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RealFlight Drone Simulator – Review

For those with an interest in aviation, GPS drones and their counterpart FPV drones sure get a lot of fanfare. As a drone pilot, I see that. As someone who is getting on in the age department, I remember the model aircraft I had as a kid and the skill that was required to fly those types of craft. 

Back then, it was fly or crash. Simple as that. If you were fortunate, you may have found some skilled pilot at the RC field, someone who helped you crash less and actually learn to fly. For many of us though it was just trial and error till you got it. 

That was then, but today is very different. For one, the variety in model aircraft today is very expansive. You could order an Arrows Pioneer or E-flight’s Turbo Timber. Or you may be partial to historic craft, or jet airplanes. 

Either way, that skill from then is still needed, and today we have many programs and simulators that are able to rival that experience of flight without putting the craft at risk. This allows you the chance to practice flight maneuvers and gain a good understanding of those skills without risking a devastating crash. Oh, sure you’ll still crash, just not as much.

RealFlight 9.5 

RealFlight 9.5 is an impressive piece of programming, with a sizeable selection of craft to choose from, including over 175 from the top manufacturers like E-flight, Hobbyzone, Hanger 9 and Synergy. 

It’s easy to see why RealFlight 9.5 is number one in RC simulators around the world. The realistic graphics and the aircraft are very impressive. Added to that is the fact that their multiple locations are all customizable for interesting and challenging real-life-like flights. 

This simulator is built and designed to provide you with the ability to practice your flight skills on craft you may have or be interested in, helping you decide if that is a craft you want to add to your hanger or not without having to purchase it first. 

Why use flight simulators?

When comes to whether you should or shouldn’t use a simulator, well why not! It will only make you a better pilot and it never hurts to practice, practice, practice. 

Simulators are a fantastic way to experience a craft’s flight characteristics and learn how it reacts to your directions on the sticks. After all, all of these aircraft will fly differently from one another. 

Using a high-quality simulator like RealFlight 9.5 will provide an experience that is very similar to the actual aircraft’s flight. You will be able to practice maneuvers such as barrel rolls and dives with the simulator prior to heading out to the field and trying it out in real life. 

Another benefit of using a simulator is the ability to try out a particular aircraft to see if it’s one you would enjoy having. Or else it could be a way to fly craft you may not be able to ever get your hands on. 

Why choose RealFlight 9.5?

When it comes to simulators, there are a few out there that you can choose from. Only one though will provide a truly immersive experience. RealFlight 9.5 provides True-to-Life physics that make the sim as life-like as possible. 

In this latest version, they have added not only some of the latest brands’ top-named aircraft, they’ve also included not just RC Planes but helicopters and drones as well. 

The sim now has over 40 flyable locations and the ability to edit locations to suit your needs, leading to an almost infinite number of flying options. With the addition of a Virtual Instructor, and the ability to fly with others online, this is a sim you’ll have for a good long while without ever getting bored. 

So, get your Fokker Eindecker and your Nieupot 11 and get out there and dog fight with someone. You’ll never have as much fun.

With more and more of these newer model craft coming with FPV cameras, RealFlight 9.5 is also compatible with most goggles out there today. This addition really does put you in the cockpit and provides an excellent flight experience.

Which version should you get?

When I first went to pick up a copy of this to review, I found there were a few versions of the program.

One was simply the Simulator itself. This version was just that, a digital code copy of the program that you could purchase minus the controller.

RealFlight 9.5S Flight Sim Software Only
$99.99

Delivered exclusively via Steam, eliminating the need to use DVDs for installation and for easy, automatic updates.

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05/22/2022 12:04 am GMT

With this version these items are needed to complete the setup so it can be used.

  • Spektrum™ InterLink® DX Simulator Controller Or WS2000 Wireless Simulator USB Dongle With Compatible DSM2/DSMX Equipped Spektrum™ Transmitter
  • Compatible PC desktop or laptop with Windows® 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10
  • Internet connection to download the Steam® Client and RealFlight 9.5S software

The other version was a bundled one with a controller. 

There is also a third version of this simulator. It is a free limited version; this is really nice. If you have a compatible controller, you can download the free version and try the simulator out. 

For the fullest experience though, a pay version really is needed, as the free version has many of the features turned off, and the aircraft are limited.

My experience with RealFlight

If you’re like me, this is where things got a bit confusing, not being sure if some of the controllers I have would be compatible or not. You have to remember, I am a drone pilot and there is a big difference between RC aircraft and Drones. 

Not being sure, I reached out to RealFlight. They were super helpful and understanding, even before I made any purchase. During this conversation, we were able to work out that I did not have a compatible controller and would need to purchase the program that included the controller. 

That’s my situation. Yours may be different as many of the aircraft and their controllers that are in the program are compatible. If you’re like me and have a question about this, the folks at RealFlight are there to help. 

What you need in the controller is one equipped with the trainer port through the Interlink DX. 

After some friendly banter and giving up that precious credit card number, my copy of RealFlight 9.5 bundled with controller was on its way. Thanks for all your help, Sarah!

After an anxious wait of ten whole days (I just hate waiting for things to come in the mail, don’t you?) the day finally arrived where that FedEx truck came up the drive. Just like that kid on Christmas morning, I rushed out and grabbed that box from the startled driver who barely managed to get out of the back of his truck. 

I threw back a “Thank you” as I bounded back into the house and raced to my office. I calmed myself long enough not to destroy the packaging and looked upon my bounty. 

First, I noticed there wasn’t a disc. Yeah, I know, I’m old. No, instead there were directions on how to set up a Steam account and an activation code to get my program. I get it, it’s easier, but I still like a hard copy. 

This process was pretty straightforward forward and soon I was downloading the simulator through my newly set up Steam account. Now I have a Steam account. More passwords – yippee.

Next, I started looking at the new controller to add to the ones I already have and the build is decent. More of a hobby grade than a toy like I was expecting. After all, for the additional $99.99, I wasn’t expecting too much from the controller. 

I have to say, it felt right at home in my hand and is comfortable. As I said above, the build is solid and I wouldn’t think anything about using it in the field, if that were possible. It’s not by the way. 

For me, setting up the controller went without any issues. I am aware that some people have had a glitch or two with the controller setup. Once getting the program up and running, I really was taken aback by just how many aircraft were available and some of the locations. I had some good fun trying to fly the Wright Bros. plane. Those were some daring fellas. 

The simulator is vast, there’s just so much to it. One of the best locations to fly was the new AMA Flying site 4. It’s so realistic you do almost feel like you’re standing there. RealFlight did an amazing job on nearly every aspect of this Simulator, I just find it hard to say anything negative about it. 

There is the price, being as I needed the controller bundle, I was on the hook for the $199.99 rate. Don’t forget the taxes. Ugh! Taxes! 

After having this now for nearly two weeks, I have found myself using it nearly every day, it’s just a fun simulator. The price thing really does sit better with you after having used the sim. $99.99 or $199.99 almost seems like a steal now with the controllability and the graphics. 

So, what can I say, I like it and I think you would too. Out of the few I have tried, this one really does relate the experience as it is. Closest to reality simulator you’re going to find. 

I actually have been re-inspired by this sim, and I think my next purchase might just be that E-flite Turbo Evo Timber. It’s just a joy to fly in the simulator. I wonder which will be your favorite?

E-flite RC Airplane Turbo Timber Evolution 1.5m BNF Basic
$329.99

The best “next step”, everyday sport and STOL capable model for a wide range of pilots.

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05/22/2022 12:03 am GMT

Fly Safe, Fly Always, Always Fly Safe!