With the development of warp-speed computer processors and outstandingly realistic graphics, modern rc flight simulators have become hugely popular. Such simulators have become a ‘must have’ rc flying accessory for many students. They have helped countless rookie rc pilots learn the basics of radio control flight.
Learning to fly radio control in a safe environment is as realistic as it gets without actually taking a trip to your local flying field. It helps minimise the dreaded aspect of learning to fly –LOSING CONTROL & CRASHING! There’s a good chance that your model will get damaged sooner or later, but practice on a flight simulator will help minimise the occurance.
Avoid Bad Habits
Don’t let yourself get into bad habits if you do invest in a simulator. Such bad habits will inevitably get transferred onto the flying field. Of course have fun with it and enjoy it, but remember why you bought the simulator in the first place, and use it as a serious training aid to your flying. Also, don’t think that, because you have become proficient at take-offs and landings with your simulator, you will naturally be as good with the real thing. The idiosincracies of your own model can never be simulated electronically and true life experience at the field will be very different to your simulator learning.
A big advantage with learning to fly on an rc simulator is that it gets you used to the aircraft flying towards you when the controls appear to become reversed i.e. left is right and vice versa. The ‘reverse control’ or ‘reverse co-ordination’ problem, which is the term used in this situation, catches out many students in their early days.
Remember that your simulator is there to help you learn to fly. So, if your virtual airplane is spinning out of control, imagine that it’s your actual model and that it’s going to cost you dearly if you destroy it. Do all you can to try and recover, and get the model back to earth safely on your screen.
There are a number of simulators on the market but, almost without exception, the two must frequently recommended are the Phoenix and Real Flight versions. These are without doubt the most popular and use the most sophisticated software with the most realistic vistas and planes. The Phoenix version enables you to use your own RC Transmitter via an included Tx to USB cable or you can purchase it with a dedicated Spektrum DX5 transmitter. You will need a Tactic TTX600 pseudo Tx with the Real Flight product. The two are usually sold together.
Once again, it will pay you to discuss preferences with your club colleagues or others who use a simulator.