Software You will Need
Hovercontrol is not bound to any particular type or version of helicopter flight simulation software. However, there are not that many to choose from. Our goal is to have information and resources for users of any of the following PC-based helicopter flight simulation platforms (not in any particular order):
Microsoft Flight Simulator X (Gold Edition Recommended)
This is the most current version of Microsoft Flight Simulator. We recommend getting the Gold Edition if possible, this edition includes FSX Deluxe Edition and FSX Acceleration expansion pack. This is best combination to have in order to utilize add-on offerings later by 3rd party developers.
**IMPORTANT: Users that choose to purchase FSX, (anything other than Gold Edition) should also be sure to visit FSInsider.com in order to download and install Service Pack 1 and then Service Pack 2. As these service packs include important fixes for performance and stability of the software. Gold Edition already includes the updates you will need.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004
This is the version of Microsoft Flight Simulator that preceded Flight Simulator X and is still used by many flight simulation enthusiasts around the world. Most of the helicopter related features of Microsoft Flight Simulator did not change drastically between this version and the latest version. Because Flight Simulator 2004 has better performance on mid-range computer hardware, it is still a popular choice for those users that have not updated the computers or have experienced problems using Microsoft Flight Simulator X. Those users with Pentium4 (3.0ghz) will probably appreciate Flight Simulator 2004 over Flight Simulator X. However, depending on other factors of your hardware, each user's experience can vary.
*Note: Users that choose this simulation platform should also be sure to visit Microsoft Update for FS2004 in order to download and install the FS9.1 Update for FS2004 (FS2004 is often referred to as FS9). This update includes important fixes for performance and stability of the software.
X-Plane 9 by Laminar Research
X-Plane 9 is probably the most visually appealing of X-plane to date and has many features for helicopter enthusiasts. It is difficult to compare X-plane to Microsoft Flight Simulator products, and many users choose to own this simulator in addition to their Microsoft Flight Simulator choice. Most exciting to helicopter enthusiasts is its more realistic handling of some of the physical behaviors of helicopters in flight. It requires a better and more realistic understanding of helicopter flight to fully appreciate. It has many visual (eye-candy) and atmospheric features that are superior to Microsoft Flight Simulator, but also has some features that are not as developed. It is a sophisticated simulation platform, with an interface that takes some time to master. The community of helicopter oriented users of this simulator is smaller than the Microsoft Flight Simulator helicopter enthusiasts, but at Hovercontrol we are striving to introduce this platform to our community much like we did with Microsoft's products.
*Note: Users that choose this simulation platform should also be sure to visit X-Plane Update Site in order to download and install X-Plane 9 updater. This updater will bring your X-plane 9 base installation up to the current revision (X-plane is updated regularly).
Purchasing Flight Simulator Software
Click HERE for information about purchasing helicopter simulation software.