Robert McDonald, 40 years as a business manager in the auto industry, says that it was a life-changing moment when he saw an X-Plane promotional video. Up to that time he’d logged more than 500 hours in 18 months on Microsoft Flight Simulator. Now he believes that X-Plane is light years superior to Microsoft’s simulator. He now flies X-Plane 10 exclusively two hours or more a day using dedicated hardware controls and impressive displays.
Robert’s exuberance is obvious and infectious as he enthusiastically describes the chief benefits of X-Plane: “X-Plane is built to take advantage of today’s high-end PCs. The competitor’s product does not take advantage of a great PC capable of blazing performance, and a good graphics card is nearly useless. But X-Plane 10 is future-proof. As hardware gets better and better the X-Plane experience will continue to shine. The other guy’s sim? Not! I eventually maxed out my setup resulting in unacceptable frames, unexpected system crashes, and out of memory errors. With X-Plane, I don’t waste time worrying, but instead spend time flying!”
As a PC expert having built his own extensive system which includes a dual-keppler video card, Robert says he shudders to think of an average pilot grappling with the installation and day to day system management of Microsoft Flight Sim. He ventures to guess that he has nearly as many Microsoft support hours logged as flight hours. He adds, “For the non-techies out there 64-bits is the smart call, because X-Plane 10’s 64-bit software can use ALL of your system’s RAM. It is not hampered by the inherent limitations of 32-bit software. That is a HUGE advantage over competing products.”
His favorite simulator aircraft is the very fine Ramzzess Boeing 777-200 Worldliner. He enjoys the superior moving maps, the airport diagrams, the real time weather features, and his ability to fly approaches over and over again at his favorite airports.
He firmly believes this builds his piloting skills by developing a greater feel for the proper instrument and visual approaches.
He recalls one particular X-Plane thrill: “I was drifting down to final approach at the McCarren airport (KLAS) in Las Vegas at 140 knots in my heavy Boeing Triple-Seven. The realism was breath taking! The cars, trucks, police cars, trains and freeways, roadbeds… it was mind-bending. It was at night and I had all the pleasure of experiencing a major motion picture. The sights and sounds in X-Plane 10 are simply all that and a bag of Tostitos! Additionally, I was being controlled by the PilotEdge real time air traffic control module. It was a surreal experience and a genuine moment of pure joy!”
Robert concludes with, “If you love flight, X-Plane is a great gift with nothing that comes close. A one word description of X-Plane? INCREDIBLE! STUNNING! Ok, that was 2 words… I cannot express the joy that X-Plane brings. Any pilot who isn’t flying X-Plane is missing something really special!”
He adds that he gives a million thanks to X-Plane author Austin, and admires his courage, vision and talent creating the dream we all wished for.