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Newbie on Mi-8 requesting hints and tips ...


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Hi folks!

 

I bought the Mi-8 following the tip of one of my buddies.

After working into the manual and having a few very nice flights on this wonderful bird, I thought it might make sense to ask you (experienced) guys for the most significant glitches (if there are some) of this humble module. Are there some common mistakes, some things that should be avoided regarding the aircraft (and the module) that are not written in the manual?

 

If anyone is motivated to answer in a few short words, I would be very happy!

In the meantime I continue reading the full manual ... :book:

 

Thanks and kind regards,

TOViper

 

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Apparently there are some serious issues with sling loads weight and behaviour in latest versions (check bugs section for details), not sure if troops embarkment/disembarkment works properly either. But these are the things you will check later once you're more familliar with the module. They will affect you if you decide to purchase and play one of campaigns.

 

Controlling the side door Kord machine gun with mouse is probably still broken after many months, cockpit texturing and lightning hasn't been updated for a long time to cope with game gfx engine changes, and thus night flights might be difficult to perform. 

 

These are first things off top of my head, the rest seems to be working more or less OK. A great helo just for flying around.

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In terms of flying Mi-8, two things are perhaps worth mentioning:

 

1. VRS in an insidious flavour. DCS: Mi-8 likes to fall into VRS more than Huey. Or perhaps it's the other way round - it's just easier to prevent VRS in Huey. The solution is to accept this fact: in Mi-8, for every low speed there's a collective position that prevents VRS. In other words it's not 0/1 logic, you will be pulling collective SEVERAL TIMES to arrest othewise self-increasing vertical velocity (sinking) as you're slowing down to full hover. Gently of course (otherwise you'll baloon). Work with her, continuously, she'll like it.
Since I understood this rule, I have entered VRS only once... on the day when I told myself: "Hey! I'm immune to VRS!".

 

2. It may be a bug or a feature, I don't know. "HDG HOLD" autopilot is helpful in cruise for compensating crosswind. The quirk is that when you move your pedals out of the centered position, you CAN'T turn off HDG HOLD. The lamp will go out on its own, but HDG HOLD is still "ready to engage" as soon as you center the pedals. In such conditions pressing the red disengage button doesn't work! I got cought with it several times.
So, when approaching your LZ, center the pedals and turn HDG HOLD off, then continue flying. Otherwise HDG HOLD will be messing up with your manual inputs when you are low and slow and erratic control is the last thing you want. It's difficult to explain with words, but you'll feel something's wrong with her - as if she got a mind of her own instead of just listening to you.

 

EDIT: No, sorry! Not two things - there's one more phenomenon that may bite you one day.
3. ALT HOLD oscillation. Most of the times, when you engage ALT HOLD, it will just "snap", i.e. stabilize the altitude as expected. Sometimes, however, she will start to go up and down, uuup and dooown, uuuuuup and doooown in ever increasing oscillations. This will ruin your day. I do one or two things when this happens:
A. Before you press ALT HOLD, make sure she's trimmed nicely and vertical velocity is as small as you find practical to trim her to. Zero is perfect, but at least "small". In these conditions, oscillations are unlikely (or less likely) to appear.
B. If "A" didn't work, I noticed that ALT HOLD autopilot (working on the collective) seems to be fighting against pitch SAS channel (working on the cyclic) and vice versa. If so, I start watching ALT HOLD channel pointer - this white bar on the center pedestal (the rightmost one) and I "fight" it with the stick. If the bar goes "greedily" down (less collective pitch), I pull aft on the cyclic. If it goes up, I push forward on the cyclic.
I don't think it's an "official" technique, I doubt it, but that's just what I do and typically it takes 2 or 3 such corrective pushes/pulls, when ALT HOLD finally gives up and "snaps".

Once ALT HOLD gets steady (on its own or with your help), it stays steady, nothing more to worry about.

 


Edited by scoobie
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Heading hold works better if you have rudder trimming enabled. Trim the aircraft for cruise, feet off the pedals and you can have heading hold prevent drift over longer distances. That is pretty much the only time I use it though. I find it unreliable if turned on for the entire duration of the flight, mostly because of some of the control compromises the developers had to make. I don't really use alt hold.

