In what has been an amazing whirlwind of activity over the last just under 4 months, FlyingIron Simulations have released their L.F.Mk.IXc Spitfire for X-Plane 11. You can find it here on their site (AUD$) or here on the X-Plane.org site (USD$)
The Heritage Flight Simulation Spitfire cockpit internals which were meticulously drafted over the last year and a half formed the basis of this masterpiece and probably cut down the development time by a few months. That said, Alex and Dan Kassabian, the two Sydney Australia based brothers who formed FlyingIron Simulations, have an astonishing track record in creating exceptional aircraft in an amazingly short span of time. Their fantastic P47N was created in something like 3 months. These guys just never sleep!
Alex is the master artist who took the cockpit internals and deftly reduced their polygon counts in order to create an aircraft that has very little impact on framerates. While we had a good commercial copy of a Mk.V model available to us, Alex decided to design the Mk.IX externals from scratch. The result has been nothing short of amazing. The textures applied to the aircraft exterior and interior have resulted in a thing of real beauty.
Dan is the coding and sound expert and built the flight model and all the custom aircraft systems. This has resulted in an aircraft which has an extreme level of realism. The aircraft has been exhaustively tested in the last month and is running to the manufacturers numbers. The roar of the Merlin (you can chose between a 66 and 70) is something to experience!
The aircraft was designed from the outset to be VR optimised and utilise all the latest effects in X-Plane 11.3 All the controls in the aircraft can be manipulated and have an effect on the operation of the airplane. I suggest you have a look at their link above to get the full gist of what they have achieved. Better yet, go purchase a copy. If you are in any way a Spitfire enthusiast, and I am assuming you are if you got this far in the article 😃, you owe it to yourself!
Why my interest in having an alternative to the great Spitfire Mk.IX simulation in DCS World, which, through VR, also puts you in the cockpit as if you were really there? The reason is twofold:
- X-Plane allows you fly the aircraft anywhere in the world. You can explore the British Isles, practise your skills in Toronto or land in Darwin Australia. The Ortho scenery such as the TrueEarth Great Britain from ORBX is remarkable.
- For museums wishing to run the HFS Spitfire Simulator on a commercial basis X-Plane is a lot less onerous than DCS World. It requires a once off professional licence for $750USD. In contrast, DCS World have quoted some EU250 per month for the same privilege.
Heritage Flight Simulation approached various X-Plane developers with a request to collaborate on creating an exceptionally realistic Spitfire Mk.IX simulation. Mostly the response was that their interest (and income) lay in General Aviation aircraft. It is a pity therefore that we have many incarnations of the Spitfire in X-Plane which have low levels of authenticity, most having been developed many years ago. Graphically and systems wise the X-Plane platform has advanced tremendously, more’s the pity that this has not been capitalised on by historical aircraft developers.
Fortunately though, when I approached Dan and Alex on the basis of their stunning P47N which had just been released at the time (get it here), they responded with enthusiasm. It has been a real pleasure working with these two exceptional young men. They have a real love for keeping aviation history alive and I am waiting with great anticipation on what they may have planned for their next effort!