Take On Helicopters Taster For Op Arrowers

A light chopper, yesterday.
Op Archers? Owners of Operation Arrowhead, anyway. If you are one of those people – as you should be if you like soldier simming – then you are entitled to a preview version of Take On Helicopters, the forthcoming commercial chopper game from Bohemia Interactive. It looks like this is a sort of add-on for Operation Arrowhead which demonstrates the new flight model and pilot animation using a “light chopper” (pictured). Perfect if you were wondering how you were going to be able to get through another weekend without some simulated hovering.


  1. pepper says:

    Ooooooh do want! I always wanted a better flight model(dodosim’ish – FS chopper addon dev) for the choppers! This could be very very good!

  2. MiniMatt says:

    Friend of mine (who now flys out to oil rigs – and in the game) once tried to explain flying a heli-flopter to me once. Suffice to say rubbing your tummy whilst patting your head is childs play.

    • Tams80 says:

      It certainly would be a heli-flopter if I were allowed anywhere near the controls.

    • Zenicetus says:

      The real thing isn’t easy, but like anything that involves using all four of your limbs doing different things at the same time, like playing kit drums, it just takes practice. As someone who played drums as a kid, and is a fan of flying sim helos, I’d say the skills are very similar. If you can play drums, you can fly a helo.

      The main problem with a realistic computer sim is the controls people use, if they’re not already flightsim junkies. Use a good HOTAS set — joystick, separate throttle (collective), and rudder pedals for your feet — and it shouldn’t take long to figure it out. Try it with a more abstracted control set like a gamepad, or keyboard and mouse, or even a joystick without pedals, and you may think you know what you’re doing, but you’re only getting a small taste. And the controls may actually get in the way.

    • Shadowcat says:

      I’m told that one of the big issues with flying a simulation of a helicopter is that you can’t feel anything. A perfect simulation of the flight dynamics combined with a cockpit which provided identical controls and read-outs would be noticeably harder to fly than the real thing, simply because you can’t feel any of the effects that a real pilot would be able to use as additional feedback.

  3. Snuffy the Evil says:

    I should get a job as a real helicopter pilot. I seem to be extremely adept at barrel rolls.

    • Niteowl says:

      Middle mouse click, set ‘auto-trim’ to on, that’ll set the tail rotor working properly so you’re not constantly fighting the natural tendency of the chopper to go tits up.

  4. xfxian says:

    Great, downloading. Other studios would probably announce this as: “BUY ARMA 2: OA NOW AND GET INSTANT ACCESS TO OUR INCREDIBLE UNFINISHED PRODUCT”.

    Thanks, BIS.

  5. McDan says:

    Will I be able to use this? As in OA I can start up a helicopter, lift off well enough, and even set off in a direction. It’s just turning that’s the problem. And slowing down. And landing. And my no claims on my chopper insurance is such a joke, I shouldn’t even look at them, one blew up the last time I did.

    • Niteowl says:

      The flight model is better, IMVHO, comparing it to say, Enemy Engaged : Comanche Vs Hokum, which has a pretty high standard for flight emulation (I haven’t played the newest chopper flight sim (DCS:Black Shark)).

      That is to say, the flight is alot more fluid, the weird balance between collective and pitch and altitude and velocity plays out much better. Which is, compared to OA, much, much, trickier.

    • appropriate touching says:

      I can just about fly helis in Arma (if no one’s shooting at me) and this didn’t seem that different. Go for it.

    • dsi1 says:

      I was surprisingly good at flying this one, still couldn’t land, and the placement of the landing zone was no help at all.

    • royaltyinexile says:

      If you’re not confident, you might think about enabling ‘auto-trim’ in the action menu. It helps A LOT.

      Also, you might choose “Engines On (auto)” if you’re not comfortable with the manual start up.

      Finally, the ‘Read me’ file is important for setting up the install properly.


      I’m off to read more about angry internet men over on the Eve forums :D


  6. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    I refuse to fly a commercial chopper until and unless it’s a Kamov Ka-50.

  7. MindyT says:

    So uh, I’ve bought all my ARMA games from Sprocket which works fine, but I can’t seem to find a patch to get me up to 1.59 (Which ToH needs.) Does anyone know of a place that I can get that patch from that works with the Sprocket install?

