Behind the Scenes

Hello, Pilots!,

It seems crazy to think that nearly a year ago I was given a pre-release copy of X-Plane 10 to begin testing out X-Aviation products and ensure stability, as well as report bugs. Looking back, a year sure can go quick, especially when you’re busy!

Speaking of busy, that’s what it’s like for all of us at X-Aviation right now, and if you’ve kept up with various forum topics from our X-Aviation developers at X-Pilot you are likely aware of this. However, it’s still good to cover all that’s going on and what we have to look forward to in the coming months, so let’s do that now!..

Development World

Cessna 152 Update

First up, Jason at 4Forces is working very hard on the update for the Cessna 152, as well as the newly announced Piper Archer III. The Cessna 152 has been long known as the best flight model of its type for X-Plane, and that still holds true today. That said, it never hurts to further expand and update your model, and that’s precisely what Jason is doing for us! You can see multiple screenshots of the Cessna 152 update in the 4Forces forums.


Jetstream 31/32

Second up, Javier at JRollon is working on continued development for the Jetstream 31/32, and it’s looking real nice! If you haven’t checked this one out you really should. There are numerous posts in the forums, and Javier is very good about updating everyone on this project. We’re cutting him a little slack over the last few weeks though…he’s a newly married man and is enjoying his family! Congratulations, Javier!


Next up, we have RealScenery. It’s been really quiet on this front for a long while now publicly, but in the background it’s a whole other story! We are really close now to finalizing NORCAL, and we’re really excited about this one! This is a very large package, and as we have previously discussed it will be buyable both as an entire package, or tile by tile. This gives you greater flexibility to purchase only what you wish. NORCAL has gone through several re-makes, each time getting better and applying new scripting and graphical techniques. We know a lot of people ask us about this one, and we wanted you to know that it genuinely is close to being complete! The installer/downloader system for it is vastly improved, and once released we’ll begin supporting Linux downloads. NORCAL is my primary area to fly in X-Plane due to its beauty!


Last up is Leading Edge Simulations. These guys are incredibly hard at work, producing so many aircraft behind the scenes that are unannounced it is scary! This said, I can’t tell you about all of them, but I can tell you about the primary product I’d like to focus on in the bunch, and that’s the Saab 340A! As some of you will remember, this product was on the cuff of a release last year. However, due to various issues (including time), we had to put the project on hold and re-think a few things. This worked for the better, as we were able to come back to the project in full force and bring the 3D model up to an even higher standard. You can see a couple of pics in the forums. Something we haven’t shown a lot of since reviving this product is some of the programming that’s going on for this project. It will be a part of our Take Command! product line, so you can expect high fidelity and systems to function, and you will need to read the manual! This product features custom OpenGL displays, a custom autopilot, and many, many other features. Originally I was the programmer in this project, but due to constraints on keeping X-Aviation in check and developing new shop-driven code, I had to step away from this project and hand the source code over to Jim from JGX-Designs. He’s now with Leading Edge Simulations full-time and is doing a phenomenal job in bringing the product to completion! To give you a little sneak peek, check out the following image showing an interactive diagram utilized for in-house testing to ensure the custom programming and various bus systems are working correctly in the aircraft per the Saab 340 Operation Manuals…

Saab 340A Bus Work


That’s the light version of what we having going on in the development cycle (that we’re ready to go public with at least). It’s fun to give you a glimpse, and we’re really excited to get these products out the door and in your hands! This is not all that we have going on, however! There’s more, so read on…

Customer Service World

XA Giveaway

In the event you missed it, X-Aviation has a free giveaway going on right now. Five people will be selected to choose ANY X-Plane product of their choice on the X-Aviation store! If you haven’t gotten in on this yet, you should! You can find out more information on the giveaway page at X-Aviation.

I am extremely pleased to announce we have implemented our live chat support service and so far it’s a big hit. We have this open almost 24/7, and anyone on the line is able to assist you with ANY issue you have! Customer service is one of the most important aspects to X-Aviation, so I am really enthusiastic about things that make the experience better for you guys. That, and I (as well as the other guys) really enjoy interacting with all of you here in the X-Plane community! Drop by anytime if you have any questions or issues and we’ll certainly be happy to help!

Another new way to get in touch with us includes our brand new FaceBook page, as well as our already long time existing Twitter page! We are very receptive to your support issues or opinions on any matter, so check us out! I personally interact quite a bit at X-Pilot as well.

