For 25 years now, I've been an avid flight simulator fan. (That's longer than Flight Simulator II to X, but who's counting.) And the sim series that I spend the most time with is X-Plane from Laminar Research. When I'm looking for a bit of relaxing entertainment during my commute, I often fire up one of the iPhone versions for some accelerometer-controlled soaring. But, for "serious" virtual flight sessions, I turn to the Mac version, which enjoys a much larger screen and additional sim features. That said, it should come as little surprise that I was quite pleased to see X-Plane for iPad [link] appear in the App Store as iPad titles began going live yesterday.

Says developer Austin Meyer of the iPad version,

The large screen and powerful processors of the iPad provide a tremendous amount of power that we have NOT seen in ANY mobile device to date. As well, the huge touch-screen interface for cockpit control and accelerometer-based sensing for flight control allow an interface to the virtual cockpit that is simply amazing.

According to Meyer, X-Plane for iPad features new, high resolution scenery and aircraft data, delivering four times the detail of the iPhone version. Terrain is dotted with 3D buildings, including terminals in San Francisco, Seattle, and Innsbruk, Austria. A reworked interface features much more detailed instrument panels and an RF control that's uniquely suited to the iPad. Background Air Traffic Control radio chatter, new to this version, adds depth to the experience of real cockpit flight.

I've long been impressed with just how enjoyable a flight experience the iPhone version [App Store] provides, despite the small screen. The notion of sitting on the couch and enjoying a much enhanced version of this experience is a nice one. (One doesn't always want to belly-up to a desk and grab a flight-stick when the wild blue yonder calls.) This is likely to be an obvious buy for any iPad-owning flight sim fan.

Those more interested in hardcore aerial combat games and unfamiliar with the X-Plane series should be aware that this is definitely more of a true simulation than a Ace Combat-type affair.

App Store Link: X-Plane for iPad, $9.99

  • menom

    woah looks great - extra detail like building at airports will be neat

    will be almost instant purchase once iPad makes over to UK

    Laminar have great record of updating apps so no problem what-so-ever with buying a 2nd time for more content

  • menom

    woah looks great - extra detail like building at airports will be neat

    will be almost instant purchase once iPad makes over to UK

    Laminar have great record of updating apps so no problem what-so-ever with buying a 2nd time for more content

  • epoverb1

    Is there a way to separate out the iPad reviews to another section or something?

    I'm also feeling like there is more attention being paid to the iPad right now than the iPhone on this site (although I haven't done a count of which gets more attention in any way). It makes sense given that the iPad is about to be released, but it really feels like the iPhone is being neglected. I hate to see my interest in the website wane, which it is.

    • SalsaMD

      Wow, you are spreading like a viral infection! Lay low dude!

    • Greg K

      I agree... I really have no interest in the iPad at all. I loved the way I could come to TA and see exactly what I want to see... iPhone/iPod touch games... not iPad games... I understand that there are a lot of others who want iPad game reviews... so perhaps another subsection would be a good idea.

  • epoverb1

    Is there a way to separate out the iPad reviews to another section or something?

    I'm also feeling like there is more attention being paid to the iPad right now than the iPhone on this site (although I haven't done a count of which gets more attention in any way). It makes sense given that the iPad is about to be released, but it really feels like the iPhone is being neglected. I hate to see my interest in the website wane, which it is.

    • SalsaMD

      Wow, you are spreading like a viral infection! Lay low dude!

    • Greg K

      I agree... I really have no interest in the iPad at all. I loved the way I could come to TA and see exactly what I want to see... iPhone/iPod touch games... not iPad games... I understand that there are a lot of others who want iPad game reviews... so perhaps another subsection would be a good idea.

  • Reinhart

    Jesus Christ that graphic's amazing!

  • Reinhart

    Jesus Christ that graphic's amazing!

  • Brian

    Sort of related - Will Laminar ever publish X-Plane on Steam? With the any-month-now release of Steam for Mac, I would love to have a new copy of X-Plane where I don't have to deal with a darned disc. Pleease?

  • Brian

    Sort of related - Will Laminar ever publish X-Plane on Steam? With the any-month-now release of Steam for Mac, I would love to have a new copy of X-Plane where I don't have to deal with a darned disc. Pleease?

  • http://theamazingipad.com iPad

    Beautiful game. I can't wait for xPlane helicopter for the iPad

    William, theamazingipad.com

  • http://theamazingipad.com iPad

    Beautiful game. I can't wait for xPlane helicopter for the iPad

    William, theamazingipad.com

  • ltcommander.data

    "The large screen and powerful processors of the iPad provide a tremendous amount of power that we have NOT seen in ANY mobile device to date."

    Does the fact that they said "processors" plural imply that the A4 is dual core or more after-all? Since most of the speculation had downplayed the A4 as being single core Cortex A8 derived similar to the existing CPU in the third-gen iPhone and iPod Touch. Maybe the developer is saying "processors" as a reference to both the CPU and GPU.

    • spiffyone

      I think A4 may turn out to be a dual core Cortex A9 paired with a higher spec PowerVR SGX. There's some speculation that it's a dual core A9 with a Mali GPU, but I don't think Apple is going far away from the PowerVR GPUs as they've worked well so far, and they already use them in iPhone/touch.

  • ltcommander.data

    "The large screen and powerful processors of the iPad provide a tremendous amount of power that we have NOT seen in ANY mobile device to date."

    Does the fact that they said "processors" plural imply that the A4 is dual core or more after-all? Since most of the speculation had downplayed the A4 as being single core Cortex A8 derived similar to the existing CPU in the third-gen iPhone and iPod Touch. Maybe the developer is saying "processors" as a reference to both the CPU and GPU.

    • spiffyone

      I think A4 may turn out to be a dual core Cortex A9 paired with a higher spec PowerVR SGX. There's some speculation that it's a dual core A9 with a Mali GPU, but I don't think Apple is going far away from the PowerVR GPUs as they've worked well so far, and they already use them in iPhone/touch.

  • Esk3

    Ok, so one of the big things about this is that there will be no xplane helicopter or whatever, they're all in this version. (well, coming soon in an update) but this is much more like the desktop version of xplane than the iPhone versions.

  • Esk3

    Ok, so one of the big things about this is that there will be no xplane helicopter or whatever, they're all in this version. (well, coming soon in an update) but this is much more like the desktop version of xplane than the iPhone versions.