Third time’s  charm?  Maybe? RC3 fixes plugin issues we were seeing in RC2.  Thanks to the plugin developers who tested our repaired XPLM DLLs yesterday.  We’ll update Steam to RC3 soon if this build isn’t on fire.

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.

61 comments on “X-Plane 11.20 Release Candidate 3 Posted

  1. Ben, do you guys plan to implement support for multi-material 3D objects and non-square bitmaps at some point?

    Also, any ETA for the new partical system?

    With thanks

    1. If by multi-material, you mean more than one albedo texture per object, then no. In x-plane you atlas your textures and create materials _within_ them by modulating the properties of the normal map. You don’t make a repeating “brick” texture and a repeating “concrete” texture and then use them on parts of the object.

      Bitmaps can already be non-square. Do you mean non-power-of-2 dimension?

      Particle system: don’t know…it was on my todo list to code for last week and I didn’t get to it due to RC issues…I’m hoping to work on it a bit tomorrow.

      1. Ben, I just want to say thanks for being so transparent with this development. Really makes it exciting. Thanks from all of us.

        1. +1 with this comment. The level of transparency from LR is refreshing and is the reason why I’ve stuck with this platform for as long as I have.

      2. “In x-plane you atlas your textures and create materials _within_ them by modulating the properties of the normal map.”

        Could you please explain this a bit more? I have no clue on how to create a new material within a texture atlas just by modulating the normal map. Is this an X-Plane specific workflow? Do we need to use an OBJ command to do this?

        1. No – you ‘author’ the materials using a tool like substance painter 2. The paint program will write to the blue and alpha channels to write aspects of the material to your normal map. I’ll talk to Alex about doing a tutorial.

          1. A good materials tutorial would be really cool. I’ve been toying with the idea of adding Substance Painter to my tool kit as I understand it really makes life easier and produces astonishing results. Much better than trying to figure out Photoshop or Gimp.

            By the way… does the online OBJ8 format need an update? The posted copy is a bit dusty. 😉

          2. Including the disclaimers I’ve read about noop features in OBJ8, I’m sure what’s online is correct – but suspect it may not be complete. Stale would be another good way to put it. 😉 I’ve been doing research to learn how to implement materials.

      3. Yes please to the particle system. I’ve had some ideas I’ve wanted to try out ever since it was announced way back when….:)

  2. Thank you very much ! One bug fix to fix them all… At least more than one for sure. What goes in a window stays in the window, everybody is now safe in his own space. Fetch the scotch !

  3. Hi Ben
    First would like to say Hats off to you and X-Plane team for the excellent work you have done. I Have been using X-Plane for about 4 years and really have enjoyed it especially now VR is on the move which I only fly in now. I do have small requests. If it’s possible to implement a restart option of X-Plane and not only a quit option. Reason being that when changes are made on the AA or textures the sim must be restarted to implement the changes. For me the quit option takes to long to restart the sim.Because many of us are still testing the settings to get best experience. It would be nice to have a restart option so we don’t have to go to desktop to restart X-Plane again after implementing new changes. Thanks

    1. Hi Vincent,

      Our plan is to make all of the rendering settings no-restart-required – it’s pretty counter-intuitive and slow to have to restart to see some settings but not others.

  4. Thanks for all the efforts. Xp is truly great. I’m wondering though, will we ever see a fix to the default cloud system where with overcast on the ground as you climb above it suddenly is partly cloudy?

    1. That is the cloud transparency bug. No word on an ETA yet… and I’ve been paying attention to this.

  5. Hi Ben.
    I am now almost solely in VR. The experience is difficult to explain to anyone. Thank you all for the amazing work you have done with x-plane so far. A small request to increase immersion – any chance of changing the touch controllers to be actual hands? I know a few guys in the forums have been asking for this. Though I would suggest? Any plans for this in the future?

    1. We are not planning on it right now. Mind you, you can make the controllers look like…anything I guess…by hacking up the library. (In Chris’s original test, he had the seagull object for a fantastic edward-scissors-hands experience. 🙂 But we don’t have any tech to try to make the controllers look like hands or emulate ‘real’ finger touch right now.

      My view has been: it’s really really hard to make a VR hand emulation that works as well as your hands, and it’s made harder by there not being a standard really high quality glove system, so we’re better off making basic controllers, which are much more wide-spread, work well.

      1. I agree with this. It’s fun to have hands in games, but in a sim like this, I prefer the controller. It’s pointy and it’s easy to hit buttons and switches with.. Not so easy with a hand I’d guess..

  6. Any possible updates on fix of “Sun Ray” going through the earth during sunrise and sunsets?

  7. Excellent! Looks like things are moving along. Any plans for a Facebook Live event? Maybe a preview/teaser for what to expect at FlightSimExpo?

  8. Hi.

    Would it be possible to make a short post with the possible news of the 11.30?
    Also, to stop talking about VR now….

