RCU Review: Ikarus AeroFly Pro


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    Contributed by: Erick Royer | Published: July 2004 | Views: 134656 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    AFP Review

    Review By: Erick Royer

    Official AeroFly Pro Retailer:

    Company Headquarters
    4224 Pennywood Drive
    Beavercreek OH 45430
    937-429-3056
    www.ohiomodelproducts.com
    www.aeroflypro.com

    Exclusive N. American Importer:


    5876 Enterprise Parkway
    Billy Creek Commerce Center
    Fort Myers, FL 33905,
    239-690-0003

    Manufacturer:

    Ikarus Germany
    Im Webertal 22
    78713 Schramberg-Waldmössingen, Germany
    49 - 7402 - 929 190
    www.ikarus.net

    Software Created By:

    IPACS, Germany
    www.ipacs.de


    Click image below to watch Maarten De Moor fly the OMP Edge Hybrid. This guy can fly!


    More Videos
    Video 2 - Extra 300 Video
    Video 3 - Heli Video

    More amazing videos and info can be found on the home page of www.aeroflypro.com


    Quality
    Performance
    Ease of use
    Aerobatic ability
    Features
    Graphics
    Realism
    Manual
    Price

    Your personal field radio connects directly to the computer

    Very realistic physics and flying characteristics.

    No other add-ons to purchase, hundreds of free downloads.

    2 Player mode for training and glider towing.

    Great manual and support.

    More flying abilities then I have ever seen in any sim. Glider towing and soaring, bomb dropping, control line, contests and much more.


    Online play.
    Admittedly, I am one of those RC fanatics that would rather be flying most of the time. Unfortunately, I don't get to the field as often as I would like. I find that most of my spare time is usually late at night, or when mother nature decides that she will not allow me to fly. Winter in New England presents its challenges when the flying urge arises. So what can I do?

    Flight simulators have been available for years and provide an ample cure for my desire to fly. The problem I have with most simulators is that the level of realism is marginal at best. Many depict the models as boxy shapes with unrealistic control responses. My entire outlook on flight simulators changed when I got an opportunity to use AeroFly Professional.

    I saw the ads for AeroFly Professional, and they claim world-class pilots use this simulator to practice. I remember thinking, "Sure they do. It must be an ad ploy." Let me tell you, this is by far one of the most realistic simulators that I have used to date, especially if you are into the large 35%+ TOC-type aircraft and TOC-type helicopters. Also don't be fooled by the lower price compared to other sims, this one has all the punch for the money and then some.

    Wolfgang and Roland Matt were part of the design team which assisted IPACS in developing this software. Both are among the worlds best pilots. A lot of thought went into the design of this program to give you superior flight realism. When you get behind the sticks of the large Giles or Cap 232 and begin to hover and torque roll, you have to remind yourself that you are on a simulator in front of your computer and not at a world class IMAC event. It is that good!


    The minimum program requirements are:
    100% Pentium II compatible processor with at least 800Mhz
    128 MB RAM
    160MB free hard disc memory
    CD-ROM drive
    OpenGL ICD compatible graphic card with at least 16MB (also read here)
    100% DirectX compatible sound card
    Windows 98/ME/2000/XP with DirectX version 8.0a or higher
    A free 9 pin serial port (COM port) and a trainer output on your transmitter

    Supported Radios:
    JR, Futaba,
    HITEC, Multiplex, Airtronics, Graupner, Sanwa, Robbe

    Price:
    $139 for the Interface Version. $189 for the Commander Version. Far below some of the other high end sims on the market. Right now www.aeroflypro.com offers free shipping as well. I opted for both versions; one I gave as a gift, the Commander version I kept for when my son is ready to use it so he won't destroy any of my field radios. If you purchase the Commander version you get both the cables for your own radio and the Commander box.

    Notable Included Features:
    2 player mode - 3D landscape - Contests - Fly VTOLS (Harrier AV-8) - Fly jets - Glider towing - Scenery dependant thermals - Glider soaring - Superb graphics - Autorotation - Flight recording - Smoke system - Use own radio straight to the computer - Edit aircraft parameters - Heads-up nav guides - Multi-cam - Pilot position change - Auto-zoom for better aircraft visibility - Aircraft follow view mode - Include own music - Flying around/into/on scenery objects - Unlimited horizontal flying field -  Collision detection and restart - Breakaway damage from stress - Breakaway damage from impact

    Other Features Available With Free Downloads:
    Hundreds of free downloads - Create your own scenery - Create your own planes - Water landings - Bomb dropping - Banner towing - Control line - Object tethering - More

    Download English manual - PDF
    Download German manual - PDF
    Download French manual - PDF

