Aerofly For Mac

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Aerofly FS offers you the possibility to fly planes from the comfort of your Mac, due to its realistic flight simulator. Aerofly FS provides aircraft models that have an authentic design and is able to simulate both the terrain and the weather conditions. Despite the high quality graphics, aerofly. Aerofly Pro Deluxe has the unrivaled realistic physics of model management among all the ever existing simulations. Aerofly Pro Deluxe is intended both for training novice modelers for mastering their skills in controlling radio-controlled models of airplanes and helicopters, and for training. On this set-up, Aerofly is running at over 100 frames per second in High and Ultra graphics settings. Definitely looks pretty amazing (crisper, smoother, more detail, etc) compared to my older Macbook Pro laptop running at 35 frames per second on graphics set to Low. . aerofly FS does not run on the MacBook Air models from 2012 or earlier. Fulfill your dream of flying with aerofly FS! DESCRIPTION aerofly FS lets you enter the world of flying in a quality never seen before. Aerofly FS sets a high value on realistic flight physics, highly detailed aircraft and terrain and smooth frame rates.

Review: aerofly RC 7
RC Flight Simulator for the Mac
Standard Version 7.0.7
Aerofly
By Ipacs of Germany

By Ken Myers
Editor: The Ampeer Electric Flight Newsletter
Electric Flyers Only (EFO) of southeastern Michigan
May 2014

Two column .pdf version suitable for printing.

Preface

With my left arm in a sling for at least six weeks, while recovering from rotator cuff surgery, I needed something to occupy my mind and time.

I remembered seeing an ad for the new aerofly RC 7 RC Flight Simulator on page 119 of the April 2014 Model Aviation. The interesting thing, for me, was that there was a Mac version.

I've owned, and used, four other RC flight simulators; the Dave Brown simulator for the Apple IIe/GS, MachineWorks NorthWest: CockpitMaster, Reflex XTR, and the free FMS flight simulator supplied with a Dynam USB 6-channel transmitter-type game controller purchased from NitroPlanes. The Dynam controller now comes with the ClearViewSE RC Flight Simulator.

I'm not a huge fan of RC flight simulators for learning to fly RC planes. NONE of the previously mentioned simulators provided the field of vision found at the flying field. The perspective is not correct and the peripheral objects, to help the pilot stay aligned with the runway at the real field, are not available on the virtual display.

After using the previously mentioned simulators, I believe that even the $20 NitroPlanes Windows based flight simulator, with the USB 6-channel transmitter-type game controller, is 'good enough' for RC flight training purposes.

Since I only am interested in non-rotary aircraft, I concentrated on the functions and features for them. Most RC flight simulators are good for learning the basics of rotary flight. Typically, RC rotary flight does not require as large a field of vision as airplanes.

A visit to the Web site listed in the ad, www.ikarus-usa.com, found all of the Mac versions listed as out of stock.

For

A Google search lead to the Mac App Store where aerofly RC 7 is available as a download. The Standard version was listed for $44.99. With the MI sales tax added, it was $47.69.

The Google search also lead me to the aerofly RC 7 Web site, www.aeroflyrc.com, where they noted that the Mac version is available in the Mac App store.

There is a comparison chart on the aerofly Web site (www.aeroflyrc.com/compare.html) that compares the features of the Standard, Professional and Ultimate versions of the program. Using the aerofly compare page, it seemed that there was a difference in what was listed for the Standard Windows version and what I received as a download for the Mac.

The comparison page on the Ikarus Web site shows that the comparison page on the aerofly site is incorrect. It is shown correctly on the Ikarus site.

The search also lead to the download for the manual at dl1.aerofly.com/aerofly-rc-7-manual-english.pdf. After checking the system requirements, it was downloaded onto my 17-inch, 2011, MacBook Pro. The manual also indicated that the Mac versions were available at the Mac App Store.

It was a good thing I downloaded the manual. There was no manual delivered in the HUGE download.

Version 7.0.7 was downloaded from the Mac App store on March 31, 2014. It is a HUGE application and took many, many hours to download using my very slow DSL connection.

A through reading of the manual was completed while running the program to learn each feature. The manual, covering all three versions, documents the Windows versions with no mention of Mac alternate keys.

For Example - from the manual
'In order to achieve the different viewer positions in the multi-pano sceneries, press the Page Up/Down keys. The keys 'V' and 'B' are only for switching between the different model positions.'

