X-Plane for Windows/Mac/Linux Demo

PreviewA demo version of the latest X-Plane version 12 (XP12) released in September 2022.  Functional and easy to use with compatibility for Windows, Mac, and Linux.  Experience (and get a taste) for the latest and greatest X-Plane version that has a brand-new graphics engine and many stunning new fea...

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5 star rating.

Rated 5 out of 5 stars by 5 PRO members.

A demo version of the latest X-Plane version 12 (XP12) released in September 2022.  Functional and easy to use with compatibility for Windows, Mac, and Linux.  Experience (and get a taste) for the latest and greatest X-Plane version that has a brand-new graphics engine and many stunning new features bringing it up to the next-gen level of PC flight simulators.

This package includes all installer versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

DEMO IS NOW VERSION 12 (X-Plane 12). Read our full review of XP11 here.

While enthusiasts of all experience levels use X-Plane, it is best suited to experienced pilots that want the most accurate flight dynamic possible. X-Plane’s exclusive flight dynamics model, called “blade element theory,” evaluates the forces on multiple sections of the aircraft’s surface, providing a constant and reliable prediction of how it will react to those forces. This provides a realistic flying experience and makes aircraft development simpler and faster.

In contrast, Microsoft Flight Simulator, X-Plane’s biggest rival, uses lookup tables to determine flight drag and lift. This works well for existing aircraft where the table data is already known. It is less effective for creating new aircraft or predicting the reaction of an airplane in experimental situations.

Lufthansa A330 taking off from runway in X-Plane 12.
Lufthansa A330 taking off from the runway in X-Plane 12.

While X-Plane is a paid product, the free demo version of X-Plane 12 has the same aircraft, flight model, and technology.

X-Plane’s powerful flight dynamics model allowed the developers to create a wide variety of aircraft. Users can choose from single and multi-engine planes like the McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender, Boeing 747-400, and Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor; the Space Shuttle; helicopters such as the Bell 47 and Sikorsky S-61; VTOLS such as the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey and much more. Users have developed over 1400 additional aircraft which can be downloaded from our own file library here or X-Plane.org and other sites. Enthusiasts can even design, build, and contribute their own aircraft.


X-Plane’s accurate flying characteristics make it perfect for scientists and engineers to study the reactions of both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft. Pilots can keep their skills sharp by using different airplanes and helicopters, and aviation hobbyists can experiment with flight dynamics.

Pilots can explore almost every inch of the globe, from 74 degrees north to 60 degrees south latitude. Adventure awaits- users can touch down at any one of 33,000 airports, land on an aircraft carrier, try to settle softly on a frigate bobbing in roiling surf, or land on a helipad on a skyscraper overlooking a vast city. With X-Plane, pilots can take an X-15 to outer space; take the Space Shuttle for a spin, battle raging forest fires, and more.


Every great pilot knows how to handle tough weather. X-Plane will test them to the limit with wild rainstorms, wind shear, crackling lightning and thunder, snow blindness, fog, sleet, and hail. The system can be programmed to follow actual weather from the user’s location, adding another layer of realism and excitement.

The challenges don’t stop there. X-Plane offers extensive failure modeling. Engines, controls, cables, landing gear, and communications can be set to fail on command or at random. Fellow users or instructors can shut off systems without the user’s knowledge, helping to develop their coping skills and adaptability.

Cockpit of an Airbus A330-330 shot in the default install of the latest X-Plane 12.
The cockpit of an Airbus A330-330 shot in the default install of the latest X-Plane 12.

Power and Flexibility

X-Plane’s unparalleled flight dynamics model, gorgeous graphics, wide geographic coverage, depth of aircraft selection, versatile weather and systems handling, extensibility in the form of add-on aircraft and scenery, and realistic flying experience make it the “go-to” flight simulator for a legion of experienced pilots and new flyers.

