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Helicopters drop when AA hits them
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I was excited to see that we have AA in the beta but it quickly turned up to be disappointing. In ARMA 2 when an AA hit a helicopter it would damage it really heavily and you could see the pilot struggling to land. It was pretty awesome to watch (and its the reason I had helicopters on almost every mission I ever made). Right now every time an AA missile hits a helicopter it instantly disables it and the heli just drops to the ground, which isnt very realistic (or fun to watch).

I would love to see the epic heli crashes back.


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The video is quite enlightening. I agree it shouldnt guarantee a rotor destruction, even if it kills the pilots it shouldnt drop like a rock.

The helicopter dropping like a bomb is VERY realistic. The rotor stops, so the helicopter becomes like any other rock without a rotor.

The problem is the AA damaging the rotor instantly.

Ive tested it, mostly with the ghosthawk, and the rotors seem to be quite sensitive if the hit is somewhere around the middle of the helicopter which happens most of the times. But still the damage could be done separately to atrq and main rotor from the testing aswell both in orange damage range and red-yet functioning. Some fine tuning on the direct hit could be done i guess, like if its from the bottom, its more likely to kill the pilot instead the engine or something? I dunno.

I had my editor scenarios in Arma2 OA where the AA would hit the heli, killing the pilot, leaving the helicopter mostly intact and howering slow to the ground by itself. Would be cool to see some variations of this. Though some testing should probably be done with diffrent helicopters and how they perform.

I would like to see less crashing-exploding helis though, especially at fast yet low angles. So far its really hard to get the carved-ground effect at high-flying low crash speeds. I miss that.

To test the rotor damage out you can place an enemy AA unit behind the building ( the airfield has lots of those) so that the AA doesnt see you aproach it. Place youself as a helicopter pilot flying at around 100meters, fly directly over the building the AA is behind. Fly straight so that he fires at you from behind. Most likely the AA missile will hit your tail rotor, destroying the ATRQ rotor, yet keeping Main rotor somewhat intact and functioning.

Done some more testing with the Blackfoot this time. And getting hit from behind is much more deadlier than flying a Ghosthawk. Which is understandable. However on hit did not instantly lock my Main rotor, it disabled it, but it still kept spinning down, yet the engine was dead. It did keep the aircraft stable for a while.

So i think there should be a bit more forgiving chances of the rotor not instantly locking up, but just powering down, would give a bit more interesting gameplay results. Since its still most likely a death sentence depending on your altitute and speed, but there is a slight chance of survival.

Helicopters aren't like planes. They aren't designed to glide at all. The video you used as an example showed a helicopter dropping incredibly fast. The only reason it looked slower was because of the distance. I agree with @MulleDK19 on this one. Helicopters work on a basis of constant upthrust and angle it to change direction and speed. Without the main rotor, there is nothing keeping the m in the air, and so it is likely very realistic that they would drop straight down. That being said, it is still unrealistic that the rotor should lock straight up, and should it continue functioning, the results would look a little different.

age1000 added a subscriber: age1000.May 7 2016, 2:56 PM

also a good solution is to have a missle warning, and when you get that deploy your flares and the missle wont hit you.

Just tried something.
Try to shoot down a flying helicopter with the Titan AT Compact. You get a MUCH better effect.

gonk added a subscriber: gonk.May 7 2016, 2:56 PM
gonk added a comment.Jul 13 2013, 11:20 AM

looks like all momentum and all lift is lost..instantly.. looks weird

Simply put, if the engine of a helicopter fails for whatever reason, the helicopter is able to auto-rotate to the ground.
If the main rotor is damaged, lift is greatly reduced, or even completely lost if the rotor is destroyed, and the helicopter will indeed fall like a rock.

As has been stated, the main issue is that any AA missile will damage ALL the hit points of the helicopter, when they should usually only partly damage it.

IMHO, such rapid rotor stoppage is certainly unrealistic - it can be possible only if the gearbox rapidly jams, but in that case, blades would be torn off the shaft by inertia, unless they have a horizontal hinge. But then - they still will move a while instead of stopping so rapidly.

Also, disabling the engine should be much easier than stopping/destroying the rotors. The engines are a fairly complex piece of machinery with many weak parts, while the gearbox is basically a big tight piece of metal. Rotor blades are also very tough (as they basically need to take a 10+ times the weight of the chopper of tension), so they are hard to break by shrapnel. Hence, it's much more likely to have the helicopter lose power, than having it totally "fall out of the sky". As pointed out above, multiple Youtube videos confirm that...

tyl3r99 added a subscriber: tyl3r99.May 7 2016, 2:56 PM

upvoted the helicopters or missiles do too much damage or they cannot take any hits without crashing and dying...

i would expect tail rotor loss when hit from behind etc..

