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dlo
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hey all,

 

i'm new to the flight sim and i just wanted to know if the two heli's on the sim are at all real. do these heli's fly like real heli's. how does everyone use the flight sim. Is the flight sim only good for instrament flying, looking at gauges and practicing. so will the flight sim help me fly a real helicopter or is it just for fun.

 

share your thoughts on the newest flight sim X

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hey all,

 

i'm new to the flight sim and i just wanted to know if the two heli's on the sim are at all real. do these heli's fly like real heli's. how does everyone use the flight sim. Is the flight sim only good for instrament flying, looking at gauges and practicing. so will the flight sim help me fly a real helicopter or is it just for fun.

 

share your thoughts on the newest flight sim X

 

I don't have flight sim X, but I have been using 2004 for a while now. I fly helicopters in real life. There is no chance the simulator will ever give you half a chance of flying the real thing for 2 main reasons. First is the environment. There is too much going on around you to dedicate 100% attention to flying. The gauges have to be monitored constantly, everything is vibrating and shaking, you have to be looking around outside to make sure you are clear of ground objects, tail rotor must be clear at all times, atc communication, traffic avoidance and scanning, every movement and correction distracts your attention because you can feel it, ect. In the simulator, you just pull the collective and off you go. The other reason is every control input or correction affects something else in real life. Increase collective to lift off means more throttle is needed, more throttle means increased torque, increased torque means more left pedal. Once you get stable, the rpm might start to get high. You then have to decrease a little throttle which lessens torque. That requires less left pedal. In the simulator, things are fairly basic. It's not complex enough to model all these effects. The default helicopters are nothing like the real thing. The only thing they will teach you is what the controls do, which I'm sure you already know.

 

Now onto the alternative. There are addon helicopters that can be downloaded for free for Microsoft flight simulator 2004 that are much better than the default aircraft. I personally use two specific addon helicopters that are increadible. They honestly improve my real flying, especially hovering skills. They will not replace the real experience, but I can promise they will improve your real flying skills. I do not benefit in any way imaginable by introducing these specific addons, just trying to help fellow pilots. Anyone is welcomed to PM me for additional info on getting the most out of your flight sim.

 

Just a quick note, if you want the most realistic settings for helicopter flying, everything should be on maximum realism, all sensitivities should be maxed out on high, all null zones should be minimum. Even with those settings you'll be quite suprised at how the real thing is 10x more sensitive and twitchy.

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There is an add-on (that costs $) for FS2004 by Dodosim that does some fairly amazing things to enhance the realism of the flight model and systems - for instance, with it you'll have to put in some left pedal when you pull pitch (which is not necessary in the default flight models). http://www.dodosim.com/enthus.html. It also accurately models the start procedures for the 206 - i.e. you can hotstart it if you're not careful.

 

 

 

FS2004's autorotation characteristics are fairly bogus - the R22 won't auto at all, and yet the 206 can be auto'd "fo days" without loosing much rotor inertia. I read that the R22 autos in FS-X but I don't have my helo controls hooked up to my FS PC yet so I haven't tried it.

 

Also, as mentioned in another post, the FS helicopter model doesn't "know" about the throttle, at least in terms of how you have to modulate it in most small helos. (Of course both the R22 and the 206 have throttle or fuel governors, but even if you load up a Bell 47 or 300CB add-on aircraft, they will behave as if they had guvs too.)

 

 

 

To answer your main question: IMO any PC-based sim product has limited positive skills transfer, and in fact I think it can have negative skills transfer for some things. What I *do* find it useful for is:

 

- IFR scan and procedures

- pinnacle approaches

 

By the latter, I mean setting up a controlled approach and landing on the top of a building. It's actually quite difficult and I would think it's harder than in real life (I have never landed on a building for real), but I think it helps in terms of nailing the numbers and also the sight picture. (Note that not all buildings can be landed on in FS - e.g. any custom structures such as what you'll find in downtown Las Vegas).

 

Dave Blevins

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I found the Flight Sim useful for learning to hover. I hovered almost straight away - not perfectly but much better than expected, according to my CFII at the time, anyway. It really helps in coordinating the controls and getting used to what they do.

 

I rigged up the throttle on its side, screwed into a chair, took the spring out of the cyclic so it didn't "want" to return to its centre position and used pedals. I'd say you can save a few hours hover practice in the real thing.

 

Having said that, now that I've flown the real thing, they're 2 different animals. You're likely to be a lot more nervous in the real thing for starters but I would not worry about comparing the 2 for realism, rather use the sim for getting a basic understanding of how the controls work.

 

Flight Sim helps you a lot later on, when you want to practice instrument approaches - really helps memorise the route!

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I will say, if you think the helicopters fly too easy, you have not tried a Gilles Arlove addon R22. That thing is extremely touchy. I use it to practice pu/set downs, hover around a point, hover taxi here and there. True the dynamics are not perfect. But, if you keep it basic, this model works great for inbetween practice flights. I once went 7 months with out a flight. I spent 2 hrs on my R22 sim prior to the flight. I could pick up, hover, and take off with out help. I was presolo, too.

 

 

 

Try the Gilles Arlove addon, it's a free download. Sometimes you might need the gauge patch to fix some of the gauges.

 

 

 

Later

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