Week Highlights: Toronto City, Atlanta, PocRoc, Milviz PR debacle again & more

Peter Tram
Sunday, March 24, 2019

Ohhh yes! It’s that time of the month again. Where developers seem to fear the end of the month and scramble to publish major news, the next week being the final week before the first of April. Sit in tight for a long ride, let’s get straight to it:

The following Monday brought X-Plane users a much anticipated first Service Pack for Active Sky XP: SP1, bringing better and more accurate turbulence modelling and several new features and bug fixes. Read more about the major update here and how to get it: LINK

On the same day, our friends at ShortFinal Designs decided to wow us all with an impressive set of new previews of the upcoming SFD Global product. Showcasing several new models in more locations, featuring autogen in New England, North Africa and Scandinavia. This represents an even wider coverage of architectural styles. This, combined with the photographic based ground textures will bring an interesting spicy duel between SFD’s product and Orbx’s equivalent “Orbx Global”. Visit this link for previews and more information: LINK

The next day on the 19th, High Sky Tech follows in HiFi’s footsteps and release a service pack for their own weather add-on: xAmbience. Service Pack 1 also brings a plethora of new features and bug fixes like Hifi’s first major update. One of the notable features is a complete re-working of the plugin's internals intended to boost performance on lower-end systems. Read more here: LINK

Terraformers of X-Plane Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini has unveiled their latest project, a detailed reproduction of Berner Oberland Park. Situated in the Swiss alpine, the scenery covers an area of around 500 square kilometres, including the peaks of Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. See more previews and information here: LINK

March 20 is where the tea begins to pour in: bringing a flurry of major news from both sides of the X-Plane development spectrum. The day is greeted with Nimbus posting new WIPs of their upcoming Atlanta Intl. Airport [LINK]and RWY26 Simulations also posting new images of their upcoming Miami Intl. Airport: LINK

On the aircraft side of things, SSG has published a new video of the landing gear animation on their CRJ series currently in progress, the team has progressively been posting minor updates about the aircraft, visit this link for more information: LINK

HotStart is…*sigh* off to an equally hot start with a new update for the TBM 900, also fixing, tweaking, and refining numerous bugs, most notably fixes to the rain rendering script: LINK

And a piece of “small but big” news for ToLiSS, the team has announced that they’ve purchased and joined Airbus’s Licensed Product initiative, approving the product’s legitimacy and authenticity against the real aircraft. No update is associated with this announcement, product naming remains unaltered except now the team has the approval to utilise Airbus’s naming, graphics and branding on their products. It will be interesting to see the future of the FlightFactor A350: LINK

Thursday continue the wave of news, albeit less intense than the day before. An up and coming aircraft team called RuSky Group and announced their very first product, the Yak-52! A Soviet trainer aircraft that first flew in 1979, and was piloted by pilots of the USSR, Russia and other countries. LINK

Serial scenery converters Windsock Simulations has pushed an impressive major update to their recently released Lisbon scenery, delivering better PBR and textures and SAM support for Jetways. LINK

And later on, in our first coverage of flight sim hardware - Honeycomb Aeronautics has uploaded images of production samples in Shenzhen, China. The images showcase the Bravo Throttle Quadrant, which includes autopilot and annunciation panel, with interchangeable throttle handles (and functional reverse thrusters): LINK

And to end Thursday on a sweet note, FlyJSim has pushed new information about their hotly anticipated Q4XP rendition of the Q400 currently in development, the previews displaying the new modelling and textures which takes advantage of X-Plane 11’s PBR rendering. Most definitely the regional propliner to wait for: LINK

Friday is the day that another one of our friends at Vertical Simulations has pushed out a major update to their TF Green airport product, with brand new orthoimagery and ground textures. To much applause, the community has appreciated that the developer continued to make strides in constantly improving their products: LINK

Later in the day, Skyline Simulations has released their Toronto Bishop Airport rendition, covering the CBD of Toronto and the airport in exquisite detail. Long will the community finally have an up-to-date detailed Bishop airport, the last properly developed recreation being from ISDG back for X-Plane 10 LINK

IXEG has finally issued a sign of life and has provided a brief update on the happenings within the team. Complementing their unofficial update they written months ago, the update confirms that progress on an update is kept at a minimum at most due to the developers real life commitments - but is slowly getting back to planning on how to approach updating the aircraft as of recently: LINK

In the same house, another X-Aviation vendor has finally released its first aircraft! TorqueSim, the joint venture between AFM and Attitude Simulations has finished their Pocket Rocket and is now on shelves in X-A. A welcoming treat to GA and Sports Plane pilots, the PR is a heavily modified Impulse 100 and was in active development for many months: LINK

And on Saturday, Laminar Research has provided a brief update on Vulkan integration to X-Plane and its suite of development tools. The team has noted that PlaneMaker and AirfoilMaker have transitioned to Vulkan easily all smoothly running on Linux, MacOS, and Windows. Not so much so on X-Plane itself, but it is progressing - there is a catch being that Vulkan runs on X-Plane up to the main menu: LINK

On the same day, SimCoders has announced a partnership with the developers behind FSEconomy, the two parties integrating their respective economy systems together with a new Beta update for REP users: LINK

Finally, the last and most controversial news of all - MilViz has launched a donation campaign on Kickstarter for X-Plane users to support the development costs of supporting X-Plane. The latest in a string of backwards-and-forwards behaviour from MilViz as they weigh up the cost involved in porting the turboprop airliner to X-Plane. Milviz has repeatedly updated their stance on user’s return on investment - originally not giving a copy or discount to those who contributed to the donation. Following the backlash, MilViz has issued a retraction and is now stating that a pledge to the campaign now earns you a free copy of the aircraft, after earlier claiming it did not. Read the full story: LINK Earlier in the week, MilViz has also cryptically posted new previews of ATR liveries, the only in-sim screenshots being in X-Plane 11: LINK


That’s all for this week!

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Happy flying - and have a wonderful day!

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