A lot. If you check out the official changelog, you will find 73 entries spread across the 4 patches that were released for the X-Rotors AW109.
If you have read my review of the X-Rotors AW109, you’ll notice I found quite a few issues, some of which have been addressed in the patches.
A side note: In case you missed it, X-Rotors started their own Discord Server. How is this relevant? It is because it created a more direct communication path to the team, which is a lot more open now, and closer to their fanbase and customers than ever before. That is quite a welcoming change. I believe developers need to interact more with their community.
While doing that, X-Rotors got more people engaging and providing them help as well as testing and giving them direct feedback, which is always good and much needed.
The main differences
There are quite a few differences (73 of them as you can see above) but I will be covering only those that I find to be most important. Especially the ones that I have addressed in my review.
X-Rotors got rid of the rotor flexing issues and the sounds are much, much better now. It now sounds like a completely different helicopter. Not only the sound quality seems better, but the volumes are also fixed as well.
System-wise, the over-torque problems with the single-engine operations are gone. The running engine no longer over-torques immediately. I no longer plunged to my death either as the engine shut down, so that is fixed!
The flight model is a lot better as well. I still find there are some issues, and you can still do 360-degree rolls, but the “on-rails” feeling is gone and the AW109 feels a lot more like what a helicopter should feel in a sim.
Pitch control is better but there are still significant differences between pitch and roll, so expect to find them.
Autorotations are now more manageable as well and I could get away with some crazy stuff.
The weird stuff
There’s something that I mentioned in my review that I need to revisit again as I still am having that issue. When hitting the ALT, VS or IAS buttons on the autopilot, the AW109 still wants to fly level, even if I’m in a bank. If I try to bank again, it goes back to flying level, which shouldn’t happen.
X-Rotors was finally able to replicate the issue, which seems to be happening only on Windows and they already added the fix to the changelog for the next version. I will check it out once again, as soon as that version is out.
The CAS issue
On my review I also mentioned something on the features list that I wasn’t very happy about:
Custom CAS advisories, cautions and warnings *
* Due to an xLua bug (XPD-10211) also affecting the 747-400, CAS isn’t visible on Windows until X-Plane 12 beta 1”
X-Rotors indicated that, since they are unaware of when Laminar Research may have a fix (or release X-Plane 12), they are already working on developing a CAS from the ground up.
The AW109 has been going through some major changes and, with the help of the community, X-Rotors has been improving it over time. They’re not done with it yet, and it seems like there’s a lot more work ahead which will only improve the model.
Due to all the changes being done to the model, I had to revisit it and let you know about those said changes and what I think about them.
The helicopter behaves very differently, systems were improved and, despite still having some issues with it, it became much more pleasant for me to fly it.
I went back to the review and have updated my rating. I have also included an image with the previous score so you can compare the evolution.
X-Rotors has been doing a great job listening to the community and improving the model. I am thrilled to see them in action and cannot wait to see what the future will bring to their AW109.