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Which helicopter is the most fun to *fly*?

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    Which helicopter is the most fun to *fly*?

    Hi,

    As the title suggests, I'm looking for a recommendation on which helicopter is the best fun to fly.

    I'm not talking about weapon systems or features, or which is the most fun to send into battle, nor which is the easiest to fly (I know there are plenty of threads based on these already) - I'm solely focused on the flight characteristics as to what you find the most fun, and why?

    I'm looking at helicopters - and would like something that I'm going to be able to 'kick' about quite a bit and get a lot of satisfaction out of learning to fly.

    I considered dismissing the KA-50 right up because it seems to be 'too stable' and all the counter rotors that I've had experience with in the past (RC flight) have been too stable and not maneuverable enough - but I don't know if the black shark in DCS reflects the same or is a lot more maneuverable than others with it's flight dynamics.

    Cheers

    #2
    The Ka-50 is a nifty machine. It's unique and looks badass, and the thing to keep in mind is that the Autopilot works in three modes, with 4 buttons for the pitch, roll, and yaw axes (Channels) and altitude hold. There is also another Mode button beside them for switching between Attitude Hold and Flight Director modes.

    Attitude Hold: the three axis channels are turned on (buttons lit up) and the Mode button is set to Attitude Hold. The helo tries to maintain a constant attitude, and you must hold down the Trim button (press T) to maneuver the heli. After releasing the Trim, the heli will try to maintain the new attitude that you left it in.

    Flight Director: the 3 axis channels are also on, but the Mode button is in Flight Director mode--which is damping only, without attitude hold. You can just fly the heli around like this, without holding the Trim button, and the autopilot only adds dampening to smooth out your flying. Pressing and releasing Trim only determines the stick center position.

    Autopilot Off: None of the 3 axis channels are on. You fly "raw" and have to do everything yourself, which is a handful

    ...There's also an Altitude Hold button if you want to use that.

    So, I'd heartily recommend the Ka-50 just because of its versatility and nifty-ness

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      #3
      Theres not many choices. I really like the shark, most of my time is in the mi8
      But if youre looking for something fun to fly around, im gonna give an unpopular opinion and say the gazelle
      It has its detractors, but once you get the controls set up right i find it to be the most fun flying. This video by casmo was a huge help:


      Another one ive found to be fun, but still has a lot of development ahead of it is the AH-6 mod. U can find discussion in the mods part of this forum (helo efm demo)

      Last edited 09-28-2020, 06:01 AM.
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        #4
        Originally posted by Aluminum Donkey View Post
        The Ka-50 is a nifty machine.
        <snip>
        So, I'd heartily recommend the Ka-50 just because of its versatility and nifty-ness
        So the counter-rotating blades don't reduce it's niftyness. You can throw it around just as much any of the other helicopters?

        I was put off by both the counter-rotating blades (maybe assuming incorrectly), plus discussions that it was a difficult aircraft to learn with 'many systems', but if it can be thrown around like other aircraft and not always 'horizontal' like counter rotating RC aircraft I may need to give it another look. Thanks!

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          #5
          Originally posted by ngreenaway View Post
          unpopular opinion and say the gazelle
          It has its detractors, but once you get the controls set up right i find it to be the most fun flying.
          I was wondering about that. With it being so twitchy I thought maybe it would be more fun (first of all more versatile / can do more in it) plus more of a challenge to learn and conquer, but I didn't want to assume and wanted to get different thoughts on the subject while focusing solely on flight enjoyment.

          Another on ive found to be fun, but still has a lot of development ahead of it is the AH-6 mod. U can find discussion in the mods part of this forum (helo efm demo)
          Thank you so much for that! A free helicopter to demo in DCS! That is fantastic - to at least give people a little taste of what's available! I'll be checking that out. Thank you!

          Comment


            #6
            Yea, people complained the flight model was too responsive, for me that made for some low level (as in, watch out for that bus!) high speed night raids on villages in the persian gulf really fun

            A lot of people have complained about realism, i just thought "dont care, im having FUN with this thing"
            The new control values casmo gave turned down the twichiness, but its still enjoyable

            Enjoy the AH-6!

