Some bugs are so beautiful it hurts to fix them.  This is an X-Plane AI Aircraft…

…flying like Austin drives. Fixed for 11.10, sadly.

EDIT: The video has post-processing effects added for drama (Shallow DOF and color grading). X-Plane does not natively ship with dramatic opera music.

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.

75 comments on “Some Bugs

  1. The single greatest x-plane video I’ve watched … ever! OMG so hilarious. I like to imagine Austin inside the cockpit singing along, drifting his way to the hangar.

      1. LOL, the wild wild west of XP11 programming in action…… Well Austin did say he liked to see unexpected things happen in the sim like the real world. Drunken pilot alert…….

  2. Slightly unrelated question, but since you guys work on aircraft AI, how far off do you think pilotless comercial airplanes are? I’ve seen an UBS report stating we could see pilotless cargo planes as soon as 2025.


    1. I’m not holding my breath — driverless cars vs planes are very different. The current state of vehicle safety for aviation vs cars is really, really different. Given a regular stream of human drivers who regularly do stupid things while using their smart phones while driving, my money is on the AI being safer. For aviation, accidents are already the result of causal chains of unusual events…much harder to code an AI that can respond well under those circumstances.

  3. Austin has spare wheels stacked up to the ceiling all over the rear wall of his hangar, I bet!
    Great video, great choice of music!

  4. I don’t want to be a spoiler but unfortunately most bugs can’t dance so nicely. Just like this for plugin developers. In the Navdata XP 11 specification, file XP-NAV1100-Spec. pdf, the DME description is incorrect. The penultimate entry of the runway ID never exists. Even if the DME is part of an ILS. The DME definition always has 11 entries, not 12. This proves your data file earth_nav. dat.

    1. If you had spend a few minutes to read the page you downloaded the spec from, you would have found where the localizer/glideslope/ILS-DME information comes from, and would have seen that that lists the associated runways with the DME, like so: 12 50.03240000 008.53913056 335 11055 25 0.000 IFCE EDDF ED 07C DME-ILS

  5. As I see by now there are different files named earth_nav. dat. In one, the field runway ID is missing, in the other it is included. Somehow confusing but probably originated from the version history.

  6. I don’t mean to be pushy……. but back in July we were told 11.10 was only weeks away and yet here we are in mid Sep and no closer to a release date.
    I am really hanging out for native VR support, flyinside is next to useless at it’s only a single threaded application and can’t properly utilise hardware.
    At this rate we will be unlikely to see it implemented before xmas and Vulkan before 2018.
    Not being pushy or anything!!!

    1. The good news is that delaying 11.10 doesn’t necessarily delay VR since the two are separate patches!

      11.10 is a big patch with lots of moving parts, there is no sense in releasing something half working and then get backlash because we released it too early. Also, if you think about it, “weeks” can mean anything longer than one week, so I think we are still on track :p

      PS: About Vulkan, nobody said that would be done by Christmas 2017.

        1. I meant to say 2019. 2018 was a typo, but it doesn’t matter now I have had my rant.
          And BTW weeks usually refers to less than a 2 month period otherwise you would say a couple of months or 3 months etc.
          I really miss X-plane and want to go for a flight but I can’t go back to 2d it feels so unreal cause once you go 3d you can’t go back and flyinside is useless so I am so really hanging out for native VR.

          1. your right. but thats ben “pro programmer ” supnik for you. not sure why austin hired this guy but what ever

          2. Well an update.
            I have good news it seems I can still enjoy X-Plane in VR anyway without Flyinside.
            With my spare GearVR and Stream Theater app coupled with Nvidia I can get X-Plane in VR with full clarity at desktop resolution and at desktop framerates.
            Thanks Youtube uploaders for the know how to get it setup.
            Looking forward to getting it up and running and getting back to making some flights and it will be interesting to see what native VR looks like in comparison to what I have been told from people who are using the GearVR setup.

          3. No that won’t work either.
            Maybe it worked on older phones but on the Galaxy S8+ the gearvr setup and oculus just take over and you can’t use any 3rd party app to run the sim in and there appears to be no way to disable it.
            So i’m stuck until you enable native VR.
            No X-Plane for me until then.

  7. Is this just my imagination or did you change quite a bit on haze and atmospheric scattering effects? Looks very good to me.

      1. With all these comments about post-processing and the age of snapchat, I think it’s only natural 11.10 and VR get pushed back in favor of 11.06: the all new filter suite to use with your replays.

  8. Two questions:

    1) Is the bug related to ground handling in crosswind conditions?

    2) Is it just me, or the environmental lighting in the video seems different from 11.05? Has something changed in it?

  9. That’s a great video!! How are you achieving the depth of field effect? Is that a new feature?

  10. Thanks for the great vid Ben! Really enjoyed it. As far as the Baron is concerned, will it receive only FMOD with v11.10 or will it undergo a major overhaul like the the C172 did with the shift from XP10 to XP11? Thanks. Cris

    1. I think the Baron is getting bug fixes + FMOD. I’m not sure how much interior work was done. The kingair is getting a new center panel section I think.