There are no Page Up/Down keys on my MacBook Pro. One way that Page Up on the Mac is accomplished by pressing and holding the fn key and tapping the up arrow key. Page Down is accomplished by pressing and holding the fn key and tapping the down arrow key.

Aerofly For Mac

The Page Up/Down keys are used to change to different flying areas in a multi-panorama scenery, which is a venue with more than one flying site, like the AMA site in Muncie, IN.

I also found several undocumented features.
They include:

Press the spacebar at any time to return to the original take off position.

Use the scroll wheel on the mouse to increase or decrease the field of vision.

For a hand launch, place the cursor over the aircraft until the cursor changes to an up arrow over a down arrow. Click and hold the left mouse button and move the aircraft off of the ground. Throttle up. Let go of the mouse button. Grab the transmitter stick and start flying. That is very much like hand launching by yourself. Also an aircraft can be hand launched from a 2 meter height by pressing the J key or 50 meters by pressing the H key.
The manual, on page 16, showing how to lift and lower the model off of the ground, has the cursor switched with the turn model cursor. The photos are reversed.

To use the glider tow feature requires a second controller to be set up and the two player splitscreen view to be used. The tow plane is not automatically programmed into the simulation and must be flown.

US units (Simulation, Simulation setting, language) don't appear to be activated in the Standard version. The aircraft descriptions remain in metric units and do not change when US units are chosen.

Setting Up the Program and Controller
There are a lot of choices for input/controller devices. The choices include your own transmitter via cable or wirelessly with your own wireless receiver and adapter and any brand of transmitter-like USB controller.

Since a Dynam USB 6-channel transmitter-like controller was on-hand, it was attached to the laptop and the program started.

The manual noted, 'If you connect an USB controller to your computer at the program start, which has not yet been calibrated in the aerofly-flight simulator, you will first be asked whether it is a transmitter, joystick or a gamepad.'

That did not happen. I had to choose PPM from the Controller drop-down menu before the input device setup and calibration would start. Sometimes I also had to choose PPM from the Controller drop-down menu after the computer had been shut off over night before it recognized the transmitter-like USB controller again.

The controller calibration was easily completed following the on-screen prompts. I did have to return to a previous screen and recalibrate the elevator maximum throw.

The program did NOT have to be activated as noted in the manual. My guess is that activation is taken care of by downloading from the Mac App Store.

Once the transmitter was calibrated, a glow high-wing trainer, a Great Planes PT-40, was presented automatically and positioned on the default runway, Bennet Flying Field in Nevada, USA, with its engine running.

I could not resist taking the plane up for a short hop or two. I thought, 'Wow! This is set to the best field of vision/view I'd ever seen.' Landings from both directions were very realistic!

After using the simulator for several days, I thought that I was not satisfied with the location of the center of gravity (CG) and the preset throws on some of the airplanes' control surfaces.

Using dual rates tamed down some of the control surfaces for my type of flying.

Selecting Aircraft

Aircraft are selected from the main menu Aircraft, Load Aircraft or the Quick Launch menu.

There are several folders displayed in the Select aircraft window.

The Folders
All models
- displays all 34 of the aircraft in the Standard version for the Mac
Airplanes - displays 16 airplanes that aren't Gliders or Jets
Helis - displays 7 helicopters and 1 quadcopter
Gliders - displays 8 gliders
Jets - displays 2 jets
Floatplanes - contains nothing
True Scale - contains nothing
Favorites - provides a folder for quick access to your favorite aircraft. A right click on an aircraft opens a menu to add or delete an aircraft to or from this folder.
Recently flown - shows the aircraft most recently flown
Never flown - shows the aircraft never flown
Pro - shows previews of the additional aircraft in the Professional version
Ultimate - shows previews of the additional aircraft in the Ultimate version

Aerofly For Mac Download

Other options on the Select aircraft screen
Display mode
- toggles between a thumbnail view and a list view of the folder contents in the active window.

Sort by - sorts the aircraft by; Name, Type, Span, Mass, Scale or Time.

The right pain of the window shows the model selected and information about it.

Other options that may be available in the right window pain, depending on the aircraft and program version

Paint scheme - allows the paint scheme to be changed if an alternate scheme exists

Available configurations - allows a change to the aircraft's attributes if an alternate configuration exists

Aerofly

A Scaling feature appears in the right pain of the Professional and Ultimate versions that allows the user to change the scale of all models in a range between 50% and 200% of their original size. It is NOT activated in the Standard version.

