Flight Simulator X, a Microsoft product, and X-Plane, from Laminar Research, are both feature-rich simulators, but they have some key differences. The main difference is that FSX bases how the plane behaves on figures provided by the aircraft manufacturer — figures that may not be available, particularly for some military aircraft, while X-Plane uses a mathematical approach that determines how each individual part of the plane behaves under certain circumstances.Continue Reading
FSX offers more cockpit features, more photo-realistic scenery and live weather, but X-Plane offers more realistic aerodynamics. Typically, the specifications for how a military aircraft behaves are a closely guarded secret, so how the aircraft behaves in the FSX simulator is a modeler's guess. In X-Plane, the designers analyzed each individual part of the plane and calculated specific figures for drag, lift, etc., for each part, resulting in more realistic simulated flight.
X-Plane also includes an engine that players can use to build their own planes from those individual parts. It's so accurate that some aircraft manufacturers use X-Plane in the design process. Another key difference is that, as of September 2014, X-Plane is still undergoing development and receiving upgrades. However, Microsoft's last release of FSX was in October of 2007, and the company has ceased development of the product.Learn more about Video & Online Games