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what simulator? should I even bother?

donalson

Active member
#1
i'm not yet a fixed wing flyer... I'm wanting to get into it and planning to buy the 3 pack swappable kit here soon. I already have a taranis qx7.

I was wondering if a simulator is worth the cost? I dabbled with the real flight simulator setup at my local r/c shop (running v6 or so) and enjoyed it, but i'm wondering if it will really help translate to actual flying? I had no issue flying on screen... landing was another story... so would it be worth getting?

next question... which one?... realflight is high on the list as it would support my local r/c shop, Phoenix r/c is another options... and i'm not opposed to other options...

any thoughts on this?

thanks
mark
 

French

Construire Voler S'écraser Répéter
#2
IMHO, since you already have a QX7 there’s no reason not to get a free or cheap sim, like rc desk pilot.

I haven’t built the traditional swappable pack, but I’d expect any of them soul “land” ok as long as you bring them down slowly.
 

SlingShot

Maneuvering With Purpose
#3
Which did you try? Real Flight 8 or RF-X? Either way, that reset button is nice and I think it's money well spent. If you have an instructor, you can save your money if it's an issue.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#5
Simulators are INCREDIBLY valuable. Even if you don't do anything but practice, they're worth it, just to get the muscle memory in. Plus, you can practice at any time - when it's raining, when it's snowing, at night...There's all number of reasons to fly using a sim, and best of all, when you crash, it doesn't run you $100 to replace a motor, battery, plane, servos, etc...:)
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#6
Definitely worth downloading, installing, configuring and practicing with either a free simulator or buying a commercial one. You mentioned having trouble landing when you tried RealFlight. That's what they're great for. Practicing techniques like that until you have no trouble. That greatly lessens the chance you'll spend more money or time fixing things that break.

I didn't put an airplane up in the air until I could take off, fly a simple figure eight, then land without crashing in a simulator. That helped me with my first RC plane to get a successful maiden.
 
#7
I've only tried RC Desk Pilot, since it's free and there are lots of FT models available for it, but so far it's been great. Helped me keep my real FT Flyer in the air. Plus it's fun all on its own. It's not hard to put in a few hours a week to build and hone your skills.
 

donalson

Active member
#8
for landing... ya it seemed like a logical use for a sim... I only spent maybe 5 min playing at the store... my daughter was ready to get home after a long day of school so I couldn't just hang out and play :( lol... (on a side note I was excited to see they sold FT speed build kits and power kits...)

thanks for pointing out a few of the free ones... spent the last hr or so on RC desk pilot... went well once I got it all the channels setup and such... enjoyed it a lot so far... was interesting to see how the different planes flew and handled... I can also see why I'd want to change the stick sensitivity (expo right?) for certain planes in real life until I had some time to get used to it... also towards the end of the session I was getting ok at landing, and doing touch and go runs... although I do wonder how much it really translates into real world flight (which is what I always wonder about sims)

multiflight looked a lot nicer but I couldn't figure out how to setup my TX...
 

SlingShot

Maneuvering With Purpose
#9
for landing... ya it seemed like a logical use for a sim... I only spent maybe 5 min playing at the store... my daughter was ready to get home after a long day of school so I couldn't just hang out and play :( lol... (on a side note I was excited to see they sold FT speed build kits and power kits...)

thanks for pointing out a few of the free ones... spent the last hr or so on RC desk pilot... went well once I got it all the channels setup and such... enjoyed it a lot so far... was interesting to see how the different planes flew and handled... I can also see why I'd want to change the stick sensitivity (expo right?) for certain planes in real life until I had some time to get used to it... also towards the end of the session I was getting ok at landing, and doing touch and go runs... although I do wonder how much it really translates into real world flight (which is what I always wonder about sims)

multiflight looked a lot nicer but I couldn't figure out how to setup my TX...
"Can't hoit"! Even if it's not 1 to 1 accuaracy, besides the muscle memory (which is important) , doing the maneuvers and learning to make the adjustments will help to make you a better pilot. Keep at it!
 

donalson

Active member
#10
been playing more of RC desk pilot... i decided to dial in some dual rates and expos today... I'm amazed at how much that helped smooth out the flying (made touch and goes a sintch)... although I need to dial them back a bit on some of the planes... biggest issue I'm finding now is keeping a sense of orientation in the distance... but I usually bring it back to me without an issue lol.
 
