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how well do flight sims replace trainers?

Old 08-13-2008, 08:56 PM
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MChronicleSword
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Default how well do flight sims replace trainers?

or in other words prepare me to fly non-trainers

FMS to be exact. that is the only flight sim i have, i have the USB transmitter for it and i dont want to buy another flight sim or a trainer. not up to spending the money
Old 08-13-2008, 09:16 PM
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Jetdesign
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

Not sure if you mean to ask "can I skip flying a trainer if I use a sim?" then the answer is absolutely not.

If you mean to ask "how well will the sim prepare me to move beyond my trainer?" then I would say very much so.

I used FMS; it helped me learn orientation and to train my thumb movements - that's it. Nothing will teach you to fly except for flying a real RC plane. Now once you've got that part down, FMS will help you to fly a plane that requires you to roll it back when you are done making a turn, and will allow you to practice 'beyond training' maneuvers. Again, it won't replace doing it for real, but will prepare you at least for how to recover.
Old 08-13-2008, 09:40 PM
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carrellh
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

In my opinion, they don't.

I have RealFlight G3.5 and one of my planes is a trainer. The trainer in RealFlight handles a lot like my model in flight but takeoff and landing is less realistic.

Almost any model in RealFlight will make a perfectly straight take off roll and will climb out if you slam full throttle and give a tiny bit of up elevator after picking up some speed. Real models often do not do that.

If your 'second plane' will be a 40 size, the price of a 40 size trainer ARF airframe is really cheap for learning the basics and getting soloed. Wear out the trainer, or fly it until you are bored, then move the engine and electronics to the other plane.

One example of 80 dollar ARF trainer
http://www3.omnimodels.com/cgi-bin/w...I=TOWA1110&P=0

The model airplane hobby is not cheap. It gets even more expensive if you try to jump past certain steps in the learning curve and end up destroying your stuff.
Old 08-13-2008, 09:56 PM
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RCKen
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

Ditto what has been said already. They don't replace a trainer.

Think of it this way. I use Microsoft Fligth Simulator and I can fly a 747 from one coast to the other. Do you think that I'm ready to take the controls of a real one??

In fact, if a simulator is used incorrectly it can actually do more harm that good. You can develop very bad habits from using a simulator without proper instruction.

Here's a list of some of the "bad" habits one can develop:
1) Failing to keep the plane straight during takeoff run.
2) Climbing out too steep.
3) Not maintaining a constant altitude while turning.
4) Turns that aren't smooth, too sharp, etc.
5) Forgetting that there is a left stick.
6) Not lining up with the runway during landing approach.
7) Using ailerons instead of rudder to make course corrections when landing.
8) Using the elevator to extend the landing when you realize you're short.
9) Failure to learn the signs that a plane is about to stall, and what to do to avoid it, or recover from it.


The sim is NOT:
[ul][*]Going to teach you how to tune your engine [*]Going to teach you how to correct fuel system problems [*]Going to teach you how to set up your linkages [*]Going to show you about lateral inbalance and surface warp [*]Going to locate errors in assembly [*]Going to teach you how to maiden a plane [*]Going to trim out your plane [*]Going to simulate other flyers at the field [*]Going to blow a hard gust of air at your plane at just the wrong time [*]Going to simulate that hard sink thermal just off the runway threshold, though doable in G4 [*]Going to have a bird come out and attack your plane in the air [*]Going to give you the weak knees you'll get the first time you fly [*]Going to throw a bug in your face and the sun glare in your eyes at the wrong time
[/ul]

Ken
Old 08-13-2008, 10:35 PM
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?


ORIGINAL: MChronicleSword

or in other words prepare me to fly non-trainers

FMS to be exact. that is the only flight sim i have, i have the USB transmitter for it and i dont want to buy another flight sim or a trainer. not up to spending the money
This may not be the hobby for you...

Just kidding of course but most people spend a LOT of money in this hobby. However the simulator(s) have save me a lot of money in crashed planes. Even after you learn to fly they are great for practicing that new manouver and committing the muscle memory in your thumbs before trying it out at the feild. I feel simulators help a lot in this hobby. I am recently assited in the instruction of one student that used a sim and am working with a new that does as well. The first is soloed and the second is progressing quickly. Both are flying H9 P-51 PTS's and these are ideal for them as that plane "progresses" into a good second plane after the training aids are removed and the prop is replaced with a 11x6 two blade.
Old 08-14-2008, 12:19 AM
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Campgems
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

I tried FMS when I first started three years back. I couldn't fly a full minute without a simulated crash. I couldn't find the runway. Really disapointing. Then I got my trainer, and an instructor and although I was really slow, something about an old dog and new tricks I guess, I finally soloed. that was a couple years back now. I've crashed a number of planes now, none of them jumped up and got back on the runway for another take off.

