With version 9.1 in 2020, an innovation was implemented in HELI-X that has not been seen before with any other flight simulator: Together with Ulrich Röhr from Mikado, we developed a WLAN interface. So it is now possible with the VBar Touch to control the simulator via WLAN, without cables and without an interface. The stick configuration is then also done automatically.
With this version, the sound system has also been improved. The flexibility that is implemented here is hardly used by the models so far. Here I must also improve once. There are so many possibilities!
Now Auggie Copter, who I’m sure everyone knows from the Facebook group RC-Heli Hangout, has also become aware of HELI-X. Together with him we have implemented the “Auggie’s instinctive training ring”, an ingenious training tool for piroflips. For this we talked on the phone for a few hours via Skype and discussed a lot. But the result is great! There are also some videos of Auggie, which I have linked on the web page.
Since that time Matthijs Amelink from the Netherlands became active for HELI-X. From him come not only excellent scenes in the highest resolutions. Together with him also the “ready to VR” feature was developed: In VR mode, the images for the left and right eye are different, which cannot be adequately depicted with the image from only one camera. And we have developed a solution for this. We are currently working on a HUD specifically for the VR version. This is where his experience in flight simulators comes in.
A highlight in March 2021 was the online training on Mars, with a scene of Matthijs and the Ingenuity helicopter of the Mars mission created by Jan.
Meanwhile, Björn Hempel is also very involved with HELI-X. He not only runs some of the online servers, but he also re-implemented the multiplayer. With version 10.1 there will be a game server from him. And also more features are planned for version 11, but more is not revealed yet.
And now we are already at version 10.0 from the year 2021. Here we have realized an important update of the graphics engine. As an innovation there is now a virtual reality mode (VR), so that can be flown with 3d glasses. With Physical based rendering a more realistic representation of the models is possible (reflections, metal effects, etc.). Furthermore the processor M1 from Apple is now natively supported.
By the way, I’m already running the first version on the Raspberry Pi with Linux and an ARM processor. In the latest version the Raspberry Pi supports openGL. The version is still too slow, but in one or two years it will surely work!
And soon (still in the first quarter of 2023) HELI-X will be released in version 10.1. Then there will be a more realistic simulation of wind, where the roughness of the earth’s surface will be taken into account. Also datail improvements like an improved glare by the sun, or “Multi Pilot Position Airpoprts”, with which it will be possible that different pilots stand at different positions when flying online.
I am happy to present the new version 10.1 at the Rotor-Live in Baden-Baden at the booth of Helischule Gonzalez. I am looking forward to toasting with you to 15 years of HELI-X.
Thanks again to all who have supported and positively accompanied the project. I am looking forward to the next 15 years!