X-Plane has a passionate user base. One user recently described a routine flight delivering supplies in Alaska. Suddenly he was hit with an engine fire! Within seconds, he had to land on the only flat spot within miles: a patch of snow about 800 yards square located one mile from his location.

Smoke trailing from the engine, he struggled to land. He describes the scene:

“Last second: Of course I'm gusting. Yoke jammed forward as I start to balloon just a few feet above ice. Stall horn mixing with pounding blood sounds in my ears. Down. Rolling. Light brakes. Full elevator deflection. Stopped. Lean back in my seat. Let out all the air that had been backing up in my lungs. Whew!”

That’s the kind of action loyalists have to come to expect from X-Plane!


Created by Laminar Research, X-Plane was originally developed for Mac OS X and is available on Windows and Linux. Keeping up with the increasing use of mobile devices, players can now get X-Plane for Android, WebOS, and iOS including iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.


The screenshots that are shown below and in the featured section at the top of this page have been captured while third-party add-ons were used with X-Plane 12. They are not shot using the default X-Plane Demo features. They essentially show you what's possible within the sim once you own the full version.

Images & Screenshots

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The archive x-plane-12-universal.zip has 204 files and directories contained within it.

File Contents

This list displays the first 500 files in the package. If the package has more, you will need to download it to view them.

Filename/Directory File Date File Size
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Linux01.08.230 B
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ins_map_region_western_us.png01.03.231002 B
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logo.png01.03.2311.40 kB
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Windows01.08.230 B
X-Plane 12 Installer.exe01.03.2333.07 MB
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flyawaysimulation.txt10.02.201.20 kB


For anyone who is a little more used to the commercial behemoth that is Microsoft Flight Simulator, the rather stripped back X-Plane might seem like a waste of time.

Preview screenshot

Look beyond the graphical parallels and the features included, though, and you get an absolutely staggering flight simulator to use.

As a massive fan of the MFS series as a whole, it came as a surprise to me just how defined X-Plane was in comparison.

For all of the nice features and ticked boxes that FSX, in particular, brings to the table for Microsoft, it simply cannot get near X-Plane for realism.

Built for Accuracy

For a start, X-Plane uses a flight dynamics engine that is more complex than the meaning of life. It’s a difficult one to work with and can leave you really confused at first.

Get through those first few hours of mind-numbing crashes and repeat errors, and you’ll find that you have one of the deepest and most enjoyable fight simulation tools around. I

t’s absolutely intensive attention to detail makes it a massively powerful change from the more user-friendly FSX, and although it can be challenging the reward for getting this right can be absolutely incredible.

Try Before you Buy

This demo product gives you access to the same features as the real thing, except you can only get fifteen minutes of flight before having to start again. This can be a bit frustrating but will give you enough time to take off and see the world around you in all of its glory.

Whilst the demo is lacking all of the main add-ons for creating planes and scenery, the full version does come with this – so if you like the demo and fancy using the high-end physics engine to make some aircraft yourself, you can do so with ease.

Education is Rewarded

Thanks to the incredibly realistic flight dynamics engine within X-Plane, you’ll notice a pretty staggering difference between how your aircraft reacts here versus how it would have reacted in FSX.

Whilst FSX is absolutely spot on, this uses a different style entirely that makes customizing and improving your aircraft a lot easier. In my opinion, this is an aircraft simulator that is built for modders and those who love to experiment rather than a plug-and-play flight simulator that aviation fans can boot up and start having fun with on the same day.

It’s got a fairly significant learning curve but getting through this is very much beneficial to you. Start to get used to the buttons and the way that your aircraft reacts to your commands, and you’ll have one of the most innovative and enjoyable aircraft simulation tools in the world to pick from.

Its fine selection of aircraft, not to mention the fact that you can select Mars as your planet of choice, makes it really easy to jet across the skies of both Earth and Mars and really take in a flight simulator of the highest quality

If you fancy a change up from FSX, then there is no better alternative to try out than X-Plane.

