Left to Right: Austin Meyer, Javier Rollon, Philipp Muenzel, Ben Supnik (All on X-Plane Team)
In 2005, Philipp discovered X-Plane while he was researching information for a friend who was seeking a serious flight simulator using a MAC instead of a PC. Afterwards Philipp became a regular X-Plane user, then developer of X-Plane add-ons, and ultimately joined the X-Plane team as a developer.
Philipp enjoys flying X-Plane daily as both a user and as a developer. Philipp says, “I always use the latest and greatest versions and always at the beta pulse, even before I was a developer.”
X-Plane inspired Philipp to take flying lessons. He is currently a student pilot well on his way toward becoming a private pilot. He shares how X-Plane accelerated his learning to fly, “You can learn almost everything about how an airplane works before spending a single dollar for a flight instructor. Learn how the instruments work and the principles of flight, including the four forces of flight. You gain an understanding of the flight controls, what flaps do, and about stalls. Learn how to navigate without even being in the air. Train for instrument procedures and learn how to fly an approach using the instrument landing system (ILS). Find out just how to plan a flight. With the help of the FAA Aeronautical Knowledge book you can pretty much teach yourself to be a pilot in X-Plane. You can even learn about controlled airspace and practice radio communication when flying online. When you then actually sign up for training in an airplane everything will look so FAMILIAR! The first flight lessons will be very easy and you will save an incredible amount of ground time because you don’t need the instructor to explain to you how the pitot static system works or what the difference between the compass and the directional gyro is.”
Flight Instructor Cristiaan Mestler comments on his instructional experiences with Philipp: “Working with Philipp has been a great experience. I am 100% convinced that the sharp knowledge and skills he brought to his very first lesson was due to his experiences with X-plane. It seemed that Philipp was ready for his checkride after the first two weeks of flying. Having Philipp’s familiarity with the airplane made my job easy and that is always a plus! I would suggest to all aspiring pilots to first get on X-plane for a few months, learn the basic, and then start your flight lessons. This will save lots of valuable time and money.”
Philipp regularly utilizes various time and weather settings, most often in creating approaches to minimums. He also plans cross-country flights using X-Plane’s global scenery to execute the flight in the sim the day before his flight lesson in the airplane. He memorizes which Navaids he’ll be using when, and which big lake or road junction he will see at which point in flight.
Explaining his process for cross country planning Philipp notes, “When planning for my first cross country flight I realized I was doing exactly the same thing I have been doing in X-Plane for years! There was no difference in flight preparation up to the point when I stepped into the actual aircraft. Once in the air, I was then confident in what I was doing—because I’d been there already, the night before, in X-Plane!”
Philipp concludes, “It’s great working for Austin as a programmer because every day I can help make X-Plane more the way I like it as a pilot!”