The popular ForeFlight iPad moving-map application and X-Plane personal computer-based simulator now can be integrated to display X-Plane’s simulated aircraft position on the app’s moving map. This is a significant improvement that allows pilots to practice using the ForeFlight app while flying X-Plane, instead of trying to learn how to use the app in the air when they should be looking outside. Now, at least when using X-Plane and ForeFlight, pilots can train like they fly and in a safer environment figure out how best to incorporate an iPad running ForeFlight into their normal flying routine.
The X-Plane simulation on ForeFlight works only with a beta version of X-Plane (versions 10.10 and later). The beta version is a free download for X-Plane 10 users. The latest version of ForeFlight (4.7.1) supports the X-Plane integration feature. The two programs communicate over Wi-Fi, so both the computer running X-Plane and the iPad running ForeFlight must be on the same Wi-Fi network.
Where this ForeFlight/X-Plane setup really shines is not only allowing pilots to practice getting intimately familiar with flying ForeFlight safely on the ground, but also practicing unfamiliar approaches while enjoying the situational awareness available from a moving-map iPad app. Nothing brings this home like practicing an intersection holding pattern on the simulator, where it’s easy to pause and think about how to enter and set up the inbound course, while also being able to monitor progress on the moving map. Add some wind, and you can really see the benefit of practicing this way.
X-Plane 10 costs $69.99, and runs on PC, Apple Macintosh and Linux computers. ForeFlight costs $149.99 per year for the Pro version, which includes geo-referenced approach plates and airport charts that show own-ship position on the charts.