As of X-Plane v9, it is no longer possible to map basic flight controls to keyboard keys. As a private pilot and software engineer, I was disappointed to see this happen. My use of X-Plane is purely for enjoyment and I'm not terribly interested in the additional accuracy that a good joystick and/or pedals can offer.
Austin Meyer (the creator of X-Plane) is a brilliant guy and I can only assume that removing the ability to fly via keyboard was carefully considered. As such, there is little chance of seeing this feature replaced in a later version of X-Plane.
Update: With the release of X-Plane v10 and v11, keyboard flight controls have still not been restored so it is highly unlikely they ever will without a third-party plugin like this one.
This plugin allows the following commands to be mapped to the keyboard
In addition to the above 9 commands, there are also commands to:
The X-Plane Keyboard Flight Controls plugin will run on all versions of Windows and MacOS that X-Plane supports.
Sorry, I have no current plans to support Linux.
For $10, you can be flying X-Plane with a keyboard. Payment is made via PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account to make this payment. Once you have submitted your payment to PayPal, you will receive an email containing a link to download the plugin. IMPORTANT: Please
be sure to check your spam folder after completing payment as a number
of Gmail users have reported their payment confirmation email being automatically filed as