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RC Helicopter Flight Simulators

Software for learning to fly RC helicopters

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Learn to master the intricate flight controls of an RC helicopter without risking your very expensive RC helicopter in your inexperienced hands. These RC helicopter flight simulators feature either RC helicopter models only, or both helicopters and airplanes.

1. PRE-Flight RC Flight Simulator Helicopter Editions

PRE-Flight RC Flight Simulation Software by Transcendental Technologies - Screenshot
PRE-Flight RC Flight Simulation Software by Transcendental Technologies - Screenshot

From Transcendental Technologies, this is a great flight simulator that comes in multiple editions such as the Dragonfly, Blade, T-Rex, and Esky editions with replicas of popular RC helicopters. Or get the Super Helicopter edition and learn to fly 'em all. It has photo-realistic scenery and 3D RC models. I recommend getting a pair of 3D glasses to intensify the flying experience. In multiplayer mode you and a friend can fly together on the same field over an Internet/LAN connection. Playing around with the limited demo I got the most enjoyment from the realistic flight characteristics. All editions come with a USB Interface for your own transmitter or purchase a USB Transmitter Controller. Watch a video of the PRE-Flight Simulator.

2. RC Heli Master

Reality Craft Flight Simulation Software - Screenshot
Reality Craft Flight Simulation Software - Screenshot

One of three flight simulators from Reality Craft, this one offers 8 helicopter models for indoor, outdoor, and aerobatic flight. In addition to the software, it comes with a 6 channel USB controller. Speed up or slow down the simulation to suit your skill level. Intentionally create engine trouble or other problems to learn how to recover. No demo for this version.

3. ClearView RC Flight Simulator

ClearView RC Flight Simulator Software by SVK Systems - Screenshot
ClearView RC Flight Simulator Software by SVK Systems - Screenshot

I was so impressed by the demo of the ClearView RC Flight Simulator from SVK Systems that I bought it immediately after the time had expired. The demo offers easy and expert versions of one airplane and two helicopters. Or, purchase the full version for even more electric and nitro-powered RC aircraft. You not only have a lot of RC models to choose from but you can even create and import your own aircraft and flying fields. On their website you can download user-submitted models to add to your collection. Fly with a friend in multiplayer mode over the internet. I also highly recommend using 3D LCD shutter glasses with this flight simulator. Watch a video of the ClearView RC Flight Simulator

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4. RealFlight G5 R/C Flight Simulator

RealFlight G3 Flight Simulation Software - Demo Screenshot
RealFlight G3 Flight Simulation Software - Demo Screenshot

The most realistic, and perhaps best known flight simulator on the market, it's expensive -- but well worth it for serious flight training. RealFlight from Great Planes has such an extensive model RC aircraft library to choose from that you won't grow tiresome of this software for quite awhile. It comes complete with a transmitter controller by Futaba, and features like training aids, virtual coach, night flying mode, active and reactive backgrounds, and multi-player modes. If you're skeptical about whether or not to take the plunge, watch a video and download the demo. You can also check to see if your local hobby shop has a demo model up and running to get a more detailed look at the software.

5. RealFlight G3.5 R/C Flight Simulator

RealFlight G3 Flight Simulation Software - Demo Screenshot
RealFlight G3 Flight Simulation Software - Demo Screenshot

Earlier but very good version of RealFlight. Since it's been around longer there are tons of add-ons and RC aircraft models for it. Includes 3D flying sites, lots of planes, and plenty of helicopters too. G3 demo screenshots

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6. RC Flight Master eXtreme64

Reality Craft RC Flight Master eXtreme64 Flight Simulation Software - Screenshot
Reality Craft RC Flight Master eXtreme64 Flight Simulation Software - Screenshot
This is Reality Craft's more expensive professional flight simulation software for some serious training in flying RC planes, helicopters, and gliders. Purchase this one with a controller or save money by buying the software only and use with your own controller. Graphics for the 3D flight model aircraft are just OK but the photo-realistic scenery makes up for what the 3D modelling lacks. Like RC Plane Master, it has a split screen mode. For Windows, download a demo.

7. PRE-Flight Standard Edition RC Flight Simulator

PRE-Flight RC Flight Simulation Software by Transcendental Technologies - Screenshot
PRE-Flight RC Flight Simulation Software by Transcendental Technologies - Screenshot

While Transcendental Technologies offers multiple RC helicopter editions, the standard edition features several kinds of aircraft -- and you can download additional models such as a DC-3, an RAF SE5 biplane, or a Korean conflict era MASH Helicopter. It comes with the software and a USB interface for use with your own transmitter. Download a demo

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8. FS One

From Hangar 9, this flight simulation software comes with over 30 popular RC aircraft models including foamies, jets, and helis, has photo-realistic skyscapes, 2D and 3D flying sites, and comes with a controller. Or, for a little less get it without the controller (Buy Direct) and use your own JR, Futaba, or HiTec transmitter. The FS One with controller comes in 2 modes. Mode 2 is the most common in the US where the right stick controls elevator and aileron while left stick controls throttle and rudder. Unfortunately, there's no free demo.

9. Reflex XTR RC Flight Simulator

This RC flight simulator is visually stimulating with its life-like RC helicopter and airplane models and scenery composed of photos of real locations. The control aspect is as real as the graphics. If you own a pair of stereoscopic LCD shutter glasses, CRT monitor, and a Nvidia 3D graphics card you're in for a real treat. If you have a LCD flat screen monitor be sure to check and see if the 3D LCD shutter glasses suport it -- if not you can still enjoy this flight sim without them. Get the demo. Watch a video

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10. Phoenix RC Flight Simulator

This is a graphically-rich visual experience in RC flight simulation. Although you can download a free demo, it doesn't allow you to actually testdrive the program. You can navigate through the demo like you would if you had the real thing but it only will give a description what that section would do if you had the real thing. It does give you three internal videos to watch though showcasing the product. Phoenix offers over 100 RC airplanes and helicopter models including gliders, trainers, electric and nitro models, and amphibious aircraft. Watch a video

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