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Helicopter drops too slowly when collective is decreased and raises too slowly when it's increased
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When collective is dropped, the chopper takes far too long to lose altitude and when collective is raised, the heli should climb practically without delay.


Legacy ID
Steps To Reproduce
  • place an helicopter, climb to 500 m or similar
  • decrease collective, observe negative vertical speed
  • increase collective, observe positive vertical speed
Additional Information

Please try to match to some degree the flight characteristics of Arma II

Event Timeline

There are a very large number of changes, so older changes are hidden. Show Older Changes
Rick added a comment.Mar 8 2013, 2:01 AM

I use analog and it's much better than arma 2, still not up to snuff tho. Feels like arcade and looks even stupider. Totally kills the whole badass feeling of helicopters.

Verox added a subscriber: Verox.May 7 2016, 11:22 AM
Verox added a comment.Mar 8 2013, 2:15 AM

I... I think you should do a little more research before trying to bullsh*t.....

hmm, I have flown anaolog for years on arma. ARMA II is much better then this, and ARMA II still needed improvement. to be honest, ACE did a really good job smoothing out ARMA II's flight characteristics.

the helicopter controls should not limit what the helicopter can do, so if the collective control (which is hugely important) is too floatly and unresponsive then it should be fixed. I can understand the idea of keeping it simple enough that people don't just instantly side-slip their way into a cliff, but tweaking the collective to be more sensitive and making the choppers a bit more realistic won't ruin that. But between how it now and how it is in take on helicopter, I would take how it is because the ToH model feels slow and unresponsive (I can control DCS better than those helis)

JNC added a subscriber: JNC.May 7 2016, 11:22 AM
JNC added a comment.Mar 8 2013, 2:50 AM

Arma 2 helicopter flying was great fun, wtf happened Arma 3?!

I flew the AH-9 to a couple thousand feet (I think cause the altimeter doesnt work right) and shutoff the engine. It took almost 10 seconds, from a hover, before any altitude loss was shown on the altimeter (but again, that may just be the instrument).

I don't know if it's been mentioned else where but if you like to customize your controls you may run into a problem with the "collective lowering". I usually change it to "E" rather than "Z" but in doing so when I use it to land the Helicopter nose dives forward as if I was pressing "W".

And no, I wasn't pressing "W" by mistake. :)

twiggy added a subscriber: twiggy.May 7 2016, 11:22 AM
twiggy added a comment.Mar 8 2013, 2:52 AM

would agree collective far to unresponsive that quick stop link seems dead here is one with a big chopper

Thanks twiggy, that IS EXACTLY what is missing, and needs to be fixed. You could do this in arma II

Rick added a comment.Mar 8 2013, 3:08 AM

obishaun someone posted a bug that E is not bindable to collective.

AS a player who did almost 100 hours of flight in take on. I use the same joystick (Saitek X52), I've remove all the joystick dead spot and top the sensitivity in the Arma3 settings and even there I'm no where near to make my nice and quick landing as I'm used to do in take on. But for the rest I give them credit for the overall handling, Rudder in arma2 was really awful.

gonza added a comment.Mar 9 2013, 12:54 AM

is it possible to add a new key for flying with chopper with keyboard

Chopper control is really good but it would be great for slow down the speed quickly without gaining altitude.

In addition to the key to reduce the cyclic, add a new key to move down faster.
press 2 times the key down for 2 times move down faster for example.

Thanks For arma 3 --> really excellent

I'm a real life CH47 pilot.

This report is accurate. The way helicopters behave right now in Arma3 prevents tactical flying. It takes way too long to drop altitude/speed. WAY too long.

Just getting started with Arma3, will post more reports on helicopter physics soon I guess.

thanks 47 pilot, appreciate the back up.

I upvoted this. Quick stops are impossible to do right now or only doable if you approach really really slow.

Look at this vid:

This is how it should be and how it almost was in ARMA2. The heli is approaching relatively fast and doesn't dart up in the air like all the current ARMA3 helis.

Voted up, I created accidentally a dupe under where I go far more into detail how far off reality the chopper control over all is, not just Q/Z, also X/C and their effect on the Z-axis..

Skin added a subscriber: Skin.May 7 2016, 11:22 AM
Skin added a comment.Mar 14 2013, 12:19 AM

This is a problem with both the digital and analogue collective.

