In a live interview hosted by Flight Simulation Association yesterday, Brian from SkyCommand was joined by Austin from X-Plane, and Anna and Sante from Orbx. Whilst the interview was packed with interesting information, Austin was very enthusiastic about answering questions about X-Plane 12, their upcoming flight simulator, which we’ll try to summarize in this article.
Austin even confirmed that the public beta of X-Plane 12 is coming this summer. The team is currently bug-fixing the scenery and the flight model is ready for consumer use, for showing people what it’s like to fly an aeroplane.
Austin has explained that his main goal is to make a proper simulation of the aircraft featured in X-Plane 12. In the interview, he has given example of a real-world aircraft manufacturer already working together with the team to test their prototype and airline to train new pilots on X-Plane 12.
In order to achieve that, the simulator has to have, as Austin said: “an absolute, 100%, top-notch, mathematically provable in the stand, provable in the stand, provable in the deposition, level of support and delivery of the math“.
X-Plane 12 vs. MSFS
He continued to explain that while Microsoft Flight Simulator is not allowing pilots to be trained on the platform, X-Plane 12 will allow that. X-Plane 12 and MSFS are heading in radically different directions. Whilst MSFS can offer a much better scenery, X-Plane 12 will offer a top-notch flight model.
Seaplanes are going to be a big part of the new simulator.
Austin has clarified that the seaplane behaviour is not based on feedback from the testers, the PR team, or the marketing, but on the actual physics. One Alaskan seaplane operator already uses the simulator to train their pilots to save money before moving onto the real aircraft and the team has received great feedback from them.
The seaplane physics are not coded in a way people will like, but how it works in reality.
“First principle means you’re following the physics and you don’t really care whether you like the answer or not (…)“.
An example of this was given by Austin on the X-Plane 12’s graphics. Previously, the team has always worked on what will the end-user like and what the company will be able to sell, visual-wise.
But now, Ben Supnik is, for example, counting how many Watts of sunlight are striking at aluminium on the aeroplane and how much of that light is reflected to the viewer, how much is absorbed, and how much is scattered and to what directions.
You can watch the whole livestream recording through our YouTube channel here. The interview was hosted by Flight Simulation Association which can be visited here. It was part of a month-long event from Orbx, FlyJuly 2022.