  11. Unfortunately, this fun bug also tastes a great deal like the bug we currently encounter when attempting a crosswind landing with anything like a realistic crosswind component. (Not that I frequently, or ever taste bugs). Is the bug fixed just for AI aircraft, or does it apply to the realistic ground handling for all aircraft, as in the way wind affects us and lateral runway traction?

    Thanks for the entertainment! (Considering the various toys in Austin’s stable, I feel for his pax.) 😉

      1. Thanks for the clarification. Then I will continue work on a plugin that hacks the winds at the takeoff/landing interface. 😉 Seems to be a viable workaround for now.

      2. Hello Ben. Is it tyre handling? I ask because on an approach with a 15 knot crosswind in the C172, I’m already at full rudder deflection do there’s nothing left for more correction as I roll out.

        X-Plane 11 is great, by the way. Thank you everyone.

          1. Hello Ben,

            Will do, but I wasn’t saying it’s a tyre bug: I was using the approach (in the air) to make my point.


  12. I have been cursing such a horrible landing skill of mine from time to time. The video made me relieved to learn that it’s not only me doing such a hillarious landing 🙂

  13. Haha. Great video. Meanwhile, inside the aircraft:

    “Are we there yet?”
    “Yes, we’re nearly there…hold on to my beer.”

  14. Excellent Video! It makes so much more sense then the cryptic X-plane 11 videos which came before the launch.
    Great cinematography and sense of humour!

  15. Ben, you get it all wrong! This should be seen as a feature, not a bug: landings of AI-planes that are invariably perfect decrease the sense of realism in a simulator :-). And while you are at it, please make some GA-planes taxi the wrong way and have them yelled at by Tower, will you?

  16. Almost done the exact this in real life in a piaggio Avanti.. 😉
    On a icy runway.. and the piaggio 1 and 2has carbon brakes, 1000psi hyd but no Antiskid and not easy on the ground… be carefull 🙂
    Drifting sideways 90dec to the runway. came to a complete stop right in front of the taxiway.. added some power and slowly taxied to parking..
    All went slow and quietly.. the passengers didn’t even notice..
    Thankfully the aircraft didn’t tilt or off the runway..

  17. Nice video but completely wasted effort in my opinion. Who keeps using the default AI aircraft+ATC anyway? Yes, new people usually come to Xplane and try to use it for some time until they come to the conclusion like everyone else that it’s useless and switch to some 3rd party plugin or start flying online.
    The way I see it the AI+ATC would need a complete rewrite to be any good (which is not going to happen). Plus it would need to open up to 3rd parties so they can build upon that which as far as I know is not possible since all 3rd party plugins have to use completely custom solutions for traffic+ATC completely bypassing the built in system. Having 3 or 4 AI aircraft fly around randomly is pointless. That’s why I think this is completely wasted effort.
    I would much rather see the efforts of the small team focused on things that improve the platform and/or give more options to 3rd parties to build upon. Recently I read a post from PMDG for example that one of the reasons why they are not happy with the Xplane platform is because the SDK documentation is a complete mess with outdated information scattered across several websites and forums, plus missing basic development tools and so on. I think that would be time better spent.

    1. Even though I completely agree with you, and I haven’t flown with AI traffic or ATC in years, I have grown to understand that different people have very different priorities. If you surf around the x-plane forum, you will see a crazy amount of people saying better AI is among the top of their priorities… I wish these people would go away, but they won’t 🙂

      1. I’ve always thought the best way to solve this would be a cage match fight to the death where users with disagreements over priorities attempt to kill each other in no-holds-barred combat.

        – Users who lost the competition would be dead and unable to complain on the dev blog that their priorities aren’t being met.
        – The dev staff would be TERRIFIED of the winner and we’d surely code that person’s feature to avoid bodily harm.

        Win win! 😉

      2. Well sure. But realistically a good traffic system like RC4 or UTL in FSX for example is never going to happen “in-house” because it’s just too big of a job. I think before the XP11 beta came out the plan was not to improve the ATC system at all apart from occasional bug fix, like the infamous “you’re off course” issue from XP10, but after many users requested some improvements it’s getting some attention now. But in my opinion it’s pointless because as it is setup now it’s never going to meet those users expectations. It’s still going to be 3 aircraft randomly flying around, with some ATC improvements on uncontrolled airfields. I imagine those users want proper full fledged traffic and ATC systems that populates airfields with loads of traffic flying around their real world routes being controlled by an interactive ATC and so on, that’s a big job. That’s why I think it would be better for everyone to provide better support to 3rd parties rather than waste time trying to improve a system that is limited to 20 aircraft that plugins can’t interact with anyway. As it is now the 3rd parties have to built their plugins completely from scratch which I imagine is not a trivial thing to do when they have to worry about such low level things like even placing the aircraft object in the environment. I would also want a proper ATC system in the sim but realistically that can be only done by some dedicated 3rd party that has tools in the sim to do that because probably nobody would agree to LR guys to take 2 years off the Xplane development to spend on creating new ATC system.

