Product: UH-60 Black Hawk
by The Omega Concern
Modeler, Scripter, etc: April Heaney
Support Address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Product Revision Date: 2014-04-01
Manual Revision Date: 2012-09-30



Thank you and congratulations on your purchase of The Omega Concern's UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. Please read this manual before covertly inserting SpecOps teams with your new helicopter.

The Omega Concern is dedicated to producing quality work at affordable prices, and we support everything we sell. All of our products are designed with the balance of impact on sim performance and ease of use in mind. If you find one of our products to be causing lag, behaving in unexpected ways, or otherwise being a pest, we need to know so we can correct it.

You are eligible for all upgrades on this version, being version 1. Also, your feedback is valued! If there's something you love, hate, or just think would be better if it were just a little different, we want to know. Your input directly influences the course of development and future features of Omega Concern products.

There is a technical support pass phrase in this manual, which you are strongly advised to use when first contacting support about this product. We do this because other people (not you!) don't bother reading the manual which contains the answers to their questions, thus taking our time and attention away from thoughtful questions not answered in the manual, such as yours. As always, emailing the support address above is preferable to offline IMs and notecards, both of which too easily get lost in the shuffle.

 

About the UH-60 Black Hawk

The Omega Concern's UH-60 Black Hawk is a functioning and detailed model of the S-70 type utility helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. This particular model is designed primarily for the insertion and withdrawl of up to six troops at a time. In addition to the pilot and troops, it can also carry two door gunners and a copilot, for a total of 10 passengers.

The Omega Concern is not affiliated with, nor endorsed by Sikorsky Aircraft or any other company involved in the design and production of the UH-60 or its component systems.  All trademarks and copyrights are and remain the property of their respective owners.

Unpacking and Setup

Package Contents

The Black Hawk comes in a surprisingly attractive and charming box. You will need to rez this box, and select "Open".



Copy the contents of it into your inventory, and you will now have a new folder in your inventory named "UH-60 Black Hawk 1.0 (Boxed)" (or similar) which will contain the items above.

The included gestures are bound to keys which are are merely suggested key bindings, feel free to reassign them to whatever works best for you, or not use them at all - they are completely optional. If you are not using a viewer that allows you to bind gestures to the keys these are, editing the existing gestures will not allow you to save with the current letter and number key bindings.

You may have other gestures using the same keys as the ones included in this package. To locate and correct these conflicts, press control - G in your viewer and click on the"Key" column header to sort by key assignment.

Rezzing the Black Hawk

The Black Hawk is a mesh model, which means you will need a viewer capable of displaying mesh. The standard SL viewer is one such option, as are several others on the Third Party Viewer Directory.

To rez the helicopter, simply drag the object named "UH-60 Black Hawk 1.0" from the folder in your inventory to an open area suitable for take off, bearing in mind that the aircraft has a main rotor span and overall body length of about 17 meters, and you will need 242 prims free on the parcel. However, unlike many highly detailed vehicles, this model uses no avatar attachments.

It is best to rez a new copy of the helicopter from inventory for each use and deleting it when done, as opposed to taking one in-world back into inventory and reusing it.

Pilot and Aircrew Roles

Pilot

The pilot's job is first and foremost to fly the aircraft and to maintain watch over the aircraft's flight systems, positioning the aircraft over appropriate landing zones and triggering the rappels of passengers.

Air Crew

By "air crew" in this case we are primarily referring to the UH-60 door gunners. The door gunners operate the Black Hawk's GAU-17 7.62mm miniguns to provide nearly 360-degree cover and suppression at "hot" landing zones.

Flight

Getting in and out

  • Pilot: The pilot boards the Black Hawk by right-clicking on the helicopter body and selecting "Board" (Some viewers may simply show "Sit Here" which serves the same function). Guest pilots may also take control of the aircraft by being the first to board. Guests must have their avatar group tag set to the same group as the helicopter.

  • Door Gunners: Door gunners can take the port or starboard positions by sitting on the circular omega symbol on the respective seat. These positions may only be taken when the aircraft is not running.

