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Review: Aerofly FS – A Realistic, Easy-to-Learn Flight Simulator for Mac and iOS

Rating: 4/5

Posted in Apps, Mac, Reviews on 23/02/2013 by Chris Hauk

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I’ve always enjoyed flight games and simulators. I’ve played everything from After Burner in the arcades, to Microsoft Flight Simulator back in my PC days. My favorite type of simulator has always been one I could just figuratively hop in the cockpit, learn a few simple controls, and then fly like a big shiny bird. That’s why I was pleased to get the opportunity to try out Aerofly FS from iPACS.

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Overview

Aerofly FS  allows you to explore the beautiful scenery of Switzerland. The entire 41,285 sq.km (15,940 sq.miles) of Switzerland are available down to a resolution of 3 feet. Virtually all of the main airports in the country are included to take off from. You can also select any spot on the map to fly from, and if you don’t select an airport, the simulator starts you off in mid-air.

There are 8 different aircraft that are included in Aerofly FS, and they include:

  • Cessna 172
  • F/A-18 Hornet
  • Jodel Robin DR 400
  • Pitts S-2B
  • Extra 330 LX
  • Sopwith Camel
  • Swift S1
  • Discus bM

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While I am not a pilot or an aircraft expert, I found that the various aircraft each had their own individual flight characteristics, and responded as you would expect them to.

Some of the views available while flying include a chase plane view, inside the cockpit view, including views from all available seats. (The Cessna allows you to “sit” in the left, right, or back seats.) Even a view that seems as if you are Superman, always a fun to try view. The in-plane views were detailed, and beautifully rendered.

All of the planes are beautifully rendered, and are extremely well detailed. Detail is controllable from the settings menu, and if you Mac isn’t quite up to displaying everything in the highest detail, you can play with the settings until you get a smooth ride.

I have a 2 year old 15″ MacBook Pro with a 2GHz i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a AMD Radeon HD 6490M graphics chip with 256 MB, set at 1920X1080, and by turning down all detail settings to “medium” I was able to get a smooth frame rate of a little over 30 frames per second. Luckily, even at the lower detailed settings, the plane and its surroundings still looked good.

The planes can be controlled with your keyboard, mouse, or most joystick type controllers. I used an Xbox 360 controller, and found it to be highly responsive. The developer says on their site that you can also use the PS3 controller.

aerofly_FS_screenshot_outside_plane

Verdict

I truly enjoyed Aerofly FS. The simulator was realistic, without having the difficulty level set too high. I feel that experienced simulator fans, and beginners alike will enjoy Aerofly. The graphics are beautiful, and there are enough options as far as aircraft and starting points to keep a simulator fan engaged for quite awhile.

Make sure to check out the system requirements before purchasing Aerofly, as it takes a reasonably well equipped machine to run smoothly. The app page on the Mac App store gives a good run down on what the game requires, as does the Aerofly website. Expect to lose a good sized chunk of disk space to this one, it takes over 20GB of space on my drive.

Rating:4/5

Rating: 4/5

Price: $44.99 in the Mac App Store (direct link). Also available directly from the publisher for $39.99 + tax. It’s also available from the App Store for iOS devices for $6.99 (App Store link).

Pros:

  • Great graphics and sound effects.
  • Nice variety of aircraft to fly.
  • Controls are easy to learn.

Cons:

  • Takes a beefy Mac to give a really smooth flying experience.
  • It would be nice if you could fly around other areas in addition to Switzerland.


  • learjet

    this is a great simulator the realism and the flight physics are incredible, first on the IPad and Iphone which really works

  • jetrookie

    love this Flight Simulator its so real

  • 777mike

    aeroflyFS is finally a simulator which is a lot of fun because if its realism, Cant wait for the updates

  • simshack

    this is great on the IPad, lots of Simulator for the money

Chris Hauk

Author

Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 5 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone, and 2 Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine, and the Internet.

Don't forget to check out Chris' two latest endeavors, as the "Apple Expert" at Answers.com, and his own personal tech blog at chrishauk.com