Scenery, besides providing a place to fly, is the key that unlocks the special features of the program. There are six different venues included in the Standard version.

The differences between the three types of scenery are NOT described in the manual. I have provided the information on the types of scenery.

4D Sceneries - 1 included. 4D adds time of day to the three dimensions, length, width and height. The terrain, objects, and lighting are rendered 'on the fly' by the program. Only 4D allows for different points of view or camera placement.
Multi-Panoramas - 2 included. Photo realistic venue with more than one place to fly at the particular venue. Clicking the mouse pointer in an eye in a conversation bubble moves the launch/takeoff point to a different area of the flying site. Also, holding down the fn key and tapping the up or down arrow key moves to different flying sites at the same venue.
Panoramas - 3 included. Photo realistic venue with only one flying site.

There are also folders for Favorites and Recently visited and preview folders for the scenery found in the Pro and Ultimate versions.

Four of the six fields provided with the Standard version have what the manual notes as 'contests'. I call them tasks or skill building experiences. They include; Balloon popping, Limbo flying, Pylon race, Air race, Landing contest, Autorotation landing. Only Balloon popping, Limbo flying, and Landing contest are available in some sceneries in the Standard version. There are also indicators as to whether a winch or helper is available to launch a sailplane. If a sailplane winch or helper is not available at a particular venue, the keys J and H can be used to launch a sailplane from two different heights or the mouse can be used to raise the aircraft to hand launch height.

Right clicking on any part of the active scenery brings up a Quick launch menu of the most frequently used functions available at that venue.

Instruments and Information Window

This feature presents in-flight instruments and information in the form of small, relocatable, transparent windows on the main screen. Sometimes their default placement makes them difficult to see.

In-flight Information:
Binoculars
- shows a close up view of the plane's attitude
Flight information - shows the aircraft's ground speed, height above ground level (AGL), elevation above sea level (ASL), distance the aircraft is away from the observation point, and FPS (frames per second).
Transmitter - shows a close up view of the transmitter stick movement
Model functions - shows available extra functions such as retracts, flaps, smoke, etc.
Console - window position is fixed in the lower left corner of the screen. It shows information on the currently chosen camera mode and also on the next steps.

Instruments:
Compass/Wind
- heading indicator with wind direction and strength indicator shown
Variometer - shows height above the ground level (AGL)
Tachometer - not really - it's a ground speed calculator that displays the current aircraft speed across the ground and holds a display of the highest ground speed reached during the flight. (1 knot = 1.15078 mph)
Landing assist - supposed to help set up proper landing approach. I did't find it useful.

Point of View (POV) or Various Camera Modes

There are very good technical reasons for what the user sees on screen being called camera positions, but I find it easier to understand calling it the viewer's POV.

Your field of vision is what you see when you are looking at something. Your focus is best in the center of the field of vision and the diminishes on objects towards the periphery.

All of the following are found in the View menu or one of its sub-menus.

The field of vision, how large the area is that the user is focusing on, can be set in the sub-menu Camera Settings or by using specified keys to increase or decrease the field of vision. The scroll roller on a mouse can also be used to change the field of vision. This is NOT documented in the manual.

The V and B keys may be used to select alternate aircraft starting positions at a given venue.

Fixed view mode is the typical RC flying view.

Follow mode, Pivot mode, and Cockpit mode are available with 4D scenery for just 'playing around'. For the model planes in the Standard version, Follow and Cockpit view were the same. Cockpit view may only apply when a full-scale plane is selected. There were no full-scale planes in the Mac Standard version.

Camera Settings found as a sub-menu of View
Field of view, Auto zoom, Height dependence, and Camera delay are explained in the manual and adjusted in this menu.

Moving the POV and the Model

The POV can be changed by holding down the left mouse button and moving the mouse.

The aircraft's position can be changed by placing the cursor over the aircraft, notating the cursor change and then dragging the mouse. This is very handy for hand launching.

The Controller Menu

The Controller Menu sets up and calibrates the controller. The advanced options allow and assign functions to specific switches, buttons and sliders on the transmitter or keyboard. Dual rates and expo can also be set up or the ones from a real transmitter used. Up to four different transmitter configurations can be saved.

There are special notes for using the throttle channel with helicopters and gliders.