    1. Why would they stop talking about VR? Do you expect the sim community to opt for LESS immersion and realism? Go on and dust off your Commodore, pop in a floppy of MSFSII, and leave the future to the rest of us.

      1. DO NOT KNOCK THE COMMODORE 64. Greatest. computer. ever. Always will be!

        (They had one running the original flight sim on a C64 at FlightSimCon last year and, and if you know how little you have to work with on that machine, it’s just insane that it can do what it can do.)

        My favorite part of programmer the C64: you’d accidentally set the graphics register for the background color to be the same as the foreground color, and all of a sudden you can’t see any of your text. Can you blindly type the instructions to put the background color back and save your work without a reboot?

        1. POKE53281,X

          Set X to something 0..15 to chose a color. And this was _without_ Google 😉

          But you could also set the cursor color with a keyboard shortcut using the number keys. Might be easier 😉

          1. YES!! 53218!!

            Yeah, in Basic you could change the editor color – in the terrapin logo interpreter you had .poke but no keyboard color, so the stakes were higher. 🙂 🙂

          2. Well, for starters, our startup screen would have to be sized down, as it takes up 225x the total amount of memory the C64 had. 🙂 🙂

          3. That’s a good start! 🙂
            After that you should probably fix some other minor issues but I trust your capabilities!!! 😉

          4. Sometimes I’d match the cursor and screen color when I knew my brother wanted to use it just to make him mad.

        1. It is not possible to explain VR, I have 3 42″ screens in front of me and have never gone back to flying 2D since the day my Oculus Rift arrived.
          I understand the non-vr community frustrations, but all of the X-Plane updates are heading in the same direction. I do not see a split, just progress for the benefit of all. Cheers.

        2. I know what you mean – I went for 55″ 4K too. Set at 110′ FOV.

          Tried a friends Vive at Christmas, after the first VR preview.
          Came home, and announced that I’m still absolutely fine with the wide-eyed 55″.

          February – bought a Rift.

        3. I have a 55″ 4K screen with TrackIR. It’s very immersive and has changed the way that I fly. I have even eliminated most of my hardware controls except yoke and throttles because I can interact with everything in the cockpit so naturally. (I would love to be able to turn off mouse wheel zoom)

          I appreciate the pursuit of VR since it’s resulting in improved performance that is required for VR, which benefits all of us. I will probably switch to VR once 8K (2x 4K) headsets are widely available and we have the hardware to drive that resolution.

          I’m happy with X-Plane in the state it’s at and I am excited about its future.

      2. Please, if you like her so much, go fly with her.
        Is it so difficult to understand that no matter how much future RL may be if there is no solid and realistic product to offer, if the simple development of adding artistic, technical and other elements is abandoned, it loses its meaning?

        1. That should not mean that you should talk down to people. I respect the decision about VR and I follow it closely and that’s fine. There is an enormous amount of people out there that could not afford VR at the moment. But that does not make them less people.

  9. Hello,

    I’ve this strange behavior. The cessna key does not work. Also all the manipulators that are switches seems to not work (eg. 737 auto throttle, ap engage, gear up…).
    Is it something that I’m doing wrong?

    1. I’ve reinstalled everything and now all is back to normal. Nothing to do with the release. Regards

  10. Great work overall. My biggest note is the switch between flat and contoured airport situations. If a developer who is constantly putting airports into a flat scenario, then you are trapped if you fly from a contoured scenario, or vise versa, you can’t switch mid-flight? I think this already in X-Plane, so why can’t the airport boundary do the job of allowing flat airports to live within a contoured world?

    There was a fix (heading) to the native B747 in rc2, but come on the aircraft is totally well and almost unflyable in this state, this aircraft is a showpiece for any one trying out the X-Plane demo, it is not a very good look for LR a year and a half after the release of XP11?

  11. I repeat my question.
    I hope the VR fans won’t respond to me and if the developer does, please.
    What’s new for version 11.30?

    A greeting

    1. As we’re talking about 11.20, VR or not, when Ben & others will have to tell something about 11.30 will post a specific article on the blog.
      Speaking about it here is completely off topic.

    1. //

      “Most VR headset manufacturers say the device is not suitable for children under age 12 or 13. Although there are no long-term studies, ophthalmologists agree there is no reason to be concerned that VR headsets will damage eye development, health or function. “Age limitations for VR technology might make sense for content, but as far as we know this technology poses no threat to the eyes,” said Stephen Lipsky, MD, a pediatric ophthalmologist who practices in Georgia.”

  12. I’ve been an X-Plane customer at home for a while. Both Aviation Training Devices at the flight school where I’m a flight instructor embed older versions of X-Plane.

    I recently bought a desktop as an XP 11 platform to practice instrument flight. It’s been great for for “simulated IFR” because the pilot must look straight ahead (at the simulated or real panel) and minimize head movement.

