X-Plane Soars to Version 8
7:49 AM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story
General aviation sims may come and go on the Mac, but X-Plane, the highly extensible GA sim from Laminar Research, is still chugging along, now at version 8.0.1 (version 8.0 was never publicly released). The new version includes a laundry list of new features, of which the most notable follow.
The biggest change in version 8 is the new scenery capabilities. Says Austin Meyer, creator of the sim, "We are designing a completely new scenery format, providing a totally disordered, adaptive set of polygons to fit any terrain... Countless buildings and other landmarks are overlaid on the terrain using adaptive algorithms that fit the buildings to actual street-maps, resulting in neighborhoods that actually follow REAL roads". Along with new scenery flexibility comes flexibility for aircraft designers, who will enjoy an expanded number of options for perfecting their aircraft's shape and structure. In addition, gamers will appreciate the new 3D cockpits and better graphics from low-Earth orbit. The complete list is extensive (as with all of X-Plane's major releases) and is available at the X-Plane website.
Soon to follow will be the release of the version 8 scenery, which updates the global scenery to take advantage of the new scenery engine.
X-Plane is a modular, customizable general-aviation flight simulator that allows pilots to take many kinds of aircraft to the sky (or design their own). X-Plane includes aircraft from the Cessna 172 to the screamin' X-15, and includes normal, orbital, and Mars flight.
Download X-Plane 8 Demo (342 MB; BitTorrent)
Buy X-Plane 8
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