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Old 10-29-2012, 09:26 PM
Ryan Douglas's Avatar
Ryan Douglas Ryan Douglas is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 2,772
RealFlight version 6.50.011 is now public

RealFlight 6.5 is now a public release! See the full release notes below for more info.

Note that this update is cumulative. As long as you obtain it via the Launcher, you do not need to update to any earlier/in-between versions first. The LauncherHelper will need to restart partway through this process. Answer "Yes" when it asks if you want to continue downloading the new version. When this process is finished, you will have the latest available version of RealFlight 6.

Here are the big features in 6.5, followed by a list of smaller fixes:

More Realistic Lighting and Reflections
We have added things like Fresnel effect and image-based lighting to improve the overall appearance of aircraft, objects, and the terrain. Canopies look far more realistic. Shading is more refined, especially in areas that were previously too dark to see at all. Aircraft pick up some of the color of their surroundings, making them feel more like a part of the scene. These and other effects are subtle at times, but in general the appearance is now much more true to life.

Selecting a scenario loads a specific aircraft at a specific airport. RF6.5 includes 36 scenarios highlighting different elements of the simulator.

Welcome Dialog
On startup RealFlight displays a Welcome dialog that:
  1. Acts as a portal to the scenarios, aircraft, and airport quick select menus as well as the video player (more on that later)
  2. Lists the four most recently used aircraft (load one with a single click)
  3. Displays a useful tip of the day
  4. Replaces the tip with a helpful alert when your controller is uncalibrated or a new version of RealFlight is available
Easily close the dialog with a click of the mouse or the InterLink's reset button to start flying.

Video Player
RealFlight has a built-in video player! Goes great with:

Training Videos
We included a number of Features videos with the new video player, but the stars of the show are the Training videos. These are designed for people who are brand new to the hobby and don't know the first thing about airplanes/helicopters, their controls, or even what words like "aileron", "yaw", and "trim" mean. We want to do more to help total beginners who purchase RealFlight.

Graphics Quality Dialog
Tweaking individual graphics quality settings effectively requires more advanced technical knowledge than many users possess. This new dialog provides a simpler slider-based approach as well as preview images that show how each setting level looks. It also restarts the sim for you automatically if your graphics changes require it. (You can still fine tune all the same 6.0 properties in the Settings dialog.)

Controller Calibration Dialog
The old controller calibration dialog is completely replaced. It now has a new look and a functional radio display that responds as you move the controls.

Binocular Gadget
This gadget has a new borderless appearance with a vignette effect around the edges. The background color changes based on what is currently visible behind your aircraft, similar to what you would see when looking through actual binoculars. And the gadget automatically fades in and out when needed, based on how small your aircraft is getting in the main view. If you want to keep it on all the time, just pin it using the icon in the title bar.

On-Screen Camera Control
This control lets you easily cycle through the different cameras available: fixed, nose, chase, and any onboard cameras. The main viewport and the viewport gadget each have this control. Mouse over the bottom of the viewport, or just change cameras, to see it.

NavGuides Behavior
The Edit NavGuides dialog was overhauled to coincide with some new NavGuides behavior. For Vista and Windows 7 users, the items in the Edit dialog are grouped under headings. (The list appearance remains unchanged in XP.) The color options are simplified. The default set of items is updated. The biggest change, though, is automatic per-item visibility management. When this is enabled, only the NavGuides relevant to the currently loaded aircraft will be displayed. For example, Battery Remaining will display only for electric aircraft. Tail Rotor RPM will display only for helis. This means you can leave aircraft-specific items on all the time without cluttering the actual NavGuides display needlessly.

New Look for the User Interface
All the non-MFC user interface elements have a new, cleaner look. That includes things like the gadgets and the quick select menus. Borderless gadgets like the binocular and viewport can be clicked and dragged from anywhere in their dialog. Their title, close, and resize controls appear when hovered over with the mouse, or all the time if the gadget is clicked to make it active, and they fade out when the gadget does not have focus.

Console Output
We cleaned up the console output. We removed some messages, found better ways of presenting others, show fewer messages at a time, and make them go away sooner (by default). In general the console is less spammy, which makes the messages we display stand out more. (Note that the maximum message count and duration changes were made only to the default values; to see these new settings after updating, you must restore defaults or manually update them.)

New Aircraft
  • Avistar Elite
  • FlyZone Millennium Master
  • PAU 36% Edge 540
New Airports
  • LIARS Field (PhotoField)
  • Aircraft Carrier (3D)

Other New Features:
  • New airport objects: Car - Blue, Car - Red, Gasoline Truck, KE Trailer, Propane Tank - Large, Propane Tank - Small
  • Shift-X cycles backwards through available pilot positions; Ctrl-X moves to the default pilot position
  • Shift-T cycles backwards through available "look at" targets; Ctrl-T looks at My Aircraft
  • Added an option to suppress the physics gadget on startup when a difficulty other than "Realistic" is selected; find it in the Settings dialog under Physics
  • Rewind accounts for battery/fuel level
  • Aircraft Editor: The gyro electronics component's Heading Hold Range (advanced property) minimum value is now .1 to prevent a potential crash
  • Console: Some console message default values are reduced: "Show at Most" is now 5 instead of 10, and "Message Duration" is now 10 seconds instead of 30 (6.0 users must restore defaults in order for these changes to take effect)
  • Console: When a category of console messages is disabled in the Settings dialog, messages of that type still appear in the console history
  • Multiplayer: When a game starts, players who have locked their position and/or orientation are unlocked
  • Multiplayer: Most modal dialogs are disabled during games to prevent using them to cheat
  • While in Hover navigation mode, using the right mouse button to change altitude behaves the same over water as it does over land
  • Cleaned up some artifacts in the DA 100 27x10 wood with carbon fibre cover sound profile
  • Tab key works to take screenshots when non-modal dialogs, such as the NavGuides and other gadgets, have focus
  • Minor collision system fixes
  • Reorganized Help menu
  • Launcher: Required fields are labeled in the Online Registration dialog, and a misspelling is fixed
Aircraft Changes:
  • L-39 (all variants): vertical and horizontal tails are stronger
  • Sikorsky Skycrane (both variants): Fixed appearance of engine intakes
Airport Changes:
  • Construction Site: Barricade objects no longer bounce around, wind direction is correct for upwind takeoffs from the default plane spawn
  • Joe's Garage: Fixed game spawns that spawn aircraft facing directly into rings
  • Joe's Garage HD: Added new Gasoline Truck object, fixed game spawns that spawn aircraft facing directly into rings
  • Junkyard: Added Overhead Helper objects
  • Observatory: Default plane spawn orientation was changed to match the direction of oncoming slope wind
  • Sandy Point: Fixed some objects appearing underwater in the preview
  • Sandy Point: Wind direction is correct for upwind takeoffs from the default plane spawn
  • Sod Farm: Wind direction is correct for upwind takeoffs from the default plane spawn
  • Waco Field: Default pilot spawn renamed
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