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#11
For my RC Desk Pilot setup in my Q X7, I have triple rates set to a three-way switch: 100%, 70%, and 50% for those super squirrely models.
 

donalson

Active member
#12
I was thinking about the 3 way setup... just haven't done it yet... your settings sound very reasonable as 60% seems to be too slow on some planes and fine on others... so something a bit between the two with an additional setting would be nice

also need to tweak my expos a bit...

I would love a higher end sim for more plane options... but I also know how many planes I could build for that cost haha
 
#13
i'm not yet a fixed wing flyer... I'm wanting to get into it and planning to buy the 3 pack swappable kit here soon. I already have a taranis qx7.

I was wondering if a simulator is worth the cost? I dabbled with the real flight simulator setup at my local r/c shop (running v6 or so) and enjoyed it, but i'm wondering if it will really help translate to actual flying? I had no issue flying on screen... landing was another story... so would it be worth getting?

next question... which one?... realflight is high on the list as it would support my local r/c shop, Phoenix r/c is another options... and i'm not opposed to other options...

any thoughts on this?

thanks
mark
i'm not yet a fixed wing flyer... I'm wanting to get into it and planning to buy the 3 pack swappable kit here soon. I already have a taranis qx7.

I was wondering if a simulator is worth the cost? I dabbled with the real flight simulator setup at my local r/c shop (running v6 or so) and enjoyed it, but i'm wondering if it will really help translate to actual flying? I had no issue flying on screen... landing was another story... so would it be worth getting?

next question... which one?... realflight is high on the list as it would support my local r/c shop, Phoenix r/c is another options... and i'm not opposed to other options...

any thoughts on this?

thanks
mark
Hi Mark,
I've just seen your posting above and was wondering if you had now bought a flight simulator to use with your FrSky QX7 transmitter - and if so how do you find it?
I have just bought a QX7 and have been looking at various simulators including the Aerofly RC7, and the Phoenix. I crash much better than I fly and I reckon I could very much improve my efforts with the help of a simulator.
Thanks in advance,
Andrew.
 

donalson

Active member
#14
initially I picked up a
Hi Mark,
I've just seen your posting above and was wondering if you had now bought a flight simulator to use with your FrSky QX7 transmitter - and if so how do you find it?
I have just bought a QX7 and have been looking at various simulators including the Aerofly RC7, and the Phoenix. I crash much better than I fly and I reckon I could very much improve my efforts with the help of a simulator.
Thanks in advance,
Andrew.
I sent you a PM
 

rfd

AMA 51668
#15
everyone - all r/c pilots - need a good sim, and one with sim models that can be tweaked to fly as reasonably like yer real models.
 
#16
"everyone - all r/c pilots - need a good sim, and one with sim models that can be tweaked to fly as reasonably like yer real models".

There in lies the problem. If you are like me and have never flown an RC plane you have no idea if the virtual models fly like the real ones. Or which ones do, and which ones don't . The only thing I have to go by is watching videos on youtube like Flight Test. And that doesn't help me much because Josh seems like a REALLY good pilot. I mean he can fly anything and make it look easy. The only way to really know is if someone has flown a specific model in both real life and the sim and tell you if it feels right. Or find someone that has one of the models and let you buddy box with them and fly it for yourself then go home and see how it flies in the sim. Which I doubt many would be willing to do with someone that has never flown an RC before lol. And that might only be one or two models. Between RC desktop, rc7 and real flight 8 I have literally hundreds of planes and helicopters. And some of them don't fly the same from one sim to the other.

And yes you could tweak them. IF you knew what they were supposed to fly like to begin with. Sure I could tweak one to make it fly easier for me, I have done it. However that doesn't mean if I go and buy that actual plane it will fly like I set it up. Which is a scary thought considering the amount of money invested and it ends flying totally different.

And like I have said in other posts, I think landing in the sim is probably harder than real life because of the visual differences. In the sim because of what you can see, or rather the lack of it, it makes it hard to line up with the run way. In real life I think it would be much easier to line up and judge the distances because your field of view is much larger and you are actually seeing in 3d. This is the problem I have had with every sim I have ever used.

