|Contributed by: Michael Parsons | Published: January 2007 | Views: 196330 | Email this Article
80 Newfield Avenue
Edison, NJ 08837
Simulators have become a staple in today's RC market. They are
indispensable when it comes to training hobby newcomers or letting
seasoned pilots practice and try maneuvers prior to taking them
to the field.
XTR Flight Simulator was developed by Reflex in
Germany. Reflex has been a growing and developing product
since 1992. The newest version released from REFLEX and
distributed by Model Rectifier Corporation in the States is Reflex
XTR uses actual photo scenery and the aircraft interact with the
terrain around them. This is realism at its finest.
Pentium 4 1200 MHz
GB available hard disk
8.1-capable 3D hardware accelerated video card with at
least 32 MB video ram - AGP2x or better. Shared RAM
and 3D software emulation is not supported.
transmitter with student or DSC socket of at least 4 channels,
mode. Most PCM radios can be switched to PPM mode. PCM transmitters
without PPM support are not supported.
system Windows 98/98SE/ME/2000 and XP
XTR is packaged in a very eye catching box. The contents
contain the installation CD, USB security Dongle and cable
that is specific to the brand of Radio that will be used.
the photo to the left shows the JR cable which plugs into
the Buddy Box port on the rear of my 9303.
version of Reflex XTR that was shipped for review was 5.02.01.
There are two additional versions available at the time of this
review which are 5.02.02 and 5.03.0. With each updated version
release Reflex brings new features to the table. Additional sceneries,
enhanced program applications and new tweaks the end user can
control over aircraft are all part of the updates. And the best
part about the updates is they are free and ready for download.
install went off without a hitch. Simply popping in the disk into
the CD drive and four clicks gets through the prompts and the
program installing. Once it is complete, a folder will be placed
in your start up folder as well as a shortcut icon on your desktop.
Double clicking on the desktop icon will start the program.
taking off into the wild blue yonder a couple of things have to
take place. Upon startup, a window will pop up requesting that
you center all of the sticks for calibration. After this is complete,
the program will be ready to run. However, you will need to assign
channel inputs. This is done from the options menu. The setup
will be different depending on the brand of Radio being used.
This did take some trial and error to get the channels mapped
correctly. If a control input is not working correctly the first
try, simply open the assignment menu and change that variable.
HTML help menu is available from the menu system that is easy
to navigate and can be printed should you want a hard copy to
refer too. It is always a good idea to read through it when you
have some time. But if you are like me, you want to get in the
air as quick as possible.
your pleasure, Reflex has it. From Giant Scale to indoor to slope
soaring, it's there. The planes are either modeled from full scale
aircraft or exact replicas of models both past and present. There
really is something for everyone. Above are a few photos of the
heli's and planes available. This is in no way a complete representation
as there are many more than what I have shown.
model physics look incredible There are a few planes within the
simulator that I have personally owned. Going over the physical
representation of them, they are dead ringers. And why wouldn't
they be, since many of them are modeled from actual photographs
of the planes that they represent.
attention to detail has been put into the modeling of the aircraft
and how that model represents itself to the surroundings. In some
planes, you can see the electronics through the translucent canopy.
Also the aircrafts shadow conforms to the surrounding terrain.
And the terrain interacts with the model as well, such as the
suns reflection on the aircraft at the appropriate angle. And
get this, as certain planes roll across the runway, the gear flex
under the weight of the aircraft. This is realism at its best!
flight characteristics are fantastic. High winged planes self-correct
and certain planes even slightly tuck in knife edge flight like
most of my models before tweaking occurs. I don't get a sense
of perfection or canned physics from flying the aircraft. This
creates a real world feel and benefits the end user into knowing
exactly what to expect from a trainer, inside foamy to Giant Scale
damage is also present. The plane does not break apart, but reflects
damage to the area impacted. Hit a wing and the wing appears to
be crushed. While aircraft damage is not a pleasant sight, Reflex
repairs the effected areas with the click of a button. I wish
I had that feature in real life!
flying fields are modeled from actual photographs in the same
manner as the aircraft. The fields are comprised of 8130x3060
panoramic images that provide a 360 degree visual and surround
the user in amazing dynamic eye candy.
