[RELEASED] Miltech Simulations CH47D

This is a really difficult thing to do, and I applaud your effort…
This is always the fear that hardcore simmers have, when a product is so popular. I wish that all developers would strive for absolute realism, but I understand that you are trying to keep a customer base happy that has a large percentage of casual users and a small percentage of hardcore simmers.

I don’t necessarily consider myself “hardcore”, but I’m a real world rated pilot and I want full realism. Ideally, that is why the assists exist, for those using short throw controllers…but then I see a lot of complaining how users with STCs want an easier helicopter to fly because “it can’t be that way in the real helicopter or nobody would be able to fly them”. They also refuse to use the assists because they feel it’s a cheat, and they should be able to fly on “full realism”. Everyone who flies the sim wants to believe that they could hop in a real aircraft and fly it because of their sim experience…

I hate to burst anyone’s bubble when it comes to helicopters, but no amount of sim experience, especially using an Xbox controller, will make you able to jump in and fly a real helicopter without an instructor to teach you. It will help you gain the skills faster, by familiarity, but it can’t replicate everything you experience in the real aircraft. I can talk directly to it, because I did exactly that. I had a ton of sim experience when I started training for my private license. The biggest difference is your nerves and how your brain reacts differently when you are actually physically in peril…the ground comes at you fast the first time you practice an autorotation :slight_smile:

I personally find this version of the CH-47 to be too stable, too easy to fly…but I’ve never flown a real one to compare it to. I enjoy it more for the missions than the flight model.

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I know I have said this before but it bears repeating that no one else has been as open and honest about compromises, while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of what is possible in this sim, than MilTech.

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I have never understood why Microsoft insists on equating the two platforms (PC/XBOX) and that the same product works the same on both, when it is evident that XBOX currently has more restrictions than the PC. On the one hand, I understand that having a single product is always better than having to develop two, but on the other hand, I think it would give more freedom and fewer headaches to developers if they could develop specific products for each platform, without the limitations of one condition the development of a product in the other.

We (developers) can submit different versions of the product to each platform. However, this isn’t feasible due to various reasons. As you may see from the discussion above, there are simmers looking for high-immersion on Xbox, and others looking for a more casual experience in PC. This would introduce an “xbox discrimination” of sorts, and doesn’t align with our vision. We, in fact, strive to offer the exact same features regardless of platform - any Miltech product will work the same regardless if you are on Cloud Gaming flying on your smartphone, or flying on a powerful PC.

It is also incredibly difficult to maintain two different versions of the same product, with different features - not only makes it messy and prone to error, but also a pain to bugfix and provide technical support when the product isn’t using the same code.

Having two products for the same aircraft introduces more problems and headaches rather than solving anything.

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In fact, we do often submit different versions for PC/Xbox, but differences are limited to texture size and LODs. You may find lower resolution textures on Xbox due to memory limitations.

That’s generally easy enough to handle. Now, forking the code isn’t the best idea.

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Miltech are very generous with their consideration of us console users

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If forking is not an option and you don’t want to alienate casual users, would you consider supporting a freeware optional modification for PC hardcore users? As much as I understand it might not be feasible for you to go full hardcore… I really want to see it happen :pleading_face:

I’ll be honest, I’ll probably do it anyway :wink: but it can be so much better with the support of Your knowledge of the product

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Thank you very much for the clarification. For us, the end users, who do not know all the ins and outs of programming and development, it is difficult to know how expensive or difficult certain things are.

My opinion did not refer to discriminating against users of one platform or another, but to the very fact of the limitations of the XBOX platform with respect to the PC platform.

Again, thank you very much for giving us so much information about development from the developer side and thank you for the dedication and passion you put into your products. It really is something that can be seen in the final result.

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Will take it to the DMs, I’m sure your talent and knowledge may lead to something interesting…

Anytime! As you may have seen, I’m myself very active here in the forums and on Discord - always willing to interact with the community and open to feedback. At the end of the day, we do this for the enjoyment of all of you, so your opinion matters :slight_smile:

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Why can’t you make the CH-47 flight model realistic and just have the Xbox users turn on the all the assist settings? It would be the best of both worlds. Sim guys would have a solid flight model and Xbox users can fly it like Ace Combat if they want. You make such cool aircraft it would be cool to have a realistic experience if one so desires.

