C-172S, C-172R, C-172M Enhanced Flight Models

C-172S, C-172R, C-172M Enhanced Flight Models

Part Number:xaero-c172
Your Price:$19.95
Retail Price:$24.95
Your Savings:$5.00

Enhancement and expansion for Laminar Cessna 172SP

This is an expansion and upgrade of the stock Laminar Cessna 172 that comes with X-plane 11.

SEPTEMBER 2020 UPGRADE: G1000 cockpit versions now included! 

Product Summary:

C-172S with flight dynamics and specifications enhanced for maximum realism.

C-172R with accurate specifications and flight dynamics.

C-172M* with accurate specifications and flight dynamics.

Aircraft performance and handling improved to match book values with maximum deviation of 2% and average deviation of less than 0.5%!* 

Utilizes the new and improved Experimental Flight Model option for maximum accuracy (for 11.4x – 11.5x or later).

No new graphics, systems, or sounds are included. This package is a set of new flight dynamics that connects to the already graphically excellent C-172 that comes with X-plane.


  • Improved ground handling, with ‘springy’ main gear, as in the real aircraft.
  • Cruise speeds accurate across all altitudes and power settings.
  • Accurate maximum speeds.
  • Accurate stall speeds, flap up or down.
  • Correct rates of climb.
  • Accurate take-off and landing distances.
  • Accurate feel and handling.
  • Accurate fuel consumption at all altitudes and power settings (if properly leaned!).

X-Aerodynamics has researched and prepared extensively to develop the most accurate and thorough C-172 flight dynamics yet seen for desktop flight simulation. For example, everyone knows that the Cessna 172 uses a NACA-2412 airfoil for the main wing, right? Partially right, partially WRONG! Early Cessna 172s did, but from the C-172M onward, Cessna introduced a modified profile, which it marketed as the ‘Camberlift wing’. You can see the difference on the real aircraft as the later versions of the wing are much thicker and more blunt at the leading edge.

The performance of the ‘Camberlift wing’ is modelled accurately in this add-on.

While the stock C-172S is very good graphically, audibly and so on, the flight dynamics have some limitations.

As can be seen on the comparison charts, performance relative to book numbers is not always a good match.

Beyond just book numbers, however, there were some other errors in the flight model that affected handling in ways that may not be obvious. For example, the entire tail was positioned too low, probably because C-172s tend to sit tail-low on the ground. In reality this is due to flex of the landing gear, the horizontal tail is actually in-line with the waterline of the bottom of the side windows. This and other areas were addressed with the new EFM flight models.

Why is this important? The position of the tail will affect how it interacts with downwash from the wing, fuselage wake, propwash, and even ground effect in the flare!

New airfoils were developed that match reality and polars were generated for Reynolds numbers across the range the C-172 may encounter, maximizing realism of wing performance at all speeds.

Comparison charts show performance relative to book values (ie 100% is the target). EFM is this product (C-172S) using the experimental flight model. Other models using ‘standard’ flight model, as that is what they are tuned for (charts accurate when produced mid-2020). 

*Known limitations (2)

1. C-172M shares the same graphics with the other models, though in reality it has a slightly different panel etc. The September Upgrade adds a carb heat knob for visual indication only – control with <F11>.

2. Glide range is about 10% greater than reality. This is an X-plane limitation related to propeller windmilling (which steepens the glide slope). Laminar has fixed this problem and it will be implemented in an upcoming X-plane update (after 11.50).

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