X-Plane 12 development update

We’ve got a new status update from Laminar Research providing us a wide-ranging update on the status of X-Plane 12 and where most of the content is at while they work towards release. There’s also some new screenshots and some hints towards release. Let’s have a look!

Early access plans

The first part of the update is focused on early access and it comes with some key points. First, everyone will be able to purchase X-Plane 12 during early access and the pricing will be the standard $59.99 USD. During early access, X-Plane 12 keys will also include X-Plane 11 access.

Surprisingly, Laminar will offer continue to offer the sim on DVD. This release for X-Plane 12 will be available later on when its out of early access. These will be sold via X-Plane.com in North America and Aerosoft in Europe.

Status updates

We also have a point by point status update for the in-development sim. We’ve learned that the flight model is in final testing, the weather engine is largely complete, the overhaul of the ATC system is complete, as is most of the aircraft in the new X-Plane 12 fleet.

The global scenery update has some notable updates working their way in. Rain and snow shaders for airports and scenery is complete while the team are continuing to work on importing data for the new scenery package and generating titles. There’s a note saying that the import process by itself takes several days for the team to do so it is an involved process.

The team are also keen to ensure that ortho packages installed for X-Plane 11 work well in X-Plane 12.

We know that users have all sorts of ortho photo packs that they are using currently in X-Plane 11. Our goal is to maintain compatibility as much as possible.

Still in progress are 3D tree performance, coastline and beach scenery, 3D wakes for boats and seaplanes, and finishing up geographically aware water colours. They are still tuning some elements of the volumetric cloud system, performance tuning, and third party API components among other updates.

All in all it sounds like Laminar have progressed well with their project and that the number of to-do items is beginning to shrink.

The fleet

X-Plane 11 boasts a massive list of available third party aircraft that often make up the heart and soul of the X-Plane experience. Laminar still like to launch with their own small fleet of aircraft while usually pulling in some aircraft from their previous launch.

According to this status update, the SR22, R22, Citation X, RV-10, and PA-18 are all completed members of the fleet. The A330 is also apparently ready but there are some additional features on the way and Laminar are reportedly interested in doing a custom Airbus FMS for it.

Their military aircraft entry, the F-14 Tomcat, is also still being worked on with liveries and finalizing autopilot and cockpit details.


Several new screenshots were released and here they are!

Looking pretty good! Looking forward to seeing more of the finished scenery.

Read the full update right here!


4 Comments Add yours

  1. 1_Robert_ says:

    Thanks for the update Shamrock. I’ve really wanted MSFS to work for me but improperly modelled weathervane effect and fuel mixture have killed it for me. You most never need left rudder on takeoff roll in a Cessna 172 but yet you often need it in the game. A mild right crosswind shouldn’t do that.
    With some ortho scenery, xplane12 will definitely be worth a try.


  2. Linus Kuplast says:

    I appreciate the update! You have the best blog out there Shamrock.
    For those of us who are fans of the Tomcat, it should be noted that the “Playboy Bunny” was never adorned the F-14D. VX-4 was long gone by the time the D was painted and the squadron was by then renamed as a detachment of VX-9. VX-4 had been decommissioned.
    So while Laminar has the overall paint job correct for the F-14D iteration of “Vandy 1”, the bunny is incorrect for that airframe. Only the “A” model of the Tomcat (now posted on a stake at the front gate of Pt. Mugu) carried the famous logo of VX-4 after inheriting it from the original F-4.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Appreciate the kind words Linus!

      Good notes on the scheme there. I hope that the Laminar Research folks are doing their homework on the schemes that ship with the Tomcat.


  3. Glide says:

    At first I thought you had mixed in a screenshot from MSFS because I just flew VX-9 with the bunny on DC Designs F-14 a minute before reading your article! XP12 is looking great! Thank you for the great coverage of the flight sim community!


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