RealFlight-X Simulator Review - RC Groups

RealFlight-X Simulator Review

RealFlight is one of the oldest and highest quality R/C flight sims available. That holds true with the latest release, RealFlight-X and it doesn't get any more real than this...

Splash

Introduction

RealFlight is one of the oldest and highest quality R/C flight sims available. With every new release they refine the graphics and physics to bring us the most realistic flight experience possible. That holds true with the latest release, RealFlight-X and it doesn't get any more real than this. RF-X is designed to look and feel as close to real life as possible so you can learn, practice and get the most out of your flying sessions. The graphics are done in UNIGINE and it means we can fly through realistic scenery with a crazy amount of detail. There's a lot to do and look at and even some gaming time trial race modes to enjoy. Enough with the talk, let's boot up the PC and have some fun.

Video

System Requirements

Before buying RealFlight-X you'll need to make sure your PC is up to the task. It's pushing serious graphics to your monitor and you'll need gaming quality components to make it run. Here's a look at the minimum and optimal system specs.

Minimum System

  • Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10. 64bit
  • Local administrator access required.
  • Quad-core processor
  • AMD FX-4300 or equivalent
  • DirectX 11 Mid-Range Video Card with 2 GB of video memory
  • GTX 460 or better
  • Integrated video cards not recommended
  • 30 GB Hard Drive Space
  • 4 GB RAM
  • DVD Drive

Optimal System

  • I7-6700 Processor or equivalent
  • nVidia GTX 1060, Radeon RX 480, or equivalent
  • 32 GB RAM
  • SSD Hard Drive

My System

  • I7 6700 Processor
  • nVidia GTX 1080 GPU
  • 32GB Ram

What's in the Box

I received an advanced copy so I don't have the retail packaging to show you, but here's what you'll find when you open the box.

  • DVD Case with Software DVD
  • InterLink-X Controller
  • Smooth Throttle Tensioner
  • Futuba Sq. Interface Cable
  • JR/Spektrum Interface Cable

InterLink-X Controller

The InterLink-X controller is a new r/c transmitter analog by Tactic that has been designed to get the most out of RealFlight-X. It offers 10 channels, two 2 position switches, a 3 position switch, a rotating knob and 2 sliders. It also has trim tabs, adjustable stick length and tension and handy menu interface buttons so you can navigate and reset without needing a keyboard or mouse. The controller feels nice in your hands with ergonomics similar to most real r/c transmitters. It plugs into a USB port on your computer and the cable is 6ft long, but you can use a USB extender if you need more length. The best part about the controller is that you don't need to charge any batteries or take up a model memory slot in your radio or put extra wear and tear on your transmitter gimbals and switches. The InterLink-X controller is always there next to your computer ready to fly when you are. That convenience means you'll fly more.

Features

Physics

RealFlight is the #1 RC Simulator for a reason, it feels as close to the real thing as it gets. It's not something I can show you in photos/video or explain in written word. You have to fly it for yourself. A lot of hobby shops have it available in their stores so you can try it out before buying and I highly suggest you do that if possible. Is it perfect? No, but as far as simulators go, it's pretty dang close.

Intuitive Interface

The interface in RealFlight-X is easy to use and you don't need a manual to figure it out. You can use the keyboard and mouse if you like, but I prefer to do everything on the controller itself. On the right hand side of the controller you have Up and Down buttons to navigate the menu items. On the left hand side is the Reset button at the top, the Enter button and the Back button. You can quickly navigate the menu items and get right to flying using just the controller.

Graphics

The graphics in RealFlight-X are insane if your computer can handle it. The captured video at the top doesn't even come close to doing it justice. The UNIGINE engine does an amazing job rendering the sceneries and models. The texture detail, shadows and reflections all mimic real life in a great way. It is hands down the best looking R/C simulator I've ever seen and you'll need to see it in person to get the full effect.

Gaming - FPV Racing!

Looking for a challenge? The Racing section offers game-like time trial challenges with planes and drones. Try and earn a bronze, silver or gold medal to move up the list and get to the Expert level challenges. It starts out with easy levels and they get progressively harder as you move up. The harder levels are locked and you must complete the easier levels first to unlock them.

Flight Log

You can enable the Flight Log to record your flights. You can then watch the flights and even change cameras to get different perspectives of the flight. You can control how long the recordings should be in the menu.

Aircraft and Flying Sites

RealFlight-X includes a ton of aircraft, too many to list individually, but you can see the number below.

Base Software Includes:

  • 48 Airplanes
  • 7 Helicopters
  • 8 Drones
  • 12 Flying Sites

Click here to see a visual list of all the Aircraft.

Click here to see a visual list of all the Flying Sites.

Practice

Practice is the first option in the main menu and it allows you to quickly get flying. When you select it, you have options to select your aircraft and the airport. Once you make your selections, you can hit the Fly button and you are ready to go. Navigating the menus can be done via keyboard and mouse or with the InterLink-X controller. Selecting an aircraft is done by scrolling through a list of aircraft names sorted alphabetically. You can change the sort criteria to Favorites, Flight Time, Aircraft Type, Source or Year. Airports have the same sort criteria.

