Top 3 Flight Simulators for Training - RC Groups

Top 3 Flight Simulators for Training

R/C Flight Simulators have been available for many years and there's no telling how many thousands of pilots have learned to fly on the sim before going out in the real world with their plane or heli.

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Learn to Fly without Risk

R/C Flight Simulators have been available for many years and there's no telling how many thousands of pilots have learned to fly on a sim before going out in the real world with their plane or heli. A big part of learning to fly a radio controlled model is practice and repetition. That's hard to get in real life due to weather, schedules, and the inevitable crash. Simulators solve all of those problems letting you practise wherever, whenever and for as long as you want. It will teach you valuable skills like orientation and cross controlling when flying towards yourself. The sim technology these days mimic real life physics very well and if your computer is up to spec, the graphics can be stunningly realistic. Here's a brief look at the top 3 simulators on the market right now. For more in depth info on each one, click on the links in each section and be sure to reply below and tell us which simulator you like and why.

Realflight 7.5

Realflight is one of the most detailed and realistic flight sims around. There are four versions available with different options for wired or wireless transmitter connections. There's over 40 flying sites, 120 aircraft and it has a ton of special features like training programs, online multiplayer, challenges and more. There's too much to cover here so be sure to Click Here and learn more at Realflight.com.

Phoenix R/C Sim 5

Phoenix is another top tier sim that is the only simulator to offer models from E-flite, Blade, Parkzone, Hangar 9 and JR. There's over 150 models to choose from and 25 photorealistic fields and virtually an infinite amount 3D sceneries with no boundaries. It has training modes, competitions, multiplayer and downloadable models. Again there is too much to talk about here so be sure to Visit the Phoenix webpage here.

Aerofly RC 7

Aerofly is another popular sim that is one of the few that works on both a PC and Mac computers. You can use just about any transmitter and it has wireless capabilities with different module options. There's over 200 models as well as downloadable models, and over 50 fields to fly from. It has trainer modes, challenges and multiplayer. Learn more at the Aerofly website here.

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Aug 14, 2015, 06:17 PM
Registered User
I have all four RC flight simulators- the ones you mention, plus Clearview RC flight Sim. Pilots in Nashville, TN can come over to compare them all side by side.

I always recommend for people to get at least two flight simulators, one of them Clearview. It's currently $39.99 and is available at http://rcflightsim.com/.

Clearview provides a superior visual perspective for final approaches. It really helps pilots practice landings and approaches. New pilots will especially use Clearview more than the other flight simulators until they have developed good landing skills at the field.

It's curious that all three of the higher priced simulators all seem to suffer from this same visual perspective fault on final approach that causes the aircraft to land off the side of the runway most of the time.
Aug 14, 2015, 08:46 PM
Registered User
It's unfortunate you don't disclose the connection between Realflight and the owner of RCG. I don't have anything against either but its always good to be as transparent as possible.
Aug 15, 2015, 08:10 AM
Registered User
Ken Myers's Avatar
Really not necessary to note the connection. One is not being promoted over another. It is just a listing of the Big Two and the wanna be here in the USA and connections to their Web sites.

I use a Mac, so I use the wanna be.
Aug 15, 2015, 01:02 PM
Registered User
pval3's Avatar

sim cornfusion restitution


or is that sim confusion resolution
I have been flying RC sims since the old dave brown days on an old 286/monochrome monitor ( my pop was always an early adopter).
I have now had the chance to fly all of the sims listed plus some and I feel that the over all physics of the newer sims are pretty much up to the task of teaching beginner to expert pretty much everything they need to know to be successful at the hobby as long as they actually use the sim before they come out to the field.
The flight physics/graphics of realflight and phoenix are pretty matched in my opinion and both are pretty tight with the manufacturers that sell them (realflight to hobbico and phoenix to horizon).
My frustration with real flight over time is that it has always been an incredible resource hog.
You need a honking computer and video card to make it run right, run the sim without stutter in the video and full access to what the other sims offer at a at much more reasonable system performance.
I am a techie but not a gamer. I don't want to drop big bucks on a system just to run my flight sim . . I want to run what I have on the system I run for everything else. . . Realflight just frustrates from that stand point and has always.
I can run phoenix and aerosim on my laptop and they both run well.
The graphics and the physics all work without killing the machine and at a much lower price point.
If you are the guy who runs MS flightsim with a $2000 computer then Realflight is the real deal, however, if you are like the majority of modelers out there who would rather dump money into a new plane rather than a computer just to run your sim, Pheonix or aerosim are where you should be looking in my opinion.
Aug 15, 2015, 06:10 PM
Registered User
I cannot confirm the resource thing. If you use integrated graphics then yes maybe. But I use it on my gaming PC (with a mid-class GPU from 2013) and on my laptop which was mid-class in 2009. I cannot notice any difference and I crank up all the dials. Both computers display it identically. Granted its RF 6.5, I guess 7 requires some more steam.