Helicopter have reverse rotation which makes the safer than planes when disabled.

Right now when a missle hits, the chopper which still looks intact plummets to the ground.

Also would the helicopter have a system to disconnect the rotors from the engine so the engine does not stop the rotors from spinning in an emergency?

Have you tried the dev build? Autorotation was fixed.

The rotor cannot stop instantly like it does now when hit by rockets .

Actually i believe the true effect is yet to be added in game because if a rocket does hit the rotor , the blades will break off , the rotor will continue to spin but without the blades the helicopter will go down like we see in game.

The problem is that the current animation shows the helicopter falling with the rotor stopped and the rotor blades on.

Maybe they could add a nice rotor blade break off effect and show the blades spin half broken or cut off .

Also stability comes to mind if lets say the helicopter remains flyable but with a single blade broken or cut off completely.

Unknown Object (User) added a subscriber: Unknown Object (User).May 7 2016, 2:56 PM
Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Jul 26 2013, 5:15 AM

agree, and i would also like to see somehow remaking the idea of MGS1 of making a super strong chopper with 3 hitpoints that deal same damage, and the chopper being able to stand up to 20 stinger missiles.

Why a MGS mod? because i think ArmA is perfect for a MGS mod, but i am drifting off topic

Making like the MGS mod doesn't seem like the most realistic approach, it's a mod for a reason so that people who want that can have it.

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Jul 26 2013, 6:44 PM

never said it would have to be realistic, but being able to change outfits and with underwater dimension its possible

Perhaps it's more so that the damage of the AA missiles needs to be toned down, that way it would damage other parts of the chopper and not the main rotor or the engine itself. I'm still waiting for a scenario where my tail rotor gets hit by a missile and I have to control my helo as I spin out of control while being pelted by small arms fire.

Bohemia added a subscriber: Bohemia.May 7 2016, 2:56 PM Don't under estimate AA, this is from an SA-7 (shoulder launched missile) One of the problems however is that Arma has always treated helicopter engines as a single entity, rather than two separate engines.

So when you lose one engine to the red, they both cut out, which goes directly against the design philosophy of having multiple engines.

The current issue isn't that we don't have autorotation, we do. The main issue is that the blades INSTANTLY lock when you're hit for some reason... In arma 2, if you lose your mrot/eng, you'll still have enough spin to perform an autorotation.

Devs, plz fix :D

What of they also add engine1 and engine2 like tracked vehicles have track1 and track2.

Depends on what problem it is to rectify. If by a missile hit it allows you to limp away then yeah that would fix it and be more authentic.

If it pertains to what King Scuba mentions about however then no I'm afraid not.

Rotor shafts are pushed by the transmission with power from the engines yes, but they can also move independant of the rotor, this is why we have a rotor brake, because even normal winds on ground with no engines on are capable of spinning the rotors.

XiviD added a subscriber: XiviD.May 7 2016, 2:56 PM
XiviD added a comment.Jul 31 2013, 2:13 PM

YES! Vote up!

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Jul 31 2013, 3:59 PM

BIS is not gona add new important simulation features because they are, either too greedy, or too lazy

The whole two engines simulation could be awesome, but honestly Id be just about satisfied if they would just return A2`s heli damage model.

Also, with just the engine being destroyed, not the rotor, it allows opportunity for players to crash land via Autorotation:

It should only be after sustained fire to the Main Rotor or by an unlucky hit to the rotor by a well placed impact of the AA missile that it should just stop spinning, or better, spin at a slower speed (become less effective after more and more damage to it) As a quick fix, you could just increase the reliability and health of the Main Rotor...

I agree with Georgeasaurausrex. I tested this last night with the latest dev build. This issue is still not resolved. It's extremely unrealistic to have the rotor immediately stop when impacted by something. No matter if the engines are damaged or not. They rotors have mass and Newton's first law applies. The rotors will remain in motion and you should be allowed to reduce collective to build rotor RPM as you are falling out of the sky to utilize that rotor speed to cushion your crash or "auto-rotate" if you will. The only scenario that I can think of to cause this issue is transmission seizure.

Depending on the hitpoint, if the rotor is hit...

It is not depending on if the rotors are hit or not. They wil still continue to spin no matter what unless the rotor blades completely shear off. Even if they do shear completely off, the rotor heads will still continue to spin even without rotor blades.

