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#1 Posted by Sunjammer (1118 posts) -

Really enjoy hearing and talk about the DCS stuff in this week's bombcast, but Drew is overestimating the complexity of the Black Shark.

For one there is no separate collective/throttle. The throttle on the Black Shark is automatic and adjusts when you adjust the collective. In the cockpit the throttle is actually kind of hidden and behind the back to the left; Just think of collective/throttle as a single stick and you're good. It's pretty intuitive; More throttle/collective, you get more lift. Good thing you have rudder pedals though because they are an absolute must.

Also starting up the Shark is actually easier than starting the P-51 or A-10C, since there is so little interdependency; You need to turn on your batteries, your fuel pumps and your APU first before you can start your engines, but beyond that turning on the avionics is sort of just turning on all the switches in any order. You can scramble in a Black Shark in a minute if you don't mind turning on your avionics mid air.

Finally, the entire challenge of the Shark is really that you are flying a plate balanced on a stick. The autopilot can help out a lot making it easier, so learning the autopilot and how to not fight against it all the time is pretty key. Put an easily accessible button on your stick on the trimmer function (I have the Hotas warthog set and use the joystick paddle switch with my pinky) and learn to press that down whenever you make collective/cyclic changes, and you'll have a ton more fun flying.

Anyway don't worry so much. It's a helicopter so it's slower, flies lower, and is more about planning a course and using the terrain to get an angle. You can take your sweet time, which isn't true with a fixed wing plane. Before long you'll be practicing circle strafing and you'll feel like a total boss.

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#2 Posted by psylah (2298 posts) -

@Sunjammer said:

Anyway don't worry so much. It's a helicopter so it's slower, flies lower, and is more about waiting for it to inevitably fail and fall out of the sky.

Fixed that for you. Doing Ryan's work.

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#3 Posted by MikkaQ (10296 posts) -

I think ultimately the problem, and the reason that it's so challenging to new players is that helicopters are inherently unstable while planes aren't hard to keep in the air going where you want to go. Once you get past liftoff, it is easier to control a plane. Helis require constant adjustment.

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#4 Edited by Sunjammer (1118 posts) -

Yup, thats why you have autopilot assistance. The Black Shark is jam packed with automation to make up for the lack of a dedicated weapons officer. For a helicopter, it's pretty stable. The thing that would throw you for a loop with the coaxial configuration is it is more prone to weather cocking, so it would turn into the wind. You typically end up flying the Shark almost like a plane, using translational lift and the wings for gaining and losing altitude.