The annual FlightSimExpo last weekend (June 7-9) was, compared to last year, relatively quiet in terms of X-Plane-related news and developments. That didn't mean the event was unpopular; more than 1,600 people attended to connect with others and share their love of flight simulation.
The weekend started on Friday 7th June, with news from Lebor Simulations and POSCON, as well as Laminar Research and a seminar of their World Editor and X-Plane.
Lebor Simulations had worked on their rendition of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, for more than two years, and released it to X-Plane users free of charge. Full details in the news article below.
Not long after, Positive Control Network, better known as POSCON, distributed their release schedule. The developer provided Threshold with a roadmap, stating that an open beta should be ready by the second quarter of 2020, with the network to be fully released sometime in the last quarter of 2020.
In addition, an FAQ and other information was provided, and you can check out full details here.
Laminar Research was the first developer to make notable X-Plane noise at FlightSimExpo, with their seminar on developing airports with World Editor (WED).
The seminar was presented by WED developer Michael Minnhaar, mega gateway airport contributor Jan Vogel, and finally Julian Lockwood, who keeps X-Plane's scenery gateway ticking.
If you wish to read more about the seminar, you can read about it here.
Saturday saw the main bulk of news from the expo, but not before JustSim interrupted with the release of another X-Plane airport: Palma de Mallorca.
Teaming up with Digital Design, the developer said it was the largest project they had undertaken to date. With two runways and dozens of airlines flying in, mainly seasonally, the airport is a huge destination for tourists wishing to soak up the sunshine.
See previews, pricing and more information in the news entry.
Then from Orlando, came the announcement of a major new development: The Skypark, by Parallel 42.
The teaser video that was released a few weeks beforehand had many simmers talking, but its announcement at FlightSimExpo detailed what exactly it is.
The Skypark is designed to be a subscription-based addon that allows rendered cargo to be transported from point A to B, with an intent of allowing users to rediscover long-forgotten airports they may no longer fly to. Combined with a persistent multiplayer world, The Skypark makes passenger and cargo transportation by air meaningful.
The Skypark is to be released for Prepar3D this summer, with an X-Plane version confirmed later at an undisclosed date. Get more information about Parallel 42's invention below.
Orbx were next up to make a presentation. The highlight was that TrueEarth Washington was said to be due in a few weeks, dubbed as the "most anticipated announcement of the year."
Not only this, but eight other airports were confirmed to be ported to X-Plane 11 over the coming months. London City airport was also formally announced as the airport that was teased with full Physically Based Rendered (PBR) textures some time ago.
All the X-Plane content you need to know regarding their presentation can be found here.
Then came the mosts anticipated presentation for X-Plane users, which was of course from Laminar Research.
Presented by Ben Supnik, Austin Meyer, Chris Serio and Phillip Ringler, the team went through four key points: X-Plane Mobile, X-Plane 11.35, Vulkan/Metal, and Ava.
X-Plane Mobile will now feature global scenery, with all 35,000+ airports that desktop users have access to, including those on the gateway.
X-Plane 11.35 is already in beta following its debut in the presentation. It introduced landmarks for Washington D.C and New York, upgrades default aircraft systems, adds FMOD sound sets for the 737-800 and C90, and another batch of gateway airport inclusions.
Vulkan and Metal, the next-gen rendering APIs, were also discussed. With the first performance tests and all major hurdles out of the way, Laminar Research hope to have them in beta by the end of this year, and stressed that it will be long so that third-party developers get the chance to adapt.
Austin also talked about X-Plane's role in BETA's eVTOL aircraft, Ava. Much of X-Plane's physics were demonstrated using Ava in X-Plane, with emphasis on the physics of propwash in particular.
For the full rundown of the presentation, check out a summary of their presentation here.
Nothing newsworthy emerged on Sunday from the event, although Laminar Research did conduct a VR landing competition with hardware up for grabs.
Meanwhile, Supercritical Simulations were not hesitant to show progress of the systems in their 747-8 V2, even if they were recorded on a mobile phone.
You can watch the videos in this article.
Then from FlightSimExpo, news of the event next year emerged: it will likely take place in Las Vegas, like it did in 2018.
No deal on venue has been secured yet. Additional details below.
The final news to come from Sunday was that of FSimStudios' Tocumen International airport, which was released for X-Plane with the help of Windsock Simulations.
The airport is located in Panama City, and has seen continuous growth in the real world. See further information in this news entry.
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