Author Topic: X-Plane and Aerofly2 vs FSX:SE  (Read 137 times)

streakeagle

  • Rookie
  • **
  • Posts: 199
    • View Profile
X-Plane and Aerofly2 vs FSX:SE
« on: November 25, 2017, 01:40:30 AM »
Despite my general disdain for pure civil flight sims, I took advantage of some "Black Friday" sales on Steam to buy some more flight sims. A long time ago, I had bought X-Plane 8. Right after I bought it, they moved on to X-Plane 9. 8 wasn't that much improved over 7 and having just bought 8, I wasn't going to buy 9. So I rarely fly X-Plane.

Fast forward a few years and many former FSX simmers have converted to and swear by X-Plane 11 as being far superior in most areas to any variant of FSX available, including P3D. So now I have X-Plane 11. The graphics out of the box look very nice. The stock terrain is superior to any other stock sim I have seen, including the so-called "photoreal" Aerofly 2 I just bought today. But the moment I get into the stock F-4 Phantom, I feel like I am still flying X-Plane 7. The cockpit looks fairly nice, but almost none of the controls are clickable. The radar is certainly inoperable. The AoA gauge turns the wrong way and is scaled poorly. Yank back on the stick at 4 or 5 hundred knots, then roll hard right or left. It does something. But nothing like the adverse yaw/departure into a flat spin I am hoping to achieve. Of course, while you are loading the mission, it has a little info box that brags how X-Plane's blade element aerodynamics model is so much better than the commonly used look-up tables because they are only approximate. Ha! Simworks F-4B uses only the stock FSX flight engine based on look-up tables that is how many years old? And it beats that pants off of X-Plane's F-4.

I had read the reviews on Aerofly 2. I knew what it wasn't going to do. It wasn't going to be the most realistic flight model. It wasn't going to provide detailed systems modeling with fully functional clickable cockpits. But it was supposed to be the ultimate in terrain and especially good when using VR. The aircraft cockpits look very good. VR most certainly works. But the terrain and overall experience was inferior. DCS World looks better. I wasn't impressed. I do like the stock flyable aircraft. It is a very good selection from sail planes to biplanes to supersonic fighters. But I probably won't be flying this sim much.

What I need to do is pick an aircraft that is common to all of my civil/general aviation sims and thoroughly compare their flight characteristics. I am thinking along the lines of a Cessna 172. I would like to show the strengths and weaknesses of all the sims by comparing how well they model the same aircraft. But I am pretty sure without having to waste any time testing that I will find Aerofly 2 and X-Plane inferior to FSX, though FSX may have lower graphics quality.

Despite having one of the most dated/obsolete graphics out of any of the sims I still fly, FSX (and/or its derivatives) seems to still be the best all-around civil aviation flight sim. I haven't looked, but I wonder if there are any 3rd party F-4s for X-Plane that would give the SimWorks Studios F-4B a run for its money on functionality and flight performance?
« Last Edit: November 25, 2017, 01:55:08 AM by streakeagle »
i5(4690K) MAXIMUS VII HERO(16 Gb RAM) HD7970(3 Gb RAM) Win7 Home (64-bit)
OUR MISSION: PROTECT THE FORCE, GET THE PICTURES, ...AND KILL MIGS!

SiR R.i.P.P.E.R.

  • Administrator
  • Test pilot
  • *****
  • Posts: 1.066
    • View Profile
Re: X-Plane and Aerofly2 vs FSX:SE
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2017, 05:22:13 AM »
The truth about X-planes flight engine is that it allows you to do more with less knowledge, while FSX literally requires you to be a scientist to fully take advantage of it. It is probably lacking some extreme stuff that we needed for the Phantom but we worked around it and that's it.

DCS on the other hand gives you total freedom to your approach and most use FSX' approach to FD there.

However, there is no magic recipe to a good Flight Model and despite the rumours don't stand true for any sim.

Now as far as the rest goes, I love XP11s roads and live development and that's it. I think FSW has better rendering potential and P3D is a jack of all trades.

DCS is the combat sim with a hard to use SDK and a lot of potential but is stuck to a couple of useless theaters. Normandy and Hormuz should help that.

streakeagle

  • Rookie
  • **
  • Posts: 199
    • View Profile
Re: X-Plane and Aerofly2 vs FSX:SE
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2017, 03:27:26 AM »
I shot down an airliner in X-Plane 11 using the stock F-4. Interestingly enough, the F-4 supports using its weapons (Sparrow and Sidewinder) but has no radar display functionality. The weapons/radar support is structured for modern aircraft with a HUD. It provides a digital radar display. A target is selected using "next target" and "previous target" buttons. The selected target shows up in red on the radar display and gets a HUD box around it. The F-4 has no radar display and no gunsight/HUD. So you select "next target" and hope your target is the right one. Weapons selection is similar. Again, the F-4 has no indication of which weapons has been selected. The Sidewinder proved to be the easiest to employ. I hit the target with two them. While the systems are simplified beyond arcade, the graphics were decent. I felt that the X-Plane missile launch/track to target impact looked better than FSX/TacPack.

