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Behind the Screen : 10th Anniversary! X-Plane Reviews


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Behind the Screen : 10th Anniversary! X-Plane Reviews


It started with a small idea...  certainly there were good X-Plane Simulator review sites ten years ago, as I had already posted for two of them, X-Plane Aerosoft Reviews, and XSim Reviews run by Chip and Simon. Both soon went away (XSim Reviews with Chip came back a little later for a few months), but suddenly I was not reviewing anything. With both Aerosoft and XSim, I was also not the principle reviewer, so I had no input in how those sites looked, managed or most importantly for their content. It was a hook up with the X-Plane.OrgStore that formed an idea to do a more indepth detailed look at releases and upgrades, updates for the then X-Plane 10 Simulator. That excellent arrangement allowed X-PlaneReviews not only to be born, but in also creating a significant partnership that has lasted a whole decade.


Could I foresee myself still creating reviews in the passing ten years back then, when starting on the 1st August 2013...  not really, you just took every day, month, year, as they came, one by one, just did the reviews, looked at all the amazing product that came across my computer screen, and in the same time period, burnt out two graphic cards and three revolution computer system upgrades. Overall though it is the huge amount of experience that I went through, X-Plane is just not about flying aircraft, it is also about the labyrinth software and hardware systems, and in then creating over 3,000 reviews over the last ten years, I can't even start to count the nautical mileage I have covered, I know it is a lot, probably even more than a real airman.


There were brilliant times and times I would be venting my frustration at a computer screen yes, even throwing things, but some of the most amazing experiences are all just down to a brilliant simulation program created by Laminar Research. You learn not only how to fly the huge gamut of aviation aircraft, from balloons, rockets (X-Plane early days), Hangliders, lightweight aircraft General Aviation aircraft, regional airliners all the way up to those long haul machines I love the most. But also the geography of the world we live on, then there is the learning of the complex real world aviation systems and its protocols, and relating everything to the simulator, so much to absorb, but also on how much more we have at our disposal than ten years ago, the real world, is now our online flying world, both are now parallel, so you shark your head at the immense progress over the period.


Obviously X-PlaneReviews has changed enormously in this ten year period. But the basics of the site still remain the same. Look at a product, either aircraft, scenery and plugins or any item connected to the X-Plane Simulator and then tell you about it. You would say "Well you didn't cover everything", and I agree, because only the products or addons we personally saw and tested (meaning in most cases flew) were reported to the users. If I liked it, I wanted you to love it as well. That is my motto, but also to inform, create tutorials, and to get you the user through the hard stuff to understand how to get the very best from the simulator. In that aspect I think the site has exceeded expectations.


That aspect is very important...   the angle is that for every product or addon, I put myself into the position of the person spending their hard earned money on a product or addon. The "Value" to "Quality" criteria is the most important aspect, some products are now quite expensive, I call them "Investments", because they are, future investments for you to use in the simulator, how much you get out of the product or Addon, and for how long the product and addons will be serviced with upgrades and more importantly updates for the run of the current X-Plane version.


But nothing of any Simulator would happen without the huge army of creative people that are also invested into X-Plane. From the incredible Developers, the contributors, both payware and freeware that builds our massive X-Plane universe. There are now over a million users registered on the X-Plane.Org alone, when I joined it was 233,000, so over the ten years 800,000 users have come through the Simulator. For a small story of when I joined, thirteen years ago, I was blocked out on my first day...  my guilt was downloading too many files on that first day, yes I was enthusiastic, still am thankfully, I call call it "Building my X-Plane World one file at a time", and what a very big world it now is.


Overall it is the people, from all the reviewers that have posted on the site, from Wycliffe Barrett, Joe, BernardoCasa and for the last year the significant contribution from Dominic Smith, Josh, Nick, Michael, Pete, Sean, Stef, Alan, and Stuart, who have all generously contributed a lot of their time, expertise to the site. Obviously the site would not exist or continue to exist without the support and help of Nicolas and the X-Plane.OrgStore...  so "Happy Tenth Birthday X-PlaneReviews....  it's been a decade in the making".


Ten years ago we said....  Hello! - Welcome To X-Plane Reviews


Stephen Dutton
1st August 2023

Copyright©2023 X-Plane Reviews


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