Best RC Flight Simulators 2017 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

best rc flight simulator

Guide for buying the RIGHT type of simulator

UPDATED FOR 2017: In this guide, we will shower you the best rc flight simulators to buy, today. So let’s dive deep into it.

The thought of flying a plane is something that crosses everyone’s mind. Imagine if your dream came true and you could control how a plane moves and how high or low it flies. Flight simulators have turned this dream, into reality.

A flight simulator is a tool that creates the experience of an aircraft flight and its environment. It replicates how an aircraft flies, how it reacts to flight control applications and how planes react to external environments such as cloud, turbulence, the wind and air density. RC airplane flight simulator is used for flight training, research on the behavior of aircraft and for fun.

guy learning to fly on his computer

Learn to fly at home

DIVING DEEP: RC FLIGHT SIMULATORS

People who design and build flying model planes have over the years build simple rubber powered kits and progressed to rc that have multiple channels. They recommend rc flight simulators to anyone who is fascinated with aero modeling. For much of the time flying a rc plane simulator gives you full control and in the process, you learn the workings of a plane and construction and airplane design.

this guy has a flying simulator RIG

You might want to STEP IT UP with your flight setup

This hobby can be pursued in the comforts of your home or even outdoors. By being outdoors you get the chance to meet and interact with other enthusiasts like you and if you prefer flying solo you can do so by having plenty of fun.

Using a rc simulator is a great way of bonding with your children as you teach and practice with them. Simulators are at times called remote control because they are controlled from a remote location.

The radio control term means that using a separate transmitter the model gets controlled by radio signals.

basics

Basics of an rc plane

Currently, there are various rc airplane simulators in the market that you can use to train with. This article focuses on some of the best rc simulators in the market. Below are just a few rc flight simulator reviews, which give in-depth information on four of the best simulators that have been tried and tested.

ADDITIONAL: We have some other buyer’s guides on our website, that you may find a liking to. For example, the best rc planes to buy today, we have a guide on that. In addition, if you’re in the mood for a drone, we have the best drones on the market buyer’s guide.

COMPARISON: Best RC Flight Simulators For The Money

RANKPICTUREBRANDCOST
#1
Real Flight RF7.5
$$$$/$$$$$
#2
Phoenix Pro V5.0
$$$$/$$$$$
#3
Real Flight G5.5
$$$/$$$$$
Real Flight 7
$$$$/$$$$$

1. Great Planes Real Flight RF7.5 – 2017 Best RC Flight Simulator To Buy!

Great Planes Real Flight RF7.5

Our #1 Top Pick Great Planes Real Flight RF7.5

For over a decade, this Great Planes Real Flight software has proved to be one of the best rc flight simulators to buy for any enthusiast. You can fly your favorite aircraft through realistic terrain while enjoying the accurate flight physics. The rc flight simulator controls resemble and works like a real transmitter. In this rc flight simulator, you get the best at an affordable price range. It comes with various flying sites and aircraft to choose from.

For eleven years it has maintained its position among the best. According to rc flight simulator reviews, the mode features aircraft and flying fields that are found in the current version and expansion packs. For less, you can enjoy the convenience, fun and educational benefits of simulated radio controlled flying.

Pros
It has 47 different aircraft and 6 photo field flying sites to choose from. It shows all of the unparalleled flight physics while controlling speed and direction of the wind. The picture in picture transmitter views are clear and can be zoomed in.It is great for beginners who are trying to master the art of flying.

Cons
The basic version has no gust control making you only load and dial wind and direction. In addition, there are no upgrades which give you nothing except what you get in the package. If you have a plane the simulator might not be the accurate model to help you fly it.

2. Phoenix RC Pro Simulator V5.0 – Great For Mac & Windows

Phoenix RC Pro Simulator V5.0

Our #2 Top Pick Phoenix RC Pro Simulator V5.0

Beginners who are interested in the hobby and seasoned professionals who want to sharpen their competition skills should consider the Phoenix Flight Pro Simulator. The rc simulator reviews state that the Phoenix flight simulator has a high-quality virtual radio controller.