Just yesterday, I stumbled across the FMS cable, so I fired it up again. I can't fly a full minute without a simulated crash. I can't find the runway. Really disapointing. HEy, I said that already. Nothing changed on the PC. I'm better on the real field.

Learn to fly the real model. Cross winds, distractions, wind direction changes, gust, sun, clouds, Birds. all the things that make up a flight don't happen on a simulator. Doing predictable things is one thing, but handeling unpredictable ones is what makes you a pilot. That and the knowledge that your plane isn't going to suddenly show up on the runway just after a crash, but is going to take several hours of work to get it there.

Don
Old 08-14-2008, 12:37 AM
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ErikElvis
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

the only experience I have with sims is the one that came with the nexstar. About the only thing it was good for was seeing how the plane reacts when inverted. I spent about a total of an hour on that thing. It oversimplified take-offs and you really had no sense of where the ground was when landing. now if your practicing 3D a good sim might help you out. But for general sport flying I wont buy one. They just dont seem real to me. Kinda like being book smart compared to trained on the job.
Old 08-14-2008, 01:58 AM
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flyX
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

There's wasn't any sims avaliable when I learned to fly.

I don't have any problems finding the runway or setting proper veiw settings in sims.
A sim can be a very helpful tool. Such as praticing rolling left and right

However, simulator will never be able to replace the excersize your eyes need to focus on a small flying object.
There's no way around it. A PC screen will be stationary and only a couple of feet away from your eyes.
Verse when flying a real R/C model, your eyes will get strain.
I couldn't even fly more than 5 mins when I first learned to fly becuase i would get a headache.

This is why most new pilots crash or make mistakes. The more tired you are, the more mistakes you will make...or I did.lol
Don't worry..a trainer will seem way too fast and too touchy for a new r/c pilot.
You'll get the same thrill as if you're flying an extra when you make a torque roll for the first time.

I asked my instructor to remove throw becuase the trainer was way to touchy when I first learned to fly. He said no !


I love that trainer..I wish I'd never crashed it.
Old 08-14-2008, 02:24 AM
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tIANci
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

Sim is great for orientation and to teach you to use minute input. The newbies I have been teaching are really learning fast as they have the advantage of a sim BUT its not the same as the real thing.
Old 08-14-2008, 04:34 AM
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cappaj1
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

I've recently gone through this as a newbie and so can give you first hand experience at answering your question.

One thing you didn't mention is if you have an actual controller with the software. If you don't, the below doesn't apply.

If you do though, and you turn on the wind to 11mph or so and activate turbulence which I imagine your software can do (mine does but I have Real Flight G4), the sim is an excellent tool at teaching you how to fly - to a point.

If you spend the time on it, that's the most important thing, and you try to imagine that a crash is really a crash resulting in repairs, lost time and money, etc., and you duplicate real world conditions as much as possible such as wind and turbulence, I assure you it will surely teach you the stick movements in relation to what the airplane does. Also, if your sim has it, turn on Flight Failures, especially engine kills so you are forced to experience frequent unexpected deadstick landings.

A couple things that are different are depth perception and airplane tracking. In real life you have to turn you're head to watch the airplane. With the sim you don't. Also the ground doesn't disappear from view in real life as it does in the sim. Also, take-offs and landings are much easier on the sim than in real life. Last, and this is the biggest difference, is what I call the fear factor. On the sim you have no fear of crashing or having a mishap. In real life, when your new and have your first airplane in the sky, most people are nervous about something going wrong and/or making a mistake. This really affects your confidence, speed to react and most important your motor skills at controlling the sticks. I get fairly shakey in the hands and legs sometimes flying in real life and I've heard alot of others experience the same thing.

