Bobsk8

Helicopter addiction in P3D

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About 12 years ago I started flying RC helicopters, and probably bought about 6 of them, at an average cost of around $1,000 each. Then I could go through a gallon of fuel a week at about $15 a gallon. I did this for a few years and got pretty good at aerobatics with the copters, and during that entire time I only crashed one, trying to avoid an RC aircraft flown by a newbie, and I lost the orientation of the copter I was flying. Eventually I didn't have the time, and stopped flying them altogether.

A few weeks ago, I watched a Youtube video of Helicopters in PC flight sims, and after doing a great deal of reading, I purchased a Milviz 407.  Had many questions about flying on a PC, control setups, etc, etc, and eventually got it sorted out and then I bought a Milviz 530 F.  I had heard that copters were only good in X Plane, and since there are many reasons for me not to move to X plane, I decided to see how well I could fly these copters in P3D. To my surprise, I am very happy with the way the two Milviz copters fly on my rig, in fact, since I started, that is all I have been flying lately. Even if I have just a couple of minutes, it is easy to fire up one of the copters, and just practice hovering over a Helipad, or flying traffic patterns. If I want to do some scenic flying, the default scenery in the Hawaiian Islands is excellent, and I just basically fly from one airport to the other. No autopilot, no FMC, yo are flying 100% of the time, unlike a fix winged aircraft.

The only issue I have with copters on a PC, is that pitch trimming doesn't work the same as an aircraft, so even if you have a copter with a trim function like the 407, to go forward at speed, requires some forward pressure on your joystick. I use a Thrustmaster T16000m which is a hall effect IC joystick and very accurate with zero drift, but the spring is a bit stiff. I found a mod for this joystick on youtube, where you can reduce the spring tension considerably and it takes about 4 minutes to perform so that is my next project. This way holding some forward pressure on the joystick won't be so tiring.

I have arrived at the point where I can pretty well land on any spot I pick, hover fairly well, and have good control of both copters. Having a blast... 

 

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You should try the UH-1H or Mi-8 in DCS World ...

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Thanks Bob, for the interesting report. I never tried helicopters in P3D. After miserably failing in FSX many years ago, I defined them unflyable. But I've always wanted to try them again.

One general question, as you state you managed control setup in general: How do you control that left-hand lever called "collective" physically? I don't know any such a device for PC being available as hardware, or is it?

Sorry for sidetracking.

Thanks and kind regards, Michael

 

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In helicopters your Prop pitch is your throttle and your throttle is the collective. You can switch the axis on the collective so it feels like the real thing.  Josh

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8 minutes ago, pmb said:

Thanks Bob, for the interesting report. I never tried helicopters in P3D. After miserably failing in FSX many years ago, I defined them unflyable. But I've always wanted to try them again.

One general question, as you state you managed control setup in general: How do you control that left-hand lever called "collective" physically? I don't know any such a device for PC being available as hardware, or is it?

Sorry for sidetracking.

Thanks and kind regards, Michael

 

Most copters, you set the throttle using the pitch adjustment on your joystick and leave it after starting the engine. If the copter has a FADEC like the 407, it controls the engine anyway. Then you use the throttle on your joystick for the collective adjustment. I have a Throttle Quadrant on my left which I use for collective, engine, and mixture. 

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28 minutes ago, jcomm said:

You should try the UH-1H or Mi-8 in DCS World ...

Not into DCS world. 

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It's the closest you can get to flying an helicopter, unless you use some professional alternative, like ELITE...

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12 minutes ago, Bobsk8 said:

Most copters, you set the throttle using the pitch adjustment on your joystick and leave it after starting the engine. If the copter has a FADEC like the 407, it controls the engine anyway. Then you use the throttle on your joystick for the collective adjustment. I have a Throttle Quadrant on my left which I use for collective, engine, and mixture. 

Thanks Bob and Josh, that makes it clear. Unfortunately I have the Saitek TPM mounted on the rhs where it belongs in a onemot, but I'll look for alternatives.

I understand Milviz might be a good start for a chopper rookie.

