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X-Plane 6 is a flight simulator using the blade element theory. It provides a real-time simulation of flight using actual weather info, aircraft systems performance and failures, accurate topographical data and real world navaids (over 25,600) and airports (over 21,000). The game is bundled with tools to design and modify aircraft, navaids and scenery. Also, various aircraft models have been included such as the Boeing 747, Piper Malibu, F-22 Raptor, Cessna 172, Bell 206, X-15, and Space Shuttle, to name a few.

This version differs from the previous in the following major areas:
  • Minimum resolution increased to 1024x768.
  • New scenery format with 5 times the number of elevation points.
  • Auto-generated buildings.
  • New aircraft format with new texture format and greatly increased flexibility in instruments. Vastly improved default instruments.
  • Round world terrain model that eliminates the old distortions and errors.
  • Major terrain upgrade: improved terrain accuracy for the US, land use data, all new terrain textures, roads, rivers, power lines, etc.
  • Custom scenery folders.
The game uses the so-called blade element theory (19th century) to calculate aircraft behaviour. In essence this theory regards each surface as an airfoil and calculates the forces acting upon to derive its velocity. Hence the way the aircraft handles and behaves is governed by its shape, weight, centre of gravity (CG), drag and thrust. Other flight simulators have chosen to use tables for aircraft performance. One benefit of that approach is that less powerful computers can perform the simulation. By using different factors for density, gravity, the game will allow for flights in a different atmosphere. An included example is Mars.

Plug-ins enhance this simulator further by adding, for instance, real-time online flying, flight planning and control. The game can output data which can be fed to motion platforms, displays, navigation systems or home-built cockpits. It can also receive data from external sources such as RC-flight controls, Garmin GPS system, or your own flight model. Different angles of view can be output to up to 5 individual monitors (or streamed over the LAN/Internet).


X-Plane 6 Macintosh "Blade Element Theory" in action
X-Plane 6 Windows Tupolev 144
X-Plane 6 Windows Online flight over the Mojave
X-Plane 6 Macintosh XB-70 Valkyrie

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Critic Reviews

IGN Windows Jan 05, 2001 8.2 out of 10 82
GameGenie Windows 2001 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
PC Jeux Windows Jul, 2001 80 out of 100 80
Inside Mac Games (IMG) Macintosh May 29, 2002 7.25 out of 10 72
GameSpot Windows Dec 13, 2000 7.1 out of 10 71
Joystick (French) Windows Oct, 2002 7 out of 10 70
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) Windows Feb 08, 2001 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
GameStar (Germany) Windows Jan, 2001 67 out of 100 67
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Windows Aug 09, 2003 5.5 out of 10 55


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The CD actually comes with two versions of X-Plane, X-Plane Classic (not 3D accelerated), and X-Plane 5.X, which is OpenGL accelerated.

Related Web Sites

  • 3rd Party Aircraft models for X-Plane (This site an X-Plane aircraft production, distribution, and development site. Features over 30 unique and premium quality add-on aircraft models for the flight simulator X-Plane. Its design covers: - Piper aircraft - Beechcraft aircraft - Cirrus aircraft - Cessna aircraft - Corporate aircraft - Helicopters - X-series aircraft concept designs)
  • Dutch X-Plane Scenery Development (Home of a small team of scenery developers focussing on creating scenery for X-Plane covering the Netherlands. This team has been creating scenery since X-Plane v.4.)
  • German X-Plane Scenery Development (Home of the German team of scenery developers for X-Plane. Its releases cover Northern, Southern Germany as well as Austria and Switzerland, using high resolution satellite images.)
  • Global Scenery for X-Plane (Home of the Global Scenery for X-Plane. It shows through galeries what the 60 Gigabytes of scenery can offer, and which areas of the globe are covered. Highlights are Grand Canyon, Australia, Austria, Egypt, and New Zealand (to name a few of the 30+ galeries listed).)
  • Navigation Aid and Airport Data for X-Plane (This site publishes data that provides details of all the airports, runways, taxiways, navigation aids (NDBs, VORs, VORTACs, DMEs and ILS components) and IFR intersections (aka "fixes") and global high and low airways for the X-Plane and FlightGear flight simulators. New data is released on a regular 28-day update cycle. It is based upon freely-available US Government Department of Defense and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) data, supplemented with gracious submissions by many X-Plane users. It is maintained by Robin Peel.

  • Plug-In Enhancements for X-Plane (Plug-ins can expand capabilities of the core X-Plane simulation. Plug-ins can add extra flight planning, and specific animation during flight, as well as supply online flying capabilities by connecting to virtual flying networks. This site is mainly focused on enhancing the X-Plane flight simulator with the use of plugins.)
  • The X-Plane FAQ (The FAQ site for X-Plane covering all aspects of X-Plane, including the platform it's running on. It covers: - Installing and Upgrading - Configuration - Making it Work - Flying and Navigation - Resources - Version 8 - Version 7 - Version 6 - Version 5 - Detailed History - Networking - Video Cards and Hardware - Aircraft - format and conversion - PlaneMaker and Aircraft Construction - Generation 8 Global Scenery - Scenery, Airports, and Navaids - Building Scenery - Theory)
  • Third Party Scenery for X-Plane (X-Scenery.com is home to premier object-based scenery for X-Plane. Its goal is to provide some of the highest quality add-on scenery for the X-Plane flight simulator application (versions 7 & 8).)
  • X-Plane (Official website)
  • X-Plane Flight Planning Software (GoodWay is the main software for generating flight plans for X-Plane. It uses all of the navaids and the airports of X-Plane - which are based on real live data. It allows you to create your own fight plan or it can generate one for you automatically.)
  • X-Plane.org (The place for newsgroups, plane models, and scenery downloads, and online flying.)
Contributed to by DaHero (973) and Cyborg (1216)
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