X-Plane has been updated for free over the last few versions with the most-requested features that users asked for:
- More flying regions and airports; the initial release had only the area around Innsbruck, Austria. Now you can fly around Southern California, Hawaii, and San Francisco as well.
- More airplanes. The Piper Malibu single and Beech King-Air twin have been added to the X-Plane 9 fleet.
- EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System). For budding or real pilots, having a real "glass cockpit" adds to the realism of X-Plane 9. According to Laminar Research, pilots are actually beginning to use X-Plane 9 Airliner (a sister product) for practice prior to simulator check flights!
- A much improved flight model. This makes the handling characteristics of each aircraft type much closer to the real thing.
- A pause button so you can actually get back to reality on occasion, then return to a flight in progress.
- Better animation frame rate for more realism.