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As part of our Community Charter, we provide full disclosure at FSElite.
Milviz UH-1 Redux was provided free of charge to FSElite for the purpose of reviewing for the community.
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The year was 1962, we were doing The Twist, and the world was watching as President Kennedy lead the United States in the worsening Vietnam war. The Army’s 101st Airborne Division in Fort Campbell, KY took delivery of what was then designated as the HU-1A. This Bell turbine-single engine helicopter was meant for evaluation only. Despite this, the Army quickly re-designated it the UH-1A and deployed nearly 7,000 to Vietnam.
Of course, we now know them as the ‘Huey’ (a nickname from the original HU designation) family of helicopters. The Huey defined helicopter for most people, known for the distinctive thumping noise made by the rotor disk. Unfortunately, the Huey has gained infamy as a symbol of US involvement in southeast Asia. Young men with very little training flew the platform into battles supporting ground troops and giving ‘magic carpet rides’. This often lead to disastrous results. The combined armed forces, and Air America, lost over 5,000 of the aircraft.
Today the platform is still highly used, with over 16,000 aircraft built. Does the Milviz Simulation “Redux” of their now 7-year-old UH-1C/H live up to its real-world counterpart?
Instillation was painless, and we boot into the MVAMS (Milviz Aircraft Management System). This allows us to easily configure the armament and aircraft. The MVAMS even enables virtual cockpit integration with most of the popular 3rd party GPS/FMS plugins.
The UH-1C/Bell 204 was developed as a gunship for use until the AH-1G Cobra was available. It boasted a more powerful engine, at 1,100shp, and a larger cord blade design. This aircraft can be outfitted with 2 7.62 miniguns, and rockets. The UH-1H/Bell 205 brings with it a 1,400shp engine, twin mike-60 door guns, and a larger fuselage.
The model and textures do truly look great. Included are multiple paint jobs for aircraft operated by private and military outfits around the world. A couple quick clicks allows us to customize the crew members and doors to suit our mission.
Time to start the engine! Unfortunately, the next hour left a bad taste in my mouth. The first issue I have is a big one for me. The throttle doesn’t work at all really. Unlike almost every other FSX helicopter with a throttle on the collective, this helicopter’s throttle cannot be controlled with the ‘prop’ axis assignment. Furthermore, the idle catch release will shut the engine off regardless of the actual throttle position. This implementation is just confusing to me, why go against industry standard?
The entirety of engine and systems start up, operation, and shutdown, have been simplified greatly. The flight dynamics follow this same pattern, being more stable and easier to fly than a helicopter would normally be. I can only assume they did this to make the aircraft more approachable to novice helicopter pilots. You decide if that’s your cup of tea, just don’t expect a ‘study’ level simulation like with some other payware.
With that in mind, it is a joy to fly. Thanks to the simplified flight dynamics, I felt totally at home within a few hours. RMI’s being the main means of navigation, instrument flying is an interesting challenge. Force trim worked surprisingly well. The problem with it is, when you’re adjusting the center position of the cyclic, no one passes the message on to our joystick. This is a problem of any aircraft simulation’s trim though. The simulation of VRS is terrifying to find by accident. Autorotation isn’t here nor there.
Weapons deployment is the real USP on this add-on. Both the twin 7.62 miniguns and the rocket pods are pilot operated on the UH-1C. For this feature, Vertical Reality Simulation’s TacPac is required. For anyone not yet familiar, TacPac is a platform that simulates weapon deployments in air to ground, ground to air, and air to air battles.
Time to fire up FSX@WAR, a freeware theater editor for TacPac, and go to town. I had limited success with the rocket pods. But when they worked things went up in flames quickly. The miniguns are quite fun as well. In a half hour or so at the range I was unable to find a limit to the ammo in them.