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Chapter 2: Installing and Configuring X-Plane

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Contents

System Requirements

Given X-Plane’s incredible capabilities and accuracy, it is not possible to run a current release of X-Plane on a really old computer. A good rule of thumb is that any machine built in the last 18 to 24 months will probably be able to run the simulator acceptably. Computers up to about 36 months old may be fine if they were top-of-the-line machines when manufactured. Even if they weren’t, X-Plane may still be able to run, albeit with its rendering options turned down.

X-Plane 9 requires a computer with at least the following specifications:

  • A 2 GHz processor
  • 1.0 GB RAM (physical memory)
  • 32 MB VRAM (video memory on your video card)
  • 10 GB of hard drive space

To find out the specifications of the computer being used, Mac users can simply open the Apple Menu and choose About This Mac. For Windows users, it is a bit more difficult, but still isn’t too bad. The easiest way to get all the necessary information is to download the free PC Wizard application (3MB) from CPUID. The installer is very user friendly, and the program, once installed, will show nearly everything about the system on one page.

Alternatively, for users that don’t want to download the application, the system’s processor speed and amount of memory can be found by doing the following:

1. Go to the Start menu and select Control Panel.
2. In the window that opens, click on System (Performance and Maintenance may need to be clicked first).
3. Near the bottom of the window that opens you will see your CPU speed (for example, 2.0 GHz) and the amount of memory in the system (for example, 1.0 GB of RAM).

Additionally, Version 9 has been optimized for dual- and quad-core processors, as well as multiprocessor systems—-one CPU core is used to output video, while the other core(s) handle the background processes of loading scenery, taking input, etc. This eliminates the tenth of a second stutter usually associated with transitioning from one scenery file to another (which is still experienced when using a single-core processor).

Please note that X-Plane will run on Windows Vista and Windows 7, both 64- and 32-bit. However it will require more RAM to do so (2 GB is recommended).

Flight Control Selection

While it is physically possible to fly X-Plane with only the mouse and keyboard, this is both cumbersome and unrealistic (for obvious reasons). While instructions for flying like this are included in the Using the Mouse Instead of a Joystick section (found in Chapter 4), it is strongly recommended that users fly with (at least) a joystick for a realistic experience.

So which joystick should a user purchase? Every USB joystick and yoke on the market that we have seen recently will work with X-Plane, but, like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Be leery of joysticks advertised for $29.95 at a local retailer. In our experience the cheaper hardware typically does not last as long or work as well as more moderately priced equipment.

Note: X-Plane can only interface with USB devices. This covers nearly all the controllers manufactured in the last five or six years, but if a user has a non-USB device, an adapter will be needed to change it to a USB input.

Joysticks

Joysticks typically provide pitch, roll, and sometimes even throttle control as well as a few buttons that can be programmed to do different things. For example, you may program one button to raise and lower the landing gear, and two additional buttons to raise the flaps and lower them. Also, some joysticks can have their handle twisted left and right to control yaw movement. If the joystick being used does not offer yaw control, users will probably want a set of rudder pedals to provide realistic yaw control in the airplane. A joystick will be best for flying fighter or sport airplanes, or planes like the Airbus, Cirrus, or Lancair, for the simple reason that those planes, in reality, are controlled with joysticks!

Yokes

A yoke consists of a steering wheel-like control that rotates left and right and also slides back and forth. These are the best option for users primarily interested in flying older-style general aviation planes, business jets, and non-Airbus airliners, since these planes are flown with yokes in reality.

Yokes are typically clamped to the user’s desk for stability. They may have a built-in throttle quadrant, which will allows for independent control of the propeller, throttle, and mixture for a single propeller engine. Also, note that yokes do not control yaw movement (they do not twist left and right for yaw control like some joysticks), so rudder pedals are required for realistic yaw control.

Rudder Pedals

Rudder pedals allow users to realistically control the airplane's yaw by pushing the left or right pedal to turn. While in flight, the pedals control the rudder, whereas on the ground they’re used to steer. The pedals also control the brakes to help the airplane stop or turn sharply while on the ground. (Push the tops of the left or right pedal to activate the brakes on that side of the plane.)

Actively controlling the rudder is needed to realistically steer the airplane on the ground, track the runway centerline when taking off and landing, slip the airplane, take off or land in a crosswind, or recover from stalls and spins.