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Scoobie and Art covered the main points I could think of, so I'll just put some more emphasis on the VRS part:

 

The bitch will VRS if you let her, it will happen when you least want it and it happens fast. One of the main tricks is to always watch your vertical velocity as you get slow. Never drop below... 3.5m/s I think? But the helicopter is kind enoough to tell you when you need to be on edge for VRS with the shakes. As you exit translational lift (translational lift is when you're going fast enough that the rotor system no longer is affected by its own turbulence and it gains some extra lift, happens above around 50km/h airspeed in the Mi8) the helicopter will start shaking. At that point some collective is needed to counter the loss of lift from exiting translational lift, otherwise you will really increase your risk of VRS.

 

My other tip is to just practice. Limbs will be flailing and wrecks will be created, but after a while, it stops happening, or at least the amount of wrecks get smaller.

 

Well, these were not short words, but It's the best way I can describe things.  

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If you are used to western helicopters then you may be wondering why the mi-8 has no torque gauge.

and what do you use instead?

This would be the Engine Pressure ratio gauge. (EPR) Also translated as the engine power indicator in the ka-50 (same gauge)

Its a bit smarter than just a torque gauge as it uses outside temperature and outside pressure to tell you how much strain the engines are under based on local conditions (how much air each engine is compressing for combustion). it shows you power limits for cruise, max cruise and takeoff power.

So balance the EPR with the PTIT (Power Turbine Inlet Temperature), like you would balance the torque against the EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature), in western helicopters.

 

The EPR also shows you how much power each engine is providing.

The two engines provide power through a power coupler. and for best practise its best if each engine provides equal power.

As the system takes a while to balance using the throttle governors on each engine. you need to make slow changes in demands for power, which means move the collective slowly.

Slower than you would in a single engine helicopter

If you make quick demands. The system will provide the power by using one engine. So you can end up with one engine not doing much while the other is at takeoff power.

The EPR will show you when you are in this state. And the situation is best to be avoided.

 

Try to avoid completely unloading the main rotor disk with zero collective. Learn to brake using some load. Because then the governors do not throttle back the engines, Which can take some time to recover from when you need power again. ie. Slowing to land. Overpitching and rotor droop. Settling under power, with the warning "generator failure" ringing in your ears.

In proper VRS the engines actually speed up slightly. as the vertical rings provide less purchase for the rotors. hence less drag.

Begin braking long before you need to come to a stop. And slowly increase collective as you slow. To maintain engine balance. And to prevent over pitching and settling under power. If you maintain a low descent rate with good collective control then you will never enter VRS.

 

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I've noticed some people mix up metric and imperial vertical velocity units. If you aim for the "little 5" in the Huey, that gives you a safe 500ft/min or 2.5m/s descent rate. On the other hand if you aim at 5 in the Hip, you're going down twice as fast and not nearly as safely. I don't expect this is a particularly common mistake, but you never know.

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Thanks all for the fantastic postings!

 

Nearly all of the issues came up during the last days, so your comments represent a fantastic addition for the quick start guide.

VRS caught me one time only, but I was able to re-gain airspeed moving cyclic control forward slightly (I intentionally flew out of the danger zone slow/low).

Only gear was damaged, so had luck 🙂

 

I should have bought this module far earlier ... damn. Anyway, now I have it, and I am super happy with that one!!

 

 


Edited by TOViper

my channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_Yx920L1ezoWQkYKCGYB9w

my PC: CSL | i7 6700 @ 4.4 GHz | Asus STRIX GTX 1070 8GB | 32GB 2800 MHz DDR4 | 256 GB SDD SYS + 500 GB SSD DCS + 1 TB HDD | Win10 Pro

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my mods: FC3 | AJS-37 | F-14 | F/A-18 | F-16C | F-5E-3 | L-39 | (HAWK) | UH-1 | MiG-21 | Combined Arms | Nevada | Syria | Persian Gulf

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If you're still taking hints onboard then I'll throw these on the pile.

