Our reader Gustav B. contacted me about this and pointed it out, asking me to check it out and address it here at HeliSimmer.com. Thank you very much, Gustav.
Some users have noticed a change in the flight model, in the open beta branch (more on that later) and have questioned IPACS on the official forums.
Jan (Jet-Pack in the forums) confirmed that changes were, indeed, made:
Yes we did change something in the R22. The rotor blades are now simulated as bendable! If you stop the rotor you can see how flexible they are, the blades can now twist and bend which of course also dampens some of the abrupt inputs and it also makes it a bit more stable and at the same time a bit softer and easier to fly. We did this to get more realistic simulation results in comparison to real world test data and to simulate the rotor response to stick inputs even better. The R22 flies extremely close to the data of the real world aircraft.
I have tried it and found the R22 become a little easier to control. This has been worrying some FS2 users as they see this change as a step back from realism and it was something I got worried as well.
After I gave it a good try, though, I thought the changes to be quite welcome. Helicopters are hard to control, yes, but being close-to-uncontrollable is not realistic. Quite the opposite. We have seen pilots indicate that helicopters in sims are way harder to control than the real ones, due to the lack of physical sensation, better depth perception, peripheral vision, etc.
Making a helicopter too hard to control, doesn’t make it realistic. Just like adding VRS to a helicopter flight model doesn’t make it realistic either.
I welcome the changes. I found the old flight model a bit too twitchy and hard. I’ve had real pilots being impressed with the flight model but indicating just that.
So, folks, don’t see these changes as something bad. IPACS is working hard to make the sim better and better over time and I hope they keep on doing it.
Now we just need more helicopters, IPACS. And perhaps a bit more of a living world. Other than that, I’m enjoying the direction the R22 is taking.
How to get into the open beta build
To get into the Aerofly FS2 open beta, right-click The Aerofly FS2 entry in our steam library, click on “Properties”. Select the “Betas” tab on top of the new screen and opt-in into the beta.
Steam will start downloading the new version and you’ll be able to try it after a while.
Have fun, and let us know what you think of the new changes in the comments section below!