Grand Theft Auto V

Little details Rockstar got wrong (and right) about aircraft

Content of the article: "Little details Rockstar got wrong (and right) about aircraft"

The wrongs

  • The Cargobob should be the fastest helicopter by a long margin. Dual rotor helicopters like CH-47s and Ka-50s suffer significantly less from retreating blade stall, and therefore achieve much higher top speeds than single-rotor "normal" helicopters.

  • All jet aircraft should be significantly faster than propeller aircraft (with the exception of the Nokota, which should be the fastest propeller aircraft) by a wide margin. There's absolutely no reason a Seabreeze (which in reality would top out somewhere around 240 knots) should be faster than a Luxor (which in reality should be able to easily pull 500 knots).

  • The Blimp, Xero Blimp, and Atomic Blimp should share the same controls as a submersible. Airships can't roll, and use yaw, pitch, and some form of buoyancy control to fly around almost identical in principle to a submarine.

  • The Maverick should be noticeably slower than most helicopters; having a twin blades implies it uses a relatively weak powerplant that is most efficient with only 2 blades.

  • Helicopters in real life do not "rev up" when ascending or "rev down" when descending. They perform these using collective pitch; if anything, a helicopter should slightly rev down when ascending, though most modern helicopters simply produce a constant RPM sound regardless.

  • Most aircraft should not "rev up" when descending quickly. In reality this only happens on old, aircraft with fixed-pitch propellers such as on a Duster, and this can be extremely dangerous to the engine.

  • The Duster should be much slower. As it is, it's easily capable of pulling 120 knots at altitude. A similar civilian biplane, the Polikarpov Po-2, has a top speed of 82 knots at sea level, and can take off at 40 knots.

  • The Ultralight should turn more when rolling. Hang gliders produce a lot of lift, and therefore can easily turn by just slightly rolling in one direction rather than playing the Ultralight's little game of "How hard can you turn without crashing?"

  • Some aircraft in this game look as if Rockstar saw a picture of the plane, decided "I want that!", and immediately started modeling it from that one image with no knowledge of aircraft design. The Starling, Pyro, Mogul, and some other aircraft have an extremely stubby nose compared to their IRL counterparts, and the Pyro (as well as other planes but this is the best example) has cartoony wings with both a rounded leading edge and trailing edge. The rear edge of a wing should be sharp, such as for example on the Cuban 800.

  • Almost any twin-engine aircraft should be able to maintain flight indefinitely on just one engine, though being a lot harder to keep in the air. This includes helicopters.

  • Helicopters should be able to roll and pitch without limits. You can even get some helicopter upside-down in real life, though not for long since you'll be dropping like a brick.

  • Some tailwheel aircraft (the Nokota for example) yaw around their center axis, rather than around their main wheel axis like the Duster or Mallars. This implies their main wheels turn as well.

  • Many helicopters should have moving control surfaces similar to airplanes. The Valkyrie and Annihilator for example.

  • Oppressor Mk 2.


The rights

  • All propellers, rotor blades, and torque rotors will kill you if you touch them, with the notable exception of the Frogger's fenestron torque rotor.

  • Airspeed indicators, altimeters, and virtual horizons all function in cockpits, with additional HUD equivalents on modern fighting jets (Hydra, Lazer, Besra, etc)

  • At high speeds, it's better to roll your helicopter than to just yaw, as there is not enough yaw force to overcome the helicopter's static stability.

  • When a helicopter's engine is destroyed in flight, it slowly "glides" down rather than falling like a brick. This also happens when the helicopter's engine cuts out for a bit. This simulates autorotation.

  • You can't retract the flaps on the Jet; this serves to explain why it's so hideously slow for a commercial airliner.

  • The Ultralight cannot yaw and cannot fully loop or roll. It also doesn't gain any speed from altitude. It sucks ass, but at least it sucks realistic ass.

  • The Maverick's twin blade design gives it a unique, lower-frequency "chop chop" sound compared to similarly-sized helicopters.


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