Friday, February 26, 2010

X-Plane 9 Mobile for iPhone review

How would it be to be able to have a flight simulator in your pocket every day? Dream no more! The team at Laminar Research managed to move simulation to your pocket with the release of the X-Plane app for iPhone, which is a miniature copy of the very realistic simulator that is available on the desktop computers, guaranteed to keep you busy and entertained during breaks or while getting bored waiting.

I recently played it on the iPhone of a friend and decided to write this short review about it. 

The X-Plane 9 Mobile app includes the following aircraft:

    * Cessna 172
    * Columbia 400
    * Piper Malibu
    * Cirrus Vision
    * Piaggio Avanti
    * Beechcraft King Air

and the following regions:

    * Innsbruck, Austria
    * Hawaii
    * Boswell Bay, Alaska
    * Southern California
    * San Francisco, California
    * Desert Sky, California

While this application is not designed to be a simulator, but more a game to play, it still keeps quite a few options from original X-Plane which can customize your flight experience. You can set the region, select the aircraft, weather, weight and many others. You even have a small map of the area containing the navaids.
And yes, you can even do instrument flights with it!

After starting the application from the iPhone menu you are already in the game on the runway which is good as you can start flying in a couple of second. To change location, aircraft and option you need to click one of the icons at the top of the screen. From the same place you can pause the simulation or change the views. For IFR fans a instrument panel is also included, but it will be full screen giving you no possibility to see the scenery.

To start flying just click on the brakes icon to disable the brakes and on the area in the right side of the screen to set the flaps. When good to go just set the throttle from the left side of the screen. The plane will start to roll on the runway. Make sure you keep the  iPhone horizontal as any tilt will cause the plane to turn as well.

When ready to take off just tilt the iPhone towards you and soon you will find yourself floating between the clouds ;)
It takes some time to get used with the controls but I managed to do a landing correctly form the first try so I would say it is pretty easy to use.

You have also the option to customize the controls and flight dynamics of the aircraft to make it easier or harder.

There are different views you can choose from (outside and inside) but the one I used most of the time was the fighter hood like below which displays most of the parameters you need.

Scenery itself is ok, considering we are talking about a phone application, and it ran very smoothly on the iPhone 3Gs that I used for testing. Same applies to the instrument panel and 3d model of the aircrafts.

I would recommend reading the article about Flying X-Plane mobile that is posted on the website if you would like to find out more about how to play it.
All being said I would consider this one of the best aviation related mobile games available on the market.
Wish you  many hours of iPhone simming and take great care with the controls not to end up like me below:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Next edition of IVAO Cannonball Race

Next edition of IVAO Cannonball Race will take place on 27/02/2010 and will be held by IVAO HU Division.
More details....

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Extreme aproach in Iceland - real

Found this cool approach on Youtube:

and the charts.

The approach is made at Isafjordu (BIIS) airport in Iceland with a Fokker F50.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I am a big fan of the Garmin G1000 so I am  very happy to see a new aircraft with the  units installed in its Virtual Cockpit. I'ts the Diamond Star XLS by IRIS Flight simulation software. The 3d exterior model looks ok and the virtual cockpit event better. The product is available for purchase on simMarket and more info can be found on the official website.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mega Airport Amsterdam for FS9 released

The new scenery for one of Europe's largest airports is available on Aerosoft online shop.

    *  All buildings and airport institutions
    * Dynamic and animated objects
    * High resolution day- and night textures
    * Photorealistic textures on buildings, vehicles, etc.
    * Docking systems
    * Fully compatible to the standard AI traffic and traffic add-ons such as MyTrafficX
    * Taxiways, apron with realistic rendered textures
    * Hundreds of taxiway- and runway signs according to original plans
    * Dynamic vehicle traffic on the airport (and surrounding) based on AESLite
    * Supports AES (Airport Enhancement Services) from version 2.06 (coming soon)
    * Manual (German / English)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mega Airport Amsterdam Schiphol preview

Some screenshots with the Mega Airport Amsterdam Schiphol scenery still in development have been posted on the forums. Looks very interesting but I think it is still missing some details. Looking forward to see the final product when it is completed.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Video with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner cockpit

A video tour of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner's interior including cockpit at the Boeing production plant in Everett, Wash.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

CLS 767 Flight Tutorial

A flight tutorial for the CLS Boeing 767 has been released and can be downloade from CLS website.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Outerra graphics engine

Nice graphics engine for rendering the planet, currently in development.  I would love to have such tree density in a flight simulator. More details here.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Free airport and airline databases

I was working on a website project and was in need for a free open source database with airports and airlines. Here are a couple I could find:

Provides two different csv databases, one with airports and the other with airlines. Airport database contains close to 6000 entries covering most of the big airports around the world. Airline database is quite big as well (over 9000 entries). Also the websites offers a route database. The OpenFlights Airport, Airline and Route Databases are made available under the Open Database License.

Largest public domain airports database I could find. Contains over 43000 airports from around the world. The files are released under public domain.

The Global Airport Database
Over 9000 airports under Common Public License.