Resources - how do I learn about
How to fly an airplane? How to navigate?
There are a couple of excellent tutorials on basic
flying, instrument navigation, etc. See the X-World page for a
comprehensive set of links.
Hal Stoen maintains a page with an extensive set of stories and tutorials.
Charles Wood has put together a comprehensive web site on flight sim
has a ground
school web site with basic information on flying.
user's guide from the FLY!2 flight simulator is available online.
While a lot of this manual is specific to using FLY!2, there's a lot of
material on flying in general that applies to X-Plane.
To learn about IFR flying, Don Nyveen recommends The Pilot's Manual, Instrument
Flying by Trevor Thom, Aviation Supplies & Academics Inc.
Flying Handbook is published by the FAA and is available from their
AOPA maintains a web page with free online courses.
- a web site with a huge, if somewhat rambling, collection of articles
on all aspects of flying.
Read the books and web pages and still aren't clear on how a VOR works?
Here's a link to a neat VOR
Where can I
find handbooks for specific aircraft?
sells PDFs of the actual operating handbooks for a large number of
commercal and military aircraft, current and historic.
sells PDFs of a number of aircraft operation and training handbooks.
online operating handbooks of many of the major airliners.
A 747 procedures handbook is available from Precision Manuals: select
"downloads", then "other downloads", "Documentation". Then "747 Queen
of the skies" or "737 NG". Download the manual.
Where can I find the user's manual?
In the Instructions folder, in HTML. (Version 6 onwards.)
The manual is out of date
In fairness, it's seriously
out of date. It's from like version 6 or thereabouts. I thought there
was a new manual in development, but it hasn't been heard from for some
Live with it. X-Plane is a fast-moving work in progress. Any
documentation you find will always be out of date. The X-Plane web site
describes what's new in the current version; check these FAQ pages for
topics, especially the Flying and Navigation
page and the Detailed History pages.
How about aviation data
How to build aircraft?
Tracy Walker has created a good tutorial at http://x-plane.org/home/suncoaster/xplanesite.html.
There is an older one (from approximately V5) at http://legoplane.freeservers.com/.
What airfoils an
The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage at http://www.ae.uiuc.edu/m-selig/ads/aircraft.html
lists the wing airfoils of a large selection of aircraft.
Where to find performance data for airfoils?
Theory of Wing Sections (below) has performance charts of
many of the common airfoils.
NASA also published these charts as a PDF, available from X-Plane.org.
(Membership is required to download.)
Where can I find jet engine
How do the airport
and navaid files work?
See Robin Peel's Airport and Nav
File Definition page.
Where can I find
I've collected from various tech list postings the
following list of links for
airport charts and approach and departure procedures:
VATSIM's Pilot Resource
Centre has probably the most comprehensive list of links to charts
available. When in doubt, start here.
Sectional charts of the US with a nice Google map type interface: http://skyvector.com/.
The EAD home page is a
centralized resource for all European airport data, run by Eurocontrol.
This is the links page on the Eurocontrol website:
Bosnia - http://www.bhdca.gov.ba/ais.htm
Canada - http://www.navcanada.ca/ContentDefinitionFiles/Publications/AeronauticalInfoProducts/
Germany (Military) - http://www.mil-aip.de/pages/aip_eng.html
(SIDS/STARS on http://www.mil-aip.de/pages/procedures.html
(German civil AIP seems not to be available online)
Slovenia - http://www.caa-rs.si/eng/aip.php?arhiv=&idm=84&kid=3
Spain - http://ais.aena.es/aipesp/Hoja_presentacion_AipEsp.htm
(Click on "AD" on top of page then "AD2 - Aerodromos")
USA - http://avn.faa.gov/index.asp?xml=naco/online/d_tpp
- airport diagrams, standard arrival and departure procedures and more.
USA - http://www.airnav.com/
USA - http://www.razorsedgesoft.com/diagrams.htm
USA - http://map.aeroplanner.com/mapping/chart/aptsel.cfm
(has many from rest of world too but this requires membership)
USA - http://www.naco.faa.gov/
- home page of the National Aeronautical Charting Ofice.
More from Massimo Marino:
AIS United Kingdom
AIP France - Charts for France and the DOM-TOMs
vACC-SAG - Charts for Germany/ Switzerland/ Austria
IVAO Canada - Charts for Canada
FAA NACO - Charts for the USA (Click on Online Products, then
digital-TPP on the left hand side - that will lead you to a search page
AIP Spain - Charts for Spain
AIP Denmark - Chart for Denamrk, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands
AIP Sweden - Charts for Sweden
AIS ASECNA - Charts for select African countries
AIP New Zealand - Charts for New Zealand
Airservices Australia - Charts for Australia
How to communicate with
X-Plane with my own software?
You can communicate directly with X-Plane's UDP
(networking protocol). Roy Coates maintains a web site with a lot of reference
material and several useful utilities.
You can write plug-ins, which are loadable pieces of software that run
as part of the X-Plane application. Ben Supnik maintains a web site for
development. A good place to start is this
page for the complete beginner.
Warning: The content and
format of X-Plane's UDP messages tends to change from version to
version. The X-Plane developer community recommends for most
applications that you build a plug-in and handle your own network
communications. The plug-in interface is stable and does not require
to track version to version changes (unless you want to take advantage
of new features).
Where can I learn more
about aircraft and aerodynamics?
John Denker has written an online book called See How It Flies that covers many
different theoretical aspects of flight, ranging from basic math and
physics to flying technique.
Back to the main page
Here's a couple of books I found very useful and
- Mach 1 and Beyond by Larry Reithmaier, 1995 by Tab Books
(McGraw-Hill). Available from Barnes & Noble, US $19.95
An excellent treatment of basic aerodynamics, supersonic
flight, and jet engines. Lots of detail, illustrations, and graphs, but
stops short of hairy math.
- Jet Engines, Fundamentals of Theory, Design, and Operation
by Klaus Huenecke, 1997, Motorbooks International. Available from
& Noble, US $29.95
Detailed, down and dirty treatment of how jet engines
work. Lots of photos, charts, and math. Covers everything from theory
details of construction.
- Modern Combat
Aircraft Design, by Klaus Huenecke, 1987, Naval Institute Press.
More of a glossy coffee table book than the above, but has a good
treatment of the unique features of military jets. Lots of technical
detail, diagrams, charts, etc.
- Theory of Wing Sections by Ira. H. Abbott and Albert
von Doenhoff, 1959, Dover Publications. Available from Barnes &
Noble, US $14.95
The definitive textbook on how airfoils work. Tons of
math and tables. Better brush up on your calculus before you try to
it through the theory section. Perhaps more important for X-Plane
aircraft designers, this book includes performance charts of all the
standard airfoils. (If the charts are all you're after, you can get
for free in NACA TR-824 above.)