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coastaldriver

Helicopters XP12 - Tips-Tricks-Advice

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After many years of real world aeroplanes and simulation flight in fixed wing aircraft I needed a change and thought time to take up Helicopters. I had downloaded a couple including the Bell 47 and the Latest Schweizer 300GI Trying to stay simple at the beginning. So I thought I would start with the one and only lesson in Xplane - sort of helpful but not very to my mind a few clues but not enough! Search of the Net did not provide all that more but a couple of good intros to pore over for awhile. Seems a lot depends on the control set up and as I only have a Logitech Pro 3D setup seems a few little addons may be required to address the peculiarities of rotary wing aircraft. 

The Youtube video mentioned a little addon called HELI-TRIM - seemed like a good start but would be compatible now with XP12, that I do not know. The issue of throttle and collective is also perplexing at the moment so I guess to set up a completely different joystick profile for Helicopters would be the sane way to go - that an a bit of study about helicopters in general!

So excusing my complete ignorance here any other bits and pieces one needs other than just to perservere? It looks like a lot of fun and likely to add a completely new dimension to my sim flying!

 

 

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Some advices from experience:

.use minimum null zone (hence a quality joystick is advised);

.joysticks with a strong centering spring make control more difficult (and less realistic). A joystick with a weak spring or, even better, with a removable spring would be better. Or a force feedback joystick, to be used unpowered (with no centering force);

.in the flight control menu of X-Plane, set a specific profile for helicopters, with max linearity on all 3 axes; also, it may help to limit max deflection for all axes from 100% down to 70-80%, so to have less sensitive controls;

.helicopters require continuous, fine and smooth control, so be sure to have high FPS, I'd say 40+ but higher is even better; reduce rendering settings if needed;

.for the same reason, use a very wide FOV; I'd suggest something around 100 degrees, at least; it will help detect small movements with your peripheral vision and react to them;

.small helicopters are actually harder to fly because they are very sensitive and with little inertia; a larger helicopter might be easier to practice with.

 

Edited by Murmur
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Thanks will do this. Discovering this the hard way back to setting up the controls (try and try again) All over the place at the moment with my joystick (Logitech Pro3D) Slightest touch and off it goes on you. I had heard that flying a chopper is like rubbing your head and patting your stomach at the same time - seems very true. Good thing it is  a sim, written off about a dozen Robinsons so far and haven't even got out of the airport environment yet. Being a real helicopter instructor must be a very hair raising experience! The pro's make it look easy even more impressed with the skills!

Edited by coastaldriver

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10 hours ago, coastaldriver said:

as I only have a Logitech Pro 3D setup

This is enough to get up and running.

Game console controllers also work pretty well - set them up like an RC controller.

thing to do will the Pro 3D is bind the flappy paddle axis to the collective rather than throttle, pretty much all of them run the throttle on a governor, with the throttle control just there for handling or simulating failures, whereas climb/descend is done with the collective.

SmarterEveryDay YT channel has lots of good videos on the theory from a few years back. Aside from mastering the hover and handling an engine failure they fly pretty much identically to a plane.

Probably the biggest "facepalm" moment for me early on was that (non coaxial) helicopters maintain their pitch and roll when the cyclic is in neutral.

Hmmm, when I get a few minutes, If there isn't one already I might make a "getting started with helis with the Pro 3D" YT vid.

Edited by mSparks
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Not thinking about the required control input, not trying to fly it stable at low speeds and focusing on the destination rather than the vehicle helps. As does headtracking because it helps focusing on a point outside of the vehicle.

The simming pros use hardware controls with very little resistance against movement. No centering springs, as little friction as possible, etc. Basically the opposite of what you'd want in an airplane. But even with that, I figure helicopters are easier to fly in reality.


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Hello
My recommendation is a joystick without a return spring, a separate throttle, which is defined as a collective, and flight pedals, ideally without a return spring.
The best thing to do with the joystick is one with two 4-way buttons, one for the vision control, the other for the trim (if the helicopter offers this). Back then I was using the Bell 427 from thimber61 and then the EC 135 from Rotosim. After a lot of practice I ended up with the SA315B Lama from PhilipU. TrackIR was also helpful for me for the view.

On my Youtube-Chanel i have some Videos but only in german Language

Edited by Dirk.M

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All good advice, thankyou. The visual thing in 2D is a real gotcha - I find it easily confuses you because you get a high  ASI reading but the look outside does not equate to what my mind is expecting to see in terms of movement got to learn to ignore that instrument except as a quick check for transitioning!  I will work on the joystick setup (good to see I can save it as separate user profile in settings). 

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I use a spring loaded joystick with 4way trim (+rudder trim on TCA airbus pack), works good enough, I never got force trim works properly in XP, The only time I got a force trim somekind works was back in OG DCS:Ka50: you hold the trim button, return the joystick to neutral, and release the trim button. EC135's manual shows it should also works that way, but I just can't make it right.....

