Shared Knowledge



Great Planes R/C G3.5 Flight Simulation Software - User Review


12 December 2006




Summary: absolutely requires stated minimum computer hardware resources. Software seems very robust and fun to use.




Gave my uncle a RC model plane kit several years ago and it was a real hit. He currently must have 10 or 12 fully assembled, detailed, RC planes hanging in his garage; problem is he can’t fly them. Usually has to have someone on dual controls that can correct when headed for disaster. Had some sort of DOS-based R/C flight simulator with a joystick-based controller similar to his Futaba’s for a while but not realistic in any sense and after I installed a WinXP system in his home for his daughter, began a search for the best R/C flight simulation software on the market.


Don’t know about “the best”, but settled on Great Planes R/C G3.5 software. Now listed as requirements to run, it clearly states: a DirectX 9 compatible video board and at minimum of a 1GHZ CPU. Well they were not or are not kidding. Tried to run software on ATI Rage 128MB video card and would bomb almost immediately upon trying to create some visual terrain.


And here is the real point to this little piece on Great Planes, when I looked to find a recommended video card, I could only find a list of cards of which some had been tested and worked or didn’t work but mostly the list defined video cards that they had not tested with their software! OK! So what am I supposed to do? Why not just tell me what video card to buy?


So, taking a chance, I bought the PNY GeForce FX 5200 256MB video card. No problem installing either hardware or software and G3.5 software started right up.


Now I am not sure I have fully loaded down the video of the simulation as apparently you can optionally add objects, but so far, video looks good.


Price of 5200 with 256MB was $70 locally but sure it can be had on eBay and other cheaper.


Oh, finally, I have moved the G3.5 software from an 800Mhz PC to a 2.6GHZ as company spokesmen said really 1GHZ minimum and better at 3Ghz. I believe him.