• Interview With x737project Team

    x737project for X-Plane

    Interview with Benedikt Stratmann and Pierre Stone

    Conducted by Dominic Smith

    x737 Project

    Development

    Benedikt, when did you and Pierre first start the x737project?

    The x737project was started by myself just over ten years ago, with Pierre joining a few years later (during X-Plane 8). I've always been interested in aviation and in particular, Boeing aircraft. Because of this I decided on the 737NG, which is a wonderful aircraft. The project initially began way back with X-Plane 5. This version of X-Plane provided us with not only a suitable platform to simulate the physical and flying characteristics of the aircraft, but also to expand on the model by implementing our engineering and programming skills.

    Both Pierre and myself form a good combination and (in my opinion) a great team! Pierre comes from an engineering background, and myself, scientific. It is the combination of these two traits which works so well. Both of us have a weakness for perfection, which means updates and new releases only happen when both of us are 100% happy with the final result. We don't create 'game' aircraft; our aim is to create an aircraft which resembles the real thing as close as possible (within X-Plane's limits of course). To give you an example...sometimes we'll be working on a single switch or knob for more than a week. As you can see, both of us want an aircraft which is a perfect simulation, and time (unfortunately for some) can wait.

    What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of the x737project?

    The most challenging aspect of the x737project I have personally found is how to integrate the outstanding feedback we've received from the community, into the project. Both Pierre and myself have received thousands of messages over the years with ideas on how to make the x737project better. Many of these we have implemented, but just keeping track of all the ideas, suggestions and bug reports, is a mission in itself. The way we see it; the community is our company capital and as such, we aim to have fun creating the best aircraft in the X-Plane world. For Pierre, the challenges come from using X-Plane's included Plane-Maker and Airfoil-Maker. These two tools guarantee that his life is never without a challenge!

    x737 Project     x737 Project

    Benedikt, what software packages do you and Pierre use to develop the aircraft?

    Well, as mentioned above, we use Plane-Maker to build the mechanical and aerodynamical attributes of the aircraft and then anything we can't achieve with those tools, gets passed over to the x737plugin. For this we are using Xcode on a Mac, which along with a really cool cross-compiler suite we have built, ensures that the plugin is compatible with all three X-Plane based platforms (OSX, Linux and Windows). You can read all about this cross compiler on our blog. Another tool we really appreciate is AC3d for some elements of 3D modeling. It has a very handy user interface, and Ben Supnik's AC3d plugin is a perfect tool for making obj8-files. Finally we use Acorn on Mac OSX for all texture artwork.

    Who would you consider to be your mentors or inspiration in the development world if you have any?

    I'm not sure about Pierre, but for me I would have to mention the Boeing company and their wonderful aircraft. The fascination I've had with these aircraft are perhaps my biggest source of inspiration. Coupled with my love for design and programming (scientific studies too), creating aircraft seemed a logical extension.

    Tags: x737project

    4 Comments
    1. dc7drvr's Avatar
      dc7drvr -
      Great interview! I have been flying the x737 for at least 6 or 7 years and the latest v4.93 for XP10 is outstanding. I cannot wait to fly v5.0 with the 3D modeling. I am a real world commercial pilot and I love to stay 'mentally current' using XPlane 10....
    1. maximos's Avatar
      maximos -
      Wonderful interview. Well done. I can't wait to fly the x737 v5 over of my Greek Sceneries!
    1. nms's Avatar
      nms -
      Really great and interesting interview. I have been "flown" the x737 almost since its first appearance and, indeed, it does "mature" over the years. Absolutely great work!
      Nicholas S.
    1. nms's Avatar
      nms -
      Absolutely fantastic work! I have been "flown" x737 (I think) since its first ...appearance in the X-Plane world and, eventually its evolution. What is mostly amazing is the creators dedication to perfection for such a long time.
      Nicholas M. Stavrides
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