If neither a set of rudder pedals and the joystick is set to control yaw (see Chapter 3), then X-Plane will automatically slew the rudder to try and keep the airplane flying true. This auto-rudder function, however, is not smart enough to take off or land properly in a crosswind, slip, or do various other things that rudders might be used for. For this reason, rudder pedals (or at least a twisting joystick) are highly recommended.

Please note that, when flying a helicopter, pedals must be used for the anti-torque controls—this can not be assigned to keyboard commands, simply because it is not practical to try to use this to fly.

Other Considerations

For added realism in certain situations, users may want an independent throttle quadrant. CH Products’ Multi-Engine Throttle Quadrant is perhaps the most popular and offers independent and variable control of six different functions. Normally, this would be set up to control the throttle, propeller, and mixture controls for each engine on a twin-engine airplane. This controller can also be used to control throttle and condition (fuel cutoff) for jet engines, allowing independent control of jet aircraft with up to three engines. A multi-engine throttle quadrant is recommended for users interested in realistically flying airplanes with more than one engine.

To purchase joysticks or other equipment, check out the CH Products, Logitech, and Saitek websites. Each of the sites allows users to browse the available products and find where to buy them. Also, feel free to call or e-mail X-Plane customer support with any additional questions. Contact information can be found on the Contact page of X-Plane.com.

Instructions on configuring control hardware are found in Chapter 3.

Display Requirements and System Architecture

X-Plane can display on any screen ranging from 1,024 x 768 pixels to 9,999 x 9,999 pixels. Fifteen years ago, nearly every monitor sold had a 4:3 (or “full screen”) aspect ratio. Many of the monitors and screens available today, though, have widescreen aspect ratios, such as 16:9 or 16:10. While X-Plane can easily fill a screen with a wide aspect ratio, most aircraft have only been set up with cockpits that can be stretched in a 4:3 ratio.

To find your screen’s current aspect ratio, divide its width in pixels by its height. For example, 1024 divided by 768 (a common “full screen” resolution) equals 1.3333, or four-thirds (the 4:3 “full screen” aspect ratio). On the other hand, 1440 divided by 900 (a common widescreen resolution) equals 1.6, or sixteen-tenths (a 16:10 “widescreen” aspect ratio).

When using a wide aspect ratio in X-Plane, many aircraft’s cockpit image will be flanked on each side of the screen by scenery, with a sharp line dividing it from the cockpit image. To avoid this, set the size of the X-Plane window to a 4:3 ratio by moving the mouse to the top of the screen, clicking Settings, and selecting the Rendering Options window. In this window, change the screen res field. Note that the change will occur on X-Plane’s next launch. (More information on changing the resolution can be found in Chapter 3.)

With one computer it is possible to draw any view desirable and, assuming that the computer’s video card has two video outputs, an Instructor's Operating Station (IOS). The IOS (also available on a different computer if via a LAN or Internet connection) provides the ability to alter the weather, relocate the aircraft, and fail multitudes of different systems and components. Here an instructor can do nearly anything imaginable to the aircraft, including nearly every failure simulated at Flight Safety and the other simulator-based flight training companies.

X-Plane allows the use of any number of screens to depict anything you like. Multiple computers can be used to drive multiple monitors, thereby networking up to about 20 screens to show any combination of views imaginable. If the computer’s graphics card is especially powerful, a video splitter (like the Matrox TripleHead2Go) can be used to drive three forward visuals with one machine. In that case, a second machine could be used to drive the cockpit display and/or IOS.

Graphics Drivers and X-Plane

On most systems the required graphics drivers will already be installed. However, it may be necessary to periodically update the computer’s video drivers, either to fix a problem or to get the very best performance the system can deliver. Users of ATI video cards can download drivers here, and NVIDIA users can download drivers here.

Before updating the graphics driver, we recommend installing and launching X-Plane (as per the section below) and seeing how it runs. If any of the following is experienced, the system’s graphics drivers probably need to be updated:

  • a screen consisting only of splashes of color
  • a screen with horizontal or vertical bars running through it
  • random images of various pieces of the airplane or instrument panel

Additionally, if an error appears referring to a corrupt or missing “.dll”, the drivers most likely need to be replaced.