No one wants to do that. Can’t force a user to do anything, otherwise they will complain. Has been an ongoing issue with the Osprey, which requires assists to be fully off - turns out some people wants to have them on!

It is, however, quite realistic as it is now. Handles like the CH47 would handle with the SAS system enabled (which it is in nearly all flights). Satisfaction for the current flight model is I would say >95%, which is really rare in the industry.

Could the native implementation of FM improve some key aspects? Absolutely. Hence we continue working towards that.

Some aircraft (and will be the case with our upcoming U2 Aircraft) feature two distinct selectable variants, with different flight models. An “arcade one” which handles easier, and a “realistic one”. This is easy to implement on fixed wings, but particularly challenging on the CH47. Engines and Autopilot are highly dependable on the FM parameters, which in turn leads to systems and gauges being affected and we are back to the “keeping two versions of the code” problem.

Again, and I keep emphasizing this as it is the case, the #1 limitation is, in fact, how satisfied most people are with the FM. The overwhelming majority of feedback is positive, and we have worked along pilots to ensure the aircraft handles as it should. And for the most part it does. So any change must be equally good or better. Can’t afford to release something that is subpar.

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Now, we are now also approaching the debate of “how do we measure accuracy of flight models”. I’m myself not a CH47D pilot, never flown in one, never seen one in active service. The project was developed entirely from static airframes, documentation and pilot/engineers feedback.

Let’s assume we get data from a real flight and compare that to the sim. Which parameters are we going to track and compare? A Helicopter requires many more parameters as it can move in all 6 axes. And this is certainly not cost-effective, nor easily achievable, and way beyond the scope of this product.

Then - most people have never flown a CH47D, and in fact most people have never flown a Helicopter - only about 5% of pilots, and out of the flightsim community only about 20% hold a pilot license - that is about 1% of the total simmer population has flown a helicopter IRL. So feedback from the general public is arguably not useful (in terms of making the FM accurate) if not backed by data.

So what’s the metric for us then? Well… customer satisfaction!

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I really doubt it’s that high at all! Maybe 0.1%? :slight_smile:

I think I may have seen two other posters on this forum that are also real helicopter pilots, and I know one for certain who also sims.

It’s a very small number…

I try to help inform the community, but I often run into users that have been misinformed or have incorrect ideals of helicopter flight.

There are also way more helicopter models now in the sim, that I haven’t flown IRL to have a direct comparison…and while the basic flight dynamics should be the same, they all have their own idiosyncrasies.

It makes sense that Miltech would cater to the majority of their customers. If they have actual real world CH-47D pilots working with them to evaluate the flight model, they would know better than I would.

I do wonder what setup they test with though. Real pilots also tend to think “close enough” while flying with a desktop joystick, knowing that it will never mimic the real thing exactly.

I, for one, started simming over 25 years ago, long before I earned my real world certifications and I know what home sims can be capable of. Especially with the right control hardware and VR. I will always keep pushing. However, it is very, very unlikely that I will ever get a chance to fly a CH-47 to report back to the community…but I may know a guy I could talk into trying out my sim setup :wink:

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Exactly the same thought jumped into my mind. I use an Xbox because it is a quick, cheap way to start flight simming again and I have a mouse, keyboard, yoke and a HOTAS set up. It’s rare, if at all that I “play” anything else on the Xbox.

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Unfortunately it’s not that easy, assists cannot be adjusted on the go for different flight conditions. This needs a custom system.

I know some decent solutions, that have what I consider acceptable degree of sideeffects, at least for more hardcore users used to a little jank in return for more complexity. If the devs like them, we might figure something out.

I have flown in a sea knight a couple of times, the little brother to this, but all I can say about that is that it feels like flying in a big bus that somebody has strapped two big washingmachines to in either end and there you are in the middle, hoping the twisting of the body of the aircraft doesnt tear it apart…

Kinda crazy really!
And that one only has ONE enginge, this has two!

Very calm and solid hovering! Hardly moving at all.

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I’ve never been in a ‘Nook but they fly by my house quite often and land just over the way (only about 250 metres away) and I can see them clearly. They do look very stable. They move like they are travelling through treacle when the pilot is being steady.

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