Up-voted, agreed. I shouldn't have to begin my descent to the rearm station on the Showcase from a kilometer away.

Up-voted! Please action this one BI!

Fuse added a subscriber: Fuse.May 7 2016, 11:22 AM
Fuse added a comment.Mar 15 2013, 4:51 PM

Hopefully the improved flight models will fix this, but I agree that as it is now it is very bad. If you're trying to land in a hot LZ it is very hard to drop your speed without rocketing in to the sky. Once you're up there it takes forever to descend. I should be able to stand the AH-6 on its tail and stop without gaining altitude.

macaco added a subscriber: macaco.May 7 2016, 11:22 AM

This ticket only scratches the surface of whats wrong with the helo flight model. With how bad it is, I'm assuming they know, and it will be fixxed at some point.

As someone who loves flying helicopters, the flight dynamics are TERRIBLE in Arma 3. I thought they were good in Arma 2 and don't know why they changed them.

  1. It takes FOREVER to drop altitude
  2. Because of that, it takes forever to stop. (no quick stops)
  3. Unrealistic behavior. I can easily fly upside down and do barrel rolls with no altitude loss
Rongor added a subscriber: Rongor.May 7 2016, 11:22 AM

I support the reported issue.
I fly 3-ton helicopters in real life, and the altitude losses in Arma3 by any attitudes are a joke. What I am missing most is a drift induced by the helicopters moving mass, there are no signs of that in the game.
The use of the collective seems to represent a height over ground here. This is completely wrong. In real life the collective decides about the amount of lift. The pilot then determines if the given lift is used for speed or altitude by his cyclic inputs.
Also the pedals are way to powerful at high speeds in the game.

I totally disagree with your comment about the pedals. They're not too powerful at all at high speeds. I think they're about right or maybe even a bit too weak.

I think the pedals seem to work a bit too well too. Flying at 140 kmh there is too much response from the pedals.

I want that in Arma 3

Glide over surface.

And Quick stop without gain altitude !
it is possible in real life

Thank you for Arma 3 bis !! excellent

This only a temporary flight model.
They're gonna use the Take on Helicopters flight model for later versions.
So I'm downvoting this ticket.. Also, search before posting

That R22 quickstop is just gay. A gust of wind would make that tiny thing quickstop. But that MH53 quickstop is very impressive. Great aircraft!

Wanna see another GREAT quickstop? Check this following video out at 3:15

How's that for using yaw at higher speeds, Stiffwood? :)

There's too little response from pedals in Arma3, believe me.

Like Dagonath said flight model that is now in Arma 3 Alpha is only temporary. They're gonna use the Take on Helicopters flight model for later versions,

Actually, Joris-Jan van't Land posted on the BI forums a couple of weeks back that they will PROBABLY implement the TOH flight model, but that he's not guaranteeing anything. So, please don't downvote this or other heli physics issues. Also, would love to see implemented.

Make Love Not War: Oh didn't notice that. +1

Using "Collective lower (analogue)" gives me a sink rate of ~ 7 m/s


Why would you want Vortex Ring State implemented??? I know, it's realistic because it could happen, but it'd be WAY too complicated for this game, also you would need a full motion simulator to actually notice what's going on, otherwise it'll just be confusing.

Agreed, @47Pilot.
In the game we can't in anyway have the same feeling as IRL

tigger added a subscriber: tigger.May 7 2016, 11:22 AM

In addition to this, the helicopters' climb rate is severely limited, roughly
a third of real performance.

prospekt, you are a moron. dropping collective is not auto rotation. at all.

This issue is putting a damper on the game for me too. If I bind collective-up and collective-down (non-analog), once I'm in the air collective down seems to stop responding and I can't land. It works good if I bind the collective analogs, but then I have to play this tedious balancing act to keep in the air. Releasing the analog collective up causes the helicopter to drop towards the ground at a high rate.


actually, decreasing the collective far enough, will in some helicopter types result in negative pitch in the rotor blades, so that the rotor system disengages from the drivetrain and this will make the helicopter autorotate.
So yes, it is possible to autorotate just by lowing the pitch far enough.

frag85 added a subscriber: frag85.May 7 2016, 11:22 AM

Try this in the editor, go up to 20m and time how long it takes to touch the ground with using a button for "Collective Lower" and then again with an axis for "Collective Lower (analog)"

If you have the "Collective Lower (analog") bound do an axis, you can decrease altitude much quicker than a button "Collective Lower" (non analog setting).

