Take On Helicopters Community Preview.

Bohemia Interactive have done a very cool thing.

They’ve released a public preview of their new game Take On Helicopters for the Arma 2 community to play with.
The Community Preview is essentially a mod for Operation Arrowhead or Arma 2: Reinforcements. It  allows you to fly one of the new helicopters around Takistan and experience the new, more realistic flight model.
I figured it wouldn’t hurt to download and give it a try.

Disclaimer: db Can’t Fly

After decades of playing around with various flight simulators I’ve improved my pilot skills considerably. I’m no longer considered “A Danger to himself and those around him”.
Now I can usually land an Arma II helicopter close to where I intended without damaging the aircraft. Though I’m sure it’s not pretty to watch.

Still I was eager to try out my skills on the new flight model. How much different could it be?

First Impressions

The thing to remember is that the Preview is a beta of a new game, bolted onto BI’s last game. With that in mind, I wasn’t expecting much when I downloaded it. I was pleasantly surprised.

The first thing I did was open up the mission editor & drop the new light helicopter onto the Takistani tarmak so I could take a look.

Take On Helicopter Compaired to Arma 2 Littlebird

Take On Helicopter Compared to an Arma 2 Littlebird

Visually its obvious that considerably more effort went into building the model. The textures outside and inside are more detailed.

They have modeled the switches and knobs etc. of the cockpit as they are now required to start the engine. (Unless you are running at novice difficulty and use the Auto engine start on the action menu.)

The Old Arma II Littlebird

The Old Arma II Littlebird

New Instrument Cluster

Arma 2 Little Bird Instument Cluster

Arma 2 Littlebird Instrument Cluster

Take On Helicopter Collective

New Take On Helicopter Collective. Note the mirror mounted on the skid, visible just above the collective.

Arma2 littlebird collective

Arma2 Littlebird Collective

My First Flight

For my first flight I fired up the engine using auto engine start action item, instead of going through the whole start-up routine. I gave a bit of lift on the collective and promptly flipped the bird over. I may have managed to get a meter off the ground. Not a good start.

After my first few attempts at takeoff ended with corkscrews into the ground, I learned about auto trim.

With auto trim on I was able to get off the ground without loosing control. Wow, the new flight model is … difficult? realistic? Not sure what the word I want to use is. Part of the problem is I have no experience with flying a helicopter so I can’t really say.

I can say that compared to the standard Arma flight model you actually have to FLY the TakeOn helicopter. Constantly adjusting the controls and generally paying attention to what the aircraft is doing – no time for sight seeing. It’s quite challenging, especially when you are using the manual trim.

I was using my Saitek x45 controller but I can see how a set of rudder pedals and TrackIR would be extremely useful. I haven’t tried to fly with the mouse and keyboard yet.

Just for fun I threw an AI into the pilot’s seat and went along for a ride. I was hoping to get some pointers on how to fly this thing.  Checkout the video.


Download the Take On Helicopters Community Preview