25.2.2024 – 15:47z

X-Plane 12.1.0 Update Previewed

Thomson Meeks, the X-Plane team member, previewed the new 12.1.0 update features on the X-Plane page. As the X-Plane Team grows, the work over an update can be distributed on more features. The release was initially directed into graphics improvement; however, the development team also improved the flight model, weather, and some minor ATC systems improvements.

Graphics Improvements

Bloom lighting effects have been introduced, allowing bright light sources to emit light into surrounding areas. The implementation of RCAS (Robust Contrast Adaptive Sharpening) has resulted in sharper, less aliased ground shadows. Multi-sample anti-aliasing (MSAA) has been improved, with photometrically correct resolution, MSAA of alpha-cut textures, and a combination of MSAA and FXAA.

CPU performance has been boosted with a new “modern collector” code, which prioritizes scenery drawing based on the simulation’s needs. Water opacity and turbidity have been refined, reducing the visibility of boat hulls in certain conditions. Additionally, a new Screenshot Utility has been introduced, allowing real-time control of Depth of Field and Exposure.

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With all of these changes, the new version should also bring more optimization, resulting in better FPS performance. Apart from the graphics engine improvements, developers created new particle effects. In case of a placement collision, for example, during the engine or tail strike, we will be able to sparks. As well as ground spray from aircraft wheels and engines.

Aircraft Systems Improvements

In the 12.1.0 update, we will also see many additions to the G1000 panels these will include: ADS-B simulation, stormscope page, traffic map page, metar flags, NDB + VOR pages, and Boot-up overlay. The Synthetic Vision System is also in development, and it will be released shortly. Apart from the G1000 changes the developers created the STEC ST-360 Autopilot.

X-Plane For Professional Use

With the new update, the X-Plane Control Pad support will make a return on iOS for the X-Plane Professional. Additionally, Scalable Display support has been added, which is particularly beneficial for users with multiple projector or dome visual systems. This feature significantly reduces the time required for warping and blending projector channels, providing a valuable option for professional users. Furthermore, more useful weather presets have been included, enhancing the realism and variety of weather conditions available in the simulator.

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Smaller Changes

The flight model now includes a manual flap system and dial-a-flap functionality, providing more control over flap settings. For helicopters, electric clutches have been introduced, enhancing the realism of helicopter operations. Additionally, turboprop aircraft equipped with a single-lever control system now have this functionality simulated.

In terms of weather, a new Real Weather Server has been implemented to address recent outages caused by data provider re-organization. Improvements have been made to the parsing of Real Weather METAR data, resulting in fewer instances of random rain. Furthermore, bug fixes have been applied to address issues with odd-looking Real Weather data, such as unrealistic cloud formations.

At some point we also might see a physics-based camera, resulting in the new in-cockpit view moving the camera according to the acceleration of the aircraft.

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The new 12.1.0 update is currently in the internal tests phase, and it should be released as a public beta soon. The X-Plane flight simulator is making a lot of changes, if you are interested in those check out the article about their new idea of the Official Add-On Marketplace.

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