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Old 10-03-07, 03:20 PM   #1
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X-Plane

Anybody have this? I'm getting it on Friday.


Worth it?
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Old 10-03-07, 03:21 PM   #2
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what is it?
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Old 10-03-07, 03:21 PM   #3
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Is it anything like an X-bike?
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Old 10-03-07, 03:22 PM   #4
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Flight simulator.
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Old 10-03-07, 03:22 PM   #5
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explain.
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Old 10-03-07, 03:24 PM   #6
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explain.
haha! Explain x-plane.
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Old 10-03-07, 03:25 PM   #7
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Precursor to the x-wing fighter?
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Old 10-03-07, 04:06 PM   #8
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I have it, actually several versions going back to 5.1

It allows you to design aircraft then fly them and test them out using about as close to real world physics as can be done. Graphics are unbelievable as are the realistic flight response you get. Downside, it isn't combat, closest you can get to that is it allows you to dump water on forest fires.

If you have an nvidia graphics card and/or via chipset on your motherboard it may or may not work. Its an openGL game and nvidia's drivers broke it like 10 versions ago with no fix planned AFAIK. The old nvidia driver will work though, versions before 77.xx I think.

basically in flight the game takes your aircraft and splits into thousands of parts and analyzes the forces on each then compiles that together to make the flight envelope and it does it in real time
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Old 10-03-07, 04:07 PM   #9
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Very technical - they use it for flight training. As long as you're not expecting a game, it should be good.
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Old 10-03-07, 04:13 PM   #10
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X-Plane is probably the best flight sim around, when it comes to the physics of flight. It simulates a whole range of aerodynamical phenomena. I got hooked on X-Plane in 2001 (v5.66) and was a serious X-Plane junkie for the following four years. I also spent hours and hours analysing the physics model, to find out what was modelled, how it was modelled and how to optimise aircraft models based on that.

It's greatest feature is its aircraft design suite. You shape the fuselage, the nacelles and other bodies, then add wings, v-stabs and h-stabs and aux wings. Then engines (unless it's a glider) and you also design the prop(s) and/or rotor(s). The wing shapes can be varied a great deal, and have a large number of different control surfaces assigned to them (ailerons, elevators, flaps, speed brakes, spoilers, rudders, split surface rudders, tilting sections, leading-edge slats, et c). Each wing is made up of a user-set number of elements, that are used in the physics model for lift, drag and moment calculations, along with airfoil data (for two different Reynolds numbers per wing end).

Centre of gravity can be set, and a large number of fuel tank locations (and volumes) can be specified, and fuel can be transfered between them in flight, altering CofG. Wings can be set to sweep (F-14, F-111, Tornado), retract laterally or pivot upwards (carrier aircraft style). Flying wings are also possible, as well as canard designs, and even lifting bodies (lift, drag and moment, as well as wave drag at transonic and supersonic speeds, is calculated for all bodies, and not just for wings).

Engines can be carburettor pistons, injected pistons (supercharged or not), turboprops (fixed, free), jets (high bypass, low bypass), electric, rocket and probably something else that I've forgotten. A large number of variables, limits and special stuff can be set for them, including stuff like driving one prop with two engines, two props with one engine, props that retract into the fuselage, and so on...

Pilot viewpoint locations and light (beacons, nav lights, tail light, landing lights) positions are set along with tow hook and lift hook positions, and refueling nozzle location. The instrument panel can be totally customised, and two different positions are available (pilot and co-pilot positions). The electrical system can be configured, and different systems and instruments can be assigned to different generators/buses. The vacuum system and the hydraulics can also be configured to some extent.

Landing gear configurations galore.

Gliders, lifting bodies, multi-engined aircraft, helos, autogyros, blimps, rockets are all types of aicraft that can be simulated.

