Radio Control Plane & Helicopter Simulator

Many people do not believe in simulators. Why? Because they don’t think it helps them in flying a real model. After all… what’s more realistic than to fly the real thing? Well, I will have to tell you that simulators these days mimic the real thing pretty well. The costlier simulators all have photo-realistic backdrops which make the simulator experience even more real. Coupled with superb model flight characteristics, you will feel as though you’re there at the field but from the comfort of your home.
Simulators have been introduced to help beginners learn the basics of flight, control inputs, orientations, What If’s & scenario practicing, e.g. takeoffs, landings, 3D Flight, Acrobatic, Etc. It also allows the more advanced user to practice advance maneuvers which will be too risky to try on real models.
A simulator if used well will help a user learn fast. The cost and money factor of crashes which limits a student’s learning capability is eradicated with simulators. Students tend to be more daring since a crash costs nothing more than a simple push of the reset button. Heck… the simulators nowadays actually do the resetting for you so you don?t even have to push any reset buttons!
Though the initial outlay for a proper simulator may be quite substantial, let me assure you that you will make up for the cost the first time you use the simulator. A crash or two on the simulator already makes up for the cost of a real model, not to mention the amount of time saved from having to order parts and re-build or build another model.
There are many different RC simulators in the market. Some are free and some are not. If you just want to learn the basics then a free simulator would be good enough to help you gain orientation skills and the necessary reflexes to fly an r/c model. After all, flying is all about trained reflexes under different scenarios and orientations. Normally the more expensive simulators will have better flight physics thus more accurately mimicking real life scenarios.
Simulator Most simulators will require you to use your own R/C Controller which plugs into your computer either via a serial/parallel or USB cable (dongles). Freeware Simulators will allow you to connect home-made serial/parallel/USB connectors from your controller’s trainer port to your computer. Paid simulators will come with their own dongles which basically is the copy protection built into the software to prevent piracy.
You can connect a controller as simple as a joystick to the PC to start trying out the simulator but the best way to train is to use a proper 4 Channel Controller. Better still, if you want to use all the features of some of the simulators like Flight Modes (for Helicopters) then a 6 Channel or higher controller should be used. Most controllers like FUTABA, JR PROPO, & etc can be connected to the simulators which normally come with their own connectors and adaptors to support most types of radios. Some simulators even have their own “dummy” controllers which will allow you to fly the simulator but cannot be used to control a real R/C model since they do not that transmission capabilities. They are basically ?joysticks? in the shape of a controller.
Personally, I have tried Real Flight G2 and Aerofly Professional Deluxe (AFPD). I would recommend AFPD because of the nice true to real life flight characteristics of helicopter models plus the photo sceneries just make the flying experience so much more enjoyable and realistic.

Aerofly Pro Sim1Aerofly Pro Sim2








Here’s a list of some of today’s more popular simulators, not necessarily in order of preference or performance.


Aerofly Pro Sim3


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