Helicopters How to?

Fair enough.

In that context, would piloting also be broken down to cover separate modes of air born transportation? Such as Blimp, Jet and Helicopter?

Also sorry for the second question, but are there any plans for air based threats or obstacles survivors in the sky will need to face?

Such as hulks lopping boulders at you or flying monstrosities?

Eventually this will be handled by the proficiency system, but in the short term, there should be different traits to enable different vehicles. So TRAINED_ROTORCRAFT_PILOT would let you fly helicopters, TRAINED_FIXEDWING_PILOT would let you fly normal planes, etc.

Piloting as a general skill to represent your ability to navigate and control any flying vehicle works fine, with proficiencies/traits to cover the stuff you really know.

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Can we really pilot helicopters in CDDA ? I’ve seen some Wreckage of flying vehicle, but that’s all.

I’ve been wondering how often they spawn. I’ve yet to see an intact one, and the wrecks don’t have functional rotors that I’ve found yet. The only ones I’ve messed with were debug test spawned copters.

EDIT: Looked at the old pull requests, looks like they have a rare chance to spawn at a regional airport (I’ve never SEEN a regional airport) for civilian models, and the military ones weren’t set to spawn anywhere. Don’t know what the current spawn rate is.


For discussion of spawn rates.

This is kind of off topic but in a near future scenario would it be feasible for an autopilot system be common in aircraft? Plot a course from A to B, at altitude X, and land straight down. With enough computer skill you could use some of the function without learning to pilot it per se

I don’t believe current real-world autopilots will handle take-off and landing, so it’s pretty unlikely.

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You’re not quite right about that. Modern Autopilots are capable of fully automated landing (although it is very rarely done) but there are NO automated take-offs.



Best regards :slight_smile:

I did not know about autolanding systems! But quoting from the wikipedia article: “[The need for decreasing error tolerance as the aircraft approaches the ground] imposes a requirement for the ground-based, guidance element to conform to specific standards, as well as the airborne elements. Thus, while an aircraft may be equipped with an autoland system, it will be totally unusable without the appropriate ground environment.”

So if you find a light plane with working autoland equipment (which is a step up from IFR equipment which isn’t guaranteed on light aircraft), and you find an airport with a powered guideslope indicator and runway localizer that are properly in alignment, then you might be able to use autoland.

Of course, since in this scenario you are presumably not an expert aviator who is highly trained to handle autoland fail-passive failures, there’s a good chance that your autoland will double-fault and turn off, leaving you to finish landing the aircraft yourself. Good luck with that.

For practical purposes, there are no working autoland systems after the Cataclysm, and even if there were, an inexperienced pilot has all kinds of ways to fail to take off successfully, most of which can result in a crash. Power on stalls are a thing, right? So autoland wouldn’t help that much, if it existed on light aircraft and if the ground elements were still working which they are not.

You are talking about autoland option developed specifically afaik for large passenger aircrafts. It seems to be true that they require support from the ground to operate. HOWEVER for small aircraft it seems that it is possible to do without any assistance from the ground.
It seems to be still in stage of trials and would require a lot of works before it will be available commercially - but it certainly looks to be doable. I believe that something that works but is still experimental in our world could have reasonably existed in Cataclysm world in developed version.

I’m not so convinced about that. Even if we assume that in a few years, autolanding for helicopters is an available, reliable feature in new helicopters, that isn’t likely to be backported onto existing airframes, especially when those pilots already know how to land.

As for how likely those airframes are to be replaced in any significant numbers in the near future, I cite the current size of the US commercial airfleet. I find it unlikely that we see a significant number of those aircraft replaced, and I find it unlikely that those replacements would be cutting edge aircraft, as opposed to old proven designs.

tldr we wouldn’t expect to see self landing helicopters in the CDDA timespan. Aftershock mod could probably go ham though.


Nope, the criteria is it needs to exist and be deployed commercially.

The design documents (i assume the main one plus this: https://cataclysmdda.org/technology.html) are a bit… unclear on that matter IMHO.
There is nothing (or I didn’t find it) about a tech being deployed commercially as a requirement. On the other hand what term is found, is “reasonable”. Whatever that exactly means is not explained.
On another topic the setting already accepts civilian technology that is more divergent from the real world than a more advanced autopilot. I assume the idea is not to add any more, but again this is imho all vague as presented in the documemts.

Anyway, thanks for clarification. You are the one to give official interpretations on “legal” issues around here after all. :wink:

To be clear: It doesn’t mean the autolanding should or could or would be added. I have no idea if and what would be ramification for the gameplay, if any.
I posted mostly to correct the mistake that autolanding is only possible with help from ground instruments and only for large passenger aircrafts.

All the points above are very valid but I still think that it wouldn’t be something out of place in at least some of the aircraft you would find in game. My imagining of it gameplay wise would be a way to substitute computer skill for piloting knowledge. You would program the onboard computer to climb to X altitude, which it would do, correcting for wind etc, then proceed to a given GPS coordinates and descend vertically at a very slow pace again. It’s not something that has been commercially deployed yet, but it wouldn’t be at all immersion breaking in some help models when we already have self-driving cars and rockets that can land rightside up on a landing pad IRL

A few remarks/comments about flying:

  • if you don’t fly a copter it crashes, helos are intrinsically unstable, you have to constantly use the commands to make it behave (some high ends helos may have auto something but I think this is not widespread)
  • on the contrary most planes are stable, they will continue flying straight and level if you let go of the commands (one instructor told me that one of his mil students had to eject from a plane not far from landing because of an engine failure but the plane landed alone anyway without breaking)
  • light planes don’t have autoland features, only some commercial planes and anyway it needs working and powered ground infrastructure that is not supposed to work anymore (no juice anywhere)
  • but light planes are somewhat easy to pilot (for my first flight lesson, I took off and landed a GA plane alone the first time I flew it only with my flight sim hours behind me), not a chance you can do that in an helo IMO
  • bad weather is normally a showstopper for flying
  • are GPS satelites supposed to be still working after the cataclysm? if yes, planes that are properly equiped could fly even in bad weather but it needs training
  • you may want to add planes that have chutes, a number of light planes now have a plane chute! if the engine dies, you pull the big red button and a chute deploys that ensures that the pilot and the plane reach the ground safely (or if you get lost in bad weather, you cut the engine and do the same).
  • cool vehicles to add would be autogyres (like in mad max 2), only needs some light engine and good carpentry and mechanics skills with a plan.

I’ve been waiting for helicopters for so long, I’m glad they are finally in the game. There are a few things I haven’t tested out yet, like if they can be suspended in the air with autopilot allowing the player to go in the back and craft or sleep, I also haven’t tested if an electric engine combined with enough solar power or fusion energy could keep it going without fuel. This would make for the perfect base, safe from everything on the ground for as long as you have the fuel/power. Going beyond and get a Prydwen style blimp that can dock vertibirds like in Fallout 4.


I can answer both of those questions: No (unless you’re referring to some fusion energy other than the sun, in which case it does not exist in vanilla).

The nuclear reactor isn’t vanilla?

That’s not a nuclear reactor, and and nuclear reactors aren’t fusion reactors.