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About Paraffin

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    Member - 2,000+

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    Pacific Northwest USA
  • Interests
    Civilian and Combat flight sims.

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About Me

  • About Me
    I've been flying on virtual planes since the old SubLogic PC days, and was once a SysOp on the pre-Web Compuserve FS forums.

    Real-life flying experience -- never a pilot, but I spent many years as an aerial photographer in light planes and helicopters based out of Miami, FL, Central America, and South America. I know what it looks like up there, with the door off, even if I've never had the yoke in my hand.

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  1. That's true of any realistic helicopter flight model. Our desktop joysticks aren't designed for it. I removed the big mainspring from my Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS set and that makes it easier, but it's still not like having a good extension on the stick. What you can do from there is all down to adjustments in the joystick curves in the sim. And it's still not as good as a long-travel cyclic.
  2. Sorry, not enough coffee this morning. Just do what you did for forward flight translation in reverse. 🙂 Okay, seriously... it's not enough to just lift your nose to bleed speed because that will gain altitude. You want to slow down first by lowering collective a little while raising your nose with the cyclic a little, doing both together in a coordinated way. You'll end up in a glide path similar to a fixed wing landing. You need to do this way ahead of time, anticipating how long it will take to reach the altitude and position of your landing zone. This takes practice and experience. You'll need to anticipate the need for more anti-torque pedal as you slowly transition to a hover. By the time you're at your destination you should be moving very slowly, and can then do a tiny flare up to kill your speed to zero right over the landing zone and softly drop to a landing with the collective. Maintain a crawl speed until you reach that spot and you'll stay out of the zone where VRS can kick in. Try to avoid coming to a hover at a large height above your landing zone and dropping vertically. That's where you might hit VRS. If you feel it kick in (and I don't know how accurately this model is for that), the escape maneuver is with the cyclic -- either a sudden push forward or to one side to get out of the prop wash.
  3. First, get into a stabilized hover at a safe distance off the ground to avoid nearby obstacles in the desired direction of flight, Use anti-torque pedals as needed to maintain heading. From a stable hover, slowly move the cyclic forward just a little to gradually transition into forward flight. If you're lifting from an airport you probably have plenty of free space around you, so you don't need to get much altitude before transitioning to forward flight. Increase collective as needed to maintain altitude during transition to forward flight, but do that slowly as well. Too much collective too fast when you're not expecting it, could overcome your anti-torque pedal setting and get you into a spin. Anticipate what's about to happen. No sudden moves. Ease into forward flight slowly as you translate into cruise. FYI, there is another takeoff procedure for larger twin engine (CAT A certified) helicopters where you first make sure there are no obstacles behind you, then you takeoff vertically and slightly backwards, always keeping the takeoff zone visible below and in front of you near your feet through the lower canopy. When you reach a safe translation altitude you ease into forward flight. This technique is designed to keep a safe landing area always in view below and ahead of you, in case you blow an engine and need to autorotate or use a single engine to land back in the takeoff area. It's a procedure used with restricted takeoff areas and things like yacht or oil rig landing pads. I don't think this kind of takeoff is normally used for smaller single-engine helicopters, but it's a fun one to practice anyway.
