Flight Sim Show 2019: Laminar Research Presentation Round-Up

[This is a live article and will be updated as we get more information and screenshots] Direct from the Flight Sim Show 2019 in Cosford, Laminar Research’s Philipp took to the stage to talk about…

Posted: 05-Oct-2019 @ 15:31z
Flight Sim Show 2019: Laminar Research Presentation Round-Up

[This is a live article and will be updated as we get more information and screenshots]

Direct from the Flight Sim Show 2019 in Cosford, Laminar Research’s Philipp took to the stage to talk about X-Plane 11. During the presentation, the team spoke about X-Plane Mobile, X-Plane 11.40, Vulkan/Metal and more.

X-Plane Mobile

The presentation opened up with talk about X-Plane mobile. The tech and code behind the simulator on mobile is now 75% the same as you will see on the desktop version. Philipp started by showing off the default X-Plane aircraft in the simulator, where both the interior and exterior modelling is intact and that you are able to use all the buttons and switches on mobile as you can today on desktop. That includes the APU, Fuel Pumps and even the FMS is fully programmable.

The world of X-Plane Mobile will include the whole world with over 30,000 airports included – over 10,000 of them have been built with 3D models. Airports will also include jetways, vehicles, line markings, etc. You can also fly anywhere in the world as you would on desktop and make real-world flight plans with the world being streamed.

X-Plane 11.40

Currently, in beta, X-Plane 11.40 has now 11, 811 Gateway airports and 11.40 will include 1,404 new 3D airports. Beta testing continues and will be released in full once that concludes.

As spoken about before, the new 11.40 will include better propwash swirl based on 4 different tech reports, delayed propwash over the tail, varied prowash across the disc and also control effectiveness improvements.

You can find out more about the new aerodynamics and changes in previous posts. A brief overview of what has changed in terms of flight modelling in 11.40 was shared.

  • Tripped Stall
  • Rotor bounce back
  • Per element thermals
  • Vertical wind profiles
  • Exhaust thrust in turboprops
  • Wake turbulence from AI planes
  • Better supersonic transition, area rule
  • Bing/body separation (T-Tails)
  • Seaplane / Improved water waves
  • Electric reverse and reg-genAfterburners/Reheat

X-Plane 11.50

Lots of new landmarks to be included with X-Plane 11.50, with Los Angeles and San Francisco being part of that.


They shared a brand new video of the MD-80 with new sounds applied. Every switch, knob and fan is modelled with high-quality sound effects. This also included engine sounds. Not sure when they will share the MD-80 sounds just yet.

All of these sounds are FMOD-Enhanced. Dynamic sound based on position, interior and exterior. It’s also based on real systems in the aircraft and mixing is applied dynamically for constantly varying and immersive sound experience. Makes a big difference for VR.

Vulkan & Metal

“Are we there yet????!!!!”

The porting checklist is going well compared to how it looked before.

“How fast is it?” – Marty

Philipp said that if the GPU is the bottleneck, Vulkan won’t make X-Plane faster. Vulkan is about making more modern GPUs work. Older GPUs won’t suddenly work more.

A few comparisons were shared and it was confirmed that Vulkan was consistently faster in their NVIDIA low, medium and extreme tests for frame rates. If you use an AMD graphics card, X-Plane with Vulkan then you will see significantly improved performance.

Another example was shared. RTX 2070, KSEA, B737 with extreme sliders. Vulkan and another improvement in the backend will improve performance even more than just the change from openGL to Vulkan. From 25 FPS to 35 FPS.

Mac AMD/OSX – Metal also saw big improvement. The graphics shared showed that there was a much more consistent performance with no stuttering.

Vulkan/Metal Compatibility

OpenGL version will not break add-ons.

Vulkan/Metal version can run 2-d UI and panels/cockpits unmodified. developer does not need to do anything to change.

An example of the ToLiss A319 was shared

When will we get it?

The only thing left is texture paging. Vulkan works great with lots of VRAM, but once ran out, the sim will crash. Laminar Research is working on texture paging to make sure it works well on systems with less VRAM. Have everything in VRAM in low-resolution and then when you need tosee if, the GPU will then change that for a high-resolution version. No stuttering, just giving you the best view.

Developers will get a preview this year.

The public in 2019, but not final in 2019. Quite a long beta for debugging all add-ons. Vulkan and Metal will come together in the same beta.



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Calum Martin
Calum has been an avid fan of Flight Sim since the release of FS2000 and has developed his love for aviation ever since.
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