X-Plane

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Postby HardCorePawn » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:15 pm

Hi de ho campers...

NOTE: This is not a trolling expedition, I would like to generate some worthwhile debate on the pros and cons of X-Plane. So, please check the "ZOMG (insert flightsim here) RuLeZ... (insert other flightsim here) DrOoLzZz" type attitudes at the door.

I haven't really been near a flightsim for many many moons... and was weighing up my options with regards to what should I should re-install on this PC.

I stumbled across some X-Plane vids, and it look fairly decent, so I was just wanting to get some impressions from people... In particular the following types:

- Those who use it regularly as their 'main' flight sim.
- Those who tried it and went back to a MS FlightSim.
- Those who use X-Plane and an MS FlightSim 'equally'.

I would be interested in knowing things like:

- What you like and/or dislike about X-Plane.

- Is it compatible with common hardware (ie. CH Yoke, Pedals, Quadrant... MS Sidewinder Precision 2)... compatibility with less common hardware like TrackIR.

- Is there NZ Scenary available... if so, is it up to something sort of like SimPilot and Godzone standards?

- Are you able to build your own scenary with common tools like GMAX etc. and or lay down photoreal in the way you can with FSX etc.

Finally, because a MEIR is in my short term plans (after I get this friggin CPL grrrr), I assume it is quite functional flying instrument approaches and the like?? Ie. you can get hold of a light twin with ADF's, VOR's etc.

cheers,
HCP
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Postby Zöltuger » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:44 pm

I used x-plane back in the day, not intensively though. This was before the days I knew how to fly with instruments, so things may have changed.

I prefer FSX because there are more models and scenery available due to the bigger install base. The models are also more impressive (more polys and animation), and you get a proper VC. From a graphics POV, FSX is definitely king.

X-plane will support all your hardware though. Not sure about terrain/scenery add-ons but they include editors for everything.

Download the X-plane demo and have a play, it's lots of fun with failures (oh no the wings fell off hehe)

p.s. ZOMG FSX rulez happy.gif
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Postby NZ255 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:49 pm

Apparently Xplane 10 is going to be worth looking at when it comes out.
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Postby deeknow » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:32 am

If your interested in downloading and listening to podcasts then checkout FSBreak following, one of the hosts of the show is a XPlane fan and they often compare it to FS9/X and talk about its features and upcoming releases. Check out podcast #53 where I think they talked about the most recent release of XPlane...

http://www.fsbreak.net/
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Postby redkiwi » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:06 pm

I've had the demo on my computer for a while. It feels a lost more realistic in terms of simulation than FS9/FSX which is it's main strong point, unfortunately so much focus has been put on a thorough simulation experience that it lacks a bit of user friendliness and the menus can be a bit overwhelming and feel a bit cluttered. Also it does lack the same huge third-party developer base that the MS series enjoys but I believe this is starting to change somewhat.

I have seen some NZ addons available but can't comment on the quality of them as I never used them. If I were using my sim time for being constructive (as in for process/situation training) rather than for enjoyment then X-plane takes the cake as a standard sim vs FSX.
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Postby Sopwith » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:04 pm

I first ran into X-plane in about 1996 I would guess, V3.4. I was immediately struck by the reality of the flight. Using a analog stick the B52 felt that it had mass and the slower you flew the less responsive the flight controls became which was unheard of at that time. Also the instruments moved smoothly unlike the ticking that was often the norm. I eventually transfered from Microsoft at XP V5.

Today XP is excellent. Approved for training by the FAA. Enough brilliant aircraft to satisfy most (because the truth is most of us only fly half a dozen favorites) an ever increasing scenery library and all the important ad ons available.
To get some ideas visit sites like "X-plane.org" (and visit the sponsors). "The X 737 project". "Real Scenery".

interestingly one of the nicest scenery areas is Auckland.

Changing over from another sim is always a challenge and means work but the Author of X-plane Austin Meyers says that right now the largest number of new pilots for X-P are coming from transferring simmers.
You can download the latest version of X-Plane and trial it to your hearts content. But beware, it might just slowly but surely draw you in as well!

I will do another post with a list of the important keyboard selections, just to make life easier for those who give it a go.

Cheers.
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Postby Geoffhop » Fri May 14, 2010 2:57 pm

I have made a foray into Apple Mac and whilst I have kept a windows computer for Flightsim and Trainsim thought I would buy xplane to see if I could eventually get rid of the windows stuff.

First if you buy xplane go to laminar research direct in the USA. For about $US35 incl postage you get 5 discs which includes both mac and windows programmes. The discs arrived 7 days after ordering which I thought quite amazing.

I have only explored the NZ scenery so far. The terrain is excellent with masses of generic trees and bush. There are no buildings at any airports nor much in the way of indications of towns and roads. Country areas like Lake Taupo are quite good as is Milford sound which is far better than FSX. I found an Auckland area scenery which includes airport buildings and a few CBD towers. The scenery is photo real but very low cal.

Controls take a bit of setting up but once you get the hang of it joysticks and buttons are easily sorted.

