Best simulator? Cheapest good simulator? - RC Groups
View Poll Results: What is your preferred flight simulator?
Phoenix 5 71.43%
RealFlight 2 28.57%
Other 0 0%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

Thread Tools
Jan 14, 2013, 04:37 AM
Jim in the Desert

Best simulator? Cheapest good simulator?

Any thoughts on the best simulator? Seems like there are only Realflight and Phoenix now. lI flew a little five years ago and am getting back in, I forgot everything and am a beginner still.

Do they always include a TX? My years old Phoenix connected to my Futaba TX.

Real flight has a basic version for almost half off. Phoenix apparently does not. But the basic Real flight does not have my slow stick.

Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Jan 14, 2013, 05:25 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
Have you checked in the - Simulators forum
Jan 14, 2013, 05:31 AM
Registered User
Before anybody even flies a simulator, he must first understand basic aerodynamics, i.e. how and why an airplane or helicopter flies. Then he must understand how a fixed wing airplane or a helicopter is controlled, i.e. what are the functions of the ailerons, rudder and elevator of an airplane or what cyclic and collective pitch mean in helicopters. A couple of hours on Google would teach a student enough to go to the next step, a Flight Simulator.

IMO, a flight simulator's primary benefits are limited to teaching a student:

1. how an aircraft reacts to the different control inputs relative to airspeed

2. orientation, i.e. knowing what direction to push the sticks when the model is flying away and toward you

3. how and when to apply said controls, as well as not to overcontrol

4. not to freeze on the controls.

5. reflex and muscle memory.

I believe a free downloadable FMS simulator program is sufficient to do the above. Some simulators, like the Skyartec are less than $25. They include a joystick control box which gives the exact look and feel of an RC transmitter that plugs into your PC via USB and a CD for the FMS sim program.

The graphics on the FMS programs are the most rudimentary and far from realistic, compared to the programs you can buy. I doubt if better graphics will better teach the four items I mentioned.

I am confident your old Phoenix will be more than adequate for your needs. More important is the number of hours you train on it.

The next step is to join or visit a club with a novice program, find an instructor or experienced flyer at the club or friend, who can guide you through your first couple dozen flights, you will minimize the frustration of learning by yourself.

Just as important as the flying instruction and guidance is help with checking the set-up of your first model. The experienced flyers can definitely help you with set-up since they can spot a model's problems with a quick visual and function test.
Last edited by easyrider604; Jan 14, 2013 at 05:38 AM.
Jan 14, 2013, 07:55 AM
RWData's Avatar
A number of valid points raised by Easyrider, but to narrow down the options for a sim, take a look at 'Clearview' where you can get a trial version for free (limited models & flying sites). I think the graphics are pretty good for a low-cost software, also the flight characteristiscs are good. You can get a USB cable that will work with most modern TX's for less than $12, check out e-bay maybe.
Jan 14, 2013, 11:33 AM
Steve 0's Avatar
I'm brand spanking new at RC planes and have purchased the GWS joystick game player controller for under $20. Then I downloaded (FREE!) several flight sim demos. very basic with only one or two planes each and a helicopter. I even got two free sims on my Ipad for quicky e-stick fixes. I use them all whenever I get a moment and the itch.

What Easyrider said seems to apply to my world very well. I feel the little cash outlay and free downloads have helped me a lot with those 5 bullet points listed.

Now for the real world...I bought a decent starter Tx- the Spektrum DX6i I would have something real and could develop my skills yet not be limited by buying something less first and more Tx later. I picked up a Mini-Vapor (RET) to learn on and can fly it indoors anytime....which I do. The sim time has helped a lot and my Vapor flying sessions are now going to battery limits vs short fly and crash sessions. This in two weeks time. Now I've built some foamies to take out when it warms up to fly and crash outdoors.

To sum it up ...I felt a better scenario for me was spend less money on simulated flying and put my cash into the radio and a basic indoor flyer that is forgiving enough to survive a newb like me and still let me actually be up in the air. Works for me.


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Best RC Simulator? R0yalty Beginner Training Area (Aircraft-Electric) 71 Apr 15, 2016 09:01 PM
Discussion Best Simulator for Beginner with a DX6i? jasonisgreen Beginner Training Area (Heli-Electric) 8 Dec 20, 2012 09:05 PM
Discussion Which website is the fastest? cheapest? best? brownegg24am Multirotor Drone Talk 13 Oct 01, 2012 12:35 AM
Discussion Best Free Simulator addict Simulators 80 Mar 16, 2012 10:15 PM
Discussion Best simulator to collect and analyze flight data with brian818 Simulators 4 Mar 02, 2012 03:31 PM