Jan Vogel, Captain for a major European airline has been flying X-Plane for more than ten years. He first discovered X-Plane at his local electronics store and decided to give it try. The superior flight dynamics hooked him from the beginning.
Captain Vogel notes, “I have been fascinated by all things aviation related since I was a little boy, which led me to computer simulation when it became available in 1980. I have played almost all of the available games, both civilian and military. In 1990 I decided to turn my hobby flying into a profession and now I spend my time in the left seat of a Boeing 737-300. I continued using PC based flight simulation for entertainment, as well as in preparing for the challenges of flight training. Much like the familiar ‘armchair flying,’ executing a challenging instrument approach with X-Plane alerts me to any pitfalls and prepares me mentally. I have the confidence of familiarity once I am in the airplane and actually flying the approach.”
Captain Vogel flies X-Plane almost daily. He prefers X-Plane over other simulator programs because it gives the look and feel of how an aircraft actually flies. He also finds the program a wonderful tool for education as well as entertainment with his two children, Max, 7 and Clara, 5. The Vogel family can often be found at the computer learning about physics, geography, navigation, and meteorology instead of watching television.
Jan now uses X-Plane 10 exclusively and especially enjoys the helicopter simulation, as well as IFR training in light twins. One of his favorite X-Plane experiences is flying the space shuttle and hand-flying the approach from sub-orbit. He exclaimed that a combination of an extremely steep approach slope of 20 degrees, a high approach speed of 300 knots, and the single chance to get it right is exhilarating!
Jan is now involved in bringing his favorite airplane to the X-Plane world, the 737-300. He has flown this airplane across Europe for ten years, and it has a special place in his heart. He is proud to be a technical advisor for the IXEG team bringing the 737-300 into the X-Plane genera. He gleefully test flies the prototypes and believes it will be among the best airliners available for PC simulation.
As an X-Plane zealot, Jan’s recommended changes for future versions are probably more demanding than the average user. He added that he has been emailing X-Plane’s lead designers over the past several years, receiving personal replies usually within a day. He asked, “Now what big company would go to that level of customer interaction?”
Jan summarized his X-Plane experiences by noting, “X-Plane is my flight simulator because it offers great flight models, excellent graphics, a smooth frame rate, and realistic weather and lighting. You might ask why an airline pilot flying the big jets almost daily still spends time in front of X-Plane. While flying in X-Plane I obviously can make flights I can’t make when I fly professionally. And, I fly X-Plane because it is fun!”