For a real blast I purchased an IPAD the other day from a parallel importer. You can buy an xplane app for IPAD for $13. The IPAD has a gyro and is the yoke. The scenery is very basic and only covers a few northern hemisphere areas. It is reminiscent of pre FS98. At 5.30 this morning could not sleep and was drinking tea in bed and flying approaches into Innsbrook. Real kids stuff but really great.

Could be a future for xplane in NZ I am too old to do much - but I am an enthusiast!
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Postby VintageAirplaneFanNZ » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:37 pm

hi everyone,

I am a long time lurker and have just decided to reply.
After years of using MSFS 5 thru MSFS 9 I decided to try XPlane. To be honest I wasnt a big fan but that was when XPlane was just coming out. It always seemed to dark and hard to control. Over the years I reinstalled and uninstalled XP. After buying XP ver 7 I was hooked. Something about it kept me coming back to it....I installed the updates and things got better and better. I was using Xp more than MSFS, sure, the terrain was a bit poor and the scenery was nothing more than a few random houses but it was something that was improving. I then bought XP v8 and now I have XP v9, and I'll be getting XP v10 when it comes out as well smile.gif I ditched MSFS when ver 10 came out as I wasnt about to spend another NZ$2000 just to play a "flying game", besides, I was getting much better FPS with XP ver 9 at almost full resolution than I was with MSFS 9 at half resolution.

To be honest again....if you want to see what XPlane can offer then by all means check the XPlane.org site.....but to get a better idea of what is coming out check the other sites like X-Aviation (www.x-aviation.com) or X-Scenery (www.x-scenery.com). The place to see what is in development is the XPilot forum (http://forums.x-pilot.com). I fly a few different types of planes, mostly GA and LSA types but there are some very nice heavies out there....the X737 is very nice and just gone to ver 4.02 (think PMDG with 2d panel....very nice..).

Anyways, thats about it from me. I look forward to seeing what others think of this sim but more inportantly, what they like to fly most since that is what both of these sims do best smile.gif

Slainte,

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Postby Timmo » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:41 pm

Great stuff guys- Feel free to post some of your X plane shots of NZ for the rest of the community to check out!
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Postby wairoaboy » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:43 pm

I have tried x plane 9 in the last week...have found it very testing to get the head around and from what i understand.....if you have a 1366 screen the cockpit looks somewhat dissapointing due to its non fitting arrangement to that resolution. Would sure like to pursue x plane more but have given up as it seems this issue isnt fixable
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Postby IslandBoy77 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:57 am

I sold X-Plane for a while, around about the time that FSX was due for release. Since then, I've had a look at the latest version. Both when I sold it and now, it strikes me as a) very accurate for the flight modelling and b) having a tired FS2002-ish for the graphics. Considering that it developed out of a free Linux project, it's come a long way. That being said, version 10 is going to have to make some big strides in the visual department to even meet FSX, let alone pass it.

The way I've seen X-Plane positioned, and from what I've seen and used, X-Plane is for those who want as close to 100% accuracy in their flight model but who aren't especially 'particular' about the graphics looking great. Don't get me wrong, the graphics are ok - and if this was 2003, I'd even say they were great... tongue.gif
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Postby Ian Warren » Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:29 pm

Friends stopped by after the quake , Paul works in the Riccarton branch of Dick smith , he'd been away from flight sim for many year s but many where coming into the shop asking for addons and appears most all FS2004 scenery works with in X-plane with a little work , so it keeps those punters happy .
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Postby AndrewJamez » Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:28 pm

Any one seen the blurb about X-plane 10. Its almost a total rebuild and a whole new terrain engine, cant remember where I saw it.
But here is a vid demoing some new Xplane aircraft. Not sure weather they are paywhere or if they will come as new default aircraft
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-5-boe6QCY
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Postby Adrian Brausch » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:42 pm

I have to say after watching a few recent vids of Xplane , that video from the link above and alot of the guys other vids I am VERY curious about it and will definately be buying Xplane as soon as I can afford it,..the wipers in the crj that actually wipe off the rain off the windscreen...OUTSTANDING !!!!!!!!!!
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Postby IslandBoy77 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:53 am

AndrewJamez wrote:
QUOTE (AndrewJamez @ Oct 3 2010, 05:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Any one seen the blurb about X-plane 10. Its almost a total rebuild and a whole new terrain engine, cant remember where I saw it.
But here is a vid demoing some new Xplane aircraft. Not sure weather they are paywhere or if they will come as new default aircraft
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-5-boe6QCY

That's a nicely done video, but it's still FS9 (and in some respects, FS2002). The aircraft are flat & so is the scenery. It's only X-Plane 9.6 so 10 might be at least up to FSX...
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Postby IslandBoy77 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:06 am

brausch wrote:
QUOTE (brausch @ Oct 4 2010, 08:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have to say after watching a few recent vids of Xplane , that video from the link above and alot of the guys other vids I am VERY curious about it and will definately be buying Xplane as soon as I can afford it,..the wipers in the crj that actually wipe off the rain off the windscreen...OUTSTANDING !!!!!!!!!!

