Review: VSKYLABS R44 for X-Plane

My flight sim experience started in FS4 and when FS98 introduced helicopters, I gravitated towards them as I have been flying in them all my life. I enjoy using FS helicopters in the utility role, flying around the back blocks of my native New Zealand. I started my real world flying career back in 2003, first flying fixed wing and switching to rotary in 2008. Flying has taken me to some really weird and wonderful places and I enjoy the adventure and the camaraderie of flying helicopters.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Thanks for this in depth review. I share most of your comments but would like to add mine regarding VR, which is the way I mostly use it.
First of all, there is something totally wrong with the initial head position in VR, it is way to low, same issue found on the R66. I have to place my head down on my seat, then press the “reset VR view” button to have it in an acceptable position.
Then, the cyclic stick doesn’t have the “joint” that makes the upper part move parallel to the horizon on the real one, if you see what I mean. In this case, the whole cyclic move as a single unit and in VR, this is really an immersion breaker when you are used to the real behavior. I would not hard to modify it though. Since this issue was present on the R66 as well, I doubt this is gonna be the case anytime soon.
And again in VR, you mentioned something wrong with the external 3D model, but in VR, it is even more noticeable for the interior model as well. The cyclic is simply HUGE, when the collective is tiny, the pedals are also very weird and place in an unnatural position. Again this is pretty disappointing and breaks totally the immersion in VR.
The textures are OK, but not great, they make extensive use of PBR so most surfaces are very shinny for no reason. I might be wrong but I actually suspect the 3D model to come from a 3D model database, such a Turbosquid, and little modification had been made by VSL (except the instrument panel of course). I might be wrong here but that is how it looks like.
My personal conclusion is that it is just a not bad helicopter for X plane 11, nothing more. If you expected a “Dreamfoil creation” quality like helicopter, well, you will be as disappointed as I was.
The 3D model in VR is a real disappointment, and despite the upcoming updates, I do not see VSL improving any time soon (See the R66 which suffers from similar issues).

EDIT: The yaw string seems to come from their Cabri G2, just a copy paste of that model. And yep, I found the 3D models they used on Turbosquid, it is in my opinion a mix between R22, R44 and R66. Nothing wrong with using Turbosquid models, except when they are not good in the first place.

1 Like