So I am now the proud owner of a R/C flight simulator. It’s really fun and I think this is a very good way to start out this hobby. A simulator is a simulator, it is not the real thing. But it can prepare you for the real thing without spending a lot of money on crashing numerous planes and helicopters on your way. In a simulator you can crash your plane hundreds of times and it doesn’t matter, it will still fly the next time 🙂
You can fly the simulator in various ways. You can use the keyboard, a game pad, a special usb transmitter or your own transmitter. If you are using your own transmitter you have to use a special cable to connect the transmitter to your computer. But if you are using your simulator to prepare yourself for the real thing you should use the special usb transmitter or connect your own transmitter to the computer. Why? Because you have to get the feeling of using your thumbs to steer the plane, do corrections and react by reflex to things happening to your plane.
Below is a compilation of simulators. This might not be a complete list but these are the ones I’ve been looking at
- ClearView (about 40$, good feeling, nice graphics and a good collection of planes and helicopters)
- RealFlight (about 200$, good feeling, nice graphics, comes with a special usb transmitter)
- FMS (free!, no good feeling, fair graphics)
- Phoenix (about 130$, no transmitter but I think it comes with a cable to connect your own, haven’t tried this simulator, nice graphics, haven’t tried it)
- FS One (about 100$ including special usb transmitter, nice graphics, haven’t tried it)
- E-sky usb transmitter (about 20$ and includes the FMS simulator on a CD)
I made my choice pretty much based upon the cost of the simulator. The Esky transmitter comes with the FMS simulator on a CD for about 20$. That transmitter works great together with the ClearView simulator (40$) an all this is a fair deal compared to the hundreds of dollars that you have to spend on the other simulators. But! I did not say that this is the best you can get but it’s a fair deal that works for me. To be honest I really wanted the RealFlight simulator and as I said before my choice was based pretty much on the cost. Most important I am really pleased with my setup 🙂
What you need:
- A fairly new computer
- A special usb transmitter or your own transmitter (with special cable to connect it to your computer)
- A simulator of your choice
What you get:
- Feeling of flying R/C planes or helicopters
- How to correct and react to your planes movements
- You can crash and learn!
- Based on which simulator you choose you get a more or less realistic experience and a good time
Before you choose a simulator be sure to try them out. You can get a free demo from most of them with some limitations but it’s worth trying. Maybe the most expensive one isn’t the best for you!?