Hello HeliSimmer Community,
I am new to this and not really that tech savvy but seeking help/guidance.
My partner is learning to be a helicopter pilot. With COVID, there is limited time to actually being in the air, so I would like to get him a heli-pilot sim game/console that would allow him to still get a sense of being in the air when in lock-down.
Most of the research I have done focuses more on gaming.
I am looking for something that allows him to sit in a cockpit (if that is what you call it in a helicopter) and fly around, say using a joy-stick control. We live in an apartment, so getting a flight simulator control that comes with an actual seat set up is not possible.
He is a MAC desktop, though I am not sure of the age of the graphics capability.
Are there any virtual reality headsets you can buy (and accompanied software), instead of just the software being loaded onto a computer and using the computer screen? I have not looked into much on the VR front and really would not know where to start.
My budget is not big but I would love some guidance on this and thought this community could help?
Sorry if I sound like a girl (which I am) but researching this on the internet has been overwhelming and not being a tech-guru I find I am being led down some many different options.
I apologise if this is the wrong forum for requesting such information.
My fingers and toes are crossed someone may be happy to help me out?
Note: We are based in Australia.
Hello HeliSimmer Community,
Being on a Mac means you’re basically limited to only X-Plane 11. That’s not a bad thing though, since X-Plane is an excellent simulator. It has a free demo you can install to see how it performs on your system: Download the Free X-Plane 11 Demo | X-Plane
For helicopters, you will definitely need a joystick of some sort. The Logitech Xtreme 3D pro is an old but good beginner option that can be had used for ~$30. Joysticks and related hardware can get much more expensive if you let it.
If you want to go the VR route, be prepared to spend a lot of money. You’ll need a VR headset ($$) and you will most likely need a new, powerful PC ($$$). Others will be able to recommend what to look for there as I don’t use VR.
And lastly, a word on training with simulators:
Real world helicopter flying is very seat-of-the-pants, and no simulator can replicate that or improve on your real-world stick and rudder skills. However, that’s not to say that simulators aren’t useful for training - things like airspace, procedures, communications, and navigation can be very well practiced. Just be sure to keep his expectations tempered with regards to the actual flying, and have him be aware that it’s easy to develop bad flying habits in the sim that will impact his real-world training.
@lonespace - Awesome
Thank you so much for the reply. Your reply is so valuable.
Going down the VR route would be ideal but yes expensive.
Good tips on the other mechanics of flying. My partner was told gamers potentially make good pilots as well as bob-cat drivers (esp. the ones who can manoeuvre the smaller lego-like bob-cats, though it is usually the intensive theory that gets them unstuck and not being successful). My partner is not a gamer at all and the best thing he can probably manoeuvre outdoors, is a lawn-mower. Though I will say his flying technique is improving (which is very exciting!)
I will test out the link (thank you immensely for sharing).
It might be also good for me to learn about the airspace, procedures, communications, and navigation elements so I feel comfortable once he has his licence and wants to take me flying with him.
Thanks again - and some
I live in a small one bedroom apartment.
I have a helicopter flight simulator plus an airplane flight simulator.
I purchased the pro flight Trainer Puma,
I purchased a seat suitable for helicopter flying.
I purchased a cheap Racing car frame suitable to mount the seat plus the Pro Flight Trainer Puma helicopter controls.
I also purchased a vibrating seat cushion that has six vibrators and is plug and play and it takes the vibrating cues from what ever air craft you are flying 100% accurate.
I purchased a pair of different seat mounts.
Once the seat was mounted at a perfect angle and the perfect height, I then recently modified the pro flight Trainer Puma Cyclic plus the length of the pedals in order to make it realistic to that of a real helicopter.
After viewing hundreds of various real helicopters on youtube over a period of a couple of weeks I notice the proper height of the Cyclic plus the length of the pedals.
I then shortened the height on my Pro Flight Trainer Puma Cyclic which took a couple of hours and I emailed the results to Pro Flight Trainer.
I then shortened the length of the pro flight Trainer Puma pedals to be closer to the pilot.
I have had several people sit and try my modified helicopter simulator and both men and women and the height of the seat plus the height of the pro flight Trainer Puma cyclic plus the shortened distance of the pedals closer to the pilot turned out to be as perfect as it can be for a do it yourself project.
My research is now complete for adding motion 4 actuator motion to is that is also plug and play and will added soon.
I am also using the HP-Reverb G2 Head Display VR Goggles that is absolutely incredible.
I am USING MSFS 2020 and with the latest upgrade version 5 it is absolutely incredible realistic.
The weather is absolutely realistic after update 5.
ASOBO is realing two major updates per month for MSFS 2020.
I have added several links here in Helisimmer for adding realistic runways usage, realistic trees, flower, plants, shrubs etc to MSFS 2020 that is absolutely incredible and is seasonal and displays them according the the region you are flying in, plus real boats, shipping container tankers etc.
When I sit on the seat the cushion goes down and the modified Cyclic is at a perfect height between our legs and the pedals is at a perfect distance from the cyclic.
Your leg position when seated is extremely accurate to that of real helicopters for man or woman sitting in my simulator.
When seated in the simulator the cyclic siting perfectly at the right height between your legs and hand position plus arm resting on your leg to that of a real helicopter.
The Collective is also positioned perfectly.