All posts by Richard Benedikz

X-Plane 11 on Final

Laminar Research has announced X-Plane 11 is out of beta testing and is now a full official release.

The team said it is now working on more improvements and features for the first free update. And this month Laminar Research is on a mission to get top notch Gateway submissions for the world’s busiest airports, along with regular tips and add-ons.

The latest submissions include:

  • ZGSZ Shenzen Baoan International by artist anthony_d
  • YMML Melbourne by artist pikitanga
  • KJFK John F. Kennedy by artist Connor Russell

KJFK is already shipping with X-Plane 11, but the others will be coming in future updates.

X-Plane 11 features new aircraft, scenery, and 3-D airports.  This new version also incorporates the newest technology available in computing and graphics processing, resulting in breathtaking visual and dynamic effects.

Some of the major features include:

  • New intuitive user interface and control setup
  • Completely overhauled aircraft fleet with detailed documentation, plus multiple new aircraft
  • High-resolution exteriors and detailed 3-D cockpits for many aircraft
  • New global auto-gen scenery with both European and North American details
  • The latest road placement and global scenery from open street map are included
  • Now with over 3000 airports with 3-D buildings & airport scenery
  • Airports are now populated with dynamic, driving service vehicles and static and dynamic aircraft.
  • New rendering engine for enhanced lighting and water effects
  • Updated weather and atmospheric effects
  • Enhanced performance from the modern 64-bit engine

X-Plane 11 is available to purchase through Steam and DVDs will be coming shortly. You can also buy pro-use USB keys and digital downloads.

New Cheyenne Touches Down

The PA31T Cheyenne II by Carenado is now available for FSX and Prepar3D.

Included in the package are five HD liveries and a blank livery for creating custom artwork, while the virtual cockpit features realistic night lighting, the Carenado GNS530, although it is also compatible with the Flight1 GTN 750 and Reality XP GNS530(only for FSX).

As with their other products, the Cheyenne features volumetric props, HD 4096 x 4096 textures and a panel for controlling windows transparency, instrument reflections, Cold & Dark startup and static effects such as wheel chocks.

New features include 32-bit PT6A engine audio effects, take-off run and landing rolling movement, custom brakes sounds on taxi and landing, over-torque failure simulation and new 3D Pilots that can be turned on or off.

Documentation includes normal / emergency checklists, performance and reference tables, PA31T performance tables along with Avidyne Multifunction Display and Carenado GNS530 manuals.

Click here for the Carenado website

LOWI Unleashed

Innsbruck Airport (LOWI) is a destination that needs no introduction, famous for jaw-dropping backdrop and heart-stopping approaches.

The package, released by Orbx, was developed by Jarrad Marshall (previous releases include: KPSP/KEGE/KMRY/KJAC/KSEZ/YBCS).  This is his first European destination and is largest coverage area by Orbx to date.  You can explore the peaks and glaciers of the Austrian Alps, the picturesque Inn, Wipp and Stubai Valleys, the historic Brenner Pass and even Germany’s tallest mountain, Zugspitze.  More than a dozen towns and villages dot the Tyrolian landscape, and the city of Innsbruck has been created in immaculate detail.

You will see airlines competing for space alongside corporate hi-flyers, rescue and leisure helicopter crew, general aviation flyers, recreational glider pilots and even frequent Red Bull visitors? Try your hand at the infamously tricky Runway 08 approach, test your aircraft’s performance with a mid-summer departure, or explore the hidden valleys from one of the five bonus heliports.


Ultra-detailed rendition of LOWI

2500sq km coverage area at 1m/60cm/30cm with 10m DEM

Five additional heliports including LOJO, LOIU, LOJT, LOIN

Over 160+ Landmarks and POI in coverage area

30km of animated train routes

Custom HD GSE exclusive to Innsbruck

Crisp 2048 textures for priority buildings

Highly detailed and AI-ready APX by Graham Eccleston

Advanced AO, rendering and night lighting techniques

City centre and many other focus areas in high detail

Over 20 custom bridges and overpasses

All-new static aircraft types unique to Innsbruck Airport

Huge extended coverage area 275km diameter

Painstakingly optimised for best performance across all sims

Click here for the Orbx website

San Diego Out Now

ORBX has released a new destination for FTX Southern California, KSAN San Diego International Airport.

