An extensive look at how Roger Dodger Aviation’s flight simulator products stack up. After reading this review, you will have a better understanding of who Roger Dodger is, what products and services they offer, and how much they cost.
With the recent rise of technology and growth of “stay at home” trends driven by the pandemic, there has never been a better time for student pilots and amateur aviation enthusiasts alike to bring their love for airplanes into the comfort of their own homes. But, what if a budding home simulator pilot wanted their own setup, but had no idea where to start, or how to get to the finished product? That’s where Roger Dodger Aviation comes in, producing quality DIY simulator courses that are easy to follow and won’t break the bank! If you love a DIY project and are interested in having your own flight simulator, this could be the product for you.
What is Roger Dodger Aviation?
Roger Dodger Aviation is a US-based company that offers DIY tutorial courses for building inexpensive at-home flight simulators. Run by an FAA1 Certified Flight Instructor, the company has a Youtube channel2 with approximately 12,000 subscribers. They provide the perfect solution for aviation enthusiasts wanting to build a simulator themselves while on a tight budget.
What are the Roger Dodger flight simulators?
Roger Dodger flight simulators are best described as DIY projects; they are not finished products but rather online courses and tutorials with photos, videos, and written instructions as well as recommendations for what materials to use. They differ from other flight simulator companies, like RedBird4, which offer completed, ready-to-use products direct to the customer’s door.
Are there different types of simulators?
Generally speaking, there are many different types of simulators, ranging from amateur at-home set-ups to professional, full-motion flight simulators that exactly mimic specific aircraft makes and models, and are used to train real pilots on these aircraft.
Roger Dodger’s simulator courses fall closer to the amateur at-home side of the spectrum however, they are still excellent tools for student pilots to master their craft, or for hobby flyers just having fun. From simple keyboard modifications and helicopter controls to full desktop flight simulators and pods, Roger Dodger offers a range of different courses to suit individual needs. In some of the courses, there is a variety of screens and controls to choose from when building a simulator.
What do the DIY courses involve?
According to RogerDodger.net3, the DIY courses all consist of step-by-step instructions, illustrations, videos, details, diagrams, and templates that can be printed at home. The courses can be viewed on all devices and come with free access to the “builder academy,” which is a learning hub for all basic construction techniques required for the DIY simulators. They also come with a list of equipment required to run the flight simulator, such as computers, monitors, and flight controls.
What skills do you need to build the DIY sims?
Due to Roger Dodger’s builder academy and the detailed information provided in the courses, anyone from a complete DIY beginner to a construction veteran should be able to build these simulators without too much trouble. However, experience using basic tools and materials found at a home improvement store such as a drill and PVC pipe will come in handy.
Advantages of the Roger Dodger Flight Simulators
The pros and cons of Roger Dodger flight simulators depend on individual needs and goals. For someone who knows a lot about flight simulator software and equipment, some of the advantages of the Roger Dodger model are:
● Inexpensive, yet highly effective tutorials for building a simulator from scratch, from any location
● Some freedom to choose hardware and software
● Comprehensive education and guidance for the construction of simulators
● A list is provided of construction equipment and tools required
Disadvantages of the Roger Dodger Flight Simulators
Unfortunately, for a complete beginner in the world of flight simulators, Roger Dodger’s DIY courses focus more on the construction and project side of building a simulator, and this comes with some downsides:
● Limited technical support provided by Roger Dodger for questions related to hardware and software required to run the simulator (the company encourages you to seek advice from the manufacturers or developers of such products)
● Possible difficulty in budgeting outside of construction equipment however, Roger Dodger offers a budget tool5 to help alleviate this
● No one-size-fits-all warranty for simulator equipment (seek advice from individual suppliers)
FAQs about Roger Dodger Flight Simulators:
Roger Dodger’s website has an extensive FAQs page that includes most asked questions and more specific questions about orders and construction. The company’s most asked questions, they say, are technical questions regarding the simulator equipment that is not included in the course. The company suggests customers ask the manufacturers or developers these questions and mentions that most have forums to assist.
The company’s second most asked question, believe it or not, is whether or not customers can obtain their products for free. The company politely stipulates that this is not possible, and points out that the course itself is the least expensive component of building an at-home simulator.
How much does it cost to build one of these sims?
This is another of the company’s FAQs, to which they reply it is hard to estimate due to individual customers potentially already having some equipment such as computers or monitors. However, the budget tool mentioned earlier in this article can assist with this. Roger Dodger also includes a materials list in every course, to help their customers estimate the costs specific to them.
What is the cost of the Roger Dodger DIY flight sim courses?
The courses are great value for money, with the most complex ones costing only US $35 and the simpler ones less than half of this, at only $15. Considering the time and effort put into these courses by Roger Dodger, these prices are bargains.
What devices are compatible with the Simulator software?
The devices you can use will depend on the simulator software you choose. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 can be used on some newer Xbox models, through Steam7, or on any home computer PC running Windows 10 or 11. X-Plane, another popular simulator software, can be used on any Windows 10 or 11 device and Macbooks running OS X 10.11 or higher.
How do you enroll in one of the Roger Dodger DIY courses?
To purchase a Roger Dodger DIY course, visit the Rodger Dodger website3 and hover over the “DIY Courses” tab. Click “All DIY Projects” and choose the course you wish to enroll in by selecting “View Course.” Next, click “Free Trial,” and then click “Free Preview” to try before you buy, or simply click the “Buy” button if you are ready to purchase.
You can visit their Facebook page6 for more info and for access to the flight simulation community.
As far as DIY courses go, Roger Dodger’s home flight simulator products give customers bang for their buck when it comes to building a home flight simulator cockpit setup from scratch. For less than US $50, you can learn to build your own setup from start to finish, and get an understanding of how much the recommended hardware and software will set you back. However, if you need technological assistance along the way, don’t hold your breath. You may need to search for your own info. Make sure to do your research and ask the manufacturers or developers any questions you may have directly in order to get your home simulator up and running in no time!
Are you one of the armchair pilots who have experience with a Roger Dodger flight sim? What’s your feedback? If you have any questions or comments, put them in the comments below!
- ‘Roger Dodger Aviation’, YouTube. Accessed online at https://www.youtube.com/c/rogerdodgeraviation on March 20, 2023.
- Home Simulators, Red Bird Flight. Accessed online at https://simulators.redbirdflight.com/products/topic/home-simulators on March 20, 2023.
- Roger Dodger Blogger, Roger Dodger Aviation. Accessed online at https://www.rogerdodger.net/customer-projects/much-cost-build-flight-simulator/ on March 20, 2023.
- Roger Dodger Aviation, facebook. Accessed on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RogerDodger360/ on March 20, 2023.