Miltech-5 BO-105 Preview
by Vito Caresimo & Carsten Gurk
Who is developing the BO-105 for DCS ?
The Bo 105 for DCS is being developed by Miltech-5 (formerly Polydynamics), a new studio that was recently officially added to the list 3rd party developers for DCS World. The man behind Miltech-5 is not an unknown to DCS helicopter pilots, it is Oliver Michel who was one of the developers of the outstanding Polychop SA342 Gazelle. After the break-up from Polychop Oliver created Polydynamics and subsequently Miltech-5.
We interviewed Oliver Michael as part of this BO-105 feature. Read our interview with the man himself and read more about Miltech-5 by clicking here.
What is the BO-105 helicopter?
Before we preview this exciting forthcoming helicopter for DCS, let us briefly explain a little about the helicopter itself. The abbreviation “Bo” denotes this is a design of the Bölkow, as post war pioneer in German helicopter development. The revolutionary Bo 105 was developed in 1967, before the merger of the important West-German aviation companies into MBB – Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm. MBB subsequently became Daimler Chrysler Aerospace (DASA) and then Deutsche Airbus, with the last Bo 105 samples being produced under the Eurocopter brand.
Above : Willy Messerschmitt
About the real BO-105?
The Bo 105 was a revolutionary design in several aspects. It was a light, twin-turbine helicopter and was the first helicopter to feature composite rotorblades and a hingeless rotorhead made from titanium. Thanks to this new rotorhead concept, the Bo 105 was the first fully aerobatic helicopter with several West-German Army pilots winning the freestyle aerobatic world championship titles. The amazing aerobatic capabilities of the Bo 105 can still be admired on airshows around the world thanks to the stunning display of a Bo 105 of the “Flying Bulls”.
But the Bo 105 did not only revolutionize the rotor design of helicopters, it was also leading the way for civil airborne emergency services in Germany. The nimble 105 paved the way for the “yellow angels” of the ADAC and also served as a civil medevac asset for the Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht and the German Department of Interior. A concept that was soon adopted by neighouring countries.
In the 1970s the Bo 105 was selected as the replacement of the Alouette II for the West-German Army Aviation branch, the Heeresflieger. It served in the liason and scouting role, but it is probably best known for it’s role as “PAH – Panzer Abwehr Hubschrauber” – literally tank defense helicopter, the version Miltech-5 now develops for us simmers in DCS World.
The helicopter was first introduced in the 1970s , the same decade which saw the introduction of many innovations like Email, the Voyager Space Probes, the Intel Microprocessor, the mobile phone as well as many many other amaazing inventions including me and Oliver Michael himself!
Above: some of the 1970s Inventions
The main production hub is Germany and Canada, around 1500 were built. The BO-105 was eventually replaced the by the Eurocopter EC135 and MBB/Kawasaki BK117. There are numerous variants of this helicopter. If you want to buy one they cost about $1.86 million dollars, so start saving! Operators of this helicopter are located all over the world on all major continents and play a part in many military air forces.
BO-105 Technical Specifications
Top Speed : 150mph (242km/h)
Range: 357 miles (575 KM)
Service Ceiling : 17000 ft
The DCS Module
This is work in progress and Miltech-5 have kindly allowed us to take a peek at the development of this truly exciting project. More and more cool features and details are being added all the time and we are sure by the way its going this will be one of the top helicopters for DCS and across all formats. The variants of this helicopter for the first release will be PAH1A1 and the VBH. HKP will also be available at a later date.
The DCS BO105 Cockpit
We loaded up DCS and were able to choose Instant action and Create Fast Mission. We sat eagerly waiting for the mission to load and we were not disappointed, there it was in all its awe and wonder the BO-105. Early days yet but the amount of detail is stunning, in fact by looking at the graphics you would think this is the final version. It looks awesome. The detail in the cockpit is out of this world, switches work, dials work. Miltech-5 really have done so much work already. As you can see from the cockpit screenshots below, the evidence of our article are there for you to see. Look how amazing it looks!
From the Outside
Well it looks real, high definition, textures perfect, rotor blades animation is authentic. Colours look good, reflections on the windscreen and the glare of the sun add to the realism. As you can see below, the animation of the rotor blades are also displayed in their full glory. The cockpit glass looks like real glass and you also get the glare in the cockpit view if you fly into the sunlight.
How does it fly?
It's early access yes, but the flight model is working well, weapons are operational as well. So much has been done already, if it looks like this now imagine what it will look like when it's finished! We have 2 PCS in our office one i7 with 32GB Ram, SSD and GTX980 in sli mode but we wanted to test it on a lower end system. Guess what it worked great. We used an Athlon FX8320 3.5GHX processor with 32GB Ram, Radeon HD7700 video card with a standard sata disk. In our tests we had no issues with running the BO105 module on this system,. Also it easily picked up the controller we were using. We use a Thrustmaster HOTAS and all the controls mapped correctly and worked with no issues. Take off was like most helicopters, slowly raising the collective with some rudder input to compensate the torque or the spin of the helicopter blades. In flight it seemed smooth and stable. We did attempt one of the characteristics of the BO105, the loop and we pulled it off!
The rigless rotor system has nasty side effects. You will always need to counter control when you initiate a control input. For example - When you raise the collective the helicopter rolls right upwards and when you push the collective down the helicopter rolls left downwards. The point to note here is that it is down to the speed you raise/pull the collective. This also applies to the forward speed. The faster you fly and the faster you "aggressivly" raise pull/the collective the faster is the roll/pull effect. It was a pleasure to fly this amazing machine. We tried it over different countries, Russia, China, UK and in different weather conditions too. At the moment even though it's at early stage you can already see that its going in the right direction. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute and we cant wait to get our hands on the final product.
Well , its a no brainer, from the screenshots below you can see for yourself, stunning, attention to detail, smooth, the 3D model has no sharp edges, textures look true to life and also have that weathering effect, animation of the rotor blades as already mentioned is flawless. No faults found with the graphics quality at all. It also comes with a co-pilot, who also has a name, Roie Gat and Roie was very professional, he looked the part and had all the right gear on wheras I turned up in my Lacoste t-shirt and trousers LOL, dont think he was too impressed...only kidding! The pilot addition is a nice touch and just adds to the authenticity of flying in a war zone.
The sounds of the rotor blades slicing through the air was plain to hear, the effect of being in the cockpit was modelled correctly. Outside the sounds changed to reflect that you were listening to a helicopter flying over from outside the helicopter itself.
What tools are being used to design the BO-105?
It's always interesting to know which tools are being used to design the helicopters you see in DCS, Miltech-5 use the best possible tools available. Autodesk 3DS Max is the ultimate tool for designing and animating of helicopter simulators. (click images to enlarge then click X in lower left to close image)
Adobe Photoshop and Substance Painter are also used for the textures in the design of the BO-105. Below are screenshots of various stages of the design.
PCHelicopters.com thanks Oliver Michel and Miltech-5 for allowing us to preview the BO-105. We have no doubt that this will be a huge success. If you want to keep up to date with the latest news on helicopter simulation then join our community on Facebook. Our members include major software developers of helicopter simulators, real life pilots and hundreds of enthusiasts. Click here to join the Helicopter Simulator Community.
Slideshow of the BO105 Project (click an image to enlarge)
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