My impression so far is as follows:
Light and medium helos. In expert mode, with everything mapped except throttle, I feel like the helicopter wants to float. Full down collective and the helicopter settles at a very very reduced rate from the real thing. Lowering the collective in a real helo gives you a descent rate of 1500-2000 FPM. I am getting maybe 500 FPM in TOH. Also, the stability dynamics seem backwards. By this I mean that, a helicopter fuselage dangles from the rotor system, which is supporting it as it is the part that is actually flying. So imagine holding a pendulum from your hand. As you move your hand, the pendulum responds, this is the kind of motion that should be depicted in a hover. It seems opposite to me, more like trying to balance a pencil on your hand. It wants to fall over, whereas a pendulum wants to dangle directly below you and is trying to find its equilibrium. When you tilt the rotor disk in a helicopter in a hover, you slide in that direction, not roll over, because the airframe wants to stay DOWN. In order to roll the helicopter over, you need a pivot point, like a skid touching the ground, or a rock or a grass patch. It needs to GRAB something in order to give it that rolling moment. You cant just roll the heli over by applying lateral cyclic in the hover, you will just take off in whatever direction you pointed the cyclic until you correct it, or hit something. Not to say it WOULDN'T roll over if you completely rediculously overcontrolled the thing. But it doesn't inherrently WANT to do that.
How to fix it: Increase the descent rate to 2000 FPM with full down collective. Reduce the "ground effect" present in the game. It's totally overdone. The medium helo feels better about this than the light helo. I would recommend you make the light helo feel a little bit heavier. Reduce the rolling moment with cyclic input. Cyclic input should give the helicopter a directional movement over the surface without wanting to flip it over. Basically, stabilize the body of the helicopter a bit. The rotorsystem is tilting, not the airframe (at least, not as much, there is still some banking, etc, but it's way overdone here).
Regarding the throttle.... I have a full helicopter control set with a twist grip throttle on the collective. Is there any way you could assign an analogue setting for those of us that have the hardware to simulate a roll on/off throttle? This also may be helpful to people who have a HOTAS joystick. Being able to control the throttle is key to starting, shutting down, simulating power failures and dealing with things like governor failures (manually controlling the throttle setting for a given pitch setting). This would definitely make the pilot types happy.
Dyssemetry of lift: Modeled on the wrong side of the helicopter. The helicopter seems to have a tendency to roll right, and when I deliberately got over VNE to test retreating blade stall, the helicopter did what it was supposed to, except in the wrong direction.
How to fix it: Get rid of the rolling tendency in forward flight. Real helicopter rotor systems have the ability to flap which nulls the rolling moment. Basically, the dyssimetry is there, but the pilot can't tell because the rotor system is doing the fixing on it's own. Retreating blade stall happens when the dyssimetry of lift becomes too great for the flapping hinge to overcome, THEN you get the rolling/pitch up tendency, but it will roll to the LEFT on counter-clockwise turning rotor systems. So get rid of the rolling tendency below VNE, and then, when VNE is exceeded, have the helicopter roll to the LEFT.
Torque effect: Not present? Very limited? I can't tell because the slip ball does not seem to work. In any case, I get almost no feeling of torque in a hover on Expert settings. No left pedal required.
How to fix it: As torque is applied to the rotor system, the helicopter wants to yaw in the opposite direction of the blades rotation. In counter clockwise turning rotor systems, it wants to yaw right, so the pilot needs to add left pedal. I am not seeing this in game, although I saw it in the Community Preview. Keep in mind that as forward airspeed increases, less left pedal is required due to a combination of increased tail rotor efficiency as well as the vertical stabilizer becoming effective.
That's all I currently noticed.
Edited by nightsta1ker, 30 October 2011 - 07:27.