Today, I have mission #4 completed. Most of the work on this mission are focused on the AH-1G cobra. As some discussions in the previous post, the main problem of the AH-1G cobra is the ability to control the gun turret while still be able to fly the heli. I’ve tried finger head-look control for aiming the minigun, unfortunately this method doesn’t work. It’s extremely hard to shoot at ground targets while you’re on a moving platform. The finger just cannot keep up with target movements, even though finger swipe has proved to be very useful and intuitive for head-look and zooming.
My solution is to use accelerometers for controlling the gun turret while AutoPilot takes over pilot controls.
Here is the explanation:
Normally, you will be in the back seat of the cobra (pilot seat), fully control the heli and weapon systems. If you are not selecting the minigun, an AI gunner will control the turret and will do the shooting job, you still could fire rockets or launching smoke grenades independently with the front gunner. If you select the minigun, AI gunner will be disabled and you could only fire forward just as a fixed mount gun on the heli.
To be able to control the turret, tap on “view”. Instead of functioning as a zoom button, the “View” button will bring you to the front seat. You’re still in control the heli and still could fire forward with rockets or whatever selected weapon. Until now if you activate AutoPilot (“Auto” button), AutoPilot will take over the aircraft, maintain current altitude, heading and whatever airspeed at the moment. Your accelerometers are now disengaged with the aircraft contro; however, they’re now control your head movements with a gunsight attached. The turret will follow your head and point the gun at wherever you look at.
In practice, the sequence is pretty straight forward:
* First, you fly the heli approach enemy target, select rocket as weapon.
* Second, you have visual on enemy positions, tap on “View” to aim, and now shooting some rockets at targets. AI gunner controls the turret and fire minigun at whatever it see.
* Third, you tap on “Auto” to take over the turret. Tilt forward/backward/left/right to point the gun at target and fire.
* Fourth, tap on “Auto” again to regain aircraft control, AI takes over the turret.
Another new feature for this mission is the ability to direct airstrike using smoke grenade. In this mission both the AH-1G and UH-1B have smoke grenade as weapon and you could throw smokes at enemy positions such as bunkers, buildings..etc. A purple smoke will draw nearby bomber; as a result, they will deliver a bomb right on top of the smoke.
Also the minigun has better sound and shooting with much higher rate now.
Real footage of the cobra: