MiGMan’s Combat Diary, 2000
Hind campaigns were based in Korea, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan.
The campaigns are pretty hard - I had enemy AI set on 3 out of 10 and was getting whipped badly! Afghanistan is the easier of the 3 campaign areas I'd say.
FINALLY I'm kicking some butt!
Another neat feature is that you can land and reload your weapons - this simulates the fact that the Hind can carry spare ammo in the back.
The flight model felt very smooth and responsive. A look at the credits reveals why this is so!
David Marshall was one of the chief boffins at DI and his experience is indicative of the real world aviation expertise embedded in their products.
His experience includes flying the Sea King, Gazelle, Wessex and Bell Jetranger Helicopters and Hawker Hunter, Jet Provost, Hercules, Jetstream Fixed wing aircraft. He also worked at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough in airborne computer design, Westland Helicopters on the Lynx flight control systems and avionics, A&AEE Boscombe Down on the Harrier, Jaguar and Jetstrream flight trials and at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Bedford on Military flight simulation.
Antonov AN-12 Cub with an Su-25 Frogfoot.
Airbases were finely detailed with lots of activity
Each Mi-24 had moving parts beyond the flight surfaces. The cargo doors worked, and you could load and unload troops.
Those "little guys" march purposefully around your base, armed presumably with Kalashnikov AK-47's and add considerably to the atmosphere. The Jane's USNF series had the first ground troops I can recall seeing in a flight sim, but they were 2 dimensional bitmaps, all that was feasible for home computers to render at the time.
The ground crew and combatants in Hind had fully articulated legs and actually walked. This may not have much to do with flying the chopper, but it demonstrates that DI were at the bleeding edge in the sphere of creating complex sim worlds in 1997.
Unlike the western equivalents of the Hind, the AH-64 Apache and AH-1 Cobra), the Hind carries 8 fully armed troops or 4 stretchers in addition to the pilot and gunner. Some of your missions involve insertion and extraction of troops. In the mission I tried no one came to the party! Oh well.
Some bloodthirsty virtual test pilots found early on that if you open the doors in flight, then shake the stick about those poor little guys will fall out .... can you believe it?
Allied (Russian) infantry
Structures were simple polygons in urban areas with the addition of domes in the villages. By 1997 standards, quite sophisticated.
Bear in mind that Pentium CPU's were only just beginning to supplant the '486.
Menu screens were to the high standard, and higher resolution that we had come to expect from DI since Tornado (1993).
The virtual cockpit scrolled smoothly and significantly aided situational awareness.
In these two composite shots I've stiched together the entire field of view available to the pilot and the gunner. The panning was very easy. Hold the ALT key and move the joystick left and right. Or program Alt and the left / right arrow keys to your joystick hat controls.
As usual with DI, the documentation was thorough and indicates the depth of the combat systems modelling.
In this case we can see that an IR guided missile is locked on and approaching from thge read left quarter, below the aircraft. It is most likely an FIM-90 Stinger MANPAD.
Pressing F and C activates the automatic Flare and Chaff dispensers which seem to dispense at about 1 per second.
It's a buzz to do a hard turn and fly back through the persistent clouds which drift slowly, oh so slowly - to the ground.
All in all, Hind is one of the shining lights in the firmament of combat flight sims.