  4. What's the actual airspeed of your RC helicopter? I know there are some that have set speed records in the neighborhood of real helicopter cruise speed, but if you're not flying the RC helicopter at those speeds then you won't get the same windvane effect. It's the true airrpseed on the model that matters. There are probably other things at work too, like far greater mass and inertia in the real thing, compared to much more lightweight RC helicopters. If they know what they're doing, they'll incorporate a set of completely different flight characteristics alongside and separate from the fixed wing flight model, rather than just tack extra features onto the fixed wing model. That's what X-Plane does, and I assume DCS also. Changes and improvements in the helicopter flight model can't break any of the fixed wing flying when it's done that way. In those sims, the software "knows" you're flying a helicopter with different response to ground effect transitions, different wing/blade stall effects, and unique hazards like vortex ring state, or "mast bump" in certain models. It's clearly possible to hack the existing fixed wing flight model to partially simulate a helicopter. We're seeing 3rd parties do this right now, since Asobo dropped the ball on developing helicopters for the sim's initial release. However, even if they manage to do a great job, you've got different developers figuring out their own solutions to the problem. That limits the number of great helicopters we'll have to fly eventually in MSFS. The right way to do it in my opinion, is to have these helicopter features built into the default flight modeling in the sim, so every 3rd party developer doesn't have to re-invent the wheel. I hope that's Asobo's plan. We'll get a wide selection of better helicopter models that way.
  5. Not just the main rotor, there is also a very strong windvane effect from the fuselage tail and vertical fin when flying at cruise speed. It should come on gradually without a detent or lock, but you're basically feet off the anti-torque pedals at cruise speed in most helicopters. All maneuvers are done with the cyclic and collective at cruise speed until you drop airspeed enough for the anti-torque pedals to have an effect. It's probably not very realistic, but then you wouldn't normally be pushing the pedals at cruise speed. So I wouldn't count it too much against this model since it's not a full-on helicopter flight model from Asobo yet.
  6. XP11 is the best currently available sim for civilian helicopters (DCS is for military 'copters). As recommended above, try the free Bell 429, it's great, and you can learn some of the more advanced features on larger helicopters like force trim release, beep trim, and autopilot. My favorite helicopter in XP11 is the payware Bell 412, but there are some other great payware ones like the Bell 407. As with any helicopter sim, it's better if you have separate joystick and throttle controllers to act as cyclic and collective, and rudder pedals are essential for the full experience. Have fun!
  7. C'mon Goran, I agree with everything else in that post, but clouds are more than eye candy. It's the environment we fly in. Maybe it doesn't matter that much to the airliner fans, zooming up into the flight levels and ignoring most weather. But for GA pilots, especially bush pilots, it's critical that clouds look and act realistically. For example, I remember years ago when I was working as a photographer on a book about Mexico, the publisher hired a pilot to fly me to the Bonampak Mayan ruins in a light Cessna. This was when the site was just starting to be opened up, with a primitive airstrip nearby. We flew out of Mexico City, and spent a frustrating half hour or so circling over the site, which had been socked in with a cloud layer. Sometimes a hole in the clouds would open up, and the pilot would dive bomb into it, pulling up at the last minute when it looked like there wasn't enough room to recover before hitting the tree canopy. Fun times! I was a lot younger and didn't scare as easily back then. Anyway, that's the kind of clouds I want, and it's not just eye candy. It's a functional part of flying. It shouldn't be a question of having to choose between flight model and cloud depiction. We should demand good quality in both parts of the sim. I've felt for a long time that the reason Austin hasn't prioritized weather in general, and not just cloud depiction, is that he's a private pilot and probably chooses to only fly in good weather. He's not the kind of GA pilot that has to fly in bad weather to get the job done.
  8. (shrugs), Not the most important feature for me. I'm not as hung up on picturesque clouds as some flight simmers. I just want something reasonably close to the actual weather at the time, with enough fine grained adjustments to make the real weather flyable. Also smooth interpolation between METARs with no sudden jumps, especially on final, and no heavy hit on the frame rate. If I was hung up on accurate cloud depiction I wouldn't fly a sim at all. None of them currently model either the internal dynamics or the visual look of a towering CB or approaching weather front.
