RFTC: NEXT RC Flight Simulator Includes Two-Operator Aerial Cinema Multirotor at AMA Expo 2015

In this episode, the Roswell Flight Test Crew catches up with Robert Rodriguez and Tony Wilson from the Society Of Aerial Cinematography (SOAC) to learn about the NEXT RC flight simulator. Broadly similar to other simulators (such as RealFlight and Phoenix), NEXT focuses exclusively on single rotor and multirotor helicopters. Of particular interest to professional aerial cinematographers, however, is its ability to simulate a two-operator system, with the aircraft flown by a pilot while the camera is controlled by a dedicated operator using a second transmitter. In addition, the user can add three-dimensional models of real-world locations into the simulation, allowing pilots and operators to rehearse complex moves the will later perform on a live set.

4 comments on “RFTC: NEXT RC Flight Simulator Includes Two-Operator Aerial Cinema Multirotor at AMA Expo 2015

  1. startazz

    We are so lucky to be in this great hobby of ours at the moment as the technology is really going forward in such a fast rate,so much so it can sometimes be hard to keep up with everything.

    Well at least we have great people like you two guys that are doing more than your fair share at showing us so much of it,which we are all thankful. 🙂 

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  2. Roswell Flight Test Crew

    For the record, I thought this was pretty cool, but Techinstein geeked out over it the way I did over the Smith & Williamson RC weather balloon. So, I stepped aside and let him do the interview – and I was really glad that I did, because he asked better questions than I would have.

    This isn't a staggering technological achievement, but it is an incredibly useful tool for aerial cinema professionals to be able practice their craft in a risk-free environment. When you've got a $15,000 bird lifting a $50,000 camera, that isn't an opportunity you can necessarily take for granted.

    Our friends at the Society Of Aerial Cinematography (SOAC) reached out to the German maker of the software (called NEXT) and asked them to add this capability to their existing rotorcraft simulator… Well done, guys!

    That is exactly the sort of thing a trade association, an industry alliance or whatever you want to call it should be doing: taking the lead on projects that will benefit everyone, but which no individual would likely take on themselves to accomplish.

    And the best part is, the NEXT software package is available at a pretty reasonable price in US dollars right now. I'm not sure if that's because of the collapse of the euro over the past couple of weeks, or maybe it's just an inexpensive piece of software.

    More good news: you can use your current practice transmitters (that you got with RealFlight, for example), with this piece of software, as well. Check it out!

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