The atmosphere is modelled as closely as possible to the real thing, with pressure, temperature and density varying correctly upwards. You can even leave the atmosphere and head out into space, where rockets work, and reaction control thrusters allow you to manoeuvre. During re-entry, there is even kinetic heating (although the simulation isn't sophisticated enough to simulate materials and melting...) as shown by the nose temperature data output (available along with dozens and dozens of other data outputs during flight). It's fully possible to fly the Space Shuttle from a post de-orbit burn state to a landing at Edwards, for example.

99% of all my flying in X-Plane was flight testing of my own creations. Among the more fun and "practical" aircraft I designed was the four-engined tilt-rotor transport:




And a small jet:



Ok, this is turning into a novel, so I'll just stop for now...
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Old 10-03-07, 04:20 PM   #11
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X-Plane is pretty schweet as long as your goal is to geek out with a super-realistic flight sim. If you're expecting a game, look elsewhere.

Now that I have the MBP I might have to pick up v8...
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Old 10-03-07, 04:27 PM   #12
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Now that I have the MBP I might have to pick up v8...
Meh, knowing the whims of Mr. Meyer, v9 is probably right around the corner... I mean, he's at 8.61b now, and an X.6x has been the end of the line for most versions.
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Old 10-03-07, 04:31 PM   #13
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Meh, knowing the whims of Mr. Meyer, v9 is probably right around the corner... I mean, he's at 8.61b now, and an X.6x has been the end of the line for most versions.
I was offered 8.6 AND 9 for $100 when I ordered them. 9 should be out in January...
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Old 10-03-07, 05:28 PM   #14
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nothing better than playing pretend with digital images of aircraft.

FTW!
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Old 10-03-07, 08:22 PM   #15
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I thought it was free
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Old 10-04-07, 04:39 AM   #16
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nothing better than playing pretend with digital images of aircraft.

FTW!
Being a naive loser on the internet.

FTW!
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Old 10-04-07, 06:49 AM   #17
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Being a naive loser on the internet.

FTW!
how is it not playing pretend (not actually flying) with digital images of aircraft (not real planes, but pictures of them on a computer screen)? help my naive self understand.

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Old 10-04-07, 07:33 AM   #18
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Until I get my pilot's license, it's all I've got.
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Old 10-04-07, 07:36 AM   #19
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how is it not playing pretend (not actually flying) with digital images of aircraft (not real planes, but pictures of them on a computer screen)? help my naive self understand.
Pretending is one thing - knowing and accepting the limitations of a computer simulation displayed on a screen is another. Never have I pretended it was the real thing.

I have no interest at all in actual flying. I'm interested in designing and constructing aircraft. In lieu of a few billion dollars, an R&D department and a major manufacturing plant, X-Plane is a pretty good substitute. Sure, it doesn't simulate everything, and what it does simulate is done through generalised and simplified methods, but the consensus is that it usually comes very close to reality, given realistic input. That's good enough for me.
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Old 11-08-07, 02:04 PM   #20
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A very good game indeed!
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Old 11-08-07, 02:15 PM   #21
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I have a friend who's a flight-instructor and flies DC-9 cargo planes. He's mentioned that X-plane was darn good and better than some of the actual simulators out there.
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Old 11-08-07, 02:26 PM   #22
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I've been flying for some time and have never been overly thrilled with PC simulators. I think it is the lack of the 'big picture" you get from the cockpit vs a screen plus the actual feel of the accelerations, G loads, etc. It could also be that it took me a long time to be proficient with all the switches on the stick and throttles and I am too lazy to relearn that process on a computer. That being said, they make for great introductions to the concept of cross checks and some aircraft performance abilities.
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Old 11-08-07, 03:43 PM   #23
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For some reason I get more thrills from going fast on the ground.
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Old 11-08-07, 06:16 PM   #24
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Until I get my pilot's license, it's all I've got.
Orly I might get one, my neighbor has a plane in his driveway, then my pops was a pilot and he's an air traffic controller.
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Old 11-08-07, 06:20 PM   #25
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Orly I might get one, my neighbor has a plane in his driveway, then my pops was a pilot and he's an air traffic controller.
I has a plane.
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