  • Passengers: Passengers board by right-clicking on the helicopter body and selecting "Board". They will be automatically placed first in one of the six passenger positions, and then the copilot position last. They may board while the aircraft is running, but the helicopter must be within 1 meter of the ground or other suitable surface, and the cargo doors must be open.

  • Co-Pilot Position: The co-pilot position is filled last, after all other passenger positions are occupied. Why? Because this is a transport helicopter, a co-pilot cannot operate the door guns (this is what door gunners are for) nor can they rappel out of the helicopter.

Getting back out of the aircraft may be accomplished by simply hitting the "Stand up" button, but this is rather inelegant and makes you look like a noob. All the cool kids use the "EGRS" button on the HUD, which stands for "egress" and is explained below.

For those without HUDs (i.e. everyone but the pilot) the chat command "/5 egress" or "/5 out" will serve the same function, but only when the aircraft is fully stopped and shut down. Normally, you will exit the aircraft on the side to which you are closest. However, if you wish to specify which side you get out on, adding a "L" or "R" to the command will serve to do just that. Thus, "/5 egressl" or "/5 outl" will exit to the port (left) side, and "/5 egressr" and "/5 outr" will exit to the right (starboard) side.

Adjusting Sit Position

The pilot may adjust his or her seat height via chat command. "/5 sit 0.10" will move the position up 0.10 meters, "/5 sit -0.10" will move it down 0.10 meters. The adjustment range is from a maximum of plus or minus 0.30 meters.

The HUD/MPD



All of the aircraft's systems are controlled by the HUD/MPD (Head-up Display/Multi-Purpose Display) which is also used to convey information about the aircraft. Upon boarding, if you do not already have it attached, you will be given one. Locate this object in your inventory, right-click and select "Wear." It will attach to the "Bottom" screen attachment point, and if you are in the aircraft, it will come into view in the lower area of your screen. When you get back out of the Black Hawk, it will hide itself from view. To detach, simply locate it in your inventory, right-click and detach.

Instruments



Airspeed

The airspeed is displayed in actual knots, though the performance envelope of the aircraft is considerably scaled down for the Second Life environment.

Attitude Indicator

This displays the aircraft's pitch and roll relative to the earth using a symbol representing the aircraft as a dot and horizontal "wings" over a moving pitch ladder. With this type of attitude indicator, when the symbol is above the horizon line (blue) the aircraft is nose up. If the symbol is below the horizon line (orange) the aircraft is nose down. When the symbol is on the horizon line (white), the aircraft is in level flight. A roll to the left or right will cause the pitch ladder to roll opposite, keeping parallel with the real horizon.

If you find the fixed symbol and moving horizon ladder confusing, just remember: "Fly the little airplane, not the horizon."

Altitude

The Black Hawk altimeter is based on a radar altimeter, meaning it will display the distance from the helicopter to the ground, or any obstacle below it such as a building. This graphic ranges from zero to 500 feet, with major marks every 100 feet (delineated by vertical tick marks for each hundred) and minor tick marks every 20. The ground is represented by a diagonally striped block. The scale will appear red when the helicopter is within 20 feet of the ground.

Proximity Warning System (PWS)

The PWS works to alert you to imminent flight into terrain or other obstacles. When moving faster than 6 knots, if the Black Hawk's current flight path will result in surface impact within 5 seconds, this will appear in yellow and sound an alert. If an impact will happen within 2.5 seconds, this will appear in red and sound another, higher-pitched alert.

Aircraft Collision Avoidance System (ACAS)

ACAS is related to the PWS, but is an active system which will apply collective and cyclic controls to pull the helicopter up and away to avoid forward flight into terrain or other obstacles. Its look-ahead is three seconds in the direction of flight.

Vertical Speed

Displays aircraft vertical speed from +50 to -50 feet per second. When descending greater than 16 feet per second, the triangle indicator will appear red. Impact with the ground or other large objects is likely to cause serious damage at or above this velocity.

Compass

Displays the helicopter heading in degrees, which may or may not be the direction in which you are looking.

