• Flying Free in X-Plane

    Flying Free in X-Plane

    Flying Free in X-Plane

    By Adrian McCormick

    Hello again and welcome to my third Flying Free article.Having spent the last two occasions focusing on Microsoft Flight Simulator, I have decided this time around to have a look at my other "favourite" flight sim, that being X-Plane 11.

    Ever since version 10, I've always enjoyed exploring the world in X-Plane, as it is a sim you can truly make your own, much like past versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator, and P3D for that matter. There is no reliance on third party servers, no mandatory downloads...it's yours to update and mod as you desire.

    When it comes to freeware files, X-Plane has them by the bucketload, and many of them are of exceptionally high quality. The number one reason for this, is down to the dedicated and highly enthuastic community that supports the platform. Another factor are the tools that come bundled with the sim. For example, for aircraft design you have Plane-Maker, and for scenery you have WED (World Editor). Unfortunately, I have yet to dabble in either of these programs due to work and family commitments, but they are on my to do list.

    Luckily for us though, quite a few individuals have used these tools to good effect, and in this short article, I will be looking at three items which I feel are highly worthy of your time, and well worth downloading from the file library.

    Boca Chica Texas SpaceX Launch Site

    The first file on our list is the Boca Chica Texas SpaceX Launch Site by Milan Lisner.

    The SpaceX South Texas launch site, referred to by SpaceX as Starbase, and also known as the Boca Chica launch site, is a private rocket production facility, test site, and spaceport constructed by SpaceX, located at Boca Chica approximately 32 km (20 mi) east of Brownsville, Texas, on the US Gulf Coast.

    Flying Free in X-Plane     Flying Free in X-Plane

    Flying Free in X-Plane     Flying Free in X-Plane

    Flying Free in X-Plane     Flying Free in X-Plane

    The launch site was originally intended to support launches of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles as well as "a variety of reusable suborbital launch vehicles", but in early 2018, SpaceX announced a change of plans, stating that the launch site would be used exclusively for SpaceX's next-generation launch vehicle, Starship.

    Along with the launch site, Milan has also created an optional photographic tile of the surrounding area. This is a relatively large download at just over 2GB, but one I highly recommend as it really does enhance the scenery and experience.

    Download airport_boca_chica_launch_site.zip

    SpaceX Starship SN15

    Our second file is again by Milan Lisner and is SpaceX's impressive looking Starship SN15.

    The Starship system is a fully reusable, two-stage-to-orbit super heavy-lift launch vehicle under development by SpaceX and as of August 2021, it is the world's tallest and most powerful rocket ever built, surpassing the Saturn V by having more than twice the thrust.

    Flying Free in X-Plane     Flying Free in X-Plane

    Flying Free in X-Plane     Flying Free in X-Plane

    Flying Free in X-Plane     Flying Free in X-Plane

    The system consists of a booster stage named Super Heavy and a second stage, also called "Starship". Unlike a traditional launch vehicle second stage, the Starship second stage is being designed to also serve as a long-duration cargo and passenger-carrying spacecraft, as well as a lander to transport cargo and crew to the surfaces of bodies such as the Moon and Mars.

    On 5 May 2021, Starship SN15 (modelled here) flew to an altitude of 10 km, landed, and was recovered successfully.

    Download mlk_spacex_starship_sn15.zip

    EGCW Welshpool Airport

    Our third and final file is a bit more down to Earth and is an excellent recreation of Welshpool Airport by Trevor Guest (TDG). Having had the opportunity to visit this airport on several occasions, I just had to include it on my list of top freeware files for X-Plane.

    Flying Free in X-Plane     Flying Free in X-Plane

    Flying Free in X-Plane     Flying Free in X-Plane

    Flying Free in X-Plane     Flying Free in X-Plane

    Welshpool Airport is located 2 NM south of Welshpool, Powys, Wales. It has a CAA Ordinary Licence that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee. The aerodrome is licensed for night use and has a single runway (04/22) which measures 3,346 ft _ 59 ft. Welshpool airport is one of the bases used by the Wales Air Ambulance.

    Download egcw_tdg.zip

    Summary

    So, there you have it, three fantastic X-Plane add-ons which I feel you will get a great deal of enjoyment from (I know I did).

    For the adventurous flyers among you, there is the scenery of the Boca Chica Texas SpaceX Launch Site along with its associated file, Starship SN15. When used together, they really do make for an exceptional experience (I highly recommend you install the optional photographic element as it really does enhance the realism at altitude).

    Then for those of you who like things slightly closer to home, there is the quiet scenery of Welshpool, which makes for a wonderful starting point in which to explore the wonders of the Welsh countryside.

    Happy flying!

    Adrian McCormick

    Tags: freeware

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