In a post on the Orbx forum, Orbx CEO John Venema has revealed a rough draft of their development plans for X-Plane airports and scenery.
Venema wrote about the recent success of Meigs Field and thanked the X-Plane community for supporting them in their X-Plane debut. He explained that the choice for starting with Meigs Field in XP11 was simple: Orbx had hired a contractor to port over the airport as part of their evaluation of XP11 and they were sitting on an almost complete product that needed about 20% more work to bring it ‘on par with other platforms’.
Venema went on to preview the next airport that Orbx is working on for X-Plane. In a first for XP11, Orbx is releasing Barton Manchester Airport (EGCB). Included screenshots show airport buildings, vehicles, and the surrounding countryside. Venema said that users can also expect 2 to 3 more Orbx airports in a ‘short while’.
Barton Manchester Airport (EGCB) Preview
The post also detailed what Venema called a ‘rough plan’ of their 2018 roadmap for XP11. The full list, included below, includes some interesting projects, including more ‘First-For-XP’ titles that may actually be ported back to P3D/FSX/AFS2. Also included in the post were some pre-alpha shots of a planned UK photoreal region.
- Hire more XP experienced developers to add to those already recently joined
- Port our most popular small to medium airports to XP11
- Potentially port some of our larger more complex airports and their attached ‘micro-regions’
- Develop a photoreal Pacific Northwest region
- Port the PNW airports across to establish a bush-flyer’s paradise
- Work with Ben Supnik and the guys at Laminar to try and add bone animations to the sim so we can add some Flow technologies
- Release more ‘first-for-XPlane’ titles (yes, we may end up porting XP airports back to FSX/P3D/AFS2)
- Port across our Netherlands photoreal region
- Investigate further US regions
- Investigate a UK photoreal region with ported and brand new airports
Pre-Alpha Orbx UK Exploratory Work
With a large list of exciting projects, Venema pointed out that Orbx has no plans to create Global, open LC, or Vector products for XP11 writing that a project of that size is too ambitious in scope for the platform. He also pointed out that due to the absence of seasons in XP11, and Orbx developers not being ‘up to speed’ with the XP11 internals, they have no plans to create land class-based regions.
Venema assured readers that these projects signal to the community that Orbx is committed to the XP platform, and that as they move into the role of a multi-platform flight simulation developer they still remain focused on their core sims (FSX/P3D). He also acknowledged the growing use of additional flight sim platforms like AFS2 and FSW, and said that it makes ‘good business sense’ to expand offerings to them.