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What you need
Radio System
Field Equipment

Which simulator?

Get a simulator!

It's as simple as that. Simulators are computer programs which let you plug your transmitter (if your transmitter is compatible - most modern ones are) into your computer and practise flying a helicopter on the computer screen. You can crash as many times as you like and it won't cost you a cent. I use mine to practise hovering, nose in hovering, inverted, autos, rolls, loops whatever. The good ones are extremely realistic. You'll never outgrow a good simulator cause you can always learn new things.

It's proven that people who spend a good amount of time using their simulators will advance their flying ability much more quickly than those who don't use a simulator.

They're nothing short of brilliant. Get one.

If money is tight I'd recommend you buy the best quality radio set then buy a simulator. Don't worry about getting a helicopter if it means skimping on radio gear. Save up for a real helicopter while you're developing your skills on the simulator. I know, it's not what you want to hear, but it's the best way to go.

When you're looking to buy a simulator, consider the following points:

  • Will it accomodate your radio?
    Will your radio work with it?
  • Will it run on your PC?
    Most simulators run only on DOS, Windows 95 or Windows 98. If you've got a Mac, you probably out of luck.
  • How realistic is it?
    For this you'll probably have to ask around the people who have the sim that you're looking at.
  • Local knowledge
    What simulator are people using at your local club? What are their thoughts on it? How realistic is it? How easy is it to install? How easy is it to configure?

My favourite simulator is the CSM V10 simulator. While it's graphics aren't exactly sensational, it's physics are leading edge. This shouldn't be too much of a problem, after all, you buy a simulator to learn how to fly, not play games.

Featured Link!
Curtis Youngblood's site
Curtis is perhaps the most well known helicopter flier in the world.
His 3d demonstrations will...

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