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I would like to talk about new "big thing" that came to experimental version (for now) of the Arma Reforger which is: helicopters.


I think we all can agree that air support (generaly) will change a lot about in game experience and that's why I think we should take this topic very seriously. All of this to make sure that flying in Arma Reforger (we only know about helicopters) and especially in Arma 4 (propably helis and planes) is going to be as satisfying and realistic as possible. 

I want to talk about helicopters and yes it's because I love using them in Arma games. I know that ther's a lot of people like me and they love becoming heli pilots in game. I'm also sure that using this machines is going to be a very important aspect of the gameplay even more than planes because on smaller maps close air support, transporting troops to direct locations, CSAR makes them much more reasonable to use. I'm 22. I dont have any true experience, I'm not a pilot. I work as a beginner aircraftsman on helicopters and aviation is my greatest interest. 

After some time testing and flying around in Arma Reforger experimental I just want to present my thoughts and start conversation about changes, fixes and future development of helicopters in Arma games.


I. Smaller things:

   1. Animations

- Fixing mi-8 rudder pedals animation (they don't move).

   2. Lights and lighting

- Helipad lights and NAV lights are not casting any light on nearby objects (small thing but small visual are making much greater image);

- Anti colision lights are too strong in the dark conditions and in case of huey they are creating weird red mist effect inside the helicopter;

- Adding more diversity in dome ligts (green and red) for night stalker operations;

- In the future possibility to set controls for steering search light.

   3. Doors

- Adding possibility to open and close the aft cabin sliding doors and gunner doors/window, during flight;

- In the future armed passengers could shoot throuh them if needed;

- If opened, aft cabin doors would provide faster get in and out animations for troops (very helpful with hot landing zone scenarios);

- Doors and gunner windows openable only from passengers seats (If as a lonely pilot you want to use faster in/out you need to think about it earlier 🙂 );

- In case of helicopters like mi-8, removable (only on the ground) back cargo doors like in real life. It would provide aditional slot for faster get in/out and of course rapeling;

- Possibility to lean out from gunner window/doors to have a better view around and in some cases help pilots seeying threat or obstacles.

   4. Rapeling

- Option available for passengers only when doors/cargo doors are opened and in certain height range above the ground.

   5. Main rotor effects on foliage

-  Adding noticeable main rotor effect on grass, bushes and trees (dust and leaves effect looks super cool but hovering above the trees and grass makes them going wild). It would for example help another aircraft pilot spot helicopter hovering above the trees.

   6. Helicopter variants

- Adding medevac variants of helicopters (they would work like car ambulance but flying)

   7. Transorting vehicles and supplies

- Inside big transport helicopters or using ropes like in Arma 3.

   8. Controllers support

- Joystick, pedals, etc...


II. Bigger things:

   1. Helicopter crashing and survivability

This topic is very wide and difficult to cover but it is one of the most important in case of helis. We all remember how junky it was in Arma 3. Clipping through, sudden explosions, hypersesitivity to just scratching trees or lanterns during flight. As soon as I checked basic things about Arma Reforger helicopters I started... crashing. At first i was impressed how it looks and in deed it is much better than it was in Arma 3 but longer I was trying different scenerios more and more problems started showing up. This is what I observed and what I (personally) think it should look like:


- PROBLEM: Main and tail rotor are strong but a little too much. At first I was impressed when i hovered next to a trees and started slowly immerse main or tail rotor in them. It was staying in a good shape as in real life when you touch leaves with spinning blades just a little but going deeper and deeper changed nothing. I could hover with rotor hiting tree trunk for so long and still... nothing. After some time helicopter just started bouncing through the trees and finally blades snapped. At first I thought that it works like this only with vegetation but same is for "hard objects" like buildings and metal poles. You can touch them with spinning main and tail rotor during hover and it won't screw them up, same for water, immersing rotor in water is perfectly safe. My next idea was to start hiting all of this objects with some momentum (speed) and it was the case. If you hit trees, buildings or poles only with certain speed with your blades it will brake them. BUT that's not how it works in real life.


SOLUTION: Divide objects to "soft" and "hard". Soft for trees and hard for buildings, poles, ground, vehicles, etc...


During hover you can touch trees with tip of your blades for 20 seconds, with half of main rotor radius for 5 seconds and helicopter starts shaking, more than half of main rotor radius makes it snap after 2 seconds. Same for tail rotor but 5 seconds for the tip and instant if more than that because tail rotor is much more sensitive. When touching, directional leaves emitter and hitting sound.


During hover if you touch hard objecst like buildings, poles, rocks and ground main rotor brakes after 2 seconds, tail rotor instantly. Sparks or dirt directional emitter and hitting sound.


During flight, mechanics should be the same in case of trees and vegetation (soft objects) because blades are hiting with almost the same momentum (reatreating blades are even slower during flight than during hover). That's why best solution is to leave it the same remebering that in both cases (hovering and flying) time adds up. It means that if you touch tree with your blade tips for 5 seconds, you now have only 15 seconds left because it is damaged. It would be cool if it would also affect the flight model (shaking) forcing you to land and fix helicopter. POWER LINES TAKE EQUVIVALENT OF 5 SECONDS TIP DAMAGE FOR EACH CABLE (If you fly through one slightly dameged rotor, if four, you lose it).