I hope this post has been a quick, enjoyable getaway to your day, and as usual, I really appreciate you coming here to read what I have to say! Thank you so much for being the best customers around. The X-Plane community truly is great!

Blue Skies!,


I call ‘em as I see ‘em…

Hello, Pilots!,

Well, it’s been a little while since a post on here. There’s so much going on with new products and projects that it’s slowed the blog pace, though after our next two releases things will begin to pick up on the blog side of things.

I actually was going to refrain from posting anything about a newcomer in the X-Plane payware market, but sometimes you must do such a thing if specific conditions are met. Conditions is in bold for good reason here.

We recently discontinued selling the T28-C add-on in January. While good, the developers of this add-on (Bruno GREGOIRE aka Khamsin and Arnaud PREVOT aka Arno54) had a change of heart as to the terms of their contract with X-Aviation and decided they would like to cross-sell on multiple stores. We’ve allowed this in past times, though in a more recent change of events we have elected to no longer sign such contracts now and into the future. The main reason for this boils down to our core values as a publishing company and the customer service nightmare than comes from such a situation. It is not uncommon for X-Aviation to receive a multitude of technical support requests from various customers that have purchased cross-sold products on a store other than X-Aviation due to a customer receiving no attention to their customer service needs from the original store they bought from (there’s only a handful in the X-Plane world). This ultimately leads up to X-Aviation having to explain to the customer that we are unable to assist them in such a scenario given they are not a customer of our own, and also diminishes any time we would like to dedicate to customers who do buy from X-Aviation, which as it stands is plenty enough to keep us busy through the day! Now, with that explanation on our side out of the way, X-Aviation respected the wishes of Arnaud and Bruno to terminate their contract with the intention of going non-exclusive on their own. All was well in the world at this time. :)

Time has gone on and both Arnaud and Bruno have come out with their new website/store. We welcome competition whole heartedly at X-Aviation. This helps the market grow, and we view the entry of companies like Aerosoft to be very positive! X-Aviation is not a run of the mill “carry everything” store, and as such we are set apart enough in the market to be stable going forward. This is not a race for the next mega add-on store, but rather a matter of quality each and every time! All this said, what we don’t feel the X-Plane market needs is a company representing what our wonderful community is all about with unethical moves. What do I mean by this? Well, I’ll explain this below…

Arnaud and Bruno have a common theme going on at their new website/store: Ethics. Let’s look at a few quotes throughout their site:

“Are we the only ones who really believe ethics is not a meaningless word ?”

“The concept is quite simple and yet, unusual : it is all about ethics.”

“The idea is to have a vendor (us…) who gives up all his benefits (ok, say “most of”) and only charges the developpers for what is ethically acceptable.”

“It might not be obvious for you visitors, but it takes some serious amount of goats to dare risking his job on such a bet. does not promise whatever, so the developpers who joined us, have all one sole motivation : ethics.”

All of the above sounds great, and I would say these guys have earned their wings with the great add-ons they have provided to the X-Plane community. However, their business model seems shaky at best if things were to ever hit mainstream, and more importantly there are some mighty unethical, crazy terms they have set forth for their developers, and more importantly for you as customers.

For starters, I quote the following from Arnaud and Bruno’s terms for selling a product on their website: “You have full access to all statistics of the site, traffic, sales for all devs, everybody’s figures, customers lists – everything. And vice-versa. If some data is missing, simply ask. Transparency is the rule.”

As a developer, you should be aware that these terms. If you’re comfortable with the whole developer world at this new store of theirs seeing your sales figures, your income, and your customers lists then this is your cup of tea! However, many developers do not like this, and more importantly, customers and people in general prefer privacy! Be warned that should you purchase from this new store (a store without any secure encryption for your private information might I add) your private contact information will be shared under the current terms. I don’t know about you, but this is pretty unethical in many observers opinons. The lack of privacy as a customer purchasing from said store is rather staggering at best. On the contrary, at X-Aviation we do not EVER share any customer information with anyone including all developers unless you as the customer choose to provide information and speak to someone yourself. Not only would it be unethical for us to do so, it is against the law in the part of the world we are from.

