- Media Format
This is the full global edition of X-Plane with over 80GB of world scenery on 8 double-layer DVDs in an exclusive metal packaging box.
After almost 4 years, the long awaited X-Plane 10 is here. The X-Plane series has offered a highly competitive alternative to market-leading Microsoft Flight Simulator for almost 20 years (X-Plane 1 debuted in 1993). X-Plane works on a different modeling theory than MFS. As a result, aircraft handling is more realistic.
While other flight simulators imitate known flight characteristics of an aircraft, X-Plane “predicts” how an airplane will fly. It does this by estimating how a plane will fly with different weight, mass, thrust, shape, and control deflections inputs. For example, X-Plane programmers examine a wing by breaking down the airspeed, air density, Mach number, angle of attack and side slip of the air hitting it. In short, they use the plane’s force on the surrounding air to gauge flight characteristics.
The result is that the flying experience is very consistent across a wide range of aircraft. Each one feels “real” because its own characteristics are being used to determine its flight behavior. This makes the flying experience more realistic than competing simulators.
Let’s look at the features...
X-Plane 10 features a solid cross-section of 30 pre-installed aircraft. Users can choose from a Cessna 172 to a Bell 206 Jet-Ranger helicopter. Are you bored with life on Earth and ready to head to the stars? Jump in the Space Shuttle and take it for a spin.
Aircraft options include commercial jets, VTOL aircraft like the AV8-B Harrier, gliders, and a myriad of single and multi-engine configurations. And that’s just the beginning. X-Plane fans have created thousands of additional aircraft you can find on the web. You can even build your own.
Standard X-Plane 10 aircraft include
- Cirrus Vision SF50
- X-15 and X-30 X-Planes
- Beechcraft Baron 58
- Great Planes PT-60 RC plane
- Cessna 172SP
- McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender
- Piaggo P.180 Avanti
- Boeing 747-400 and 747-100
- Stinson L-5 Sentinel
- Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey
- ASK-21 glider
- Boeing B-52G Stratofortress
- Bell 47 helicopter
- Van’s RV-3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
- Beechcraft King Air C90B
- Rockwell B-1B Lancer
- F-22 Raptor
- Viggen JA37
- Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
- F-4 Phantom II
- Bombardier Canadair CL-415
- Bell 206 helicopter
- Boeing 777-200
- Boeing AV-8B Harrier II
- Piper PA-46 Malibu
- Sikorsky S-61 helicopter
- Northrop B-2 Spirit
- Space Shuttle Orbiter
- Robinson R22 Beta helicopter
- Thunder Tiger Raptor 30 v2 RC helicopter
Scenery and Airports
The scenery engine has been completely rewritten for X-Plane 10. Instead of using low resolution photos as the basis for scenery, X-Plane 10 uses textures created by artists. The textures are painted on screen as the action unfolds, auto-generated with sophisticated artificial intelligence.
When X-Plane 10 was released, the designers explained that they didn’t want a poor rendition of the actual world, but “a beautiful rendition of a plausible world.” For example, when you fly near the water, the AI system produces the type of houses that are common to that area. They aren’t renditions of actual houses, but gorgeous renditions of houses that plausibly would exist in that geography.
X-Plane 10 uses actual data from Open Street Maps, an open source, global mapping database. As a result, all the roads, bridges, exits and intersections are real. Because the scenery is computer generated and so vast, there was no way for a human to check the quality of rendering in every possible place on Earth the software covers. Therefore, some
X-Plane 10 buyers will be the first people to explore many parts of the Earth inside the system.
In X-Plane 9, you can often make out the 2-D nature of the clouds. That is partly because that version uses different cloud images that it incorporates based on the weather. Often clouds were “repeated.”
In X-Plane 10, each cloud is generated individually on the fly. The result is incredible 3-D realism. Clouds change color, opacity and hue as the sun changes position in the sky during the day. For example, flights near sunset will experience a rich tapestry of dark purples, tinges of pink, warm oranges and burnt yellows.
X-Plane 10 weather features levels of realism never possible in X-Plane 9. The weather ranges from crystal clear blue skies with excellent visibility to raging thunderstorms. Users have total control of wind, turbulence, wind shear and cloudbursts.
