Polychop talk to PCHelicopters.com
We are delighted to welcome Polychop to our list of Major Developers we have talked to. Polychop simulations are the developers of one of the best DCS modules to date, the iconic SA-342 Gazelle.
We at pchelicopters.com love the gazelle for its extensive attention to detail and challenging flight dynamics. The ultra realistic graphics, sounds and awesome weapons systems means this is one of our must have modules for DCS. As mentioned Polychop are known for their development of the Gazelle helicopter, here is a little background on this amazing machine.
About the Gazelle
The Aérospatiale Gazelle is a French five-seat helicopter and is commonly used for light transport, scouting and light attack duties.
It is powered by a single Turbomeca Astazou turbine engine and was the first helicopter to feature a fenestron tail instead of a conventional tail rotor. It was designed by Sud Aviation, later Aérospatiale, and manufactured in France and the United Kingdom through a joint production agreement with Westland Aircraft.
It has also participated in numerous conflicts around the world, including by Syria during the 1982 Lebanon War, by Rwanda during the Rwandan Civil War in the 1990s, and by numerous participants on both sides of the 1991 Gulf War. In French service, the Gazelle has been supplemented as an attack helicopter by the larger Eurocopter Tiger, but remains in use primarily as a scout helicopter.
Role : Light Transport scouting and light attack duties
Engine : Turbomeca Astazou Turbine
Design : Sud Aviation/Aérospatiale
Country of Manufacture : UK/France
No of Seats :5
Maximum speed: 310 km/h (193 mph)
Cruising speed: 264 km/h (164 mph)
Range: 670 km (416 miles)
Service ceiling: 5,000 m (16,405 ft)
Polychop DCS Gazelle Screenshots (click an image below to enlarge, click the X to close the window)
We spoke to Sven , Joint Head and Owner of Polychop. Sven was born in the 80s. A decade of tecnological innovation. This decade saw the rise of the CD-ROM drive, Big Hair, Dallas, Fall of the Berlin Wall and probably the best music in history to name just a few.
Q.Why is Polychop called Polychop ?
The name is a combination of 2 words. Poly stands for Polygons, which is the name we use in 3d for the basic square shape. The chop stands for the chopping of parts. One of us 3 came up with that name and it was ok for us. Everyone of us had a different name in mind, so in the end we voted and since then we had the name Polychop Simulations in mind.
Q. How long have you been developing helicopters for PC ?
I personally started in 2012 but my very first 3d model in 2007 was a SR71 which I still have at my external hard drive till today so I can take a look back in time. For Patrick, well as far I remember he once mentioned that dinosaurs did show up after his first flightsim code ever, so I guess he has been around in the community for a tiny bit of time.
Q. What 3D software do you use to design the helicopters ?
Basically any 3d software can be used for the creation of the models themselves. The plugins of Eagle Dynamics only work with 3ds max as far I know. So in the end all runs through 3ds max as final 3d product. I personally use the software that suits the need, which is for me at first hand 3ds max and Mudbox, but I have also worked with Maya and Zbrush before and had to decide at some point where feel the most comfort. Maybe I should do more work in Zbrush and check it out again.
Q. How do you record the sounds ?
Sound recording is most likely done by taking videos of the desired functions, for example switches or the spool up of an engine. For us that is the best way because we also get additional intel about functions.
For the current, behind the shades production, one of our test pilots made videos of the actual aircraft and in cockpit sound recordings while doing spool ups for us. It is very enlightening to also get a video from a close friend who moves in the cockpit and see his enjoyment when the machine comes to life.
Q. Which programming language is used ?
The languages mainly used are C++ and Lua for what we do at the moment. To give you a small insight of how big the code of the DCS Gazelle is I can state a rough number of 400.000 lines of code in the inhouse code which stands n the background. The DLL for the 342m Gazelle itself has somewhere between 45000 and 60000 lines, according to Patrick. So we speak of a rather simple helicopter, imagine the code of an Apache can easily go up to 200000 lines and more in the DLL.
Q. Have you ever flown a helicopter ?
I have been a passenger in a Bell 206 Long ranger many years ago when I have been a teenager.
In the military they tried to convince me to fly onboard of some training missions but I had to reject. The timetable did not make it possible for me at that time. Patrick has been up in the air with helicopters of a friend too and was able to enjoy flight at only a few meters above the india ocean. According to his words and description it must have been a wild ride.
Q. What’s your favourite helicopter in a sim ?
In DCS my personal favourite is hard to tell. For me it depends on the task, but yes the Gazelle is at the top 2 together with the UH1.
For civil sims I fell in love with the Dreamfoil Creation 407.
Q. Which simulators do you use ?
DCS/ X Plane 11/ P3D and soon Flight Sim World is filling my hard drive.
Q. How big is the polychop team ?
At the moment we are 2 guys, but within the next 6 month we plan to increase the numbers of the team. As you maybe also have noticed we had opened our doors for applications. Currently we are reviewing the applications and soon plan to invite the first guys for a personal talk. My goal is to reach a total of around 10 people on the team during the coming 2 – 5 years.
Q. Who tests your helicopters ?
Pilots that flew our products for living and we also have maintainers that maintained the real birds for living. At some point we figured that only the guys that flew the real deal can actually give good intel on the feel of the simulation.
Q. Will you also produce helicopters for other sims apart from DCS ?
We have looked already into different SDK and we figured the ups and downs of them we looked into. As soon the team gets bigger we will definitely look into other software’s and produce in them. During the coming days new steps into that directions will be made.
Q .Which helicopters are you planning to produce in future ?
Well we decided to not speak to much of future products until we feel ready to show something real good to the puplic. But there have been some hints on our facebook page that were given, but we will not confirm anything at the moment to anybody, besides to the people that are involved in the project. As far I know of only 6 people that are currently aware of the actual status of the new projects and what we plan.
Q. What’s you favourite PC game ?
Well I have little time for playing PC games at the moment, so if I have time I either fly in a sim, currently it is DCS 2.1 on the F99th or the Buddyspike Blueflag Nevada server or I play Overwatch with my girlfriend.
Q. Apart from DCS which Sim do you think models helicopters the best ?
Well if it is about the flight model I would say X Plane 11 but there is also Flight Sim World on the market and maybe they already work on the helicopters, which I personally hope they do.
Q. What is your favourite decade for aviation ?
Sven's favourite decade for aviation is the 60's, to quote Sven "we flew to the moon and the oxcard was born on paper, so maybe that are the glory days I would like to witness life in aviation."
PCHelicopters.com thanks Sven and Polychop for talking to pchelicopters.com. We can 't wait to see more from Polychop.
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