Ask Drone Girl: What flight simulator software should I use?

Got a question for Drone Girl? Email it to me!

Question: I was wondering if you can recommend or point me in the right direction of a flight simulator software and joystick that I may use on my computer as a stepping stone into the drone world.

Answer: That’s a great question, and to be honest – I’ve never used a flight simulator software! In my eyes, drones are an awesome tool because they have a multitude of entry points based on your pre-existing skill level. If you don’t have any drone experience, you can pick up a toy drone to practice on. If you have RC experience, pick up a Phantom. The graduate to a more expensive, bigger drone that suits your needs.

However, I won’t leave you hanging. Thus, I reached out to Arland Whitfield, President and Founder of The SkyWorks Project. (Check it out!)

Here’s what he told me:

You can actually use the real remote to control a flight sim on your computer. I highly recommend getting AeroSim and purchasing a Spektrum DX8. That way you can use the actual remote you are going to use to fly the real drone. The AeroSim software comes with a cord that will allow you to plug your DX8 directly into your computer! It really doesn’t get better than that. The software allows you to fly the DJI Flamewheel as well as bigger drones such as the Cinestar.

So there you go – and thanks for the additional advice, Arland! Happy flying!


  • HexCam says:

    Hi, we use Heli-X.You can also use your own transmitter or purchase a dummy one. As a professional operator, I like Heli-X as it has a multitude of models, both traditional helis and multis. The physics is accurate and there are also lots of different scenarios to fly in including “real” ones uploaded by users and 3D worlds with 3D obstacles. There are also loads of training features. The one downside is that there is not yet a camera control feature on the FPV but everything else is great. Cheap as well, 49 Euros and once you have purchased it ( you get free upgrades to the new versions forever. I like Phoenix and AeroSim as well but Heli-X is my favourite.

  • Please inform which you will choose and which one is the best for you. Did your try to use your iPad?

    • Ken says:

      Since the hardware software combo recommended in the article is over $500! I must go with the less expensive option.

  • Patrick Riley says:

    I am using the new RealFlight Drone Flight Simulator .. I have several hours in on small drones but wanted additional practice before flying my Chroma .. The Futaba control works very well or other controllers can be used .. This system is not a toy and it will teach you how to fly .. and run your camera as well .. Check it out online .. Priced at $129.00 this is a very fair price .. The program loads very easily and operates smooth and stable.. Pat Riley

  • Cory Acey says:

    There is a new simulator currently on the market, Zephyr was released late last year and has a multitude of training modules to effectively and efficiently teach new pilots how to fly. You can use your own transmitter (with a trainer port), a USB simulator controller, or a gaming controller. It also runs on Mac computers! Zephyr is currently being sold at a discounted price at for a limited time!

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