As one of the worlds largest and most sought after flight simulators on the planet, X-Plane continues to dominate the flight sim market to this very day. While many people are perfectly happy only using the aircraft that come stock with X-Plane 11, many others are not aware that there are literally thousands of other aircraft for X-Plane just waiting to be flown. This is great if you’re worried about ever getting bored with the stock X-Plane aircraft, but it can also be rather overwhelming. If you’ve been looking to upgrade your X-Plane experience but don’t know where to start, keep reading! I’ll go over what I think are the best add on aircraft for X-Plane 11 in 2021 in today’s post!
1. Carenado PC-12
Starting off this list with one of my all time favorite aircraft, the PC-12 add on by Carenado is by far one of the best choices for a beginner to get into pay-ware aircraft for X-Plane 11. Not only is the aircraft fairly easy to learn, but it’s a great way to transition into much more complicated aircraft. The physics of the Carenado PC-12 are specifically designed to work with the X-Plane 11 engine and are incredibly realistic. Coming from someone who occasionally gets to fly PC-12s in real life, I love this add on for X-Plane. Not only does the PC-12 function well, but it looks gorgeous! Carenado incorporated full PBR modeling into the PC-12 giving it an incredibly realistic look. Included in the PC-12 add on are 6 HD liveries to choose from as well as one blank livery if you want to make your own! It also includes a PC-12 electronic flight information system, checklists, and performance tables. If you want to check out the PC-12 for yourself, it can be found here!
2. Airfoil Labs King Air 350
Another great aircraft add on for beginners (or even advanced folks) is the King Air 350 by Airfoil Labs! Similar to the PC-12, the King Air 350 is a great way to transition into more complicated aircraft. The difference between the two is that the King Air is a multi-engine aircraft. If you’ve been wanting to step up your game and transition into a multi-engine aircraft, the King Air 350 could be perfect for you. The King Air 350 is a study sim level aircraft, meaning it’s main goal is to achieve the utmost amount of realism possible. The weight and balance aspect of the king air is even derived from real weight and balance information in the King Air Manual! It would take days to name everything that is modeled in this aircraft which should tell you how much work has gone into its production. If you’re looking for a realistic, and semi-complicated aircraft to add to your collection, check out the King Air 350 here!
3. Carenado S550 Citation II
Yet another aircraft by Carenado, the S550 Citation II is a great aircraft to consider if you’ve been wanting to transition into a jet aircraft. For a jet, the Citation isn’t terribly complicated but it still has incredible performance. The Citation II is modeled incredibly realistically. It is modeled essentially the same way that the PC-12 by Carenado is modeled and comes with the same features. For those of you wanting to get into jets, but don’t want to get in over your head with an over complicated aircraft, the S550 Citation II is a great choice! It can be found here.
4. Toliss A321
The previous 3 aircraft have all been business class aircraft and are relatively small compared to even small airliners! I knoe that many of you fly Xplane for the large, complex airliners that the simulator has to offer. The A321 by Toliss is an amazing option if you’re wanting to try something other than the MD-82 or 737 that comes with X-Plane. One thing I really like about the Toliss A321 is how customizable it is. You essentially are getting multiple aircraft for the price of one! The options to customize your A321 include a choice of CFM or IAE engine, affecting aircraft performance and fuel burn and a choice of sharklets or classic wing tip fences! If you’re someone that likes to practice emergencies in X-Plane, this A321 comes with detailed systems including fault injection for currently about 90 failures! All that to say, I think that the A321 add on by Toliss is an amazing way to enter the wonderful world of airliners. If you want to pick up a copy for yourself, you can get it here!
5. Colimata Concorde FXP V2
This one is meant to be more of a novelty than a training platform, but it is still an amazing plane to have in your X-Plane arsenal! the Concorde FXP X2 by Colimata is an amazing model of the ever famous Concorde. The number 1 goal with this add on is realism. In the words of the developer: “This add-on aims to do justice to real-life Concorde and its developers. How could a great flight simulation like X-Plane not have a payware quality Concorde available?” The Concorde is an extremely complex aircraft and is not necessarily for beginners, but will definitely keep anyone who flies it busy! If you want to check it out for yourself, it can be found here.
In conclusion, all the add ons I’ve listed here today are great choices for anyone looking to upgrade their X-Plane experience. The module you choose depends entirely on your needs/wants, but I hope this article was able to provide some insight to those of you who were looking for suggestions on which aircraft to purchase! If you enjoyed, feel free to share, like or comment, and I’ll see you all in the next post!
Check out my post on the best yokes for X-Plane here!