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TL;DR: Helis NEED joystick support. As it stands, half the issues could be passively resolved with joystick support. Ground effect is not that strong, and all controls with a range of operation, ie: collective feel 'empty' These controls feel empty because of the lack of inertial physics. I can see the gauge move gradually, however I only see action in the extremes of range (Read: inertia). Where are the wheel brakes?

 

First, a preface of my sim experience and where my opinions/ideas are coming from.

I currently have a little over 800 hours on Squad, with about an hour of heli flight. 1200 hours on ArmA 3, 99% helicopter flight in little birds/MD-500's. A few hundred on DCS, flying the black shark, huey, and a few fixed wing aircraft. I will be comparing mainly to ArmA's flight model, which should've been copied religiously...

 

***Startup/Takeoff: Engine start is fine, doesn't need to be an elaborate act. However once main spools up, it's as if my anti torque (tail rotor) is biased to the right, meaning the heli will slowly turn to the left unless I'm constantly tapping 'A' for left rudder (Which shouldn't even do anything when you're on the ground, rudders/elevators/ailerons need air moving over them to impart any action on the airframe). Since there is no manual trim (perfectly fine for squad), this is a constant issue from startup to flight, to landing. *FOR WHATEVER REASON* this issue seems to have disappeared after startup this AM. Heli stays straight on the pad and in flight unless I say so. Also it seems the 'rudder' mapping is actually for the tail rotor, so heli being able to rotate on the pad is true to life. However there should absolutely be a separate binding for tail rotor and tail rudder as well as configurable bindings for roll and pitch. As it stands, roll and pitch are confined to a single mapping respectively, limiting it to the mouse. Collective mapping constraints should also be removed. If I have to use my mouse for airframe control, I should be able to use my scroll wheel for collective.

*Currently I do not see a mapping for wheel brakes and the 'vehicle' mapping seems to do nothing. If a heli has wheels, it has brakes for many good reasons, many of them being relevant and necessary all at once.

*The 'landed' light on display is honestly not needed, or could be put to better use, or removed altogether. A meter readout perhaps (height above sea level but simplified) I see the readout for meters. The pilot should know they're landed based on skill/common sense, or by the aid of crew chiefs/door gunners. They shouldn't be staring at the screen, zeroing collective until they slam into the earth. Things like that breed dependency and dependency breeds sloppiness.

 

***Flight: Helicopters lack inertia. I believe instead of one issue being overbearingly to blame, this issue plays with the others, and together they make for a bad time.

*The landing section below essentially outlines the issues with flight well enough to say the lack of inertia means the helicopter acts faster than the input should warrant.  If I flare, the helicopter comes to a stop far, far too quickly for example.

 

***Landing: What can I say besides g r o u n d  e f f e c t. Big props for including that, however it isn't that significant, especially on such a heavy airframe.

*If I'm at level flight, with collective just enough to maintain FL, I should be able to drop collective by 5% and begin dropping slowly. If I flare slightly, and drop another 5% I should maintain that drop, while bleeding speed. I should be able to continue this trio of gradual collective drop, flare, and speed/ altitude loss until coming in on a 'short final' to finally flare and put the deck in the dirt. It should all be a smooth action. This is a combat landing under fire. Heavily contested landings do not consist of a pilot coming in at level flight, flaring heavily, and coming to a hover to descend painfully slowly, however with the range management of collective, (range management is fine, alter heli inertial physics) and axis controls, pilots will be restricted to just these types of landings. 

 

I've just gotten off a 12 hour night shift, so I'm going to fly some more and get back to this post.There is more to list, and last but not least let all be reminded this post is for nothing but constructive criticism. Praise is deserved for a lot in fact. Just not here. Thanks to all involved for bringing this gameplay element to us, sincerely. I've waited a long time.

 

 

 

 

Edited by AquaBum
Further testing and subsequent edits

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