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Learn to Fly With RC Flight Simulation Software

Download a Demo or Load Up a Free Flight Sim

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Scene from FMS RC Flight Simulation Software

Scene from FMS RC Flight Simulation Software

Photo © M. James
Man has been fascinated with flying throughout history but his many attempts to create flight-enabling contraptions often met with disaster. Yet, even when we have created successful flying machines, human error has kept us grounded. Staying in the air is not easy. It takes practice. Flight — including RC flying — is a gravity-defying feat that requires patience.
What? Don't want to read about the thrill of flying? OK. OK. Fly right into the RC Flight Simulators:
  • RC Airplane Flight Simulators
  • RC Helicopter Flight Simulators
  • Everyone else: keep reading, take the poll, and get some tips on using RC flight simulators. Oh, and then go look at all the free, demo, and commercial software for learning to fly RC aircraft.

    Thrill of Flying

    When Daedalus crafted wings of feathers and wax for his young son, Icarus, he warned the boy before taking flight over the sea, "don't fly too close to the ground for your wings will get wet; but, don't fly too high for your wings are made of wax and the sun will melt them and you will surely fall." But Icarus, caught up in the thrill of flying, flew too close to the sun.

    Daedalus' warnings are just as applicable to today's radio controlled airplanes. If you fly too close to the ground, you're likely to crash. If you fly too high your RC plane will be out of range and you'll be unable to control it. Your RC plane will fall from the sky and crash to the ground. Like Icarus, though, it's easy to get caught up in the thrill of flying. But that thrill is short-lived when you crash your RC plane after only a few minutes of soaring.

    Skill of Flying

    Before you take your new RC plane out for a test-flight, or even before you buy your first RC plane or helicopter, it would be worthwhile to invest in some flying lessons. I want to fly but, as luck and skill would have it, "I am no pilot!" I've crashed every plane I've owned, some within just minutes of take off. Learn from my mistakes. Earn your wings with RC flight simulators and a virtual plane.

    I have found several RC flight simulation titles that are free to download. Some are entirely free. Others are demo versions. Or, jump in feet first with a full-featured commercial RC flight simulator such as RealFlight G4. Try one of these and learn to fly RC airplanes and RC helicopters from the safety of your computer screen.

    • These RC Airplane Flight Simulators include the free FMS and the very basic (but free) Manuel's Radio Control Flight Simulator. There are also demo versions of RC Plane Master and several programs featuring airplanes and helicopters.

    • These RC Helicopter Flight Simulators include demo versions of ClearView, RealFlight G4, and RC Flight Master eXtreme64.

    Try to Fly Before You Buy

    Buying multiple RC airplanes and helicopters and then learning to fly with them is costly and likely to be disappointing. Training yourself with RC flight simulators is a more practical approach to learning to fly RC airplanes. So before you go out there and buy RC aircraft and spend a ton of money replacing it time and time again due to multiple crashes, study up and train yourself in the principles of RC flight. This preparation can lead to a long and enjoyable experience in flying RC planes.

    Next: Simulate an RC Plane Controller

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