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Old Apr 04, 2014, 10:08 AM
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Joined Apr 2014
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Do RC Simulators really help?


Ok, I"m sure this question has been asked a lot ---- I guess what I'm looking for is someone to chime in and say it actually helped them with their real flying.

I have never flown an rc plane of any sort before. So, I'm a total noob. And no one in my area to train me. I have a sky surfer that I have yet to fly.

How much will using an RC flight simulator help when I go to actually fly the plane?
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Old Apr 04, 2014, 11:07 AM
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Staffs, UK
Joined Nov 2003
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If you treat it as something to help you learn it will help a lot i.e. you decide on a "flight plan" and practise until you get it right. If you just play with it as game it will still help but not as much.

Basically you get used to what the controls do and their effect on the plane and if you use it enough you'll get to the point where a lot of it is instinctive so you don't just freeze when something happens.

When people turn up at our club wanting to be trained it's normal for those who use a sim a lot to learn MUCH faster than those who don't.

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Old Apr 04, 2014, 11:23 AM
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United Kingdom, England, Oxford
Joined Jul 2002
198 Posts
It will help a lot. At the very least it will teach you how to control the plane when it's flying towards you (pretty much essential if you ever want to get it back!), which takes a while to become instinctive.

Also, without someone to help you, your plane is unlikely to be trimmed/set up right perfectly - it helps to have some reflexes to rescue things.

There are plenty of free/demo simulators that will let you at least get the hang of orientation (PicaSim, FMS, Clearview, Multiflight etc etc).

Having said that, if you have the time a skills to repair the plane, and don't mind the risk of damaging it, then you might like to learn from scratch. When my brother and I started flying R/C gliders 25 years ago building and fixing was part of the fun!
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Old Apr 04, 2014, 11:26 AM
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Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Joined Aug 2004
3,643 Posts
Use it as a learning tool and you'll get something out of it......
training your muscle reflexes to react in the proper directions while flying to or from or parallel to yourself will go a long way toward having the same reactions when you fly your model.
And that ain't bad!
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Old Apr 04, 2014, 01:35 PM
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Elmhurst, NY (Queens in NYC)
Joined Apr 2004
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Yes, emphatically! Especially after a layoff or when first beginning. I know Heli pilots who fly sims every day.

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Old Apr 04, 2014, 02:12 PM
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Marysville, Ca., US
Joined Jan 2007
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Treat it as a tool, and it can be invaluable if you are the type of person who can relate the sim to real life. The advice you have already received is dead-on. Some will say just flying around will be a waste of time, but, know what? Stick time is stick time. Yes, you will progress faster if you develop drills and work hard at them. Orientation training is probably one of the biggest things a sim can help with. Remember, if your model is coming toward you, and you want it to turn to your right, you have to give the command for it to turn to its left. Not really intuitive, but after lots of practice, it will become automatic. It's referred to as "muscle-memory" but in essence, it's reaching a point where you just react without conscious thought. A big help with planes, an absolute necessity with helis. I doubt I would have learned to hover, let alone fly, helis without a decent sim.

Good luck and happy flying!!
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Old Apr 04, 2014, 08:53 PM
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THANKS EVERYONE for all the great suggestions!!
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Old Apr 04, 2014, 09:44 PM
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Joined Aug 2010
486 Posts
Hey marty,
I'll touch on one area that was not mentioned that a sim will really help.....stick control...."thumb" or "pinch". Personally, I use the "thumb" control since my 70y.o. fingers have lost a bit of dexterity. I rest my thumbs on the top of the sticks so I can feel the stick prongs kinda "embed" into my skin(old calloused). The standard stick height is perfect for me. I did try the "pinch" method by adding stick extensions to my Tx to get an idea of the "feel" of control by pinching.....did not like it, although those who employ that method indicate much more precise control. So, you see, the sim will greatly aid your "testing" your physical parameters of comfort for you to maintain a solid movement control. Try everything on the can crash all day long & not suffer $$$$$$$ losses. BTW, I do fly both Phoenix & RF7 as each have their merits.

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