|Price:||$169.98 -InterLink Elite Version|
|Developers:||Knife Edge Software|
|Distributed by:||Great Planes Model Mfg.|
As I sat hunched over my keyboard, burning the midnight oil, trying unsuccessfully to come up with some witty introduction to this review; some sort of clever analogy to convey to you how powerful of a tool RealFlight actually is, I had an epiphany – one that made me stop and think for a few minutes about how I got to where I am today. And the truth is: my professional career, all the interesting places I’ve traveled to while experiencing this great hobby, and the people and friends I’ve met along the way, I can ultimately trace back to one day when I was introduced to RealFlight.
I didn’t even own an airplane, nor had I ever flown one. I was a scrawny teenager who borrowed his mom’s car (if that puts a time stamp on this story) to drive out to the Tri-County RC Flyers field in Savannah, GA. With the sole intentions of just watching some airplanes fly, I was engaged by a kind older gentleman – who on trust alone – let me borrow his copy of RealFlight Classic. Fast forward twenty years, and I’m working in the industry I love, and doing my best to convince you that this software program is the single most powerful tool you can have in your radio-controlled arsenal.
Muscle memory is what’s needed to fly model aircraft: Practicing on the sticks, learning what to do when the plane is coming at you instead of away from you, learning what to do when the plane is coming at you and inverted; situations that require your brain to tell your fingers “don’t worry guys, we’ve been here before, you know what to do”. It’s repetition that makes you a great pilot. But it’s also the ability to hit the reset button when you auger your plane into terra firma a few hundred times. RealFlight 7.5 can do that, and a whole lot more. From a physics standpoint it’s as real as you can get without actually taking a real plane to a real field.
RealFlight 7.5 is available in five versions, all featuring the same software but with varying controller options. From a standard USB connection to a wireless one, RealFlight 7.5 has you covered.
InterLink Elite Controller Edition
If you’ve flown RealFlight in the past, chances are you have used the Interlink Elite controller. Featuring 8-channels and QuickSelect buttons that eliminate the need to use the mouse, The Interlink Elite has been the standard for controlling aircraft in RealFlight for many years. Additionally, cables are included to connect and use your own transmitter (with a trainer port) via the Interlink Elite. If your personal transmitter has either a barrel jack or 6-pin square trainer connection, your in business!
- RealFlight 7.5 InterLink Elite Controller Edition
- Trainer port cables included with the InterLink Elite Controller Edition . These cables allow you to use your personal transmitter
Tactic TTX610 Radio Edition
Break the tethered link between your transmitter and computer with the TTX610 Radio Edition. This RealFlight 7.5 edition comes with a functional TTX610 that also works with any SLT receiver as well. The included USB dongle binds to the TTX610, giving you a solid RF link between you and your computer. The only downside to the TTX610 Radio Edition is that you sacrifice 2 channels when compared to the Interlink Elite Controller Edition listed above.
Wireless SLT Transmitter Interface Edition
Do you own a transmitter that uses the Secure Link Technology protocol? If so, the Wireless SLT Transmitter Interface Edition might be for you. Tactic transmitters such as the TTX850 and TTX650, as well as the Hitec Aurora 9X can be used with this version. You can enjoy the freedom of wireless movement and use of your personal SLT-capable transmitter with the Wireless SLT Transmitter Interface Edition.
Transmitter Interface Edition
The Transmitter Interface Edition allows the pilot to use any transmitter with a trainer port to control RealFlight. The interface module plugs into the USB port on your computer and trainer port on your transmitter. The module features a reset/rewind button. Push the button to start over or hold it down to return to a preset point for a quick do-over. It’s great for practicing specific maneuvers without returning to the ground takeoff point.
Software-only Upgrade to RealFlight RF7.5
Finally, a software-only version is available for pilots that own a previous version of RealFlight. It’s compatible back to RealFlight G4.
RealPhysics™ 3D and Graphics
Because I have a powerful computer and graphics card, I’m able to run RealFlight 7.5 with the graphics cranked to their maximum settings and still maintain a very high frame rate of around 190 fps on some of the HD flying sites. But have no fear, because even with the graphics dropped to their lowest settings, the physics and natural stick feeling of each aircraft remain constant. RealFlight’s slogan is “True to Life”, and many of the graphics engines in the game echo this statement with names such as TruView, RealPhysics, and Real Rendering. Combined, they offer a unique flight experience filled with small details, accurate lighting, shadow, and sound effects. The idea was to create visuals and sounds as they are experienced at a field.
