How would you rate RF to the real thing?

Yarddog88

New member
New Flyer here, I have a glow .40 Hobbico trainer, 1 .46 ExtraEasy trainer and ordered the Hobbyzone Cub to learn on first. i have been playing with RF for a week and have the cub flying great with no issues, i found safe mode was ok for the first couple flights but really hampers the aircrafts turning radius. i have mixed my glow training to the PT-40 and NextStar, since they closely resemble the ExtraEasy and Superstar trainers i have. the pt-40 is slightly faster due to shorter wingspan, with the Nextstar being able to fly slower on takeoff and landing.
the Cub should be delivered in a week, and i planned on flying it for a while before moving up to my glow trainer, and was thinking of buddy boxing the first day of flying at the club. I have a very large field in front of my house so most of my flying will be at home.
my question;
How would you rate RF to the real deal?
with settings turned to realistic, wind set to real world levels etc, how much of a difference am i looking at when flying the real thing? RF seems easy to fly these trainers, and with careful and conservatives flying i can handle the larger E-Flite Mustang, though i really have to be on point and not try anything stupid.

Also, what advice would you offer to a new flyer in order to learn the most from the simulator?
 

Flapper

Active member
In terms of how the plane behaves in relation to the controls you give it, RealFlight is very, very "true-to-life".

The big change is the visual field you have that no computer can currently replicate - including VR goggles. Suddenly being able to have a wide field of vision and depth perception, plus the knowledge that if you incorrectly contact the ground, it is all over, can make for a rather fraught experience.

Do NOT try on your own until you have had some buddy box time with an instructor.

That said, if you have really practiced in RF, you will have a much shorter transition time to real life. I've had students who have soloed in as little as one day - but that is the extreme exception.
Get your buddy box sessions started ASAP, to help eliminate any bad habits you may have picked up during your self training (ie - one common one I see frequently is to be a "stick snapper" - releasing the stick to come back to center, and relying on "bumping" it to control the plane. There are many others that an instructor can help you avoid. The longer you "learn" with bad habits, the harder they are to change).
If you ever have to use the "reset" button in RF, then you need more practice. When you get confident in RF, change it up to make it harder - high winds, cross winds, turbulence, kill the throttle when in odd positions in the sky and try to make it back to the field, takeoff and land from different directions.
Read up on what an airport "traffic pattern" is, and mimic that as well as you can for learning landings. It can be very hard in RF, as you just don't have the visual field you have in real life. AVOID doing a half circle to turn around to make an approach to the runway - always do 2 90 degree turns. Very hard to do in RF, but it makes lining up in real life SO much easier.
 

Yarddog88

New member
thanks, I try to be as smooth as i can on the sticks, no erratic movements. good idea on the 2 90's. i see them do that at the field.
i tried to learn when I was about 10, some buddy flights. I just never caught on. now, in my mid 30's i came at this completely different. I try to be calculated, observe what the plane does based on my inputs, what it seems to like, and not like. I already joined AMA, and have the money for club dues. the only issue, is our club is very slow. maybe 5 active members. 1 fellow that lives near me has offered to teach me, between his and my own schedules it has not happened yet.
 

Flapper

Active member
BTW - it varies a bit based on the distance from the pilot station to the center of the runway, but in real life you generally want the plane just after the last turn to final approach to be directly off your shoulder. At a distance, it looks like it will be on course to hit you in the head! Keep the line - not angling to the runway. It will always end up there on its own. Again, harder in RF, as you have no shoulders!
Others are purists about standing square to the runway centerline. I have no issues with students slightly twisting their body a bit in the direction the plane is currently traveling, and turning their head a bit to look back at the plane. Helps a lot to overcome the perceived control reversal of a plane coming at you. Also hard to turn your body in one direction in RF, and look back! As you build experience, the need to turn gradually disappears. But, I can catch myself still doing it in really hairy situations, after 54 yrs of trying to fly....
 

marcushh777

Well-known member
How would you rate RF to the real deal?

Also, what advice would you offer to a new flyer in order to learn the most from the simulator?
BTW - it varies a bit based on the distance from the pilot station to the center of the runway, but in real life you generally want the plane just after the last turn to final approach to be directly off your shoulder. At a distance, it looks like it will be on course to hit you in the head! Keep the line - not angling to the runway. It will always end up there on its own. Again, harder in RF, as you have no shoulders!
I'm in agreement with flapper; I would add that the only thing missing from RealFlight is perspective; a two dimensional space vs a three dimensional space. You not only do not have shoulders (see flapper quote) but you also don't have depth dimensional perspective. Things 'look' quite a bit different at the real field. This is why a qualified instructor (and buddy box system) is crucial to get started at the real field.

That said, you are going to find that the simulator is extremely life-like; particularly as it concerns the E-Flite and Hangar9 planes with @SAFE and AS3X. The sensor assisted flight envelope and the stabilization software in the simulator is precisely the same as the real deal.

