DCS Chopper thread

As I keep derailing threads at an alarming rate lately…

Let use this one to discuss our massive choppers…

Don’t be gross… I mean our helicopter fleet on DCS :grin:


… because someone had to!


Me playing with trains, great for practicing slow flying :grin:


I have been flying the Persian Gulf - Ground attack - Easy mission a bit today with the huey, great fun! Edited to replace the fixed miniguns with two door gunners for maximum righteousness. I <3 playing gunship.

Is there a mod to give the huey’s windows a bit more texture? Like the plexiglass effect and maybe some spots and dirt?

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Iirc there was an option to choose between clean and dirty windows in misc tab

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nicely done, I was close to doing it on the syria map with the HIP … but its a bit wider than the train

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Nice thread!

It will be cool to discuss first impressions, now that we both have acquired the full range of DCS’ tail-rotor equipped helicopters.

I’m going to have to hold back rather than jump in the ring with a frothing mouth to defend my favourite girl, the Hip (“Take it back! she’s not fat, she’s curvacious!”). :smiley: I’m joking, of course. :slight_smile:

I’m actually struggling a bit on how to start - this is probably one of the topics I would happily talk about for ages, and I’m currently not in a spot to write a worthy opening comment (making rushed breakfast for toddler, getting ready to go out, haha)!

So, in the absence of time, I’ll open with a couple of comments, which I’ll qualify further down the line!

Firstly, helicopter size - kind of goes without saying, but I think it’s worth noting when we talk about the experience of flying them:

  • Gazelle empty weight is circa 920 kgs / 2,000 lbs
  • Huey empty weight is circa 2,365kgs / 5,215 lbs
  • Hip empty weight is circa 7,100 kgs / 15,653 lbs

So in simplified terms (only looking at wikipedia empty weights), when you fly the Huey, you’re hauling around over twice as much steel as in the Gazelle…and then you hop in the Hip, you’re literally in control of almost 8 times the mass as in the Gazelle. Not twice as big, not three times as big. Almost 8.

So, of course the Gazelle is going to act differently…and you should be able to throw it around with gay abandon a lot more, that stands to reason.

The point about “fun of flying” that I’m going to try to make when I have a bit more time, is that while the Hip is a big beast, she offers a real sense of satisfaction when you push her to the edge of the envelope…and she is pretty darn agile. It’s just that you have to think much, much further ahead than in the Huey or the Gazelle, know her behaviour (and current weight!) really well and fly really smooth in ways that she likes…and that satisfaction is more fun to me than the ability to be super careless…if that makes sense? Less disjointed thoughts to come, sorry…


But these are my specialty!!!

I wasn’t actually saying the hip isn’t fun. As I’m a huge fan of the big girl. However it was quite a shock pulling the collective a little on the gazelle and having it 200ft in the air. Like driving a sports car compared to my truck…

I enjoy the precision and care needed in the hip. But smashing under power lines and bridges is going to be a real riot in the smaller chopper.

I have to go to work shortly but wanted to try the weapons on the huey and boy do they make a difference to the handling. Also…m134 gimballing miniguns ROCK.


just wait till you can have a gunner- copilot rocking the miniguns on an attack run. :grin:


Huge fan of the Gaz, partly as we don’t have any other light gunships. The latest FM with the correct curves is VERY responsive, and great fun to fly. With the Gaz, don’t be afraid to fly it, once the SAS kicks in over 125 kph it’s an incredibly flyable little beast. Under the SAS activation spped, just remember you have a light helo, and don’t over control it. Rocket down the alleys between buildings or along the roadways between tree. Swoop down like a hawk on a poor truck convoy and lay waste with rockets and guns. Peek the sight just over the rooftop and crab sideways ever so slowly to unmask a HOT missile. All great fun.

The Huey has the same charm that most stick and rudder AC do, you actually are flying the dang thing all the way. No SAS/SCAS/fly by wire here, just stick and rudder. I usually trim it out close to level at 90 knots, and don’t mess with the trim until I’m ready to land or hover. Remember that while it can carry a lot of weapons, it’s not a purpose built gunship. On the other hand a pair of 19 rocket pods will do a lot of damage! Remember to unmask your door gunners evenly so you don’t have one run dry of ammo while the other has 100% remaining. Long shallow dives allow rocketry from extended distances with practice. It worked well in the real world for the same reason it does in DCS, standoff is you friend. With that said, don’t be afraid to get in low and close if you know you can make the shot before you get lit up.

And finally the KA-50, or only true attack helo. Fast, agile, and can carry a stupidly large amount of ordinance. Also will crash if you fly to fast, dive to steep, turn the wrong way when going fast, etc. Definitely takes some getting used to. However there is little to compare with a popup vihkr shot taking out the AAA, followed by diving into a convoy, laying waste with rockets, using the helmet mounted sight to jump from cannon target to cannon target, blasting them to pieces all in one beautiful run of destruction.

One question for the BS afficandos in the group. Why the heck do I have a centered ball in the slip indicator, yet my rocket CCIP indicator is all the way over to the left edge of the HUD? If I’m flying forward with no slip, shouldn’t my rockets be headed directly ahead of me?


Great stuff there @jenrick. That does sound like fun!!

I managed to do get through the training missions for the Gaz tonight before work (and made a little video but I was too embarrassed to post a 5 minute video of me hovering badly)
Its a great little thing. Now I have really nailed the deadzone and curves its very easy to hover and bring to a halt. I am enjoying it immensely. Havent tried the weapons yet as want to nail the flying down first before I complicate things with such a simple helicopter. Its awesome fun though.
I landed on top of a grain silo and blew myself up when it collapsed earlier on. So funny

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One of the things about DCS helos is that each one of them has a gameplay capability the others don’t, which is quite cool.

