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Reflex XTR Flight Simulator

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Someone has linked to this article. If I could get a web site address please. I would like to check the site out.

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By Maximillion Needels

Flight Simulators have been out for many years and as computer technology has grown so has the realism of flight simulators. Last April at the Weak Signals annual Toledo R/C Expo, a new version of the Reflex flight simulator known as the "Reflex XTR" was unveiled. There was a buzz around the working demonstration as modelers stood by in hopes to take a turn at the sticks. I was one of them.

What I was witnessing was amazing to say the lest. Gone were the cartoon like flying fields, gone were the nonrealistic sounds of electronic buzzes used in other flight simulators of the past. As I watched other flyers test out the Reflex XTR, I couldn’t get over the photo realistic field backgrounds. The planes pictured were amazing in their own right. I watched as little puffs of smoke emanated from the exhaust muffler. Heard the Doppler effect of the motor as the plane flew left and right, closer and farther away. I just knew I had to have one of these!!!

A quick call to Pat at Riders Hobby and I found myself with the first copy sold in this area. Pat always seems to be able to get hold of things he knows will be popular and this was no exception. Pat has recently purchased Hobby Stop West at its new location on 1210 Sylvania Ave., Toledo, OH from George the nephew of the late Lester. George has decided to pursue new interest and we wish him well! Pat is the man to see if you want anything R/C. He will work hard to EARN your business!

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The Reflex XTR came packaged in a colorful box featuring nice cloudy blue skies with gorgeous green fields. These pictures are screen shoots of one of the panoramic field choices you will see in the simulator itself. The box is clearly marked with the computer requirements needed to run the program and in 3 languages no less. More on that later. Upon opening the box, I found the 3 things needed to get up and running. One was a CD-ROM of the Reflex software. Two was the patch cord needed to hook a transmitter to your computers USB port and Three a letter form ModelTech explaining what to expect, how to get started and who to contact if you should need help. There is a full manual on the CD that can be read or printed explaining every adjustment that can be made to customize the simulator and how it affects the aircraft you choose to fly. A Partial list of some of the adjustments for fixed winged aircraft is at the end of this review. Don’t get discouraged by all the parameters that can be changed as many models come preset and can be flown right away with no adjustment needed.

First lets take a quick look at the computers minimum requirements. Pentium P4 1200 MHz or similar AMD with 256 MB of RAM, AGP 2x hardware accelerated video card with at least 32 MB of video RAM,1 GigaByte of free hard disk space, a CD-ROM or DVD drive and a USB port 1.1 or higher. Once again these are the recommended hardware requirements. Further instructions suggest a GeForce FX5900 Ultra 128MB video card or the like. I decided to test the Reflex on two different systems. One was a AMD 1400 MHz with 512MB of slower pc2100 ram, the motherboard of this computer came with a built in video chip which uses or shares 64MB of system memory for video and has a built in sound card. A regular 52 speed CD-ROM and USB 1.1 ports. Nothing fancy here. The second computer hosted a AMD 3200 MHz 64bit Athlon processor, GeForce FX5200 128mb 8xAGP video card, Lite-On DVD drive, USB 2.0 ports and 512mb of PC3200 RAM on a 400MHz FSB. Not the ultimate computer, but way above the suggested requirements for the simulator.

Installation on system one went without a single hitch! After installation I plugged in the USB patch cable both to the computer and in to the trainer jack of my JR radio. When purchasing your Reflex XTR, make sure to buy the right version for your radio. After starting the program, it will ask you to calibrate the radios joy sticks before starting your first flight session. This is easy and automated by Reflex. Popup instructions such as move right stick down and hold will appear. Just move the transmitters stick to the position it asks. This will take only a minute or two and your ready to fly.

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There are about 18 different fixed wing aircraft to chose form. Kyosho’s AT-6 Texan, Curtis P-40 Warhawk, Flip 3D, Tiger Moth, Trainer 40 and several versions of the Katana Gas plane just to name a few. There are also about 17 different helicopters or variations of helicopters to choose form. You are not just limited to these aircraft though. You can jump on-line and download dozens of different planes and helicopters made by Reflex or other modelers like yourself. This is one of the nice features of the Reflex XTR. With a digital camera you can take pictures of your own plane and import it in to the simulator itself. You can also take pictures of your flying field and do the same. With the seemingly endless amount of custom setting you can change, you should be able to set your plane up to mimic your real planes flight characteristics almost perfectly! How’s that for flexibility!

After radio calibration I chose several planes to fly. One was the trainer 40, Katana Gas, and the Flip 3D. I was amazed at how realistic the plains felt. Even the ground handling felt real. Many of the other plane simulators I’ve flown seem overly easy to fly. Though some Reflex planes did suffer form this problem, a few changes to the weight, power ration ect. and the realism just jumped out! I then downloaded several airplanes off the web. Two Foam Shock Flyers (the Extra and Super Star), a Tribute Biplane, and a 90size Funtana just to name a few. The Shock Flyers were planes submitted by modelers, and as an owner of the Super Star Shocky I was excited to try them out. I loaded them in, and away I went. I was a little disappointed by the Extra Shocky and wasn’t sure if the Reflex simulator was really capable of allowing modelers to create realistic airplanes. WAS I WRONG!!!! I loaded the Super Star Shocky, I can’t even describe the feeling of flying it around. It was almost dead perfect!! Obviously the modeler who submitted this rendition of the Shocky took the time needed to program the flight options.

