Category Archives: PC and Consoles

X-Plane 9: Call of the sky

In January 2009, the 25-year history of Microsoft Flight Simulator came to an end as ACES fell victim to the crisis. Players still have the only mass civil aircraft simulator (not counting the free FlightGear) – X-Plane 9, not so long ago received from the U.S. Civil Aviation Authority long-awaited status of a simulator. The certificate was issued to the “professional” version, but at the heart it does not differ from the publicly available game.

King of the mountain

Climbing to the top, X-Plane hasn’t changed her habits. Beginners are still “thrown into the water” without any training or at least an explanation of the basics of piloting. Hopes on the user’s manual are jammed by localization – it was cut down, no less, by an order of magnitude. The person in love with the sky will come out on his own, the rest will be sidelined.

Experienced pilot will find everything in its place – minimalistic interface has not changed, as well as the gameplay. Choosing one of several dozen aircraft, you can do with it anything you want: to spin aerobatics, fly around the airfield “in a box” or rush into a long flight. Missions are reduced to a set of “non-standard situations”: return from orbit, refueling in the air, start from a catapult or aircraft carrier deck. Fighters and bombers carry a full set of ammunition on board, but the bombs with missiles do not cause the slightest damage. Beginning terrorists may as well ram skyscrapers – there are almost no “palpable” objects on the surface of the earth. An exception has been made for all “takeoff and landing” facilities, i.e. aircraft carriers, oil rigs and helipads.

It’s even for the better – somewhere through a flat, wide runway (repeating the relief of the terrain) passes … the road with a busy traffic. The landscapes are not all right at all. First, to get the whole world at your disposal, you need to spend a lot of money and download a few DVDs from the official website. Secondly, do not count on flights over the Kremlin, despite the fact that “Akella” first released a disc with the territory of Russia. Moscow is recognizable only by its topographical features. And we do not have many operating airfields (without the Far East) and in Eastern Europe. Therefore, I advise you not to go for patriotism, but to buy a version with the U.S. territory – there are pond airfields.

The flight model, the pride of the developers, is as good as before. What is achievable in MSFS in rare modes, here – in the order of things. The flight of any car is modelled according to the laws of the blade element theory, taking into account the parameters of the air environment and 3D-model geometry. From the propeller to the tip of the wing the plane is divided into dozens of zones, and for each of them there are active forces and the equivalent, which determines the direction of flight. Of course, the matmodel became more complicated when changing versions, especially in the calculation of whirlwinds. However, the impression is blurred by the absence of flutter. In diving and weak Cessna 172 is able to approach the speed of sound – it is not threatened by shaking, or the destruction of the structure associated with it. Such “anti-science” mode allows to reveal other drawbacks which do not arise in usual conditions. A shift in aerodynamic focus would certainly make a straight wing plane dive, but it does not.

Defects are more puzzling than spoiling the fun of the game; they are unlikely to show up in a normal flight. He pulled the control knob, the overload – and just struck by the speed of “Cessna” falls off with the detached wing. The unsightly visualization of the damage is incredibly far from the battle “flying” – the broken knot just disappears. Although one of its appearance in a civilian simulator is an event.

The emphasis is made on “internal content” – the list of failures and malfunctions is wide, even the ingress of water into the fuel is taken into account. The settings have a lot of problems on the tail stabilizer – from the failed altimeter to the bird flock. The birds can be pushed to repeat the recent feat of Chesley Sullenberger, who managed to bring the emergency Airbus to the Hudson surface.

“After assembling, to treat with a file.”

“There’s no need for good graphics, the main thing is realism,” says the virtual pilots. “Beauty won’t hurt anybody, the plane should look like its prototype, not like a log with wings,” says others. Previously, Austin Meyer mainly listened to the first opinion, and now he is interested in the second. Graphics does not shine literally – reflections promise only in the next updates. But already now small aircraft and helicopters in detail do not lag behind MSFS HKRATIVE information about the game, along the way boasting of full-fledged three-dimensional cabins. After X-Plane 8Brief information about the game, which looked extremely pale against the background of MSFS 2004: A Century of FlightThe brief information about the game is a real breakthrough. Remember, “as it was”, will help legendary “Discovery” together with some aircrafts, migrated from previous versions. Among the graphic innovations there are thicker forests and denser cities with even more dense buildings, which sharply raise the demands on the video card. Reduce fps and display of the flight model, when the spaces

“After assembling the file to be treated with a file.”