    • pepper says:

      I have no idea how sprocket works or what it is, but I presume its a standalone(non-steam etc) downloaded version. You can grab the standalone patches from armaholic:

      link to armaholic.com

      Also, lots of other good stuff on that site, its worth checking out.

    • sidhellfire says:

      You’ve got both games, that you have not patched? So you’re not playing in multiplayer at all? BLASPHEMY!

  8. metalangel says:

    I wrote this to help some friends get to grips with Apache Air Assault on the 360. A lot should apply here too, especially as I have found the 360 pad to be ideal for helicopters in ArmA2. Map cyclic to your left stick, rudder and collective to the right.

    NOTE: I am not a licenced pilot. I’ve never flown a real helicopter. But I do play a lot of simulators.

    Basic flying lesson:
    -cyclic (left stick), controls pitch and roll. Works most like the control stick in a fixed-wing aircraft. Push it forward to nose down, back to nose up. Side to side to move in those directions. (see below)
    -collective (right stick), controls engine throttle. Basically, altitude. In real life you pull it up to increase, push it down to increase (it’s positioned like the handbrake on a car). You need to invert the axis to get this on a joypad in the demo. (see below, again)
    -tail rotor (right stick), controls the tail rotor. Like the rudder in a fixed-wing. Allows you to yaw left and right.

    More advanced flying lesson (aka: see below):
    The main rotor pulls up. If the helicopter is level, increasing the collective (main rotor speed) will just make you go up. A helicopter moves forward by tilting forward so that up is actually ‘ahead’, and then increasing the collective so that you maintain the same altitude while moving forward.

    So, to go forward, push the cyclic forward. The nose tilts down, you move forward and you also begin going down. Pull the collective up to compensate, so the main rotor is also pulling ‘up’ in the direction of travel and also counteracting the loss of altitude. Confused? Just try it in the game, and it’ll make sense to you there. To stop, pull the cyclic back. Remember, the main rotor will now try and pull you backwards (and up) so let go of the collective.

    Even more advanced flying lesson:
    To turn while stationary, use the tail rotor. Simples.
    To move horizontally while stationary, move the cyclic left and right. Also simples.
    To turn while moving forwards, a combination of cyclic and tail rotor are needed.

    To turn while moving forwards quickly, things get more interesting. At speed, a helicopter handles rather like a fixed wing aircraft. The cycle no longer causes sideways movement, but instead causes you to bank. Thus, to turn, you do it like you would in an airplane. Bank, pull back on the cyclic to pull the nose up, and maybe give a bit of tail rotor input to help change direction. Remember to keep some sort of collective input on the go to keep you aloft.

    By default, the game seems to hold the collective around 75%, which is enough to keep you airborne, sort of. This means if you do land (worth trying) you need to hold the collective off or you’ll drift around on the ground and into trees. You’ll notice (the game points it out) the throttle indicator as a percentage. As in a real chopper, you can ‘overtorque’ the main rotor for more power when you need it. However, unlike a real chopper, there doesn’t seem to be any downside to doing so (IRL lights come on showing how far you overdid it, so the ground crew can shout at you while they replace everything)

    General tips:
    -once you’re moving forwards, you don’t need to keep the nose tipped a long way forwards. Momentum will carry you along quite well.
    -if at any time it’s all going wrong and you just can’t seem to get control, try clicking the left stick for autohover.
    -gentle on the controls, no sudden sharp inputs until you get used to how it’ll react.
    -to slow down or stop, you can either pull back on the cyclic, or change direction sharply to shed a lot of momentum.
    -a bit of altitude when attacking with rockets is very wise, as you need to point your nose at the target, and this means you’ll invariably go down a bit.
    -fly over a target. Roll onto your side (90 degrees if brave). Pull all the way back on the cyclic, and tail rotor into the direction of the turn.

  9. TimA says:

    Really nice to see the preview, but the flight model here is pretty terrible. I’m sure it’ll improve, though, still really looking forward to see this develop.

  10. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. says:

    The very first thing I managed to do was fly into the ground and explode…

    So basically the same as the first time I flew in ArmA II.

    Helicopter and Keyboard/Mouse doesn’t get along well….