Updating Graphics Drivers in Windows

A high percentage of Windows-based computers are operating with drivers that are out of date or that do not currently support OpenGL (caused by using the default Windows drivers rather than those of the manufacturer). If it is determined that the drivers need to be updated, please see Appendix I of this manual for a step-by-step guide (with screenshots) for both ATI and NVIDIA graphics cards. Alternatively, the following general steps may be used for both manufacturers:

1. Go to your video card manufacturer’s driver download page (linked to above) and download the latest drivers, being sure to save it to a place that you’ll be able to find it (for example, the Desktop).
2. Click on the Start menu and open the Control Panel.
3. Click Add or Remove Programs.
4. Scroll down to either the Catalyst Display Driver (for ATI video cards) or the NVIDIA Drivers (for NVIDIA cards).
5. Click the Change/Remove button. (This may be replaced by a Remove button only; it does not affect the process.)
6. Follow the instructions provided by the uninstaller and reboot if necessary.
7. After rebooting, find the driver file that was downloaded in Step 1 and double click on it. The steps vary from here depending on the type of graphics card and the company it's manufactured by, but we will continue with a general outline for all companies.
8. Choose a destination folder to extract the files to. Again, make it something easy to find like C:\video drivers\ and continue clicking Next or Install.
9. If the installer (which you just extracted in Step 8) does not run automatically, navigate to C:\video drivers and double click on setup.exe.
10. Agree to the license agreement, choose the Express installation, and click Next until it finishes.
11. Reboot your PC and you're ready to fly!

Installing X-Plane

In order to avoid confusion, be sure to delete any installations of the X-Plane demo before installing the full version from the DVDs.

Note: The instructions that follow are for the X-Plane 9 gray colored six-DVD set, available from X-Plane.com. For installation instructions using the eight-disc “Beta” set of discs, please see Appendix K. For instructions on using the yellow colored six-disc set, please email amy@graphsim.com or call (214) 884-5571.

Installation on a Windows PC

To install X-Plane on a Windows-based computer (Windows XP or later), do the following:

1. Insert the first X-Plane DVD into the DVD-ROM drive and wait for it to spin up.
2. If the X-System window doesn’t open automatically, open My Computer and navigate to the drive now labeled XPLANE9 (usually the D drive—see the screenshot below). If the X-System window does appear automatically, skip to step 4.
Image:1_open_my_comp.png
3. Double-click on Installer_Windows.exe to launch the X-Plane installation.
Image:2_open_installer_copy.png
4. When the installer window appears, click Continue.
Image:3_cont_copy.png
Note: If the buttons at the bottom of the X-System screen labeled Quit, Go Back, and Continue are not visible, then the system is probably running at a minimal resolution like 800 x 600. Using this resolution will not allow the computer to display the bottom of the X-Plane screen and you will need to force the installer to exit (via Ctrl+Alt+Del) and increase the screen’s resolution in Windows to at least 1,024 x 768.
5. By default, X-Plane will install to the Desktop. Though it can be installed elsewhere (by clicking the Change Destination button), it is strongly recommended that it be placed on the Desktop so that the folder can be found in the future. When an acceptable location has been selected, click Continue.
Image:4_choose_dest_deskop_copy.png
6. Accept the user agreement and click Continue once again.
Image:5_accept_copy.png
7. Select the scenery that should be installed. Depending on the installer on the disc, either all of the world or none of it will be selected by default. An unselected tile will appear bleached in color, while a selected tile will have its full color. For instance, in the image below, only part of North America is selected.
Image:6_select_scenery_copy.png
If you are unsure what areas are currently selected, just click Select None to turn everything off. From there, select the individual tiles to install by clicking on them. Additionally, users may click and drag to select large areas quickly.
Note that for regions where no scenery is installed, only oceans and airports will be visible. When you’re finished selecting scenery, click Continue to begin installing.
8. The installer will begin displaying its progress. When the installer prompts you to do so, remove the current disc and insert the next. Note that installation may take anywhere from thirty to sixty minutes per disc, and that only one X-Plane disc can be in the system at once (the installer won’t recognize a disc placed in a second DVD-ROM). Installing the complete scenery package will consume about 75 GB of hard drive space and will take between five and six and a half hours to install.
9. When the installation completes, reinsert Disc 1 and go fly!

Additionally, scenery can be added or removed at any point in the future by inserting Disc 1 and re-running the installer. When the X-System installer comes up saying "You already have X-Plane 9 installed on this computer,” click the Add or Remove Scenery button and proceed just like in step 7 above.

Special Considerations for Windows XP Users

Running X-Plane on Windows requires Microsoft DirectX 9.0c (or later) to be installed. Without this, X-Plane cannot interface with audio and joystick hardware. This free software can be downloaded from Microsoft here. Most newer installations of Windows XP have this installed already, and all copies of Windows Vista and Windows 7 have DirectX 10 (which is more than sufficient) installed by default.

