The Full Wiki

X-Plane: Wikis

Advertisements

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

(Redirected to X-Plane (simulator) article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

X-Plane
X-Plane
XPlane9SampleScreenshot Cessna172 AttuIsland.jpg
The simulator's default Cessna 172 at Attu Island
Developer(s) Laminar Research
Stable release 9.41 RC3 / December 11, 2009
Preview release n/a
Operating system Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iPhone OS
Type Flight Simulator
License Proprietary
Website X-Plane.com

X-Plane is a flight simulator for personal computers produced by Laminar Research. It runs on iPhone/iPod Touch, Palm's WebOS, Linux, Mac or Windows-based PCs. X-Plane is packaged with other software to build and customize aircraft and scenery, offering a complete flight simulation environment. X-Plane also has a plugin architecture that allows users to create their own modules, extending the functionality of the software.

Contents

Flight model

X-Plane distinguishes itself by implementing a concept known as blade element theory[1]. Traditionally, flight simulators try to emulate the real-world performance of an aircraft by using lookup tables to determine things such as lift or drag. These simulators do a good job of simulating the flight characteristics of the aircraft they were designed to simulate, but are not useful in design work, and do not predict the performance of aircraft when the actual figures are not available.


Blade-element theory attempts to improve on this by individually evaluating the parts that constitute an aircraft. A wing, for example, may be made up of many sections (1 to 4 is typical), and each section is further divided into as many as 10 separate sections, then the lift and drag of each section is calculated, and the resulting effect is applied to the whole aircraft. When this process is applied to each component, the simulated aircraft will fly virtually like its real counterpart does. This approach allows users to design aircraft on their computer quickly and easily, as the simulator engine will show immediately how an aircraft with a particular design might perform in the real world.

X-Plane is capable of modeling fairly complex aircraft designs, including helicopters, rockets, rotor craft and tilt-rotor craft. Famous real world aircraft modeled in X-Plane include the V-22 Osprey, the Harrier Jump Jet, the NASA Space Shuttle, and Scaled Composites SpaceShipOne.

Blade element theory does have its shortcomings, as it can sometimes be difficult to design an aircraft that performs precisely like the real-world aircraft. However, as the flight model is refined, the simulator can better resemble real-world performance (as well as the aircraft's quirks and design flaws.)

Extensibility

Users are encouraged to design their own aircraft, and design software is included with the program. This has created an active community of users who use the simulator for a variety of purposes. Since designing an aircraft is relatively simple and the flight model can help predict performance of real-world aircraft, several aircraft companies use X-Plane in their design process[2]. The CarterCopter uses X-Plane for flight training and research. X-Plane also contributed to the design of the Atlantica blended wing body aircraft.

Through the plugin interface, users can create external modules that extend the X-Plane interface, flight model, or create new features. One such feature is the Xsquawkbox plugin, which allows X-Plane users to fly on a worldwide shared air traffic control simulation network. Other work has been done in the area of improving X-Plane's flight model and even replacing entire facets of X-Plane's operation. Scaled Composites, for example, used the X-Plane rendering engine on top of their own simulator while designing and testing SpaceShipOne.

X-Plane is also capable of communicating with other applications via UDP. Through a relatively simple interface, third party developers can control the simulator and extract data regarding the simulation state. Companies like Scaled Composites have used this tool in order to use X-Plane as a rendering engine for their in-house simulators.

The maps and scenery are also fully editable. While no tool is provided to edit the 3D mesh objects, there are tutorials for using the third party 3D modeler AC3D.[3] Once built, editing landscape elevation and 3D object placement is easily accomplished with the scenery editor. In fact, much of the world's detail, including detail in airports, such as ramps, buildings, and taxiways, is provided by the end-users. Users can also subscribe to a mailing list, receiving regular updates of the airport and navaid database.

Map imagery and aircraft paint can be created and modified with any paint program capable of manipulating PNG images. Additionally, Laminar Research has released a 7 DVD "Global Scenery Package" containing imagery of a much higher quality than the default information. This package covers close to 85% of the Earth's surface. The release of X-Plane 9 (Jan 2008) has introduced much improved areas of high ground relief (in particular, mountains) and a plethora of other improvements.

FAA certification

X-Plane is also used in non-motion and full-motion flight simulators for flight training. Some of these implementations have been certified by the FAA for authorized flight instruction such as Flight Level Aviation and Simtrain.