As for Clearview, if you only want to dip a toe in the hobby and try it out, yeah get Clearview. I wouldn't recommend it and don't know what all the fuss is about. The only redeeming factor is its pricing.

So my list would be
1. Aerofly
2. Realflight
3. Phoenix
4. Clearview

Have no experience with AccuRC but it seems to be great for Helis. Would love to try it out for the planes.

neXt is also great for helis, apparently.
Aug 15, 2015, 06:35 PM
Registered User
dbell79's Avatar
I own Real Flight 7.5 and Phoenix 5.0. They were ok. And then I got this DX9 which is apparently does not work with either. I got the DX9 because I need to fly mode 3, med reasons. I never should have got this DX9! Support is ok from Phoenix although they couldn't fix the problem. Support from Real Flight is a joke.
Aug 17, 2015, 10:55 AM
Registered User
EasySimes's Avatar

FPVFreeRider Quad SIM for FPV


For the quad flyers out there, please take a look at a FPVFreeRider. It is very simple and cheap (about$5.00 - seriously) but I feel it is very realistic and far better than Phoenix for learning to fly quads. Made a HUGE difference to my flying ability for FPV.
Aug 17, 2015, 11:51 AM
Registered User
pval3's Avatar

correction


Hello
when I said clearview I meant aerofly.
Clearview is very simple and very inexpensive and works but the physics and grafics are not like aerofly, realflight and Phoenix.
Aerofly was the first sim I really found myself using to learn more than the basics.
I had the last version before the change over and learned how to fly 3d in my cul de sac by using the tools to edit the "field" so that I could learn to fly in a very small box.
After a lot of crashing I finally figured out how to take off in a rolling turn to keep clear of the trees on the other side (or walls).
The tools to build models and your own flying field are relatively easy to use and the forum support is amazing with real depth and scope on making one for yourself or modifying something that another has posted to fit your needs.
As for the multirotors I have no idea which one fit the bill as I have not flown any on any of the sims.
Phil

Quote:
Originally Posted by pval3
or is that sim confusion resolution
I have been flying RC sims since the old dave brown days on an old 286/monochrome monitor ( my pop was always an early adopter).
I have now had the chance to fly all of the sims listed plus some and I feel that the over all physics of the newer sims are pretty much up to the task of teaching beginner to expert pretty much everything they need to know to be successful at the hobby as long as they actually use the sim before they come out to the field.
The flight physics/graphics of realflight and phoenix are pretty matched in my opinion and both are pretty tight with the manufacturers that sell them (realflight to hobbico and phoenix to horizon).
My frustration with real flight over time is that it has always been an incredible resource hog.
You need a honking computer and video card to make it run right, run the sim without stutter in the video and full access to what the other sims offer at a at much more reasonable system performance.
I am a techie but not a gamer. I don't want to drop big bucks on a system just to run my flight sim . . I want to run what I have on the system I run for everything else. . . Realflight just frustrates from that stand point and has always.
I can run phoenix and aerosim on my laptop and they both run well.
The graphics and the physics all work without killing the machine and at a much lower price point.
If you are the guy who runs MS flightsim with a $2000 computer then Realflight is the real deal, however, if you are like the majority of modelers out there who would rather dump money into a new plane rather than a computer just to run your sim, Pheonix or aerosim are where you should be looking in my opinion.
Aug 17, 2015, 04:26 PM
Registered User
gustavohsouza's Avatar
What exercises would you suggest to a beginner in the hobby (me)?

I have a few flights behind me but I have just acquired the Aerofly 7 simulator to practice more and fix less.
I'd say my weaknesses are cross control when flying reflex and landing (like pretty much every newbie hahaha)

Thanks in advance!
Aug 17, 2015, 06:08 PM
Registered User
Take off, fly a circuit, land. Turn plane on ground. Take off i oppoiste direction, fly a circuit, land from the other direction. Repeat until you feel like a cashier scanning items for the whole day.