    My flight instructor revenue is consumed to pay for aerobatic flight in a Super Decathlon that we bought last October. For most of the time between November and April in western Washington it’s hard to find visual meteorological weather to practice “acro” flight, so I decided to perform a “pilot study” to fly acro VR in XP11 when I couldn’t fly the SuperD.

    I explain all of this to help Ben resolved his reported puzzlement regarding HOTAS VR flight. I want to practice the physical control inputs that I use in the real SuperD while flying acro “figures” in a VR SuperD in XP11. Virtual controllers, a mouse, etc., do not engender the muscle memory that I can develop using hardware similar to the real airplane. Anyone who has use a mouse to practice using a Garmin GPS in a Garmin sim appreciate that virtual practice is a compromise; manipulating a mouse isn’t turning real knobs in an airplane

    I should probably mention that acro flight requires the pilot move his head from front to the side and to overhead. IR tracking doesn’t really work for that. Moving the view with “stick” buttons or a mouse doesn’t develop the muscle memory needed to look out the windows in different directions at different times during the performance of an acro figure. A VR headset should help develop head-muscle memory coordinated with stick, throttle, and rudder hardware muscle memory.

    So far my experiment uses my iPhone 6 Plus with iVRy in a Noon headset with Steam VR and the new X-Plane beta. It looks promising. I must get smarter about using VR in X-Plane. Becoming “sim sick” while flying acro figures (e.g., half-Cuban Eights, rolls, etc) is disconcerting and not at all like dealing with G-loads and flying inverted.

    My most significant (potentially show stopping) challenge is that I wear glasses. The lens movement in the Noon headset doesn’t provide enough focal adjustment to provide a sharp. realistic view in the headset (compared to the view on my computer monitor). I’m experimenting with wearing drug-store OTC reading glasses to correct my near vision when I use the headset; these glasses fit into the headset better than my progressive eye glasses. Things still appear a little blurry, but the set-up is usable.

    Is there a way to improve focusing a VR headset view in X-Plane, iVRy, SteamVR, or other apps? I can bearly read the UI in the hangar or the cockpit, relying on my memory of the options from non-VR viewing.

    So far my investment in VR flying has been limited to buying the discounted Noon headset. I’d consider spending more on an HTC or other headset if I absolutely knew that it would give me a realistic sharp image.

    1. You should wait for newer technology (better screen resolution per eye) to read text in VR.

  13. I have a small request that’s probably too late, but hardly any of my plugin’s users understands that you can move VR windows by grabbing them at the top edge. For example, in this video the author even claims that the plugin is not ready for VR because of this, which made me rather sad because I mainly created this plugin for VR: //

    Now if you open it via a menu, X-Plane will display the window in a state where the controller is already attached and you can drag it. But the menu is hard to reach, so most people use a command instead of a menu. And then the window will float in front of your head and confuse the users. Could we please have a way to create windows in the dragging state like when opened via menu?

  14. Hi Ben and the Team

    Thank you all so much for your amazing work on VR for X-plane 11. Your implementation is THE highlight of my Rift years starting with DK2…surpassing even DCS World. Awesome work.

    Just one question. Do you guys have any comment on the issues reported by myself and others on the ’25-42fps’ issues in the Rift where the scenery ouside the cockpit is juddery whilst ASW is working flawlessly? Just wondered if its a known issue and if so whether its caused by external issues (for example with the Oculus SDK or Nvidia drivers).

    Thanks, Joel

  15. In the last few days I have seen that the online weather update fails a lot. Ig goes up to 50% and then jumps directly to 100% with an error telling that that the download failed. It is not all the time, but I would say around 7 out of 10. Am I the only one who is experience this? My internet is a 100Mb/100Mb fiber, so I do not think that would be the problem.

    1. You’re not the only one. Weather needs major improvements, if X-Plane is to have something that even remotely resembles what the “other” platform can have through add-ons.

    2. The government servers that we download the weather data from can be pretty flaky. Odds are good that “it’s not you, it’s them.”

      1. This probably explains why I was seeing a 2-3 hour delay a couple weeks ago. X-Plane was overcast. In real life it had been thunderstorms for hours. had the current METAR with t-storms.

        I hope LR can find some kind of improvement. The inconsistent downloads and hours old METAR data defeat the purpose of “real weather”.

      2. How about having your own servers to distribute weather data? Because at the end of the day, this is making *you* look bad. The servers to download updates/scenery also seem to be running at max capacity, and sometimes the connection is interrupted.

        Maybe you’ve underestimated the increase in customer number with XP11?

  16. VR X-PLANE

    Xp-11 beta rc4 + base XP scenery + OTT + Process Lasso = Excellent performance.

    (i7-7700K, gtx 1070ti, 16gb, Rift)

    Antares sailplane , ridge / wave soaring LOWI. Amazing immersion.

    Kodiak, Do228, 2Otter, etc****************VR heaven.

    Ready for Vulcanization

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