Flight sim set up needed (X-plane)

Our squadron is setting up a new flight sim based on X-plane (chosen because it has the easiest set up for the triple screen display we have) but none of us working on it are that savvy when it comes to driver installation and getting the (logitech) instrument panels and Thrustmaster joystick to be recognised. In particular the sequence in which these devices are connected and drivers are installed would appear to be critical. A google search produces 6,397,755,559 results most of which offer conflicting advice! Has anyone here used X-plane and could spend maybe fifteen minutes on the phone or messaging me to give me some basic idea of where to start. Otherwise I forsee months and months of trial and error!

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Have a look on x-plane.org https://forums.x-plane.org/

Every chance someone out there will have done something similar before.

I would recommend considering Prepar3D rather than XPlane. It seems to be the simulation software of choice for the RAFAC.

I thought they were leaning towards Microsoft now?

:person_shrugging: my Sqn uses Microsoft, but most of what I’ve seen from HQ and the Immersive Technologies Team focuses on P3D.


Lots of good information on the immersive technologies area of Sharepoint. Including pre-made exercises for P3D.

To be fair the software is a relatively small part of the spend on a sim rig, if the OP thinks that x-plane is best suited to their hardware at this point then crack on.

There is no mandated software package for sim training at present, with some wings using the same package and others leaving it to units to choose.


The choice of X-Plane was that it is generally considered to be the most accurate simulation of airctaft flight dynamics. MS and P3D are better graphics but less authentic. So it depends if you want to use the sim as a tool or as a game, I guess. But as mentioned, the software is cheap so we can try both or all three

When you say Microsoft, I assume you mean FSX?

MS Flight Sim 2020 is clearly light years ahead of any other flight sim, you may need a nuclear fusion cell in your PC to run it though…!

and there hangs the issue… with three screens side by side, the processing demand is pretty high. I know that even X-plane 11 will render better graphics than we can use, because we have set it high with a resulting drop in frame rate to about 15 fps which is no good.
When you say ‘lightyears ahead’ this refers to the visuals. X-plane seems to be generally accepted as better flight dynamics and physics.

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X Plane vs FSX/P3D, absolutely 100%.

But vs MS2020, unless you’re building a $10m full motion level D simulator they’re both so good it makes absolutely no odds. No one would notice a genuine difference.

It’s the rest of the immersion that MS2020 is years ahead. On maxed out settings with everything going on it is truly astonishing how good it is.

But if your PC can only run X Plane, that’s more than enough for any perceivable cadet stuff.

Get three screens running with any flight sim really and it’s good enough for what we need.

I would always adjust flight sim graphics settings so you prioritise frame rate over graphics quality. If that results in rubbish graphics then it’s just a “flying in rubbish weather” training exercise

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I’d say this is a “yes, but also no” situation. You don’t need to be pushing frames to the max for the basic stuff. Realistically, a smooth and consistent 30 suits slower aircraft used for learning and practicing better than an occasionally jittery 60 average. The best fidelity you can get with a smooth experience is the key - both aspects affect enjoyment and excitement at getting on the sim

If you start playing around with the faster stuff then more frames is definitely a help due to latency and user reaction speed, but at the same time that consistency is important because you don’t want to be hitting a dip in frames just as you come in to land or thread the needle buzzing the tower.

45 is a decent compromise if you can hit it without reaching potato camera quality with stairstepping on every curved or slope.

If you have a monitor above 1080p, it’s also worth testing lower resolution than your monitor max with higher graphics against matched resolution with lower graphics to see if that will suit as well.

All very valid. I use 4K monitors for work (and have plenty of GPU horsepower on tap). But for my sim/messing about with games rig I have an HD screen with a good refresh rate - laptop though so can’t do the 3 screen malarkey

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Bit late to this party, but for ms2020 you need a good Internet connection as it streams the scenery …
Xplane works in a slightly different way to most Sims- it uses a calculation method to work out the forces on an approximation of the aircraft whereas most use a form of look up table based on previously calculated values.

Which of these is best is largely irrelevant, they are all really good now and even at the extremes of manoeuvring you won’t notice a real difference between them.- dcs has a military version not available to the civilian market which is used for military training and it uses a form of lockup table…

For military type aircraft I always advocate dcs- free to get started and the flight model is incredibly good…

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I’ve just bought the Microsoft package. With some newer PCs on the horizon and a faster internet connection on our PCs I’m keen to see how it stacks up against our X-Plane 11 set up.

Not if you set it up for offline mode. You can use without real time world updates and streamed scenery.