After saying all that, I wouldn't be surprised in the least that someone who spent enough time on a sim could learn to fly rc airplanes, minus the takeoffs and landings. Most won't though. They'll develop bad habits and have alot of fun crashing their airplanes on the sim. Pushing the reset button is too easy. There are exceptions but they're not the rule. I've seen young kids come to our training nights after spending alot of time on a sim and on their first flight they are doing loops, rolls, and in general flying fairly well. But more common is a person who spends alot of time on a sim and then tries their first flight in the real world and has a really difficult time. I wouldn't want EITHER type person taking off or especially landing. An instructor and a buddy box are higher on my list than a sim at learning how to fly, especially for take offs and landings.
Old 08-14-2008, 06:07 AM
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

Sims don't replace a trainer.....I've flown sims never seen one yet that lands correctly...or stalls correctly for that matter...
I used one this past weekend while teachin a student to take off..sims was alot easier
Old 08-14-2008, 07:28 AM
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simmo8
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

one decent crash will pay for a sim which may have prevented the crash in the firstplace
i found the sim has helped my heli flying with my reverce orientation especialy

no a sim will not replace a trainer

have fun

simmo
Old 08-14-2008, 09:41 AM
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spiral_72
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?


ORIGINAL: Campgems

......I couldn't fly a full minute without a simulated crash. I couldn't find the runway. Really disapointing....................Nothing changed on the PC. I'm better on the real field.........

Don
Agreed, I thought it was just me. I'm much better at the field than on the sim.... Still that's not saying much.

The sim teaches you orientation and is a good tool to learn basic control of a new maneuvers ( knife edges, hovering, inverted, flat spins, etc. ) But what's on the sim just vaguely represents reality.
Old 08-14-2008, 09:48 AM
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-pkh-
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

From what I've seen/experienced, if you have some simulator experience, you can typically solo in 3-6 flights with an instructor. Without a sim, you may have many more flights before you solo, maybe 10-20 or more depending on how often you can get an instructor to take you up.

The sim won't replace training with an instructor, but it will accelerate your learning when you are first starting out.
Old 08-14-2008, 03:51 PM
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

Deleted by originator.
Old 08-14-2008, 08:10 PM
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

Many forget the intangibles a trainer provides other than "flight" instruction.
- Safety rules and protocol at the field (frequency control, pit rules, right of way, etc)
- Engine tuning and troubleshooting (better to learn on a stock 40 than possibly burn up an expensive motor)
- Trimming / CG
- Finally there is no replacing the real thing and the jitters and nerves that everyone needs to conquer. You can't just push a button and take off again after your split a wing in two.
Old 08-14-2008, 11:03 PM
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?


ORIGINAL: MChronicleSword

or in other words prepare me to fly non-trainers

FMS to be exact. that is the only flight sim i have, i have the USB transmitter for it and i dont want to buy another flight sim or a trainer. not up to spending the money
Don't want to buy a trainer ? Are you suggesting that you want to skip the trainer and go straight to more advanced airplanes ?

If thats what you mean, it doesn't work. All the sim time in the world won't do that for you. Sims help. But sims can't substitute flying a trainer.

Trainers are cheap ! And if you are lucky, someone at the local field might just give you one. Where do old trainers go ? Sometimes to lucky newbies.

Food is expensive. Gas is expensive. Everything is expensive. But airplanes are an absolute essential !!! Just do what ever it takes to get an airplane. You won't regret it.
Old 08-15-2008, 12:39 AM
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amdhotprocessor
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

Everyone is different. FMS isnt the greates but.. I do have a friend who learned completly alone on a sim how to fly a trainer, he built his own with my help and soloed the thing perfect the first time..... I know another guy that has had a sim and uses it daily for months and is still getting the hang of it.

Its your several hundered dollars flying around.
Old 08-15-2008, 01:41 AM
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brett65
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?


ORIGINAL: RCKen


The sim is NOT:
[ul]
[*]Going to give you the weak knees you'll get the first time you fly [*]Going to throw a bug in your face and the sun glare in your eyes at the wrong time
[/ul]

Ken
I heard they were working this for the G5 release![sm=wink_smile.gif]
Old 08-15-2008, 02:06 AM
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flyX
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

^^^^^

That should be easy...Just install a file to crash your PC everytime you crash in a sim.
Old 08-15-2008, 09:55 AM
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MikeL
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

Sims are great for what they are. That's sitting at your desk, playing a computer game perhaps in a purposeful way. They can help build reflexes and help with orientation, but really that's about it. They can't teach you the intangibles that come along with each flight. They can't model your imperfect model, and all models are imperfect.