Like someone else said though, it is better than nothing. And it will help you learn muscle memory and get used to controlling something coming at you vs going away from you. One of the hardest things to do in my opinion. It will also help you learn your transmitter as well if you are using your own. Right now I am just using an xbox controller. My DX6e and the wireless dongle will be here tomorrow so we will see how that goes. Being able to set it up and try different adjustments while sitting in my chair at home will probably be easier than trying to mess with it in the field and limited to the amount of flight time I have with my batteries. And praying I don't crash if I do something wrong. Then again at home there will not be anyone to ask questions if I get confused either lol.

If someone knows which models in rc7 or real flight 8 actually fly like the real thing I would love to know which ones. Then I will pick those to practice with. Some of these planes with the name "trainer" in them don't seem to fly well at all to me. They are either too fast, to touchy on the controls or just won't fly level regardless of the amount of throttle you use. I was under the assumption a good trainer should be kind of slow, move smoothly and fly pretty level at around half throttle, and climb on its own at full throttle. Am I wrong about this?

The more frustrated I get with the planes the more I think I just want to get a decent quad copter with all the stabilalizing gismos that will come home when I hit a button lol. Not to mention I have tried to contact my local RC club via facebook and several emails and they are not getting back to me. And I know they saw the message on facebook because it tells me when they read it. Maybe they don't want new members? Which blows because the air field is in a park like a quarter mile from my house, it would be perfect to fly from for me.

Oops sorry about the rant guys.
 

rfd

AMA 51668
#17
don't over think it. i think the best way to learn seat-of-the-pants sim flying is by choosing a simple fixed wing 3 channel model design such as the FT Ol' Fogey or the powerhouse. powered gliders such as the calypso are large, stable aircraft for learning ailerons.



 
#18
I don't have either of those powered models in any of my sims unfortunately, and I can't seem to find a download for one when I google it either. I probably have the glider though. Not real big on gliders, they seem even harder to figure out for me but I might give it a try. Thanks for the info.

On the upside the local RC club contacted me this morning via email. They said they would love to have me join and actually have a training program scheduled for this afternoon. And they do indeed let you fly one of thier planes for training. If you don't own a plane yet they will let you use one while training since you will be buddy boxed to someone else. That is a pretty cool thing to do, not something I would have expected at all. To fly at the field though you do need to be a member of the club and a member of the AMA for insurance. And since it is the middle of the year membership is half price. Not sure I could pull off being a member and joining the ama before 4 this afternoon though. They said I am welcome to just come and hang out though anytime they fly or have a meeting. I just can't actually fly anything or vote on stuff until I am a member.

So all my ranting and worries were for nothing. Hopefully before the weather turns crappy I can actually get a chance to fly a plane at least once and then use that experience to help me set up my simulators. They also do indoor flying in a gym during the winter so that is always an option too. I could probably afford a little cheap indoor plane or even get one of those little balsa wood kits witha tiny motor.

Sorry to hijack your thread Donalson, but hopefully this information helped you a lot as well. I suggest contacting a local RC club if you have one and see if they have a simular program.
 

donalson

Active member
#19
please hijack away if it helps some other people...

i've now got a handful of sims including legit versions of pheonix and RF8... put out about $20 cash and traded a computer I built with spare parts I had laying around... YES they are better than the free ones... but IMHO if you are just getting into RC the point is learning stick movements and muscle memory... RC deskpilot is more than enough for that... multiflight looks a bit more polished but has a lot of limitations if you don't buy stuff (and I still haven't found a place to purchases any of the add ons)... picasim is my least fav and even it does the trick...

realflight 8 has been my fav because of the extra game modes... but I like how many FT planes are in phoenix...

in short... any of them will do it for a noob flier... spend some time on them with a cheap USB simulator dongle... go out and fly, crash, fix and repeat a few times on FT planes... and if you still want to stick around and find you want more stick time with out being able to get to the field pick up a better sim...

just my 1.5 cents
 
#20
.
been playing more of RC desk pilot... i decided to dial in some dual rates and expos today... I'm amazed at how much that helped smooth out the flying (made touch and goes a sintch)... although I need to dial them back a bit on some of the planes... biggest issue I'm finding now is keeping a sense of orientation in the distance... but I usually bring it back to me without an issue lol.
A trick taught to me by an old mentor when I was learning to fly is move your aileron or rudder toward the low wing If the angle increases, the airplane is going away, if it straightens up its coming towards you. worked for me