Which sim to go for?


I am looking for the most realistic civilian helicopter simulator as of 2021. By realistic, I am mostly worried about the flight model (not really bothered about systems etc…)

As far as I can read from the “Best Simulator 2019” article it seems to suggest that FSX is the way to go but it seem a bit outdated to me.

I had FSX in the past and was running the B206 dodo sim which to me was at the time a good module. However to me it is a bit outdated and would avoid installing it on Windows10.

I also have X-Plane 10 but didn’t get a chance to play with it much.

I have heard that the Bell 407 running on X-Plane 11 is quite a high quality/fidelity product but it would mean I would need to buy both XP 11 and B407 (two products).

There is also the option to get the B407 for XP10 but I am not sure of the quality

Anyone able to advise on if I can find a solution with what I have at the moment? Or should I invest in a new setup XP11 + B407 as stated above?

Looking forward to some suggestions and opinions but my research so far often point to XP rather MS when looking at flight dynamics (DCS out of the picture as military).

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Hello there and welcome to the forum.

I would definitely invest in a new setup and XP11 + B407. X-Plane 11 is a newer platform and it brought a lot of updates and improvements, especially in the flight dynamics. The B407 was also updated and it handles a bit better than the XP10 counterpart so you have a win-win situation on both fronts.

With X-plane 11 you can also use VR natively, which is a huge plus when flying helicopters. That would be the third win.

The fourth win would be the fact that XP11 is using a new graphical API called Vulkan, which allows for better framerate, which is a big help when you are trying to fly helicopters and especially if you want to use VR.

Until Microsoft comes out with helicopters (planned for 2022) or a third-party delivers a killer helicopter for MSFS, X-Plane is the way to go.

Right now, we have a working prototype in MSFS but it’s not really a good helicopter. It may be good in the future but it’s not there yet.

FlyInside also announced they are working on a helicopter with integrated flight dynamics: a Bell 47. I don’t know if it will be as good as the XP11 B407.

Right now, with all the information we have, the safe bet is X-Plane 11. This can all change in a few weeks/months/a year but that’s what I would go with at this time.


Thanks Sergio, your post above mean that your best simulator article is in need of update then.

I will definitely go for it, there is also the free EC135 mod but I am not sure how it will compare to 407 in term of flight dynamics.

Not yet. The H135 project can’t really be compared with other sims at this time, to be honest. It’s an interesting project but not quite there. I actually just posted a new article about it: https://www.helisimmer.com/articles/airbus-h135-helicopter-project-microsoft-flight-simulator-month-later

The freeware 135 is quite nice. Some 135 pilots say it’s reasonably close to the real deal. I don’t know how much more or less close to reality it would be when compared with the 407. You can’t go wrong with either, though!

Get X-Plane you won’t be disappointed.

there is also the free EC135

Sorry I was referring to the 135 mod for XP11 from rotorsim above (not the one for MSFS which is not a real helicopter)

I have a few hours IRL on the 135 (not a huge amount) but never flew 407 so won’t be able to compare them either. I think I will start with the 135 on XP11 first then if not happy with the flight dynamics will give a try on the 407.

I anticipate (Real) Helicopter on MSFS would be a pleasure eye wise because of the graphics but for this we will have to wait and also accept that flight dynamics won’t be as good as XP.

I was mentioning the Rotorsim as well, yes. I called it H135 by mistake.

We can’t say how it will or will not be. Microsoft has said they do want to get helicopters properly modelled in the sim and are working on it with the help of some people from the community (me included). I can’t talk about it, though.

Ok so, if “properly modelled” mean more realistic than the previous versions it sounds very promising.

Good luck to them, helicopters are hard work for flight modeling

Using HTR with P3D is great. Now I see the team that produced HTR has AirLandFS. Has anyone flown with this, and could someone do a review?

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AirlandFS works pretty much the same way as HTR and it depends a lot on the profiles being developed. It’s still being tweaked for the new platform, though.

I’ll do a write-up on it once I finish some other reviews and articles I have on my pipeline.

I have a few hours IRL on the 135 (not a huge amount) but never flew 407 so won’t be able to compare them either. I think I will start with the 135 on XP11 first then if not happy with the flight dynamics will give a try on the 407.

Would love to hear your thoughts on the free EC135 in xp11 as you have some experience in it IRL! I’m just a guy who loves flying in sims, if I didn’t have ADHD i would probably try to get to fly a real one one day, but with adhd you are pretty much automatically out of the game from the start I hear… anyway, I think the ec135 a neat helicopter im xp11, but it does not compare to the DCS helicopters flight models of the helis i have flown there, that is my closest reference to how a helicopter should feel like haha (on a sim setup anyway) tho I want like you, civilian helicopters!

Blockquote Would love to hear your thoughts on the free EC135 in xp11

I actually didn’t bother with the 135 and only did 407 at the end. I am mostly happy with it. The only thing that is bothering me is the Trim/FTR which is a weird implementation to me.