I use TCA airbus throttle for the collective, while I always want a proper collective lever, I can't find something at like sub-100USD range, plus I don't have place to mount it when I'm thinking design and 3D print my own one.... My main focus is still airliner, so I don't want put too much effort on that...

I alway feel I "kinda know" how to fly heli and can get "job done" (with Helicopter Rescue Mission plugin) most of the time, that's until few month ago I finally got right hand joystick to get more serious and find myself actually crashed a lot, and went back to basics, follow along the basic training maneuvers writen in FAA's Helicopter Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-21A) step by step, Improved a lot within just few days! highly recommended!

And now I got VR, the first thing I every tired in my Quest3 is to fly helicopter in XP12! I get much better on spot landing and hovering and almost everything, in the cost of much lower FPS(with lower graphic) and more importantly, it really hurts my stomach with motion sickness.....

 

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Thanks for the reference to the FAA Handbook - I had forgotten about these invaluable books and manuals. So far getting along, sort of, still writing off Robinsons so I switched to the freeware Bell 47G2, nice machine and seems a bit easier to handle in the sim too for some reason. Reading and practice - still fun! I had not realised you run the engines in these machines basically at full blast all the time when flying (contrary to fixed wing flight) those old pistons must have had short lives!

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Try the freeware Alouette III as well. Not my cup of tea for some reason, but a pretty docile flier.

Edited by Bjoern
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7950X3D + 6900 XT + 64 GB + Linux | 4800H + RTX2060 + 32 GB + Linux
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Picked up the JRX Bo-105 during the sale and so far, it's really good. No SASL plugin, product activation and FPS cost, just straight up, honest, editable xlua. Exactly how I like it. (Thanks for the hint from a few weeks ago, @Matchstick.)

It flies well, but can't carry any amount of ice whatsoever. Two 20 minute flights in mildly freezing rain each ended with everybody dead from overtorque and lack of autorotation skills.

Edited by Bjoern
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7950X3D + 6900 XT + 64 GB + Linux | 4800H + RTX2060 + 32 GB + Linux
My add-ons from my FS9/FSX days

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2 hours ago, Bjoern said:

Picked up the JRX Bo-105 during the sale and so far, it's really good. No SASL plugin, product activation and FPS cost, just straight up, honest, editable xlua. Exactly how I like it. (Thanks for the hint from a few weeks ago, @Matchstick.)

It flies well, but can't carry any amount of ice whatsoever. Two 20 minute flights in mildly freezing rain each ended with everybody dead from overtorque and lack of autorotation skills.

Yeah, it's a handful when it gets cold and well. The ground deicing Holdover Time gets quite a lot of workout from me 

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Hi,

Thinking about adding a VR Heli setup into the mix. What do you think about the following items.

Bigscreen VR: https://www.bigscreenvr.com/

and

Puma X hardware: https://pro-flight-trainer.com/product/puma-x-a-style-snapaction/

Thanks


Former Beta Tester - (for a few companies) - As well as provide Regional Voice Set Recordings

       Four-Intel I9/10900K | One-AMD-7950X3D | Three-Asus TUF 4090s | One-3090 | One-1080TI | Five-64GB DDR5 RAM 6000mhz | Five-Cosair 1300 P/S | Five-Pro900 2TB NVME        One-Eugenius ECS2512 / 2.5 GHz Switch | Five-Ice Giant Elite CPU Coolers | Three-75" 4K UHDTVs | One-24" 1080P Monitor | One-19" 1080P Monitor | One-Boeing 737NG Flight Deck

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16 hours ago, Mike_CFII_MEL said:

Hi,

Thinking about adding a VR Heli setup into the mix. What do you think about the following items.

Bigscreen VR: https://www.bigscreenvr.com/

and

Puma X hardware: https://pro-flight-trainer.com/product/puma-x-a-style-snapaction/

Thanks

yes.

(I think sparker on the org got a bigscreen beyond recently, probably double check with him, I think he has also been streaming it)

Edited by mSparks
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Thanks for the link!


Former Beta Tester - (for a few companies) - As well as provide Regional Voice Set Recordings

       Four-Intel I9/10900K | One-AMD-7950X3D | Three-Asus TUF 4090s | One-3090 | One-1080TI | Five-64GB DDR5 RAM 6000mhz | Five-Cosair 1300 P/S | Five-Pro900 2TB NVME        One-Eugenius ECS2512 / 2.5 GHz Switch | Five-Ice Giant Elite CPU Coolers | Three-75" 4K UHDTVs | One-24" 1080P Monitor | One-19" 1080P Monitor | One-Boeing 737NG Flight Deck

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