XTR installs with numerous flying fields to choose from. From
the 3D masters field to the Rotes Cliff which gives you full soaring
ability over a beach at sunset. The scenery is truly stunning.
the terrains are not just appealing to look at. They also contain
physical interactions that any aircraft reacts too. When the pilot
steers an airplane from short grass to tall grass for example,
the plane reacts and it requires more throttle to clear the rough.
Even causing a nose over in some instances. Not limited to ground
terrain, hit a tree or bush on final and expect the aircraft to
stop in its tracks. The best example of the 3D terrain has to
be the indoor facility (Sporthalle Roedinghausen). While one can
expect that the walls will cause a physical reaction to the aircraft,
the fact that the plane can be hovered on the second floor, flown
behind support polls and dipped behind a basketball goal, really
gives an unlimited realistic appearance.
neat feature is sun glare. Flying your plane in to the sun creates
a realistic blinding scenario. I found myself actually squinting
needlessly. I had to laugh just a bit at the automatic reflex
can also actually fly a plane beyond the visual range. I took
the Breitling Eagle to point of no return flying the Horizon as
well as specking it out vertically. At a point the plane appears
to disappear in the clouds as the model washes out. I have flown
sims that felt like they had a ceiling limitation, but that feeling
is not present with Reflex XTR.
wasn't quite sure whether to detail the no fly zone feature in
training or scenery. As it really applies to both. The feature
will train new pilots to get accustomed to not flying over the
pits or behind them in general. When the aircraft reaches beyond
a safe point behind the pilot, a no fly zone is represented by
red lines. When the aircraft broaches this "safety shield",
it causes the aircraft to reset. The only caveat to this and one
that will allow the plane to continue to fly while the no fly
zone is displayed, is when the plane is a certain height above
XTR provides training tools for users to learn and practice. For
example the program can be set to start a plane at a desired altitude
to allow for users just learning to recreate a field trainer situation
where the training officer puts the plane in pattern and hands
the controls over the student. For landing practice the user can
duplicate the desired altitude and have the program create a landing
approach that the pilot can follow to practice landings until
they are perfected.
training features are available such as torque training for airplanes
and hover practice with helicopters. With torque training you
can select as many or as little inputs you desire to perfect this
maneuver. Each control point can be input one at a time until
each one is perfected and progressed at the users comfort level.
For a real challenge there is a training feature called promenade.
This training sequence places the pilot walking around the aircraft
and allows practicing hovering as the view points change.
training gives the user the same flexibility as torque training.
Heli training can be taken to the next level with the ability
to practice autoration. Engine failure and rotor failure can also
be configured in to practice those less than ideal situations.
are completely customizable in Reflex. Anything can be changed
from physical parameters to operational parameters. Changing the
thrust engine or sound file happens with a click of the mouse.
And just as easy is changing the smoke density, CG, weight and
just about any other flight characteristic to get the plane flying
the way you want it. The Model editor also lets you change the
physical characteristics. Remove colors or adding them is a feature
that is very user friendly.
the more adventurous and design savvy users, Reflex offers two
editors so a user can create models as well as scenery. RSK (Reflex
Scenery Construction) and RMK (Reflex Model Construction). The
scenery construction editor offers features such as:
I was shipped 5.01 for review, I figured I would touch on the
additions that 5.03 brought to the table. To download and upgrade
from 5.01 to 5.03 took about 10 minutes. Remember that updates
are free, so once you receive Reflex, go to the updates section
and update it to the latest version. Here are the additions:
of preview images in the Model selection dialog.
of preview images in the Scenery selection dialog.
new sceneries: AMA (Muncie), Hahnweide (Kirchheim/Teck), Mill
Hill (Shoreham) und Propnuts Las Vegas.
new models: BO105 from Graupner, Indian Spirit indoor and Indian
Spirit outdoor from AEROart-Electric-Models plus PITTS SPECIAL
XTR is a top of the line Simulator that is extremely feature rich.
No matter what the expertise level of the user, this simulator
offers something for everyone. Whether you are into fixed wing
or heli aircraft Reflex XTR brings real world results to you from
the comfort of your chair. If you are looking for a Simulator
that breaths realism, look no further.
editors are there for those that would like to design their own
aircraft. For those (like me) that enjoy the work others do, a
great resource for downloading new scenes and aircraft is http://www.rc-sim.de/.
There are countless additions to be downloaded there from some
of the best designers available. While you must register to gain
the ability to download Reflex XTR files, it is well worth it.
80 Newfield Avenue
Edison, NJ 08837
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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