Post by Marc Heusser Post by Ramey
Does anyone know what is the best helicopter simulator? Something
that either runs on Win XP
Reflex XTR and Phoenix are said to be good - both need your own RC (a
cheap one will do).
I've had the RealFlight G3.5 for some time now and recently bought the
Phoenix. I tried it because of the positive comments I've heard on this
forum and other web forums out there and was curious.
The G3.5 has it's own controller. The Phoenix is ordered with a USB adaptor
to plug into your own transmitter. Some may have issues with added wear and
tear on their personal transmitter but I like having the feel of the radio
I'm used to and I also like being able to program the sim through the
transmitters programming. I haven't found the G3.5's computer programming
to be that intuitive so far. Using my Futaba 12Z is a lot easier for me
mainly because I'm familiar with it.
Looking at both sims strictly from the point of view of how they "simulate"
the RC model, both are excellent, but neither are 100%. My G3.5 has never
been that great on hover trim. The model never seems to lock in like the
real bird will do. The Phoenix sim is much better in this regard. The G3.5
also gets very touchy in pitch attitude in fast forward flight. The rotor
system digs and diverges out when pulling a loop or turn from really fast
forward flight. I know this isn't entirely unusual in the real world either
but for most part, my real birds don't do this. I've got to put them in a
high speed dive at full power to provoke this kind of behavior. They never
do it from level flight like the G3.5 will do. The Phoenix is better in
this regard too. Both sims deliver "way" too much rotor inertia at the
bottom of an autorotation although the Phoenix is a little more realistic.
The G3.5 can't spool up it's rotor system without spinning the model on the
ground unless you're very, VERY, slow and careful about it. It's like
there's no friction between the skids and the ground at all. The Phoenix
will roll over and kill itself almost every time you land unless you bottom
the collective as soon as it touches. As long as the model is level and not
moving when the skids touch, this shouldn't happen. The G3.5 does seem to
be a little more realistic when it comes to 3D type flying. The way it
behaves feels closer to what my real models do in stationary flips, rolls,
and kaos'. The Phoenix does these things well too but I think it makes
these maneuvers a little easier to do which probably isn't a bad thing for
most folks. I'm not a strong 3D pilot. I'd like to get better and I think
having a sim that more accurately does what my real models do is more of an
asset so from that standpoint, I've have to give the nod to the G3.5 on this
Both sims have excellent graphics although I think the Phoenix is a little
better than the G3.5. The lighting and contrast seems more lifelike on the
Phoenix and the model is definitely easier to see at a distance. Also, I
think the sim's auto zoom function works a little better on the Phoenix. I
seem to have a easier time of judging how far away the model is and how fast
it's approaching on the Phoenix than I do on the G3.5.
All in all, you really can't go wrong with either the RealFlight G3.5 or the
Phoenix but for me, now that I've got a fair amount of time on both, if I
had to choose one over the other, I'd keep the Phoenix.