• Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, or
• Intel Pentium 1.0 GHz or equivalent
• 512 MB RAM
• 10 GB hard drive space
• DVD drive
• 3-D accelerated video with 32 MB dedicated
• Full DirectX 9 compliant (Shader Model 2.0
• USB port
• Dual core 2. 4 GHz CPU
• 2 GB RAM
• 3-D accelerated video with 512 MB
dedicated video memory
• Windows 8 Home
• Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge 3. 2 GHz processor
• 8 GB DDR3 RAM
• 1TB 7,200 rpm hybrid hard drive
• NVIDIA GeForce G T 630M graphics with 1
GB dedicated memory
• Price: $49.98 to $179.99
• Simulator physics are true to real flight.
• Great graphics.
• Improved user interface navigation from
• New bundles with transmitter options.
• Free future updates and swap files.
• Swap file integration is slightly clunky.
AT A GLANCE ...
Pilots can find hundreds of additional user-submitted aircraft and flying fields to download
through the Knife Edge Software swap pages.
During the installation, RealFlight asked me to verify that I
had the latest version of Microsoft Direct X. If your computer
does not have that version, expect a few more minutes of
RealFlight 7 does not automatically start when installation
is complete. Users need to manually launch the simulator. The
first time the program launches, pilots will need to validate the
software by entering the serial numbers on the CD and the
Operating the Simulator
An improvement most users will find with RealFlight 7 is
a quick startup. On average, it takes 10 seconds to launch the
simulator. A welcome screen allows users to easily select an
field, or challenge.
screen will also
indicate if there
are any updates.
it only takes a
few seconds to
load any aircraft
5-10 seconds to
load. The more
flying fields take
the longest, but
the process is still
an earlier version
will also notice
controller menus for a better user interface. This was probably
developed to accommodate additional transmitters in addition
to the previously standard InterLink Elite controller.
Aircraft and Flying Sites
RealFlight 7 boasts more than 90 airplanes and 30
helicopters out of the box. Everything from park flyer foamies,
to 3-D aerobatic aircraft, warbirds, and quadcopters are ready
for flight. Players also have more than 40 3-D and PhotoField
flying sites from which to choose. If a pilot wants more, he or
she should take advantage of swap files.
Knife Edge Software, which created RealFlight, allows other
players to create and share user-generated aircraft and flying
fields (swap files). Any user can download and install these
new aircraft and flying fields to RealFlight. There are thousands
of files to download.
Although some earlier user-generated content, such as flying
fields designed for RealFlight 6. 5, will work with RealFlight 7,
it’s best to download files specifically designed for RealFlight
7. Because RealFlight 7 is relatively new, there isn’t much
user-generated content available. Most past versions have at
least 1,000 files available for download, so I’m confident that
RealFlight 7 shared swap content will become populated.
I downloaded the Culpeper Model Barnstormers RC Flying
Field swap file. The user experience to install these shared files
is slightly clunky. After a swap file is downloaded, users need
to open Real Flight 7. From there, select Simulation > Import
> Real Flight Archive, then select the newly downloaded file.
The installation time for the Culpepper Model Barnstormers
flying field was approximately 30 seconds.
Because swap files are user-generated content, not all flying
fields or aircraft may match RealFlight’s standards. My newly
added flying field did not include a preview file and it took
slightly longer to load, but overall, it was a great field to add
to the simulator. If Fun2av8RC, the Culpepper flying field
provider, is reading this article—thanks for the contribution!
If you are unfamiliar with the variety of simulators on the
market, many would argue that RealFlight flight simulators
offer the best flight physics and environmental conditions.
57 Model Aviation APRIL 2014