Active Sky XP - What we know

Sam Clark
Monday, September 17, 2018

It is one of 2018's most anticipated X-Plane addons and- it is coming soon! From successful roots on ESP platforms and with products such as ASP4 and ASCA, Hifi Sims have made the made the journey to X-Plane and are expected to release their first product for the sim, ASXP, in Q4 this year.

The Debut

X-Plane users have speculated for a considerable amount of time on popular P3D developers making the jump to the relatively new platform, one such developer being Hifi. The "dream come true" moment occurred in early June 2017 when Hifi confirmed the existence of Active Sky XP in a presentation at FlightSimCon.

Little was heard from the developers for about a year until June 2018, when ASXP got a mention in the Hifi Summer Development Update.

"The main priority for us has been Active Sky for X-Plane, our first effort to provide an Active Sky experience on the X-Plane platform. ASXP’s initial design included several technologies and new concepts that we worked on for over a year before realizing that we needed to go back to the drawing board and re-work the design for an experience that provided high performance as well as great visuals while providing the kind of realism that our customers expect.

This redesign set us back quite a bit from our original estimate of completion. Currently we are looking at Q3 2018 Beta and Q4 2018 Release. Of course, these are only estimates and subject to change."

Developer Damian Clark talked of the first screenshots of ASXP were to follow shortly after the announcement, however those are yet to be seen.

ASXP's Prepar3D counterparts, AS16 + ASCA.

The Rumours

The line then ran quiet for the remainder of Q2 and the majority of this quarter until rumours surfaced that ASXP had entered beta stage at the start of September. The rumours are of course unconfirmed, however a photo emerged of a Hifi email to beta testers regarding ASXP and more affirmation that Active Sky "100% coming to X-Plane".

The leaked email header.

ASXP appears in Navigraph AIRAC 1810

In recent days, more news has come to light regarding Active Sky XP in the form of new AIRAC data compatible with ASXP. As some ESP platform users may note, Active Sky uses AIRAC data for flight planning - then AS generates more accurate weather along the planned route. For those unfamiliar, Navigraph provides aeronautical charts and FMS data in easy-to-install packages - and they may have inadvertently revealed that ASXP is coming within this AIRAC cycle.

The UI of Navigraph Charts.

Cycle 1810 was released on the 13th of September and as many beady-eyed users noticed, there is a package for Active Sky XP. At the moment this is just speculation, but it could mean that ASXP is on track for release this AIRAC cycle (ends 11 October 2018). Further speculation leads to a conclusion that this data may be destined for beta testers.

In summary, ASXP is coming soon. At the apparent rate of progress it looks to be on target for the predicted Q4 2018 release. In the meantime, keep an eye on the "Development News" section of the Hifi forum. Of course, Threshold will keep you posted on any developments from Hifi regarding ASXP.

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