Friday, June 11, 2010

Some RC helicopter flight simulator resources

If you follow me on Twitter you probably know that I am in the process of learning how to fly RC helicopters.

I have done quite a lot of hours in a simulator already and own a coaxial chopper I use for indoor hover training, which you can see here as it was before the flimsy bodywork got slightly damaged (and here after a second recent crash)...

At the time of writing this I was thinking about getting myself a Nano Arrow, as it is smaller/lighter (=less easily damaged), has a "normal" configuration with single rotor blades and a powered tail rotor and is cute as hell. I have now bought one of these and use it for training. ;-)

Simulator resources

Recently I got a question about simulators, specifically if there were any open source/free ones around.

As I really didn't know (only having used RealFlight 4.5 myself), I did a quick Google. This is what I found:

If you know of anything that should be in this list that I missed (didn't put that much time into compiling it), please let me know in the comments.

Get the right controller

One last comment: if you are (or become) serious about flying RC helicopters, I think it will be imperative to have simulator software that has a physical USB transmitter available or at least the means to attach and use one.

What you have in your hands while simulator flying should really be as close as you can get to what you will be flying your actually helicopter with. This helps to train muscle memory and make you a pilot instead of "just" a gamer trying to fly an actual helicopter model.

Small update

If you want to know more about my helicopter adventure, please check out my personal blog (which is in Dutch).