The tool that promises increased realism and immersion of X-Plane is back with a new version. But how does it handle helicopters?
Back in 2017 I reviewed XPRealistic Pro which I found very interesting, obviously.
Also obviously, I look at it from the perspective of a helicopter pilot back then and I was a bit disappointed that nothing for helicopters was present. Not surprised, but a bit disappointed.
Nonetheless, that didn’t prevent me from enjoying it quite a lot. So much that I had to give it a score of 9.8 out of 10. XP Realistic Pro was just THAT good.
Back then I sent the review to the author and asked him if there was something he could add for us, helicopter flight simulation fans. Roy, the author, was very responsive and immediately started asking questions and taking a look at the rotary-wing side of things.
Three years have passed since then and Roy messaged me saying that XPRealistic Pro 2 was coming out. And that it was bringing something for the helicopter fans.
What is XPRealistic Pro?
Simply put, XPRealistic Pro is a plugin that allows you to tweak or expand some areas of the sim that may require improvements. Let me give you a practical example.
You can set up how the wind is heard from inside the aircraft. When you do abrupt movements, the change of the wind flow then becomes audible.
Or perhaps you’d like to have a more realistic feel to it when starting up the engine and getting the aircraft to shake some more.
Or maybe you’d like to get some airport ambience sound.
Or hear the rain hit the windshield.
Or a lot of other stuff! Over 38(!!!) different effects, all customizable so that you have full control over what you see and listen to.
What’s in for the helicopter pilots?
For the helicopter pilots, Roy added something very specific for us. Of course, we can build on everything else he added in general. All the points I described above are perfectly valid (and cool!) for helicopters.
But we have an extra treat: blade slap.
During some flight regimes, the blades of a helicopter tend to sound like they are beating the air. This is usually easier found on 2-blade rotor systems such as the Huey, for example (which gives the helicopter its distinct, wonderful sound), but all rotor systems are prone to this.
I will save you from all the tech stuff ( you can find some interesting reading about that here). The fact is that the phenomena exists and it’s sometimes a great audible cue that could inform you of certain conditions in which your helicopter is operating.
XPRealistic Pro 2 adds this to the mix of everything else it does already, which is rather nice!
Installing XPRealistic Pro 2
Unlike the previous version, XPRealistic Pro no longer requires FlyWithLua to work. The developer has now built it as a native X-Plane plugin.
This means that you have one less required step and less chances of things going bad. The more plugins you add to your sim, the higher the chances of something going boom.
So, just download it and throw it into your X-Plane 11\Resources\plugins folder.
You’ll be all good to go.
Setting things up
XPRealistic Pro 2 has so much stuff to config and tweak that you can spend a lot of time getting it perfect. One of the things that I noticed, which is very useful, is the fact that the plugin understand the type of aircraft we are operating and automatically enables and disables some of the options.
So, you won’t find blade slap enabled by default on an airliner, for example. Or flaps on a helicopter.
This doesn’t mean you couldn’t enable it (you could), but it’s just not on by default, thus preventing you from having to disable everything you don’t need.
Using XPRealistic Pro 2
I don’t want to sound like a fanboy or anything like that, but I have to say that XPRealistic Pro had convinced me in the past, big time, and the only reason why the second version would not do that for me would be if Roy had screwed this one up big time.
The plugin is easy to install (easier than the previous version, like I already mentioned), works pretty damn well and it just adds so much to the environment that I can’t even start to describe how much it has done for my simming.
You will eventually forget you have it unless you uninstall it, or you have to set things up for a new aircraft. Other than that, it’s very transparent to you as you get used to all the goodness it offers you without any major hassle.
What can I say? Get it. Just. Get it. It’s a great product that does a lot for our simming, easy to use, hassle-free.
It’s a no-brainer!
- Added realism and immersion to X-Plane
- Nicely priced
- Supports helicopters (YAY!)
- I can't remember of anything!
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