The above is just the icing on the cake when we talk about ethics. More astonishing to me was the fact that Arnaud and Bruno not only copy and pasted an entire page regarding YOUR PRIVACY as a customer on their site from X-Aviation, they forgot to delete one very important part of this copied text (as if blatantly copying X-Aviation’s page was not enough). A picture of this can only do it justice, and is only a very small snippet of the copied context:

Arnaud and Bruno have word for word copied X-Aviation's Terms and Conditions, then replaced the word "X-Aviation" with their website name. Unfortunately, they forgot to remove X-Aviation's legal contact address from this copied webpage.

In the above image you can see that Arnaud and Bruno take great care to ensure copyrights are not infringed upon, and that if you need to report infringement to contact…me!? Something’s not right here! Is it not only I who finds it unethical and ironic that your privacy as a customer is the last thing on the back of these guys’ minds? That their Terms of Service are likely not something they are even aware (since it’s been copied and pasted from X-Aviation directly…oops) of in terms of the contents and how they pertain to your privacy as a customer? That Arnaud PREVOT and Bruno GREGOIRE quite obviously just replaced the word “X-Aviation” with “Xplane-Addons?”

Folks, last time I checked:

1. I, Cameron, do not have any ties with this Xplane-Addons site.

2. I, Cameron, did not request that these two people copy and paste the contents of my webpage and list me as their copyright point of contact.

I’m sorry, Arnaud and Bruno, but I do not find your actions to be ethical in any form and I am saddened by this. The integrity and credibility of your comments leave much to be desired and I hope developers and customers heed caution with their private information when considering purchasing or selling on your site.

That’s all for today, fellow pilots. I apologize in advance that this was not a jovial post in the end! Hopefully we can all move forward on this and get back on track with the right foot out of the gate.

Thanks for listening!


Amsterdam and X-Plane 10

Hello, fellow X-Plane pilots!

Well, we’re back from Amsterdam, and while tiring, it was a pleasant trip! One of the things I look forward to most on trips like these is meeting up with other X-Aviation developers and X-Plane enthusiasts. There’s no better place to do that than a flight sim enthusiast conference, right? Right!

This trip was rather spur of the moment. I had been teeter tottering heading out to Amsterdam for FS Weekend for a few weeks prior to the event, but never fully committed. Ultimately I had decided I may skip it this year and work on some pressing matters here at the X-Aviation office. Tom Kyler flew out here to work with me as he normally does on an almost weekly basis. We have a nice setup here with a bunch of latest generation Apple brand computers, so it’s a great work environment with good hardware. Tom is usually busy working on X-Plane 10 at the desk behind me, while I tend to do various coding projects for the Saab 340 or back-end overhauls to the X-Aviation server. Lately it seems to be more mixed with X-Plane 10 beta testing, however. We’re doing our best to ensure everything works smooth in the transition!

It was day two of Tom being in the office with me when I decided I should probably commit to going to Amsterdam. It’s good for us to be dedicated and know where the X-Plane market is headed, as well as what the Microsoft Flight Sim users think of this upcoming X-Plane version. Given this fact, I turned to Tom and gave the proposition that we fly out to Amsterdam and see what it’s all about. Austin was there, and Tom was already feverishly working on getting the new Seattle-Tacoma scenery finished in preparation for Austin’s presentation at the conference. There was one requirement for us to get over there, and that was flying First Class from the USA to Amsterdam. Tom needed the workspace to “set up shop” and ensure he could get his work done on time for Austin if we were to do this, and coach doesn’t have the room needed to get the job done. With this little tidbit of “workload” in mind, we set out to get our tickets booked and prepare for the trip. Delta was our carrier of choice. They classify their First Class service as “Business Elite,” and our trip would take us through Memphis and then non-stop to Amsterdam.

Memphis Bound

Jetting off to Memphis, TN


When we got to Memphis we had about two hours left before departure to Amsterdam, so we grabbed a light bite to eat. One thing about international First or Business class on any airline is they stuff you to the brim on your flight, often times making it so you’re full before you’re near done with what they have planned for you to eat. We ended up settling on a small BBQ restaurant and headed back to our gate only to find out the emergency slide had been pulled on the inbound aircraft, so they had to wait for additional parts coming in from Atlanta before we could depart. This ultimately led up to a four hour delay, but we made do!