    ___
    Interface Version_________________Commander Version
    AeroFly Professional comes in two versions: Interface Version for your transmitter or the Commander Version that comes with a 5 channel RC controller. Both versions let you use your own RC transmitter via a plug into its buddy box connection. The cable connects to the 9 pin serial port on your computer. There is a connector for JJR, Futaba, HITEC, Multiplex, Airtronics, Graupner, Sanwa and Robbe transmitters. The Commander controller has a dummy 2-stick conventional RC transmitter with single switch that plugs into your computer game port (15 pin game port). There are USB adapters available if you need to convert for about $15 on the web.
    Also there is a new dongle available for the new Futaba square type plug that you can purchase for $12. It will work with other simulators as well and is sold at www.aeroflypro.com with or without the sim.
    Boxshot
    Hardware contents
    Multi language manual
    New toy for my inventory has arrived. Came complete with everything I needed to use my own radios. I own quite a few radios and the fact it came with all the adapters I needed really made me smile.
    Very detailed manual
    Main cable and JR connector
    Extra dongle for Airtronics, Futaba, Hitec, Lexors
    The manual was very complete and very thick. It was translated in several languages but has everything you need to know about the program. AFP is very user friendly. I still have yet to this day had to break open the manual.
    Adding the dongle to the cable
    Direct to JR radios
    Add the dongle for other radios
    Everything was very easy to install. The default plug goes right into JR radios. If you have another radio you need to use the supplied dongle. The new version Futaba cable is sold separate.
    Plug in 9 pin serial connector
    Install disc 1
    Install free Expansion Pack 1
    Although it comes with a 9 pin serial adapter I was surprised. However it freed my USB ports which most of my other external hardware uses. AFP now comes with the Expansion Pack Volume 1. This used to cost like 40 bucks, but now they throw it in for free, gotta love it.
    Install latest patch
    Ready to run
    Startup screen
     Like most software you buy today it must be updated. The patch for the software can be found right on the homepage of
     www.aeroflypro.com. Install complete, ready to run!

    Using AeroFly Pro

    When I first started the program, a really cool main menu screen appeared with a graphic containing a blueprint of a model aircraft, a picture of a flying site, a couple pictures of model planes, and a coffee cup. The first three buttons on the left allow you to choose the model that you wish to fly. Other menu buttons allow you to change the scenery from the different flying sites included with the program, edit the aircraft and controls, and calibrate the system to your controller.

    When you select "controls" a window pops up that shows you the available channels. You can adjust the ATV (travel adjust), servo reversing, as well as EXPO. Also AFP automatically detects your computer radio inputs for mixing which to me was just amazing.
    |
    Calibrating your radio has 2 modes, basic and advanced.

    Like a kid in a candy store, I quickly chose the Extra 300 and pressed the fly button without any regards to setting up the program. I was amazed that as soon as the program started, I was flying. There was no need to setup the program for my transmitter or channel reversing. It is nice to know that I did not need to spend a lot of time to begin using the program. Once I got a flight or two in on the Extra, I went back to the main menu and began to take a closer look at some of the other planes and flying scenery that the program offered. When selecting a new plane, a window pops up and you simply select the aircraft that you wish to fly. The program includes 35 different models including jets, helicopters, gliders, trainers, 3D models, warbirds as well as several flying sites.
     
    Aircraft editor screen will basically allow you to do anything that you can do on your real aircraft. There are dozens of parameters and settings to choose from.
     
    You can edit the aircraft in the program. You are able to make modifications to the dimensions, weights, engine, servos, gyro, torque and much more. AeroFly Professional gives you the ability to setup your simulator model to replicate your real model. I did not spend a lot of time in the this section because I really liked the way the models came with the program right out of the box.

    A calibrate feature on the main menu lets you match your transmitters stick and switch positions to that of the program. AeroFly Professional supports up to 12 channels. A bar graph gives you a visual indication of the control positions.
     
    The hot key screen shows you which keys are assigned. The helis are extremely accurate in flight physics as much as or even more so then the fixed wing aircraft.
     
    Having flown several different simulators available on the market today, I can honestly say that AeroFly Professional is the most realistic yet, especially when it comes to flying the large TOC type planes and helicopters that perform 3D maneuvers. The planes and helicopters look, feel, and react as you would expect them to in real life.

    If you are like me and find torque rolls to be one of the more difficult 3D maneuvers to practice with a real plane, then AeroFly Professional is for you. The graphics are so realistic that you almost forget you are flying a computer simulator. You can put your mind at ease knowing that if you make a wrong input, you will not be punching your expensive aircraft into the ground. Before you know it you will be performing torque rolls, hovering, and waterfalls as effortlessly as you take-off and land.

