RC Flight Simulator Guide

RC airplane flying is a fun and challenging hobby. The time and expense of learning to fly remote control airplanes has been greatly reduced in recent years. RC flight simulators have been one reason for this. These are programs that run on your home pc, allowing you to practice “virtual” flight.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your rc flight simulator (“sim”).

1) Read the system requirements before you buy or install a simulator. Some of these programs need high-end personal computers to make the most of their features.

2) Use your own transmitter if possible, instead of a dedicated control box. It’s good to have the exact same “stick feel” on your PC and at the field.

3) You may need to reduce the graphics resolution, so that the plane’s movements are smooth. Realistic graphics are nice, but flying realism is what you are really after.

4) Master the simple stuff first. There’s no point in doing loops if you can’t takeoff without crashing half the time.

5) Landings can be more challenging on the sim than in real life. This is because of reduced perspective, i.e. you won’t know exactly where the ground is till the very last second. Just pick a flat spot of ground near where you’re “standing” and go for it.

6) If a maneuver goes wrong, try to complete it. Don’t just hit reset halfway through a botched loop. Try to recover from the problem, as there is no reset bar in real life.

7) Have a lesson plan. Determine to fly from point A to point B while doing X, Y and Z. Don’t just go where the airplane takes you! Remember, this is radio “control”, not radio “follow the leader”.

8) Take breaks periodically. RC flight simulators can actually be hard on the eyes and body.

9) When you have mastered basic flying, deliberately put the sim airplane into unusual attitudes and try to recover.

10) When you’ve mastered basic flying and unusual attitude recovery, make the program a bit more challenging. Trying adding more obstacles, e.g. trees. Adding wind is a good way to stretch your abilities. Wind speed and direction can often be changed in the sim, and this is something that happens in real life as well.