Poylchop Simulations has announced that they have secured a license from Bell Textron Helicopters to build a simulation of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior and that they intend to bring that module to DCS World. Let’s have a look at the announcement and reaction to this announcement.
Polychop’s new helicopter
Today, after some teasing last week, Polychop announced that they have been working for two years on a simulation of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior with intention to bring that helicopter to DCS World. Today’s statement was a serious step forward for that project with the announcement that Bell Textron has licensed them to do this and will be signing off on key parts of the project.
Here’s part of the statement:
Polychop is proud to reveal to you the module we’ve been working on for the past two years, the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. Licensed by Bell Textron and with the input and feedback from many very dedicated subject matter experts from the Kiowa community, we think the OH-58D module will be on par with the other high-end helicopter modules currently available in DCS World.
It’s an ambitious project for the group particularly as the community has had some serious reservations about their prior project – the DCS: SA342M Gazelle. As many of you noted in the comments here on Stormbirds.blog and from around the community, the Gazelle has some serious deficiencies with the way that its flight model works as well as with bugs and missing multi-crew features for that helicopter module.
It is with some skepticism that the community has approached the new announcement and Polychop has done their best to address this as well:
Learning from the past and including subject matter expert input and testing right from the start, countless hours have been spent at coding a new and true to life flight model to a point where we can honestly say we’re proud of the result. We don’t take that statement lightly as we know the flight model of our previous module did not live up to expectations. That said, the SA-342 Gazelle module will be updated in time with the new technology developed for the Kiowa. The same amount of time has been spent on meticulously coding the implementation of all the systems, devices and weaponry available to the Kiowa’s crew.
That statement along with the prior announcement that Polychop had hired another developer with the sole purpose of bringing the SA342 up to speed will hopefully allay at least some concerns. Still, I fully understand that people will want to see Polychop live up to their stated ambitions with that project as well as with this new project as they forge ahead.
Addressing past concerns carefully while building their new module will be the critical balance that Polychop will need to find as they push forward.
Contract negotiations still on-going
There is some uncertainty around this project as well. In the announcement, the statement is made that Polychop has an agreement that they and their license partner Bell Textron are happy with but have not yet signed with Eagle Dynamics. Rather, they are in a place where they think it will be signed.
With multiple parties involved and no signed contract we could not share as much information with the community as we would have liked. We have to point out that at this moment, no contract has been signed yet but the latest draft is one we think all parties can agree to. With a contract on the table that is acceptable for all parties involved, the time has come for us to share with you the status of development.
The announcement today therefore does feel a little premature. I hope that things are as smooth as the announcement suggests and that Polychop will be moving ahead with this project as the Kiowa Warrior is quite an interesting helicopter.
The OH-58D is really quite interesting
I do hope that Polychop succeeds in their stated goal of bringing a high quality, high fidelity module to DCS World because the OH-58D is an excellent helicopter to bring to DCS World.
It combines scout with light attack capabilities using a unique mast mounted sight with a mixed glass cockpit to manage the suite of sensors that enable the OH-58D to engage targets with a .50cal machine gun, Hydra rockets, Hellfire missiles, and the ability to provide laser targeting and designation capabilities.
If my understanding is correct, the OH-58D would be able to fill a role in DCS World that doesn’t currently exist in helicopter form. The ability to lase targets for attacking aircraft such as the A-10C, AV-8B, F/A-18C, and F-16C all as examples would be a great ability to bring to the table. That the same helicopter could also provide its own striking power makes it even more versatile and therefore appealing.
Helisimmer.com has an exclusive video of the OH-58D in action. Check it out!