Knife Edge are pleased to announce the public beta of the upcoming RealFlight 6.5 release! Get an advance look at everything we’ve done for this new version, and help us out by reporting any bugs you encounter. Instructions for downloading are at the bottom of this post.
More complete release notes that detail some of the bug fixes and smaller changes will be forthcoming. In the meantime, here are some of the big features in 6.5:
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.
On startup RealFlight displays a Welcome dialog that:
Acts as a portal to the scenarios, aircraft, and airport quick select menus as well as the video player (more on that later)
Lists the four most recently used aircraft (load one with a single click)
Displays a useful tip of the day
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.
- RealFlight has a built-in video player! Goes great with:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Avistar Elite
- FlyZone Millennium Master
- PAU 36% Edge 540
- LIARS Field (PhotoField)
- Aircraft Carrier (3D)
- In this build the aircraft can sometimes stop colliding with objects and the raised terrain at the new LIARS Field and Aircraft Carrier airports. We have not seen it happen anywhere else. There is no need to report this bug; we are already working hard to fix it.
This version is not compatible with 6.00.054 for multiplayer.
Perform the following steps to obtain the update:
- Start the RealFlight 6 Launcher
- Click Additional Options, then Technical Support
- Click Enter Tech Support Code
- Enter the following code: B#794qe25533h9 (If successful, you will see a message saying “You are now registered to use the Public Beta site until the new version is posted to official download site.”)
- Go back to the main Launcher menu and click Registration/Updates
- Make sure that in the bottom left corner it says Temporary Public Beta. If not, try reentering the code
- Click Update to Latest Version; alternatively, click Update to Specific Version, choose 6.50.007 from the list, and click OK.
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.
Reported by: knifeedge