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How important is a pair of rudder pedals


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Hi guys

 

Fairly new to the DCS community but looking to get the Hind. I use the Logitech Force 3D Pro joystick with the twist action for rudder. Was wondering would it be a wise decision to buy the Hind without me having physical rudder pedals? I have flown the Mi-8 during the last free-to-play period and it didnt seem awfully difficult but that was not a deep dive.

 

Thoughts and suggestions welcome.

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Rudder pedals are definitely not required. They are, however, highly recommended if you plan to put any large amount of time into helo's in DCS. They will save you some very sore wrists in the long run. If you decide to go that route, you don't really need anything fancy. I use a cheap pair of pedals from Thrustmaster and they get the job done. I think they cost me maybe $60.00 usd. Had them for years now. 


Edited by Repth
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27 minutes ago, foxonefoxtwo said:

I use the Logitech Force 3D Pro joystick with the twist action for rudder. Was wondering would it be a wise decision to buy the Hind without me having physical rudder pedals? I have flown the Mi-8 during the last free-to-play period and it didnt seem awfully difficult but that was not a deep dive.

 

Thoughts and suggestions welcome.

 

Don't let the lack of rudder pedals stop you, if you've flown the Mi-8 using joystick twist, you'll have a good idea of the main issues of having to hold the twist, while making cyclic changes.

 

It takes time/practice to build up a steady wrist and you'll likely always be at a disadvantage compared to someone with rudder pedals when holding a hover but the lack of space for a set of rudder pedals has never held me back from buying/flying a helicopter.

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I'm currently using the keyboard for anti-torque in helicopters - it's very sloppy and imprecise but it is doable, mind you I mostly just take helicopters into freeflight.

Modules I own: F-14A/B, F/A-18C, Supercarrier, F-16CM, AJS-37, F-5E-3, MiG-21bis, Ka-50, A-10C (+ A-10C II), UH-1H, Mi-8MTV2, P-47D, P-51D, FC3, MiG-15bis, Yak-52, CA, C-101, Hawk

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Rudder pedals are definitely a good buy for the helicopters (I have them all), but you can use the twist axis with the Mi8 and fly just fine.  I have an old Logitech 3D Pro and did try it once and I thought it worked quite well for the Huey too.  The hardest thing about the Mi8 is landing.

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Mi8 has an option to include the "rudder" with the trim-button; so if you torque 5 degrees to the right and press the trim button and then release the stick, the chopper will keep the rudder at 5 degrees to the right. 

I used this for a while, and I was able to fly the mi8, but not very smoothly, and it requires trimming a lot.

With rudder pedals, you can omit the rudder from the trim button, so that trimming only applies to pitch and roll.

 

What I found to be the biggest improvement for flying helos, is to get a very decent stick. Sticks with a spring and pressure plate system (like the X55 or warthog sticks) have a weird tendency to give no (or barely any) resistance in the y-axis if a deflection in the x-axis is already there and vice versa.

This is because you can roll around the stick in a circle without changing the amount of compression on the spring.

This is hardly noticeable on fixed wings, but I found it super annoying in helos. 

 

 

 

 

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If you wanna fly helicopters i would highly recommend it (for most planes in DCS its not really needed imo). Ive flown helis with a twist joystick for a long time and my hand and wrist was always in some awkward position that i could never leave because once i left the "pedals" doing their thing the heli goes everywhere except straight. Gets very annoying if you have to fly for an hour or more. With the pedals the helis feel more like a plane, far more stable, i just keep a little but more force on one pedal and the thing goes where i want without thinking or taking much care of it. And if i wanna turn a bit ill just use the pedals and it turns on a dime. Also the helicopter feels far more stable in flight, because its easy to make very small corrections.

Imo for helis its the best buy you can make, flying with twist stick is very awkward and annoying, flying a helicopter with pedals on the other hand is really nice.

I would guess though with the heavy and fast Mi-24 will be easier to fly with a twist stick than a light Huey.

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Servus! :smilewink:

My DCS:World-Modules:

A-10C, UH-1H, F-86F, Fw-190D9, MiG-21bis, P-51D, Mi-8MTV2,Bf-109K4, MiG-15bis, L-39C, Hawk, NTTR, Mirage 2000C, SA342M Gazelle.

 

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I agree with most people.

IMHO twist stick is only manageable with rudder trim. I used this for some years but landing can be very challenging.

Actual rudder pedals were a game changer for me.

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It's great to have pedals, but not necessary. You can even fly a DCS helicopter with Xbox360 controller if you practice enough.
The Hind seems like a stable helicopter. So normal flight should be fine. Might be a bit tricky hovering and landing in tight spots,
but setting up proper curves on the twist action should help a little. You can always add a pair of rudders later if you feel the need for it.
There are plenty of DIY guides if you don't want to spend a ton of money. Or get a pair of used CH, Saitek or TM.