Missile Warning Indicator

The missile warning indicator appears where the FLARE button is located in the event of missile launch detection. This is a two-stage indicator, flashing yellow to alert the aircrew to the launch of an infra-red seeking missile, and flashing red to warn them that a missile is currently en route. When the HIDAS (Helicopter Integrated Defensive Aids Suite) is set to auto, this second stage will trigger the automatic deployment of flares at the rate of two per second.

Flight Controls

The UH-60 can be flown in or out of mouselook, with slightly differing functions for the left and right keys depending on modifiers, hover status, and mouselook.

Key Control
W or Up Arrow Forward Cyclic
S or Down Arrow Back Cyclic
A or Left Arrow Left Cyclic (Rudder Left with Hover Assist)
D or Right Arrow Right Cyclic (Rudder Right with Hover Assist)
Shift + A or Shift + Left Arrow Rudder Left (Out of mouselook)
Shift + D or Shift + Right Arrow Rudder Right (Out of mouselook)
E or Page Up Collective Up
C or Page Down Collective Down

So Many Buttons

What do they do?

Hud Buttons

TURB Starts up and shuts down the turbine engines. A double-click is required for shutdown.
FLARE Press to deploy flares. Also flashes during missile warnings.
HOVER Toggles hover assist mode.
ACAS Toggles the Aircraft Collision Avoidance System.
EGRS Moves you gracefully out of the cockpit so you don't look like a noob.
HIDAS Toggles the Helicopter Integrated Defensive Aids Suite.
DOORS Opens and closes the cargo area doors.
LIGHTS Toggles on and off the landing flood lights and navigation lights.
DUST Toggles dust effects on and off.
CAM Cycles through preset camera views of the aircraft.
PAGE Cycles the left side of the MPD through the turbine,system, and roping pages.
OCS Logo When orange, indicates that OCS mode is active. Clicking it will bring up the aircraft color menu.

Starting the Turbines

After boarding, to start the turbines, press the TURB button, which will appear red, and will appear yellow when the turbines are starting up and also when they are shutting down. They will reach full power in about 20 seconds and the TUBR button will appear green, while you'll notice full torque and rotor speed will take a few seconds longer. This is normal. If starting on an uneven surface, applying some collective down (C key or Page Down) can help prevent the helicopter from skidding. Lift off is possible without full torque and rotor speed, but will be sluggish at best.

Lift off

Once torque and rotor speed are up to 100%, apply some collective up (E key or Page Up) until you leave the surface and rise into the air. Releasing will cause the Black Hawk to slow and then stop its ascent. It is, more or less, neutrally buoyant and will neither rise nor fall with no control inputs.

Flying

Flying the Black Hawk is a skill that must be learned, and learned with a light touch. While it is much more forgiving than a real helicopter, it will take some practice and familiarity with how the aircraft handles to become a competent pilot. While you may first find it challenging if you are accustomed to the unrealistic "magic carpet" model of helicopter flight, you will earn considerable bragging rights when you master it. (And you will, we promise!)

Wind and Turbulence

Second Life regions have wind, and you're flying in it. This helicopter is affected by the regional wind and will display turbulence effects, becoming more pronounced with higher wind speeds and in closer proximity to the ground.

Ground Effect

Within approximately 8 meters of altitude, i.e. about half of the rotor diameter, helicopters (including this one) will experience more lift, due to the "cushion" of high pressure air below the rotor disc and the reduced downward velocity of the air around the rotor. What does this mean for you? It means you will find the Black Hawk at full power lifts off the ground quickly, then slows its ascent somewhat after it's 8 or so meters up. It also means if you lose one turbine, while the helicopter can fly on one, ground effect can be a considerable help in getting the helicopter to a suitable landing site.

Hover Assist

Hover assist does what it says. It helps the pilot maintain a position above the ground without having to constantly correct for wind and turbulence. It allows the helicopter to freely yaw while suppressing pitch and roll. When yawing to a new heading, release and tap again the left or right control input to indicate the new heading, or alternatively toggle the hover assist off and back on at the new heading.

Hover assist will allow the helicopter to change altitude, a useful feature for "pop-up" target engagement. Do note, altitude changes of less than 2.5 meters vertically will cause the hover assist to return the aircraft to its original position. You may toggle hover assist or move beyond the 2.5 meter range to set a new hover altitude.

