X-Plane flight simulator series has been with us for many years now, and from Version 9, we can say it has been a good competitor in the flight simulation market; for both PC/Mac home use and for professional flight simulation installations. Announced earlier this year was Version 10 of the X-Plane package. Version 10 will bring amazing new features such as better graphics, world environments and cockpit/flight functionality. While the full feature list hasn't yet been released by Laminar Research (the developers of X-Plane), we have cited some of the confirmed details from around the Internet.
Release Date and History
Before we get into the details of what we can expect in terms of functionality and improvements within X-Plane 10, we're going to talk a little about the release date and delay in getting this version to the market.
X-Plane Congress 2009
Back in 2009, X-Plane 10 was put onto the design table and many features were discussed within the team. Ideas from the community were taken into consideration using sources from forums, users comments and new ideas from the developers. At the X-Plane Congress 09, developers and members from X-Plane.org (an official X-Plane community forum and website) discussed some of the features to be included, or at least taken into consideration while developing v10.
At this congress, a transcript from X-Plane.org administrator Nicolas (who was present at the congress) noted the following points that were discussed:
- Better Scenery
- Integration of OSM (Open Street Map)
- Airport designer (an editor to quickly design your airport)
- Do not expect all airport terminals to be included by default in v10. with 20,000+ airport, this is virtually impossible . That's why LR will provide this tool so anyone can make their own local airport quickly. Sergio is the leader on this tool.
- Improved WED and meshtool
- Better weather
- Better default planes
- Dornier 328 - Sergio did a presentation on The Dornier 328. It will be highly detailed. From what we were shown, the cabin is completely modeled. All doors (including the bathroom door) are functional and can be open through manipulators.
- MD 80 - The MD80, also developed by Sergio, will be the new highly detailed airliner for v10
- Other planes will be selected
- Improved ATC (Also high on Austin's list)
- Speech recognition? (Austin likes the concept, Ben did frown on the idea)
- Technology will also drive new features. As computers become more powerful, the Laminar Research team can add more features to x-plane 10 .
- Version 9 is still the current version and will still be updated. Do not expect X-plane 10 within at least 24 months (my own estimation. Laminar Research will not give any date, don't even ask).
As you can see, many great features were to be considered to be included in version 10.
X-Plane 10 Delayed
A screenshot demonstrating a whole neighbourhood scenery in X-Plane 10. This shows the level of world scenery and environment detail you can expect from this release.
X-Plane was announced, on the official X-Plane website to be projected to be released on or around
December 2010, however this date has now changed because the development team are not happy with the release yet, and they feel that releasing this version early would not allow them enough time to include all of the functionality they would like; after all, this has now got to compete with Microsoft's next flight simulator package, Microsoft Flight - which Microsoft announced late 2010 due for release in 2011. As stated on the X-Plane website,
With all the new technologies we’re bringing together in X-Plane 10, we believe the new simulator will be a major new landmark in X-Plane’s history. We know how eager our fans are to see the finished product, but this delay will ensure that the product you see is one that will elevate X-Plane to an entirely new level. - meaning they want X-Plane 10 to be completely finished and complete before it's released to the general public.
The Actual Release Date
While this hasn't yet been announced, we are expecting to see X-Plane released Q2 or Q3 2011. This will be released around the same time as Microsoft Flight. Stay tuned here and the release date will be updated and announced when we have information from the official X-Plane developers.
We are covering most of the release right here and you can find out about the latest X-Plane news and information without searching the Internet. Some information on the release and preview videos can be found using the following links: