Rotors Scoped: Take On Helicopters Coming

It's kind of like rotoscoped, do you see? Yes? No?

Excitement is literally in the air! Bohemia Interactive (Czech developers of Operation Flashpoint and Arma II fame/infamy) have announced Take On Helicopters, a new simulator focusing on the rewarding challenge of flying helicopters as well as “beautifully rich landscapes”. I will admit to some disappointment that Take On Helicopters is not a game about taking on helicopters mano-a-mano, nor is it a game about taking on helicopters like you might take on an adopted child, having to then tutor your fledgling helicopter in the ways of right and wrong. “Well done, baby helicopter! It was RIGHT to chew up that taxman in your small yet deadly rotor blades!” And you could stroke its grille and listen to its silky purr.

What can you do, eh? The announcement trailer follows…

On the one hand, it’s a terrible trailer. Awful. So slow! On the other hand, I quite like it because instead of making false promises about the game, it manages to simultaneously convey the thrill of controlling this monster machine and the creeping boredom of playing a simulator. Good work, Bohemia!


  1. Small Ivory Knight says:

    “May contain content inappropriate for children”
    Damn it, they promised scantily clad pilot babes and failed to deliver.

    Also, if that was made with the in-game engine, count me in.

  2. Turin Turambar says:

    “it’s a terrible trailer”

    It’s more of a teaser.

    • Quintin Smith says:

      Well, sure. But then all teasers are terrible trailers! Not sure where that leaves us.

    • royaltyinexile says:

      I hate you Quintin.
      You’ve called my trailer terrible. And it’s broken my heart. I’ll never be fooled again by this love.
      Also, listen to it on some decent speakers. We like our audio porn. Philistine.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Shoulda gone with this

    • John Walker says:

      I totally said I liked the trailer, but he wouldn’t listen. There’s still love for you here.

    • Quintin Smith says:

      Haha. Hi there!
      I will totally admit that the ripping sound of the blades as the helicopter flies past at the end got me very excited. I just hope we get to see some in-cockpit stuff soon! C’mon, man. You and me? This thing we’ve got going on? It means too much to just let it go. We can rebuild!

    • bascule42 says:

      *Launching MiGs from Chernarus to enforce a no fly zone over Quintins head*

    • John Walker says:

      Back off Quintin – he’s mine.

    • royaltyinexile says:

      Just why is it always about the cockpit for you, Quintin..?

      You tell him, Mr Walker. I can tell you’re a man that knows how to wait until the time is right. You make me want to still believe.

      Er, so that aside, we’ll get more explicit as development continues.

    • Dozer says:

      For beautiful helicopter cockpits, there is no comparison with Nils Danielsson’s BK-117 for X-Plane. link to

  3. Electricleash says:

    Less simulation, more Simcopter for 2012… at least that’s what I imagine.

    • shoptroll says:

      Is it bad that I have fond memories of SimCopter as a kid?

      EDIT: Looking at their info page, comparisons with SimCopter don’t seem terribly out of place. This makes me happier than it should.

    • Hunam says:

      Sim Copter was amazing. Any good feelings about the game mean you are a great person.

    • Brian Rubin says:

      I still play SimCopter now and then, one of my favorite games, and it is still amazing.

  4. Oneironaut says:

    This is funny. Just yesterday for my engineering class I had to do a research paper on Igor Sikorsky, known for making the first successful helicopter. Now after all that reading about them, I’m looking forward to this game.

  5. ZIGS says:

    What’s with the ghost helicopter at the end?

    • RadioactiveMan says:

      Its a different helicopter, but I cannot tell what kind. It has too many rotor blades to be the famous Huey, although it sounds somewhat like it.

    • Rii says:

      Bell 412 perhaps?

  6. Oak says:

    Do helicopters have grilles?

  7. Quintin Smith says:

    *head hits desk*

    I grew up playing flight sims! I used to play Operation Flashpoint all the time! I’m looking to do a Wot I Think of Omnibus Driving Simulator at some point in the future!

