A month ago the blog was quiet because there was a lot I couldn't talk about; now it's quiet because I am up to my eyeballs in X-Plane 10. I'll try to get out a few posts I've been meaning to write, but it's definitely crunch time.
I have received a number of emails from plugin developers who wanted to know if they could modify some of the sim/aircraft datarefs, or why modifying them had no effect/an unintended effect.
The short answer is this: in some cases X-Plane will pre-process and cache data that comes from the .acf file. In this case, a sim/aircraft dataref (most of these come from the .acf file) can be read, but writing it will have no effect because the sim has already had its one look at the dataref.
This is a design limitation; it was never the intention of the SDK to allow complete Plane-Maker-level editing of the aircraft on the fly in the sim.