When FSX first came out, several of the staff and IPs at Hovercontrol.com took a hard looking into X-Plane 9 to see if it was a suitable alternative to Microsoft Flight Simulator. After all, we had heard that the flight dynamics and physics used in the helicopter was more sophisticated and more realistic. Something that serious helicopter flight simulation enthusiasts would surely appreciate.
As time unfolded, we found that we were not as happy with that particular simulator as we thought we might be. More specifically, we found that the helicopter physics, while sophisticated, were strangely uninspiring. The best way I could put it at the time was that I felt like I was "flying a calculator". In addition, to that shortcoming, it was frustrating to know that I would have to give up the beauty of Microsoft Flight Simulator if I wanted to enjoy slightly more realistic physics in X-Plane.
Then along comes Helicopter Total Realism by Fred Naar
This has to be one of the most interesting and compelling utility projects for the helicopter community in the last 4-5 years. Simply put, it aims to give you the beauty of Microsoft Flight Simulator with the sophistication of a custom helicopter physics layer that is entirely configurable.
Helicopter Total Realism (HTR) comes with several pre-configured profiles for popular FS9 and FSX helicopters, but users can also create their own profiles and share them. While the utility is in its early days, the author is working on it actively and has shown a good level of interest in accepting feedback and smoothing out any rough edges that are being found by the community.
For the Community
This is a project within the community that we can all be proud of. It moves the entire community forward, is useful to almost anyone, and has been offered for free in the spirit of helping everyone advance to a better appreciation of how helicopters fly.
We thank Fred Naar for his skill, enthusiasm, and dedication to helping the community and we encourage everyone interested in Microsoft Flight Simulator, helicopters, and Hovercontrol to check out his utility and give it a try. You won't regret it.
Here are some links for Helicopter Total Realism (HTR):
HTR - Get the Software!
HTR - Discussion Board!