    But simulators are in part defined by their laconic pace that can and will be boring in places, thereby making moments of tension that much more tense. That’s all I meant.

  8. Stranglove says:


    And I love ARMA II, so will I like this? Only time will tell…

    • Harlander says:

      Oh God, I hope they do joystick throttles properly in this!

  9. Oak says:

    Just because I love linking it, here’s Tim Stone’s piece on the very subject about which you are talking.

  10. kyrieee says:

    This is awesome.
    Scenario based civilian helicopter sims can be awesome. It depends on how many scenario types the add though. Helicopters are very versatile so there’s a lot of potential.

  11. aldo_14 says:

    I don’t normally like simulators, yet this gives me a strange tingly feeling inside.

  12. Spinoza says:

    Hey, I AM Taxman (TM) .What actually you have against us?

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Perhaps you’ll find out if you audit RPS –


  13. Wulf says:

    Blast you. Now I want to play a pet game that involves Transformers.

  14. RadioactiveMan says:

    Wow- I love the helicopter that they picked for this trailer! I am fortunate enough to have spent quite a bit of time in that particular helicopter variant. Can anyone else name it? :)

    Its one of the main workhorse helicopters in North America (not sure about elsewhere) both in the city, and in the bush. My experience with them is in Alaska and the Canadian north. They can lift a quite alot for their size. The small diameter of the rotor disk and the high clearance of the landing struts means they can get into some tight spaces. I’ve seen them carry people, carry all sorts of loads on a long line, and I’ve even seen them carry christmas trees.

    Many of my finest work-related memories involve navigating in a helicopter like that via map and gps, flying to some distant location, and climbing out to hit rocks with a hammer all day. Truly, those are blessed days.

    Edit: Also, regarding the video: That high pitched whine at start-up is reproduced just right! However, by the time they are up to full power the rotor noise upon lift off is MUCH LOUDER.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Hughes 500C? I used to do a lot of commercial airphoto work, flown in those things many times. Mostly South Florida, a little in Mexico, Puerto Rico. Always with the door removed on the passenger side for the camera, which is great fun. It’s a fun little machine, but a Bell Jet Ranger is a steadier platform for photo/video work, and I always tried for those when we had the budget.

      This new game might be fun, but it’s going to be tricky to find the right balance between simulation and action game. The hardcore helo simmers already have DCS Black Shark for combat and some excellent civilian helos in FSX and X-Plane. The action gamers won’t want to put up with what it feels like to actually fly one of these things; not to mention lacking the right sim hardware (stick, throttle/collective, pedals).

      There is a very good free model of the 500C available for X-Plane 9, and two outstanding payware models of the BK-117 Eurocopter and Bell 206. I think the consensus is that X-Plane currently has the best civilian helo sim flight models, and it will run on PC, Mac, or Unix PC’s. Just make sure it’s a FAST computer with higher-end graphics. What you won’t get are canned missions like this game will have, but there are ways to get a little more involved than just flying over scenery., like virtual airlines and charter companies run by fans of the simulation.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Here’s some video in the link below of the BK-117 in X-Plane 9. I still haven’t practiced enough to land on a dime, like some of the clips here. My landing zone is “approximate,” and I’d be bending metal in any of the real ones, but it’s still fun to fly this model:

    • RadioactiveMan says:

      @Zenicetus: I was thinking i was the 500D, but to be honest, looking at pictures now, i can’t tell the difference between the two! I know the 500E looks a bit different. with a more pointy nose. The strangest variant I have seen is the 520, which has no tail rotor, but instead has an rotational exhaust fan on the tail. It performs similarly to the regular 500, but has safety advantages because it lacks the dangerous tail rotor.

      aerial photo work in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Florida with the doors off? Sounds lovely! Flying without the doors is quite a rush, but my experience is more with cold rainy days. Less opportunity for that sort of thing. I’m a bit jealous :)

    • Rii says:

      I was gonna say “Little Bird”, and that’s still good enough for me. So there!