DCS may have severe map restrictions, but the experience in VR is better than any of the civil sims. Aerofly 2 is comparable in the cockpit, but the simple nearly objectless photo real terrain looks horrible in comparison to the many years old DCS World Black Sea/Georgia map. The absolute best VR experience I have had is flying the UH-1H with Oculus Rift. The expanded field of view and sense of depth and motion actually allow me to fly much better than I can with TrackIR.

I still haven't bothered to try to get X-Plane working better with VR. X-Plane doesn't really work all that well with TrackIR. My custom profile that I use with all of my flight sims that support TrackIR is way to sensitive to use with X-Plane. My view goes all over the place with the slightest head movement. X-Plane can brag all it wants about how much better it is than other flight sims, but it's all just marketing hype to me. Any flavor of FSX is far superior to me.
i5(4690K) MAXIMUS VII HERO(16 Gb RAM) HD7970(3 Gb RAM) Win7 Home (64-bit)
OUR MISSION: PROTECT THE FORCE, GET THE PICTURES, ...AND KILL MIGS!

panos

  • Administrator
  • Cadet
  • *****
  • Posts: 88
  • Higher - Faster
    • View Profile
    • SimWorks Studios
Re: X-Plane and Aerofly2 vs FSX:SE
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 11:01:13 PM »
What I need to do is pick an aircraft that is common to all of my civil/general aviation sims and thoroughly compare their flight characteristics. I am thinking along the lines of a Cessna 172. I would like to show the strengths and weaknesses of all the sims by comparing how well they model the same aircraft. But I am pretty sure without having to waste any time testing that I will find Aerofly 2 and X-Plane inferior to FSX, though FSX may have lower graphics quality.

I would agree 100% with Alex. If you want a realistic aircraft search for skilled developers independent the Simulator. X-Plane is famous for it's flight dynamics engine, it's well known that it uses blade element theory. Blade element theory it's not a magic tool, it's fast but it works for up to 8 degrees AoA, the reason is that the fluid it's not real but ideal, so no viscosity, no flow separation. As far as I have study the XP SDK it seems that it uses a modified blade element that uses tables for the lift-drag-moment of the airfoils in order to overcome the limits of the original theory. FSX/P3D/FSW, Aerofly, Flacon 4, DCS (simple Flight Models, I don't for the other flight models), Flight Gear (JSBSIM) Flight Dynamics use directly derivatives of forces and moments to calculate the stability of the aircrafts. These derivatives can be calculated with many ways, first of all flight tests of the real aircraft, flight tests of scaled aircraft, empirical equations, wind tunnel, CFD or blade element methods.

So if you want a realistic Flight Dynamics it would require 3 things:
a) reference for the aerodynamics of the real aircraft
b) skilled developers
c) a lot of human-hours for developing

Panos


streakeagle

  • Rookie
  • **
  • Posts: 199
    • View Profile
Re: X-Plane and Aerofly2 vs FSX:SE
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2017, 05:48:20 AM »
Despite a decent graphics engine and fairly nice looking autogen, X-Plane hasn't really improved much over all these years. FSX is ancient in terms of computer software, yet I can readily recognize where I am flying from the stock 3d models when I fly from places I know that aren't the usual popular places like New York and Los Angeles. If I fly those same places in X-Plane, I am lucky if the airport is modeled in 3d and little else resembles the area from the air. The more I fly the stock F-4, the more I remember how much I hate it. The flight model is horrible, the cockpit doesn't function very well, even the external 3d model has a horrible shape. X-Plane is pretty much exactly as I remember it: ok for tooling around in a Cessna and cool for flying the space shuttle and X-15. But markedly inferior to FSX. As a combat flight simmer, I am no fan of FSX, but when compared to X-Plane, it is superior in just about every possible category except up to date graphics. Recent evolutions of FSX such as P3Dv4 and Flight Sim World are working to overcome the problems caused by the original 32-bit architecture versus modern 64-bit systems with gobs of RAM. I don't care for the addons available for X-Plane 11 either. I don't see any aircraft I care for. I will probably rack up more hours in Aerofly2 in the remainder of this year than I will ever fly in X-Plane 11. At least Aerofly2 has aircraft I like modeled reasonably well for enjoying VR flying.

SimWorks Studios' F-4B remains the principal reason for me to fly FSX, otherwise I much prefer flying DCS World for combat and/or VR.
i5(4690K) MAXIMUS VII HERO(16 Gb RAM) HD7970(3 Gb RAM) Win7 Home (64-bit)
OUR MISSION: PROTECT THE FORCE, GET THE PICTURES, ...AND KILL MIGS!