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I grew up with Flight Simulator 95, 98, 2000, FSX etc and I cannot believe how AWESOME the ZIBO Mod 737 is on X Plane 11. I purchased PMDG 737 for FSX when I was preparing from my APS MCC and also for my Type rating. I thought PMDG on Flight Simulator X was incredible (for $100 price – I thought it is value for money!).
BUT seriously, you have to salute the amazing work that has gone into the ZIBO Mod 737 especially as it is FREE. I cannot thank the team that has developed this enough – see the bottom of the post for links and credits to the technical programmers and experienced 737 professionals that have made the Zibo mod 737 what it is today.
In this blog post, I wanted to share what I found on my first ZIBO Mod YouTube live stream testing out the B737 aircraft on X Plane 11. I have been out of flight simulator for a while, so thought to start with the basics and then buildup. My first Zibo Mod 737 live stream focussed on preflight and the cold and dark setup.
You can see the full Zibo Mod YouTube live stream here.
Is the Zibo 737 free?
One of the most amazing things about the ZIBO 737 is that it is completely free!!!
ZIBO Mod website – installation
The inspiration to get Zibo Mod came from the excellent tutorials from flightdeck2sim on YouTube. The Zibo installation is straight forward with the download available from here.
How do you get a Zibo 737?
- Go to https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?%2Fforums%2Ftopic%2F138974-b737-800x-zibo-mod-info-installation-download-links%2F
- Go to “DOWNLOAD LINKS”
- Download and copy the folder “B737-800X” (from “full” package) to folder “XPLANE11/Aircraft/” on your computer
- Download and install latest TerrainRadar plugin by DrGluck (install to folder XPLANE11/Resources/plugins)
- 4/ Download and install latest AviTab plugin by Folko (install to folder XPLANE11/Resources/plugins)
ZIBO install guide
x-plane.org has good instructions and it is just a case of downloading the file, unzipping the Zibo Mod 737 file and copying the folder into your XPLANE11/AIRCRAFT folder. On my initial download, I had an error message saying ‘Zibo mod download quota exceeded’.
ZIBO Mod Download Quota Exceeded Workaround issue
If you have the Zibo Mod Download Quota Exceeded error message an easy workaround is to: right-click on the file > click make a copy > download the copy of the zip file.
Other issues I encountered with my MacBook when loading up X Plane for the first time was the error message saying that the source of the file could not be verified. I had to cancel the error message, go into my system preferences > security and privacy and re-open X Plane 11.
When the error message appeared, I just unlocked security and privacy and through that, gave permission to allow X Plane 11 to open the files. This seems to be a quirky Apple Mac issue. After this X Plane 11 and Zibo Mod loaded fine.
Zibo Mod 737 addons
With the standard X Plane 11 download, you get a message saying ‘Nav data out of date’. I paid for the Navigraph subscription to keep the FMC and X Plane 11 nav data up to date. Navigraph has a console that automatically scans your computer for any flight simulators and keeps the navigation date up to date with the latest AIRAC cycles.
Navigraph also provides charts with moving map functionality that can be integrated into the Zibo Mod EFB.
TerrainRader plugin by DrGluck
I got the terrain radar plugin by DrGluck. With my first live stream just being focussed around pre-flight and setup from cold and dark, I am looking forward to testing out the terrain radar in future.
AviTab by Folko:
This plugin gives the functionality to view PDFs on the EFB in the Zibo Mod 737. This is an absolute game-changer as I was able to brief and setup directly from the EFB using a flight plan I had created. The added functionality of being able to link Navigraph charts directly into the ZIBO Mod EFB (with a moving map) really makes the flight simulator experience seamless.
Simbrief flight planning
I used Simbrief to generate my flight plan. Simbrief creates flight plans in the Lido Brief format. Once the flight plan has been created, the file can be downloaded to allow immediate upload to the ZIBO Mod FMC. Simbrief also allows pre-filing of the flight plan with VATSIM for those looking for a more immersive ATC experience.
ZIBO EFB (Electronic Flight Bag)
Aside from the Zibo Mod EFB charts and pdf reader functionality, the EFB allows for control of other functions like ground services, pushback (with the Better Pushback Plugin), weight and balance etc. The realism and functionality meant I could complete a setup without having to leave the flight simulation. Amazing work from the ZIBO Mod developers.
ZIBO mod checklist
Zibo Mod 737 has got a checklist integrated into the EFB and gives you something to work with. I liked that the checklist can be overlaid in the virtual cockpit as you go through and complete your checks, verifying the various items are in the correct place.
How do I update my Zibo 737?
- Make sure you have the ‘Full’ version first
- Download the latest update (at the time of writing 3_47_8) from the Google drives folder (https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B-tdl3VvPeOOYm12Wm80V04wdDQ)
- Paste the download into your Zibo folder
Issues I found/ regrets:
I thought the Zibo Mod 737 was excellent. Other than the slightly clunky installation work arounds to do specifically with the Apple MacBook Pro privacy and security permissions, to think that this add-on with all the functionality included is free is unbelievable!
You would have to be a very advanced user to find issues with the Zibo Mod 737. A minor niggle was that I was not able to open the doors even though the anti-collision light was off via the EFB. I suspect it was something I was doing wrong rather than there being a bug.
I genuinely wished I had tried the Zibo 737 on FSX and saved myself the money from purchasing PMDG.
Zibo mod things to try out:
For my next live streams, I’ll be integrating VATSIM ATC along with getting an actual Zibo mod livery for myself.
Zibo Mod credits:
If interested in getting the Zibo Mod, please visit the installation website here.
Shout out to all that have worked on this project: lifted straight from the installation page:
- Laminar Research (for default XLUA plugin too)
- @Fay, @twkster and others for help with test and improved plane.
- @audiobirdxp for amazing sound, models and textures for this plane
- @DrGluck for TerrainRadar plugin with drawing distance circle for FIXs (green dashed circle) and Vertical situation on ND
- @flightdeck2sim for feedback and great video tutorials.
- @Folko for his great plugin AviTab. And thanks to our test pilots (real pilots) Jorge, Jannubiola and DannyV.
If you have any questions on the Zibo Mod 737, please leave a comment in the section below! I would love to hear from you.
If you are thinking about becoming a pilot, check out my best-selling Pilot Training Guide on Amazon.
Kudzi Chikohora is a B737 captain with over 3,000 hours of flying in Europe. He holds a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, is a chartered engineer, and is a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Kudzi completed his pilot training via the self-funded modular pilot training route and created kcthepilot.com to share pilot training and aviation content.