Ultra-Realistic Flight Simulation

Day 2: The Ultralight Runway (The Fun Fly Zone!)

Day 2


The Ultralight runway is one of the only places at AirVenture where regular pilots can actually fly during the event!  I had no idea that most pilots who fly here park their planes and don’t fly them again until it’s time to leave.  The fun fly zone is just a small grass strip at the far south end of the airport.  There are so many different types of flying craft in the fun fly zone.  The ultralight runway is where you can watch fixed wings, powered canopies, rotorcraft and auto-gyros (which are super cool to see fly).   In addition to ultralights, there are also some light sport aircraft that get to join the fun.  Around the strip, some of the ultralight manufacturers have booths set up incase you would like to learn more.  If ask extra nice, you might be able to snag a ride for a small fee. ($35 for one if I remember)


The whole ultralight area gives out such a family vibe!  Whenever the flying starts (usually around dawn at dusk due when the wind is quiet), the announcers climb up to the roof (deck) of a small reviewing stand.  They are super knowledgeable about all the aircraft and the pilots-you can tell that they are genuinely having fun!  Spectators fill the stands and also the fence line around the runway.  The announcer narrates flight ops describing the aircraft and interesting stuff about the builder/pilot.  Each pilot takes turns flying the pattern so everybody can enjoy lots of take offs and landings.

I caught some of the rotorcraft ops this afternoon.  Can you imagine flying a helicopter you built from a kit?  Amazing!


It’s just so much fun to see all these different contraptions flying around.  One of my favorites are the powered-parachute backpack!  It’s basically a propeller that they put on like a big, really weird backpack that has a canopy overhead.  They are super quiet and looks like an absolute blast.  Had there been a tandem, I would have begged for a ride!

Even though it’s a ways from the center of the action, it’s pretty easy to get to.  Just hop on a blue tram headed south, and you’ll be there in no time.

Have fun and tell me how it was over on Twitter!


Day 1: Things you gotta do at AirVenture

This week at EAA AirVenture, everyday I will be posting an staple activity that you simply must do before you leave!  This is my third year here and every single time I come, I find something new to me that I totally missed before.  My goal with these posts are to give you a heads up so that you can get the most out of your visit, or start making a plan for the future.


Day 1 – Monday


A classic event at Oshkosh is a visit to Fisk Approach!  They’re super nice over there,  as long as it’s not too busy, there should be a controller happy to answer your questions.  At Fisk they take all the traffic coming in over the railroad tracks and give them instructions for entering the pattern at KOSH.  The really crazy thing for pilots is, that Fisk is much too crowded a frequency for every pilot to read back all the instructions they receive, instead, they ask you to “(type), rock your wings”.  This can be a little confusing at times but usually, it works out very well.

Fisk Approach is only about 15 minutes away from the airport, but it can be hard to find sometimes.  Here’s a google map to help you along the way.

Have a great time at Fisk, let us know how it goes!  BTW, they really like the muffins from Big Apple Bagels…


Xavion Brings a Real-World Airplane Down to 10 Feet Above the Ground

Engine failed? There’s an app for that.

The video below was taken by Austin Meyer, creator of X-Plane and Xavion, the iPad app that helps real-world pilots fly safer. It shows off a feature coming soon to the Xavion app—the ability to not just guide a pilot down to a landing, but to actually fly the plane itself down to about 10 feet above the runway!

In the video, you’ll see Austin’s iPad guiding a crippled RV-10 down to safety… without human intervention. The iPad is running a development version of Xavion talking to a Tru-Trak autopilot over wi-fi. Xavion, running on the iPad, can take over the airplane in distress and guide it down to safety!

This feature will be available in Xavion in the near future, after we’ve tested it a few hundred more times in a handful of airplanes.

X-Plane 10 is coming to Steam

If you’ve been waiting for X-Plane to be sold on Steam, you’re in luck—it’s coming soon!

We’re currently testing the X-Plane 10.25 update internally, and plan to release it within the next 10 days. The version 10.25 update contains a few changes necessary for X-Plane to work with Steam, so once it’s ready, X-Plane will be available on Steam.

Then, going forward, X-Plane 10 and all “final” updates will be available on Steam. Pricing will be the same as it is on our site.

We’ll post back here when it’s officially available for purchase!

10.30 Beta Coming Soon!

The first beta for 10.30 is coming up shortly! Austin has promised an extraordinary  list of new features!

He would also like to you check out this new helicopter for X-Plane!


See you guys later!


Xavion Mobile Device Saves Pilots!

Consider two pilots, one flying a Lancair-IV and the second piloting a Cherokee 140, both while under instrument conditions with no autopilot, and each with a complete loss of attitude instruments.  Read on, discovering how they survived their experiences …

A Lancair-IV without a functioning autopilot entered the clouds, leaving the two people on board depending on two EFIS displays for aircraft control.  Both EFIS displays suddenly went blank, giving new meaning to the term “blue screen of death.”

We  might expect the loss of both souls on board.  But no fatalities occurred.  No accident occurred.

Owner and pilot Lin Hough had just flown into IMC at 17,000’ when both displays went completely blank.  The Xavion VP-400 backup display “performed perfectly,” allowing Lin to continue his flight safely.

Lin commented, “The VP-400 mounted in my Lancair rolled right into action.  I was almost level at 19,000’ when my displays came back.  I didn’t have a functioning auto pilot, which added to the intensity of the moment.  The outcome without the VP-400 might not have been survivable.”


Laminar Research Announces the Release of WED 1.2

South Carolina May 23 – 2013 

Laminar Research, creators of the X-Plane flight simulator franchise, is pleased to announce the availability of WorldEditor for X-Plane (WED) version 1.2.

WorldEditor is an airport scenery creation and editing tool for Laminar’s X-Plane.  WED is intuitive and easy-to-use, as it features drag-and-drop scenery creation in a graphical environment that is designed for the typical X-Plane user.

WorldEditor takes a graphical CAD-like approach to creating airports.  All airports are made up from a collection of different items or entities of a specific type.  For example; runways, taxiways, windsocks, signs, and buildings.   A runway has length, width, surface type, lighting and taxiway signs for example.   WED is organized to create and edit each of these different items on an individual basis, so a user can add an item, then edit it’s characteristics or attributes at will.

A key feature of WorldEditor is the ability for a user to create an airport scenery and then send his or her creation to Laminar’s airport scenery database service.  Once checked by Laminar for acceptability it is then included in the airport data when X-Plane users receive automatic X-Plane updates from Laminar.

Wireless ADS-B receiver for Xavion Mobile Aviation Application

Laminar Research has announced (through the press release, found on the Laminar Research press release page) a wireless ADS-B receiver for the Xavion Mobile Aviation Application.  Not familiar with Xavion yet?  You can check it out on the Xavion website.  There’s even a version built just for use with X-Plane available!

Frede Spotlight

Frede is a scenery developer for X-Plane. He got into scenery development through FS2004 AFCAD. He has created quite a few freeware scenery packs on the .org including, George Bush Houston Intl, New Orleans Louis Armstrong Intl, and Eglin AFB, just to name a few. His dream was to become a fighter pilot, although his dream was never realized , his passion for military aviation is evident through out his scenery development. He always puts at least one military component  in his sceneries. As a duel citizen, he focuses on his two homes, the Southern United States and Belgium.


In his work, it is very clear how much he enjoys it. Be sure to check out his .org profile.




Aerosoft premiers their new site for X-Plane news

Aerosoft Sim News has just premiered their new site for X-Plane news and features during their conference a little over a month ago.  With a few of our very own submitting regular articles, it’s a great place to look for news!