Version 9

Version nine of the X-Plane series is a major update from the previous versions. It includes:

  • Better Memory management.
  • Shader support: Users with high-end computers can see rippled shadows and reflections on water.
  • Installer: the installer automatically downloads and installs updated modules over the Internet.

Compatibility

X-Plane is available for Windows, Linux, and the Macintosh. The Macintosh version is a Universal Binary, running on both PowerPC and Intel Macs. There is also a cut-down version for the iPhone OS.

Advertisements

System requirements

References

External links


Template:About ]]

The X-planes are a series of experimental United States aircraft (and some rockets) used for testing of new technologies and usually kept highly secret during development.

The first of these, the Bell X-1, became well-known as the first plane to break the sound barrier, which it did in 1947. Later X-planes yielded important research results, but only the North American X-15 rocket plane of the early 1960s achieved comparable fame. X-planes 7 through 12 were actually missiles, and some other vehicles were unpiloted. Most X-planes are not expected to ever go into full-scale production, and usually only a few are produced. One exception is the Lockheed Martin X-35, which competed against the Boeing X-32 to become the Joint Strike Fighter.

As of 2006, new X-plane projects are still underway. The designation X-52 was skipped to avoid potential confusion with the operational B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber.

List of X-planes

Name Manufacturer Image Maiden flight Notes
X-1 Bell Aircraft January 19, 1946 First aircraft to break the sound barrier
X-2 Starbuster Bell Aircraft June 27, 1952 Supersonic plane Mach 2 - Mach 3
X-3 Stiletto Douglas Aircraft Corporation June 27, 1952 Supersonic plane using titanium alloy
X-4 Bantam Northrop Corporation December 15, 1948 Replace horizontal tail with elevons
X-5 Bell Aircraft June 20, 1951 Variable-sweep wing design
X-6 Convair 1955 Study Nuclear aircraft
X-7 Flying Stove Pipe Lockheed Corporation April 1951 Test ramjet engines
X-8 Aerobee Aerojet Missile test platform
X-9 Shrike Bell Aircraft April 1949 Testbed for the nuclear-armed GAM-63 Rascal
X-10 North American Aviation October 13, 1953 Demonstrator for advanced missile technologies
X-11 Convair June 11, 1957 Testbed for the Atlas missile program
X-12 Convair July, 1958 Advanced testbed for the Atlas missile program
X-13 Vertijet Ryan Aeronautical Company December 10, 1955 Demonstrate the ability of a pure jet to vertically takeoff, hover, transition to horizontal forward flight, and vertically land
X-14 Bell Aircraft February 19, 1957 Demonstrate horizontal, vertical takeoff, hover, transition to forward flight, and vertical landing.
X-15 North American Aviation June 8, 1959 Research hypersonic flight (Mach 6)
X-16 Bell Aircraft Never flew High altitude reconnaissance aircraft
X-17 Lockheed Corporation April 1956 Effects of high mach reentry
X-18 Hiller Aircraft November 24, 1959 Tiltwing and STOVL
X-19 Curtiss-Wright November 1963 VTOL transport plane with Tiltrotor
X-20 Dyna-Soar Boeing Never flew Reusable spaceplane for military missions
X-21 Northrop Corporation April 18, 1963 Test wings with laminar flow control
X-22 Bell Aircraft March 17, 1966 STOVL plane with tiltrotor
X-23 PRIME Martin Marietta December 21, 1966 Atmospheric reentry effects tests
X-24 PILOT Martin Marietta
August 1, 1973 Lifting body plane
X-25 Bensen B-8 Bensen December 6, 1955 Light autogyro
X-26 Frigate Schweizer
1967 Motor glider
X-27 Lockheed Never flew High performance fighter prototype
X-28 Sea Skimmer Periera August 12, 1970 ULM sailboat
X-29 Grumman 1984 forward-swept wing test plane
X-30 NASP Rockwell Never built Commercial spaceplane prototype
X-31 Rockwell 1990 Thrust vectoring fighter
X-32 Boeing September 2000 Fighter both conventional, STOVL and marine
X-33 Venture Star Lockheed Martin Never ended Prototype Reusable spaceplane
X-34 Orbital Sciences Never flew Reusable unmanned spaceplane
X-35 JSF Lockheed Martin 2000 Fighter both conventional, STOVL and marine
X-36 McDonnell Douglas May 17, 1997 Tailless aircraft
X-37 Future X Boeing April 7, 2006 Experimental orbital vehicle
X-38 CRV NASA 1999 CRV (=Crew Return Vehicle) with lifting body
X-39 ???? Classified Not yet FATE : Future Aircraft Technology Enhancements
X-40 SMV Boeing August 11, 1998 SMV=Space Maneuver Vehicle
X-41 Common Aero Vehicle ???? Classified Reentry vehicle with commercial load
X-42 ???? Classified Liquid propeller military rocket
X-43 NASA June 2, 2001 Scramjet hypersonic Drone
X-44 MANTA Lockheed Martin Prototype not completed MANTA=Multi-Axis No-Tail Aircraft with thrust vectoring
X-45 Boeing
22/5/2002 Demonstrator of unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV)
X-46 Boeing X-45 marine version for an unmanned combat air vehicle
X-47 Pegasus Grumman February 23, 2003 Demonstrator of naval unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV)
X-48 Boeing July 20, 2007 Blended Wing Body (BWB) flying wing
X-49 Speedhawk Piasecki Aircraft July 29, 2007 Fast helicopter VDTP (Vectored Thrust Ducted Propeller)
X-50 Boeing 24 November 2003 Demonstrate the principle that a helicopter's rotor can be stopped in flight and act as a fixed wing
X-51 Waverider Pratt & Whitney et Boeing (Scheduled) 2009 Test Scramjet engines
X-52 # not used (to avoid confusion with Boeing B-52 Stratofortress)
X-53 Boeing Phantom Works November 2002 AAW : Active Aeroelastic Wing

