Laminar Research Provides X-Plane 12 Development Update

A detailed look at what needs to be complete before public early access starts for X-Plane 12.

Laminar Research has taken to their blog to give a bit more insight on how things are progressing with X-Plane 12. The next-generation flight simulator is advancing nicely and the “Early Access” release is inching closer.

During the “Early Access” phase, everyone who wants to will be able to purchase X-Plane 12. It will be a digital key, and as already confirmed, those who buy X-Plane 12 during this period will also get access to X-Plane 11 also. Laminar Research also confirmed that X-Plane 12 will cost $59.99 and that the early access version will also be available on Steam. Those looking for a DVD version will need to wait until X-Plane 12 is out of this phase.

In terms of how progress is going, Laminar Research provided a look at what things are in progress and what’s left to do before the public can get access to X-Plane 12. Below is a summary of each of those areas.

Flight Model

The flight model is currently in the final phases of testing. Austin is currently working on a post that will provide an overview of the changes that have been made with X-Plane 12.

World Features/Global Scenery

At present, both rain and snow shaders for airports and global scenery is complete. Performance for 3D trees is in progress, along with orthophoto compatibility. In terms of what is left to do, the team are working on implementing geographically-aware water colours.

Laminar Research Provides X-Plane 12 Development Update

Airport Features

The airport element of X-Plane 12 appears fairly complete. Animated jetways are ready, as are new ground vehicles, FMOD sounds and many new static aircraft. Electric buses are in development.

Aircraft Fleet

Various new aircraft are ready for X-Plane 12; the SR22, the R22, the Citation X, the RV-12 and the PA-18. The F-14 needs a few liveries to be completed and finalize autopilot behaviour. Finally, there’s news that the A330 is complete, but Laminar Research is working on a custom Airbus FMS.

Weather Engine

The weather engine is “largely complete”. Real-world weather is injected, along with new rain/snow accumulation. New 3D volumetric clouds are also ready to go. That said, there are a few bugs with the clouds to resolve as well as creating a third-party API. Performance tuning is also underway with the weather engine.

ATC

The ATC UI is complete and VR users will be pleased to know that it is fully supported. VFR operations are currently in testing but is now complete.

Laminar Research Provides X-Plane 12 Development Update

Rendering

The final element mentioned in the blog is all about the rendering engine. Right now, the anti-aliasing and projection warping is complete. However, there are still performance improvements globally that need to be completed.

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Calum Martin
Content Director
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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