“There’s no need for good graphics, the main thing is realism,” says the virtual pilots. “Beauty won’t hurt anybody, the plane should look like its prototype, not like a log with wings,” says others. Previously, Austin Meyer mainly listened to the first opinion, and now he is interested in the second. Graphics does not shine literally – reflections promise only in the next updates. But already now small aircraft and helicopters in detail do not lag behind MSFS HKRATIVE information about the game, along the way boasting of full-fledged three-dimensional cabins. After X-Plane 8Brief information about the game, which looked extremely pale against the background of MSFS 2004: A Century of FlightThe brief information about the game is a real breakthrough. Remember, “as it was”, will help legendary “Discovery” together with some aircrafts, migrated from previous versions. Among the graphic innovations there are thicker forests and denser cities with even more dense buildings, which sharply raise the demands on the video card. It will also reduce the fps and display of the flight model, when the space around the aircraft is colored with episodes demonstrating the processes occurring with the machine.

X-Plane has enough features. Want to try something new? In Plane-Maker editor we edit the available technique or create something “from scratch”, guided by either drawings or fantasy. There are no restrictions on the type – build blimps with a helicopter propeller and reverse sweep wings. At the same time, check whether it can take off. On a holiday of disobedience is allowed to swing on the foundations of the universe, changing the radius of the Earth or Mars and the coefficient of free fall on their surface.

However, not everything is provided for. Of course, flight simulators often “grow” with various additional programs. But if, say, in the “IL-2Brief information about the game” can fly for years, without thinking about the existence of NewView or Hyperlobby, the fan of X-Plane is much harder. QuickTime, required for recording videos, is nothing. OEM network game is more suitable for training, but the installation of special plug-ins for multiplayer in IVAO or VATSIM networks can and should be forgiven. At least because of the specifics of these networks, which connect pilots and dispatchers from around the world. Much more serious is the lack of a normal flight planner and the need to use conditionally free programs like GoodWay for route planning. Especially with such detailed implementation of navigation systems and equipment.

Horizontal transfer

X-Plane is a rare example of long and smooth development in the gaming industry. It’s an ascending straight line that’s been going back to 1999. Laminar Research has found an empty niche and continues to perfect its product. The ideal, of course, is still far away, but the points we have exhibited are well deserved. For 2008.

Come out the “nine” today, after learning about the clinical death of a competitor, the score would probably be lower. After all, with your hand on your heart, how many people playing X-Plane 9 in the world wouldn’t have a disk with a simulator from Microsoft lying on the shelf? Someone needs it only for comparison, but most people started flying with it. Like any other community of flight simulators, it needs to be constantly updated. Someone loses interest, someone is returned to the land by family and household worries. And if MSFS with its extensive textbook and an abundance of tasks with a clear complexity can fascinate a beginner, then more realistic, but at the same time ascetic and unfriendly X-Plane can easily push away. And this will mean further extinction of the genre. AccelerationBrief information about the game for a long time will not be enough.

P.S. Following the localization of X-Plane 9 from “Akella” “New Disc” released X-Plane 8Brief information about the game. Each other they differ from each other about as different versions of Photoshop, so analyze it separately senseless. It is necessary to note only that here we deal with the original, not russified simulator, but complete with a large-scale Russian-speaking management. In addition, the love of antiquity is rewarded with landscapes of five continents. It is only strange that instead of v8.64 we sent v8.00 to the press. Do not forget to download updates.

FlightGear: open source cross-platform aircraft simulator

Based on the OpenSceneGraph (OSG) graphics engine. Graphics is decent, but FlightGear is a simulator, not an arcade. Physics and aerodynamics are more important than ease of operation and without a basic knowledge of the management of real equipment, you will not be able to take off.