In fiction

Many movies, television series and video games have featured fictional X planes, with both feasible and currently infeasible designs. For instance, the Stargate TV series feature X-301, X-302, X-303, and X-304 spacecraft. The movie Armageddon featured two top-secret space shuttles called X-71.

See also

References

  • Jay Miller, The X-Planes: X-1 to X-45. Motorbooks International, 2001.

External links


Wikibooks

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to X-Plane Flight Simulator article)

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection

Contents

References

Information

Note To Editors: Please check the 'talk' page (tab labeled discussion) before editing pages in this wikibook.


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

X-Plane
Box artwork for X-Plane.
Developer(s) Laminar Research
Publisher(s) Laminar Research
Latest version 9.22
Release date(s) (8.50)
Genre(s) Flight simulation
System(s) Windows, Linux, Mac OS, iPhone
Players 1
Mode(s) Single player
System requirements (help)
Windows
CPU clock speed

2GHz

System RAM

1GiB

Disk space

60GiB

Video RAM

32MiB

Mac OS
CPU clock speed

1GHz

System RAM

1GiB

Disk space

60GiB

Video RAM

32MiB

G4/5, OpenGL graphics card

Website Official site

X-Plane is a flight simulator for personal computers produced by Laminar Research. It runs on iPhone/iPod Touch, Linux, Mac or Windows-based PCs. X-Plane is packaged with other software to build and customize aircraft and scenery, offering a complete flight simulation environment. X-Plane also has a plugin architecture that allows users to create their own modules, extending the functionality of the software.

X-Plane distinguishes itself by implementing a concept known as blade element theory. Traditionally, flight simulators try to emulate the real-world performance of an aircraft by using lookup tables to determine things such as lift or drag. These simulators do a good job of simulating the flight characteristics of the aircraft they were designed to simulate, but are not useful in design work, and do not predict the performance of aircraft when the actual figures are not available.

Blade-element theory attempts to improve on this by individually evaluating the parts that constitute an aircraft. A wing, for example, may be made up of many sections (1 to 4 is typical), and each section is further divided into as many as 10 separate sections, then the lift and drag of each section is calculated, and the resulting effect is applied to the whole aircraft. When this process is applied to each component, the simulated aircraft will fly virtually like its real counterpart does. This approach allows users to design aircraft on their computer quickly and easily, as the simulator engine will show immediately how an aircraft with a particular design might perform in the real world.

X-Plane is capable of modeling fairly complex aircraft designs, including helicopters, rockets, rotor craft and tilt-rotor craft. Famous real world aircraft modeled in X-Plane include the V-22 Osprey, the Harrier Jump Jet, the NASA Space Shuttle, and Scaled Composites SpaceShipOne.

Blade element theory does have its shortcomings, as it can sometimes be difficult to design an aircraft that performs precisely like the real-world aircraft. However, as the flight model is refined, the simulator can better resemble real-world performance (as well as the aircraft's quirks and design flaws).

Table of Contents

Walkthrough

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message