Laminar Research has announced the release of X-Plane for the iPhone, a version of the flight simulation software. It’s now available for purchase and download from the App Store for $9.99.
X-Plane is a highly customizable flight simulator package for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. It uses technology called “blade element theory” to model flight characteristics, and been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for logging simulation flight time for pilots.
The news comes only a few days after Austin Meyer, the developer behind the sophisticated flight sim software, posted a detailed message to the X-Plane e-mail list saying that an iPhone port of the game was not possible. In retrospect, Meyer was just having some fun at his customers’ expense.
The desktop version of X-Plane 9 is known for its expandability and flexibility; users can add new detailed terrain maps, new airplane models and can adjust a vast array of parameters. Obviously, the iPhone version had to be scaled down, but many of X-Plane’s hallmark characteristics remain intact: You can adjust time of day, weather, sky conditions and turbulence characteristics; you can also choose from four different models of aircraft, including a personal jet.
The iPhone application lets you fly around the area of Innsbruck, Austria, which Laminar Research says is home to challenging mountains and topography for aviation.
X-Plane 9 runs on any iPhone or iPod touch running iPhone 2.0 software or later.