X-plane has been around for many years , its always been a competitor to FSX, arguably the grandaddy of all flight simulators. We would say that x-plane's main competitor in helicopter simulation for the PC is DCS or digital combat simulator. However, DCS specialises in military aircraft whereas x-plane has dominance in the civilian helicopter sector. So if you prefer military helicopters then DCS is for you if you prefer to fly around without fighting any battles then x-plane may be for you!
Freeware X-plane 11 Helicopters
Compared to fixed wing aircraft, unfortunately there is not a great deal of excellent freeware helicopters for the latest version (x-plane 11) . The community on facebook have pointed us to the Bell 429 so this may be worth investigating further. Xplane has support for TrackIR. For those of you wondering what trackir is, its an amazing piece of hardware which allows you to look around the cockpit without having 3 monitors! For more check out the TrackIR website here. TrackIR also works with X-Plane too!
For X-plane 11 there are few helicopters at the moment the Bell 407 by Dreamfoil and the stock Sikorsky S-76 which comes with Xplane 11. you can see a video of the S-76 here.
The Sikorsky S-76 is an American medium-size commercial utility helicopter, manufactured by the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. The S-76 features twin turboshaft engines, four-bladed main and tail rotors and retractable landing gear.
Weirdest Looking X-Plane Helicopter
The weirdest looking helicopter is the K-1200 K-MAX, we found this incredibly hard to fly, it also has a few missions with the purchase. The extremely thin looking helicopter looks unique.
The K-1200 K-MAX is the world's first helicopter specifically designed, tested, and certified for repetitive external lift operations and vertical reference flight. Its known as the "truck helicopter" because of it's use. Available from the x-plane store this helicopter is priced at $26.95
One of our favorite heicopters X-trident Bell 412
A noteable favorite of ours is the X-trident Bell 412, currently available for $35.95 at time of writing this article,
An X-Plane 11 version will be vailable soon. You can get the X-Plane 10 version from the x-plane store here. The carabineri livery on the x-trident bell 412 is just awesome just look at the photo above!
The Coolest Looking Xplane Helicopter
Along with the X-Trident Bell 412 we really like the MBB/Kawasaki BK-117. It looks great, the internal cockpit is detailed well and its so enjoyable to fly. Definetly one of our favourites. You can see it in action here.
The Fastest Helicopter for X-Plane
Arguably this is the Europcopter X3.Developed by Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) it achieved 255 knots (472 km/h; 293 mph) in level flight on 7 June 2013, setting an unofficial helicopter speed record. Amazingly this is free and can be downloaded here.
Hardest X-Plane Helicopter to Fly
A number of polls in our community have been conducted and the general opinion is that along wit the DCS Gazelle the AS350 is a challenge to fly. If any of you out there relish a challenge then this helicopter acccording to our community is the hardest x-plane helicopter and most challenging to fly.
Its made by Dreamfoil who are also responsible for a number of other excellent helicopters for x-plane. (see below)
A favorite of many x-plane fans are the helicopters by Dreamfoil. They excel at detail and flight dynamics. They produce many helicopters for xplane. Currently mainly for Xplane 10 but they have recently released the Bell 407 for xplane11. You cn find this at the xplane store price at $35. Other helicopters by dreamfoil include the popular Bell 206, Robinson R22, Eurocopter AS350.
At the end of the day it boils down to personal preference, x-plane has some really great helicopter models to go with its excellent helicopter flight dynamics. What's lacking at the moment are some more choice for X-Plane 11 native helicopters.
If you want to check out the helicopters in this article and more, check out our best helicopters for x-plane video here to see them being flown.
The Best X-Plane Helicopters Video by Pchelicopters.com
To checkout more helicopters for xplane visit our helicopters list here.
What is the best helicopter simulator of all the flight simulators? Check what the community thinks in our Poll here.
A great source of helicopter videos can be found on the pcsimulators.org helicopter playlist video found here.