I am not from Laminar Research; just a flight simmer from down under. You will not get an answer in this forum from Laminar . Any information provided has been and will be provided by fellow flight simmers.
I am a retired Civil Engineer by profession and my work involved dealing directly with landholders/landowners along a large river system. I dealt with FACTS and not FICTION as well as HISTORICAL rather than HYSTERICAL information. No other way.
Having a few personal contacts within Laminar and also knowing that the team is small located at various locations around the globe and knowing that there are staff shortages.
I am of the opinion that your friends "claim" is "not correct" as the team is concentrating on developing the X-Plane software Laminar does not even sell or more particularly develop additional aircraft to be supplied with the X-Plane software. What aircraft you now get with XP is all you will get. If you want additional aircraft then you need to make 3rd party purchases. Laminar will very quickly tell you this.
Some flight simmers have user problems after making 3rd party purchases and confuse Laminar as the supplier. Again, Laminar will very quickly tell you to contact the seller or even the developer of that particular 3rd party aircraft . It is not their "core business" of sorting/solving problems with add-on aircraft..
There are in excess of 100,000 users of X-Plane and most users, if not all, will have their own pet theoretical aircraft design. If what your friend claims is correct then there will be no "development work" performed.
What I suggest you do is have a good "sit down" with your friend and ascertain the "full facts" of what happened to allow him to make the claim. Also try and ascertain any contact names. This can also prove to be useful.
In your "chat" don't get confused with a business whose web address is www.X-Plane.Org as compared to Laminar's contact details as being www.X-Plane.com There is no connection between either party. This first named business is a dedicated site just for X-Plane and many flight simmers get confused with Laminar.
Now, if after your "chat" you are of the opinion that the "builder" is Laminar then you need to make direct contact with Laminar starting at in[email protected] by asking your originating question above stating all of the facts.
Just as an after thought, are you or your friend running a steam version of X-Plane? If so then you are absolutely in the wrong forum asking your question. Steam is a 3rd party modified hybrid version of the official, original, true and genuine version of X-Plane from Laminar. Laminar will not give you an answer to your problem.