Mi-8MTV2 Magnificent Eight - Spring Tension Campaign AAR
Part 1 - Icing on the cake
Part 2 - It weights heavy on me
Part 3 - Tables. Tables everywhere…
Airframe 073. Noticed that we’ve mostly been seeing that one flying around South-Ossetia? Well, this mission is all about 071. The old lady has been flying for a while and desperately needs a good tune-up. Mozdok is the place to be for this, and so reason has it that we fly there.
The flightplan is simple, we track the river north to the Roki Tunnel, hop over the mountain into the valley on the other side. Exit the Caucasus mountains heading north until we hit Mozdok.
There’ s a catch though, these missions usually imply a lot to go wrong, an old airframe that doesn’t have enough power anymore, that is prone to engine failure and pretty much all the bits you’ d expect to go wrong with an old bird.
I present to you the glorious flightplan:
Belsimtek really has made an excellent campaign, I think this might be one of the better campaigns found in DCS, although I barely played enough of them to be the final say of that!
I’ ve decided to give the old lady no benefit of any doubt. I am put right into a running cockpit and first go over all the switches and gauges to see how she is running. A few minutes later and I have assured myself that she most likely will take-off. Beyond that, anything is possible.
The first half of the flight will be done by poking my moving my head around a bit and making sure I go the right way. The second part will be done with the Doppler radar. So, better set that up now!
Yes I did turn it off, wouldn’t want to start tracking right now!
I slowly apply a little power and rudder and she roars to life, the Rotor RPM climbs up and she starts drifting over the pad. Cyclic and collective inputs combined with a bit of rudder keep her under control. A little bank to the right and off we go!
Soon enough we pass the first waypoint and the helicopter picks up speed. At 200Kph I start easing back a little on the cyclic and allow her to climb. We need to get up to 3000MSL to cross the mountain above the Roki Tunnel.
In the distance you can see the gunnery range where we spend most of Part 3 of this AAR series.
Sure enough, she climbs within expectations. Nothing strange so far and both the Rotor RPM and Motor RPM are steady as a rock. None of the gauges show any signs of discomfort or indications of imminent dooooooom.
Sure enough, as we approach the tunnel disaster hits. The Radar Altimeter has decided to call it a day. Unfortunate but not problematic, the weather is fine, the engine is good and so we continue.
We tickle the bottom of a few clouds that we pass by, I wonder if this old bird will ever get up this high again? I have a feeling this will be her last flight. Let’ s at least give her a chance to stretch the rotorblades one more time.
A little icing on the way doesn’ t bother me too much, the Anti-Ice system is already keeping me warm and cozy!
Soon enough we descend back into Russia, although very very gradual. No need to have no altitude left when the inevitable engine failure happends.
I’ve given the Doppler navigation a kick and sure enough, we are tracking. For safety reasons I’ve opted to follow the valley at altitude so we will have to make up for that later on.
Sure enough, Beslan is on our far right. It’s my deviation field of choice right now. And will you have it, the engineer tells me that the engine RPM is unstable(a lie, been hawking that gauge all the way). Doesn’t bother me, I haven’t touched the collective in a while and I don’ t plan on moving it until we see Mozdok!
I start up the Ko-50 to keep the cabin warm and cosy, why not enjoy all the comforts a 1970’ helicopter has to offer?!
Enjoy all the pretty switches in this cabin, the Magnificent Eight is truly a joy for the eye!
The Doppler tells me I am doing fine, and sure enough I believe that. I’ve flown this leg plenty of times in the Operation Blue Flag server in the past few weeks!
Eventually I decided to experiment a bit with the autopilot, it’ s much like the Ka-50’ autopilot in that it only has a limited amount of control over the pilots input. I don’ t think the altitude switch is for a long decent. It just throws the helicopter in the biggest dive it can get away with.
At this point having a radar altimeter again would be nice, but atleast the doppler system is functional. I think we’ll be fine!
Sure enough she settles down on the tarmac, light on fuel and well stretched over this little flight. In the end nothing happened. Perhaps I got lucky, perhaps it’s a bug. I’ve found it a very enjoyable flight with a magnificent view! It was nice to see a different skin the Hip. I wonder what more this campaign brings!