Regular or experimental flight models?

Hi. There has been much debate on whether to use the experimental flight model on X-Plane for helicopters. Some swear by it, others are a bit apprehensive. One of the gurus and creator of our beloved MD500 says it is far more realistic to fly with the experimental model on. Following his words I am doing the same. Autorotations, Vuichard’s and other maneuvers, seem spot on. Being a digital pilot, I cannot tell which is more accurate, so here is my question for the real life pilots: how do you fly on XP to get the maximum reality experience? I mostly fly the 407, seconded by the UH-1, and on third position with the 429 (the latter one, is mainly because I cannot read the gauges at 100 degrees FOV).

In theory, the experimental flight model is more realistic and there’s a lot in it that I prefer and feels a bit more organic. Like you, I’m not a real pilot so I can’t say for sure but there are some things that feel more “logic” from a physics perspective.

IGE, for example, feels more natural to me.

I’m using it for some time, on all helicopters, and I don’t feel the need to revert my choice so far.

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Very true for the ground effect. Before it seemed as the heli bounced of the ground. I too fly with the experimental mode on for all my helis. Cheers

Some helicopters do bounce a bit. Especially the AS350. They need some work for sure.


I have an IRL helicopter pilot currently testing the JRX Gazelle for me and he has tried both normal and experimental and has reported “not a lot of difference”. Ben from Laminar has stated that the experimental option will eventually go and become the normal (or only) option. I think that once Austin is happy it will be default sometime soon. I personally do not do enough flying now to comment, but I have always had it on pretty much from the start.

The “normal”. They also promised to introduce the “versioned” flight models which will be allowed to be switched in PlaneMaker and will allow the outdated models to function normally and not break with an updates.

Yes, unfortunately it’s Austin’s playground and we’re at his whim. Seriously though, as I understand it most of the Payware developers (unless explicitly stated) do not support their aircraft for use with the “Experimental Flight Model” (EFM) and so will recommend it be turned off. What this really means is that if you use it in the EFM and notice something wierd, don’t bother reporting it.

The MD500 was specifically designed to take advantage of the EFM and so the Developer recommends to use it.

Unfortunately we don’t have per aircraft settings (as they hinted they would @Agent_B-7 :frowning: ) so we just go with whatever works. Personally I prefer the EFM on as the Heli’s I fly feel (subjectively) better to me.