During flight, hiting hard objects with your main and tail rotor, like buildings, poles, rocks means instant rotor fall of.


Slightly touching water with rotor blades breaks it after 2 seconds (tail rotor immediately) Water driectional splash effect and klapping sound.


PROBLEM: If you hit an object with your main rotor during flight it stops helicopter to 0 and makes it free fall.


SOLUTION: When fying, helicoper fuselage depending on speed and mass has some momentum. Hiting objects with blades and destroying them shouldn't make it stop but fly further and hit the ground.


PROBLEM: Leading helicopter to explosion is too random. I strarted droping helicopters from castle tower and make them free fall. At the same time I was observing each one's health bar. Ther's a big difference betwen mi-8 and huey explosion resistance. I know that mi-8 is heavier but I think the disprity is too big. Sometimes when I let helicopter free fall from tower it exploded immediately but next time falling the same way didn't take even 1% of health. Same during flight. I flew in trees with huey, rotor snaped and that's all. Did the same thing (same speed) with mi-8 instant explosion and death. Sometimes you hit the ground so hard and everything is fine but in other scenario you hit "soft" object and it means blowing up.


SOLUTION: Divide helicopter to 4 parts (main fuselage, tail, main rotor, tail rotor) survavibility of main and tail rotors is already described.


Main fuselage and whole tail have separate health bar.


Tail is much more sensitive


Hiting objects with them takes some health and it depends on:

- What object each part hit (soft for trees and vegetation and hard for everything else) Hiting soft takes much less damage;

- How strong each part hit (speed/momentum)

- At what angle each part hit but using ranges, for example form 0° to 30°, 30° to 90° and 90° to 180° (it doesn't matter with trees because it's to hard to define). ALL OF THIS VALUES ARE MEASURED FROM FIRST POINT OF TOUCH.


If you hit with your tail and it loses health first it falls off


If main fuselage loses health it explodes.


Bigger helicopters are losing a little more health because of their mass but only a little (almost unnoticeable).


Depending on what weapons you use ageinst helicopter they are damaging each part too.


At the end we should get more predictable crashing model where certain speed, angle and object type determines how much damage we get. It means flying with high speeds in to the trees means bouncing from 4 to 5 and explosion, flying with low speeds in buildings makes you lose your rotor but helicopter bounces a few times and you can survive. It would be also awesome to get smoke effect if helicopter is more and more damaged and some damage model (scratches or bullet holes). I also love the new idea of getting killed, unconscious or deafened just because of hard hit (not explosion) and i think devs should develop it further.


In the future it would be nice to see better, more advanced flight model addons like in Arma 3 (doing it in a cooperation with DCS World devs is wet dream) and possibility to set it on servers if someone wants. Many of this things can be used later with planes and take the flying experience in our beloved milsim game series to the next level. It would give us, maniacs, ground to crate unforgettable moments in the best large scale warfare simulator. I know that it is simple to talk what "I want" but I hope many of you will approve my ideas. This (too long 😀) text is primarily guided to devs, I don't know if this is the right place to do it, and of course to all players. BI workers did already so much for us but unfortunatelly we want more 😀 Hope we all can discuss here the future of flying in Arma 4.


Greetings from Poland!





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Good post. I agree with all of this and look forward to seeing helicopters evolve in Reforger. 

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Yeah in SOG prarire fire its neat being able to also slingload supplies/ cargo   That being said Uh1H is a incredibly lightweight.  Realistically It wouldn't be able to haul vehicle besides a Jeep or a UAZ. if memory serves its max external load capacity is 5000 pounds. A M998 humvee weight 5200 pounds. So even the lightest humvee is too heavy. 


mi8 is a medium tier helicopter that can carry like 8800 pounds. But a BTR is still way heavier then that. In any case the US team would need to have a Uh60 blackhawk  to have something within the same class of lift capacity. For the truly heavy duty lifts you really need something in the class of the ch47 chinook, but even then actual main battle tanks are too heavy, and even most IFVS or apcs. maybe some lighter APC's like M113 or a Lav25.



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I just tried the helicopters in the game, they inverted the mouse controls, not all the mouse controls, just the forward, and backwards cyclic.


Who does that? Who inverts only two of the controls? No rational human being would invert the controls, and not give you an option to not have them inverted. 

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What you on about? They are normal on my machine.

Are you sure someone did not prank you at home?

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On 11/17/2023 at 12:48 AM, razor6014 said:

What you on about? They are normal on my machine.

Are you sure someone did not prank you at home?


When you push the mouse forward (move the mouse further from you), the nose of the helicopter moves down?


The WASD keys work correctly, it's the mouse forward, and back that are inverted for me. 


Someone on Steam said they have the same issue, so either there is a bug that some are experiencing, or you are misunderstanding what I'm saying. 

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For me both w and mouse forward put the nose down same as any flighsim and same as an acutual helicopter. As when your nose is down you then go forward.

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