welcome back

x + sim + reviews have been there and done that – and once or twice before, too, with Chip & Simon covering X-plane a total of seven years – from the end of version 8 and into version 9, and then into the early phases of version 10. Life intervened but with the emergence of XP11 we thought it time to wipe the dust off our joysticks and share some of our thoughts regarding our favorite flight simulator. So, Chip and Simon and Adrian will be here once again, posting images and observations as new resources come to market, and our focus this time out will be on X-plane 11 – and only XP11.

Our header image (above) kind of says it all, at least as far as the State of X-plane circa late 2017 goes. Without a doubt, the best aircraft file we have is IXEG’s 737-300 Classic, an acf (aircraft file) that has redefined what X-plane can bring to the flight simulation community. The file is “deep” – and by that we mean the systems and procedures presented are fairly representative of what you’d find out on the ramps in the real world.

733 eddl 1

In the image above, the 733 is flying past the main terminal complex on it’s downwind leg, getting ready to land at AeroSOFTs EDDL Dusseldorf – in what has to be one of the best airport scenery files AeroSOFT has yet brought to market.

733 downwind 1

And the point of all this, simply put, is that X-plane has (finally) entered the Promised Land of flight simulation, which is the widespread acceptance once enjoyed only by MicroSOFT Flight Simulator. With that acceptance comes news that developers far and wide – who once said they’d never develop for XP – are now turning to their red-headed step-child in droves.

Why? And – why now?

Well, because XP has always been the better SIM for producing an accurate flight model, yet, despite this edge, XP simply failed to impress developers, and some end-users, with many its comparatively limited graphics routines. We’ll have more on this as time passes, but let’s just say that many developers are now turning to X-plane, and for a wide variety of reasons.

X-plane is, we think, finally coming into its own and it couldn’t come at a better time for the flight simulation community. The world in general and the U.S. in particular face looming shortages of pilots, so anything that pulls kids into the SIM has the potential to bring future pilots into the job pipeline, and with today’s X-plane moving into the realm of hyper-realism it has what it takes to attract an audience receptive to extreme levels of realistic user experience. When kids tire of fantasy, in other words, they’ll find in X-plane an immersive experience that also happens to hold out the potential to be a training tool – something, perhaps, more relevant to their futures than killing aliens and zombies about to overrun the local mall.

XS 752 1

So, wherever your imagination takes you, whether we’ll find you in Portland, Oregon (above) or San Francisco…

XS 752 2 sfo 1

or in the early morning skies over Los Angeles…

XS MD80 1

…we think you’ll find XP11 – the NEW X-plane – well worth your time.

To that end, as we have over the years, we’ll be showcasing some of the latest and greatest files to hit the X-plane marketplace. Not simply product reviews, our take on these files will cover the basics AND their relevance to the world out there beyond your Mac or PC, and sometimes our own brand of irreverent nonsense will slip in and gum up the works, too.

So, if you haven’t dropped by in a few years, welcome back.


We’ll be here, sittin’ on the front porch drinkin’ coffee and flyin’, so feel free to drop by anytime.

xs 733 BOS 1

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