One of my favorite features in RealFlight is the ability to adjust physics speed and difficulty. While practicing rolling harriers, I turned the physics speed way down to 25%. As I began to understand the stick movements and coordination needed for rudder, aileron, and elevator, I slowly increased it up to 100% over time. The ability to slow down the speed of the model and giving your brain time to react is a valuable feature in RealFlight 7.5
Infinitely Adjustable. Hundreds of Scenarios.
I’ve been a fan of RealFlight since the original Classic edition, there’s no denying it. But until I had the chance to review 7.5, I had never fully explored the simulator and everything it has to offer. For weeks now I’ve been immersing myself in RealFlight and trying to discover something new each session. I’ve been successful every time.
There are 36 preset scenarios that offer a diverse experience with different types of aircraft, flying sites, and flight styles. From the typical, to the slightly odd, to the quite absurd, there’s plenty to keep you busy and honing your flight skills. If you want to create your own scenario, just click Manage Scenarios in the Simulation tab at the top of the screen and create one.
- The Scenario window. There are 36 presets and the ability to create your own
- Custom flying sites and scenarios are easy to make. I call this one “Carrier in a Field”
Speaking of creating, you can design and edit most flying sites and aircraft; through the FlexiField and AccuModel in-game editors, virtually anything is possible. Both editors are accessed in-game by Aircraft > Edit Current Aircraft and the Environment > Edit Current Environment menus.
It’s fun to take a break from the training aspect and just have some fun in the Challenges section. From balloon bursting to the RC limbo, spot landing and quadcopter trials, the Challenges section of RealFlight 7.5 tests your thumbs in game-like events. I’ve never hit the reset button so many times in the game as I did trying to spot land a Hobbico NexSTAR EP. Progressing through challenges earns you medals, and unlocks additional challenges, new aircraft to add to your hangar, and new flying fields. The challenges get progressively more difficult as you complete them.
RealFlight 7.5 Challenges:
- FPV Scavenger Hunt
- Air Race
- Balloon Burst
- Ring Race
- Spot Landing
- Quadcopter Trials
I found Spot Landing, Ring Race, and Limbo to be the most fun. The most challenging were Air Race, Grapple, and Quadcopter Trials. I found it difficult to judge my aircraft’s distance from objects in a few of these challenges.
Flying with friends and other modelers is what makes the hobby even more enjoyable, and RealFlight has fine tuned their multiplayer feature with many different types of group activities. As long as you have an internet connection, you can join events, start your own session, and even hook up with instructors for flight training. Combat games are also an exciting aspect of the multiplayer feature, and you can choose from a number of different combat styles; from machine guns and rockets, to streamers and paintball, you can square off against other pilots and even target specific players with the targeting system.
To access the multiplayer feature, click the Multiplayer tab at the top of the screen. The drop down menu allows you to setup a pilot profile, join events already in session, and create your own event. Multiple hosting options allow you to specify what type of session you want to host and allows you to drop the ban hammer on problem pilots that just won’t follow your rules.
A Multitude of Training Aids
If you’ve never flown helicopters, fixed wing, or anything that flies, RealFlight 7.5 is the best training tool in which you can invest. From in-game content to video tutorials, there’s enough content to help make you a better pilot on the sticks. And if you don’t want to watch videos or practice with help, just pick your aircraft, choose a flying site, and become close friends with the reset button!
You can also pick a specific point in flight to reset, for those times that you want to practice a move without having to take off and maneuver into position. By pressing “P” on the keyboard, RealFlight records the aircraft’s current location and will reset to that point when the reset button is pushed.
- Hover training allows you to concentrate on one control surface at a time and progress upwards to all four controls
- Heli orientation training. Learn from an AI instructor
- Watch standard flight and 3D demos from accomplished and well known rc pilots
- Jim Bourke shows you how to snap roll. Tutorials feature voice-over and a transmitter detailing stick movements
The Multirotor Revolution
Just like FPV, multirotors have become extremely popular in the past 5 years and are arguably the most sought after radio-controlled aircraft types as of late. RealFlight 7.5 scratches that itch with 9 different multirotor aircraft to fly. And just like the real thing, most feature GPS stability and altitude hold.
- Explorer 580
- Gaui 330S-X
- H4 Quadcopter 520
- Hexacopter 780
- Octocopter 1000
- Quadcopter X
- Tricopter 900
First Person View (FPV)
FPV is one of the most popular and fastest growing segments in the hobby, and RealFlight 7.5 has embraced this unique flying style with some FPV based aircraft and a heads-up display for a very realistic experience. Multirotors such as the H4 Quadcopter 540, the Quadcopter X, and the Explorer 580 are designed specifically for FPV flight.
