• The Corner #56 - PFPX

    PFPX Review

    By Chip Barger

    Not unlike the proverbial dog who chases the car, and manages to catch it, the question of the hour becomes "Now what?"

    Such is my dilemma as I delve into the world of Professional Flight Planner X - hereafter to be referred to as PFPX, as both the developer and I have come to realize that it is so much easier to do so, to say nothing of the wear and tear on keyboard and fingers alike.

    To one of perhaps the four of you (myself included), you may be familiar with "The Corner". It is through this title that I have long lamented my love affair with all things Flight Simulation. And then, much to my horror, one day it... went away. And with its departure went "The Corner". After all, who wants to read about my stupid hobby that I used to love doing, but now find myself preferring a dental visit?

    So, here we are. A funny thing happened the other day. I was performing what I have referred to as my perimeter check around the FS world, just for giggles and having come from the dentist. And I came across news heralding the release of PFPX (if you don't know what that is, see above), a title of which I have been aware but as with most other FS things, I had relegated to the dust bin along with an assortment of high school flames and a centerfold or two.

    And such is the beginning of my sordid tale. Can this be the holiest of Grails, one that will reignite the FS Flame and park my butt behind the digital windscreen again?

    If installation is any indicator, the answer is a resounding "Yes!" It could not have been easier. It also installed Aerosoft Launcher, which is fine by me. I am certain there would be those absolutely mortified to learn in mid-install that an unexpected (at least by me, so consider the source) program is being installed. So now you know.

    And then, after doing all of the registration stuff that anyone who has been involved in the FS World knows so well, PFPX opened.

    *gulp*

    There is so much here! Let me ask a question: Have you ever even heard of a "Redispatch plan"? Do not read ahead in the manual. It is intimidating!

    Fortunately the good folks at Flightsimsoft.com have had the foresight to anticipate my angst and have kindly provided six tutorials found here:

    http://flightsimsoft.com/pfpx/?p=tutorials

    There is more than an hours worth of instruction, which is longer than I spent learning the NGX. So word to the wise: PFPX is as complex as you would wish it to be. Tutorials begin with installation, progress to your first domestic flight plan, and go on with a variety of advanced functions that scared the daylights out of me. Who knew the process can be so involved?

    I'm what is commonly referred to as an "old dog". Stodgy, set in my ways and certainly one who does not take kindly to learning new stuff. So imagine my delight at having reviewed the eight minute tutorial, followed by successfully creating a flight plan from KISP to KALB, interfacing with TOPCAT to obtain takeoff and landing data, and finally exporting it all to FS2004 and to several other third party add-ons in which I have invested. It was easy! It worked! I've spent nearly two hours of sheer joy fiddling with this program, and I have barely scratched the surface of what it can do.

    But what I did do was create a flight plan, export it to my iFly 737 FMC and to the FS2004 flights folder (and to a couple of others as I was having a good time successfully importing flight plans), and then flew from my local KISP to KALB without a hitch.

    I know, I can hear you saying "What type of crummy evaluation is this short piece of ... literature?" (Creative license, so live with it.) Look, this is one helluva program. The web site http://flightsimsoft.com goes into excruciating detail, far greater than I could begin to describe here. What I hope I have done is at least spark your interest in a program that I think is kinda neat. Maybe get you to take a peek, nose around a bit and decide if you'd like a program that does what a ton of others also do, often for free. I like it, and use it. Watching it interface with TOPCAT is cool, and the overload of information provided is nothing shore of, cool. For me, a middle of the road flight simmer, much of the information is applicable. Much of it I do not pretend to understand. It's all there in the tutorials if you've a mind to learn it all. For me, I'm happy with landing and flap speeds.

    Sure, go ahead and yawn. Being the first flight I've completed in more than two years, grinning like an idiot just like the good old days, I'd say PFPX has done what no other program in recent history has done: ignited my interest in digital flying.

    Three Green!

    Chip Barber
    [email protected]
    Purchase PFPX

    Tags: pfpx, the corner

    5 Comments
    1. bstikkel's Avatar
      bstikkel -
      Great review, especially because of the amount of honesty and the kind style of writing. I wouldn't even have started checking it out. Compliments for you for that too.
    1. gwillmot's Avatar
      gwillmot -
      FS2004 = FSNavigator all the way!
    1. henri5's Avatar
      henri5 -
      Sounds great! I just wish that you had said what the heck the program does...
    1. vflight2's Avatar
      vflight2 -
      Sounds great and I would love to give it a whorl..... but it is-- as so many new FS software programs --just too pricey for those of us on fixed incomes... any discounts for seniors?
    1. patrix's Avatar
      patrix -
      Quote Originally Posted by gwillmot View Post
      FS2004 = FSNavigator all the way!
      This. Must admit this half assed "review" didn't convince me to switch.
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