X-Plane (simulator)

X-Plane is a flight simulator by the American Austin Meyer, which is characterized by high realism and runs on both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X and Linux. In addition, versions are available for the mobile platforms Android, Palm OS, and iOS.


Especially the flight behavior of different flying objects is very closely modeled by constant vectors of the forces are calculated for all surfaces. This is achieved by the use of blade element theory (English: Blade Element Theory) allows. That is why the program of diverse small aircraft manufacturers is used for the development of real aircraft ( eg in the development of SpaceShipOne ).

Editors and interfaces

Each version of X-Plane comes with additional programs. So you can, for example, with Plane Maker develop his own plane and check in the simulator to its ability to fly. Bundled editors are:

  • Scenery editor (World Maker)
  • Airfoil editor ( Airfoil Maker)
  • Flight Planner ( Briefer )

The scenery editor has not been further developed since a long time and very limited in its capabilities because of many changes that have come with version 8 ( scenery format, etc.). In the next versions but to the scenery tools are re- usable and greatly expanded, especially. In order to address this problem at the moment in the handle, many users develop themselves tools for specific tasks, such as Geländetexturierung, and also make this in the relevant X-Plane forums.

In addition, hundreds of aircraft and sceneries can be downloaded for free from the Internet. It is even possible on the programs XSquawkBox and X - IvAp to fly online with other X-Plane and Microsoft Flight Simulator pilots. The virtual ATC use is also possible. In Europe, this flight simulator is less well known than its competitors from Microsoft.

With free plug-ins available, it is also possible to fly online in VATSIM or IVAO network.

Flight physics, avionics and simulated world

The X-Plane can download weather data, among others, and update at any time intervals. Can be represented a variety of weather effects such as rain, hail and snow.

The elevation data ( SRTM ) data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (STS- 99), as Global Scenery available on 7 DVDs.

The start and runway characteristics are changeable through rain, snow and ice, which can also be simulated in places. In addition, the road is movable.

Are simulated over 40 systems together with user-definable default probabilities. Also bird strikes can be simulated, especially in the vicinity of airports.

In addition, various flight systems can be simulated:

  • Gliding with thermals
  • Simulation of subsonic and supersonic flight dynamics
  • Simulation of fly-by- wire systems (with free plug-in)

Up to an altitude of 400,000 feet ( about 130 km) is a modeling of the earth's atmosphere. Turbulence, ground effects, propellers rays and downdrafts are simulated, and the flight condition and the physics or forces vectors of the model, such as thrust, drag and lift forces are visualized.

Vehicle types

X-Plane simulates different aircraft and vehicle types (Examples of available aircraft in parentheses):

  • VTOL aircraft ( Harrier, Osprey V22, F35 )
  • Helicopters ( EC 120, Hughes 500D Chinook CH47D )
  • Airships ( Hindenburg )
  • Spacecraft (Space Shuttle )
  • Gliders ( L 23 Super Blanik, Grob G 103)
  • Model Airplanes
  • Passenger aircraft (Airbus A380, Boeing 747 )
  • Auto Gyros (RAF2000)
  • Military Aircraft ( Euro Fighter Typhoon, A- 10 Thunderbolt, Sukhoi Su -37, MiG -25, Lockheed SR -71, KC -10)
  • Ground vehicles (VW Beetle )
  • Water vehicles ( speed boats, seaplanes)

Beta versions

Updates of the simulator in the form of beta versions often include significant improvements and renewals compared to the full versions, such as more extensive weather simulation, changes in flight physics, etc. The software can be updated with a free download manager. Beta versions can be made ​​easily undo when possible mistakes by the current full version is automatically installed when you download it.

The release of X-Plane 10.0, also in the OpenStreetMap data is used, was confirmed on August 25, 2011 for the Christmas season 2011. The version 10 was released as a demo on 24 November 2011. A pre-order on the manufacturer side is also possible, as the delivery period in mid-December was specified. Since 7 December 2011, the version 10 is delivered. As the only flight simulator on the market X-Plane uses from version 10.20 natively 64 -bit processors, so that the program can use more than 4GB memory.