Landing

Landing requires a horizontal speed under 6 knots and vertical speed under 16 feet per second to avoid damage to the aircraft. Try to land on flat areas or surfaces, as landing on uneven terrain can cause the helicopter to tip and pull itself laterally, which can easily lead to rotor strikes with the surface and loss of the main and/or tail rotors.

Once on the ground, clicking the "TURB" button once will cause it to turn orange, and clicking it again while it is orange (or simply double-clicking while it is green) will begin the turbine shutdown sequence. This is to help prevent accidentally turning off the turbines in flight.

Taking Damage

The Black Hawk can be damaged in one of two ways: By flight into terrain or solid objects, or by OCS-enabled weaponry. It offers a high degree of protection to the crew against OCS damage. Either or both turbines are subject to damage and failure, as are the main and tail rotors. Flight performance and handling is degraded as hit points are lost, usually resulting in an aircraft that is just too ornery to land in a controlled fashion. Catastrophic failure, such as experienced from flight into terrain, may result in fire and explosion, which can be damaging to an OCS enabled aircrew.

Turbine Damage and Failures

The turbines may be degraded or disabled by weapon fire or, rarely, as result of mechanical failure. The state of the turbines is reflected in the torque and Np gauges, as explained below.

The helicopter can fly on one turbine, though with reduced performance. Failure of both turbines will require any pilot hoping to walk away from the inevitable crash that's in his or her near future, to perform an autorotation.

Tail Rotor Failures

Tail rotor failures can result from weapon fire, or impact with land and objects. The tail rotor's function is to counteract the torque produced by the main rotor, such that loss of the tail rotor will result in the aircraft yawing uncontrollably, which will also result in loss of lift and make the aircrew very dizzy. The procedure for crash landing a helicopter with a tail rotor failure is to power down the turbines, which will remove the torque from the drive system and allow the main rotor to freewheel, as without significant torque the pilot can maintain control and perform an autorotation.

Autorotation

Autorotation is a (normally intentional) state in which the main rotor is allowed to spin faster than the turbines driving it. All helicopter transmissions have a free wheeling unit to allow this without the turbines taking energy away from the rotor and slowing it down. The main rotor will have a considerable, though limited amount of inertia which can be used to produce lift, albeit at the expense of this stored inertia. The pilot will be able to control the descent speed and main rotor RPM with the collective control stick. The main rotor RPM can be increased and maintained by reducing the collective pitch, i.e. descending. Forward movement will also help maintain the rotor RPM.


  1. Entry: Reduce collective to cause the helicopter to descend and maintain rotor RPM. Do not let the nose drop during the entry. Whatever attitude the helicopter is in, enter the autorotation in that attitude. After the autorotation is established make any attitude adjustments required for proper airspeed.

  2. Glide: Keeping an eye on the rotor RPM (Nr%) establish a descending glide.

  3. Landing Area: A preferred landing site is flat, level and with no obstructions such as buildings. A good pilot is always considering contingency plans and stays aware of nearby areas which could facilitate an emergency landing.

  4. Flare: As you approach the landing site, initiate the flare by pitching the nose up using aft cyclic. The purpose of the flare is to reduce vertical and horizontal speed and set up for a survivable landing.

  5. Landing: Touchdown is typically accomplished by putting the aircraft into a level attitude and raising collective to bleed off vertical speed just above the ground. (This is the entire autorotation procedure for an autorotation from a hover.) It is important to maintain a steady descent at this point, and not stop downward progress and find yourself in a hover, which will bleed off rotor RPM followed by a short but sudden drop to the surface.

Page: Turbines

The turbine page of the MPD is where you'll find all the information about the health of the turboshaft engines and rotor system of your aircraft.

A turboshaft engine is similar to a jet engine, except the exhaust jet drives a turbine which then delivers the power through a rotating shaft. The UH-60 is equipped with two GE T700-GE-701C turboshaft engines, which have two turbine stages each. The first turbine, known as the gas producer (Ng), compresses the air before combustion, and the second which powers the drive shaft, known as the power turbine (Np).