    Aircraft orientation is always something that I find difficult to get used to on flight simulators, especially when you lose view of the horizon. AeroFly Professional does a good job keeping the horizon visible on the screen. One of the cool features on this sim is 2nd window follow mode. If you become lost just look to the other window it will give you a follow mode view and will line you right up with your track. Using the sim I've learned the more you use it the easier it is to find the runway.
     
    View follow mode as 2nd screen in the top right corner is a lifesaver. It will show where you are if you become disoriented.
    I spent a lot of time flying the helicopters that are included with the program. Again, I was very impressed with how realistic the program simulated helicopter flight right down to the spinning of the rotor blades and smoke from the exhaust. While I believe the program really shines with the fixed wing models, you will not go wrong using AeroFly Professional for helicopters as well.

    Here is a great heli video that really shows you it's 3D capability.

    AeroFly Professional gives you the ability to change the view to which you see the model in flight. Points of reference are from the ground, following behind the model, and even from inside the cockpit. While the latter is not really helpful when practicing RC flight, it is pretty neat to see what "the pilot" would see when you are performing those wild aerobatic maneuvers. Something that could come in handy if moving into full scale aerobatics.

    Ribbon tracing is one of the best features on the sim in my book. It allows you to practice your IMAC routines very easily. Split screen 2 player mode for contests like drag racing.

    Another interesting feature that I found very useful is the "ribbon tracing". When you activate this feature, as your model flies through the air a colored ribbon is painted on the screen. When you begin another flight, it too will have a ribbon painted on the screen, just in a different color. Why is this useful? If your intentions are to practice freestyle routines, you understand how important it is for your airplane to be in specific locations at exactly the right times. Once you fly the routine with the first ribbon, you can compare all future flights to see how close you are to the original. I remember watching a video of Quique Somenzini flying in the 2000 TOC. He has an engine fail about a minute into the flight. He changed engines and then flew it again. If you skip between the two flights on your VCR, you will be amazed at how precisely choreographed his routine was. This feature on AeroFly Professional will aid you in perfecting your routine!

    After using the program for an hour or so, I began to lose my edge and try some things that I would not normally with a real model. Of course when you push the limits of your abilities, a crash eventually happens. AeroFly Professional does a good job of setting your mind back on course. When you crash a model, the program shows it in pieces and even replicates that haunting "crunch" sound that we all dread.

    Balloon popping is great for hovering practice. Pylon racing with the original Reno Racers in 2 player mode.

    There are several contests that you can fly to test and improve your flying skills. I found them to be very helpful, especially in judging how little control inputs are needed to get the model to react when flying "on the edge". Our local club only has one fun fly event per year. AeroFly Professional can get you to a fun fly 24 hours a day 7 days a week!

    SCREENSHOTS


    Hovering at Alcatraz



    Dozens of helis, including this Fury



    Breakaway crashes makes it more real



    Glider towing for 2 players



    The AV8 Harrier is loads of fun
     

    MORE SCREENSHOTS*
    *Please note all screenshots below require free downloads to run.


    Bomb drop on an RV*



    Control line capability*



    Formation flying, 2 player mode*



    Hundreds of downloads like this blimp*



    New photo realistic sceneries with terra forming backgrounds*



    Missile firing capability*



    Bomb dropping B-47 on Aircraft Carrier*



    Dog barks when you get to close*



    New photo realistic scenery available*



    Wings up on the Corsair*


    I believe that AeroFly Professional is a great tool for taking you to the next level in RC flight. If you are into Pattern, 3D, Helicopters, IMAC, Gliders, and even Jets, this program is sure to make you a better pilot. With Roland and Wolfgang Matt endorsing and contributing to the product, you know that it has to be great! I do not think you will find a simulator that excels in 3D as well as AeroFly Professional. As far as saving you from crashes on the field, I don't think that there is a better $139 that you could invest in this hobby to keep your RC planes and helis in 1 piece.
    noid was here
    Official AeroFly Pro Retailer:

    Company Headquarters
    4224 Pennywood Drive
    Beavercreek OH 45430
    937-429-3056
    www.ohiomodelproducts.com
    www.aeroflypro.com

    Exclusive N. American Importer:


    5876 Enterprise Parkway
    Billy Creek Commerce Center
    Fort Myers, FL 33905,
    239-690-0003

    Manufacturer:

    Ikarus Germany
    Im Webertal 22
    78713 Schramberg-Waldmössingen, Germany
    +49 - 7402 - 929 190
    www.ikarus.net

    Software Created By:

    IPACS, Germany
    www.ipacs.de


    Comments on RCU Review: Ikarus AeroFly Pro

    Posted by: OK2Fly on 01/08/2010
    problem with the interface cable when loading aerofly professional deluxe ver1.9.1.3
    Posted by: oldokie on 01/09/2010

    Page: 1
    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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