Sign in to follow this  
Guest james_2k

Helicopter Autopilots

Recommended Posts

Over the past few days I've tried out two different add on autopilots for helicopters in FS2004. To keep things fair I have checked both pilots in the same aircraft. The results are worth passing on.For the purpose of the comparisons I have used the Erickson Skycrane(S-64) altho I have tried the autopilots in other helos as well.The two autopilots tested were the EasyAutopilot by Martin"Gizmocat" Benson and the HAPHUD by Tom Woods.Both appear to be based to some extent on the work of Antti Pankkonen as found in his AS365.My main concern in testing was what kind of effect the autopilot would have on performance( Frame rates )As said above I used the same aircraft for both - The Skycrane comes in several versions- I used the firefighting version- this has a left seat and a right seat version so I was able to install the HAPHUD in the left seat aircraft and the EasyAP in the right seat aircraft.INSTALLATION:Both autopilots require some editing of the Aircraft and Panel .cfg files- rather more for the HAPHUD than the EasyAP.However both come with very good instructions and "copy and paste" entries for the cfg files.USE: Both come with good instructions but HAPHUDS are a little more "in depth"LOOKS: HAPHUD is a very much more sophisticated affair both in looks and capabilities.The EasyAP is very basic and could possibly benefit from some cosmetic changes.PERFORMANCE:Both perform well as far as sending the aircraft where you want it to go is concerned altho the HAPHUD allows for more accuracy.............BUT(and this is - for me at least - the most important part)The EasyAP has minimal(not measureable ) effect on fps whilst the HAPHUD causes a major Frame rate hit.I run FS9 with fps locked at 25 and most settings at or near maximum.With EasyAP there was no change in fps (IE: 25 fps),but with HAPHUD fps dropped to around the 17-18 mark and occasionally lower.My system specs are below for those who want to know.CONCLUSION: Here are two excellent addons for which I thank and congratulate both Tom Woods and Martin Benson.If you just want a basic autopilot to relieve the workload on long flights without pushing your system then EasyAP must be the one.If,however,you are lucky enough to have the latest "state of the art" system (CPU at 3.xx Ghz or more- untold gigabytes of RAM etc) or ,if you aren't worried about frame rates then the HAPHUD is for you.I think that a year or so down the line when many of us will possibly be running slightly faster systems than we do now the HAPHUD will be the one to have.Unfortunately,I suspect that,right now,most of us are on or around the 2Ghz CPU /128MB video card mark, which is possibly not quite good enough to deal with the HAPHUD in addition to the aleady heavy demands of FS9 SYSTEM:AMD Athlon 2000XP (@133/133)ECS K7S5A Mobo 3.1 :04/29/02 Rev BiosSiS 735 Chipset Rev 12 x 256mb DDR RAMGeforce4 Ti-4200-8x 128mb DDR AGPAGP 1.16 WHQL . 4403 Detonator XP Drivers2 x Maxtor 40GB HDD (7200rpm)LG 8x4x32 BurnerLG 52xDirect X 9.0 final Windows ME/ Windows XP dual bootBIOS Settings- DRAM Timing Ultra. CAS Latency 3T,RAS ACtive 6T,RAS Precharge 3TL1 Cache Enabled.L2 Cache Enabled.Sys BIOS Cache Disabled.DRAM Drive Slew Rating - FastDave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

hi, whats up with that CAS latency! thats way too high! cant you put it down to - at least 2.5? this would prob give you a nice boost....cheers, James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JamesBelieve me - prolonged testing over the past 18 months has led me to the conclusion the those settings are the most stable for this particular system.I have tried virtually every possible combination of settings ,and of them all ,this gives me rock- solid stability with reasonable performance.In fact,if you have followed the many threads on here about FS9 performance and the problems many(with much better systems than mine) seem to have, well - I've not had any problems to speak of ,I can run with everything maxed out(I don't ) and still get 25fps most of the time.Basically - it works fine like this so I'm reluctant to change things.CheersDave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nice one, its what suits you at the end of the day. cheers, James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this