Lately I’ve blown the dust of my old joystick and flown around in X-Plane a few times. Because I don’t have a high-end Windows computer I don’t have access to Microsoft Flight Simulator X, which would have been my primary choice if I had a choice in the first place.
The word on the street it that X-Plane is more accurate when it comes to the actual flight model and the level of detail on the flight technical side, while FSX is the winner if your main focus is graphics and usability from a gamer’s point of view. FSX also has a great ATC, something X-Plane lacks, and the FSX user base is also considerably larger. That results in more custom aircrafts, scenery and airports. Yes, X-Plane has all that too, with the exception of the marvelous ATC, but on a smaller scale. Anyway, since X-Plane is my only real option, that’s what I’m using. It’s not a bad simulator, but the creator does not have the resources of Microsoft to play around with, and it’s something you notice every now and then.
Like every player who starts up a flight simulator for the first time, I wanted to fly the big birds. The more jet engines, the better. I soon realized that it was impossible to get it right, a simple task like configuring the auto pilot turned out to require three years of flight school. Landing was also not surprisingly quite the challenge.
After a while, I decided that the best approach probably was to start small and work my way to the top. X-Plane comes with a Cessna 172SP, a plane that is perfect for a novice like me. It was a bit hard at first because the documentation available for X-Plane is rather lousy, but I’m getting the hang of it now and have been flying around in the eastern part of Norway, jumping from one small airport to another small airport not too far away. Right now I’m on my way to the west of Norway, the Cessna is currently parked at Bomoen where it’s awaiting engine repairs after I hit the runway a tad too hard.
Eventually I plan to write some sort of “The Complete Moron’s Guide to Flying the Cessna 172SP in X-Plane 8.60” document.