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X-Plane Helicopter

By Laminar Research

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A quick note: Most of the negative reviews seem to come from people that do not READ the instructions, despite them being displayed every single time the app is launched... so read the instructions! They are only about 4 sentences. Here's what you need to know:

->The throttle is automatically controlled for you.

->You drag the collective DOWN to INCREASE pitch... a situation that is ergonomically the same as real helos.

And now, on with the show! X-Plane Helicopter is a new version of X-Plane that lets you realistically fly Helicopters!

You get some very interesting birds to fly, including:

The Robinson R-22: The lightweight, efficient trainer.
The Bell-206: The turbine-powered mainstay of the helicopter fleet.
The BlackHawk: The massive military cargo and troop mover.
The Sea King: The huge land/sea rescue helicopter.
The Sikorsky S-76, an amazing luxurious executive-transport.

These fascinating and varied machines are modeled very realistically, so the flight you get on the iPhone is actually almost as realistic as the full FAA-Certified flight-model used in X-Plane for desktop... You get almost all the flight-model realism of this certified sim: On your phone.

As well, the default flight-area is the Grand Canyon, giving you amazing views as you fly your helos across (and into!) the various canyons and valleys, giving the you most visually-stunning simulation we have yet released, with the most challenging and realistic flight-models we have produced for iPhone so far. As well, X-Plane Helicopter comes with a number of other flying areas to keep things varied and interesting!

Now, a quick lesson: The COLLECTIVE control is on the LEFT of the iPhone screen... drag it DOWN GENTLY to INCREASE the pitch of the main rotor, thus causing the helo to lift. As you drag this collective down, you will notice that the throttle AUTOMATICALLY increases on the right side of the screen. This is because the throttle governor automatically increases the engine power to maintain the desired rotor RPM as you increase the load on the rotor by increasing the rotor pitch. This is how the real helicopters work, and how we simulate them on the iPhone.

The tail-rotor is controlled with a horizontal slider on the bottom of the screen. Flying a helicopter in reality is well known to be one of the more challenging and rewarding facets of aviation... the most difficult to do, but the most rewarding when you manage to do it all properly.

If you are ready for the best scenery and most fascinating and challenging flight model available on the iPhone, then you are ready for X-Plane-Helicopter.

What's New in Version 9.75

New helo! The Robinson R-44 is the bigger, more powerful relative of the R-22, and a big seller in reality! This handle, like all Robinsons, handles well, and is very responsive.

iPhone Screenshots

iPhone Screenshot 1
iPhone Screenshot 2
iPhone Screenshot 3
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iPhone Screenshot 5

Customer Reviews

A few suggestions...

If possible...

- Option of turning off the red/white caution lights on the military aircraft.

- Add the green glow marker strips on the tops of the rudders and the helicopter blades of military aircraft. This would help add to the realism of night flying.

- Instead of the weird green lines that signal balance, what about two simple sliding bars somewhere to show pitch and side-to-side balance when in camera rear/outside view? I think this would make flying/ landing easier in that mode.

- Shorten (slightly) the collective slider. Whenever I hit the "Fly" button from main menu I always hit this because they overlap and I cause the helicopter to nose dive. Very annoying.

I like this game, I just think there is room to make it much more realistic.


A bit of a let down, but not bad.

I just purchased this app about a half hour ago, and it's decent. However, the inability to hover or land (so far as I can tell) is quite disappointing. That's half the challenge of flying a rotorcraft! Also, centering the phone doesn't seem to work too well for me, or maybe I simply don't understand how to center it correctly. I don't want to have to hold my phone perfectly vertical to center the "cyclic" for fore/aft controls, yet it seems to work most reliably when you do so. Add the ability to hover and land, and fix the centering issue, and I'd give 5 stars.

Thin, but good tool

The physics of helicopter flight feel good overall... I've only piloted a real copter once, but this does a good job of capturing that too-many-dependencies feel of a chopper. The flight model is just good.

However, the feeling of flight is reduced by the lack of stuff in the world. Relative positioning to world objects, challenging thing to land on, etc are all missing. I enjoy blowing time in PC flight sims landing on rooftops and things, but that is all missing here.

It's a great little sim, but without embellishments it's just an OK experience.

X-Plane Helicopter
View In iTunes
  • $4.99
  • Category: Games
  • Updated: Dec 09, 2011
  • Version: 9.75
  • Size: 38.7 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: Laminar Research

Compatibility: Requires iOS 3.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Customer Ratings

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