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Thursday, January 2, 2003

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X-Plane Reaches Version 6.50
6:00 AM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

Prolific aviation-simulation developer Laminar Research has just finalized the latest update to their general-aviation flight simulator, X-Plane. The new version, 6.50, adds a number of user-requested features to the extensive simulator, as the website explains:


  • FINALLY! You can easily exchange custom scenery in a single folder! There is now a "Custom Scenery" folder which contains as many causton folders as you like.

  • New auto-gen type: FOREST... do MANY MORE TREES than possible with individual trees!

  • REILs now have strobes.

  • Some people got an uneasy feeling when half the cars on the road were cops or fire engines, sirens flashing... OK, now the emergency vehichles are more rare


  • Smoke from custom objects scales to the size... so cooling towers put out huge puffs, while little house chimneys put out less...

  • Cumulus puffs at the top of the thermals to help glider pilots find those thermals!

Flight Model Improvements

  • New afl format! Now you get raw columns of cl, cd, and cm for the entire range of -180 to 180 degrees!

  • Total foil performance can now be set!

  • Thanks to Yvves Cuttat we now have better control effectiveness accuracy and wing-stall and adverse yaw from sloppy control input espeicially at high-alpha.

  • Better computation of Oswalds Efficiency for drag and lift reduction.. this increases accuracy in the lift and drag slopes and efficiencies.

  • More accurate physics in the sideslip... The wing now has more induced drag thanks to a high effective span-loading.

  • New improved reverse-flow over the airfoils for those tailslides, helos, and autogyros

  • Enter the coeff of friction (rolling and max) for the tires in the landing gear section of Plane-Maker... get those friction coefficients perfect!

  • Ridge-lift is better... It tops out at a height above the mountains, not a height you specify in the thermals screen.

  • Go to the landing gear screen... you can now enter tghe SPRING CONSTANT for those nosehweels and tailwheels
    that have a SPRING LINKAGE to the rudder command input from the pilot...

  • Motorgliders with retractable props now possible!

  • Engine and prop RPM modelled seperately now to get those auto-gyro pre-rotates, helo clutches, helo auto-rotations, and helo engine-failures with needle-split on the tach just right.

  • Better mixture control... the airflow and fuel flow are both considered to get the EGT indications more accurate...

  • Helo flight model improvements... more efficiency as the baldes mover forwards into undisturbed air on the advancing hald of the rotor system.

  • You can specify which of each engine has a pylon.

General Enhancements

  • Better joystick support Mac OS-X... use more sticks and buttons and hat-switches.

  • New asi mode: aircraft pitch to hold speed!

  • Mixture on the turboprop is upper 25% for flight idle, lower 25% for shutoff, in the middle for ground idle.

  • ADF needle parks at 90 deg when no station is tuned.

  • 5000 logbook entries allowed (was 1000) and clear message to replace it when full (not scanning error).

  • As alway: more UDP IO: fuel pump, starters, generators, and inverters.

  • DME offset: DMEs now have an offset for some ILS DME uses.

  • Runway headings adjusted slightly for round-earth... World-Maker and X-Plane should be perfectly in sync now.

  • OBS now can control your heading to any GPS fix... select the OBS ANY panel instrument in plane-maker to get this.

  • Set press and temp to english or metric independently to suit the wxr data you havce access to.

  • Now you can specify what elements of what foils change incidence with thrust vector or even ailerons...
  • World-Maker: You can enter the airport or navaid name to get to it quick now.

  • Piston helo start is right.. there is a clutch you disengage for starting.

  • Winch and tow hooks for gliders: Enter position in Plane-Maker.

  • AI can now control the aircraft and the views seperately... they are both items in the Special menu.

Check out the new F-35 in the VTOL folder! Realistic lift fan and thrust-vectoring, just like the real plane... ONLY WITH X-PLANE! Not too bad!
New Instruments

  • New instrument: Speed trend line... an arrow that points up or down on the efis asi to indicate acceleration.

  • New button: Igniters. Leave them on for those turbopoprops if you want the engines running.

  • New instrument panel option: General Aviation IFR

  • New artificial horizon: electric. Now you can have both vacuum and electirc horizons, as well as vacuum DG's and electirc HSI's...

ATC Stuff

  • You are no longer limited to getting the weather by radio at ATIS... now AWOS is avail as well!

  • When you call for vectors to the tanker you get his heading and speed to help you plan your intercept.

In addition, version 6.50 includes a number of bugfixes. X-Plane is a very modular general-aviation simulator from Laminar Research, with a very great attention to detail and extensibility.

Laminar Research
X-Plane 6
X-Plane 6.50 Update
X-Plane 6.50 Demo/Full Version

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• X-Plane Reaches Version 6.506:00 AM
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