Improving Helicopter Realism

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This page is meant to maintain a list of feature requests that are directly related to improving the realism of helicopters (rotorcraft) flight in FlightGear. It is largely based on Feature Requests / Proposals / Ideas and FGFS Todo. Currently, this is work in progress, so your help in populating this page is appreciated.

Physics of Helicopter flight

YASim does a pretty good job for helicopter realism in FlightGear. What is implemented is very accurate so far, but there are a few things not yet implemented or fully simulated. Missing features are listed below:

Vortex Ring State Vortex Ring on en wiki

LTE, not fully simulated due to missing Main-rotor vortex: LTE on wiki


A separate throttle control, and a governor which can be turned off and on

  • To simulate emergencies such as loss of engine power better
  • To practice manual throttle control

Engine support from YASim


Rotor damage from

  • Exceeding VNE
  • Exceeding maximum rotor RPM
  • Over pitching and excessive coneing

Engine/Transmission, damage/failure from

  • Using excessive power (over torquing on a turbine helicopter, exceeding max MAP in a piston powered helicopter)
  • Exceeding max engine RPM

Known issues still to fix

Sliding over Ground- this is an issue not yet solved which makes helicopters slides over the ground even with stopped engines.

Rotor blades seem to flex in the opposite direction while not moving at high altitude airports, 5000' and up its pretty obvious, does this on all helicopters I've tried.