Want to skip buying a trainer? Read a lot about the principles of flight. Have an idea of how things work before you show up. Find an instructor who will teach you on his trainer. After that, you might decide that having a predictable model that will forgive you for your mistakes might not be such a bad thing. Skill is built through knowledge and experience. Stick time is probably cheaper for a new guy with a trainer than with a second plane before he's ready.
Old 08-15-2008, 11:18 AM
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

MikeL. your avitar scares me. ^^^^^^^
Old 08-15-2008, 07:24 PM
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

I can see the positive and negative sides of sim training. I think they have a place in the learning process, but they do NOT substitute for the "real thing". ESPECIALLY that "fear factor" you experience (and the INCREDIBLE RUSH!!!! ) when your "real" plane is in the air and you realize that if you screw up, it IS a big deal and can cost a big sack of cash... That "RUSH" is what really got me into flying RC's wholeheartedly

But on the positive side, you DO learn to recognize how the plane moves in terms of it's attitude from your point of view. Intellectually, you may know that when a plane is moving toward you, that you move the aileron stick in the direction of the wing that is dipping or the way you wish to turn, but a sim can really help you get that particular "muscle memory" training down without getting the "death spiral". But in the end, sims are GOOD but they don't simulate the chaotic factors you encounter in the real world (I LOVE the example of a bird attacking your plane! I haven't seen that one yet, but I can't wait to!!!).... and the "blood pressure" effect is something you can NEVER get with a sim!

On another positive note, I know a kid who's 12 years old, spent about 3-4 weeks flying the G4 trainer, and the FIRST time he grabbed the stick on a real plane, an electric Cessna, he took off and landed on his own! (not "perfectly", but hey, any landing you can take off again from is a "good" landing ) That's probably NOT the norm or the rule, but it DID happen....

I like FMS just for it's ability to get me used to how the plane is going to turn and move directionally in terms of how it's oriented in the air and how it's oriented from the fixed camera POV. I can't say that sims are "worthless", because I've learned alot from it, but it didn't show me how to trim my plane, fuel it up, start it, tune the engine, check the throws, or what happens when a plane REALLY goes down..... i got that experience the hard way...... [:@] and I will MOST LIKELY continue to get those lessons "the hard way" in the future.

But I still dig the "rush" [>:] of knowing that that's MY plane in the air and I'M flying it and if "I" hose it up and don't watch my butt it's gonna get ugly.... and embarassing... [:'(] Short of hooking your PC up to an adrenaline pump, a sim can't deliver this visceral feeling
Old 08-15-2008, 09:05 PM
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AstroDad
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?

I am a bit surprised to hear so many people do not fully appreciate simulators. I am sure the simulator greatly accelerated my learning to fly RC.

I got G4 a couple weeks before I had my model and learned to fly RC in G4. Only recently have I been able to catch up with a real instructor. We had a single flight on the buddy box and then he said I was done because I was already doing all they were teaching. Of course I am not an aerobatic pro, but they were only doing a beginners class and said I would be wasting my time.

So for me the simulator enabled me to fly my first plane from day-1 of having it. I also recently upgraded to a more advanced model and I spent a lot of time in the simulator preparing for the jump up. I do not think any plane in the simulator really exactly matches the flight of my new model, but by flying a wide variety of planes in the simulator prepared me to handle my new plane from day-1.

Sure I could have accomplished the same thing by hanging out at the field every Tuesday and participating in the beginner flying class, but how many weeks or months would have gone by before I could solo and how many crashes would I have had in the first flew flights of soloing! Anyway the simulator really allowed me to start enjoying the hobby a lot quicker.
Old 08-16-2008, 08:01 AM
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Default RE: how well do flight sims replace trainers?


ORIGINAL: AstroDad

I am a bit surprised to hear so many people do not fully appreciate simulators. I am sure the simulator greatly accelerated my learning to fly RC.

I got G4 a couple weeks before I had my model and learned to fly RC in G4. Only recently have I been able to catch up with a real instructor. We had a single flight on the buddy box and then he said I was done because I was already doing all they were teaching. Of course I am not an aerobatic pro, but they were only doing a beginners class and said I would be wasting my time.

So for me the simulator enabled me to fly my first plane from day-1 of having it. I also recently upgraded to a more advanced model and I spent a lot of time in the simulator preparing for the jump up. I do not think any plane in the simulator really exactly matches the flight of my new model, but by flying a wide variety of planes in the simulator prepared me to handle my new plane from day-1.

Sure I could have accomplished the same thing by hanging out at the field every Tuesday and participating in the beginner flying class, but how many weeks or months would have gone by before I could solo and how many crashes would I have had in the first flew flights of soloing! Anyway the simulator really allowed me to start enjoying the hobby a lot quicker.
It's all in how one practices! You are a great example of the proper use of a sim. Folks who just take off and fly the "in blue" without a goal, rarely are successful with a sim. Then when they show up for lessons, they are very tough to train because of the bad habits.

Congrats!

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