I'm a long time flight simmer with over 20 years worth of experience. Yet, only recently I've purchased Aerofly FS 2, coming from X-Plane 11. It's hard to summarise how much I'm in love with Aerofly FS 2, but I felt I should let the devs and community know, so I'll try to be brief.
1. Flight dynamics
Aerofly feels absolutely natural to me. I'm not a pilot IRL, however, through the years I've researched and watched a lot of aviation videos. On top of that, I've used X-Plane 11 for a long time, which is highly regarded in this particular area and what I can say is that I didn't feel any major difference when switching to Aerofly. Both sims seem to converge in flight dynamics, which is usually a sign that the models used are a nice approximation of reality. I've been having a lot of fun with GA planes and soon I'll be trying airliners too.
2. Graphics and performance
Aerofly just blew my mind and keeps doing so as I buy additional DLC packs from IPACS. It looks stunning and it performs even better. Using the default scenery or the free DLCs is already the best out of the box experience I've had, let alone the paid DLCs, especially the ones by IPACS which I've bought so far, like South Florida, New York and Switzerland. Everything looks so pretty, detailed and at the same time, no stutters and super high FPS, despite my more or less humble specs. It's almost hard to believe how optimised this sim must be, compared to pretty much any other. I literally thought it wouldn't be possible to run on ultra such complex scenarios with my GTX1050 Ti, but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it was possible. Now I want to upgrade my card and try VR, which is another area where Aerofly excels.
3. Interface and menu system
This point is perhaps less mentioned, but being a software developer myself, I must take my hat off to the devs. I find the menu system simply perfect. I can tell the devs put a lot of thinking into how you interact with the sim. It's very clean and functional, helping you out, instead of getting in your way. For example, the location and navigation menu saves me a lot of time, it's just so handy and intuitive. Also, small details like having the option to start from cold and dark, ready to taxi, etc, or from the apron or on a short final make it really functional and save you a lot of time. I can tell the devs are probably flight simmers as well themselves and therefore wanted to have these sort of "shortcuts" too, because you don't always necessarily want to simulate every stage. The controls menu is also fantastic and allows easy customisation, for a basic or complex set of controllers.
4. Load times
Well, I still think there's some magic going on here... I waste no time at all in Aerofly, just launch it and boom, I'm flying. I don't know how you do it, probably some background threads, but the end result is very seamless and adds a lot of value to the sim, especially to someone like me who often doesn't have a lot of time to play continuously. Every second I spare loading the scenery is time I gain to actually fly.
So yeah, it's getting too long now, but in short:
Thank you IPACS and also the community for this hidden gem I found. I'm totally addicted and glad to have bought a piece of software that makes me so happy.