FlightGear was created as an aircraft simulator for research and educational purposes, flight modeling. You can play both alone and online. Versions are available for Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X and Windows. Distributed under GPL license.

FlightGear World Scenery contains a map of the surface of the earth, descriptions of rivers, roads, towns and airfields, weighs more than 13GB. It doesn’t make sense to pump it right away, first, get used to the built-in maps and models.

You can install FlightGear through the package manager of your Linux distribution (packages will be called flightgear or fgfs). You can download the official build from the official FlightGear website.

You can start the aircraft simulator with the terminal command fgfs. By default you will find yourself in a Cessna 172 aircraft at the San Francisco airport. You can specify the airport and the model of the plane as follows:

fgfs --aircraft=aircraft_model --airport=airport

You can get the list of available planes with the following command:


fgfs --show-aircraft

Those who launch FlightGear for the first time can spend the whole evening looking for a “gas” button and, without finding it, remove this wonderful aircraft simulator. Therefore, I say at once – if you want an arcade with easy control and a basic slope on the graphics, FlightGear is not for you. The control is complicated and I wouldn’t even call FlightGear a game, it’s a tool for those who know the subject. And the necessary documentation can be obtained in large quantities on the official website of the simulator.

Frecce Tricolori Flight Simulator: an all-Italian flight simulator for smartphones

The whole world knows the Frecce Tricolore: since 1961, this spectacular tradition has left its mark in the skies and hearts of the people who witnessed their amazing acrobatics. Who knows how many children, fascinated by their flight, have dreamed of being able to cross the skies, in the same way, one day! But without calling into question their dreams and aspirations, who knows how many wanted, instead, to experience at least once the thrill and emotion of getting into a cockpit and juggling dangerous stunts. Yes, all very nice, but who has the courage to do it seriously? Virtual reality will certainly not be a complete substitute, but a taste of those emotions can give us: RORTOS, Italian company world leader in flight simulators for mobile, with over 60 million copies distributed, announces the collaboration with Aeronautica Militare and the next publication of Frecce Tricolori Flight Simulator. This fusion is aimed at creating a simulation for smartphones as faithful as possible: after becoming familiar with simple stunts, such as looping, the player can try maneuvers such as cardioid, apollo 313, arizona and many others, with the ability to cover any role of the formation. One of the game modes also provides the possibility to organize the exhibition by composing at will the official stunts in the real scenarios faithfully reproduced: Rivolto, RAF Fairford, Terracina and Manerba del Garda. Frecce Tricolori Flight Simulator is equipped with a multi-camera replay mode with which you can admire the show that the user has managed to create with his maneuvers.

In the Flight Simulator section, thanks to REAL WORLD technology it will be possible to start immediately planning your flight in over 500 faithfully reproduced airports and airspaces with more than 8000 waypoints, all on board the aircraft that have made the history of this tradition, such as the MB339 PAN, the EUROFIGHTER, the TORNADO and the F-104 STARFIGHTER. Realism is the basis of the experience, so we could not miss the day/night cycle and climatic conditions such as rain, snow, wind and even storms with lightning and lightning. Once inside the cockpit, the player will find himself in a 3D cockpit equipped with all the necessary equipment to pilot the vehicle. The commander of the Frecce Tricolori, Major Mirco Caffelli, said:

The attention to graphic details, the high definition of the scenarios and the realism of the simulation of this game will finally allow our fans to sit at the controls of the PAN aircraft and experience, in part, the emotions of flights in training, the fatigue required by hard training and the success of excellent teamwork, characteristics that identify the daily commitment of the women and men of the Air Force.

Roberto Simonetto, CEO of RORTOS, is more than satisfied with the work done, saying that there is no aerobatic flight simulator closer to the real experience than this currently available for smartphones. Frecce Tricolori Flight Simulator will soon be available for iOS and Android systems on the App Store and Google Play, and will be announced to the press and the public during the Gamerome event on Friday, November 11, 2016 at 10:30 am at UCI CINEMAS Hall 1.