plane during taxi fixed
+ 111.50 as ILS freq here, it tells me not in the Data base (my enter via radio panel)
+ several CTD fixed

I am going to review the v3 soon, I cannot say when I will due to the fact that I actually do not own this aircraft, but I hope to get it soon ($$ ahahah) and come back to you with more detailed impression and news. But if you want to aware me about some interesting things you can still contact me at [email protected]

Read more

The release of the Saab 340 update seems very very near, but there are still some trubles to be solved at X-Aviation.

It’s almost there, don’t worry. I know it feels like when you wait your parents to bring you home from school and every minute last a lifetime but we are almost here.

The Saab 340A by Leading Edge Simulation is the most realistic tuboprop experience we got in X-Plane 10, but the beloved old days are gone.

Now we are in love wih reflections, PBR, metalish textures and all the technology that the 11th version implemented, and of course we pretend on the third part aircrafts too.

Honestly I always admired the Leading Edge’s behavior, they are professional enough to say when an update or a new aircraft will be released and their dedication left me wordless more than once…

I fully understand the gripes for waiting an update that is finished by weeks, but the technology behind what you see in the simulator is not as simple as you can think…

These are the words that Cameron, the boss of X-Aviation, recently spent about the delay of the release that will bring this aircraft to an upper level while waiting for v2 development (a brand new aircraft with VR goodies):”It’s not so much that the installers in general are a nightmare, but the backstory is that the Saab installer was originally coded in 2013 and at the time was our most advanced installer code to leverage some attempted load balancing on the server, as well as keeping track of file differences and updates. At the time it seemed like a great idea, but in reality it was a terrible idea that I didn’t see coming as time progressed. Keeping track of all these variants and the file updates between them, as well as the many gigabytes of data became tedious in the way the installer is coded, and it caused headaches not only for distribution, but also for people like Goran when we would discover some files were not properly updated between variants at update release times.

Over the years new installer formats have been developed because of this. Products like IXEG, the MU-2, and pretty much any other recent release contains the more up-to-date installer routines. The Saab needs some love to move to this system so we can future proof release delays going forward on it. At the moment it’s not top priority over a couple of other projects that are first in line, but as soon as those are out of the way the focus will switch to this and bringing it all up to speed. We need to leverage our time spent on projects appropriately to balance business cash flow for all involved. We’ll get there, just not yet.”

After this clear explaination, the question is still “How much from now to release?”. Well, we are almost there. I cannot say for sure how much, but it’s difficult that the release will not be in February. It’s not “imminent” as someone other said weeks ago, but it’s near.

To keep the blog active an support the team you can donate to the link in the footer section. HALF of the donations are devolved to Lega Italiana Fibrosi Cistica against cystic fibrosis. Thanks for support!

Read more