Three lesser known aircraft features for 11.10

These smaller features are likely to be overshadowed by the release of the G1000 for default aircraft in 11.10, so I decided to dedicate a blog post to promote the articles I've written  - you can find them among all the guides for aircraft developers:

Electric and remote gyro systems

Back in April, I flew a Mooney M20J with a KCS55A HSI in it, and realised that it was impossible to model in X-Plane correctly, so I got to work. See the manual for an explanation of this popular HSI/remote gyro system.

I've written a usage guide on the new datarefs and commands that I added, along with some more detailed explanation of all the different gyro systems X-Plane simulates, in this guide for aircraft developers. I also talked about the systems at length in a Youtube live stream earlier this year.

Separate GPSS autopilot mode

This is a feature that many add-on aircraft already simulate to some degree, but by means of more or less reliable plugin trickery. The X-Plane 11 default 737 and 747 are no exception. With X-Plane 11.10, a separate GPS steering mode for the autopilot becomes a standard feature.
The new datarefs and commands are explained in detail here.

Screen-only popup instrument windows

Several people who build home-cockpit setups have asked about removing the bezels from the popup displays, so they can have only the screen of a GNS430/530, FMS or G1000 instrument to put on an external monitor, with a hardware bezel around it. While this can already be achieved through some clever hacking in the Miscellaneous.prf file, we now offer a more straightforward way to do this: The popup and pop-out windows now get their bezel graphics from the library system, so you can override the bezel graphics. How to override the bezel with nothing, if your bezel is made of hardware? Simply supply a 1x1 pixel blank .png as a bezel graphic, and X-Plane will know that you really want no bezel at all. In the case of a bezel-less 430, you'd put a 1x1 pixel png as the "cockpit/radios/GPS FMS/Garmin_430_2d.png" resource of your plane.

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About Philipp Ringler

Flight instructor on sunny days, software developer on rainy days. Drinks Darjeeling while beating FAA database anomalies into submission.
This entry was posted in Aircraft, Aircraft & Modeling, Cockpits, Panels, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Three lesser known aircraft features for 11.10

  1. João Victor Bettu Cordeiro says:

    Great! I'm so excited for 11.10, there are so many interesting and long awaited features. Thanks a lot LR! By the way, could we expect it for this week?

  2. John says:

    Anything for the already awesome default cessna 172 on 11.10?

  3. Pablo Bressan says:

    Wow, thank you for adding the Profile feature!

    I've just seen it in this video (minute 31 and 40 seconds):
    Thank you very much!!!

    • Tyler made that. Yes, I also think it will be pretty useful.

    • Tyler Young says:

      Shhh... it's a surprise! 😉

      • Gianni Caruso says:

        Thank you so much for adding this!! :)))

        I don't think you should keep it under the lid as it will make lots and lots of users very happy.

        By the way: did the results of the poll here ( in any way influence the decision to create the profile feature?

        • Tyler Young says:

          We will indeed publicize it (pretty heavily) once the beta is live. 🙂

          I wasn't aware of that poll (somebody should email me about these things! 😉 ), but we had lots of people request this feature over the years. We had actually hoped to ship it in 11.00, but we just ran out of time. Based on the amount of user feedback about it, we felt like it was "about time" to actually implement it.

          • Marius says:

            If I was feeling sassy I might say that based on user feedback, weather and seasons are coming soon too. But I'm not 😉

          • Alden says:

            Will the profiles be able to be exported and imported across systems/installations of X-Plane 11? I understand if you want to keep some features under wraps but I believe that'd be a pretty useful one.

          • Tyler Young says:

            @Marius, would that we had the resources to give everything everyone they want!

            @Alden What's the use case here? Like, you and I both have the same joystick, and you want to take all my per-aircraft configurations and use them yourself?

          • Alden Wilson says:

            @Tyler Young yes and no. We've already utilized the custom USB equipment ability (Can't think of the proper term) that knows the basis of what buttons and axes are supposed to do what.

            The problem lies in the fact that some people want their hat switch to trim their plane, while other people want to use a hat switch to view left and right. Obviously, by default we set up trimming to the hat switches, but it'd be awesome to switch between trimming and view change via a single menu option, and being able to deploy the configurations to a multitude of simulators would be the icing on the cake.

            Thanks for your response!

          • Tyler Young says:

            @Alden, you've got mail. 🙂 I think the .joy format could be extended to do what you're asking for, but I'd like to take the discussion offline to make sure I understand what you need.

          • Steve.Wilson says:

            And a command to toggle betwixt the configurations 1, 2, 3... allows one button to cycle the other button(s) through various possibilities...?

            May as well cover all the bases. Someone's bound to ask for this notion, since it's possible with joystick programming software. 🙂

          • Tyler Young says:

            Not in 11.10... maybe in the future.

          • Gianni Caruso says:

            I wanted to let you guys know but wasn't sure what is the proper channel to use to submit a community based feature request.
            Interesting enough I was just in the process of writing an email to support when I became aware of the video mentioning the pofile feature 🙂 ...

            One question remains: will it be possibe to assign different hardware controlers to the same axis within one profile?

          • Tyler Young says:

            It's certainly possible to assign multiple axes to the same usage (e.g., pitch, yaw, etc.)... but it's won't work consistently unless you only have one of those devices plugged in at a time. X-Plane doesn't make any guarantees about which axis it "listens" to if multiple devices with conflicting axis assignments are plugged in at once... and that's not something that's likely to change any time soon. (Indeed, it's not entirely clear how we could support that, considering that as hardware ages, it tends to send little "jitters" to the USB controller, meaning that you could easily have two axes with the same assignment "moving" at the same time!)

  4. steman says:

    Hi Philipp, I filed a bug this weekend for the gps knob in a windowed mode of the gps where used correctly as described in the user manual it does not change the decimal part of the com radio. It is a bit annoying ;-). Is it something that you perhaps could take care of before starting a long lasting new project? I could think it is a really minor issue to solve for you and it would make using the gps friendlier. If you need more input (beside the filed bug report), feel free to contact me. I am in the same time zone / Germany.
    kind regards to the whole team and thank you very much for the amazing x-plane

  5. vonhinx says:

    And so bits of the puzzle trickle in. Nice to know we will soon have a simple method for FMS-LOC capture.

    Now, how about an efficient method to get the type/region of fixes (ENRT or ICAO-APT) and region via XPLMGetNavAidInfo or some other command?

    • Adding more functions to XPLMNavigation is on my list, but still not at highest priority. If all you need is the terminal and local IDs, I'd say it's much faster for you to just parse the file yourself - it's plain text separated by whitespace. Not that hard to parse.

      • vonhinx says:

        Not hard at all, I agree, but for those who make their own EFIS maps it seems pointless to load that 190,000+line database file into memory when XP already does so for fast SDK access.

  6. Dellanie Byron says:

    Awesome stuff. Really excited to get my hands on 11.10.

    Question, are there any plans to increase the text resolution of waypoints and navaids on the default ND? Waaaay too tiny atm and would make 95% of aircraft using this system much more enjoyable!


  7. Russ says:

    what do you do to Miscellaneous.prf to show only the 530 screen popped out?

    • You can edit the on-screen coordinates for all pop-out windows in the Miscellaneous.prf, so you can position parts of the window outside of what your actual screen is. But the new way is much more straightforward.

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