I have to admit that the first time I laid my eyes on a Ka-32 I found it ugly. Terribly ugly. How in the world could anyone do something that odd-looking? That’s… A box with a couple of rotors on top and 2 huge tail-things that act as vertical stabilizers. And those wheels?!? WHY???
But the darn thing started growing on me and the more I looked at it, the more I enjoyed its weird look. And the more I learned about the helicopter, the more I started to like it. I think I finished the process of falling in love with it when I saw them flying here in Portugal, fighting fires.
Granted, the real thing has its issues. I know of a pilot that almost died on a crash when he lost an engine while he was filling the bambi bucket. The second engine decided to chill out instead of kicking in and do its thing, the helicopter didn’t rise, the bucket got stuck and the helicopter rolled over. Nearly 6.000 liters (a little over 1,500 gallons) of water poured into the cockpit and it almost drowned the 2 crewmen. It seems like the Ka-32 has a bit of a reputation of doing that once in a while.
Fortunately, a sim is a controlled environment, so we won’t be risking our lives.
The Nemeth Designs Ka-32
Nemeth Designs decided to depict the Ka-32A, the initial production model, which acts as the basic transport version of this helicopter.
I have tried the P3D version, which is the one that has all the features that the Nemeth Designs team took their time to build for us.
Model and textures
The model and textures on the Ka-32 are pretty up to the standard Nemeth Designs has got us used to.
There’s a lot of detail inside and out and that rotorhead is just marvelous to look at.
If you start nitpicking you’ll find some differences when comparing the model with the real deal but, honestly, you’ll find that with any aircraft addon out there. Overall, both the 3D model and the textures very good. The only thing I would like to see would be a dirtier look.
The sounds are well done, and you won’t find any bad surprises here either. Good quality sounds although I think the cockpit sounds are a bit too loud. Not a lot, but enough to make me feel a bit off.
Don’t get me wrong: Nemeth Designs added different sounds to all the different switches, levers and buttons. They did a heck of a job. I’d just like it to be a bit more toned down in terms of volume.
Nemeth replicated a big part of (if not all) the systems of the Ka-32. I only managed to follow the whole checklist (which is huge) successfully once but I will tell you right away: I only tried it a couple of times and I know I messed it up the first time. Don’t ask me how, I just know it.
Fortunately, there’s a “short version” which the Nemeth Designs team shows on YouTube. I followed that without any issues and off I went.
Russians sure love to make their helicopters complex.
No surprises here. Nemeth Designs is not adding anything new to the flight model. They are using everything P3D offers as standard.
The Ka-32 feels like a heavy helicopter and flies nicely – just like any good P3D helicopter.
You won’t find any special features, which some users may get disappointed at, but I will be very, very honest with you: I am not expecting a P3D helicopter to be that special in terms of flight dynamics.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I am not bashing the flight model or the sim. Far from it. What I am saying is that we need to know what to expect from the sims we use. P3D is a good sim, but you know what to expect when entering a helicopter.
That being said, I wish Nemeth Designs (and other developers) used Fred Naar’s freeware HTR software and I already provided them with that feedback. Perhaps we’ll see something in the future.
Fred’s HTR is, like I said, free and all the developers need to do is work on a profile for their helicopter. Release it with your product, tell people how to use the profile (you just need to load it into HTR) and you’re all set. HTR will do the dirty work for you and you don’t need to worry about making your own plugins that may break stuff and not act as planned.
The Nemeth Designs Kamov Ka-32A for FSX and P3D is a great helicopter. I love the Ka-32 by itself and the Nemeth brothers did a very good job.
It’s a well-rounded, solid helicopter with no extra frills but it does its job very well. Not that any extra frills would be required. Nice-to-haves are always, well… Nice to have. But Nemeth has got us used to straight out coherent models.
It feels to me like it’s what it’s supposed to be: a big, heavy bird, ready to do some real lifting. I love the fact that Nemeth added a livery used in Portugal (although that should be a Ka-32T, not a Ka-32A).
Do I recommend it? Definitely. Go grab it and have some fun.