    • Dozer says:

      Little Bird is the name of the military version of the Hughes 500.

  15. fiezi says:

    It’s puns like this headline that make me love RPS. Did you get that? I love you RPS. No-Homo.

  16. dwpenney says:

    I hate to be negative here but the words simulation and Bohemia Interactive don’t go together when you are talking anything that flies. Correct me if I am wrong here as it’s been a while since I started up ArmA II and headed into the air but the flight model is … simplistic … to say the least. I’m not trying to knock ArmA II or anything but that is not a serious (even moderate) representation of flight. Casual, yes. User friendly, yes. Simulation? About as much as Tetris prepares me for blocks falling from the sky or Minecraft prepares me to build … anything :-)

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Don’t say that!!

      I’m using minecraft to plan my new flat.

  17. patricij says:

    I can’t wait for BI’s Take On Helicopters…
    awful pun is awful, etc. :)

    • Turin Turambar says:

      Nah, being honest, i suspect they thought the title saying something like that. This is our take on helicopters… so let’s call it “take on helicopters” and we are finished!

    • Atomosk says:

      Also the pun on “Rotoscope”. The most exciting department in the visual effects industry. Do non-art school people even know what rotoscoping is?

    • Harlander says:


      Next question?

  18. Joshua says:

    Fly helicopters and do missions?

    Like in Flight Simulator X, but with more helicopters and more detailed ground?

    Sounds good.

  19. Marcin says:

    I’m rather impressed with that teaser, a little. In the era of fast fast shooty bang bang bleed death something more deliberate and downright slow like this really stands out.

    Any chance of a list of machines that will be available?

    Also: mmm, the audio. So meaty.

    I’ll probably end up getting this.

    • Rii says:

      News and reviews of Pilotwings Resort for 3DS touched that particular spot for me recently. But I ain’t payin’ that much for a flawed machine and one game. I’ll wait on V2.0…

  20. westyfield says:

    What happened to that Carrier Command game Bohemia were developing? That looked fun. More fun than flying helicopters, and flying helicopters looks fun.

    • Sunjumper says:

      Good question. I was looking forward to that.
      I think* it is still an ongoing project.


    • Rii says:

      Yeah, I was very much anticipating the new Carrier Command. Hope it’s still a thing.

  21. Marcin says:

    Quintin, you better not be messing by promising a WIT on Omnibus! Greatly looking forward to that.

  22. Marcin says:

    Also: we desperately need a zombie evacuation scenario for this game.

  23. jonfitt says:

    That’s an A+ headline right there. You’ll have trouble topping that today.

    • kyrieee says:

      I was just wondering if all these headlines are ironic. Game publications / blogs are infamous for bad puns in headlines

  24. tomeoftom says:

    link to

    Mute the left vid, and for the love of god don’t watch the right (don’t worry, SFW)

  25. The Hammer says:

    I wonder: is this going to turn into the Czech version of Carry On?

  26. lucasdigital says:

    Great stuff! I’m a late arrival to the ARMA 2 party, but most assuredly a convert. I’d have liked a combat helicopter sim although if they deliver on the detailed (read: hilly-telegraph-pole-festooned) landscape then maybe it will have excitement enough.

    It’s looking like us flight sim dogs will have our day again…

  27. Noc says:

    And, the obligatory (and surprisingly apropos) dub.
    [Edit: Oop, tomeoftom beat me to it by a couple of hours. SORRY MR. OF TOM, I failed to notice!]

    • tomeoftom says:

      Think nothing of it, Mssr. Noc! For, after all, you’ve done it much better than I. (With vanilla timing, the intro works so incredibly well.)

  28. Hunam says:

    I’m interested in this. I don’t think I could do a proper flight sim, I haven’t got the patience for that, but if it’s a bit more simmy than ArmA2 but not too far and has nice missions then I think I’d snap this up.

  29. akaleus says:

    I’m extremely excited about this….. I love flight simulator and have been playing it since the beginning. However, I was pretty disappointed with the helicopter flight in ARMA2… so I hope this is better.