We have 2 guests and no members online
X-Plane® by Laminar Research is probably the best flight simulation I've played yet!
I'm a fan of lots of simulation software... even of the submarine variety... but when it comes to realistic airplane behavior, and helicopter physics... I've yet to find a software application that delivers like X-Plane!
At the time of writing this little article, I was/am very pressed for time... but what good is a gaming area on my homepage without some content right? Well... here's the deal:
I've been a Microsoft flight Simulator fan for years... since version 1.0!!! The frame rates back then were like 1 frame per second and you didn't see a whole lot... you had to have an active imagination without question.
Times have definitely changed since then... and only in the past two years have I become a X-Plane fan.
Now I still buy every title that Microsoft releases with either airplane or simulator in the title... and I'll always love their flight sim... In fact, when I first heard of X-Plane, I frankly wasn't overly impressed. It was only after really desiring to get the most realistic game play I could find... even if meant having to take my time and learn the simulator before I made a judgement call. Well, that's what I did. I told my wife Springli that X-Plane 9 was coming out, it had the whole planet and even Mars and everything I read about how the physics worked (blade fluid dynamics) made me want to give it a thorough try. I tried the demo and I managed to get the default plane in the air after some poking around and I saw just enough to know I had to get this thing.
I made my order and waited impatiently for it to arrive. When they did... I started the longest installation process I ever had... (well of course I picked install everything!)
When the program first came up... I managed to ruin my key mapping, get my joystick set up right, and frankly I was changing settings and acting like a bull in a china shop. I was having fun too... figuring out where the balance of insane graphics versus smooth frame rates was... but admittedly, after much learning ... I did a brand new install (mostly to get the stock keymappings back and start over with more know how).
It took days to really get the sim hopping... and I don't regret it a bit! The weather, the flying, the scenery, adding planes, adding scenery, and even getting multiplayer going with live air traffic controllers talking me through the skies - its awesome! My favorite add on is this commerce game that adds another level to flight simulation ( both Flight simulator and X-Plane ) and I just love how it brings purpose and new challenges to the game.
One multi-player session I was flying a commerce route (using FSEconomy online game) ... and I didn't have an airplane with decent navigation equipment yet... no GPS... no IFR etc.. Well... there was Zero visibility and a cloud ceiling of practically ZERO FEET! Well, I mentioned this on the VoIP to the traffic controller, and he said descend to 3000 feet, turn right 320 degrees.... then he said turn left heading 280, descend to 1500... now I was in New York, there are tall buildings, and I was landing at La Guardia or something... I admittedly got very into what was going on... I had a long flight behind me, lots of money in the commerce game was to be awarded upon my successful landing...
First I see a building on my left... then on the right... the tops of which were higher than me... trust issues bounced around in my mind - ahh... "Continue your descent to 500ft" <eek> and after a few very hair moments of flying in pure gray, I see the ground a bit... actually I see the runway... and I'm flying all lined up with the center line! It couldn't of been more perfect...
After my landing, I had to give special thanks to the tower guy - I know this is a game, I know he has some software radar screen... but talk about immersion... I was grateful! It was so fun! I've only had this level of realism in X-Plane and even though I still fire up my tried and true Microsoft FSX now and again... I think X-Plane is worthy of every flight sim buff the world over!
Scope it out for yourself! Hope I get to see you in the virtual skies! - Below I have a bunch of pics :)