The rc airplane simulator has been in existence for a couple of years. Initially, it was sold in the UK predominantly but towards late 2009 the firm signed a deal with Horizon Hobby, a North American radio control company. Now the simulators are widely available globally. Following the deal, the Phoenix flight simulator comes with a Spectrum DX6i or Spectrum DX4e transmitter inside the box. This gives buyers the option to buy the simulator with or without a TX.

According to Phoenix Flight Simulator review, the quality of this particular simulator is outstanding. The flying sites are photo realistic with a great overall virtual flying experience. When it comes to Phoenix flight stimulators vs. real flight there is a professional quality that is delivered with vast and comprehensive editing option. If you own any of the aircraft available on the simulator you can pimp the specs and characteristics so that the virtual plan can replicate the real one.

Pros

  • The simulator has over 100 aircraft to choose from with a list that continues to grow. The tech team at Phoenix has included some of the popular Horizon brand aircraft to the list which flies accurately. The range of high-end helicopters and airplanes allow pilots the chance to perfect their flying routines. Users can edit and calibrate the transmitter settings on the sim to replicate the setup of your own plane so what the TX does, in reality, are what the simulator does.
  • It is easy to use as the simulator guides you through installation and setup. It comes with a multiplayer ability that has instant messaging capability. The Phoenix flight simulator offers high-quality virtual training using real life professional pilots and radio control instruction. In addition, it is one of the best rc flight simulators for Mac as it is compatible.
  • The range of high-end helicopters and airplanes allow pilots the chance to perfect their flying routines. Users can edit and calibrate the transmitter settings on the sim to replicate the setup of your own plane so what the TX does, in reality, are what the simulator does.

 

Cons

  • Most of the models of the Phoenix 5 are no longer produced and most of the models in production are not readily available on Phoenix 5.It makes it seem outdated and not the best rc flight simulator for 2017. As for the simulator, it is too easy and seems like there are no bumps during landing even if it is on an Ultra-micro on grass the landing is smooth which tends to be bit unrealistic.
  • The planes are nice but the backgrounds are horrible even when you zoom a little. The resolution is low but looks great as long as you turn off the auto-zoom. With this, you cannot fly far away or you will not see the plane. The sounds tend to have a background noise that sounds like a washing machine being run. The battery management seems to be missing, therefore, the planes continue flying without running out of battery and fuel which can be hard to establish real life patterns.

3. Great Planes Real Flight G5.5 – Professional Grade RC Flight Sim

Great Planes Real Flight G5.5

Our #3 Top Pick Great Planes Real Flight G5.5

This rc airplane simulator has a combat flying, multiplayer mode. Rocket launching, streamer cutting, and paintball. Some of the planes come with rockets that you can use to bring down your opponents. There are planes that come with combat weapons whereas others do not so you might want to check them out completely before buying.

The graphics are good despite the software limiting the resolution power. There are good zoom functions that come with the simulator.When it comes to the planes they are top notch with a great build quality. The planes show exemplary workmanship from the rudder to the motor to the fiberglass cloth elevator hinges.

Pros
To avoid frustration when looking for your enemies there is a built in the target system that helps you focus on your opponents. This rc plane simulator has differing camera views which are ideal for multiplayer situations. The zoom functions are perfect and there are no linking problems in multiplayer.

With Reactor and Super poster you can join the open sessions or host your own. When you create your own sessions you can protect them using passwords or leave them open for others to join in.This is an upgrade from the Linux rc flight simulator.

Cons
When you load Sod Farm the computer tends to crash. The camera views as well seem to be unavailable for the landing site. The dash cockpit gauges so not work but instead has a heads up bar.

