Archives for August 2014

RealFlight for the Apple iPad!

I ran across something the other day that will interest anyone who flies radio control model aircraft. And best of all, this item is free!

 

Screen shot of RealFlight on the iPad.

Screen shot of RealFlight on the iPad.

RealFlight is a computer programs that allows an RC pilot to fly a wide range of aircraft and realistically practice all sorts of aerial maneuvers on their computer with a hand-held “transmitter” (plugged in via a USB) that exactly mimics a regular radio transmitter. The visuals and flight behavior of the model are extremely realistic. The RealFlight simulator can assist new as well as experienced model aircraft pilots with increasing their flight skills in the comfort of their own homes.

It turns out that RealFlight offers a free version of their simulator program for the Apple iPad! I had no idea of this. Upon learning of this development, it was a simple matter to search for the RealFlight simulator in the App store on my iPad and download the app. This took all of one minute, and I was ready to give it a try.

Simple setup screen for RealFlight on the iPad, showing the airport and plane.

Simple setup screen for RealFlight on the iPad, showing the airport and plane.

The free version includes a grass strip flying field and a choice of two aircraft. One airplane is a trainer and the other is a PT-17 Stearman biplane. The transmitter controls are the sticks in the lower left (throttle and rudder) and lower right (elevator and aileron) corners of the iPad. As with everything on the iPad, the control sticks on this virtual transmitter are moved as needed by touch finger movements on the screen.

Image of the Stearman getting ready for takeoff. Note RC controls at bottom left and right, just like a normal transmitter.

Image of the Stearman getting ready for takeoff. Note RC controls at bottom left and right, just like a normal transmitter.

There is a launch button, and your airplane takes off. I have an iPad Air, the newest version, and the graphics are impressive, as is the sound of the airplane flying around. While the iPad update of RealFlight is not as versatile as the version for a home computer, it makes for a handy and easily used addition to your computer aids for RC flight. And you cannot beat the price.

There are additional sales available within the program, to include new flying fields and additional aircraft. These are very reasonable in cost, ranging from 1-3 US dollars. Not a bad deal overall, and there is no need to purchase anything if you do not wish to.