Adam McEnroe

Adam McEnroe

Adam McEnroe is a flight sim enthusiast who has been simming since the days of FS95. Adam writes all of the download section editorials after testing each of the files. Adam has extensive knowledge using various flight simulator packages and thoroughly tests the files before writing about them. Adam also like to fly real-world aircraft in his spare time and is training for his PPL.

Should you wish, you can contact Adam via email at adam@flyawaysimulation.com.

Installation icon.

Installation Instructions

Most of the freeware add-on aircraft and scenery packages in our file library come with easy installation instructions which you can read above in the file description. For further installation help, please see our Flight School for our full range of tutorials or view the README file contained within the download. If in doubt, you may also ask a question or view existing answers in our dedicated Q&A forum.


Leave a Response

The content of the comments below are entirely the opinions of the individual posting the comment and do not always reflect the views of Fly Away Simulation. We moderate all comments manually before they are approved.

Peter LambertSun, 08 Jan 2023 22:00:53 GMT

So I have both Microsoft Flight Simulator (the latest 2020 release) and X-Plane 12 installed.

I was blown away by the latest rendition of X-Plane. While they have their differences, it's amazing to see what Laminar Research has done with the graphics engine in this release. For me, it's as good as the Microsoft offering. Due to this, I prefer to fly in X-Plane purely as it's a good all-rounder.

The flight models in X-Plane are much more realistic compared to MSFS and with the scenery (almost) as good as MSFS 2020 it's a no-brainer.

An awesome flight simulator with an awesome development team, thank you!

Fly Away SimulationSun, 08 Jan 2023 21:58:06 GMT

The installers have now been updated to the latest X-Plane 12 (XP12).

Dan CareyFri, 11 Mar 2022 01:44:41 GMT

is there a basic tutorial - what key control what functions, etc? I'm kinda flying blind here, so to speak...

GaminGoNEONFri, 17 Dec 2021 11:15:56 GMT

Umm yeah... this is a zip, I need a dmg to actually play the app.

Joe GarfieldMon, 15 Feb 2021 23:12:55 GMT

I downloaded the demo and it won't open, saying that it is not supported in Catalina.

Is there a way around this?

Tom coxMon, 01 Feb 2021 20:56:58 GMT

What do I need as a controller for aircraft? I have steam and a Rift S VR. Do I need a flight controller or can I use my VR headset?

Andrea Lori-MelloSat, 26 Dec 2020 03:21:32 GMT

Downloaded x-plane 11, but have trouble connecting the rudders and controller to the game? help?

Carl BergmarkSat, 16 Feb 2019 16:03:44 GMT

so far so good I have much to learn.

Don PerlaFri, 15 Feb 2019 21:39:31 GMT

Am currently flying FSX and enjoy multiplayer flying with my son. Does x-plane have this feature? Thanks.

Lemuel GriffithsSat, 12 Jan 2019 00:38:42 GMT

was going to download x plane 11, but have minimal mb's to just throw away by downloading - I was all set when I read how it didn't work for someone using same system as me., windows 7.., anyone help before I pass this by and save my mmb's ?

sdjbjThu, 30 Nov 2017 12:46:03 GMT

after installing X Plane 11 free download setup .Its winzip file which one has to extract and look out for setup. three folders appear 1 folder .. 2 folder screenshots which is totally empty . 3 folder Trailer videos and rest are the extract files. The addon aircraft su 27 demo download the setup window appears and screenshots are there of aircraft.Please look into the matter and provide the xplane setup which runs on windows 7.

Fly Away SimulationFri, 07 Apr 2017 17:01:02 GMT

The installers have now been updated to X-Plane version 11.

GregFri, 29 Mar 2013 03:22:47 GMT

I am looking for a flight sim to run on Mac and I hope to find a quad city challenger 2 download to learn. I hope to learn to fly a real one someday. Thanks,


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