To find out which version of DirectX is currently installed, do the following:

1. Open the Start menu and click Run (alternatively, a shortcut to this is the Windows key + R).
Image:1_run_copy.png
2. Type "dxdiag" (without the quotation marks) in the dialog box that appears and click OK.
3. If a box appears asking if you want to check for signed drivers, click No.
4. The lower half of the window that appears is labeled System Information. At the bottom of that list of stats is the system’s DirectX Version.
Image:Directx_version_highlighted.png

Special Considerations for Windows 7 and Vista Users

Some of X-Plane's menus may render strangely when using the default Aero themes in Windows 7 and Windows Vista. For this reason, it is recommended that users switch to the Basic theme when running X-Plane.

To make Windows automatically switch to the Basic theme when you launch X-Plane:

1. Locate either the X-Plane.exe (found in the X-Plane 9 installation folder) or the shortcut you use to launch X-Plane and right click on it.
2. Click Properties from the menu that appears, as in the following image.
Right click on the X-Plane icon and click Properties
Right click on the X-Plane icon and click Properties
3. Go to the Compatibility tab and check the Disable desktop composition box, as in the image below.
Check the Disable Desktop Composition box
Check the Disable Desktop Composition box

With that done, X-Plane will launch with the Basic theme and all menus will render correctly.

Installation on a Macintosh

To install X-Plane on Mac OS version 10.4 or later, do the following:

1. Insert the X-Plane DVD into the DVD-ROM drive and wait for it to spin up.
2. Double click on the X-Plane DVD icon on the Desktop, then double click the Installer_Mac app to launch the installer.
Note: If the buttons at the bottom of the X-System screen labeled Quit, Go Back, Continue are not visible, then the system is probably running at a minimal resolution like 800 x 600. Using this resolution will not allow the computer to display the bottom of the X-Plane screen.
3. By default, X-Plane will install to the Desktop. Though it can be installed elsewhere (by clicking the Change Destination button), it is strongly recommended that it be placed on the Desktop so that the folder can be found in the future.
4. Accept the user agreement and click Continue once again.
5. Select the scenery that should be installed. Depending on the installer on the disc, either all of the world or none of it will be selected by default. An unselected tile will appear bleached in color, while a selected tile will have its full color. If you are unsure what areas are currently selected, just click Select None to turn everything off. From there, select the individual tiles to install by clicking on them. Additionally, users may click and drag to select large areas quickly.
Note that for regions where no scenery is installed, only oceans and airports will be visible. When you’re finished selecting scenery, click Continue to begin installing.
6. The installer will begin displaying its progress. When the installer prompts you to do so, remove the current disc and insert the next. Note that installation may take anywhere from thirty to sixty minutes per disc, and that only one X-Plane disc can be in the system at once (the installer won’t recognize a disc placed in a second DVD-ROM). Installing the complete scenery package will consume about 75GB of hard drive space and will take between five and six and a half hours to install.
7. When the installation completes, reinsert Disc 1 and go fly!

Additionally, scenery can be added or removed at any point in the future by inserting Disc 1 and re-running the installer. When the X-System installer comes up saying "You already have X-Plane 9 installed on this computer,” click the Add or Remove Scenery button and proceed just like in step 5 above.

Special Considerations for Mac Users

By default, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard is set to automatically back up the entire hard drive using Time Machine. This includes a user’s X-Plane directory. Most users would prefer not to have this backed up, due to the fact that it demands a significant amount of spaced (for something already backed up to DVDs, no less) and generally also comes with a performance hit.

For this reason, it is recommended that users disable Time Machine while installing X-Plane, then re-enable it after telling it to exclude the X-Plane directory from its backup. This can be done using the following instructions:

1. Before installing X-Plane, choose System Preferences from the Apple Menu.
2. Click the Time Machine icon.
3. In the window that appears, turn Time Machine off.
4. Install X-Plane according to the previous instructions, noting where it was installed to.
5. With X-Plane installed, open the Time Machine preferences as before and click the Options button.
6. Click the + button to add a folder to the “Do not back up” list and select the X-Plane installation directory.
7. Click the Done button and turn Time Machine back on.

