Review: DCS Mi-24P Hind-F by Eagle Dynamics
Updated: Oct 20, 2021
If there is one helicopter that has captured my imagination ever since I was a child, it has to be the Mi-24. From movies to video games and even in-person, I have always had the Hind in mind. Now, after years of development, Eagle Dynamics has finally released their Mi-24P Hind module to DCS; allowing us to have the highest fidelity simulation of this aircraft to date!
Since it is still very early in its early access (EA) period, not everything is set in stone when it comes to 3D assets, audio, systems, etc. Therefore, this article will be kept up to date as updates arrive to the module.
I will divide this article in several areas, as per usual, to make it easier for you to go to the parts that interest you the most. This is so you can judge this module for yourself and decide if it is a fit for your own flying style.
External and internal 3D models
Ease of use and learning curve
The state of ED's Early Access products
Is this aircraft for you?
EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL 3D MODELS
The Hind-F is the latest module by Eagle Dynamics, so it is natural that it has one of the prettiest and most detailed 3D models currently in-game. The level of detail reaches levels of absurdity in some areas, it is outright gorgeous.
From the rivets on the outer fuselage and the way that they have depth, to the internal turbine model that is only visible from certain angles; it is clear that a hundreds upon hundreds of hours were spent recreating the Hind to the highest level of detail possible. It boggles my mind how such a detailed model does not tank my PC's frames like some other aircraft have done in the past. It must mean that it has also been highly optimized, which is a feat in and out of itself. (Example of what I said here on the gallery above).
It is in areas like the rotor that you can clearly see how detailed the model really is. Every single mobile part has been painstakingly detailed and animated. It is hard to see when it is rotating, but the texture work is also sublime. I love it.
The external model might be gorgeous, but what you will be staring at the most is the cockpit. In this regard, the cockpit model has nothing to envy from the external model. The cockpit is bathed in the all too familiar Soviet teal-like blue. Every switch and button has been animated and textured in great detail. Metal textures look realistic and gauges feel alive. It feels like you are not flying a brand new Hind, but one that has been slightly weathered with time. even the leather on the seats and on the canopy frame looks fairly realistic! Cockpit lighting is just...beautiful. There is no other way to describe it. Here I will leave all the pictures that I have taken of the cockpit so you can see everything that I have said so far:
The most striking part of the effects is what appears to be the application of the new propeller technology to both main and tail rotors. It is the most convincing rotor effect I have seen in a simulator until now. At night you can actually see the halo emitted by the tip lights much more clearer than with other helicopters. This is great stuff, I tell you. You can see the halo effect which I talk about here on the Armament section of this article.
External lights look much different than in other modules. Gone are the floating balls of light and in are the more realistic looking navigation lights. Here, have a look:
Audio-wise, the Hind also makes itself known. Seriously, you will hear this beast approaching you. The multi-layered external audio design gives this bird a distinctly unique sounding engine and rotor sound from different angles. This has been applied on multiple modules over the years so this tech is nothing new. But its implementation here is excellent. I leave you with a recording so you can hear a bit of this design for yourself. VOLUME WARINING. Fly-by at maximum IAS (330 Km/h)
Just like the last time I talked about a helicopter flight model, I will state the following: I would like to clarify that I am mostly a fixed wing pilot. Most of my thousands of hours of flight sim experience have been with all sorts of fixed wing aircraft, not with rotary wing. I do not know the exact number of hours I have spent on rotary wing aircraft on both XPlane11 or FS2004, but I know it is not enough to say that I am deeply knowledgeable on how helicopters behave inside flight simulators but I can defend myself with them.
So my opinion in this category is one that comes from a more amateur side, unlike my fixed wing reviews. I will not be judging its realism either as I have never flown a helicopter in real life, and the only "real" helicopters I have flown are mini-coaxial RC helicopters as a child. My experience with helicopters has expanded since I said this, but I still stand by this.