I was meaning the rotor heads, if it's the rotor blades the heli will turn.

yes and hitboxes for fuel tanks which will cause massive explosion

Most military aircraft have a ballistic self sealing fuel cell to prevent fuel leakage and explosions. They protect up to a .50 caliber round.

But with a AA missile...

yea most helis have a number of fuel tanks around the heli like u said self sealing but im talking about getting hit with AA in a fuel tank

that will = explode

Dont think I ever saw a heli exploding mid air in A3


No! Fuel tanks dont explode. They burn. Vehicles never explode. There is no instance of this ever happening. What they do do is rupture the fuel tank and the hot hydrocarbon gas ignites mid air and looks like a large fire ball. But it is NOT an explosion.

yeah ur right the fuel will light up but not explode since pressure will be released before ignition

yes thats what i want, burning fuel on helis when they are shot with AA

Until this issue is fixed, you won't see any helicopters explode midair because the drop to the ground as soon as they are hit. You don't have the chance to cause enough damage.

ya dude i updated already but i doubt BI will do anything as this requires them to redo their heli hitboxes and health system which they havent done in 12 years

nevermind the fact that most mil helicopters employ titanium protection systems to ensure their vital systems and rotorblades are resistant to fire up to 50 calibre, which isnt implemented ingame

We have fiberglass rotor blades that have a titanium leading edge and ceramic armor that protects our engines and flight controls. You have to consider strength/protection versus weight/power available.

Guys guys guys, don't get too complex with the dual engine thing and the burning fuel tank, BiS won't EVER do that for Arma 3. We should focus on getting the issue with the helicopter completely dropping out of the sky after an AA hit. The rotors are a LOT stronger than that...
Edit: Added last sentence

Exactly. So rotor collisions should be disabled OR make it so AA can't disable the rotors.

Peter added a subscriber: Peter.May 7 2016, 2:56 PM
Peter added a comment.Aug 31 2013, 5:03 AM

When a helicopter get hit with a weapon that shut down or incapacite enginenes or flight controls the helicopter will go to the ground with his rotors spinning. The only chance to see a rotor stoped is in the ground with the helicopter grounded or destroyed. Is impossible that a main rotor could stops in middair due tu the rotating forces involved.

Unless the missle hits in such a way the rotors would be destroyed (even then the remaining parts of the rotors would spin), the rotors should spin for autorotation.

AA shouldn't damage every part of the helicopter as a single rocket.

Cypher added a subscriber: Cypher.May 7 2016, 2:56 PM

All valid points. Rotors should remain spinning so the pilot may attempt an auto rotation. BI - care to weigh in? And maybe assign this to be fixed instead of just being "reviewed".

gonza added a comment.Sep 2 2013, 1:03 PM

You can see it in that last Community Guide: Snipers and Launchers by Dslyecxi
you can see it at 7:25, 7:37 and 7:46 every-time when an chopper is hit by a missile .

Really unrealistic, a rotor cant stop immediately like that. (physically impossible)
why don't just stop the engine.

That is a pity because it is really awful for now but it was nice on ARMA 2.

After some testing in this editor, everytime I've used the AH99 Blackfoot and have been hit by a missile, my rotors have come to a complete stop. This issue is NOT fixed.

hladas added a subscriber: hladas.May 7 2016, 2:56 PM
hladas added a comment.Sep 9 2013, 2:00 PM

fixed rev 109918

Thank you hladas, I'll try to confirm the fix tonight.

MadDogX added a subscriber: MadDogX.May 7 2016, 2:56 PM

No you won't. The current dev branch build is 109909. ;)

You'll have to wait until tomorrow.

So, can anyone confirm the fix? :)

Tested. Here are the results:

Helicopters cannot be blown up by AA missiles while in the air. At all. Even 2-3 missiles has apparently no chance of killing anyone inside nor of causing an explosion.

The good news is: You can safely land when hit with AA, so can the AI. Even if you are at 500m it is really easy to autorotate down (I had no training it doing so and I did it on my first try)

Note that the heli *is* destroyed, all components are red. But the rotor is not actually destroyed and the occupants seem unharmed even by 2 missiles.

New bug: The littlebird variants rotor disappears but continues to fly as if it is still there.

While we technically got what we want I think what most Arma players are looking for is unpredictability. Right now if you are hit, you WILL survive. You just wont have a heli anymore.

