Laminar opened their presentation with the progress that they have made on scenery in X-Plane. First, they updated us on the state of the X-Plane Scenery Gateway project. Airports coming from the Gateway are looking much more impressive with Laminar's recent release of terminal kit, a way for Gateway airport authors to customize terminals in their airports. Next, they gave us previews of new autogen to be included with X-Plane 11.30. This autogen added objects like warehouses, stores, and other buildings to make the X-Plane world more diverse but also added clutter to make the X-Plane world more detailed.
After Laminar was done with the scenery portion of the presentation, Austin gave his normal run down of everything that he had been developing on the flight model side of things. There wasn't anything that was ground breaking but there was mainly infrastructure included in planemaker to help out aircraft authors. There will also be an option to toggle Austin's new findings using a button in X-Plane's settings (this might break your addon aircraft though... so be careful).
After Austin's flight model findings, Phillip came up to talk about systems. Over the past year Phillip has been working on oxygen systems, anti-Ice and de-Ice, propeller governors, and autopilots in both GA aircraft and airliners. All of this was very impressive. He worked on many different types of these systems. For example he has models for electric, bleed air, TKS, and pneumatic boot anti-ice systems. Also notable was his work on autopilots. He created a custom dual/triple channel autopilot system. This means that airliners will have the autopilot capability by default which is something that has never been done in a flight sim out of the box. If what he described is accurate then this is probably the most detailed autopilot simulation that we have seen in any sim, ever. Altogether, Phillip's work will benefit the sim as a whole. But most importantly it will benefit aircraft developers. Developers will be able to implement these awesome systems straight into their aircraft. In the end, this will save them a lot time and resources.
Laminar closed their presentation with arguably the most exciting new feature, a new particle system. This particle system is set to ship with X-Plane 11.30. This incredible new feature replaces all of the smoke, dust, fire, and visual heat distortion effects with brand new ones that are much more realistic. Not only have the textures changed, but also the physics of these particles. Fire rises and burns at the correct rate, dust falls at the correct rate and direction, and more. Everything is dynamic also. For example, the wind will blow dust or smoke in the proper direction depending on how fast the wind is blowing. Also, they have made all of this easy for developers to integrate into their products.
All of these exciting features listed above are set to be included with X-Plane 11.30!