Once on-board, we took our seats and got comfy for the long haul. I planned to sleep most of the journey after dinner, while Tom planned to work through a good portion of the flight mixed with some much needed rest to prepare for some busy work once we got to Amsterdam. There’s not much to say about the flight going over, so I’ll share it in picture form:


Appetizer - Salad, Tuna Steaks, Tomato Basil Soup


Main Course - Pan Seared Fish, Wild Rice, Green Beans

After this it was bed time for six hours. I opted not to go with the additional meal selections, which was a cheese plate followed by ice cream sundae. It’s a lot of food!

But, six hours later….


Eggs, Sausage, French Toast, and Fruit Bowl

And an hour later we arrived into Amsterdam…

Landing at Schiphol

Yep, we're in the Netherlands!

Once we got off the plane we cleared customs relatively quick and proceeded to the train station. Due to our delay in Memphis it was already four in the afternoon and the sun was quickly going down.  Our hotel was a very nice place directly across the street from Amsterdam Centraal Train Station. This was a great location, as I had never been to Amsterdam before and wanted to explore without much hassle. This was also perfect for Tom, as he could work away in the hotel as needed and hop out into the “party” of people for a quick bite or sight see during mental breaks.

Austin’s presentation wasn’t till Sunday, and we arrived on Friday. We decided we would spend Friday evening and all of Saturday in Amsterdam proper to be a bit touristy, and just go to the conference on the one day that really mattered to us (Sunday). Friday ended with a nice dinner along one of the busier areas in the city followed by a quick walk through the red light district and then it was time for bed.

Red Light District

The Red Light District


The Grasshopper - Marijuana, Alcohol, Steak House, and Coffee Bar spread across three levels.

On Saturday morning we woke up to some relatively nice weather and I decided to go sight see for a good chunk of the day. Tom stayed back to work on X-Plane 10 stuff. If you’ve never been to Amsterdam before you should definitely pencil it in as a “To Do” in your lifetime! It’s a rather busy place, but it has a lot of history and beauty as well. Just walking around the city itself is a great experience, which is precisely what I chose to do.


Amsterdam is full of many canals like this

Another Canal

Another Canal...lots of boats!

After a while we headed back to pick up Tom for a quick walk over to the Anne Frank House. This is the one “exhibit” we decided on between the Van Gogh Museum or the house. It was a good choice, as seeing something like this smacks you in the head and reminds you that it wasn’t long ago when certain parts of the world were killing innocent human beings for unjustified reasons. This is also a must if you go to Amsterdam!

Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House

After the house we walked back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. Tom had a long night ahead of him to prepare for Austin, and Ben Supnik had informed us that we were to be the back up unit if the demo machine failed to run X-Plane 10 the next day. Dinner wasn’t anything special for us (fast food, really).

Off to Lelystad…

Sunday came after a long night of little sleep. I was slightly turned around on time, and Tom was on and off working on the X-Plane 10 download to have as backup for Austin. That said, we were excited to get on the train to Lelystad, so the little sleep wasn’t wearing us down. The weather, however, wasn’t the most optimal. Overcast, cold, and sometimes foggy.

Marry Poppins

It's almost like a scene out of Mary Poppins!

Amsterdam to Lelystad was about a 50 minute train ride. From there it’s another 10 or so minute bus ride to the Aviodrome. The conference started at 10 in the morning, and we arrived shortly after.

Lelystad Airport

The walk along the Lelystad Airport perimeter to Aviodrome


Welcome to the Aviodrome!

Once we arrived and got inside, the line had already been quite long to purchase tickets for the event. We had shown up just 30 minutes after opening, so it was nice to see a relatively large crowd so early. As we were purchasing tickets, the first display we saw was the Aerosoft and X-Plane 10 booth. Austin was busy demoing away for people, showing them the eye candy provided in X-Plane 10.


Austin showing off X-Plane 10

X-Plane 10

X-Plane 10 in use

Tom and I decided to walk around all of the exhibits to see what people had going on. This place is really quite large, being multiple stories, and a total of three buildings. There were plenty of people to talk to, and lots to see! If you wanted to get away from the simulation side of things you could walk outside and check out the real aircraft on display there ranging from small GA aircraft to a KLM 747. All in all, it’s really a neat place!

Display Tables

Just a small section of the exhibitors


3D effect motion simulator

JRollon CRJ

The setup for the Take Command! series CRJ-200. Javier and Philipp were here!