Development suggestion for astaroth: Make the explosion radius on the AA missiles smaller, right now it seems to encompass the whole helicopter and destroy all components. If the radius were smaller, and the damage lower (slightly), then the actual place where the missile hits would affect what happens following. If it hits the cockpit, the pilots are killed, if it hits the tail rotor, just that is blow apart, if it hits the side, it will likely kill passengers and damage or destroy the engine. Another major concern is that of auto rotation. How am I to fear having my engine blown apart if I, a totally novice pilot, can survive a fall from 500m? All I had to do was tilt the rotor back so that my forward and down speed turned the rotors fasters, before hitting the ground I actually started to ascend again.

@ ataraxic89, good assessment and suggestions. I recommend that you create a new ticket for the little bird rotors.

Pleased to see this issue finally being addressed and coming to a near complete fix, but as suggested above, there should be an element of unpredictability. The AA should be able to destroy the rotors every once in a while, not everytime as it was previously and not like it is now where it doesn't destroy it at all. Overall, glad with the progress. Thank you for your time.

I tested this today with the MH-9 multiple times. The main rotor blades and rotor head do disappear after hit for a second time.

I think this is realistic that most lock on rockets make it drop from the sky. Destroying the main rotor makes it do that, rockets lock on to engines, located at the base of the main rotor so most successful missile hits should critically damage the rotor that way.

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Oct 9 2013, 4:07 AM

Frank, missiles are shot from below, rotors are above, and even if somehow the rotors are COMPLETELY destroyed then the momentum would avoid it make it fall like a rock

@FrankDaTank1218: Yes, it is realistic, provided the rotors are actually hit directly and blown off, and other physics constraints are respected.

As it was at the moment the ticket was created, the rotors were instantly stopped (unrealistic) with 100% probability (unrealistic), resulting in the helicopter instantly losing its momentum and falling into the ground almost vertically (WTF-level unrealistic).

I agree that sometimes "dropping" indeed is realistic, but not the way it was.

@all - rockets do not lock on, some missiles have the capability. Most missiles that are capable of locking onto heat signatures, do so by focusing on the heat signature provided my the engine's EXHAUST (where the heat signature is the greatest since the combusted fuel exits the engine). In most cases, the exhaust is a few meters away from the main rotor head. I see almost ZERO peobability of shrapnel from an RPG or "heat seeking" missile that contacts the vicinity of the exhaust causing catastrophic damage to the main rotor head. It piercing through a few rotor blades is possible, which in most cases will allow the pilot to somewhat attempt a landing. The only probability that I could see a rotor head being completely destroyed is a direct hit. Even then, schrapnel piercing through almost a solid inch of solid steel or titanium is unlikely. I speak from experience, over 12 years as a helicopter mechanic/crew chief.

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Oct 19 2013, 3:17 AM

Thank you dennis, i hope BIS open their eyes and actually look after people with military experience when making war sims instead of using their instincts

I agree, listen to the experts on this issue.

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Oct 19 2013, 7:03 AM

so sad than looking at past BIS dev records its likely that they will do the cheap thing (i blame them for running out of resources after developing 4 games at the same time being a small indie dev company)

The Devs are more than welcome to contact me and I'd gladly provide technical advice.

As a helicopter pilot, I can tell you that there are two methods of AA systems: Those that target engines, and those that target pilots. If the engines are killed, many helicopters, if they are flying in the correct envelope, are able to either land on one engine, or land without any, it's called autorotation and is where helicopters can "glide" by storing kinetic energy in their rotors. It's dangerous as hell, but works.

The second method where the pilot is killed is preferable, because without pilot input, the aircraft crashes. Total Main Rotor seperation/destruction is actually insanely rare in helicopters, as their is a great deal of metal between the main rotor and A/A paths which protects the blades, while sacrificing power-providing/distributing components.

I concur with Worldsprayer. I would like to add that I've also noticed that ARMA treats the helicopters as if they are single engine aircraft, when in fact, they should still be able to fly after losing one engine. Provided they are still within single engine parameters. Meaning that they aren't too heavy.

I think we can consider the original bug fixed.

I suggest that for the sake of the rare possibility of the rotor actually be blown away completely, you should open a feature ticket.

I think that he general consensus here is that the rotors shouldn't stop or be blown away at all. But I do agree that a new ticket should be opened to address this new issue.

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Oct 20 2013, 8:44 PM

Fireball, this ticket while "fixed" still has problems, the helicopter effect when being hit by an AA its still wrong

@Dr_Death: Can we get a new (bug) ticket please?

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Oct 22 2013, 3:59 AM

i am not even gonna bother in making one until BIS add a more realistic flight phyiscs, like the TOH ones, WICH AS I REMEMBER WE WERE PROMISED WE WOULD HAVE THEM.......

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