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Written by Chad Budreau.
Pilot more than 100 aircraft with your transmitter of choice
Read the entire article in the April 2014 issue of
Model Aviation.



We’ve all heard the arguments for why a model aviation pilot’s tool kit should include a simulator. It’s almost a necessary part of our fleet. Simulators allow users to groom their skills, experience new aircraft, and tackle challenges—all without the stress of crashing an actual model.

Instead of rehashing the arguments of why to buy a flight simulator, this article will explore all of the exciting new features and characteristics of RealFlight’s latest RC Flight Simulator: RealFlight 7.

Buyers will immediately notice that RealFlight 7 includes two more choices in its lineup, resulting in four bundled options. As with previous versions of RealFlight, pilots can purchase the simulator with the InterLink Elite controller. This includes RealFlight 7 and an eight-channel USB transmitter. The package also provides a built-in interface for using your own RC transmitter.

Another option is the RealFlight upgrade, allowing RealFlight 4 and newer releases to be upgraded by simply purchasing the installation DVD for $49.98.

The release of RealFlight 7 introduces two more options. Users can now buy the RealFlight 7 Transmitter Interface Edition. Instead of receiving the InterLink Elite controller, this bundled package includes a transmitter interface to connect a pilot’s favorite RC transmitter to the simulator through a USB port. An actual transmitter doesn’t include the popular reset/rewind button (which would be nice on the flying field), so RealFlight 7 integrated the reset button into the redesigned interface.

Because no transmitter is included in the Transmitter Interface Edition, this bundle costs $39.99 less than the InterLink Elite Controller Edition. Most transmitters are likely more expensive than the InterLink Elite controller. I suggest playing it safe and keeping the beverages in the refrigerator during gaming to prevent any accidental spills or damage.

The second new addition to RealFlight 7’s software is the Tactic Transmitter-Ready (Tx-R) Edition. For $10 more than the InterLink Elite Edition, users can receive an actual Tactic TTX600 six-channel RC transmitter. The full-functioning transmitter can be used for the simulator and on the flying field to fly any Tx-R or Tactic SLT receiver-equipped aircraft! This is the best option for beginner pilots who want to master their flying skills and take the same controller out to the flying field.


RealFlight 7 offers more than 40 flying sites including PhotoField Sites, 3-D sites, and high-definition sites such as the Castle HD site selected here.



More than 140 aircraft come with RealFlight 7. Here, the author is trying his hand at a Tutor 600.

RealFlight 7 boasts more than 90 airplanes and 30 helicopters out of the box. Everything from park flyer foamies, to 3-D aerobatic aircraft, warbirds, and quadcopters are ready for flight. Players also have more than 40 3-D and PhotoField flying sites from which to choose. If a pilot wants more, he or she should take advantage of swap files.

If you are unfamiliar with the variety of simulators on the market, many would argue that RealFlight flight simulators offer the best flight physics and environmental conditions. Even damaged aircraft will obey the laws of physics in the simulator. Pilots looking to hone their skills will find that RealFlight 7 is one of the best available training tools.

Most will find the reset button to be a popular feature. If a user continuously holds the reset button down, RealFlight 7 plays back the most recent flight maneuvers. This can be helpful when trying to learn from a mistake.

While flying, pilots will appreciate another new feature in RealFlight 7: the Heads-Up Display. Users can quickly glance to read heading, altitude, speed, and other flight data.

RealFlight 7 users can take a series of lessons from leading pilots including Frank Noll. Many of the lessons go beyond the basics and address advanced airplane and helicopter maneuvers.

Seasoned pilots can gravitate toward many of the higher-skilled 3-D aircraft or helicopters. To add difficulty, users can select the Environment tab to increase wind, adjust the sun, or add dynamic thermals.

Pilots with an Internet connection can also try multiplayer and fly with others around the globe. This provides an enjoyable outlet with more than six games and challenges such as Combat, streamer cut, and paintball.




Pilots can find hundreds of additional user-submitted aircraft and flying fields to download through the Knife Edge Software swap pages.



RealFlight 7 includes games and challenges to hone your piloting skills.



Users can learn from their mistakes by holding down the reset button to rewind previous actions. This is helpful when attempting to learn a new maneuver or flying skill.




Video Review




Conclusion

RealFlight 7 is one of the best simulators with the best physics. And if more than 120 aircraft and 40-plus flying fields out of the box isn’t enough, RealFlight 7 allows users to generate, share, and download content from other players.

Read the entire article in the April 2014 issue of Model Aviation.



—Chad Budreau
chadb@modelaircraft.org



System Requirements

• Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8
• Intel Pentium 1.0 GHz or equivalent processor
• 512 MB RAM
• 10 GB hard drive space
• DVD drive
• 3-D accelerated video with 32 MB dedicated video memory
• Full DirectX 9 compliant (Shader Model 2.0 or better)
• USB port


Optimal System

• Dual core 2.4 GHz CPU
• 2 GB RAM
• 3-D accelerated video with 512 MB dedicated video memory


Test-system Specifications

• Windows 8 Home
• Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge 3.2 GHz processor
• 8 GB DDR3 RAM
• 1TB 7,200 rpm hybrid hard drive
• NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M graphics with 1 GB dedicated memory
• Price: $49.98 to $179.99


Pluses

• Simulator physics are true to real flight.
• Great graphics.
• Improved user interface navigation from previous releases.
• New bundles with transmitter options.
• Free future updates and swap files.


Minus

• Swap file integration is slightly clunky.



MANUFACTURER/DISTRIBUTOR:

Hobbico
(800) 637-7660
www.realflight.com


SOURCES:

Knife Edge swap pages
www.knifeedge.com/forums/downloads.php




5 comments

It is unfair to limit this program to the PC Windows based Operating System.
The Apple Mac users should also have access to this program. I would suggest that the developer work on an Apple Mac Version ASAP...... They would MORE than Double their sales !!!!!!!!

Hi Greg.

At this time RF7 is not available for a Mac. You can partition your Mac (with an Intel Chip) via bootcamp and install Windows on that partitioned drive. You can also try to run RF7 in parallel, but you may experience low performance in graphics.

I have recently bought a Dynam rc airplane and was wanting to know if the Dynam 2.4ghz /4 channel transmitter will work/interface with the RF7 transmitter Interface Edition ? I have been searching a while. Please help. Thank You, Steve

I bought a dynam rc airplane recently, and was wanting to know if the RF7 Transmitter Interface Edition will work/interface with my Dynam 2.4ghz 4channel transmitter.I have been searching for a while with no luck. Please help. Thank You, Steve

I have recently bought a Dynam rc airplane and was wanting to know if the Dynam 2.4ghz /4 channel transmitter will work/interface with the RF7 transmitter Interface Edition ? I have been searching a while. Please help. Thank You, Steve

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