Our suggestions for Christmas 2017

Here it is, once again, folks. the Holidays are here! Here's a few suggestions for Christmas, from the HeliSimmer crew. Feel free to add your own as well!

Yes, we are a bit late but see it as last-minute suggestions! Lots of great stuff here!

What is it that we all love? New simming stuff! Be it software or hardware, there's nothing like enjoying our hobby with some nice goodies. Here are a few suggestions from our team.

Sérgio Costa

Sérgio Costa - HeliSimmerWell, if you don't have a good helicopter flight sim, that would be my first suggestions. Get X-Plane 11 and grab any of the two most amazing helicopters for it: the DreamFoil 407 or the X-Trident 412.

An excellent alternative would be DCS (the base sim is free, by the way - it comes with no helicopters but you'll be able to check how it runs in your computer) and he great Huey or the nimble Gazelle, which are my two favorite helicopters for this sim.

The other suggestion I'd like to do would be to get a VR rig. Either the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive. Folks, it's that good! Do make sure you have a good graphics card (which would also be a great Christmas purchase, by the way).

Happy Holidays!

DreamFoil Creations Bell 407 for X-Plane 11

Bel Geode (Bel Geode)

Bel GeodeWhen asked to make a Xmas "wishlist", it suddenly dawned on me that I already HAVE the items I wanted to get by Xmas. This year has been the year of the VR, so my xmas list to YOU would be things YOU would need to get going in the VR world (I'll spare the obvious of a VR headset): a good computer.

By this I mean something beefy with a lot of RAM, and a killer card. My suggestions are either the nVidia 1080, or the Radeon RX 480. For memory, no less than 16 Gigs RAM. Your CPU should be ideally an i7 chip (the faster the better), with about 6 or more cores. I know the bare minimum is 4 cores, but you'll thank me later for adding more. You may also want to get an SSD drive. Make sure you put your windows on a partition and leave that as the only thing on there, then the rest of it, you can use for wonderful sims like X-Plane, Aerofly FS2, DCS World, FSX-SE, and P3D v4.

Whether you choose the Oculus RIft, the HTC Vive, or any number of the new mixed reality headsets being beta tested now, making sure your computer can handle it is the MOST important thing for the VR experience.

One final thing that most people tend to overlook... Especially if you get an Oculus Rift. Invest in some VR Covers (Virtual Reality Hygiene Solutions makes one). It is cheap, and it does an amazing job at not only sopping up forehead sweat, but making your head more comfortable, when doing those long DCS missions, or those X-Plane long hauls. Some VR cover makers give you two in one package, and they are easily washable to keep them germ free. It makes a WORLD of difference!

Happy Holidays all, and see you next year. Ciao!

Virtual Reality: has it landed?

Joe Hudson

Joe Judson

Holiday wish list you say?

 I've been fortunate enough to get everything i want for my simulation experience, well, within reason of course. but if i could get anything i wanted this year, it would probably be a new Video card, perhaps a GTX 1080. Frame rates are everything in Helicopter simulation, and VR is very taxing on my GTX 980. I get good rates now, but when you're flying helicopters in a sim, the more frames per second you have can be a big factor in how much fun per second that you have!

The second thing i would get is more hard drive space. I discovered Ortho4XP this year (actually I've been aware of it for years I just finally got it working in 2017) and I would love to have more of the places I do my VFR flying covered in high resolution ortho photo tiles. But ask any user of Ortho4XP and they will tell you that it takes up TONES of space!

The last think I want for the holidays is the Dreamfoil MD500D! I know it's not available yet and still in the early stages of development, I just wanted to remind Dreamfoil that i'm still very excited about that project! but I'm sure as soon as the AS350 update for X Plane 11 is released it will be so good I'll be distracted long enough for Dreamfoil to work in peace!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Joyous Kwanzaa to all!

Oh and I can't forget to give a shout out to Sir Issac Newton. Happy Birthday, Homeboy!

GeForce GTX 1080

Tristan Ayton (Novawing24)

Tristan Ayton - Novawing24So its that time of year when we get asked and ask ones self what do we want for the holidays? As a simmer it can sometimes be hard to sift through all the fabulous things available to us; the virtual smorgasbord of choices we have is really astonishing. From new and reinvigorated core simulators to a wide variety of addons to make it all so much more immersive; the struggle to choose is real. So I am going to pick my two, one for a perhaps mor advanced simmer and one that is equally applicable to new comers and old hands a like.

For the newcomer, or the old hand with older equipment, a good value set of controls is a must have. Some of the hardware in the market – while great quality – comes in at an eye wateringly high price. Thrustmaster has come to the rescue with a quality mid-range product that is extremely versatile and still affordable. The T16000M FCS Flight pack includes all the controls you need; Stick, Throttle and Rudder Pedals. The build quality is reasonable and the price of the whole set is less than US$200.00. This represents a great value “starter kit” for a new simmer; or for a more experienced simmer who wants to upgrade to a new full set of hardware without breaking the bank.

The second I have is something that is great for what it does to your sim, and its something you may not even realize is missing. The FS Global Ultimate Next Generation Terrain mesh will breathe an incredible amount of life into your flying experience (sorry X-Plane users this isn’t for you guys). In a nutshell terrain mesh is how pointy a mountain is, how deep a valley is and everything in between. This may not sound too important until you relaize that cliffs, mountains are just not rendered as well as they should in all flight sims. Enhancing these gives your experience a whoile new level of depth and complexity as you navigate around a far more dynamic and closer to real workld onditions in your sim. The great thing about this product is that it works across FSX, FSX:SE, P3Dv1-4 and FSW. So the main and upcoming polatforms can all take advantage of this incredibly detailed and in my opinion essential element of the flight simulation scenery build up. It compiles the latest refined data from around the globe to make your scenery far more representative of the real thing. It comes at a bit of a steep price but one that is worth it I believe!

Well they are my ideas for some Simulation Holiday cheer!

Safe Skies

Thrustmaster T16000 FCS

Sérgio Costa

About Sérgio Costa

Sérgio has been a flight simulation enthusiast for nearly 25 years. His passion with helicopters developed during MSFS 2000 when he discovered the complexity of these aircraft and the challenge it was to control them. Since then he has been primarily a helicopter flight simmer, trying his best not to crash and kill all his virtual passengers. Sérgio is HeliSimmer.com's editor and writer and one of the Three Grumpy Simmers, a YouTube series and Podcast produced together with YouTubers Bel Geode and NovaWing24, obviously dedicated to flight simulation.