Designed to work with FTX SoCal, Global Base or openLC NA this airport is a must have and is an exciting debut for Matteo Veneziani featuring huge photoreal coverage of the entire San Diego Metropolitan area.

The package comes with improved airport textures and ground polygons, hundreds of POIs as well as helipads on skyscrapers and even a hospital.

San Diego Airport has been recreated with a highly rendered reconstruction of with animated jetways

This busy single-runway airport is situated in San Diego County adjacent to the Mexican border. It sits in San Diego harbour, next to the bay, close to central business district.

Note KSAN is compatible with FTX openLC NA and FTX Southern California.

Click here for the Orbx website

Navigraph to Introduce Jeppesen Charts

In the next version of Navigraph Charts, all chart data will be provided by Jeppesen!

According to Navigraph, the new Jeppesen charts format will add many benefits and enable additional functionality requested by users to the Navigraph Charts software.

First and foremost, the coverage will dramatically increase to 6,784 airports. This is the most comprehensive coverage available.

Secondly, with the Jeppesen chart format we can now offer charts in a darker night mode colour scheme.

Thirdly, since Jeppesen charts are generally geo referenced and true-to-scale, Navigraph will be able to place an overlay (“moving maps”) on top of the charts, aiding situational awareness during a flight.

Charts and NavData from One Source

Navigraph Charts will also contain enroute charts that are dynamically rendered based on Jeppesen NavData. Using Jeppesen as a provider for all data will ensure synchronized information between airport charts, enroute charts, addon data formats, and any other data displayed in Navigraph apps and software. The enroute charts will also, to a great extent, use the symbology of the enhanced SID and STAR chart format. Chart updates will follow the regular 28-day AIRAC cycle.

User Preference
In addition to the user requested features that were technically made available through the Jeppesen chart format, the change to Jeppesen is also based on the results of our user survey where a majority of 2,200 participants reported being the most familiar with Jeppesen charts, and preferring the Jeppesen format among four different chart formats.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is there a release date?
A: Not yet, but it will be soon. The new apps are in beta testing.

Q: Will these new products affect pricing?
A: The final pricing has not yet been released. We do not anticipate a significant change from the current pricing.

Q: Will you honour my current subscription?
A: Yes, all current Charts and Ultimate subscriptions will be honoured in full also after the release of the new system.

Q: Will we also be able to access the previous chart format?
A: The new apps will only have Jeppesen charts.

Q: Will all charts have night mode versions?
A: Yes.

Q: Jeppesen is in the process of enhancing the SID and STAR charts as per Will you provide these?
A: Yes.

Q: Will all charts be geo-referenced?
A: Many charts, but not all. In general, approach charts and ground/taxi charts are geo-referenced. In addition, the enhanced SID and STAR charts (as per above) will also be geo-referenced.

Q: Will you provide both IFR and VFR charts?
A: Currently Navigraph will only provide IFR charts.

Rotate MD-80 1.3 Pro Released

The updated MD-80 is a accurate replica of the MD-88 variation featuring more advanced systems simulation .

The new version is compatible with X-Plane 11 beta and has lots of new features, including HOLD and PROGRESS MCDU pages and mousewheel support for X-Plane 10.51+

New additions include:

  • All switches and knobs are animated
  • New Custom sounds
  • Precise flight model and fine tuned engine performance
  • Developed with the advice and counseling from MD-80 licensed pilots
  • Works great on all three platforms: Windows, Mac and Linux

Custom Flight Management System (FMS) and Automatic Flight

  • Route, departures and arrivals procedures (SIDs and STARs)
  • Custom LNAV and VNAV. Climb, cruise and descend management with altitude and speed restrictions. ARINC424 instructions support
  • Save and load route to/from text file
  • Performance management, with complete VNAV profile calculation, including T/C, T/D, and time, fuel and altitude predictions
  • Takeoff and approach speed management
  • Custom Navigation Display with curved transitions and MAG/TRU operation
  • DFGC, Thrust Rating management (EPR modes) and Flight Mode Annunciator
  • Aerosoft NavDataPro (2016) included (for updated database third party subscription is needed)
  • DIRECT TO page
  • LEGS page with RTE DATA page
  • CLIMB page with CLB DIR function
  • DESCENT page with SPEED/PATH, DES NOW and DES DIR modes
  • Complete HOLD functionality with entry pattern calculation and Present POS
  • PROGRESS pages with pilot selectable waypoint
  • PERF page with BURN SCHED, WIND/TEMP corrections and calculated remaining fuel

