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Poll: Ratios - Simulator flight time vs. Actual flight time

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  • Poll: Ratios - Simulator flight time vs. Actual flight time

    Squawkers - How much time do you spend flying sim vs flying live? What skills or training regimens do you work on? Are you committed to a certain number of hours per week, or just fly sims if and when time permits? The answers will probably vary widely for multiple reasons, and please explain your answer if possible. (Experience level, available time, location and seasonal winter /summer variances, etc) Not so much interested in which simulator is flown, as that has and continues to be discussed elsewhere. If I missed this topic somewhere in the Squawk archives I apologize for being redundant. I ask in an attempt to elevate my skills in order to (sorry MRC) save money on foam, landing gear, plastic bits, etc, I have been logging more time on an rc flight simulator for computers lately. I tend to work more on landing under various weather conditions, as that's where gravity seems to cost me the most. Just curious, and always looking for good advice. Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Westy.........Sims are great for beginners to develop the instinctive muscle memory required and for pilots with varying degrees of experience to knock the rust off the thumbs during the inclement times but nothing can supplant the actual in the field exercises of whatever flight routine you need to work on.
    I constantly am advising pilots that in order to improve their skill that they need to stop the aimless punching of holes in sky and start doing a routine that accomplishes refinement of the skill set.
    I personally spend a lot of time just flying an oval circuit that brings me consistently down the centerline of the runway for the full length then exit and repeat.
    In doing this routine these are some of the variations that I add into it.
    Maintain a set altitude of 10-20 ft
    Dirty passes with half or full flap/ gear up or down
    Touch n go's (while @ NEFI I did about 20 across 2 sorties with a 90% greaser rate while demonstrating the flight characteristics of the OV-10 Bronce to Boots Whirlygig)
    The reason for this routine is:
    Perfect the landings by putting it where you want it cause that is what puts a smile on a pilots mug bringing a bird home with no repairs required.
    All those runway passes will alert you to the prevailing turbulence that you can expect when it is gear down time.

    Now there is nothing wrong with blowin a couple holes in the sky and is especially a rip if you've got a bird that has unlimited vertical but as much fun as it is those activities are not the majority of time during my sorties.
    Since I'm retired, I fly as much as I can. Last year I had around 700 sorties in the flight log.
    On days when my health or the wind is buggaring me then I enjoy the Squawk or fidgit with modding or preventative maintenance on a bird or do some researching of my next acquisition.
    It's great to be a kid again at my age.
    Warbird Charlie

    ScaleTech OV-10 Bronco; HSD A1 Skyraider; FlightLine: F7F-2D, P-38 Allied Green, Sea Fury; FMS 1400: P-40B, Stuka, P-51 Marie, F4U Olathe, F6F, T-28, P-40E, 1500 Razor and a Fox glider; Freewing: A-10 Artic Thunder, A-6, P-51; VQ: P-39, JU-52; LX PBJ-1(B-25); Dynam: ME-262, FW-190, Waco, Catalina; Phoenix: Spitfire, Dauntless; Maxford Antonov AN-2; Starmax L-4 Grasshopper; Eflite 1100 T-28 float; Tech1 P40; Sonic Modell Pitts Python

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    • #3
      Thanks Warbird. I learned to fly without a sim, but an expert told me to get one to practice on. That advice was echoed on this site as well. Really thought there might be more interest in the topic than this.

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      • #4
        I 'm, also, a full scale pilot, which I found out means very little when learning RC flying. I went through a few planes learning. Wish I had bought a sim in the first place! I finally bought one to practice on during those long winter months. One of the most important things you can learn from a sim is to fly the plane toward you or side to side without having to think about which is right or left. That just becomes natural after a while. They are also very good for landing practice, although, I found the sim to be much easier than actual flying. Doc

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        • #5
          I absolutely love sim. time. I don't have a ton of time to fly, mostly weekends, and depends on the weekend day sometimes. So, if more than a week goes by without flying RC, I look to the simulator to provide me with some stick time. I find it great to be able to keep me fresh on the sticks, keep my reaction time good, situational awareness, flying in crosswinds and different sun conditions, practice everything from the basics, to more advanced manuevars to remind myself what stick and rudder skills are necessary to do so in order for it to become quick and almost instinctive, takeoff and landing procedures, maintaining altitude during specific manuevars, orientation observance upright, inverted, going away from you or at you, flying a reverse pattern, etc. and how the sticks need to be involved during those times, and more fun aspects.

          I'd say the simulator made me a more confident pilot, more aware of what needs to be done during various aspects of flight, and likely has saved me lots of money. I enjoy getting on the sim. even if it's for 10 min and practicing new things that will help me understand how the sticks need to move to do them, so when I get to flying the new manuevars in RC, it all becomes so much more automatic, and provides more confidence as well.

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