Scenarios

Scenarios are very cool and allow you to try new things easily. There are 21 different scenarios to choose from and they include things like Beginner and Advanced Aerobatics, Nightflying, Cliffside Soaring, Drone Patrol and more. Make your selection from the list and click the Fly button to get started. My favorite so far is Night at the Creek where you take a giant scale Sbach fitted with lights and fly at night. It looks so real that you'd swear it was a video of actual night flying at an event, so cool!

FPV Racing

The FPV Racing section is for those looking for a challenge and want a more game-like experience. These are special challenges with predefined aircraft that you must fly through a course with rings or gates to get the best time. There are Bronze, Silver and Gold medals awarded for achieving certain times through the course. The races vary in difficulty from extremely easy to extremely hard. When you first start out, only the easy races are available and you must unlock the harder tiers by earning medals. It's a fun experience and it helps you practice by having a goal to achieve and incentive to unlock the harder levels. There are races for quads and airplanes and there are 44 races total.

Screenshots

Conclusion

RF-X is hands down the best looking r/c flight sim I've seen. The graphics are stunning, but what what truly sets the airports apart is that they are 3D rendered scenes. We've had photorealistic scenery in the past, but you could only fly from a fixed position. Now with RF-X you can fly through them FPV style and explore the sceneries. The physics are also the best I've seen in a sim. While it's not 100% perfect, it's so close to real life that you can actually get results from practising new maneuvers or just learning how to fly. There are plenty of options to change up the scenery, physics and environments to suit your liking too. The Racing courses are fun and the Scenarios section lets you try new aircraft easily. The only thing I'm really missing in RF-X is multiplayer support like in previous version of RealFlight.

RF-X costs $179.99 with the InterLink-X controller. If you are looking for a sim to practice, learn to fly, or just want to have fun, I can highly recommend RF-X. You won't be disappointed.

Purchase Links

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Oct 26, 2016, 06:40 PM
Registered User
Still no OS-X version?
Oct 26, 2016, 08:48 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by alloydix
Still no OS-X version?
It's not worth it for them to target <5% of the total PC market.
Oct 26, 2016, 09:02 PM
Pro Racing
XXBug85's Avatar
Contest?
Oct 27, 2016, 12:33 AM
Registered User
Is there a mac version?
Oct 27, 2016, 05:33 AM
Ta-dah!
blakevan's Avatar
Upgrade cost from RF 6 or older?
Oct 27, 2016, 09:27 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
No Mac version. Not sure if there is an upgrade or not.
Oct 27, 2016, 09:46 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardija
It's not worth it for them to target <5% of the total PC market.
You have a point.
Oct 27, 2016, 06:05 PM
Wandering IT geek
ronin4740's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by blakevan
Upgrade cost from RF 6 or older?
I asked their support. Their answer was that I could buy the disc only since I already have the controller. No "upgrade" per se but it does save a few $$$ for folks who already have it.
Oct 28, 2016, 08:58 AM
Registered User
I would like to see some test run on other PC that are less than optimal. My HP laptop runs RealFlight 7.5 with no problems with the graphics turned up but I don't want to have to go out and upgrade PC equipment just to run RF-X.
Oct 28, 2016, 03:51 PM
Registered User
Ironically a large portion of the people who meet the specs are going to not meet the DVD drive requirement.
Oct 28, 2016, 04:22 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by grimbeaver
Ironically a large portion of the people who meet the specs are going to not meet the DVD drive requirement.
Yeah I had to use an external DVD drive to install it.
Oct 28, 2016, 07:54 PM
Put a bigger motor on it!
gtfreeflyer's Avatar
How about the ability to make custom planes for those of us are are CAD savvy? I believe there is no way to get the specific version of 3D Studio anymore that supported KEmax. This was an issue I ran into a year ago when I looked into it. Is there a new tool provided to make custom aircraft?
Oct 28, 2016, 08:46 PM
Registered User
I received my Real Flight x today and was extremely disappointed. I just recently bought the best Dell computer that Best Electronics carries (a Tower). Real flight will not run on it. The support rep informed that my computer is not good enough to run it. It will not run with embedded graphic boards; this includes all Laptops and all All in One computers. Most modern towers will also not run. You must have a high end Video Card.; in other words a Gaming machine. This is going to leave a whole lot of RC flyers out.

Tower Hobby referred me to Real Flight support. They were at first reluctant to authorize a refund because of the old open disk policy. They said they would make an exception since I bought it from Tower Hobby. I returned to Tower and was informed that they would E-Mail me a return Tag Monday. Looks like Tower will make it good, but I am sure disappointed that I will not be able to run RFX unless I shell out about 2 grand for a gaming machine

Jack
Oct 29, 2016, 12:32 AM
Registered User
Still no Linux version, despite using modern developer tools now, the company is still living in early 90s.
.. Or it's pure ignorance, because even hobbyists like creator of "FPV freerider" are competent enough to build for more than one platform.


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