Pilots that want to challenge themselves on instrument flying can choose to be hit with clouds, rain and snow. Glider pilots can even ride massive thermals that take them far afield.
Not realistic enough for you? Well, you can grab “real weather from net” on the menus, which tells the system to download real-time weather conditions from the internet from specific locations. It updates the weather every hour.
When using this feature in X-Plane 9, the weather was updated every minute. This proved unworkable as it caused too many wild fluctuations in aircraft flight behavior. The accurate lighting, delicate shadow detail, realistic thunderstorms and exacting control features make the X-Plane 10 weather system superior to any flight simulator.
One of the best features of X-Plane 10 is failure-modeling. Pilots can make systems fail manually, or let the computer do it randomly. This means that during flight the engine may go out, the landing gear may get stuck, or flight controls shut off. It allows pilots to test their mettle, and adds a dramatic dimension to even the most routine flights.
X-Plane allows a tremendous amount of customization. Users can choose a wide variety of interior and exterior surfaces, audio, and instrument panels for their own airplane designs, or modifications of the aircraft supplied with the program.
Air Traffic Control
Air Traffic Control in X-Plane 9 was fairly limited. X-Plane 10 has some major ATC improvements:
- You now get up to 20 different planes taxiing, landing and taking off at different times, vastly improving the realism of an airport jet way.
- Each of the aircraft is in communication with ATC, which you can hear on your radio. The system randomly selects different planes to put into the scene. It’s not completely perfect at this point, however. Planes have been known to edge on to the grass off the landing strip.
- The speed, position, and altitude of these additional planes can be adjusted from the local map. But your own aircraft can only be controlled from inside the cockpit. Hard core players can set up multiplayer action by adding up to 19 different IP addresses. Flight plans are similar to what X-Plane 9 offered, the difference being that pre-recorded audio files are used rather than the “computer speech” function used in previous versions.
- Aircraft details, engine sounds and other ambient textures are excellent. Wings actually flex and you can really feel the different weights and characteristics of each aircraft.
To grab an aircraft to get started, you simply access the X-Plane folder; pick a category, and then a specific plane. This remains relatively unchanged from X-Plane 9 and is an area the developers should look to improve in coming updates. Microsoft FSX offers a better user experience with a series of 3D rotating images that the user can choose from.
The plane-maker feature allows you to build your own plane. There have made small improvements that make the process easier. Both the UNDO and REDO functions now show the keys so a nice key list is available. Wing elements are easier to edit and you can view more of the fuselage if you have a big monitor.
Very few consumers will have computers powerful enough to run X-Plane 10 full-bore. The computing power needed to generate extremely detailed clouds, trees and buildings on the fly is too much for the average CPU.
Users can choose which graphics setting is best for their computer. When X-Plane 9 operates in lower graphic detail, it might make buildings on the ground “flat.” In contrast, X-Plane 10 renders all objects completely in 3-D. At lower graphics settings the system will simply render fewer buildings. For example, a neighborhood full of homes may only display a few houses.
The best change in X-Plane 10 under the hood is the ability to take advantage of dual and quad--core computers with multi-thread capability. The software will send different renderings to separate threads, allowing decent frame rates without overtaxing the computer.
In summary, X-Plane 10 has:
- A completely revamped scenery rendering method using auto-generated AI.
- More realistic Air Traffic Control systems and communications.
- A vastly improved flight model with greater accuracy than ever before.
- Better integration with multi-core CPU systems for more efficient power.
- A wide variety of single and multiple prop aircraft with enhanced 3-D cockpits.
X-Plane 10 is a significant improvement over X-Plane 9. Side by side comparisons of similar flights clearly show the dramatic increase in detail and texture of the scenery and infrastructure on the ground. For example, streetlights are so realistic their glow is shown on the side of low flying aircraft. Clouds, sunlight and rain all render beautifully.
While there are no new aircraft in X-Plane 10, Air Traffic Control is much more realistic. Now you have to file an actual flight plan and get clearance from ground control before take-off. Then ground control kicks you over to the tower, you get your vectors, and off you go.