 

Combat in the Mi-8, especially with guns, is like trying to shoot a coin with a rifle at 2km using iron-sights, while balancing on a unicycle, which, in turn, is on a tightrope. Trained marksmen can't hold a candle to Mi-8 pilots.

 

As it's already been mentioned, the Mi-8 is particularly prone to VSR, or rather, poor transitions to hover. My advice? Never start high and expect to enter a hover at 20 metres AGL. Always come in low and flat as you transition, and don't do it too quickly. The engine response time to collective changes isn't enough to keep up, especially with a heavy aircraft.

 

Enable rudder trim.


Edited by Cheetah7798
Fixed Spelling Errors
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Just general lighting stuff that every module is suffering from since the EDGE update years ago.

Formation lights are inop.

Side navigation/position lights are inop with no weapon racks.

Searchlight can rotate 360° and blast it's light into the cockpit. This is the cause of everything getting super bright if you're messing with the search lights (very old bug).

The rear cockpit bulkhead is transparent to the sun, so you get better sun illumination when the cockpit should be in complete shadow.

I still think the fans have a weird reflection.

 

Otherwise it's fantastic, enjoy it.

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Something that got me in the beginning: the interaction between generators and autpilot:

  • The generators fail, when rotor RPM drops too low (this happens quite often when you pull collective too fast).
  • The autopilot also turns off completely when the generators fail (not just heading/alt hold, also the stabilizer channel. It makes the Mi-8 quite a bit harder to control)
  • Luckily, the generators come back online automatically when RPM is back to normal
  • The autopilot does however NOT come back on together with the generators. You need to manually push the button to get it back.
  • For this reason I always turn on one of the fans at startup. The fan stops spinning when the generators have failed and it resumes spinning when they are back. That way I know when I can re-enable the autopilot after a generator fail 🙂

 


Edited by cow_art
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3 hours ago, cow_art said:

For this reason I always turn on one of the fans at startup. The fan stops spinning when the generators have failed and it resumes spinning when they are back. That way I know when I can re-enable the autopilot after a generator fail 🙂

Good one! I´m taking it for myself.

Thanks.

Saca111

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I love these small tricks.

Human factors at its best 😉

 

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my PC: CSL | i7 6700 @ 4.4 GHz | Asus STRIX GTX 1070 8GB | 32GB 2800 MHz DDR4 | 256 GB SDD SYS + 500 GB SSD DCS + 1 TB HDD | Win10 Pro

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my mods: FC3 | AJS-37 | F-14 | F/A-18 | F-16C | F-5E-3 | L-39 | (HAWK) | UH-1 | MiG-21 | Combined Arms | Nevada | Syria | Persian Gulf

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Bought the Hip a while ago already last autumn but starting to really get into over the last two weeks or so. As already mentioned i too really think the worst thing for a starter is the generators failing, but once you learned this is due to putting too much stress on the engines / too hasty changes, things start to get fine quickly.

I as of now tend to ride her like i was walking on eggs (helps with VRS too) and i already got used quite well to really plan ahead a few kilometers so i don't burn the generators with things that come to my mind out of a sudden.

 

Dead sure you found your way there on your own already, but to get sure 😉 Terminus really got an excellent tutorial series that includes a heap load of small tricks and also background info about the "why" in addition to the "how", which really is a great help. Just be aware some links in the thread seem to got messed up with time, so best is to stick to the YT playlist itself.

 

Happy whirling!

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To help avoiding generator tripping and VRS what you can do to slow down in a hurry is to reduce deceleration rate as you approach 100 kph. So, you come in full speed, pull back on cyclic and drop collective. Engines will spool down, that's all normal. As you approach 100 kph, push cyclic forward and raise collectice just a bit to spool up engines. Since you are still decelerating, it will help you with sink rate, which in turn will help you with ammount of collective you need, so you avoid generator tripping out. As it starts shaking through ETL, start pulling collective. If you wait for it to start sinking you might be in problems already.

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