DCS Mi-24P: The simple brilliance of Petrovich AI
To me, the Hind is the perfect helicopter for DCS. It is a jack-off all trades that can do basically any mission you throw at it. Be it long range infiltrations, anti-armor and even air interdiction against other helicopters. The Hind can do all of that and more, in the hands of a capable crew who knows how to manage its systems effectively in battle. But many of us do not have a friend who either owns the Hind or someone that is available every time we want to fly the Hind. That is where Petrovich AI comes into play. As many might already know, DCS now has many module-side AI companions that aid in the operation of aircraft that usually need a two man crew to operate. Petrovich is the AI companion offered by ED for the Hind. If we were to humanize him, you could say that he is the strong, silent type. I have always enjoyed using it allows me to even fly the damn thing in combat, since most of my friends fly fixed-wing exclusively. That means that I am usually the only weird flying helicopters, with the exception of only a couple of my buddies.
This feature really makes me like the Hind. All you need to control/communicate with Petrovich is a single 4-way hat switch or 4 buttons, whichever is more comfortable or available to you. It is kind of impressive that that is all you need, with the addition of head movements either from your head tracking software or a hat switch. From its menus you can set everything that would be in the front seat, such as your countermeasure program, your weapons, etc. It only takes a couple of flicks from your hat switch to be prepared for the battle ahead.
And when you are ready to pop open some tanks or take care of a pesky AAA, you will be using your head to direct Petrovich's sight onto the targets you want to hit. Then you will be selecting your targets with a very convenient pop-up menu, one which you also control with the same hat switch! It is that simplicity that always makes me come back to the Hind. The same thing applies to the Apache, to a lesser degree. I suppose I have a preference for the Hind's flight model and systems, but George is also a great example of this complexity made simple. If you have the chance, give the Hind a try and have a chat with Petrovich. He is a great listener, but don't expect much of a conversation. At least not until they implement his voice lines into the game at some point. Do remember that free trials are a thing for DCS Standalone, so there is no monetary commitment! About the writer: Santiago "Cubeboy" Cuberos Longtime aviation fanatic with particular preference towards military aviation and its history. Said interests date back to the early 2000's leading into his livelong dive into civil and combat flight simulators. He has been involved in a few communities but only started being active around the mid 2010's. Joined as a Spanish to English translator in 2017, he has been active as the co-founder and one of the main writers. Twitter | Discord: Cubeboy #9034