PS edit: when I land on the simulator (any field) (similar to flapper) I bring the plane around lower to the ground than you might imagine and I aim the plane at me. It does end up on the runway on its own usually with muscle memory crabbing the plane over with gentle yaw control. Most new sim users try to aim the plane for the runway... and end up in the grass or on the fence (Eli Field). Aim the plane at yourself, just off your imaginary shoulder. ;)

marcus
 

Yarddog88

New member
i wanted to give an update since i/m sure my question has come to mind to more than just myself. i flew a small sport cub for a few days, then stepped up to the Carbon Cub. simulator vs real life, it was pretty close. close enough to feel like i had a little experience on the first flight. i think the biggest help was already having a feel for how the aircraft responds to my inputs. i did notice on my carbon cub, i have to make a few go arounds most times i land. i have a habit of coming in too fast, likely not starting my approach far enough away. i do not have this problem on the simulator. i'll be buddy boxing on the first flight or so when i fire the glow engine trainer up.
 

marcushh777

Well-known member
i wanted to give an update since i/m sure my question has come to mind to more than just myself. i flew a small sport cub for a few days, then stepped up to the Carbon Cub. simulator vs real life, it was pretty close. close enough to feel like i had a little experience on the first flight. i think the biggest help was already having a feel for how the aircraft responds to my inputs. i did notice on my carbon cub, i have to make a few go arounds most times i land. i have a habit of coming in too fast, likely not starting my approach far enough away. i do not have this problem on the simulator. i'll be buddy boxing on the first flight or so when i fire the glow engine trainer up.
On the Carbon Cub be sure to use landing flaps (most of the way down) it will fly well low and slow. Also be sure to land 'into' the wind; throttle at about 30-40 percent. (you'll need to experiment, just don't stall and nose in... )

marcus
 

Yarddog88

New member
On the Carbon Cub be sure to use landing flaps (most of the way down) it will fly well low and slow. Also be sure to land 'into' the wind; throttle at about 30-40 percent. (you'll need to experiment, just don't stall and nose in... )

marcus
i installed the flap servo, but am having issues with the radio. i cant program for flaps, but it takes away the safe feature. i don't use safe, but i like knowing if i get into a jam, and i have sufficient altitude i can flip to safe and most likely save the plane.
i did stall her this weekend coming in to land, dropped a wing and entered what would have turned into a spin if i had more than ten feet altitude. broke the nose off, waiting for the glue to dry, and will not try to fly until i sort the flaps out.
 

rollingcircle

New member
As far as real flying, I would start with a trainer aircraft that can take some abuse.
The tendency I have seen over the years is for new pilots making the turn in for landing is to get confused and excited, losing concentration, and jamming the sticks.'
A good approach on landing is to face your body to the direction the a/c is going and look over your shoulder. This may also help with REALFLIGHT. This makes left-------left and right------right, and also provides more confidence in the flyer until the flyer will actually stop that involuntarily.
Eventually, whether on a buddy box or flying alone at some point, you will be alone. JMO.........
 

Yarddog88

New member
As far as real flying, I would start with a trainer aircraft that can take some abuse.
The tendency I have seen over the years is for new pilots making the turn in for landing is to get confused and excited, losing concentration, and jamming the sticks.'
A good approach on landing is to face your body to the direction the a/c is going and look over your shoulder. This may also help with REALFLIGHT. This makes left-------left and right------right, and also provides more confidence in the flyer until the flyer will actually stop that involuntarily.
Eventually, whether on a buddy box or flying alone at some point, you will be alone. JMO.........
i went to the field last week, the older guys helped me tune my glow engine. i flew my carbon cub foam first, and then the glow trainer without a buddy box on either plane. had a hairy moment when my engine cut out on a touch and go. was running rich since it was a new engine and it stalled out. i was able to level the wings and land it smooth. i had been in the habit of killing the engine randomly in real flight to practice for unexpected dead stick landings the cub was a very good aircraft to learn on. going tonight, and this weekend to the field. buying a four star 54 from a fellow member too, very excited about that.
 

Luke Archon

New member
Awesome that you are wanting to get back into the real deal. I started flying back in Feb of this year - 2021. My path was much different than what is being recommended. The first thing i did was buy a spectrum NX6 trans and the UMX turbo timber. For the next two weeks I flew that plane in real flight 9.5 for around 30 hours. After that I went to the park and flew my plane and was amazed at how easy it was. It was very close to the sim in feel. Now I own two jets, two warbirds, another lil UMX jet and the Valiant and fly them all no problem. I am very much a self learner so this is the route i went and RF 9.5 made that possible without a buddy box. I will add that ive played video games my entire life so my thumbs went into this will prior experience that definitely helped me get flying.

I think this is an awesome tool to help you learn quickly.
 
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