4. Great Planes Real Flight 7 – A Fantastic Flight Simulator Software

Great Planes Real Flight 7

Our #4 Top Pick Great Planes Real Flight 7

It is a realistic and easy to use. It’s popular because it is versatile and has digital trims, eight channel for direct access to Real Flight features without needing a setup. There are no batteries needed to keep the controller ready and charged. The controller saves from wear and tear since it is dedicated to RF7. You have the option of flying with transmitters in the built in interface, the Interlink Elite or using the interface and Interlink at the same time. It is a state of the art rc flight simulator which lets you optimize and simulate real rc flying.

It captures the experience accurately and is more superior than other rc airplane simulators. Further innovations of the model have improved the reset button which immediately gets you into the action. The physics technology creates the distinctions of multi rotor aircraft, in addition, there are various popular RF7.5 designs that you can fly in more than 30 flying sites. You can polish your flying skills in an essay and fun way as you build confidence for the real thing.

Pros
This is one of the few rc airplane simulators that has a game like challenges and comes with Real physics 3D. It has more than 140 aircraft and more than 40 flying sites. The lighting is realistic and has great resolution.

There is a virtual flight instructor and on-screen camera controls. It can be used in multimode and multi-player. Water landings and take offs are available. Night flying is available and the planes have an AccuModel and Flexi field editors for the aircraft and a flying site. There are unlimited weapon combat items for those who enjoy the combat aspect of the rc flight simulator.

Cons
Most of the users complain about the lack of instruction and manual guide. So that you can use this simulator you should be well versed on its operations meaning it is not suitable for a beginner. Another problem is the stick moving back to neutral position when you slack.

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Not everyone understands technology and to make them understand they are bound to have questions which need answers. A few of the most commonly asked questions about rc plane simulators include:

1. What is a rc plane simulators?

A software that mimics “real life” RC plane flying using near identical flying dynamics and physics. It allows you to use the exact same controller you’d use in a real practice.

2. What does it help in?

Helps you learn to fly radio controlled planes without flying the real thing (to avoid crashes and save money).

3. How much does it cost?

A good quality software will cost 100-300 dollars on average.

4. What do I need to operate it?

A modern computer.

5. Does it need batteries or charging?

Usually, it is powered via USB and no batteries are required.

6. Is it safe to use in the home environment

Of course, it’s used in the comfort of your own home.

7. Does it mean I can fly a plane after practicing with a simulator?

If you feel confident with your newly learned skills, yes.

8. Do I need it?

You decide.

9. How long can it last?

The software can last you virtually forever.

10. Do I need to have a computer to use it?

100% yes.

CONCLUDING THIS BUYER’s GUIDE

trainer rc plane to fly for the first time

She is using a basic rc plane to fly her first time

The cost of beginner electric airplanes ranges from below a hundred dollars. Such plane can be operated in a medium sized open space. You can pursue your hobby without depleting your bank account.

However, you can buy a good electric or gas RC trainer or plane that comes with 3 to 4 channels at a range of 100 to 150 dollars. You might have to spend a little extra on the radio gear and field equipment which you purchase separately. In addition, you might need to get insurance and if you are planning to join any club you will need to pay membership fees.

hobbies can get EXPENSIVE!

Don’t let your hobby become a money pit

In addition, you might need to get insurance and if you are planning to join any club you will need to pay membership fees. You can also spend as much as you earn or even more depending on the type of model you are after. High-quality RC airplane with a high radio range set and all of the needed trimming can be expensive.

Before you find yourself spending such a huge amount of cash the hobby, by then has become a part of your routine so you have no qualms about spending money buying the extra and high-quality gadgets.

learn to fly on software to fly in real life

Learn to fly to fly in real life

If you chose to keep it very simple it can also be a cheap hobby and if you choose to make it expensive it can also be a very expensive hobby. The best part about it is the fact that before you invest in it, you can try it for almost free.

If you do not like it after a trial spin you are under no obligation to purchase or force yourself into the hobby. If you decide to take it up as a hobby, you can purchase according to your budget. Picking one of the best RC flight simulators mentioned above will guarantee your success if you dedicate time to learning.

 

EXTRA: Video Tutorial Showing How To Use A Simulator