Flight Simulators for iOS

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by Donka, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. Donka macrumors 68020

    Donka

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    #1
    I wanted to discuss the big three flight sims for iOS. First up, this is just from my personal perspective - I'm a professional family man with 2 young kids so I'm not hard core into flight sims. I enjoy just the odd 15 minutes here and there as time allows so I can't justify the time and expense in a full on PC flight sim. Therefore, I really appreciate the quality that is available on the iPad.

    So the big three are Infinite Flight, Aerofly 2 and X-Plane 10 and I want to provide my thoughts on each separately and also as a comparison. I have also included a video overview of each. This is quite in depth but I haven't covered everything, just more of the pertinent points for each app from my perspective.

    Infinite Flight

    I'll say up front that X-Plane 10 has a lot of potential and does a lot of things very well indeed. I'm looking at this purely from a flight sim perspective so I am discounting some of the 'game' elements of this one such as dog fighting and bombing missions.

    First up, overall this app looks good. The planes look very good, they have great interiors which are almost as good as Aerofly 2 and are fully functional, not just the dials work but you can also work controls like throttle and gear when in the cockpit view.

    On the interface, the main flight controls are down either side but again, the auto pilot controls are up top presenting the same issues that Aerofly 2 has.

    The scenery is not up to Aerofly 2's standard but certainly surpasses Infinite Flight and Airports are also well modelled and look good as you come in to land. This all again runs buttery smooth and way better than Infinite Flight. The night lighting though for me is the best of the bunch, runways look great as you come in to land and even the towns and airports are lit up at night as you fly overhead which the others haven't even attempted.

    The biggest draw with X-Plane 10 though is the weather, in addition to wind you have cloud, rain and lightning. You can configure two levels of clouds as well as their thickness and it works well considering this is a mobile device. The rain effect is surprisingly immersive, perhaps because it doesn't feature in the other apps. Further little effects such as tyre smoke, exhaust fumes etc. are nice little additions.

    The biggest let down with X-Plane 10 though is the lack of any navigation system as such; there are no maps or aids to guide you around and you have no way of finding other airports in a region apart from aimlessly flying around so you are effectively taking off and flying back to the same place - you can't even select different starting locations. Given I have only used the basic entry level slow plane in this sim though, I can't confirm for sure how many additional airports per region there are as I haven't had the time to fully explore them but I have only found one extra airport in the Setac region so far as an example.

    This is one issue with X-Plane 10, it is initially free but you only get a single, basic aircraft. This is somewhat mitigated though by the excellent try before you buy option where you can get access to any of the purchasable aircraft for a 1 minute demo or unlock it for 24 hours if you share on Facebook. At least you can get a decent look at an aircraft before purchasing. You also have the option of a helicopter which is unique in this company. I would love to see more Airliners added to the roster - once navigation and other airports are added of course.

    Back to the regions and there are five in total which are quite diverse and a good choice. I would like to see these fleshed out a bit more with multiple airports and I suspect this is one of the reasons why there is no navigation system so these may well go hand in hand in a future update. Truth be told, until we at least get a navigation system, I find it hard to recommend this sim although given it is initially free it is certainly worth checking out and I think the potential is big.

    X-Plane 10's replay feature set is virtually identical to Aerofly as are the views available and although a HUD is also available - it isn't as comprehensive as Infinite Flight but it covers the basics.

    ** It looks like there is an upcoming update for X-Plane 10 Mobile that will introduce a navigation system.
     
  2. Natzoo macrumors 65816

    Natzoo

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Not sure where i am
    #2
    i have been playing infinite flight for more than two years. i remember when you could take off using reversers but its patched. have u played multiplayer?
     
  3. Donka thread starter macrumors 68020

    Donka

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    #3
    Nope, I haven't tried the multiplayer in Infinite Flight but I have been following what they have been doing with interest. I just wouldn't be able to devote the time to make the investment worth while.
    Have you tried any on the Mac?
     
  4. MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    I really appreciate this review. I insta-bought Aerofly 2.
     
  5. Donka thread starter macrumors 68020

    Donka

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
  6. Donka thread starter macrumors 68020

    Donka

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    #6
    A couple of updates:

    Aerofly 2 has been updated with a new aircraft and bug fixes.

    X-Plane 10 Mobile has been updated with some new aircraft and a much needed navigation feature.
     

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