Calculations will still be high quality.
Windows 98* SE,
Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows Vista
1.0GHz or equivalent
512 MB RAM
3 GB hard drive
video with: 32 MB dedicated video memory, full Windows
DirectX 9 compliant (Pixel Shader 1.4 support)
For best graphical
Dual Core 2.4GHz CPU
2 GB RAM
3D Accelerated Video with:
256 MB dedicated video memory, Pixel Shader 2.0 support
There is so much
information online about flight simulators and in
particular RealFlight's G4. I'm not going to cover
each and every detail, rather explain what I like and how
I use it in my every day life.
I'll start with my computer. While it does meet the
minimum requirements, it's a long way from meeting the
optimal system specs. My computer is a P4 with 1gig
ram and a 128mb graphics card. It's not exactly
current. I'm curious to see how this goes.
Installation is the first
step to enjoying G4. The cd case contains 4 disks
and they must all be installed. Everything went very
smooth as the menus prompt your actions during
installation. After installation, plug in your
interlink controller and fly.
The controller works and
acts very much like any 6 channel transmitter. It
has switches you'll need for helicopter idle up and
throttle hold settings, dual rates, flaps and smoke.
It also offers a reset button, and a menu selector.
Basically, everything within the G4 program can be found
and selected by the controller. Of course, you can
still use your keyboard and mouse, but it's not necessary.
screen offers a few choices on the left which can be
selected by clicking the MENU/SELECT button on the
transmitter. These are shortcuts to things you'll
use most often and they disappear during flight. It
starts at the top with an icon to select aircraft, then
airports, a navigation guide, transmitter view, binoculars
for a close up view, video preview and a variometer for
an airplane or field is very simple. Click the
menu/select button on the controller and you'll see
highlighted the airplane icon highlighted in blue, the
other icons will be shaded in gray. Click the
menu/select button again and a list of airplanes appears,
or scroll down one to select airports. Use the
scroll selector on the right side of the controller to
choose your airplane or airport, then click the
menu/select button to fly.
pilots would love to have a pro at their field to watch
them fly, pick their brain and learn from their
advice. Well want no more, G4 brings a few of the
pros to us in there Virtual Instructor. Not only
will a few of the top pilots in the world show you how
they fly, they'll talk you through the maneuvers so you
can learn how to do them yourself.
secret if you want to get better, learning from someone
better than you is a good start. No better training
aid has their been than learning from a pilot and G4
brings it right to your very own screen. Absolutely
fantastic! I've seen Pete Niotis fly in person,
in fact I've seen him fly quite a bit as we belong to the
same club. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have
that advantage. Having Pete and the other pro's on G4
showing and telling us how they fly is probably my favorite feature on
G4. Now everyone with G4 has access to these pilots.
love the competitions and multiplayer modes. Just
because I'm grounded in the winter months doesn't mean I
can't still fly with the guys in my club. Hooking up
to multiplayer allows me to chat and fly with the guys I
normally have fun with throughout the summer. We've
even had club meetings where we hooked up the simulator to
a projector and had flight competitions with each
other. It's a great way to keep the club active
during the winter months.
for kicks, you can experience a little night flying.
Beware, it can be addictive.
the navigation links at the top of the screen. Using the
mouse you find options to calibrate the controller,
participate in events, multiplayer, recordings, training
and views. it's from these menus the G4 world opens
up and lets you in.
As you can
see in the pictures G4 is not a game. It's also not
just a simple "here's an airplane, go fly"
program. It is however a tool to that can be used to
have fun, teach, learn, compete, design and build.
is also a good place to talk about the physics behind
G4. I actually know very little about how they
get the airplanes to fly so closely to the real thing,
but should I decide to learn G4 will let me build
aircraft to my exacting design parameters. How
much time and money would that save a guy trying to do
it in his workshop with the real thing? With G4,
the scratch designer and builder can see his idea and
fly a very close simulation prior to ever touching a
piece of wood or foam.
do know is how the aircraft on G4 feel compared to the
real thing. I can honestly say the dynamics of
each aircraft are closely matched to the real
thing. Of course there is no substitute for
flying the real thing, but this does serve as an
incredibly accurate tool in experiencing what it's
like to fly r/c. If you've never tried one, find
a local hobby shop that has a display and give it a
go. It's pretty incredible how they've figured
out and duplicated r/c flight so closely. It's
quite impressive for a $200 program.
together a quick video to show a few aspects of G4 which
should give you a feel for what it's like if you've never
used or seen it before. You'll see me attempt to fly
a few aircraft I wouldn't fly in real life (part of why I
really like G4) and show you what will happen in different
situations. For example, I'll crash a helicopter,
fly right at myself, fly into the sun and experiment in
It's extremely difficult
to capture video of G4 as I see it on my computer, so
you'll have to judge the graphics by looking at the still
pictures below and use the video as a demonstration of
what it might be like to fly with the software.
Keep in mind as
you look at the video and the pictures below. My computer is not
the latest and greatest, so I can't reach the full potential of
the software's abilities. I did however grab a few screen
shots for you to get an idea of how it looks on a computer likely
to be less powerful than yours. In the shots below, I have
G4 graphics set very basic so as to keep the frame rate higher and
allow my computer to keep up with the software. For those of
you with a decent processor and a good graphics card, G4 should be
On the surface it appears this is a
very simple and basic program. If you dig a little deeper however,
you'll quickly realize it's incredibly advanced for all levels of
r/c flight. Whether you're just beginning to fly or you've
been flying for years, G4 will keep you busy.
As an experienced airplane pilot,
I love that I'm able to try new area's of R/C without risking
financial loss. I've flown helicopters in the past, but
never enough to consider myself experienced. G4 helps keep
my skills fresh so when I do decide to return to the heli scene,
my thumbs are ready. I also really enjoy the way it helps
keep me flying during the winter months. Michigan winters go
from about November to March so having G4 keeps me flying year
round. And for the
most part the only thing missing from this experience is a
scratch-and-sniff card so I can smell the nitro or gas as I
fly and a fan to simulate a windy day. The rest is pretty
All this for the price of a 40
size ARF. If it helps prevent one flight disaster, it is
worth every penny. Training on G4 as a beginner or simply
keeping those old veteran thumbs fresh is worth the price of
admission. This truly was a surprise to me as an experienced
pilot that I would enjoy it as much as I do. It allows me to
try new things, the things my nervous thumbs don't let me try in
real life. The result is the building of confidence that
allows those thumbs to move the sticks when flying for real.
This really is a tool to be used
by beginner and experienced pilots alike.
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.