That's for those using a joystick, while this issue is there for those using keyboard !

I hope you people understand helicopters like the AH9 have variable tilt rotors and are fully capable of upside down flight as is the KA 60 and almost any other military bird. This is to combat retreating blade stall to give the birds as much forward speed as possible but in-inadvertently also allows for upside down flight.

That made my day !
Go and gather some informations about Littlebird and Ka60 rotors before posting such things

wok added a subscriber: wok.May 7 2016, 11:22 AM
wok added a comment.Mar 28 2013, 4:23 PM

Arma 3 helicopters needs more weight, right now you can be going straight to the ground, but if you put the nose of the heli up at 2mts from the ground you will be safe, a real helicopter would keep going down for quite some distance.


That's just total bullshit, but very funny nonetheless.

We did some tests with the littlebird the other day and we have come to the conclusion that you can hover your heli and do a backflip with ease at about ~20 meters altitude. Surely this can't be intended? Makes for a cool landing to show off when you pick up some people online though.

the current flight model is work in progress and BIS is considering to introduce Take On Helicopter's flight models in ArmA3 so yeah, it IS intended but as a temporary placeholder (still good to report though)

I agree that the model needs some work. I like a more realistic flight model as this discourages people that don't understand flight dynamics from crowding the servers with poor flying, such as Battlefield type games. However the choppers do lower quite slow and need some more weight. In comparison with something like FSX on Hard, the altitude physics are not implemented well. Definitely an improvement from OFP but still needs some work.

Ratszo added a subscriber: Ratszo.May 7 2016, 11:22 AM
Ratszo added a comment.Apr 4 2013, 3:04 PM

"If you have the "Collective Lower (analog") bound do an axis, you can decrease altitude much quicker than a button "Collective Lower" (non analog setting)." --Frag85

Analog is very responsive.

Something really needs to be done about the flight model.

sarlac added a subscriber: sarlac.May 7 2016, 11:22 AM

collective raise and lower cause ascent and descent at different rates depending on input device type and input type. Shouldn't these all be the same?

In the ah6/mh6
all figures in feet per minute from onboard VSI

2000 up
1800 down

mapped to joystick buttons:
7000 up and down

If you map the ANALOG collective to buttons on the joystick you get still another set of figures

2200 up
1800 down

however if using the analog collective inputs for non analog buttons, after releasing either button the helicopter falls at a rate of 1200 feet per minute until a non analog collective input is pressed.

In the KA-60
all figures in meters per minute from VSI on board

600 up
600 down

joystick digital
2.5 up
2.5 down

joystick analog (mapped to a button)
700 up
600 down

  with a button release fall rate of 500 meters per minute

Please correct this issue

im not sure if anyones posted this so excuse my ignorance
when using collective raise/lower it raises/lowers far slower to keyboards.
when using collective raise/lower analogue it automatically lowers

Sorry to add some negative feed back to the game as it is so far as I'm stunned at how much of an improvement it is on AMRA 2. The flight characteristics is not as good as on ARMA 2 or Take on Helicopters. Taking two extremes in terms of flight models I'd rather fly ARMA 2 at them moment than in ARMA 3. the lowering of collective has already been stated and is poor but the raising of collective and more importantly the raising of the nose to climb quickly and reduce speed has none of the desired and realistic effects. I too fly helicopters in the real world and would love to be able to do what I can in ARMA 2 in the new version. The loading makes a difference to handling but the overall physics are not there yet. Many players and clans rely on the helicopter being an integral part of their strategy which truly reflects real life combat. I humbly beg you to look at this and improve team insertions and extractions in game. on a lighter note keep up the good work

I voted it up but i mainly do it cause of the other side of the problem, when we increase collective power the helicopter need too much time to react, exactly like if the power was provided by the engine who need to accelerate.
Engine inside an helicopter in fact don't change a lot, only for compensate the strength that the rotor need but not the speed and the aerodynamic power was provided by a direct mechanism, it can't have any delay.

oukej added a comment.Jul 22 2013, 3:14 PM

Multiple changes were made.