After that, fly continuous circuits, maybe horizontal figure eights. Get that spatial awareness down. If you still need to think in which direction to turn the stick to correct when the aircraft comes towards you and banks to the j right, you didn't fly enough circuits.

After that, try to land exactly where you want to, from whatever altitude and at whatever speed. Aerofly has that one German airfield map where you start on the taxiway by default. Try to land on that.

After you can routinely take off, steer the aircraft to where you want to in any direction and (more or less) land where you want to, try to bring the airplane in sticky situations. Provoke stalls, spins, etc and try to catch the plane. Get a feel for how it reacts to your inputs and where its limits are. Go wild, try the awesomest manouvers, but always try to catch the plane. Imagine its your real one and avoid a crash.

Also, I dont know if Aerofly has such an option but in RF you can add failures to occur. Like structural failures, eg. Loss of a wing or tail section, or loss of control, loss of servos etc. Its a good way to learn to expect the unexpected.

OT: I fancy a hardcore mode, soet of like a career mode where you start with a trainer and work your way up, earn money... and when a plane crashes, either repair it or you can't fly it again. Would be nice. The reset button is a godsend, but also a curse.
Aug 18, 2015, 03:45 PM
kiwitim

Phoenix 5 and Taranis


I went ahead and purchased a Taranis some time ago,and then bought the Phoenix F/S -to this day I cannot get them to work together,Phoenix thinks the Tx is set up for heli only,which I do not fly at all.
The websites for both are next to useless for backup and advice,and both items might find themselves in the bin shortly.
Can anyone here provide some advice or assistance-youtube has several setup films,but none show how to resolve any Taranis issues you might have.
Aug 18, 2015, 04:18 PM
Registered User
Condor84's Avatar
To add to the list for anyone interested in honing their sailplane/slope skills, PicaSim. It's very accurate, tons of features, and I've found it a great tool not only to sharpen my thermaling skills, but also to fly some slope since we don't have slopes here, yet I love to but no longer am able.

It's more accurate for us sailplane guys than any of the mainstream sims I've used, as it's tailor made to our needs, and not just a few gliders added as an afterthought to what is primarily a powered aircraft program.

Best part is, it's free, and doesn't use computer resources like a bastard, yet the graphics are perfectly suitable for the task. Yes, they're not as spit and polish as RealFlight or Phoenix, but I'd much prefer good physics and sailplane scenarios than flash any day of the week.
Last edited by Condor84; Aug 18, 2015 at 04:26 PM.
Aug 18, 2015, 06:26 PM
wrong descision, wrong time
Quote:
Originally Posted by Condor84
To add to the list for anyone interested in honing their sailplane/slope skills, PicaSim. It's very accurate, tons of features, and I've found it a great tool not only to sharpen my thermaling skills, but also to fly some slope since we don't have slopes here, yet I love to but no longer am able.

It's more accurate for us sailplane guys than any of the mainstream sims I've used, as it's tailor made to our needs, and not just a few gliders added as an afterthought to what is primarily a powered aircraft program.

Best part is, it's free, and doesn't use computer resources like a bastard, yet the graphics are perfectly suitable for the task. Yes, they're not as spit and polish as RealFlight or Phoenix, but I'd much prefer good physics and sailplane scenarios than flash any day of the week.
+1, another vote for PicaSim. I've used on phones and tablets, but it works best on my windows tablet (Asus switch 10) with my Taranis. I just use a USB cord, and have the driver installed on my tablet. Its a great soaring simulator, and the games included are fun. Plus, its free to try, but I would strongly suggest that if you run it a lot to donate to the author.

-Heath
Aug 20, 2015, 10:20 AM
Workin' on it
donles's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimcorrigan

Clearview provides a superior visual perspective for final approaches. It really helps pilots practice landings and approaches. New pilots will especially use Clearview more than the other flight simulators until they have developed good landing skills at the field.

It's curious that all three of the higher priced simulators all seem to suffer from this same visual perspective fault on final approach that causes the aircraft to land off the side of the runway most of the time.
That is what brought me here in search of insight regarding using Realflight for landing practice. I've owned it for over a year, tried it and quit using it. I'm back using it again and hoping I can get a better feel for it.

I constantly struggle with the location of the runway. I use fixed position.


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