Fans are reacting favorably around the web. One told X-Plane:
“I’m speechless! There are absolutely no words that can describe the beauty in X-Plane 10. I’m an avid flight simmer and current student pilot. X-Plane 10 is the closest to reality that I’ve experienced.” – Kendal, from Texas
With major strides in scenery and ATC, X-Plane 10 has positioned itself well for the coming years. As computer prices drop and processing power rises, more armchair pilots will be able to take advantage of all that X-Plane 10 has to offer.
X-Plane runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. All versions are included in the package.
You can run X-Plane 10 with these minimum system requirements:
- 2 GHz, dual-core CPU
- 2 GB of RAM
- DirectX 9.0c-capable video card with 128 MB of on-board, dedicated video RAM (VRAM)
- Joystick or Yoke
- Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or newer, or Mac OS, or Linux
You’ll enjoy the experience much more if you can match these more powerful specs:
- 3 GHz, multi-core CPU (or, even better, multiple processors)
- 4 GB of RAM or more
- DirectX 10-capable (DX11 preferred) video card with 1 GB of on-board, dedicated VRAM
- Joystick or Yoke and Rudders
The other major feature of X-Plane 10 is much improved air traffic control. Instead of using computerized voices and offering only occasional clearance and landing instructions, the system has undergone a complete overhaul. Now, you have to dial to the correct frequency (which you can look up by clicking on an airport on the local map), file your flight plan, and request clearance. Then, ground control will give you directions to the active runway (complete with arrows superimposed onto the ground) and hand you off to the tower when you approach the runway. The tower will then had you off to center, and they will give you vectors when landing at the airport of your choice. Sure, this is all stuff that was present in Microsoft’s Flight Simulator series eight years ago, but it’s a welcome addition here. The ATC is not without its problems: some of the gates and ramps used on the ground are bugged (showing programming code instead of calling them by name), occasionally the runways switch and the clearance controller forgets to approve your flight plan, and the air traffic controller is very impatient if you don’t descend immediately when instructed. Still, overall the system works. - EightofEight
Rated 3.7/5.0 based on 9 customer reviews
mac evans - 12/18/2012
Firstly, I have flown real aircraft, namely the C130, bristol Britannia and Comet 4C in the RAF. Also, chipmunks. I have great interest in flight sims having used microsofts efforts for years.
X plane 10 is a milestone in flight sims offering unparalled Ideas years ahead of fsx. Firstly,the plusible world which actualy works well in the latest "20.0" beta. Fsx scenery was sucha n eyesore with overlapping roads on top of "postage stamp" cities that looked awful.
Then theirs the stunning "real" night lighting. Even the aircraft spots light up buildings etc.Something that fsx could not achieve either. The feel of the aircraft in turbulance and reactions in clouds is scarily real!
Using some 3rd party aircraft is advisable as the default aircraft are not a "selling feature" of the sim. But then again Fsx was no better although had better default "3d cockpits".
Scenery design is just so much easier and faster than fsx with it's cumbersome"remapping"this and that and convertions required. Overlay editor gives a 3d view point and also allows the use of "Live google mapping", something I could not achieve in fsx despite what I used!
One more thing which is superb is the instant time of day one can dial in by pressing "k,l" keys or simply fast forward the time and watch shadows stretch! Superb compared to the long"reload" required in fsx.
Lastly, X-Plane 10 has a future with great support and regular updates throughout the products life for free. Now in 64bit,one can take advantage of more memory and computing power with more to follow as "Austin" adds feature after feature list!
I could go on but one really needs to get out of the"fsx" mind set and spen time with a new system as that is what "X-Plane 10" is.It has bugs for sure but regular updates are following every few weeks for sure!
Fsx has had it's day with many bugs that were never removed after microsoft stopped after SP2, let alone the fact that it was designed for only one CPU! Crippling to say the least!
At the end of the day it's your choice! Stay with older sims going no where or move up to 64bit and the future!
