X-Plane 9 – Review

On September 19, 2008

App Type: Uncategorized

X-Plane 9 – Review

Our rating:

By: Laminar Research

Version #: 9.00

Date Released: 2008-09-19


Price: 9.99

User Rating:

Austin Meyers is a remarkable man. He’s an accomplished pilot, has a Bachelors degree in Aerospace Engineering and is a programmer, all three of the essential disciplines necessary to develop simulation software. When he found Microsoft’s Flight simulator lacking, Austin decided to build his own Flight Simulator entitled the X-Plane. As a result, Laminar Research was born.

There has been a number of different versions of X-Plane. This current version is quite amazing considering that there’s only a 3 inch screen with which to view the program. Austin has adapted his award winning desktop version of X-Plane to this new Apple iPhone/iTouch platform. The accelerometer feature of the iPhone has made it possible to use it as an input device to fly the X-Plane.

As a former pilot, I was pleasantly surprised at the realism of the program. The attention to detail is remarkable. Scenery is remarkably realistic.

Because of the complexity of the program, it took a moment for the program to load up after selecting the X-Plane.

Once the program is loaded you see a cockpit scene looking forward over the nose of the aircraft. (you can select a number of different aircraft to fly)

On the left side of the screen is a throttle control with an airspeed indicator just inside of it. and the right is a flap control with an altimeter just inside of it. On the bottom left of the screen is a brake release button. To the right of that is a gear retracting button. If you touch the upper center of the screen 5 small screens appears from which you can select various views of your aircraft and an operating preference window.

The far left window is the opening view over the nose. The next 3 windows are various views of the aircraft from the outside in flight. The far right window allows you to select various system settings including time of day, wind conditions, type of sky, type of plane and weight. You can also select in this window various flight situations from which to start your flight. At the bottom of this window is a volume control for your earphones.

This is a remarkable program in that you can experience much of the actual flying experience with just this little device. With the earphones you can hear the sound of the particular aircraft you’ve selected to fly. As you hold the iPhone/iTouch in your hand you can imagine the device as the control yoke of your airplane with the screen to guide your flight. The plane will follow your every input as if you were actually in an airplane flying. It takes a little while to get used to the flight characteristics of X-Plane but this is, by far, the finest simulator available today.

A tip of the cap to Austin Meyers for creating such a masterful flight simulation program. It’s well worth the money and will give you many hours of enjoyment and probably encourage you to buy the full featured version for your desktop computer!! I did!! I’m sure Austin has even more goodies coming on the next version of the X-Plane!!!

Quick Take: As Flight Simulators go/fly there are only a few that are full fledged applications. X-Plane 9 is the culmination of years of development and tweaking. Austin Meyers is a man dedicated to perfection. He has accomplished his mission!!

Value: Top value! If you’re interested in flying and all things aviation, this is the Application for you!
Would I Buy Again: Actually I did! I bought the full featured desktop version of X-Plane 9.
Learning Curve: If you’re a pilot, probably one evening. If you’re a "gamer" who knows! Either way the process will be fun!
Who is it for: Clearly the active pilot will love this application. It will help him keep "his head in the game".
What I like: Pretty much everything!
What I Don’t: The fact that this didn’t exist when I was an active pilot!

Final Statement: Austin Meyers is definitely a man of destiny. He’s created this wonderful simulator for all to enjoy and is also creating simulators for most of the major aircraft companies. I can’t imagine what he has to offer for the future!! I’m sure the next edition of X-Plane will be even more exciting!!

Read the Developer's Notes:
(Touch the center of the screen to invoke the menus and view controls).

X-Plane for Mac, Windows, and Linux (www.X-Plane.com) is the most flexible and realistic flight simulator on the market for desktop personal computers. Using blade element theory for the most powerful and accurate flight model available for personal computers, and earning FAA certification for logging of flight time for pilots, X-Plane is the Gold Standard for accurate flight simulation, offering realism that is unmatched by any other simulator.

And now, thanks to the power of the iPhone and iPodTouch, X-Plane is available for these stunning little platforms. As in the full desktop version, X-Plane for iPhone lets you experiment with different times of day, weather, sky conditions, wind, turbulence and airplanes, all while flying the craft from various different views in the stunning terrain topography of Innsbruck, Austria, home to some of the most challenging mountains and topography for aviation.

We here at Laminar Research are still a bit shell-shocked at how powerful this little device is, and how much power in flight simulation can be stuffed into it... the power of X-Plane can now be had with you... anywhere.O U R   T A K E  .  .  .

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