Additionally, some users have had issues with Time Machine creating a “locked” copy of their X-Plane discs. This can cause the X-Plane Disc 1 to appear in the Finder as Disc 2, thus forcing X-Plane to run in demo mode. To correct this, do the following:

1. Download and install OnyX from Apple.
2. Run OnyX and select the Parameters tab.
3. Select Finder from the OnyX menu bar and then select Show hidden files and folders from the Misc Options section.
4. Open Finder and click on "Macintosh HD." The Volumes directory, which was hidden before, is now visible at the bottom.
5. Go into the Volumes directory and delete the unwanted XPlane volumes by moving them to Trash.
6. Eject the X-Plane DVD, empty the Trash, and reboot.
7. After rebooting, the system should be ready to fly as normal using X-Plane’s Disc 1.
8. At this point, Onyx may be reopened to turn off the Show hidden files and folders option.

Installation in Linux

Please see the Linux Installation Walkthrough or Linux Installation page.

Launching X-Plane

When the installation of X-Plane is complete, the user will need to locate the X-Plane application and launch it (for example, by opening the X-Plane 9 folder and double clicking on X-Plane.exe).

Note that X-Plane does not infest the hard drive by creating shortcuts, subdirectories, or registry entries. We don't do this because we find it annoying when other applications do it to us. We see countless people with their desktop littered with shortcuts, most of which they have no use for. Hundreds of hours of time are wasted in frustration when people

1) install software and use only the shortcut to it,
2) get an updated version of the software in a new location, and
3) keep using the shortcut to the old software while thinking they are using the new software.

Needless to say, these people are unable to figure out why things aren’t working as expected.

X-Plane does not install a shortcut that might one day lead to nothing (or worse, an outdated copy of the software). The X-Plane installer creates a folder called X-Plane 9 on the hard drive (at whatever path was selected in the installer-—the Desktop is typical), and we recommend running X-Plane by going into that folder and double-clicking on X-Plane.exe.

With that said, if the user acknowledges the potential pitfalls of using a shortcut but decides to use one anyway, do the following in Windows:

1. Open the installation directory (usually by clicking on the X-Plane 9 folder found on the Desktop).
2. Right click on X-Plane.exe and select Create Shortcut.
3. Drag the shortcut to wherever it is desired.

Updating to a Newer Version of X-Plane

The X-Plane simulator is designed for both realism and longevity. Maximizing both of these requires that X-Plane be updated often. Every few months, the X-Plane.com site will post a new update to the simulator, at which point it can be downloaded and installed as per the following instructions. In between these official (or “stable”) releases, users can download beta versions of the upcoming update. These are treated as a kind of “update in progress”—new features and bug fixes are included, but in the beta stage, the updates have not been fully tested in a range of situations. This means that they may create incompatibilities or create other problems that would not be experienced in the stable releases. For more information, see Using X-Plane Betas, below.

Newer versions of X-Plane often contain feature enhancements, bug fixes, stability improvements, aircraft and resource updates, flight model improvements, and even new feature additions.

A purchase of X-Plane entitles the user to free updates through that full X-Plane version run. This means that if the Version 9 discs were purchased, the user will get the Version 9.10 update, the Version 9.20 update, etc., all the way through Version 9.99 if it exists—all free of charge. Of course, users do not have to take advantage of these updates, but it is recommended that they do so.

As with the X-Plane version supplied on the purchased DVD, Disc 1 (the master disc) must be inserted into the system to use these updated versions—X-Plane uses this as a “key” to unlock the software. Be sure to have the disc spinning in the DVD drive prior to starting up the program so that X-Plane can find it!

Additionally, while previous versions of X-Plane required users to have all the desired scenery installed before updating to a newer version, this is no longer the case. New scenery may be installed regardless of updates.

There are two ways to update X-Plane. The first is done within X-Plane itself, while the second is done by going to the X-Plane website. Both end up downloading the same updater application.

To update within X-Plane:

1. Launch the copy of X-Plane that you have been using.
2. Once it opens, move your mouse to the top of the screen and click About (as seen below), then About X-Plane.
Image:Selecting_the_About_menu.png
3. Click the Update X-Plane button (highlighted in the following screenshot). X-Plane will automatically download the latest version of the updater program and launch it.
Image:About_window_Update_btn_highlighted.png
4. Continue with the instructions below labeled Within the X-System Updater.

To update via the Internet:

1. Go to the Update page on X-Plane.com.
2. Select the appropriate updater (Mac, Windows, or Linux) from the list and click on it to begin downloading. Be sure not to download the demo installer!
3. Run the updater.
4. Continue with the instructions below labeled Within the X-System Updater.