Some 737 Custom Sim Hardware


The KLM 747 on display

Aircraft on Display

Other aircraft on display

Some more exhibits

Some more exhibits

Some more exhibits

Some more exhibits

More Exhibits

...and some more

The backside of the Aviodrome

The backside of the Aviodrome

Austin’s X-Plane 10 Presentation

At three in the afternoon Austin held his presentation. It was essentially the first time any of us (including him) had seen X-Plane 10 as one piece. Up until this point the Laminar team and the beta testers had been using only bits of X-Plane 10 for testing specific items. The presentation was held in a rather small room on the opposite side of the Aviodrome building. It was a cozy room, but Austin managed to fill it up to over-capacity. It is without doubt that everyone has their eyes on X-Plane 10, including MSFS users. This was nice to see, as it was just the kind of audience I wanted to watch reaction from.

Unfortunately, Aerosoft’s computer was acting up, and once one of the computers was finally working it happened to be an older system and by no means extremely capable to run X-Plane 10 without very toned down settings. This, added with the off-color wall the projector was casting on, made the presentation of eye candy not look the best. Additionally, Austin is more of an engineer than eye candy person, so his presentation left a lot to be desired to the folks of the Microsoft Flight Sim World. While Austin carried on with talk about flight model, Microsoft people come from a sim full of eye candy. This is where I feel the presentation should have stuck to, but it didn’t. I looked over at Tom Kyler and we were both feeling the same way. It was at this time Tom jumped up and got the MacBook Pro out. It had the latest version of X-Plane 10 on it, has a very “pretty” display, and showed the rendering settings set to extreme levels. This is where many people came to huddle in around the laptop screen with many “Oooo’s and ahhhh’s!”

Now, I have read from various websites about things Austin or Aerosoft stated, and I wanted to make some clarifications here. There’s really two main one’s:

1. There has been a misconception that PMDG (a Microsoft Flight Sim development group) was showing off beta’s of their products in X-Plane. This is not true at all, and what caused this rumor was a statement made by an Aerosoft executive stating that PMDG was provided with a gratis copy of X-Plane 10 in beta form for evaluation. This meant nothing more than they have a copy and are free to check it out if they so choose. Transitioning products like PMDG’s to X-Plane is not and will not be an easy task if and when it ever happens.

2. Somehow people got off on saying that Austin stated X-Plane 10 would essentially ship really buggy. During his presentation the application was freezing up due to “memory issues.” A rumor started about that Austin said X-Plane 10 would ship with this bug. This is NOT true. Austin’s statement was that this would be ironed out by the time the DVD cut was to be made. These memory issues were just a mix of a rather non-optomized X-Plane 10 running on a not so great machine. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches during live presentations!

Austin's Presentation

Austin's Presentation

This pretty much concluded the day at Aviodrome. After the presentation, I gathered up some of the guys for a photo prior to heading off. Javier Rollon, Tom Kyler, and myself opted to go out to dinner in Lelystad before we headed off to Amsterdam on the train.

The Gang

Austin, Cameron, Tom, Philipp, Javier

I made plans for Austin to meet Tom and myself in Amsterdam for a night out. Austin is taking some much needed time off after a few years of development to enjoy Europe with his wife and child in tow, and this was a great way to kick off some relaxation time. We started the night out with a walk through the Red Light District. Austin had never seen it before and was curious to see what it was all about. In reality, it’s full of tourists and surreal to see. Add that to your “To Do” list if you go to Amsterdam!

After our little tour of the district we ventured out to find a coffee shop where we could sit, talk, and relax. It’s very hard to find a quiet coffee shop in Amsterdam. Nearly all of them sell Marijuana and are filled with people and smoke to a near unbearable degree (I suppose this is subjective)! We finally found a small shop with only three people in it playing cards, and we figured this would be a great place to have a few drinks before ending our night.

Cameron, Tom, and Austin

Cameron, Tom, and Austin

Well, we TRIED to get out there without the high, anyhow. Some people just don’t have “high” tolerance…

Austin and Tom

Austin and Tom

…and with that we concluded our night AND trip.

I walked away from this trip satisfied. The time and effort was worth it if only to see the reactions of enthusiasts from around the world. I will use the knowledge obtained here to drive X-Aviation forward over the next year. Thanks for “coming along” on our journey, and for your continued support!