I know there are a number of questions here and also at YouTube, and I’ll get to them as soon as I can. But in the meantime, here’s a quick report on my new adventures with the X-Plane 11 beta:
- I’m pretty blown away. I used X-Plane for years on my Mac before using P3D for the Basement Sim, but with the immersive setup in the sim I’m really astonished by the look and feel of things. The UI is definitely first rate, and I just can’t get over how good and smooth everything is. Not seeing texture tiles resolve into a higher resolution is a very welcome thing in particular. Look out into the distance in XP-11 and it’s just a very different, and more realistic, feeling than it is in P3D, at least for me.
- I’m more blown away after downloading two add-ons meant to improve the default airport scenery in X-Plane: Prefab Airports (which put accurate taxiways and some buildings at thousands of smaller airports, including my local strip – which is important to me, because it was just a runway in the default scenery), and Airport Environments HD (which adds all sorts of realistic airport textures, much like REX Direct does in P3d). Airports look great now. And the price for these additions? Free. Welcome to the XP community.
- And I’m REALLY blown away after installing xEnviro. This is payware (and not cheap, at $69 US), but it injects realistic weather into X-Plane, and completely revolutionizes the cloud system. And if there is one thing that XP is weak at out of the box, it’s weather. But I’ll tell you, the first time xEnviro loaded my local weather I said, “Holy #x$5!” It looked just like outside my window. And get this: ZERO frame rate hit, at least for me. Astonishing.
Tonight’s mission is to get my Saitek panels working correctly. SPAD.neXt now has X-Plane support, but it’s been crashing on me, so I’m going to try some other options. I’ll report back, and as soon as I’m able, I’ll post how I got the visuals right, as I know some of you are waiting for that. But in the meantime, I think X-Plane 11 is a winner, and candidly, I can’t believe it’s a beta. The final product should be world class indeed.