X-Plane 12 is the latest generation of flight simulator from developer Laminar Research. After many previews and teasers of the release, the platform is now ready for Early Access purchase from the X-Plane official website.
X-Plane 12 promises next generation weather, lighting and environment including seasons and 3D sounds, as well as brand new aircraft to bring the platform in line with today’s standards.
New aircraft include the very first Airbus from Laminar, the Airbus A330, Cessna Citation X regional jet, Grumman F-14 Tomcat as well as the Cirrus SR22 and Robinson R22 to name a few. All new aircraft include brand new systems and are set to be the best default aircraft X-Plane has seen thus far. With the addition of new aircraft, the team has redesigned existing aircraft as well as improvements to aircraft systems too.
Changes to the X-Plane environment come in the form of a brand new lighting engine that uses new techniques in rendering a true HDR experience and a more true to life representation when flying. Additionally, for the first time ever on the platform, the team have introduced seasonal changes which takes real world information to determine the stage of seasonality in that part of the world. Environmental sounds have also been added, these dynamic sounds change dependant on time of day, weather and locale to deepen the immersion.
In terms of changes to weather, X-Plane 12 sees fully represented volumetric clouds and fog, 3D dynamic water that pools, freezes and evaporates from ground surfaces according to environmental factors. Aircraft windshields now benefit from default librain integration which displays 3D standing water on aircraft surfaces which reacts to flight model data such as prop wash and downwash.
Other features include all new water rendering which laps over the scenery, brand new autogen, updated flight models, 3D trees, an overhauled user interface as well as a brand new Air Traffic Control system which is now capable of VFR, IFR and other operations.
Although the platform is now available in the form of Early Access, it is worth mentioning that although most if not all features are now up and running, X-Plane 12 is still in developmental stages which will be subject to performance updates and bug fixes to ensure the platform is ready for full release.
If you would like to get your hands on X-Plane 12 Early Access, head over to the X-Plane website where you can purchase and download the new simulator for $59.99/£51.95/€60.35.
Photometric, HDR Lighting EngineThe 4D Weather EngineSeven New Aircraft – A330, Citation X, SR22, RV-10, PA-18, R-22, Lancair EvolutionVolumetric 3D CloudsSeasonal/Weather-Specific Visual Effects – Snow, Variable Vegetation, Ice and RainNew 3D Forests, Water, Vegetation