X-Plane is one of the world’s most comprehensive, powerful flight simulators, and has the most realistic flight model available for personal computers. It comes with subsonic and supersonic flight dynamics, sporting aircraft from the Bell 206 Jet-Ranger helicopter and Cessna 172 light plane to the supersonic SR-71 and Space Shuttle. X-Plane comes with 35 aircraft spanning the aviation industry (and history), and several thousand more are freely downloadable from the internet.
X-Plane scenery is world-wide, with scenery for the entire planet Earth between 74 degrees north to 60 degrees south latitude. We also have MARS scenery! (thanks to the Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter, which mapped that planet’s elevation). On Earth, you can land at any of over 33,000 airports, as well as test your mettle on aircraft carriers, helipads on building tops, frigates that pitch and roll in the waves, and oil rigs.
Weather is variable from clear skies and high visibility to thunderstorms with controllable wind, wind shear, turbulence, and microbursts! Rain, snow and clouds are available for an instrument flying challenge, and thermals are available for the gliders! Real weather conditions can be downloaded from the internet, allowing you to fly in the actual weather that currently exists at the location of flight!
X-Plane also has detailed failure-modeling, with multitudes of systems that can be failed manually or randomly, when you least expect it! You can fail instruments, engines, flight controls, landing gear, or dozens of other systems at any moment.
While X-Plane is the world’s most comprehensive flight sim, your purchase also comes with Plane-Maker (to create your own airplanes) Airfoil-Maker (allowing users to create airfoil performance profiles), and Weather Briefer (to get a weather briefing before the flight if you use real weather conditions downloaded from the internet).
X-Plane is also extremely customizable, allowing you to easily create textures, sounds, and instrument panels for your own airplanes that you design or the planes that come with the sim.
X-Plane’s accuracy (in flight model), scope (in aircraft and terrain coverage), versatility (in aircraft type and weather conditions), add-on programs (in aircraft and scenery editors), customizability, downloadable aircraft, and downloadable scenery makes it the ultimate flight simulation experience for Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms.
Be sure to turn on the beta option in the installer before you run it to get the beta!
The demo contains a limited scenery area to keep the download size reasonable. It will run for 10 minutes before it begins to ignore the user’s input, at which point the simulator must be restarted to fly more.