Edited by Schmidtfire
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13 hours ago, foxonefoxtwo said:

Very tempted to get the Mi-8 with this sale going on.


It’s a good module. Challenging to land but the rest of it is amazing .

 

As to OP’s question, you don’t need rudder pedals for minimum requirement to fly. But you do need them if you intend on putting a great deal of time into being good at flying helos. And further, getting the expensive professional $300 pedals does offer a huge huge improvement in accuracy over the less expensive plastic models.

 

 


Edited by Relic

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I LOVE the Huey module in DCS. That module brought me HUNDREDS or hours of fun. I did use a twist joystick for like 2 years with it. So yes it can be done. However, the day I bought rudders, it was a game changer for me. Landing precisely in bad weather went WAY easier ... so was controlling the nose of chopper while attacking enemy units at low speed. Briefly, it will make you a better pilot, but it is not necessary by any means.

 

My recommendation is. Get the MI-24, have fun ... and if you feel the need ...get a set a rudder, you will not regret it. Like other said, those are not that expensive.

 

 

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DCS is the best helicopter simulation simulator ever made on this kind of field. Of course you can have a lot of fun without rudder pedals - simulator has a few features for flying without them. But, if you want the best experience from the best helicotper simualtion (yes I want mention it twice 🙂 ) it is highly recomended.

 

Jiri


Edited by Maverick24
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In case you decide to buy some peddals I would recommend buying more expensive ones. Yes, 300+ bucks is a lot of money for "just" 3 axis (counting the breaks) but from personal expierience, the cheap ones didn't satisfy me for long. The Thrustmaster TFRP I had, always slipped over the ground and putting them against a wall didnt help much either due to the curved front. The internal friction was too high so that the inputs were quiet jumpy. Tried some lubricant, didn't help much. Feet distance and spring stiffness were other issues.

 

All the things were solved by buying the Thrusmaster TPR and the difference was totally worth the price to me. Another pair of peddals I was able to test at a friends place were the MFG crosswind. They are also really nice and the price is half way between the TFRP and the TPR. Another alternative are the ones from VIRPIL. I had no chance to test them jet.

 

I know that some people are totally happy with the cheap ones and you have to decide it on your own but at least you should know that price really makes a difference (until you hit the 300+ border) when it come to pedals

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As many above stated - you can go for choppers without pedals. But it's a hell of a different experience.

I'd highly recommend you get some. The Hind and even the older Hip or Huey will be/are definitely worth it.

Spend 30-50 bucks on used ones if you're short on money, but you won't regret it!

(...and when you just managed to fly properly with a twist-axis, and decide to get pedals later, you will start all over to build those muscle memories in your feet...)

 

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I'll go against the grain of the thread and say I wouldnt bother with choppers at all without pedals, the modules are too expensive to only play with 2/3rds of the input. Fixed wing i could see the argument that a twist throttle or paddles are not 100% necessary at the start, but not choppers. For rotary there is a relatively small amount of the flight where your pedals will be neutral, (assuming coordinated flight), low speed theyll be going one way, high speed  theyll be going the other, with only the sweet cruise speed spot being (sometimes) completely neutral. This is also why pedals with removable springs are important for the choppers, as fighting a center return gets old real fast when you dont spend much time in the center, and moving over a spring middle detent wont do your landing approaches any favors.

 

Is it possible to fly a chopper without pedals? Absolutely, in the same way you can absolutely fly a tomcat with a keyboard, but you're missing a fundamental part of the module, and at the module prices, I dont think its worth it, or anywhere close to even thinking about it. Your money would be far better served getting a set of old ch pro pedals or TFRPs along with the mi-8 module on sale rather than a full priced hind on a twist grip. Again this is more to do with module prices vs pedal prices, if the modules were $5 each and a pair of pedals was $100, Id say go for the twist grip and have fun, but with the hind being $50 and a pair of ebay pedals being about the same, it makes no sense to me.

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Actually, your pedals should, for most of the flight, stay neutral. Most helicopters feature force trim systems, which are simulated in DCS. In normal flight, you'd get the helo where you want, and then trim it for level flight with a press of a button. It'd be very difficult to fly helicopters otherwise. That is one of the things that make flying with a twist grip a viable option.

 

Now, in a real helicopter, their positions aren't zeroed out, but forces are. However, this isn't doable without force feedback, and I don't know of any pedals that support it. So you're not getting realistic controls either way. Even my DIY helicopter rig doesn't do that (mostly because FF support is a black art, and all DIY solutions I've seen involve gutting a joystick that does it).

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