I was also taken back by the flying field graphics, it looks so much like Reckers field, there is a slue of different resolutions that you can run, I chose a panoramic view of 6120 x 2048 and screen resolution of 1024 x 768 x 16 color’s as a test. the graphics suffered a little compared to what I had seen at the Toledo Expo, but defiantly far better than any other simulator on the market.

I then tried all the same models on computers system two. What a difference as far as graphics was concerned. I went to a panoramic view of 8160 x 3060 with a screen resolution of 1600 x 1024 x 32 colors. The details of the trees, grass, sky were phenomenal. The plane exhibited no jerkiness and was still a joy to fly. Ether of these machines will give you a great simulator to learn on. Computer one may not show all of the tiniest details but it does not lack in performance and looks.

The Reflex XTR simulator has more features then can be counted easily! Besides regular flight training the XTR includes Hover and Torque roll training as well. In this mode the plane starts located right in front of you, about 4 feet off the ground. You can start off easily changing the training mode to control different control surfaces. Start out with just throttle if you wish and then move on to throttle and elevator, throttle and rudder, throttle, elevator and rudder and when your ready throttle, elevator, rudder, and ailerons all at the same time.

I found the Reflex XTR a great simulator at a reasonable price. I like the fact that using my radio gives me a better feel compared to what I consider the light, almost cheep feeling that comes with some of the other radio boxs included with simulators. I love the fact that I can go in to my own radio functions and add expo or dual rates, raise or lower landing gear from my switches, (which helps me to learn my radio better) and more. Since the radio uses power to operate while using XTR (not near as much as if you were on the actual flight line) I believe my batteries will be in much better shape after winter, having been cycled naturally form time to time. If you get a chance to try one, you might buy one.

Here are just some of the things you can change or customize in Reflex XTR

Reflex XTR Flight Simulator

Model Parameters Aircraft

aileron efficiency

Elevator efficiency

lift performance

Rudder efficiency

Exhaust Cloud density

Engine restart possible during flight

engine sound 2 stroke or 4 stroke

Physical Parameters

General Data

Model Weight

aileron moment of inertia

Elevator Moment of inertia

yaw Moment of inertia

Frunt View detrimental drag area

side View detrimental drag area

top View detrimental drag area

Damage at load multiple of

Distance of CG behind profile nose

Distance of CG below main wing

Distance of CG right of longitudinal axis

Drive

Engine running time

Thrust/weight relation

Speed relevant Thrust Reduction

Prop moment at maximum throttle

Engine Side thrust

Engine Down thrust

Tailunit airflow at full throttle

Main Wing

Wingspan

Inner Wing Chord

Outer wing chord

Dihedral (V) angle

Wing rigging angle of incidence

Wing washout

Wing swept-back angle

Aileron travel

Aileron linkage Play

Aileron chord

Position of aileron outer edge

Position of aileron inner edge

Aileron differentiation

Flaps full travel

Flap chord

Position of flap outer edge

Position of flap inner edge

Profile Data

stall angle of attack

maximum lift angle of attack

minimum lift angle of attack

inverted flight stall angle of attack

stall angle hysteresis

stall lift coefficient

Lift coefficient at angle of attack 0

minimum lift coefficient

inverted flight stall loft coefficient

Drag coefficient at angle of attack 0

Minimum lift drag coefficient

Inverted flight stall drag coefficient

Pitching moment at angle of attack 0

Pitching moment gradient

stall pitching moment

Lift coefficient increase at 20 degree flaps

Drag coefficient increase at 20 degree flaps

Pitching coefficient increase at 20 degree flaps

Roll damping

lift gradient of fuselage

Rudder/Elevator

Tail unit lever arm

Stabilizer area

Elevator / stabilizer area ratio

Elevator travel

Elevator linkage play

Stabilizer rigging angle of incidence

Stabilizer downwash factor

Nod damping

Fin area

Rudder/ fin area ratio

rudder travel

Rudder linkage play

Steering travel of front/skid wheel

Distance of fin CP above longitudinal axis

Yaw damping

Landing Gear

Main gear spring rate

Main gear forward twist rate

Main gear upwards twist rate

Main gear damping

Front/skid gearwire spring rate

Front/skid gear twist rate

Front/skid gear damping

Gear detrimental drag area

Distance of gear CP below longitudinal axis

Side breaking coefficient of friction

Side breaking coefficient of sliding friction

Forward breaking coefficient of friction

Forward breaking coefficient of sliding friction

Caster

Distance of CG in front of main landing gear

Distance of CG above main landing gear

Simulation parameters

Wind and thermals

wind force

wind speed

bump force

wind direction

wind direction variance

upward current wind

thermal current

Camera

Camera sluggishness

Camera zoom factor

Camera aperture angle

Camera altitude

Camera X-position

Camera Y-position

Camera Position fixed at the pilot or following the model

General

Launch initial altitude

launch speed

time expansion factor

Probability of engine failure

Probability of tail rotor failure

Backlight simulation

Promenade speed

Delay time from crash to restart

Limit for maximum frame rate

Helicopter initial position --- at your feet or

 

radio buttons for

Exhaust cloud

Collision detection

Sound

Data display

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