Hi! This is X-Plane Support again. Yesterday we sent you a guide to installing and using the X‑Plane demo you downloaded. (If you missed it, you can still read it online.) This is the first email in the month-long course you signed up for about getting the most out of X-Plane.

Today we’d like to share with you how you can find a virtual version of your favorite aircraft and then fly it in X-Plane.

Where do you find more aircraft?

In the 20 years we’ve been doing this, no one has ever looked at the default hangar and thought “Oh, that’s probably all the aircraft I’ll ever want to fly.” Of course you want more aircraft! And if you’re a pilot, you probably want to fly the same aircraft in X‑Plane that you fly in the real world. Luckily, X‑Plane makes it easy to add an unlimited number of custom aircraft.

There are a few great places to find new aircraft. One is the X‑Plane Downloads page on the fan site X-Plane.org. (Note: Before downloading from X-Plane.org, you’ll need to create a free account there.) Another is the X‑Plane France site.

Many of the airplanes on those sites are free (known as “freeware” in the flight sim world), but a small number require purchasing (these are “payware”).

To get you started, here are a few more of my favorite freeware airplanes:

And, in case you missed the list from the email I sent yesterday, here are five more:

You downloaded an aircraft… Now what do you do with it?

If you missed the instructions on adding aircraft in the last email, here they are:

When you download a custom aircraft from the web sites above, it will typically be in a compressed folder (usually a ZIP file) that contains the airplane and all its various paint jobs, airfoils, etc. Once that compressed folder is downloaded, you should be able to double-click on it to open or expand it.

You should move the contents of that compressed folder into the folder called “Aircraft” within the X‑Plane 10 directory. If you followed the instructions in the previous email I sent, you should be able to find the X‑Plane 11 directory on the Desktop. So, to install your custom aircraft, just:

  1. Double-click on the X‑Plane 11 folder on the Desktop.
  2. In that folder, double-click on the “Aircraft” folder.
  3. Drag-and-drop the contents from the file you downloaded and uncompressed into the “Aircraft” folder window.

So for a newly downloaded Airbus, the folder path in Windows might look like this:

C:\Users/YourName/Desktop/X-Plane 11/Aircraft/A380-800

Start up X‑Plane and in the Flight Configuration window you can now click on the aircraft you just added. Cool!

At this point, all that’s left is to go flying!

Coming up next…

A couple days from now, we’ll send you an email on flying approaches in X-Plane. If you’re a sim pilot only, you’ll get to experience the thrill (and challenge!) of the perfect touch-down. If you’re a real-world pilot, you’ll be able to tune up your stick-and-rudder skills before your next flight review. In any case, we think you’ll enjoy it!

If you’d like more information on adding new stuff to X‑Plane (including custom scenery), check out the “Expanding X-Plane” section of the X‑Plane manual.

Until next time,

– X-Plane Customer Support