The heads-up display (HUD) is accessible by pressing 9 on the keyboard. While it’s available for any aircraft and any type of camera view, it’s best suited for FPV flying. The HUD presents real-time flight info such as battery mAh used, height, speed, distance and direction to home, compass heading and climb/sink rate. This HUD features an F-16 style altitude ladder and artificial horizon and mimics the majority of HUD displays found on popular controllers.
- The H4 Quadcopter 520 is one of a few FPV-specific aircraft in RealFlight 7.5
- Press 9 on the keyboard for a heads-up display, perfect for FPV missions
RealFlight 7.5 is an extremely powerful software program that gives you the power to learn to fly model aircraft successfully. From a training aspect, it helps you develop the muscle memory needed to pilot an airplane or helicopter through advanced flight maneuvers, or just learn the basics of taking off and landing. Even if you’ve never flown a model before, you can be up to speed and in pattern quickly, thanks to the multitude of training aids in the game.
If you grow weary of flying in circles or practicing the same 3D routine until it’s perfect, take a break with some of the available game-style content. From challenges to scenarios, paintball to FPV, there’s just so much content available that it’s easy to get lost in the fun that is RealFlight 7.5. Thanks for reading my review, and don’t forget to watch the video at the beginning.
There are over 140 unique aircraft to fly in RealFlight 7.5. This includes fixed-wing powered airplanes and gliders, helicopters, multirotors, one SkyShip blimp, and one tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey.
- Wright Flyer (1903)
- AJ Slick (51 inch)
- Albatros D.Va
- AR-6 Endeavor
- North American AT-6 Texan
- AviStar Elite
- B-25 Mitchell
- Bede BD-5J
- Great Planes Big Stik
- Great Planes Big Stik w/ Floats
- DynaFlite Bird of Time
- ElectriFly BLT Park Flyer
- Hall Bulldog
- Great Planes CAP 232
- Top Flite Cessna 182 Skylane
- Dynaflite Super Decathlon
- Gary Wright Model Products E3D
- ElectriFly Cirrus SR-22 Turbo
- ElectriFly Edge 540
- ElectriFly Edge 540T EP 3D XLC
- ElectriFly PBY Catalina
- ElectriFly Rifle
- Hobbico ElectriStar
- ElectriFly ElectroStreak
- Extra 300L
- Tower Hobbies Extra Special
- ElectriFly FlatOuts Extra 300S
- Great Planes Fling 2-Meter
- Flyzone AirCore ME-109
- Flyzone AirCore P-51
- Flyzone AirCore Principle
- Flyzone Beechcraft Staggerwing
- Flyzone Calypso
- Cessna 182 Skylane
- Flyzone DHC-2 Beaver
- Flyzone DHC-2 Beaver on floats
- Flyzone Diablo Sport
- Flyzone Diablo Trainer
- Flyzone Hadron
- Flyzone Millennium Master
- Flyzone Mini Switch Sport
- Flyzone Mini Switch Trainer
- Flyzone Sensei
- Flyzone SkyFly
- Flyzone SkyFly 2
- Flyzone Switch Sport
- Flyzone Switch Trainer
- ElectriFly Fundango
- Gee Bee R-2
- General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper
- Great Planes Kunai
- Great Planes Micro F-86 Sabre EDF
- Great Planes Proud Bird
- Great Planes Revolver
- ElectriFly Yak-54 3D
- L-39 Albatross
- ME 262
- Messerschmitt BF109e
- Mistral 3M
- Mitsubishi A6M Zero
- Multiplex Easy Star
- Multiplex ParkMaster 3D
- Hobbico NexSTAR
- Hobbico NexSTAR EP
- P-51D Mustang
- P-6E Hawk
- PAU Edge 540 36%
- Piper J-3 Cub
- Piper J-3 Cub w/Floats
- Pitts S-2B
- Great Planes PT-40
- Ripmax WOT 4 Foam-E Mk2
- Russian Thunder Yak-54
- Ryan STA
- Schneider Cup Racer
- Shuriken 60″ Sloper
- Sig Seniorita
- Simple Flyer
- ElectriFly Slinger
- Sopwith Pup
- Great Planes SpaceWalker
- Great Planes Spirit 100
- Great Planes Super Sportster
- Great Planes Super Sportster w/Floats
- Sbach Thunderbolt 35%
- Top Flite F4U Corsair
- Top Flite Focke-Wulf 190
- Mitsubishi A6M Zero
- Travel Air Mystery Ship
- Hobbico Twinstar
- Ultimate Biplane
- Great Planes Ultra Sport
- V-22 Osprey
- Wild RC Mini IFO