The Ka-50 is the fastest and deadliest by some margin and can take out heavy armour from the longest distance, but it can’t carry troops and also doesn’t have RWR or air-to-air missiles.

The Huey’s the slower of the two utility helos, however best for the quick takeoffs and landings required for FOB setups, also its the best anti-infantry weapon in the game with 3 x eagle-eyed AI minigunners. Nothing in DCS mops up scattered infantry quite like those hosers.

The Hip is the fastest utility helo with a .50 cal AI in one door - after the Huey’s minigun damage nerf, the Hip’s door gunner is now the most effective door gun by a margin. The Hip’s 23mm pod + rocket combo can also clear well more trucks and light armour during one flight than the Huey. In some ways the Hip is more of everything in comparison to the Huey, but the Huey has its uncontested merits.

The Gazelle has RWR and air-to-air missiles, which makes it the only helo with a degree of situational awareness to aerial threats - amazing to have in an MP group when setting up FOBs without air cover. I also have friends who have made shooting down enemy jets in the Gazelle in MP into an art, something I look forward to. The top-mounted optics also enable targeting from cover, which I haven’t tried yet, but should be pretty darn fun.


Make sure when you set up scenarios to give a variety of vertical cover to work with. Buildings, ridge lines, etc not just tree lines. The AI sees (and shoots) right through tree lines it seems. Syria works extremely well, as the urban areas have a nice mix of heights to allow all kinds of different popup/around tactics to work.

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I am with you on this. Its looks amazing fun. I enjoy thought of the pop up attack. I can’t wait to get proficient with it. Bit gutted I didn’t buy this one before though. The complaints made me wary, but on reflection I don’t fly helicopters in the real world…i don’t know how they are ‘meant’ to feel. But this feels fun. Nippy fast and fun. Thats a good thing for me I’ve decided


I’m pretty sure that back in my Black Shark days I was hiding behind a building one time and some tanks kept hammering it (firing at me through it) until it blew up. Long time ago, so my memory might fail…but pretty sure it happened.

I know it’s wishful thinking but I hope one day the ground units spotting algorithms get revised a bit.

The helo ops in particular are affected by the fact that you can never catch ground units unaware, no matter how sneaky you were. I know helicopters are loud, but echoes can be deceiving, so the fact that the AI instantly turns its turret at you when you have LOS is a bit simplistic.

I own Hip and Huey.

My favourite flying was hauling stuff for Blue Flag servers.

I wrote ‘was’ as I fly mostly xplane these days. So even considered buying Gazelle for XP.
But sure will show up for some DCS MP session.

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I’ve not touched the 50 much in the past few years, but I will get back into it for BS3, just as I finally have returned to the A-10C with A10C2TB2WHTK.

I’ve never tried to land it on a train, or even the back of a ship for that matter. Do the non-carriers support that even?

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Yes, some of the other ships do allow landing & even spawning if I recall correctly.

You can also land on a Humvee, but that’s purely for entertainment purposes.


I’ve been enjoying the Gazelle - at the same time, I’ve been wondering about the flight model a bit. Such attention is probably unfair…after all, if it wasn’t for all the noise about it in the interwebs, I probably wouldn’t have paid any attention. Alas, I can’t help pondering about it a bit, so…

Now, I am completely unqualified to make anything but wild guesses here, so take the following with that in mind.

I was reminded of the Take On Helicopters MD500 by the Gazelle. I only flew TOH for about one hour, so I’m hardly an experienced helo pilot in that sim…but the reason I didn’t play further was, it didn’t feel quite right after the DCS Huey (I found TOH quite late in life, yes).

It’s hard to describe…but basically the axis don’t seem as connected in the Gazelle: in the Huey or the Hip, almost any manipulation of the cyclic, pedals or collective will cause secondary effects, which you have to anticipate and counteract.

This happens to some extent with the Gazelle, but somehow there is less of it or it feels less fluid. Flying it feels less like the constant subtle manipulation of all the controls (like with the Huey and the Hip) and more like “apply 5 degrees of pitch, then apply 10 degrees of roll…” like the axis are more separated from each other.

Some of it may be the SAS, and the light weight…so maybe that’s all there is to it. It’s also a lot smaller so I guess the pendulum effect will be less obvious.

Anyway, I ran a shot test flight back-to-back with the Gazelle and the Hip, which I’m currently reviewing and trying to determine whether this is just in my head. I should probably think less and just enjoy flying more… :grin:

P.S. please excuse the Mass in B minor…I felt like reminiscing my old choir days, haha.


I have put about 1.5hrs into the gazelle so far and about 30ish mins in the huey.

The huey is far far easier to hover and fly slowly. I can set a speed and hold it easier. Its more predictable and easier to manipulate. The gazelle just feels…scripted? I’ve messed around with the curves to the nth degree and I’m happy I’ve got it as close as I can (I don’t think my t16000 is doing it any favours either)
However…blasting tanks with Hot3 and flying at 5 feet under powerlines and bridges while flat out and then pulling up into auto hover behind a tree and SMASHING trucks is beyond addictive. That’s why I’ve spent more time in it so far. The flight model I’ve just put down to it being super light and I’m not thinking about it too closely. But my god are the weapons amazing.

The huey is lovely though isn’t it. Proper chunky feeling and very nice to handle. The middle ground in weight between the other choppers is definitely a sweet spot.