I want to get into the RC plane hobby and decided to start with the hobbico avistar. Since many on this group recommend the Realflight simulator, I thought I would get the G3 software first, learn some basic skills and then buy the real thing.
Can G3 simulate the flying patterns of an Avistar? Would I have to get any add-ons for that? I already know about the beefing up my PC part.
I don't know if G3 has the Avistar in it, but I used the G2 for a while and it did a pretty good job of simulating the real thing (don't remember an Avistar though). But no simulator is going to be exact.
Landing is a problem because of the lack of peripheral vision. I made up for it by having a second small "window" with a "Pilot behind aircraft" view point to help make up for that,...but then it is almost like cheating because you don't get that good of a close up forward-viewing perspective of the plane in real life. So I had to force myself to only use it to get pointed the right way and get mostly lined up with the runway then use the big main "window" to do the actual landing.
The takoffs were fairly realistic with the engine torque making it hard to keep the plane steering in the right direction. Take offs and landings are the hardest part of flying the real thing as far as I am concerned,...anybody can hold it in the air if they are fairly sensible and intelligent.
Sims are cool, but should not be your only learning resource. You should get an instructor. There is lots of things to learn when you start out in RC. A simulator might help you, and maybe you might even be able to fly your trainer. But there is more to flying, than just flying.
If you can get the dimensions, weight, and airfoil (Selig) numbers for the Avistar you can modify any of the trainers in G3 to act pretty close to what you'll get from the real thing. Don't forget motor and prop data. However, I do agree with PhantomFlyer. Take your plane to the field and work with a qualified instructor. The most important thing you'll learn is safety! Also, I have yet to find a simulator that can replicate all the bumps and irregularities of a grass field. All the sims I've used have been inadequate in this respect and that makes all the difference when you try the real thing. So go out, enjoy the fresh air, have fun and be safe!
I have G2 and it has the Great Planes PT40 as its trainer. However, I've found that most trainers fly pretty much the same, although the Avistar does seem to fly a bit faster than than most of them with flat-bottomed airfoils. Can't remember if the Avistar is on any of the add-on discs. RealFlight does offer the Big Stik, an intermediate plane with a symmetrical airfoil that flies gentle enough for a beginner but agile enough to do the basic aerobatics once you progress. I think you have to buy an add-on disc to get it, though.
So does Hobbico's NexStar. I've got one of the NexStars. Trainers that are a bit "fast" must be a common thing for Hobbico. The NexStar is definitely more streamlined in its design and not so "squared off" and blocky looking as most typical trainers are.
I have a different take on simulators. Download the free FMS simulator. It has lots of free models including many trainers. You can get some basic flying in using a joystick game controller. Then get an interface to hook up your very own transmitter to the simulator. Get a lot of time flying with this configuration until you instinctively get our of trouble and do takeoff and land successfully.
At this point join an AMA sanctioned club and get a good instructor. A buddy box is a must for the first few flights. A FMA Co-Pilot is a great training tool too as you gain experience. If you get into trouble just let go of the controls. Try the Avistar in this training environment.
Start planning your next plane ,,, I would suggest a SPAD type trainer such as the Debonair. The reason is that with only $8.00 invested in the airframe, the nervousness factor (shaky fingers and weak knees) is almost eliminated. And if you crash you usually can repair it and get back into the air the next day rather than stare at bushel basket full of balsa, plywood & shredded Monocote.
I speak from experience .. I started with a GP PT-40 kit, FMS simulator, CoPilot, and graduated to a Debonair which I fly the hell out of. Three major crashes and several minor ones and it is still flying and doing acrobatics! I'm pulling the radio, engine and wing off the PT-40 to incorporate into another SPAD. I'm also building another SPAD for my 31cc Ryobi gas engine.
The G3 does not have an Avistar in the software as you purchase it, but others can add airplanes to the downloads page, and, in fact, someone has added the Avistar. It is therefore available as a free download. I believe you can see this if you go to the website and look at the available free downloads.
I think one of the big advantages of the simulators is that you can get used to the "reversal" of controls when the plane is coming toward you. I just bought G3 and it turns out to be fun and instructive. I would think G2 would be very much the same if you can get one substantially cheaper than you can G3. You can usually pick up G3 on Ebay for $150 or less.
I have RealFlight G4 (my computer will not run the 4.5 upgrade it lags badly). My flying club suggested that I try the GWS Slow Stick, and that has worked out very well. The entire airframe comes in an ARF kit (without the motor) for $20.00. (Kits with motors cost $35.00). Also there are several RealFlight GWS Slow Sticks that can be downloaded from
These sim models fly exactly like the real plane. G4 can even very effectively simulate various wind conditions.