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pryoski

If you're into helicopters; the Schweizer S300CBi

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The Dreamfoil Schweizer S300CBi Revision1 is now available (the chopper only came out last week).

 

There's a great review at Helisimmer where it's one of the top rated helicopters there and scores slightly higher than the DCS Huey (which I also love).

 

If you are a virtual chopper pilot, then do yourself a favour and check it out. I nearly passed up on this one because it looked so insignificant ... boy was I wrong, it's a ton of fun to fly and great for honing basic helicopter flying skills.

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I Agree,She's a Highly detailed Beauty,Thanks for the revision info.

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Fully agreed, the S300CBi is a huge amount of fun to fly! The modelling and the sounds are outstanding as well. Plus, there's a lot of small details that make the simulation really come alive. A must-have, IMO.

 

Also, thanks for the link to the Helisimmer review! A great read, especially since the reviewer has lots of experience on the real thing.

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I normally avoid buying payware that isn't a good virtual money-maker in the FSEconomy game (and this isn't, with just one passenger seat). But it sure looks fun to fly, and probably a good platform for checking out new scenery additions.

 

I have another purchase to deal with first, but I'll pick this up soon to add to my current payware helicopter fleet of BK-117, Bell 407, and Bell 412. X-Plane has some great helicopters and they all have different personalities. 

 

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Thanks for the heads up on the revision.

 

Also worth noting, is that they released a 4K version of the panel textures on the .org. I was very happy to see this, since it was one of my only slight (very slight) disappointments.

 

EDIT: Aaaannnd having just installed those textures into the revision version, it looks like if you currently install the revision, there's no need to install the 4K textures - they're already there. That said, if the 4K panel textures give you issues, there's smaller ones in the original 1.0 download (if you kept it). :wink:

 

EDIT #2: Having just tried out the new revision, I should clarify a bit more, since my text above sounded like I was kind of so-so on this...

 

 

I truly think that this is the best helicopter I've ever flown, in any sim, ever. I'm not a pilot, so I'm unable to judge on the accuracy of the flight modelling, but that part feels believable. However, the immersion of this little helicopter is so far above any other, even their own previous offerings, that it's in a whole other league. It's even quite a bit higher than the majority of fixed wing addons out there.

 

It's the little details that do it. Lighting, sound, motion. One tiny example: Put on the headphones, they muffles the higher pitched noises. Take the headphones off, and they hang back up, and sway on the hook for a few seconds, slowly coming to a rest. Nothing to do with flying, but everything to do with immersion. Another example is the blade tie-down system. Stand at the back, rotate the tail rotor until a main rotor blade overhangs the tail boom, and then drag the rope from the main rotor blade to the boom. Walk around, repeat for the other two blades. Simply awesome. I'm not going to detract from some of the other 'walkaround' simulations going on out there, but the sheer usability of what they've implemented, and how they've implented it, is really something special.

 

What else... the animated checklist foldout is really, really neat. The amount of customization available from their signature radial popup menu is impressive. Start up is easy; everything I enjoy from their R22, plus more. There's something about starting up the little motor, then going through the manual steps to get the blades spinning, love it.

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This thing looks gorgeous, but....... I'm afraid to buy it.  I tried a chopper once (just once) in FSX some years ago and it was a self-esteem blowing experience haha! .... I just could not get the thing to do anything I wanted it to do.   I'm worried I'll buy this beauty but be physically unable to fly it, crashing as soon as I take off.

 

Would people say it's accessible to a complete whirlybird newbie? ...... as I said, I've never flown a helicopter in X-Plane so no idea how great the learning curve will be in terms of being able to maneouvre it - even just a little!

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I'm afraid to buy it. I tried a chopper once (just once) in FSX some years ago and it was a self-esteem blowing experience haha! ...

 

I've got 3,000 hours in real world helicopters and can not fly the FSX helicopters.  What I do instinctively just doesn't work. :smile:

 

The US military used the TH-55 (Hughes 300/S300) for years as their primary helicopter trainer. 

 

blaustern

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I'm afraid to buy it.  I tried a chopper once (just once) in FSX some years ago and it was a self-esteem blowing experience haha!

