Laminar Research will soon be releasing a v9.02 update to its highly acclaimed iPhone flight simulator, X-Plane 9 [$9.99 App Store].

v9.02 enhancements as told by Laminar:

  • More airports!  There are 3 of them now, and the little RMI at the bottom of the HUD points to the closest one.
  • Map! It's in the location screen now. Drag it around... with BOTH fingers! Pull your fingers apart and push them together! Swizzle them around! Watch what the map does! WHY control the map this way? BECAUSE IT'S FUN!
  • The planes now have much nicer-looking propellers.
  • Lateral accelerometer calibration as well as vertical! It's in the SET menu. Why? Because some guy emailed me a video of his iPhone sitting on a carpenter's level, with the cirrus-jet slowly banking to the right! I had to admit a lateral accelerometer calibration was needed!
  • Some little scenery and frame-rate improvements! Kind of nice!

We reviewed X-Plane 9 last month and detailed the v9.01 changes shortly thereafter.

[ thanks wastedyuthe ]

  • Barry Ward (aka wastedyuthe)

    No response to this yet on the forum. Am I the only person who likes it?

  • NotYou

    I've been curious about it since it came out. When they announced that they're making a car sim I decided to wait. Now that they're updating this, I'm reconsidering it.

  • Barry Ward (aka wastedyuthe)

    To NotYou,
    If you have any interest at all about flight sims, this game is for you. Ok, there are no missions/objectives. But like I said in the forum-
    "I love X-Plane on my Touch- what I like to do is set a random flight so it puts me anywhere on the map in any weather condition at any time of day, so I have to find the runway and land in various conditions."
    This can add a bit of a challenge to the game, and when I don't want a challenge, I can just fly around and chill out.

  • Finch

    I have no idea why, but I really like this app. There are no real objectives and not even that much landscape to explore, but the controls are just so nice and the graphics are quite good for the iPhone and it is just kind of relaxing to fly around once in awhile.

    cant wait for the new update.

  • highflyin

    Why do you need preset missions/objectives? You have the freedom to make up your own -

    - You need to travel between airport A and B. But along the way, you need to make a stop at Airport B.

    - You're tasked to fly from one airport to another; but you lose engines shortly before arriving (you kill the throttle). Try gliding in to your destination without hitting the runway too fast, avoid stalling before you get there.

    - Your landing gear isn't responding to controls. Find a small pond or lake to make a water landing in (hard, as there isn't much water in the iPhone version

    - Climb to 30,000 feet before plummeting straight back down. Once you're back down, skim over the mountain tops at 400 mph.

    Why isn't this update showing up on my phone yet >:(

  • CHASH

    I think the X-Plane app is misunderstood, judging by some of the comments I've seen here and elsewhere... X-Plane isn't really a game, it's a simulator based on the full-blown X-Plane.

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    It's strange to me. In the 80's, flight sims were huge. Flight sims were...flight sims. You want to fly? Grab one. There's much more confusion today, it seems.

  • MJ

    Oooo im gonna get this now =)

  • Bloc Party

    This game really needs a shadow effect when you are close to the ground.

    I love it as it is, but that would really help with judging the landings.

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    @Bloc Party: Apparently OpenGL ES lacks standard GL's shadow routines, making it harder to implement. It can be done, though. I've said before that I long for a ground shadow in this title, as I love to watch from spot view while barnstorming.

  • aawil

    The map idea will be quite useful. I bought this about a week ago and I'm just starting to get into it. A few extra airports will be nice as well. A more varied scenery is really needed. If it isn't possible to add different options perhaps through a city on the other side of the mountains or something. I'd also really like to see more planes. Two of these that are included seem too similar to me. Perhaps 1 airbus or 747 would be cool. I think variation of planes is more interesting that just quantity. One thing I'll say is it will be interesting to see this app evolve on the iphone.

  • Bloc Party

    I'd love to see a WW2 fighter/bomber. Maybe a P-47 or Spitfire.

    Thanks for the info re: shadows Blakespot. I'll keep my fingers crossed!

  • 2Kitties1Cup

    I hate this app and i'm sorry i spent $10 on it.

    The iPhone is just a very poor device for precise input controls. Xplane is great on the PC but the iphone is rather overly difficult to fly. I'm a long time hardcore flightsim fan... think JAnes F/A18, Janes F-15, Apache Longbow, Flanker, Falcon 3 and 4...

    And i have family that owns a plane. Its nothing like flying a real plane. The iphone just makes it too difficult.

    Bravo to the xplane team for making it on the iphone and showing that the iphone can power such apps... but its just too hard to control and nothing like the real thing. Beleive it or not, flying a plane is quite easy in real life.

  • NotYou

    Does the app let you keep your music playing? If so, I'm buying right now.

    @2Kitties1Cup
    Yeah, flying a small plane in real life isn't very hard, but if it's just going to be on a small screen it might as well have a little challenge. I don't fly myself, but I've flown a few times. It seems whenever I'm in a 4 passenger plane the pilot thinks it's funny to watch me try to fly.

  • NotYou

    I answered my own question. I went Ahead and bought it and I'm glad I did.

    BTW, my new favorite timewaster is flying while listening to some ambiant Sigur Ros.

  • Bloc Party

    2kitties, are you sure you have calibrated it properly for the position you are playing in? And are you sure that your accerlerometer is not defective?

    I have to say, after a tiny bit of practise i find the controls to be just about perfect.

    Having said that, i finished Super Monkey Ball pretty easily, so maybe i'm just a legend :P

  • 2Kitties1Cup

    Bloc Party:

    BTW... Awesome band... :)

    Yes i did calibrate it. I find its just way to hard to line up for approach when landing. In a real plane you have rudder pedals and on the iphone the plane's roll response seems very odd. That may be due to the fact that when you reach for throttle and flaps with your fingers, you end up tilting the phone in unwanted ways... and that just translates to to steering movement. In real life this doesnt happen :) It makes it hard to stay on glide slope when landing and on course for landing...

    And speaking of glide slope... it seems like the dam plane is full powered when the throttle is OFF. Its hard to get into a decent glide slope in the game without turning thottle off... and even then you're coming in way to hot for a landing. I'm basing this off the "long approach" situation under the Set menu.

    I'd almost like a replay option so i can see how ridiculous my plane looked as i tried to deal with the iphone's controls.

    Its ok, but its really a toy... Xplane is a pretty realistic sim on the pc... (although i havent played it in some time). I just dont think a realistic sim can translate well to very unrealistic control inputs. The iphone is a huge compromise and there is a reason why planes arent flown with touch screen cell phones with throttle and flap controls on the screen :) Its a very poor design.

    I understand that the developer is making the best of the available hardware input features... but... its just not for flying a plane. I mean come on. Its a bit silly.

  • Barry Ward

    2kitties, I am inclined to strongly disagree. I have played flight sims on the PC and actually find this app a lot easier to control. I certainly don't accidentally tilt the device when adjusting throttle/flaps as you do. I don't know how they could have made the control any more easier and intuitive. Perhaps you need more practice.

  • NotYou

    After playing around with it for a while, I found it to be pretty realistic, even with the lack of rudder control.

    Now that I've tried it, I'm really hoping for a dogfighting game or something similar. I'd be thrilled if I ever saw something like WWII flying game for the iPhone. I'd even be happy with a port.

  • 1337brian

    @blake

    I 100% agree a shadow effect would be awesome! I have sooooooo much trouble making a smooth landing it's ridiculous. It is a very impressive game but if your not a flight sim fan it wont' be for you, trust me. I Love it and can't wait for more airports to crash into! Hopefully they add some more terrain detail and i would love to see a few more planes as well.