            As for the others, the mi8 has a huge amount of content, and its satisfying to fly, but its very sedate

            The huey is perhaps the most realistic to what i expect a helo to operate like after reading "chickenhawk" numerous times over the years, but its got quite a learning curve to it, and i didn't like the campaign that came with it. Blackshark's included campaign was really enjoyable
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              #7
              Gazelle is most fun for me, just have to tweak your controls to get it feeling just right

              Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

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                #8
                Originally posted by ngreenaway View Post
                Yea, people complained the flight model was too responsive, for me that made for some low level (as in, watch out for that bus!) high speed night raids on villages in the persian gulf really fun

                A lot of people have complained about realism, i just thought "dont care, im having FUN with this thing"
                The new control values casmo gave turned down the twichiness, but its still enjoyable

                Enjoy the AH-6!

                As for the others, the mi8 has a huge amount of content, and its satisfying to fly, but its very sedate

                The huey is perhaps the most realistic to what i expect a helo to operate like after reading "chickenhawk" numerous times over the years, but its got quite a learning curve to it, and i didn't like the campaign that came with it. Blackshark's included campaign was really enjoyable
                Thanks. For the info - this is the kinda stuff I'm looking for.

                Sounds like the mi8 is worth ignoring for the time being - I'm wanting something with a bit more 'spirit' than being sedate even though I'm sure it's a great war platform.

                What's the AH-6 like compared to the gazelle? I'm assuming by looking at it that the AH-6 is a more nimble bird as well?

                Originally posted by webweaver40 View Post
                Gazelle is most fun for me, just have to tweak your controls to get it feeling just right

                Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
                And another vote for the Gazelle ey? Thanks!

                Comment


                  #9
                  When it comes to helo flying, I personally had the most fun moments in the Huey

                  With the Ka-50 as a good second

                  Gazelle is nice, but I just don't really like its flight characteristics.

                  Never got to fully learning the Mi-8, but I don't really like the Mi-8 cockpit graphics (I know, the UH-1 cockpit isn't up to date either, but somehow it's less of a problem for me in the Huey)
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                    #10
                    I enjoy them all, but each one offers its own kind of fun, something others have already covered above. For me, the biggest "thrill" is in flying the Shark or Gazelle, with the Gazelle being my favorite overall. Again, nothing against the other modules.

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                      #11
                      I own all of the DCS helis (I fly helis 80% of the my flying time)


                      For just the fun of flying, I think the mi-8 is great

                      You can do a lot of non combat tasks with it as well eg CSAR, cargo runs etc
                      great fun to fly


                      I would not touch the gazelle with a barge pole tho
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                        #12
                        I have KA50, Mi8 and huey. For me;


                        KA50 is not fun at all, It has very good auto pilot and you don't haveto fly it. It flies itself. Most fun part of ka50 is to hover and nail targets with vikhrs

                        Mi8 and Huey flying is absolute fun. Mi8 has a real A/P but not complex and improved like ka50's A/P. Taking off is very easy but landing and hovering is tricky. Huey has a fake-cheat A/P but since we don't have a jester like co-pilot (it doesn't even say a word. sometimes, not always just shoots things) it is hardly cheat. Everything is all manual on huey.
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                          #13
                          For me it really depends.
                          Ka-50: flies really nice, but it is not a "typical" helo. I love systems and avionics in general and the Ka-50 has also plenty of that. Fighting in the Ka-50 is awesome.
                          Huey: iconic helo, flies very nice. Not many systems, easy to learn. Fighting is different here than in the Ka-50, but tons of fun as well.
                          Mi-8: also iconic, flies very nice like a bus :-). Can hand out a punch as well and the magnitude of different avionic systems is heaven for me
                          Gazelle: some unique and interesting weapon systems, avionics are quite straight forward. Flying characteristics: I won't comment on that until Polychop implements their promised rework of the FM.