Ken Dickerson - 02/10/2012
X-Plane 10 is an incredible flight simulation program. First I am a retired helicopter pilot and hold a commercial helicopter with instrument rating. I have been flying sim planes since 1986 when Flight Simulator for the Atari ST first came out. I have owned every version of Microsoft Flight Simulator. I have also owned X-plane 9.
Now that I established myself, X-Plane 10 is by far better than FSX. The attention to detail and the way the terrain looks and how it drawn beats FSX into the dirt. X-Plane 10 is far better than its last version and I can see other flight simmers that fly the Virtual Skies eventually moving towards this sim.
I got tired with the old outdated FSX of trying to make it work. Any add-on, any change in the system, or just an update from FSX could cause me hours of trying to figure out what was wrong. X-plane 10 you load it (really recommend that you do this on a weekend since it can take awhile, really big!), load XaCars, your virtual airline programs and then hit the Fasten your Seat Belt Sign!
Flight simmers who are die hard FSX fans, I feel your pain. You are afraid to give up your comfort zone and pain that you know. PLus if you were like me, you have an invested money interest in your software. Well, just like all things in life, you have to be willing to try new things or you would still be riding your Big Wheel!
X-Plane 10 can be as intense as you want it or as easy. Bonus, they include in the disk a PLane Maker that really can make a plane. You just have to know how or willing to learn. Also found out that real aviation college students use X-plane for checking out their designs.
So if you are a software sim maker the field is wide open and those that are smart and start early will make a coin or two if they cater to X-Plane 10.
joseph theeboom - 02/03/2012
So far i can see nothing better than my FSX gold edition as I also have installed the global 2010 plus the latest the Americas. So as far as scenery goes mine is great. I also do not see any Airbus planes, as one review said ATC was in 2004 simulator 8 years ago, and the learning centre in FSX is excellent. I will wait for all the updates and patches before I buy the Xplane 10. I bought the Xplane 9. 2 years ago and it was not very good, as i pointed out to some one at Xplane a few months ago when they send me a notice about the new Xplane 10 i also feel that for people like myself who have Xplane 9 .there should be a special price to update to Xplane 10 .than i am sure many who bought the 9 version and were not happy with that. will buy the 10 Version. sincerely Joseph Theeboom
Gil Kori - 11/21/2013
As an owner of both X-plane 8 and 9, I just don't believe 10 will work any better. For me, X-plane always looked far better than FSX when I was looking at screen shots, but both 8 and 9 gave me such a terrible all around experience that I stopped bothering and they sleep now at the bottom of a drawer. I hope that you guys will have a better luck with 10, but I already paid $160 to Laminar Research and got them spit in my face, twice, so, fool me twice, shame on me and I learned my lesson...
Pontus Eriksson - 04/17/2014
Suggestion : With 8 dual-layer DVD's , why not make the simulator "naked" aswell ? Meaning bringing an OS of its own. This would speed up everything far more than people thinks. A basic version would only use standard hardware, but it still would speed it up and reduce size. Remember that Windows 95 used 50 MB only. I think basic model's are lacking. Like Boeing 707, 727,737, and some 747 , Locheed Tristar, DC8, 9 and 10 and Airbus A300, 320, 340 and 380
Skip Hill - 11/24/2013
Looks good, didn't see enough "through the cockpit windows" that's where I fly from. All the outside views were impressive. Until i can be "HandsOn" I can't make a real judgement. I have flown ms for so many years, I to am afraid of a cold turkey change. If I could load X-plane on my pc, without disturbing fsx, so I could go back and forth to make a dicision which one I really want to use. I haven't seen where this is possible ?????
Rob How - 03/15/2013
I bought X plane over a year ago for $80 - It was the worst buy for many years. As opposed to FSX the aircraft were dreadful they would nor sit on the runway and you couldn't fly very far without paying more money for scenery. It is not a patch on FSX and 2004 I would say steer clear and save your money.
Mike Braum - 11/21/2013
I like the multi processor development but 9 was a dog compared to any MS version. I'll wait for X11 with more aircraft and proper working scenery.
Brian Elis - 11/26/2013
Been flying a friends copy of XPlane 10. Best flight sim I have ever flown. Great job Austin!