Helicopters gurus - please evaluate my upcoming cyclic/collective purchase

I’ve owned the H145 and Lama for some time now, knowing I’ve wanted to eventually fly helicopters, but haven’t flown either one because I’ve been saving up for a full Virpil control set. They have a 10% off total sale going on until April 30th, and I finally have the cash saved up, so here we go…

I was going to take advantage of the Warbird-D base/ Alpha Prime bundle on sale now, but after reading and watching a lot of info I’ve decided on this set of gear:

  1. VPC Mongoose CM3 base. It has less gimbal deflection than the Warbird-D (important when using a long extension) and is easier to tune.
  2. VPC Constellation Alpha. I was thinking about the Mongoose grip, but it doesn’t have a twist axis, which I want to lock at a good wrist angle for a center-mounted stick. I don’t (think I) need the extra features of the more expensive Alpha Prime.
  3. Long desk mount.
  4. Mongoose desk mount base.
  5. 200mm extension.
  6. VPC Hawk-60 collective grip. The AH-64 grip is awesome, but it’s really tall.
  7. VPC Rotor TCS Plus collective base (upgraded.)

I’ll be getting a chair mount for the collective from MonsterTech. They have one that will fit my chair using the screw holes for the armrest, and it will have a mount designed for the TCS Plus base.

The only real concern I have is with the long desk mount. I’ve looked at the plan drawings and added up the height of everything, and I think it will all go together well. But math is not my strong suit. :smile:
I welcome any suggestions for an alternate desk mount. And of course any other suggestions about what I’m about to order.

I’ve also been reading reading a lot here about your favorite rotorcraft (thanks @Baracus250 and everyone who contributed to his thread) and thanks again to @JasonMuc2112 for the great DM advice.

I’ll probably buy either (or both) the FlyInside B-206 and B-47. I think the B-47 might be a good helo to start with. I know the ones I own will be great fun, but I want to start with something simpler, and I like the realism options FlyInside offers with those two. I know I’ll need to start on Easy Mode. :wink:

im not seeing pedals there, youre going to want them. if you fly fixed wing also, look at virpil warbird ace pedals. Consider the modding it with a damper, its easy and makes the pedals much better.

the apache head on your collective is only really useful on the apache, and even then perhaps not all that much, i dunno- my collective head has a whopping 4 buttons on it, and i use at most none of them (in dcs or msfs). ive got a virpil cm2 throttle mounted directly above my collective tho

otherwise everything looks good, youll be happy

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My advice on this:

  • Now that you have waited so long to get the proper gear, and you are clearly taking it seriously, don’t start on Easy Mode anything. Turn off the helicopter assists in MSFS settings. You will only learn bad habits with it on. Just take your time, and learn from the ground up. You can do it!!
  • Start with the Cabri G2, at least for a few 10’s of hours, until you are comfortable in the way that behaves and you can land it sort of where you want.
  • Then get the FlyInside 206. Run it on Realistic BUT tune some of the sensitivities and stabilities a bit to help (it’s sort of easy mode, but more like “tuning to your controls”). I can show you my settings when you get to that!
  • Don’t get the 47G first. It is a lot harder to control as it reacts about half the speed of the 206. Once you have nailed the 206, then get the 47. Just my opinion. Of course you can dive in with the 47G first and get used to that, but it is diving in the deep end. Again using any easy mode won’t really be helping you much. The whole process is just wiring up new neurons in your brain. The sooner you start to wire them CORRECTLY, the quicker you will crack it.
  • I find sleeping on it, you come back the next day a good chunk better. Like do a few hours, stop when you are tired or frustrated, sleep, come back and you will be better automatically where your brain has processed it all. Repeat this and you just get better and better. Very satisfying!
  • But knowing what you are like, you’ll be buying both FlyInside’s anyway! So, when you fly the 47, don’t give up! Go back to the 206 until you are on top of it then try again :wink:
  • Enjoy! (I am only mildly jealous ;))

I can’t say anything about controls as I don’t have anything approaching “proper chopper gear” but yes, you will definitely be wanting pedals, but I think you already have rudders from your fixed wing shenanigans, right?

I failed to include that I own the MFG Crosswinds with the damper.

Thanks for the advice about the collective grip.


Thanks. Once I get the controls set up I’ll get the Cabri, turn assists off, and crash it a few times. :laughing:

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You can fly them also well with an Xbox Gamepad to learn or to test and without healthy envy to those great collectives and cyclics:

Or any HOTAS sure, although if you can and have already room, budget etc., better the specific collectives and cyclics sure sure without any doubt, I hope to buy mine ones someday…, a 6DOF also, and to buy a house bigger first… hahah

Patience, yes for fun and sightseen etc., Easy Mode only while you are learning a bit more maybe, if you want really to learn as real live and after learnt, always Hard Mode in all the flights, and enjoy also striving yourself taming those savage horses, despite you do not do it as you wish, during tens and tens of hours, be patient and respectfully with yourself. I am still learning, and like in the real live, we never stop of learning all days, and with the fixed wings the same.

