Since I began my flight training, my goal was to build a sim at home and work with it as I would in a real plane. This means, using the appropriate checklists for various times in the flight and using Foreflight for navigation and flight planning, plus finding appropriate runways and frequencies during the flight. This can all be done within X-Plane, but that doesn’t help my real world training.
If you haven’t used Foreflight, they offer a free trial. There are other apps out there that do similar things, like Garmin Pilot and Aerovie, FlyQ and many more, but I like Foreflight and have attended many seminars to learn everything I can about it. In an emergency situation, this can be crucial.
There is very little setup to make Foreflight work with X-Plane. Here are the simple steps to get started:
- Be sure your mobile device and your computer running X-Plane are on the same network. This is biggest gotcha, took me an hour to figure out why mine didn’t work at first.
- In X-Plane, go to Settings>Network>iPhone/iPad Tab and check the box “Broadcast to all copies of Foreflight”. You can also broadcast to a single device IP address if desired.
- While running Foreflight on your mobile device, choose Maps and tap the auto-center icon. It should auto-magically find you in the X-Plane environment location. From there, you’re good to go.
- If you reset your router at any point, you may lose your connection and have to re-check the broadcast button.
- In Foreflight Menu>Devices, you can check your IP address and check that X-Plane is connected properly.
Once you’re setup you can also record your flight in X-Plane and export to CloudAhoy with flight analysis or Google Earth. Both offer 3D viewpoints of your flight for debriefing afterword. I use CloudAhoy to view my ground reference maneuvers, especially, to determine how nice my turns around a point really were, for example. Usually, not as good as I thought.
If you take the time to setup your favorite aircraft in Foreflight, you’ll get proper fuel burn and estimated time en-route calculations and glide advisor, which all make for a more realistic flight planning. You can get all of the info from your aircraft’s POH, available online usually from the manufacturer’s website.