Right after Microsoft said they would quit development on Flight Simulator, I started looking for a new sim to fly. One that came up was Austin Meyer's X-Plane. Some key factors were that it ran natively on Windows, MacOS and Linux. Since I switched to using a MacOS Desktop, this was awesome as I didn't have to keep booting in to Windows to use MS Flight Sim. So I purchased version 9 of it a couple of years or more ago. While it lacked several features that MS Flight Simulator had and I had become used to (I.e. a pretty nice ATC, lots of AI traffic, nice graphics, etc) it did have it's own pluses, like running a little smoother and a little easier customizable.
One of the "big" things about X-Plane9 was that a full install was nearly 80GB in size. One of the big things I hated was that there was nearly to no airport buildings at the airports, unless you got a third party download where some one had recreated it. Granted this was cool as it allowed people to create some awesome replications (I did one for Morgantown, WV and Waynesburg, PA). But alas, for over 80GB of install you would have thought there would be the basic airport buildings or at least the terminals in it.. So while I still played with X-Plane, I found myself going back to MS Flight Sim just for the buildings and the ATC (sounds hokey, but it seemed "more real").
So they finally released a new version of X-Plane, version 10 this year. The screenshots on the internet looked almost photo realistic. So I downloaded the demo, and it had one airport (KSEA) and it had buildings and all. So I was happy to see they had done that. There was also promise of a better ATC, which from some quick playing with the demo was better... So I spent the $80 and bought the full game. and about 6 hours later, I had another 80GB of X-Plane 10 installed (so now I have over 160GB just for version 9 and 10). This is where my "fun" left.
So it seams that the only airport that has the terminal and buildings (that I have been to so far in the game) is the KSEA. Every other airport is just the tarmac, runways, apron, and taxiways, no buildings what so ever. Another "peeve" is the AI traffic. It makes no difference where you are (little municipal airport to a international one) it seems like there will always be a 747, a little single or dual engine prop and what ever plane you are flying, and a 747 in the sky. I don't know how many times I have changed to a new airport and the AI planes spawn directly on top or under me. It is hilarious to see a Boeing 747 try to taxi around KMGW and try to take off on a 5,000 ft runway.
Another stupid bug with the AI traffic is that I can go and file my flight plan (with the some times working ATC) and then start taxing to the runway. Every single time I have done this, there is already 2 planes holding at the runway, however one AI plane is ALWAYS half on the runway and half on the taxi way. This causes problems as it never freaking moves. So when another AI plane tries to land, it is told to go around because of the AI half on the runway. I sat at KJFK one day for over 20 minutes waiting for it to take off and it never did. I finally "drove" through it and took off. This of course pisses the ATC off and it constantly keeps telling you to taxi back to the runway. So much that the only way to stop it is to change the COM channel.
Since I am on a rant about the ATC as well, might as well mention that some ATC's in some airports are on channels that you can not turn too. That makes it awesome to try to do anything. In addition the ATC never seems to tell you the frequency you are handed off to, which makes it impossible to do a full hand of to any other ATC.
I have also found that if you go to file a flight plan once you have taken off and screw up entering something in the route box, it will completely crash the application and you have to restart the entire program. Which I am not sure what changed between version 9 and 10, but version 10 takes forever to load. My machine is not a slow one either, with dual quad Xeon 2.8GHz processors, 10Gb of ram and a 3GB/s SATA drive with the application on it.
So until there is some more patches to fix some of these I will be going back to X-Plane version 9 and MS Flight SimX.
- Casper Dik’s Weblog
- Chris Quenelle's Weblog
- Christopher Saul's Weblog
- Glenn Brunette’s Security Weblog
- Kool Aid Served Daily
- Martin Englund’s Weblog
- Sun Ray Blog
- SunRay Group Blog
- The Clingan Zone