                          I can't, for myself, really distinguish between "fun to fly" and "fun to fight in". It goes all hand-in-hand. But if you insist ... most fun to just fly is probably the Huey and the Mi-8 - one being much more nimble and "hands-down" and the other more like a school bus - whith all it's own interesting peculiarities.
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                            #14
                            The ka-50 is abnormal and doesn’t fly like your average helo which takes away some fun for me. But it is very fast and stable in flight.

                            The mi-8 is enjoyable but it’s trying to murder you every time you land.

                            The gazelle is an arma module imo. Not fun at all to me. You run a risk getting this one. People either love it or absolutely hate it.

                            Huey is the answer. It flies like what you’d expect, you have to keep working at it while flying, landing is a good mix of fun and challenge. The Huey hits a sweet spot imo and everyone should own it.
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                              #15
                              Mi8 all the way. It's like flying an aerial bus. Seriously, this thing just "feels" massive. It's heavy, but it has a lot of power. It flies exactly like you would expect it to fly and I prefer it to the Huey, simply because its a little less twitchy. I think this is due to it's mass and inertia. When it gets up to speed it's very smooth and flies almost like a fixed wing.

                              It's hard to describe much better than that, it just feels right. I recently gave a whirl just to see whether I remember how to get it in the air and land, this is after a couple of years of exclusive fixed-wing DCS flying and I managed to get it into the air and back on the ground in one piece.
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                                #16
                                I would have to split my vote between the Huey and the Mi8...

                                If you want pure “stick and rudder” (ok “cyclic and collective”) flying at treetop level blasting Creedence while diving into an LZ recreating moments from “Chicken Hawk” by Robert Mason (a must read), then the Huey is what you want.

                                If you want to do the above while sipping vodka, the Mi8 has more cushion for the pushin. It’s a Mustang and the Huey is a Miata.


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                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by SVgamer72 View Post
                                  If you want to do the above while sipping vodka, the Mi8 has more cushion for the pushin.

                                  You forgot to add "while carrying an underslund tetrapod or 40ft shipping container".


                                  The Mi-8 gets my vote.

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                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by ngreenaway View Post
                                    A lot of people have complained about realism, i just thought "dont care, im having FUN with this thing"

                                    This. Cubed. Realism can be over-rated; the perception of realism is enough.

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                                      #19
                                      Thanks so much for all the replies - and the extra details of why which are far more helpful than just "I like" by itself.

                                      It looks like I've gotten more than I bargained for though. I'm thinking the Gazelle may be what I'm looking for - but without being able to demo it - it may be too much for me to handle, so I may give it a miss for the time being (at least until there's a "Free to try" time period again just to see what it's like).

                                      For what I'm chasing - fly by the seat of your pants slam it in where I want it kicking rudder type of stuff but still a safe bet - it sounds like the Huey is going to be the safest play to start with, but I'm fast seeing that I'm going to probably be buying a second bird to go into battle if I get hooked on helo's. (I'm suspicious that it will probably be the Ka-50 or maybe Mi8 unless the Kiowa is released by then).

                                      In addition to seeing that I'm probably going to spend twice as much as I first anticipated (in the long run), I can see another money spender coming up...

                                      Originally posted by SVgamer72 View Post
                                      “Chicken Hawk” by Robert Mason (a must read)


                                      Thanks all!
                                      Last edited 09-29-2020, 09:05 AM.

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                                        #20
                                        I've come around to enjoy flying the Gazelle, it is fun - but not using it in combat. It is really designed as a two person aircraft and there haven't been enough accommodations in the module to allow me to enjoy doing everything by myself. I have shelved in until they sort out multi-crew.

                                        Mi-8 looks like a bus, flies like a bus, has too many people in it - like a bus. Not my cup of rotary tea.

                                        Haven't really gotten into the Ka-50 because I mostly fly helos to get away from holding station and staring at in-game video screens.

                                        Huey is just fun to fly; simple but challenging. My go to.




                                        edit: I'm hoping the Hind will be the best bits of the Ka-50, the Mi-8, and the Huey glued together.
                                        Last edited 09-29-2020, 09:12 AM.

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