Kind regards, Michael

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Hi there,

and welcome to the team. Im an FS chopper addict as well. I started back in ´98 when MSFS first introduce the Bell 206. These FS98 choppers were beast and nearly unflyable.

FSX/P3D is a different story. With the right control setup and good eye/hand coordination the learning curve is pretty steep. I was lucky to collect some HQ controls from Komodosim. Proper Bell 407 stick/collective and rudder to get the perfect feeling for the choppers. Now with these controls i do not need a rotor trim or even a force trim. I once used TM Warthog for chopper flying and had the same problem. But some guy over at hovercontrol gave me a hint that within FSUIPC is a rotor trim function. Maybe you want to look there see here for more info http://forum.simflight.com/topic/20365-rotor-lateral-trim-function/

If you like more choppers you might try Cerasims beasts they rock. Some of the Nemeth choppers like the AS350 (very hard to handle) are great as well. MilViz has the big ones CH-47 and the S64 out too. Nicely model and good to handle. Just Flights Schweizer S300 bight be an option for a light piston engine GA chopper. Alabeos R44 Turbine is also a good GA bird.

Oh just to mention if you have the chance to VR try it with the choppers. You wont regret it if you dont mind the screen door effect :)

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1 hour ago, pmb said:

Thanks Bob and Josh, that makes it clear. Unfortunately I have the Saitek TPM mounted on the rhs where it belongs in a onemot, but I'll look for alternatives.

I understand Milviz might be a good start for a chopper rookie.

Kind regards, Michael

Hi mike I also use the TPM and it is on the right. Some guys use the Warthog or a X52 and use there throttle which you can put on ether side. It dosent bother me using the TPM on the right.  I have the Milviz 530 which is a good chopper to start with. Learning  how to start it is the hardest thing about it but once you get the sequence down its easy as pie

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I just spent about 4 hours getting fully updated (SP2) Dodosim chopper working in P3D (what a job!). Never spent a more enjoyable time checking the area around Orbyx Jefferson County airport. I use a Warthog setup.

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Great post Bob. Maybe you should explain how difficult it is to reverse controls when your RC choppers were coming toward you. LOL

If you have AI Carriers, try some moving targets with water at Ultra, wind and a pitching deck!

Happy skies!

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1 hour ago, RockStarofRust said:

Great post Bob. Maybe you should explain how difficult it is to reverse controls when your RC choppers were coming toward you. LOL

If you have AI Carriers, try some moving targets with water at Ultra, wind and a pitching deck!

Happy skies!

Flying RC helicopters, when I was teaching beginners, I would always start with tail towards the flyer. Then slight turns either way and finally after days or weeks was to have the copter flying towards the the pilot ( everything reversed.), The hardest thing and some never could get it was, having the pilot do a slow 360 degree turn while hovering. Then the really hard one was having  the copter at a 45 degree either side  from directly  pointed at the  pilot . You get messed up doing this, and a wrong move will either wreck your $1,000 copter or you might be wearing it as a hair piece. Try it on the sim, in outside view.  

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1 hour ago, Bobsk8 said:

Flying RC helicopters, when I was teaching beginners, I would always start with tail towards the flyer. Then slight turns either way and finally after days or weeks was to have the copter flying towards the the pilot ( everything reversed.), The hardest thing and some never could get it was, having the pilot do a slow 360 degree turn while hovering. Then the really hard one was having  the copter at a 45 degree either side  from directly  pointed at the  pilot . You get messed up doing this, and a wrong move will either wreck your $1,000 copter or you might be wearing it as a hair piece. Try it on the sim, in outside view.  

Or, try aerofly RC 7... :)

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10 hours ago, jimcarrel said:

I just spent about 4 hours getting fully updated (SP2) Dodosim chopper working in P3D (what a job!). Never spent a more enjoyable time checking the area around Orbyx Jefferson County airport. I use a Warthog setup.

Can you share what was required to make it run on P3dv3.4 ?

In the past ( fs9 times ) I owned that excellent heli, and have considered getting it for P3D too. Didn't know about a version 2.

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