X-Plane 11.36r2 is out

This version update includes the modified C172.acf and C172_G1000.acf that use the new nosewheel steering parameters, so you can try out the new bungee steering in default aircraft now. We’ve heard pretty positive feedback on the new handling from the pilots we’ve asked to try it so far!

The interaction of the nose wheel with the rudder and brakes now closely resembles a real C172: The nosewheel is no longer rigidly connected to the rudder, but by a spring-loaded steering bungee. This connection allows a steering angle of about 10 degrees, giving you three times the precision in steering that you had previously! But sometimes you don’t want precision, you just want to make a tight turn – in that case, you use differential braking. This will pull the plane around in a tighter turn, and with the new steering bungee, the nosewheel will follow that turn without skidding, because it can castor beyond the steered deflection.

If you don’t actually have hardware brake pedals, X-Plane will add the differential braking for you when you ask for maximum rudder (using your joystick twist axis).

For aircraft authors looking to incorporate the new parameter into their planes, there is a much more detailed description here.

Full release notes here.

Edit to add: As usual, Steam release will be delayed about 24 hours–expect it to be live sometime tomorrow.

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X-Plane 11.36r1 Update

A minor patch is now available for LR customers. We expect to release this on Steam in about a day. You will need to run the installer and opt into betas to get this version. It includes improved C172 steering, an asynchronous map, and .lin fixes. Full release notes here.

Update: the announcement here says better C172 steering but actually the aircraft file has not been updated and behaves exactly like the C172 in the previous release. The physics model does have an update that allows authors to simulate bungee-cable steering (like the real C172 has) – we’ll enable this in the default Cessna soon.

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X-Plane 11.35 is final

It’s officially out the door! (Steam should go “final” later this evening, but you can get the final now by opting into public betas — it’s still marked as a “beta”.)  This was a fairly large release, and here’s everything it includes.

We expect to do a bug fix patch in the next week or three, depending on the severity of the seemingly inevitable “bug that got away” during beta testing.

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“But with the blast shield down I can’t even see…”

Observant Steam pilots flying VFR noticed that the Cessna 172’s windows were completely solid gray in 11.35 release candidate 1 – not a huge problem for IFR, but not great for site seeing.

This should now be fixed – if you let Steam update the app you’ll get the clear windows back.

This bug was totally bizarre and astonishing. The interior glass texture for the Cessna was missing from the installation, but not from the master files we build the sim from or from the Laminar version. As best as I can tell, Steam’s tool for building the sim just lost the file randomly. I rebuilt the Steam install this morning and the file came back.

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First 11.35 Release Candidate

X-Plane 11.35r1 is now available. You should be able to auto-update from within the sim as usual with this version.

This update should just about wrap up the beta for 11.35. If you haven’t tried your add on with 11.35 yet, you have pretty much missed your chance as we expect to mark 11.35 final and roll it out for everyone soon.

Release notes here.

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Let’s try this again: X-Plane 11.35b6

Beta 6 is now available to fix the hang with auto update. Please note that it will actually take two (2) rounds of updates to see the complete fix. B6 will still hang, but it contains the fix so that when you update after that, it should work as usual.

To get beta six, run the updater and click “get betas”. Once you have beta six, the next update will work normally.

Release notes here.

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End Caps for Line Files

Here’s a feature that went into X-Plane 11.35 that will be really exciting to a very small number of scenery authors: in X-Plane 11.35, line files (.lin) can have custom painted end-caps on each end, and the texture repeats can be aligned to a grid.

Scenery authors who have gotten deep into X-Plane’s scenery system will already know from that first paragraph why this is useful, but for normal people who have seen the sun in the last 30 days, .lin files are the art files that define the look of thin linear features. X-Plane uses them for the painted yellow and white lines in the airport environment, but a developer can use them for anything linear.

Line files repeat, tile, and can follow the ground in a bezier curved path, which makes them great for curved taxiway lines. Their achilles heal up to now has been that when the line ends, the line just … stops. This makes them inappropriate for really thick uses, where that hard “cut” at the end of the line would be really noticeable and ugly.

In X-Plane 11.35 you can provide a start and end cap for each line definition. Like the line itself, it can be mulit-layered if desired. So, for example, you could use it to make dirt paths between buildings in a rural airport – where the path ends you can have a “soft” ending to the path and not have to worry about tucking the line under another scenery element to hide the cut.

We’re not using these in the default art yet, but the code is done, and I have updated the .lin file format specification with the new syntax.

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X-Plane 11.35b5 is Out

We are nearing the end of the beta cycle and it is highly likely that the next build will be a release candidate. (Release notes here.) I’ll continue to sound like a broken record: please test your addons if you haven’t done so already!

One thing of particular note for aircraft authors in this update: we added datarefs to read the contents of the X-Plane default FMS Control and Display Unit (CDU) screen. You can read more about this addition here.

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Add-on Developers: Please Try X-Plane 11.35 Beta 4

X-Plane 11.35 beta 4 is now live – run our updater and check “get betas”. Release notes here.

Steam users: we’ll release this tomorrow if there isn’t a sign of a huge fire overnight – it’s already uploaded to the servers.

Add-on Developers: if you haven’t run your add-on in 11.35, please put it through its paces now. Everything that might be risky or weird is already in and we’re just killing off bugs now. If your add-on has a compatibility problem, we need to know now if we’re going to fix the problem during beta. While we’ve tried to make everything “just work” with old add-ons, there’s always the chance that your add-on does something special we didn’t think of. Please test now!

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X-Plane 11.35b3

Beta three is now available to LR customers, and we expect Steam to be available within 24 hours. This beta has the last of our planned code changes for 11.35 (in addition to bug fixes), so we expect the rest of the beta period to be focused on fixing regression bugs.

If you haven’t already, this would be a great beta to test your add ons in to ensure we haven’t broken them. If we have, get at us via the bug report form and be sure to include a copy of your add on.

Edit: 11.35b3 is live on Steam too now.

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