    2. Dear XplanePeople,
      I use x-plane to gain experience before one day ‘trying it in the real world’, and the ATC system doesn’t seem to work that well.
      As it’s an included part of x-plane, I don’t see why I should pay for 3rd party systems, or even invest time trying to find the range of them, and choose one that is better in some ways, worse in others.
      I find it such a faff and chore to manage 3rd party add-ons, I loved the addition of the Scenery-Gateway, and I’ve tried to keep the rest of my system to a bare minimum (1 extra aircraft, (U)HD scenery meshes).

      If you could focus on the tutorials and ATC, that would be great.

      ps I hope your AI has ‘margins of errors’ that make the pirouette still possible. Or a ‘margins of BAC’ or whatever should be simulated.

      1. If you’re planning to learn in the real world, no AI ATC will be a replacement for something like PilotEdge. (#notsponsored)

  18. This video is really nice. however – not willing to participate in the AI traffic & ATC is important or not discussion – I have a question:

    Would it be possible to totally disable AI traffic and X-Plane’s internal ATC System? This would be a great option for online flyers (radio button on/off)!

    Currently only the ATC volume can be turned down to zero, but then voice channels like from “Better Pushback” or even the integrated push back system cannot be heard. Also I think that even when the XSquawkbox is running, it only suppresses AI traffic display but in the background there still seems to be some AI traffic processing (TCAS resolution alert for an aircraft that is “not existing”).

    I understand that many people like to fly offline with the built in ATC and others – like me – prefer VATSIM or other platforms. But with such a button (ATC & AI on/off), the user could really decide which way to go. It is really odd to hear the VATSIM ATIS on my headset and the X-Plane internal ATIS on my speakers (both not matching each other) – just an example.


    1. Hi Marc,

      I’m not sure what’s happening with TCAS, but what I can say is: the TCAS integration with XSquawkBox is a mess. I know this because I wrote it (100 years ago). XSB is tricking X-Plane by adding and removing AI planes at random times, probably in a way that no longer “works”.

      This technique is not recommended and was always a hack. For 11.10 we’re adding new datarefs to let plugins cleanly interact with TCAS.

      Once this is adopted by libxplanemp and XSB, then the situation will be simple. If you don’t want ATC, don’t talk to ATC and don’t turn on AI planes. XSB will use CSL and ATC will do nothing.

      1. Hi Ben,

        Thanks for your reply. Well, I do not talk to ATC so it does not affect my online flights. However: When dialing in an ATIS frequency, I can’t stop the built in ATIS voice talking to me while I am listening to the VATSIM ATIS – unless I turn X-Plane’s radio volume down to zero. But when doing so, I also “remove” radio calls by the push back system or the plug-in “Better Pushback”.

        This is why I was thinking about the “on/off button”.

        Keep on your great work and don’t rush. We have a rock stable X-Plane 11 yet and I totally agree that quality of code beats hunting for release dates!


  19. Just two days ago.. sitting on the runway, I had the SR71 do a cart wheel infront of me and ending up with the nose in the ground with afterburners on. I thought that was a pretty interesting sight. Then I did the replay and found it was flying in from behind doing a low pass turn and clipping the ground…. and that’s how interesting Xplane has become lately.

  20. Sorry to ask, but which bug was fixed, and how was it fixed?
    (I also was doing some power slides after landing in the past 😉

    1. The bug was that the Baron was over-steering trying to correct being off-heading on landing, and Austin fixed it by changing the tuning of how the AI tries to hold its line.

  21. Very funny. I guess thats rc 1 of the xPlane 11: Baron Drift Special Edition. The enhanced replay system is great.

  22. Hey Ben, don’t even fix it, just leave it in there and List it as a student pilot AI 🙂 more realism I think. As far as all the people leaving all these lengthy post about priorities, people get over your OCD. Allow the developers to have a little fun once in a while. For crying out loud. I Thought the clip was hilarious and I can say I’ve actually had a few landings just like that. So Ben, you guys just keep doing what you doing.

  23. It’s nice that Austin recognizes the ground-handling problems in AI planes. Perhaps one day he’ll fully embrace the shortcomings in. . .

    Naw. Never happen. 🙂

  24. I have found that the “Preferences” file becomes easily corrupted for some reason. This is my major reason for uncontrollable ground handling events. Deleting the file (after saving the two joystick and one key files) will correct the problems (for a while). It seems that I am not the only one who experiences the problem. Is it possible that there would be a “more stable” way of addressing this issue… like maybe putting the three files in another location and having the rest rebuild at each loading? Obviously, I am not a programmer, but it seems logical to me.

  25. Just a little cuckoo from France to say thank you to all its developers who regale our little eyes full of dreams. Since always aviation enthusiast I dream of flying but for lack of means I stay on the ground to watch the planes take off and land! Today flying is a dream accomplished with a little economy and patience I enjoy every night of the show that it is great developer we therefore thank the whole team! sorry for my English.

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