Rapid Review: X-Plane 9 for iPhone

What’s Hot: A real 3D flight sim with cockpit and external views, 4 planes to choose from, several scenarios to choose, 3D terrain, airstrips, iPhone accelerometer controls, customizations for weather, terrain, time of day, and plane weight.

What’s Not: Some stability issues, no ability to plan flights, limited cockpit controls, no autopilot, odd propeller behavior, expensive at $9.99.

Bottom Line: The newest flight sim from Laminar Research has landed on the iPhone and iPod Touch.  The power and flexibility of the iPhone is certainly on display with X-Plane 9. While limited in scope, X-Plane has all of the basic features of a more powerful flight simulator and gets you up in the cockpit quickly.

I was impressed with the frame rates creating a relatively smooth impression of flight and the accelerometer controls were easier to use than expected. I was able to control the plane smoothly within a few minutes of practicing. The game did crash repeatedly after I initially installed it on my device. Having seen this phenomenon with certain iPhone apps, I rebooted my iPhone and the crashing issue subsided.

Overall, I like X-Plane 9 for the iPhone and I’m looking forward to the inevitable updates for the game to address performance issues and hopefully updated content for extended capabilities. I recommend buying this application for flight sim fans, but remember to keep your expectations in check.

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