Here is a link to a couple of pics reportedly from the new version 10:
http://forum.avsim.net/topic/293158-x-plane-10-previews/

From what little I've seen, they are making some big strides forward in a higher quality of proper 3D (building, vehicles, roads, lighting etc). But one thing they seem to keep falling down on is "realistic look". As much as I love where they are going - and I do - it still looks very "Linux". By that I mean that most of the Linux stuff I've seen has that very 2003-4 era look. There's no photo-realness to the stuff. It's true that I haven't seen a lot of Linux games, but those that I have seen over the last 5 years fall short of most of the Windows games I've seen. I wonder if that has to do with the OpenGL graphics engine they use? I know DirectX has plenty of faults and critics, but it does seem capable of rendering more realistic 3D worlds than OpenGL - does anyone have any info / comparisons / data on DirectX vs OpenGL? Am I the only one looking at X-Plane and seeing the more basic look to everything?

What I want is the details of an FPS like Crysis or even Battlefield 2 melded with a flight sim. I checked out Outerra again yesterday - they are moving along but still have a way to go: they need to fix their "lego blocks" look of their mountains. tongue.gif And clearly Outerra is still very Alpha, and it does look extremely promising - even at this stage, lego-mountains accepted - their lighting and detail (no smeared JPEG look like FSX) generally exceed FSX and (easily) X-Plane.
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Postby Ian Warren » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:43 am

X-plane , well the Space Shuttle looks great , the texture .. and in fleeting pass looks the part , the KC-10 , the nose is not a DC-10 , schwinty cockpit eyes and go the the B-52A - NASA,s HL-10 ,X24 and X15 launcher .. Steve Austin would not approve , the cockpit windows go the other way are well and truly oversize , least it seems in the quick vid .
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Postby AndrewJamez » Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:33 pm

[quote name='IslandBoy77' date='Oct 5 2010, 09:06 AM' post='8268106']
Here is a link to a couple of pics reportedly from the new version 10:
http://forum.avsim.net/topic/293158-x-plane-10-previews/

Those night time shots dont really show anything, the planes in the other vid looked pretty good I thought.

As far as Outerra, will probably be sold for some comercial civil or military simulation project. It is defiantely the coolest thing in new sim engines though. That "lego" look is the tesalation applied to rocky surfaces. At the moment it is the same every where. The worst part is that snow tends to cover terrain detail and undulation where as the rocky tessalation in Outerra shows right through the snow which makes it look realy fake. I'm pretty sure they can apply different tessalation variations to different surfaces. Tessalation is the future. A lot of game developers are already using it. It turns a flat surface into something real that objects in the sim react to like wheels over every bump and undulation. Imagine your aircraft suspension working like that. Every wheel responding to every bump individualy which was shown in some of the early vids of the cessna.

the other cool thing is that, that cool surface detail can be seen for miles in the vid. You'll never get that in FSX and that surface detail would give you a great scence of speed as well when flying down low.
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Postby IslandBoy77 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:34 pm

AndrewJamez wrote:
QUOTE (AndrewJamez @ Oct 6 2010, 06:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Those night time shots dont really show anything, the planes in the other vid looked pretty good I thought.

As far as Outerra, will probably be sold for some comercial civil or military simulation project. It is defiantely the coolest thing in new sim engines though. That "lego" look is the tesalation applied to rocky surfaces. At the moment it is the same every where. The worst part is that snow tends to cover terrain detail and undulation where as the rocky tessalation in Outerra shows right through the snow which makes it look realy fake. I'm pretty sure they can apply different tessalation variations to different surfaces. Tessalation is the future. A lot of game developers are already using it. It turns a flat surface into something real that objects in the sim react to like wheels over every bump and undulation. Imagine your aircraft suspension working like that. Every wheel responding to every bump individualy which was shown in some of the early vids of the cessna.

the other cool thing is that, that cool surface detail can be seen for miles in the vid. You'll never get that in FSX and that surface detail would give you a great scence of speed as well when flying down low.

I agree - the night shots are lacking detail - they do show a big jump over FSX night though. I still think the aircraft look pretty '03ish - if you compare Marty's screen shot today of his P-36 with ANY of the X-Plane stuff, the P-36 'whoops their a**' (so to speak).

I'm hoping that Outerra may yet make it's way to commercial production. I think the military & 'civil' types seem happy enough to get their stuff from elsewhere. I know that BA focuses on instruments, avionics & accurate flight modelling, not 'eye candy' - so would guess that might be the go for many other airlines also? I hadn't heard that term 'tessalation' - the concept seems fairly straight-forward, and even at this early stage holds lots of promise. As you say, Outerra scenery looks good over long distances where FSX, well, sucks, basically.
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Postby Ian Warren » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:58 pm

I followed the Flight Unlimited I II III , theses were all good , between i had Fly I and II , both them trying to beat the Flight Sim Gene back then they where very very good but in a regional area , this X-plane would have a hell off a battle , then on hearing many FS scenery works thumbup1.gif
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