I'm very new to flying model aircraft (plenty of experience with static models and flight sims). My last flying model was an old plastic Cox control line plane that I flew into the ground as a kid. Anyhow, apparently there are software programs which can teach you to actually fly model aircraft before you risk your precious balsa and foam creation to the unforgiving forces of gravity.
The only drawback is that the options on the market are expensive and mostly seem to be aimed at RC.
Are there older/cheaper versions of the software?
How well do the training programs work to teach you to actually fly?
How well do the programs actually simulate flight models and environmental conditions? In particular it seems like accurate wind/thermal modeling would be crucial for RC gliders and very small/light models which get blown around by even the gentlest winds.
All simulators are of great value if they save one aircraft. (The "reset" button is great!)
The Phoenix sim has one of the best physic engine I've ever run across.http://www.phoenix-sim.com
The purpose of an RC sim is to train you to learn the control reversal and stall recovery. The more advanced ones such as the Phoenix can teach you muscle memory for more advanced aerobatics.
They aren't very good at trouble shooting control set up errors in the real world.
All are limited by the screen, as such I haven't tried them for reading the nuances of a glider that is 2 Km away.
What are your issues with CL? Add some down going up wind and step backwards as the line slacken. Oh and launch downwind. This is so that at the 1/4 circle mark any wind is pushing the model away from you as the model accelerates to flying speed.
All the best,