I am a big fan of the X-plane 10 flight simulator. However, there are many simple and complex features both visually and technically (such as ATC) that could be added to enhance X-plane 10. Excellent airport addons and plugins are already available such as Real Terra Haze which can greatly enhance ones playing experience in X-plane 10. In this post I want to focus on 5 visual features that would enhance and do enhance its basic realism for the casual user.
- Depth perception in X-plane 10 appears to be lacking especially in and around clouds. In real life, when viewing an aircraft from the ground or from any exterior view, as it enters a cloud (s) the aircraft will disappear and emerge out the other side. In X-plane 10 this does not occur but instead the aircraft is always kept in view despite it passing through clouds. Not very realistic.
- Contrails or vapor trails in X-plane 10 are not as visible and as bold as seen in real life. In X-plane when viewing an aircraft from the ground in many cases vapor trails are not visible at all despite the aircraft altitude. Contrails in X-plane 10 should be enhanced, brightened and even lengthened depending on the humidity and air temperature as occurs in real life.
- Sun reflection on water doesn’t appear realistic but instead appears to be much too defined. Many times it appears large and washed out.
- Types of Clouds and their height. Cloud types in X-plane 10.41 have been improved since X-plane 10 was first released. However, the height of clouds and various types of storm clouds such as Cumulonimbus clouds need to be improved and/or added to the sim. In my opinion most clouds in X-plane 10 are still without great definition and appear as heavy fog or stratus layers even during a storm and in the distance.
- Realistic atmospheric haze is not part of X-plane 10 by default but adding it creates yet another layer of visual realism. Real Terra Haze (RTH) in conjunction with the plugin FlyWithLuia creates realistic looking atmospheric blue haze when flying over mountains and varied terrain. These plugins can be added to X-plane 10 to give that necessary bluish realism (among other enhancements) we wanna-be pilots so enjoy seeing.
What visual enhancements would you like to see in a default copy of X-plane 10?
Images from personal copy of X-plane 10.41 flight simulator