 

Hah, I know what you mean. I only started flying helos in X-Plane a short time ago, and to be honest, I didn't have much fun in the beginning! But the great thing is, you can see your skills improving hour by hour. The first few times I crashed on takeoff... Now, I can usually take off, maneuver, and even my landings can now be classified as survivable accidents for the most part. :P

 

I've only flown the S300CBi for two hours or so, but so far I've found it to be quite stable and very forgiving. That is, as long as the weather is fine and there isn't much wind. In windy conditions, it quickly becomes obvious that this is a light helicopter...

Other helos I've flown are the X-Trident Bell 412 and the Dreamfoil Bell 407, as well as some freeware ones (there's a great model here: http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/33062-mi-17-v5-xp10-beta/). The 412 is the most stable one and even has an autopilot.

 

However, overall I'd go with the S300CBi. For one thing, the model is so good, it's totally worth investing a few hours to learn how to fly the thing. And another important reason is that it comes with an adjustable stability feature, which will make it more stable. When you get more confident you can start reducing it. That's what I did when I started flying the 407 which has the same feature.

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I've got 3,000 hours in real world helicopters and can not fly the FSX helicopters.  What I do instinctively just doesn't work. :smile:

 

The US military used the TH-55 (Hughes 300/S300) for years as their primary helicopter trainer. 

 

blaustern

 

So what's your take on this little product?

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So what's your take on this little product?


 

For flight sim or real life?

 

blaustern

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This thing looks gorgeous, but....... I'm afraid to buy it.  I tried a chopper once (just once) in FSX some years ago and it was a self-esteem blowing experience haha! .... I just could not get the thing to do anything I wanted it to do.   I'm worried I'll buy this beauty but be physically unable to fly it, crashing as soon as I take off.

 

Would people say it's accessible to a complete whirlybird newbie? ...... as I said, I've never flown a helicopter in X-Plane so no idea how great the learning curve will be in terms of being able to maneouvre it - even just a little!

 

Bill, it takes a different mind set and a new set of muscle memory to fly helicopters. Once you get the mind and reflexes wrapped around using a collective, a cyclic and yaw pedals things start to fall into place.

 

The first thing you want to do in sim .. have no idea if it's RL or not .. but this worked for me; is to master the hover. Just a few feet off the ground and try to minimise drift. Once you can hover and move slowly from spot to pre-designated spot you'll have the basic skills to fly helicopters (in sim). Flying from point A to point B in choppers is easy, it's the precision flying (slow) that's makes the difference.

 

Hope that helps.

 

 

I Agree,That Mi-8 is a Quality Product.

 

 

@Phantom ... right on mate! It's definitley my favourite medium/heavy helicopter. I REALLY hope that Conex makes it across to do some DCS modules. I want a Jolly Green Giant or a Chinook tbh ... I'm Teapot on the DCS forums btw. 

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Would people say it's accessible to a complete whirlybird newbie? ...... as I said, I've never flown a helicopter in X-Plane so no idea how great the learning curve will be in terms of being able to maneouvre it - even just a little!

 

My recommendation in the past would have been to start with one of the larger models, because in full realism modes they tend to be more stable. Small/light helos are twitchier, which of course is one reason they're used as trainers (as well as being less expensive to operate). If you can fly an R-22 or S300 you can fly anything. But with the limitations of flight sims, it's easier for a newbie with the heavier models, usually.

 

This new S300cbi may be an exception, especially with the artificial stability option. Fewer distractions too, compared to the complex panel of something like the X-Trident Bell 412 (my current favorite).

 

What kind of controls do you have? Some people manage without the full setup of joystick (cyclic), separate throttle quadrant (collective), and rudder pedals. But I think it's harder to get the feel of coordinating everything without this setup. A joystick that isn't too strongly spring-loaded will help too. I removed the big mainspring from my Thrustmaster Warthog stick so it has a much lighter, floppier feel for flying helicopters.

 

Finally, as others said above, spend a lot of time at first in a hover just off the ground. Try following the taxi lines around an airport at a slow speed. That will get you started. Flying at altitude in cruise mode is very similar to flying a fixed wing plane. It's the hover, and transitioning from cruise down to a safe landing that are the hardest things to learn. 

 

tl;dr -- Go for it! Helicopters are too much fun to ignore in a good flight sim like X-Plane. 

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