I’ve been an avid user of X-Plane for a few years now (since version 5). X-Plane is the world’s most comprehensive, powerful flight simulator, and has the most realistic flight model available for personal computers.
Now I’d always known there were pre-programed scenarios in X-Plane where you could fly the space shuttle into Edwards AFB — final approach, full approach, final re-entry and dum dee dum dum dum the FULL re-entry from orbit to landing.
In the history of Shuttle missions, â€¦the real space shuttle has been hand-flown for the entire re-entry only ONCE, by an ex-marine pilot, as I understand it, who was ready for the ultimate risk and challenge.
Flying a full re-entry takes about 20-30 minutes and covers 5000 miles from the mid Pacific Ocean to Edwards. I’ve probably flown it a dozen times now over the past week… and died everytime! But what fun it is I must say. The closest I’ve come to success was about 100 miles past Edwards. Once you go sub-sonic in the “flying brick,” 100 miles may as well be a million milesâ€¦ you’re not going to glide 100 miles.
But I’m proud to say that got to actually see Edwards from 80,000 ft. go racing under me at about mach 10.
I’m not affiliated with X-Plane in any way but if you have the system requirements and you enjoy this type of thing, it will be the best $39 USD you’ve spent in a long time.
Now if I could only get Eagle Lander 3D ported to the Mac!