Within the X-System Updater:

1. Please do not select the Check for new betas box unless you are prepared to work out the some kinks (see the following subsection, Updating to a Beta Version). Click Continue (as shown in the following image) to begin the program’s scanning of your X-Plane directory. This allows it to determine which files need to be updated.
Image:Updater_first_screen.png
2. Make sure the program selects the correct copy of X-Plane to update. If your X-Plane installation isn’t in the list, click Find It to locate it manually. Note that this only applies to running the updater that was manually downloaded from the web; launching the updater from within X-Plane will skip this step. With the correct copy selected, click Continue.
3. Assuming there is enough disk space to download the required updates, click Continue (as in the following image) to begin the installation.
Image:Updater_third_page.png
4. The installation files will be downloaded and installed.
5. When the installation finishes, open the X-Plane 9 installation directory. Go to the Output folder, then open the Preferences folder. Delete the files within this folder (not the folder itself) to reset X-Plane’s preferences. This is recommended in order to avoid any bugs arising from changes to the way X-Plane handles the preferences.

Using X-Plane Betas

The X-Plane beta updates are for users who want to help test the newest refinements to the X-Plane software. The advantage to doing so is that these users get access to the latest enhancements to the software (flight model refinements, new features, etc.). The downside is that there is a greater risk of encountering problems with third-party models or other general bugs. We recommend that most users stick to the stable version releases, as these are the ones known to “just work.”

See the X-Plane Beta page for information on the current beta builds.

Compatibility with Earlier Versions of Scenery, Models, and Plug-Ins

X-Plane is designed to be backwards compatible with previous versions. This is only possible, though, to a certain extent. Each version of X-Plane will always have the ability to use airplanes written for the previous version. That is, X-Plane 9 will be able to use aircraft files created for either Version 8 or Version 9, but it might not be able to use a plane created for Version 7. Likewise, scenery add-on packages will be backwards compatible for at least one version, but possibly more.

Plug-ins are small programs that have been written by third parties to modify X-Plane in some way. With plugins, users can build multiplayer gaming modifications, re-program the built-in ATC, extend the cockpit, add scenery, and more.

For example, XSquawkBox is a plug-in that allows players to connect X-Plane to the VATSIM or IVAO global air traffic control network. With XSquawkBox , users can fly online with hundreds of other pilots (who may be running X-Plane or Microsoft Flight Simulator), receive ATC instructions from real people acting as air-traffic controllers over the Internet via voice-over-IP, see other aircraft ahead on the approach and hear ATC sequencing the craft in. This is really approaching what real pilots experience every day.

Plug-ins should not be affected by the update process, but it is impossible for the X-Plane development team to keep track of all the different plug-ins that have been written for X-Plane. Thus, if users suspect that an update has created a problem for a plug-in being used, they should contact the plug-in administrator or author for assistance.

Check out the X-World: Links and Lists page for a listing of third party add-ons available for X-Plane. The list there links to more than 1,500 additional aircraft files that can be downloaded—almost all of which are free—as well as custom scenery add-on packages. Note that all of these files were written by X-Plane customers and some are better than others. Additionally, because X-Plane actually computes the forces acting on an aircraft in flight, the simulator will fly the aircraft the way it was built by the author, not necessarily the way the manufacturer built it. If a downloaded aircraft was constructed with the wrong airfoil, camber, incidence, sweep, dihedral, chord, décollage (and the list continues!), then X-Plane will predict how that aircraft would fly if it were actually built this way. Thus, the old adage applies—garbage in, garbage out. Keep this in mind when searching the Internet for free aircraft downloads.

Finally, note that further information about installing plug-ins and custom aircraft may be found in Chapter 7: Expanding X-Plane.

Uninstalling X-Plane

The X-Plane installer does not infest a hard drive or create multiple subdirectories or shortcuts on your machine. Therefore, it is remarkably simple to uninstall the program—-simply delete the primary X-Plane folder, such as "X-Plane 9," where the 9 indicates the version that was in use. As the software creates no shortcuts or registry entries, this is all that is required to remove the software from a computer completely.

Getting Help and Support

X-Plane is subject to continuous development and improvement; therefore, the version supplied on a purchased DVD may already have been superseded by a later version. Check for updates after X-Plane is installed by following the steps described in Updating to a Newer Version of X-Plane, found above. The bug fixes contained in these updates often make further tech support unnecessary.

The Frequently Asked Questions of this Wiki can help with many common problems. Additionally, help is available through X-Plane customer support. Current contact information for versions of X-Plane purchased from the website can be found on the Contact Info page of the X-Plane.com site. For copies of X-Plane that were purchased on a store shelf somewhere, or through an on-line store like Amazon, users should contact Graphsim Entertainment (X-Plane’s retail distributor) directly at their website.

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