Enjoy it!

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I have enough trouble flying the drone cam with my Xbox controller. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Mad respect for anyone who can master a helicopter with one.



I am really leaning towards this Komodo gear when I finally make the move. The 206 is what I fly most by far, and the simplicity of this sings to me!

They got some NICEEEE stuff!


I’d heard of Komodo, but hadn’t considered them.


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D’oh! What have I done! :smiley:

Sorry to put a spanner in the works.
I think Komodo are better for civilian aircraft? Virpil is all military? Looks amazing don’t get me wrong but I don’t really fly military stuff!

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Indeed. I’ve been wondering about how the Virpil grips (which are obviously designed for DCS and Space Sim users) would work with civilian helicopters and aircraft in FS2020. Hence this thread…

I have DCS, and enjoyed it for a long while. I’m pretty sure I’ll get back into it again (Pew! Pew!) so I’m leaning towards the “Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it” camp.

As long as the Virpil cyclic/joystick isn’t too hard to set up and use for FS2020 civilian birds, I feel like the F-18, A-10, F-14, and Apache in DCS would feel a little handicapped with the Komodo gear.

Great suggestion, though, and I appreciate it!

EDIT: I will look hard at the Komodo gear for the collective. I’ve got 18 days to savage my checking account with the Virpil sale.

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another thing id suggest is try a couple devs rather than going all in on flyinside. the bell47J that recently came out is a fun one. Cowan bell 222. the chinook that recently released is really nice and gonna get better after su15 drops. gotfriends mini chopper, whatever its called, is fun. touching cloud ka10 can be a fun, slow sightseer. stay away from anything mscenery.

like Baracus said, drop the assists. you wont need them with that control setup. if you find your helo is really squirrelly and too sensitive, tune your controller- i cant remember the term msfs uses, its saturation in DCS…reactivity? i think? dont go for curves, youl want a linear reaponse, just less of it, especially at the beginning when you have a tendency to “stir the pot”

these videos are made for the DCS audience primarily, but theyre a good referrence in MSFS as well

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proflight trainer. the collective head may as well not even be there for me. My only gripe is the twist grip isnt very accurate, but i havent felt like fixing it.

Komodo is a bit rich for my blood

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if youre on DCS, the Gazelle got a FM rewrite, its pretty good now. If you wanna learn helo competencies, get the mi8 & the Oil fields campaign. theres a lot of sling loading, different types of navigation, and a number of other skills to learn without worrying about getting shot

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I use a Pro-Flight Trainer Puma. It’s been reliable and precise for the last 8 almost 9 years now. I’ve upgraded the pedals, collective and PCB. It was originally a Black Lynx.

It has been great on all the flightsims I use. From Aerofly to X-Plane.

…and if you are interested in the history. I bought mine back in 2015 to use while i was working on my PPL.


With your MFG Crosswinds and the Virpil gear you will have almost mirrored my own set-up. I went for the Alpha Prime grip as I prefer the metal construction and the Ka-50 grip for the collective. Quite frankly the Ka-50 was the only grip available at the time. It’s fine, I do not use all of the buttons of either grip.

Some may tell you the plus base is not worth the extra expense, I do not agree and believe it is a good investment. Certainly if you like the added involvement during start-up and shut-down, practising auto rotations or flying without a governor.

I find the cyclic grip does sit a little high for my liking. I also have the long desk mount and 200mm extension. The short extension does not have a curve and I did not want to shorten the throw anyway. I rest a small travel towel which is like a small cushion on my thigh to over come this minor issue.

When you get the CM3 base I suggest changing the cams for the one that have no real centre position and install the light springs. I have the clutch friction and spring preload set so the stick has a light feel when moving it. The springs do not quite push the stick back even when the stick is at full deflection.

It really is a great setup particularly once you start to build muscle memory then it really comes into its own.

Personally I do not believe/feel the Komodo gear offers a better solution. As far a I recall it is largely 3D printed and IMO not to the same quality level of the Virpil gear which CNC machine in many areas from metals. It should last well and I regard it as an investment.


Thanks for your real world advice. It helps me be confident I’m buying the right kit.

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You’ll love them. It’s the same basic setup as I have but without all the mounts. I mounted all mine myself.

Alpha stick on a CM3 base via a 200mm extension.
Sharka grip on a vpc rotor collective.

If you are considering Komodo I’d read more about them. I’d want almost flawless reviews at those prices but when I looked I wasn’t impressed by what others had said.

I’ve been seeing some pretty negative comments myself. Too bad.

I also use puma, idk if something is wrong with it but it is extremely sensitive in dcs, basically unflyable even with lowering sensitivity, what gives?