The Np turbine is constructed to run at a constant RPM, and is directly connected to the main rotor through a reducer. The engine itself will attempt maintain the Np turbine at 100% RPM. The speed of the Np turbine depends on the amount of energy given to it by combustion, and the energy taken from it by the rotors and associated systems. Increasing collective will make the main rotor demand more power, and large control inputs will cause Np and rotor RPM (Nr) to deviate from 100%, but will return once the additional load is reduced.

Torque

Torque is how much force is available to spin the main rotor.

Ng

This is the generator turbine RPM, the first stage of the turbine engines. This turbine stage pulls in air for combustion, which subsequently drives the power stage.

Np

This is the power turbine RPM, the second stage of the turbine engines, and the turbine stage that actually provides the power to the transmission and rotor.

Nr

Main rotor revolutions. This directly represents how much power you have to maintain the helicopter in the air. Below approximately 50%, the aircraft will not be able to remain flying. This is very important information in the event you need to perform an autorotation.

Page: System

Heli HP

The total OCS hit points remaining on the helicopter, represented with a colored bar, and with 100% indicated by a full green bar. Flight performance and handling is degraded as hit points are lost, and if exhausted, result in the complete destruction of the aircraft.

Fuel

The Black Hawk burns fuel, and will give you approximately 45 minutes of flight before it runs out, or less if the aircraft is damaged.

Low Fuel Warning

When the fuel level is at or below 20%, you will receive a warning telling you so, and an estimated remaining flight time, in minutes. In an undamaged aircraft, this will be 9 (nine) minutes.

Refueling

Refueling and rearming are accomplished by landing back at the same point from which you took off and shutting down the helicopter. To help you locate this place, the TO/LP instrument is available and explained below.

Turbine

This displays the relative health of each of the turbines, with 100% indicated by a full green bar for each.

Take-Off / Landing Point (TO/LP)

This pair of readouts tells you from where you took off with an arrow and how far away that point is in meters. When you are within 15 horizontal meters of your take off location, the distance readout will appear green, to let you know that you are within the refueling/rearming radius. Do note that you must be away from your take off point for more than 5 minutes for refueling and rearming to be available.

Page: Roping

Roping

The roping page is where the pilot controls which passengers - or even all of them - rappel from the helicopter. This can only be done when the helicopter has hover assist engaged, and the cargo doors are open. The rope has a maximum length of 20 meters, and while dropping off the end of the rope is possible, for OCS enabled troops, a significant drop can prove injurious or even fatal.

  • Rope: Unfurls or retracts the rope to allow passengers to rappel to the ground.

  • Rap All: Will rapidly rappel all passengers, including the door gunners, to the ground sequentially.

  • ALT Indicator: The maximum distance for the rope is 20 meters. This indicator will show green when the aircraft is within 20 meters of a suitable surface, yellow when between 20 and 22 meters, and red when above 22 meters.

  • PG and SG: Port and starboard door gunner indicators. Lit green when occupied, yellow during a rappel, and red when unoccupied.

  • 1-6: Passenger positions 1 to 6. Also lit green when occupied, yellow during a rappel, and red when unoccupied.

Weapons

The Black Hawk is equipped with two GAU-17 7.62mm miniguns on each side. These carry 4000 rounds of ammunition between them, which at a sustained fire rate of 6000 rounds a minute doesn't last long. Two gunners can take control of these, and when no gunners are present, the guns will lock forward and the pilot can trigger them, but only in the direction the aircraft is facing.

Defense and Risk Mitigation

Helicopter Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (HIDAS)

The Helicopter Integrated Defensive Aid Suite is the UH-60's best defense against missile threats. In automatic mode, it detects OCS missile launches against it, and automatically deploys countermeasures. In manual mode, the pilot is warned by a loud alarm tone of the launch, and can deploy flares by using the HUD button or the gesture included with the helicopter.

Flares

The UH-60's flares confuse a guided missile's seeker, attracting it away from the aircraft. In order for flares to be effective protection, a pilot ideally will maneuver the aircraft to put the flares between the helicopter and the missile threat.

"Nap of the Earth"

Remaining as low as possible minimizes exposure to direct-fire weapons (such as anti-aircraft guns and shells) and obscures the helicopter's radar and infra-red signature to mitigate the risk of anti-aircraft missile fire.

