First off, the rendering nows runs on DirectX 11. This is a serious upgrade the FSX engine which ran on DirectX 9. This enables pretty stellar dynamic shadows and a new HDR light system. They upgraded the user interface, so the dejavu FSX experience is history!
Second, four new aircraft join the virtual hangar. Of course two Lockheed Martin models are included (why did you think otherwise?). The F-22 and F-35 are welcome additions. The Extra 300s from Alabeo is a great gift for the fast and furious crowd. Lastly, one of my favorite aircraft of all time joins the sim as default, the Beechcraft A-36 by Carenado (one of the most favorite modelers).
There is a great video by Michaelc136 over at YouTube showing off the new Version 2 UI, system preferences, etc. Check it out here.
Sounds great, right? It is, until you realize that being an early adopter counts against you for this “upgrade”. Users who purchased v1.4 or early, have to purchase the sim all over again at full price. Yep, $200 for a full license or sign your life away at $9.95/mo as a developer (annual upfront Developer is $120). This leaves a sour taste in this blogger’s mouth. With X-Plane 10.25 retailing for $60, flat fee, and it offers an arguably competitive experience, users have a great excuse to say goodbye to Lockheed Martin even before trying it. < For more information on licensing options, click here >
Anyhow, version 2 is an impressive upgrade. As soon as I can negotiate a lower rate, I will be purchasing version 2. Stay tuned…