Could you, please, give us some feedback?

Atm the descend and ascent rates are from a black-box point of view close to Arma II and Take On.

Thank you!

It is much better now that you have fixed the input discrepancies but descent rates are still a little slow. As a result it is hard to slow down and reduce altitude at the same time. I hope more experienced pilots pop in to comment here. While I'm not a novice, I'm no pro either. I could just be doing it wrong.

After flying on the beta, you are on the right track, however the helicopters still feel very off. They don;t drop like they should, and the collective still seems unresponsive. Basic maneuvers you pull off in ARMA II are still not achievable in Arma III.

Also, in the beta, you cannot get a chopper to auto rotate. This needs to be addressed as well. In terms of flying helicopters, While its an improvement, it still has a long way to go before matching arma II, let alone exceeding it.

oukej added a comment.Jul 24 2013, 9:41 AM

Auto-rotation was fixed, I'm able to auto-rotate at least as good in A2:OA. Obviously not as good as in Take On, but that's a completely different story ;)

There are also some trade-offs in terms of drag coef. when falling, but those only make the auto-rotation easier (and auto-rotating without proper approach is also possible).
Could you, please, provide more detailed feedback? I have reopened the ticket mentioned above for that purpose. (Please understand, that we won't be implementing a simulator-grade modelling.)

I have compared the descend and ascend rates in A3 and A2OA and they look pretty similar. Even the responsiveness in Take On simulation isn't much different.
Does this apply to all helicopters or do you feel or have any reference any single of them is completely off?
Could it be eventually by various input? (, like

Thank you very much for the feedback!

Changes in the dev patch over the past couple days; July 22 (with July 19's rev. 07978 patch and 23 rev. 08127 patch). Changes were definitely in the right direction after a few quick flights in the H-9 and UH-80 variants.

I noticed that especially on the lighter airframes, roll and pitch sensitivity feels really high compared to previous Arma games. Using a hotkey with my logitech mouse software I reduced my sensitivity from 800dpi to 400 and 200dpi to counteract this.

Also, as accelerating the helos seem to drift quite a bit before centering on my intended heading, or take more adjustments to get there. I don't know if this is intended, or is part of a more realistic helo model. For example in A2, all helos will 'snap' to a direction and the rudder will have little affect on heading and air speed once you accelerate beyond a certain threshold. In A3 I noticed I can be slightly crabbing the helo to a higher speed. I like this, it seems more realistic, but I can see it being troublesome for some pilots. I know it caught me by surprise a few times.

I'm sure a helo guro/pilot could better explain these opinions on it though. I'd just like to see the helos be usable by 'most' people coming from the previous arma games.

I will take some time and fly, and write down in my notes any suggestions I come up with.

reach out to 47 pilot as well, he fly's Chinooks in the real world.

izaiak added a subscriber: izaiak.May 7 2016, 11:22 AM

For my part, i have a hotas warthog. I use both throttle lever to control helo.
First is for air taxi and precise approach ( it remplace the keyboard tuch for power control).
It mean if i push i raise the power, if i'm in the midle i keep my atltitude, if i put it back i decrease my power.
Here i'm close to 450m/min (at 0 km/h).

On the second part of the throttle i put analogic setting to have the full power of the helicopter or the full minimum power to decrease my speed or altitude.
Here i'm close to 680m/minute (at 0 km/h), so it i realitic.

Didn't get a change to do a lot of test, but:
Deleted Shift and Z.
Put Shift and Z in Increase/Decrease Analog.
Much more responsive. BUT: needed constant / often Increase to maintain alt, and AutoHover didn't seem to maintain either.
SO: I put Shift back into the original position (Yes, so it appeared in both.) and ... definite improvement.
Again: didn't spend more than a few minutes, but def better descent, and (I think) also rise.

oukej added a comment.Dec 4 2014, 8:08 PM

Was tweaked long time ago. There's also been added a much more precise simulation with the Advanced Flight Model.
We've tried to achieve as much consistency between AFM and SFM as possible. However the SFM stays limited to a lower responsiveness.

Thanks a lot for the cooperation and feedback!