Publisert: 17. oktober, 2014
Quite simply the most authentic and amazing helicopter simulation ever released on PC.
Understand that this is a simulation in the truest sense of the word, not a mere video game. If you're looking for blast 'em up action you should go elsewhere, because you'll find this product slow and frustrating. If, on the other hand, you'd like to learn how to fly a Bell UH-1H from a product certified by the helicopter manufacturer (the simulation carries an official Bell product number), then welcome to your new addiction.
A few pieces of advice, if I may. First, do not try to "do it all at once." Take it slow and accept that you're going to be wobbling around like a newborn foal for your first few hours of flight. Don't get in a hurry. Fly for an hour a day, learn gradually, and you'll be much happier. Those high speed approaches and combat landings you see in the movies are flown by professional pilots with thousands of hours of stick time, usually in type. You CANNOT do that, and you won't be able to for a very long time. It'll take you about 10 to 20 hours behind the stick before you can confidently set the helicopter down safely and more or less where you want it -- and that's with a slow approach.
Learning to do it well, repeatedly, and without error is much of the fun in this game. Everything is modeled with extraordinary precision. This is the first sim I've ever seen that gets retreating blade stall correct (basically it pulls to port at high speed) and models vortex ring state as a dynamic, recoverable event. This is a manually controlled, non-fly-by-wire aircraft designed in the middle of the last century. It is primitive and cranky, sometimes doing things for no readily apparent reason. It is a pilot's aircraft which requires both a delicate touch and firm hand to fly well. If you don't take charge of the aircraft, it will kill you without hesitation.
Remember that the Huey is primarily a transport helicopter. Gunship is an ad hoc role for this bird. Sure it can be fun to fly a support mission, dumping rockets and minigun streams all over the enemy while taking small arms fire, but that is not the Huey's reason for existence. Try flying a high-speed, low altitude (<200 ft AGL) insertion along a river bed, pop up to a hill to drop off a four man LRRP team, then egress at high speed back to base. Just keeping the helicopter in control at maximum speed and minimum altitude will have your palms sweating, (N.B. - Do not try this your first or even your tenth time out of the barn. Make sure you've thoroughly digested all of the basics and know the bird very well before you go all Howling Mad Murdock on it.)
For your first few hours, spend time tweaking your controller curves. It is absolutely IMPERATIVE that you get your curves set properly or you'll find it impossible to control the aircraft with any degree of predictability during missions. I recommend this as a starting point: Cyclic, 7% dead zone, quick curve up to a 70% saturation on both x and y axes. Collective and anti-rotation linear, 100% saturation. Tweak that according to your individual controllers' quirks. Note that you will need stick, throttle and pedals to fly this simulation. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. I have a thousand bucks worth of sim gear sitting in the corner, but I prefer to fly this one with a $20 Logitech Attack 3, a Saitek Throttle Quadrant and CH Pro Pedals. You must be able to manipulate all three controls simultaneously from muscle memory in order to fly smoothly. The keyboard and mouse ain't gonna cut it here. A final note on controls: force trim is your friend. It works a little differently here than in a real helicopter; here it acts to re-map your current cyclic input position to neutral center on the stick, more like airplane trimming. You should constantly be force trimming as you fly. That's the secret to smooth and level flight in this simulation. Don't forget to release all force trim on final approach; I go neutral at about 100 feet and 30 knots. You'll need true neutral stick for the delicate maneuvering during landing as you go back into ground effect.
For other HID stuff, I also recommend Track IR and Nvidia Surround with three monitors; both are supported perfectly in the game and add tremendously to both immersion and aircraft feedback. Remember that you are attempting to pilot a type of aircraft that is notoriously difficult to control and you're doing it without the single most important instrument for any helo pilot, the Mk I BSC, or Butt-Seat Connection. Anything you can do which helps you "feel" the bird will improve your ability to control the simulation.
Finally, I suggest you always do ramp starts for missions (not when initially setting up your curves; use instant free flight for that). Why ramp start? Because it puts you "in the zone." After you get the patterns down, you can go from a cold bird to ready-to-taxi in about two minutes. While you're doing that (flipping switches, setting dials, talking to ATC) it puts your head in the right place -- inside a helicopter cockpit. Not mowing the yard or feeding the dog or dickering with the wife. You're about to do something which requires intense concentration, and going through the start up focuses you in on that task. I guarantee you'll fly more smoothly after a start up and taxi than you will if you just jump into a hot bird on the strip.
I started playing flight simulations on an Apple ][ in 1982. It's not much of an exaggeration to say I've played pretty well every sim released since that time, and this is without a doubt the most realistic of them all. Don't let the "seriousness" scare you off, though. This is really a FUN simulator. If you've an interest in the subject material, as do most people who grew up during the Vietnam era, it's worth every single penny and then some. On my experience with this package alone, I will be buying everything produced by Belsimtek for DCS World. It's that good.