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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, P-51 Marie, F4U Olathe, F6F, T-28, P-40E, 1500 Razor, 1700 F4U and a Fox glider; Freewing: A-10 Artic Thunder(100+ parts to rise again), A-6, P-51 Iron Ass; VQ: P-39, JU-52; LX PBJ-1(B-25), P-40E; Dynam: ME-262, FW-190, Waco, Catalina; Phoenix Spitfire; Maxford Antonov AN-2; Starmax L-4 Grasshopper; Eflite 1100 T-28 float; Tech1 P40; NP O-2 Skymaster; ASM A-26 Invader


    • #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.


      • #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


        • #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.


          • #6
            From a beginner perspective, I practice inverted, my weak side which is clockwise, and banking hard to the right. I usually get an airplane that is much faster than the one I have and that is not forgiving at all, sport aerobatic.

            I start by warming up doing figure 8s, ovals cw and ccw, and after a few minutes the full throttle for about 4 minutes and try to maintain altitude be it 50 feet, the deal is maintain control whatever how high the airplane is.

            One of my other weaknesses is when the airplane blurs when far away, so I let the plane go far out and attempt to bring it back following memory of my last command (and this one has saved me from a few fly outs on strong winds).

            To me the sim is invaluable, practicing aerobatics maneuvers again and again, (dead sticks also), one or two, no more than that, and its memorized, then to the field, and it does work. I dont need to "think" that much, every second saved is gold. Little by little I get into longer periods in the zone, and does it feel good.

            I do try to fly an airplane that is almost twice as fast, more sensitive than the one I have, and when I go fly at the club I do notice its much easier. I can catch up on bad habits, usually flying towards me, that I can correct and be aware because they do carry on when flying a real rc plane.

            This is just my opinion, each is different of course, but I would have definitely crashed more than what I have if I did not have a sim, on the computer just hit spacebar, je je and all set.


            • #7
              I am a completely self taught pilot . I practiced for months before trying to go out . I set the timer just like I would while at the field . I still go back and try to hone my skills and practice new things with it . The Sim is the best way without crashing a plane to learn the skills . It will teach to react instead of panic .

              But Crashing is Landing


              • #8
                Definitely, I alone flying and get stuck on a bad situation all I say is just like in the simulator a few times, and the panic/fear goes away. Although I fly every week, I still do the sim one or twice a week.


                • #9
                  About 50:1, mostly real flying, very little simulator.

                  But having said that….I think a simulator is a great tool for learning anything new. You can very quickly get many tries, much faster than real flying. And of course, you can “push the envelope”, which leads to faster learning. I disagree with this idea that simulation is just for beginners. The best RC pilot I ever knew was an avid sim trainer, despite already being better than everybody else. Maybe that is why he was the best. He worked at it.

                  The last “new trick” I mastered, I learned on the sim. It worked great, I executed well the first time in the air.

                  So you might ask why I fly simulators so little, if I believe in their usefulness. It is mainly because I think a sim is boring. It’s just too much like work for me. Maybe someday I will get motivated and put in more sim time. And maybe someday the Chargers will win the Super Bowl. (Perhaps they need to put in more time playing John Madden on the Xbox, lol).


                  • #10
                    Sims are great for helicopter training as far as muscle memory. Saved a bunch of cash and repair time when learning the basics.
                    I find airplane sims boring. I've learned more in the air than on a sim.

                    \"When Inverted Down Is Up And Up Is Expensive\"


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MikeT View Post
                      Sims are great for helicopter training as far as muscle memory. Saved a bunch of cash and repair time when learning the basics.
                      I find airplane sims boring. I've learned more in the air than on a sim.

                      I find the same thing. 9/10 times I fly the sim (although not that often), I find myself flying helis.