Hobby RC Simulators

Flying remote-controlled vehicles can be complex, and many users come to the world of RC planes worried about breaking their new toys. Flying simulators allow you to get a grip on the ins and out of controlling a remote-controlled aircraft through the use of advanced 3D models, free from the risk of damaging anything expensive. There are a number of simulators that allow you to experience operating an RC aircraft before actually bringing your model into the air.

Why use an RC flight simulator?

A flight simulator makes use of the capabilities of your computer to simulate flight. A PC flight simulator can realistically model the way wind and aerodynamics work and create a realistic approximation of an airplane's flight so that users can experience the intricacies of flight controls free of the hazards that come from flying a real remote-controlled vehicle.

Many simulators are designed with the beginner in mind and feature a virtual flight school as a central hub in their interface. That allows even the most inexperienced user to get a grip on complicated factors like wind resistance and equilibrium and become comfortable with the feeling of flying a plane in a controlled environment. But the realistic physics and free flowing sandboxes of flight simulator software means even experienced RC pilots can practice their skills. Whether you're looking to practice daredevil stunts or simple fundamentals, the simulation environment is a sensible alternative to the real thing.

What kind of RC vehicles do RC flight simulators emulate?

RC aircraft come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and the control schemes for these different types of vehicles can vary wildly. As such, many pieces of simulator software offer simulations focused on one or more of the following aircraft.

  • Airplanes: Velocity, wind resistance, and trajectory are important lessons to learn with planes, which can vary from traditional twin wing aircraft to more complicated models like biplanes.
  • Helicopters: Many remote control helicopters are gas powered and maintain flight through the use of four spinning blades. Being able to manipulate the helicopter on both the x-axis and y-axis can have a steep learning curve.
  • Quadcopters: Despite drawing from the same principles as helicopters, they use four rotors for a more nuanced level of control.
What type of flight simulators can you choose?

Knowing what you want to do with your RC vehicle should be a major factor in the features you're looking for. If you're trying to explore remote-controlled vehicles as a hobby, a simple controller paired with free 3D simulation software might work well, but individuals looking to start a career as a drone pilot might want to look for a more advanced flight simulator program like FlightFear or X-Plane. Controller options can vary from basic keyboard and mouse interfaces to complex controllers that simulate what a drone pilot might use in the field.