This is a funny discussion, especially because we see the same trends we usually see in the rotorwing community.
"If it's not way too hard, it's not realistic". I've been hearing that for years. Oh and the old "it models VRS, so it's a highly realistic helicopter sim".
Both are myths. I've seen helicopters model VRS quite nicely and the rest of the flight model is bogus. And I've tried very hard helicopters that pilots dismissed it as being unrealistic because they were just way too hard.
In the end, there are a few things that we all need to remember:
- These are games. No I will not start the "game vs sim" discussion but we are talking about something that runs in our home computers. They are prone to having some limitations from the start. Mainly because...
- ... our computers don't simulate highly complex, turbulent physics in real life. Not even full-blown class-D sims do it yet. Let alone our puny home computers;
- We all use different systems (computer + controls + settings) and all of that influences how we handle helicopters and how they behave in the sim;
- We lack the physical feedback pilots feel when flying aircraft;
IPACS and other companies do the best they can with the resources they have available. If I use a Pro Flight Trainer Puma and another guy uses a Thrustmaster T.16000 our experiences will be VASTLY different.
Who am I to say my perception of the R22 is better or worse than that other guy's perspective? We cannot compare both unless we were sharing the same computer.
IPACS is working hard to make the R22 a good helicopter for the sim and I trust them to make a good job. Does being realistic mean it's a bit simpler? Let it be, then. Haven't you heard pilots saying sims are harder than real life helicopters? Well...
I'm sorry some of you are disappointed at this change but if you are asking for a more realistic environment, you may have to live with the fact that harder does NOT mean more realistic.
I am glad IPACS is improving helicopters. I've seen a lot of developers out there throw in an half-assed version of helicopters and never improve it. IPACS did a great job AND they are still making it better.
Switzerland. Try taking off and landing at Piz Gloria.
Landings are a handful. You'll need to play with your speed, to keep your ETL and in-ground-effect.
Pretty dang hard!
My trick is to use the horizon. The problem is that you easily lose the orientation on the current attitude of the helicopter in a simulator, especially in non-VR. Thus you get surprised that the aircraft is floating away. You then try to stop this movement but only make things worse. So I look outside keeping the main focus on the horizon and the aim I want to fly to, e.g. a helipad, at the same time. Steering must be subconscious.
I actually do not know how to learn that in this sim besides trying and trying. Instructors do it by giving you one control only at a time. Thus you can program that into your subconscious mind until you do not have to think about it. The non-pro mode makes it too easy, but maybe a first help. I would like to see some modes in between.
One of the best things you can do: look away from the helicopter, not nearby.
You need to come down diagonally and do not descend at a higher vertical speed than 300FMP.
You have a few nice readings about VRS above but I would also like to add some notes:
- When you decrease speed, you will lose translational lift as you pass below the 25-ish kts mark. Check this article about taking off and landing: https://www.helisimmer.com/how…licopters/takeoff-cruise/
- As you approach the LZ (or any hard surface), you will notice the helicopter will tend to rise as it enters in-ground effect (IGE). Be ready for it but don't floor the collective. Some pilots "play" with translational lift and IGE as they enter IGE while losing translational lift. This has 2 benefits: you lose less altitude and you will need to move the collective less.
If you are wondering why moving the collective less, remember that each time you change the collective, you change your torque as well. So you need to deal with a lot of different factors.
Thank! Helisimmer is a wonderful site. I've been visiting it daily for a year now!
Good stuff there. Nice reviews and a lot of fun to read. Keep up your great work.
Do you know what happened to hovercontrol? Have been searching for two weeks for answers but cannot find anything.
Thanks a lot
Jozeff, HoverControl shut down. I am writing a little piece with a former staff-member about it. It's a real shame... My passion with helicopters comes from the time I spent hours at HC's forums, learning with everyone there.
HeliSimmer would not exist if not for HoverControl.
Now that the R22 is out, I'd like to leave a link for a free resource where you can learn more about helicopters, controls and how to fly them: https://www.helisimmer.com/how-to-fly-helicopters/
We also have a group on Facebook and, of course, you are free to contact me for help. I'll be more than happy to assist some new rotorheads getting into the fantastic world of helicopters.
Have fun! And don't forget the 3 rules of helicopter learning: practice, practice, practice!