MiGMan’s Flight Sim Museum

MiGMan’s Flight Sim Museum



From the manual:

The Merlin Helicopter Challenge was developed for use by the Royal Navy for recruitment purposes. We gratefully acknowledge their permission to release Merlin to the general public. If you would like further details on careers in the Royal Navy, please contact your local recruitment office.


Your task is to approach the frigate, avoiding the other Merlin helicopters, and touchdown safely on the landing deck. You start airborne, with the frigate nearby. You have a time limit of two minutes to complete the task.


  • Easy: Ship is stationary and there are no crosswinds.
  • Medium: Ship is moving but there are no crosswinds.
  • Hard: The ship is moving and there are crosswinds.


  • Cyclic controls forward speed and roll angle
  • Collective controls up and down movement
  • Tail rotor turns led or right when hovering
You may use either keyboard or joysticks or a combination of the two. Press space to select.
To calibrate your joystick press J when on the controls screen. Centre joystick(s) and press fire. Deflect each joystick to all four corners i.e. Onward lee, fonward right, rearward led, rearward right. Press the joystick fire button to finish calibration.


  • Down/accel. DOWN Q / up arrow
  • UP/Decel. UP A / down arrow
  • Turn Left Left Z / left arrow
  • Turn Right Right X / right arrow
  • Ctrl + Q = exit to DOS
  • SPACE BAR = Change view
  • Alt + any arrow key = fine control
  • Esc. = Quit

(a) During approach

Banking led or right when hovering will give sideways helicopter motion. Banking led or right in fonward flight will make the helicopter turn.
Speed digital display of your speed in knots. Shows zero when you are hovering, and negative when you are flying backwards.
Altitude digital display of your height above the sea, combined with a clock calibrated at 10 feet intervals. Heading direction of flight.
(b) Descending onto the landing pad
Once your helicopter is over the landing pad the pitch bars will
be replaced by a diamond and a + symbol
The letter L will also appear next to the altitude readout which will now give height
above the deck of the ship
To be centrally positioned over the deck you will need to adjust your position so that the diamond overlays the + symbol
This may be achieved by using the cyclic control to push the diamond towards the +. For example, if the diamond is low and to the left of the +, push the cyclic control right and fo

External views

Two additional view modes are available during flight, selected with Space:
From directly above useful for lining up duringthe final descent.
From behind When using either of the external views, a status line will appear at the bottom of the screen showing:
  • ALT altitude in feet
  • Speed speed in knots
  • VSI vertical speed (climb or descent) in feet per second
  • Instrument panel
Mounted centrally on the panel you will see the following:
Countdown timer showing time remaining, in seconds
Message strip displays helpful tips
Your score will be given as a percentage, with 100% representing the maximum possible i.e. a perfect landing. Points will be deducted for the following:
  • Displacement from the centre of the landing pad
  • Heading misalignment
  • If any of the three wheels are not on the landing deck
  • A heavy landing
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