X-Plane 12 - R22

After five years of development, a beta program and a few Release Candidates, X-Plane 12 reached what Laminar Research considers, its final version. Well, at least its final first version as we know the team is always updating and improving the sim – and fixing issues.

This has not been a peaceful release with a lot of members in the community complaining about what it is – and what they think it should be. Despite the huge amount of work Laminar Research had to bring this new version to life, there is a portion of the community that doesn’t seem to grasp what has been done. Very probably because they were expecting some kind of “response” to Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Which they shouldn’t expect anyway. Laminar Research doesn’t usually “respond” to anything. They do what they think it’s the best for the sim based on their vision, not on other products.

The amount of work is demonstrated in the summary the company itself makes of the version:

“Our work with X-Plane 12 included a complete rewrite of many aspects of the simulator to enable next-generation realism – included are volumetric 3D clouds, updated flight model physics, a photometric lighting engine based on physics and the human eye, a reimagined weather engine and new 3D forests, vegetation and water.”

This is not to say this release is without issues. There are still users reporting performance issues, especially with VR but that is something I would expect Laminar Research to continue to work on as the sim evolves.

You can read the official release notes here and download the demo here.