  9. Just my opinion but I wouldn't recommend it... unless you have enough money to also buy the competitors like SkyMax Pro, ActiveSkyX, and whatever else is out there for a full comparison. That's the only way to make an informed decision about which weather add-on is best, because you have to fly them. You have to evaluate the performance on your hardware and at the flight altitudes and locations you prefer. The look of clouds at 35,000 ft. is very different from scud-running in mountain valleys. You can't just look at screenshots made by other people to evaluate these add-ons. That's why I bought XEnviro when it first came out, as well as the other two mentioned above. As it turned out, I never use XEnviro because it has one glaring flaw for me, and that's not enough fine-tuning of injected weather. High storm winds make it impossible to fly light GA aircraft at certain times of the year in my favorite flying areas. The lack of fine-tuning for cloud base also makes completing flights in FSEconomy jobs difficult at times. What I ended up using is just ActiveSkyX with default clouds. For me, that's the best compromise with the fewest downsides, until Laminar gets off their collective butt and comes up with a better internal weather engine in a future version of the sim. And speaking of that, another consideration is that we may be getting near the end of the XP11 product cycle, with XP12 somewhere on the near horizon. None of the weather add-ons available now are guaranteed to work on the next version of XP, so it's not an ideal time to buy expensive weather add-ons. You might want to stick with free weather mods like cloud textures.
  10. IIRC, Asobo has stated that they're not opening up the weather system to 3rd party add-ons. In the abstract, I think that's the right way to go. It forces the sim developer to closely integrate flight modeling with atmospheric modeling, and build a great weather system from the ground up. No excuses. I've been very vocal over the years here on Avsim about how disappointing X-Plane's weather system is, even though it's open to 3rd party add-ons like ActiveSkyX. The problem is that the internal weather engine is a very simplistic layered system. There isn't much add-on developers can do with that. Austin Meyer has spent too many years just assuming 3rd party devs can handle weather generation and it's not working well. So in theory I think Asobo's approach is good, if they still plan on blocking 3rd party weather add-ons. Of course they have to deliver, if that's the plan. Live weather and cloud rendering, especially with regard to CB's with internal dynamics, is not where it needs to be yet.
  11. Just a very quick flight in my home area (coastal small town, no dense buildings). Looks smoother, no micro stutters, at least in this non-photogrammetry area. I'll try something more framerate challenging later. On the downside, the texture pop-ins near the aircraft for any vertical or near-vertical terrain like cliff sides are still there. I guess I wasn't expecting a fix for that in this patch, but I sure hope they can get to that eventually.
  12. It doesn't auto-detect the update in the sim. You have to launch the MS Game store outside the sim, click on MSFS and it will find the 1 GB update.
  13. Just my opinion, but I doubt they would delay the world updates while fixes are needed in other areas. From a public relations standpoint, it's better to keep feeding the customers things that work and get people excited like scenery updates, while the problems under the hood are being worked on. If they paused world updates, there would be nothing but problems in the flight modeling and scenery generation for customers to talk about. Not good, from Asobo's perspective. 🙂
  14. Maybe you're not flying in areas where the effect is more pronounced? My normal test area is my home town, which is coastal with some low cliffs. The texture pop-in is very noticeable on any of these mesh areas where the ortho imagery has to be vertically stretched to match the mesh. Another artifact is that I'm seeing segments of the coastal water's edge pop in the same way, right in front of the aircraft when flying low, and only when there are waves burned into the ortho image. Don't know if that's related to the vertical cliff pop-in but I suspect it is, because it's happening at the same close distance. This texture popping was not in the Alpha test and I don't remember it being there on release. It was introduced some time later.
  15. Not only do aerodynamics and systems not need much improvement, LR can't really afford to take any steps that would make XP11 aircraft incompatible with XP12. Normally that would be a boon for 3rd party developers, who can then re-sell their models as updated versions. But in the current market, I think XP12 needs full compatibility with the XP11 fleet. To avoid alienating the 3rd party aircraft developers with regard to new version sales, maybe there will be an optional new flight and systems model,. Something like the current experimental flight model expanded to other systems and even new eye candy effects. This would let them at least test the market for updated XP12 versions. But the current fleet has to be flyable. It's one of the things keeping some of us flying XP, or at least keeping one foot in each sim.
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