Flight Into Terrain and Structures

High speed "landings" can damage the aircraft and its systems, including both turbines and rotors. Successful autorotations are very unlikely at low altitude, and survivability in such circumstances becomes a matter of luck. However, the UH-60 is designed to be "ridden in" in the event of the loss of airworthiness, and there are additional actions you can take to increase the odds of crew survival.

  • Fire burns. OCS fire will take hit points continuously if you are too close. Fire is not a guaranteed outcome from an Black Hawk crash, but particularly violent impacts increase this risk, as well as the risk of aircraft explosion.

  • Water landings will prevent fires, but OCS equipped aircrews can drown.

  • Long skidding crashes down slopes actually contribute more energy to the crash. For a given velocity, a short, hard stop is better than a long, slow one.

Troubleshooting

The UH-60 has been extensively tested and is free of any known scripting bugs. If you believe you have discovered a bug, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and provide, with as much detail as you can, step-by-step instructions for reproducing it. Things don't get fixed if we don't know what needs fixing. :)

  • There is a known issue with some viewers such as Firestorm which can cause the textures of the Viper (and other mesh objects) to take on an unusual appearance. This can be solved by going into Preferences > Graphics > Hardware Settings and disabling "Enable OpenGL Vertex Buffer Objects".

  • Anti-littering Feature: Normally, if you leave the aircraft on land you do not own and leave the region, the aircraft will self-delete. You can turn this off by selecting"AutoDel" from the options menu. (OCS button) When Auto self-delete is disabled, the aircraft will not do this. This option is intended for those who wish to display the aircraft on land they lease or group owned land, where they are not the technical landowners.

  • If the rotors do not appear to be working correctly, make sure that that Advanced > Network > Velocity Interpolate Objects (viewer 1.x) or Develop > Network > Velocity Interpolate Objects (viewer 2.x) is enabled.

  • To rez the UH-60, the parcel in which you are doing this needs to have at least 242 prims/prim equivalent free.

  • If things aren't rezzing for you, such as the gun rounds, rockets or missiles, check your group tag and the group tag of the helicopter to make sure it is harmonious with the area you are in. Some viewers give the option of always creating objects under the group to which the land is set, which may cause you issues if you aren't expecting it and travel to another parcel that requires a different group.

  • If you seem to be doing no damage in OCS, first make sure you are wearing an OCS HUD. The OCS logo near the bottom of the UH-60 HUD will appear orange when OCS is engaged and working.

  • You may have other gestures using the same keys as the ones included in this package. To locate and correct these conflicts, press control - G in your viewer and click on the"Key" column header to sort by key assignment. The keys are merely suggested key bindings, feel free to reassign them to whatever works best for you. If you are not using a viewer that allows you to bind gestures to the keys these are, editing the existing gestures will not allow you to save with the current letter and number key bindings.

  • Sounds, and not being able to hear them: If you're using a Viewer 2 or 3 based viewer, the default sound settings cause sounds to carry a few meters at most, then be unable to be heard. If not already showing, press Control-Alt-Shift-D and make the Advanced Menu appear. From that menu, select "Show Debug Settings." In the box, enter or locate "AudioLevelRolloff" and try setting it between 0.040 and 0.200 for better hearing.

  • Asset corruption happens. Rarely, a copy of something will become corrupt and behave in very strange ways. The first thing to try is to unpack a fresh copy of the item from the box in which it came. If that doesn't solve the issue, you can have another box of the same item sent to you via the service kiosk at The Omega Concern's main store. Failing that, contact the support address and request a new box be sent to you and you will receive it as soon as possible.

Your support passphrase is "This is no AWACS."

The End

First, a heartfelt thank you to all The Omega Concern's customers over the years. You guys gave me the sweetest gig in the world, and I love you all for it. I do this all for you.

Big thank yous to Eddison Campbell, Eric Sheppard, Daren Rappaport, Ropemasterdom Skellerjup, and Caete Chevalier for beta-testing, constructive criticism, and helpful feedback..

As it always has been, and always will be: Fun is the whole point. Do go have some. :)
~AH