There’s a slight performance win to be had by grouping taxiways by their surface type.

Now clearly if you have to have an “interlocked” pattern of asphalt on top of concrete, on top of asphalt, this isn’t an option.

But where you do have the flexibility to reorder, if you can group your work by surface type, X-Plane can sometimes cut down on the number of texture changes, which is good for framerate.

X-Plane will try to do this optimization for you, but X-Plane’s determination of “independent” taxiways (taxiways whose draw order can be swapped without a visual artifact) is a bit limited and can only catch simple cases.

For what it’s worth, interlocked patterns of surfaces were much more a problem with old X-Plane 6/7 type airport layouts, where the taxiways were sorted by size, and there could be hundreds of small pieces of pavement.

About Ben Supnik

Ben is a software engineer who works on X-Plane; he spends most of his days drinking coffee and swearing at the computer -- sometimes at the same time.