X-Plane flight simulator for Mac OS X 8.10 Beta now available

X-Plane is a powerful flight simulator with a realistic flight models. Welcome to the world of props, jets, single and multi-engine airplanes, as well as gliders, helicopters and VTOLs such as the V-22 Osprey and AV8-B Harrier. X-Plane comes with about 40 aircraft spanning the aviation industry. Scenery is almost world-wide and you can land at any of over 18,000 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.

X-Plane also has detailed failure-modeling, with 35 systems that can be failed manually or randomly, when you least expect it. You can fail instruments, engines, flight controls, and landing gear at any moment. It is 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 minimum requirements include: a G4 or G5 1GHz +, 512MB RAM, OpenGL and 16MB VRAM, and a USB Joystick/Yoke.

More information and demo download link here.

16 Comments

  1. I am using it since version 7, roughly a year back. XPlane is actually developed on the Mac and has FAA certification to be used at flight school for actual real life training. It is the only one that you may install or your computer (OS X, Linux, Windows) to have that certification.

    After a while I discovered Freeworld Airways (FWA):
    http://www.freeworld-airways.net

    from the same dedicated guys of XPlane freeware project where you may find hundreds to thousands of planes, add-ons, scenery, etc.
    FWA pilots are renown to be among – if not squarely the – best prepared virtual pilots online.

    With XPlane you may fly offline as well as online: two dedicated world wide servers exist: IVAO and VATSIM, where you will have real people acting as ATC (Air Traffic Controller).

    Beware though, you are supposed to act as a real pilot and know your ways with charts, VOR trackings, SIDs & STARs procedures in VFR and IFR, even more so with Freeworld Airways airline (but others as well: to fly online with their callsigns you have to demonstrate aviation skills and knowledge).

    To cut the story short, Xplane might be just an amusement, or as close to reality as it could be. Actually, I know real life pilots (also in FWA) who use XPlane regularly and testify that it acts amazingly close to RL by the actual performance numbers and XPlane is also used to get simulation results out of airfoils and airplane designs before working on the metal.

    So, there you have it, the best flight simulation available out there.

  2. Also in FWA lots of Mac users.

    Beware with the demo: it is the actual XPlane, all functional, but you are limited to only 6 minutes of joystick use. After that it is all keyboard and mouse. Doable but you may get up to only a certain point: certainly not join a virtual airline with that ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  3. Last thing, the Beta label is only for version 8.1.0 of course ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    XPlane is probably the oldest flight simulator available on the Mac and got FAA certification a couple years ago.

  4. I fail to see the news in this. X-Plane is in constant beta testing mode. It has been beta-ing for the past 4 years (or more). There was never a 8.10 final. 7.x became final only after they released the 8.0 beta, and then they stated that the serial number on the 7.x CD-ROM was not compatible with the 8.0 beta and you had to buy an all new 8.0 beta for $99. Now, 8.06 seems to be the final for 8.0x.

    I had just bought the 7.x version for $99 when they came out with the 8.0 beta and they quite politely said “screw you” when I inquired about my new serial number’s compatibility.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think as far as a sim on a home computer goes, it is very nice, and it is great for those that want a flight sim for their Mac and can tolerate bi-weekly updates of enormous file sizes. Although they dropped the price from $99 to $50, I don’t think I can toss any more money at it. Maybe $50 for a 9.x that shows a significant improvement… like cloud layers that are not paper thin, realistic airport traffic (air and ground), etc. Merely making the ground a slightly higher resolution (a bit less fuzzy) isn’t worth the extra price. For me, it would be a $149 program.

    By the way, it was only approved by the FAA as a simulator when used with a very specific set of hardware including CPU, joystick, rudder pedals, etc. by a specific manufacturer as a training aid in a specific context. It has nothing to do with actually being FAA certified.

    I can’t see the news in an item’s 20th beta version release. My guess is that if you send enough money ($1.50?) to MDN, they will make whatever you want “news”… just like Fox news.

  5. LimpD: where did you cash out 99$ for vs 7 at the time vs 8 was already in beta? When 8 came vs was at 50% of the price and some. Was less that $40.

    Anyway, little to do with OS X, but a *final* in XPlane is for every release number. So there has been plenty 7.xx final as there will be plenty of 8.xx final.

    8.10 is not going to be the *final* 8 vs, just the *final* 8.1 vs when an 8.2beta will be release.

    You may certainly be frustrated for having bought vs 7 at the end of its life but it is clearly stated that the CD unlocks every major version for X.00 to X.99 . When it moves to (X+1) it will not unlock the program anymore: it is not something hidden to be discovered when a new version comes.

    Concerning the FAA certification: the special hardware does not change the software: to be “used at a flight school” means that XPlane can be the sw to drive the cockpit simulator available at best flight schools, and it is just a statement on the quality of the plane simulated performances under various simulated conditions. Of course you have to be seated on a real-life size plane seat with a real life size cockpit and instruments, but the sw to drive those is the same that runs on your laptop. Nothing more, nothing less, but it certainly is the only one flight simulator having that certification: no matter what hardware you put around FlyII or MS Flight Simulator, you won’t get certified for simulator hours ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    BTW, even with that, to be credited with those hours you *have* to be at a flight school with an instructor supervising your performance and changing things like weather, failures, and such.

    Concerning relevance to OS X, well, it is just a sw product announcement like many others.

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