Detailed simulation of systems

  • WX/TCAS with TA/RA advisories
  • Power plant: accurate PW-JT8D-219 model, Fuel Distribution, Heat and Quantity Indication, Automatic Reserve Thrust
  • Electrical: Power Generating and Distribution, APU, Battery Charger, Emergency Power Supply
  • Hydraulics: Rudder and Elevator HYD/MAN operation, GPS, Reversers and Brakes accumulators
  • Air: Pneumatics, Air Conditioning and Distribution, Pressurization
  • Slat/Flap controls with Dial-a-Flap control
  • Takeoff Condition Computer
  • Complete Engine Fire Detection and Extinguishing simulation.
  • Simulated Tests: DFGC, Altitude, Engine Fire, APU Fire, GPWS, Windshear, Flight Recorder, Voice Recorder, TCAS, Brake Temp, Stall, Anti-Skid, LED/Annunciators.

Hyper-realistic visuals

  • Highly detailed 3D cockpit, passenger cabin and exterior model
  • Normal and specular maps for enhanced detail
  • Thorough HD day and night textures
  • Accurate animations, including wing flex animation
  • All external and internal lights


  • A set of ten ultra-high resolution liveries, including a paintkit

Custom sounds

  • 3D sound engine with stereo and doppler effects
  • High quality multi-layered engine sounds
  • Wind and control surfaces sounds
  • Cockpit ambient and custom alerts

New XpressSim Products For Spain Released

Scenery Solutions and Flight1 have released 3 new, major cityscapes for Spain.  This includes the beautiful port cities of Barcelona ($5.95), Valencia ($4.95) and Malaga ($4.95).

In the last few weeks, they have also released the coastal Texas resort area of South Padre Island and Port Isabel, including KPIL airport.  There have now been 25 products released for since the initial XpressSim launch back in December 2016.

All XpressSim products are priced between $2.95 and $5.95 each, making them very affordable options for such detailed and unique scenery.  All XpressSim products include custom TexturePhoto terrain with full seasonal support, custom buildings in their real world locations and much more !

To find out more about XpressSim products, along with the free scenery areas available for download, please see their support forum or visit the XpressSim page at the Scenery Solutions site.

XpressSim Software Download (free samples available)

Rio Overhauled

Version 2 of Rio de Janeiro/Galeo International Airport (SBGL) is now available on

The package is a highly detailed representation of Rio de Janeiro, home to the famouse ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue that overlooks the city.

Features include updated runways and taxiways along with a new Pier South Terminal, boarding bridges and jetway textures.  Various animations have also been added such as graound traffic and people and aircraft.


  • New Floor and Layout Pier South
  • New Layout Solo TPS1 / TPS2
  • New Layout Patio Loads Terminal
  • New Texture of the Patio Floor and Taxiways
  • New Track Texture 15/33 and 10/28
  • Added South Pier Solo Service.
  • Patio Lighting Adjustment
  • Performance Tuning
  • Orthophoto textures and Occlusion environment
  • The Christ the Redeemer statue is included in this scenery package
  • Custom Runways, ground and taxiways textures
  • 3D Grass, based on the lawn type found at Rio Airport
  • Auto Gate Ready
  • AutoGate Plugin by Marginal (included in the package)
  • Using Ground Traffic by Marginal
  • Modeled Underpass under runways M and N (Bridges)
  • Customized Approach Lights Systems – ALS
  • Night texture and HDR lighting
  • Construction work on current expansion is included
  • Charts


New Seattle on the way

Drzewiecki Design have said its next project will be Seattle, WA.


  • Large scenery area, from KPAE Paine Field to KSEA Tacoma (not included but fully compatible with T2G’s version)
  • Detailed Seattle City model with plenty of landmarks, harbours, seaplane bases etc.
  • Very detailed sceneries of 3 airports in the area – KPAE, KBFI and KRNT (they may become a separate product – this is not decided yet)
  • Some amazing structures with Avatar-friendly interior modelling (Space Needle’s observation deck or Boeing Everett Factory Assembly Building for example)
  • Extras like Microsoft HQ, photoreal Mount Rainier with 1/9 arc second mesh and much more
  • Very advanced optimization and VAS management

According to the developer, the release date is expected to be this year.