For fun, a second controller can be attached for a second player. When a second plane is added, the default is to split the screen vertically. That can be changed to splitting the screen horizontally or having no split screen by selecting Menu View, Splitscreen, None.

Contests and Flight Training Modes
The Extras menu is used for selecting contests and flight training modes. The sub-menus includes a 3D torque trainer and helicopter hover trainer in the Pro and Ultimate versions. The 'contests' or skills were previously noted in the scenery section.

The symbols on the scenery thumbnail denote what Extras are available at a given venue. The Winch launch or helper and Dynamic Soaring are available in the Standard version.

I found it easiest to get to the Setup screens using the Quick Launch method of right clicking on the scenery and choosing settings.

Simulation setup
The Simulation setup window allows control of the simulation speed, how long it takes before there is a restart after a crash, the reliability of the transmitter, the length of the glider tow rope and the winch start drag speed.

Aerofly Mac Demo

Conditions
The Conditions setup window is used only with 4D sceneries. It allows the user to choose the time of day, weather, visibility conditions, and cloud details.

Wind
The Wind window allows for independently setting the Average speed, Mean direction, Wind variation, Turbulence, and Thermals. Presets may also be selected. The wind field can also be displayed over the scenery. The Wind window can be opened directly in the Quick Launch menu.

Graphics Control
All of the control over the graphics can be controlled from the main screen menu Graphics on the scenery screen. The Graphics settings window may also be opened using the Quick Launch, Settings.

The Graphics Settings Window
Window mode or Full screen can be toggled. All of the quality settings of the graphics may be adjusted in this window. High-dynamic-range (HDR) rendering for the 4D sceneries can be toggled on and off here.

Other Graphics Settings
Show Clouds, Show Smoke, Show Sun Glare and Show Frames per Second (FPS) can be toggled on and off in the scenery screen's Graphics menu.

Extras Menu
There are two grids available, Virtual and Aerobatic, that provide a reference overlay in the background of a scenery for perfecting precision flying. Only Virtual is available in the Standard version.

There are two inflight positioning indicators available, Position and Flightpath, that provide a means of locating the plane. Only Flightpath is available in the Standard version.

Aerofly

The scenery screen's Extras menu is where the available contests are selected as well as Glider Tow.

Help Menu

The help menu contains a listing of the Keyboard Shortcuts and Tips. There are links to the aerofly site and information about aerofly.

Recording and Playback of Flights is not available in the Standard version.

Multiplayer mode is available in the Standard version but was not tried.

The Model Editor is not available in the Standard version. This was a HUGE disappointment! I really wanted to change the CG and the control surface throws on the powered airplanes as the preprogrammed ones needed tweaking to suit my preferences.

Conclusions and Recommendations

I have been a RC airplane pilot, model builder and designer for over 50 years. I have been a qualified RC airplane flight instructor and precision RC aerobatics pilot for over 40 years.

The graphics, flight physics and wind physics in this simulator are good and pretty much emulate the 'feel' of flying an RC airplane. This simulator still falls short in the area of field of vision compared to what is viewed, or viewable, at an actual flying site. For me, the field of vision that best approximated the real field vision was when 'Keep ground in view' was selected from the View menu or by the Shift+G key combination.

I did not find the Landing Assist useful. Landing practice could have been better implemented by setting up the limbo pole at the threshold of the centerline of the runway. Also, if the balloons, used in the balloon bust, were tethered to the center of the runway, they could have acted as a landing training guide.

A transmitter, with a USB-Interface-adapter or transmitter-like USB controller, is a must for learning to fly RC.

This simulator is as good at preparing someone to learn to fly RC airplanes as any of the Windows RC flight simulators I've owned, used or seen.

The absolute HUGE plus is that it runs well on my older (2011) MacBook Pro.

A minor glitch is that it occasionally 'hangs up' on exit and 'freezes'. I like to run the simulator in Full Screen mode. To make it easier to close if it 'freezes', I leave a folder open on my desktop. That allows me to do a command+tab key combination to return to the desktop where a Force Quit... can be accomplished.

The Standard version for the Mac is a good learning aid and good value.

System Requirements

Aerofly Mac Download

Overall I give it a 4-Star out of 5-Star Rating.

It is better than some of the Windows RC flight simulators and as good as most.

Aerofly Rc7 For Mac

It runs on a Mac. What could be better than that?