Tried out this helicopter and it definitely works pretty well! I've been working on an RAH-66 Comanche model (currently have the a mid-range poly setup that I will eventually make lower poly to fit within engine budgets, with normal maps baked from a super high poly model), you can see an old work-in-progress version here: http://trystan.us/Art_Gallery_Pages/...e_Gallery.html
The only thing I would do differently is how the helicopter is controlled/flies(and after re-reading my entire post below I now realize that this probably changes everything haha). Essentially it seems unrealistic in the way the controls affect the helicopters movement; currently its setup where WASD controls forward, backward and left/right strafing movement, while 'Space' elevates the helicopter upwards and 'C' makes the heli go downwards.
This setup seems based more on a limited form of movement that doesn't follow the natural design of helicopter physics. For Example, this currently has Space and C controlling the vertical position of the helicopter in the world, while the actual tilt of the helicopter and its vertical thrust have no effect on its vertical position(if the blades are tilted forward it just goes forward without losing any vertical lift, remaining at the same height until the player pushes space or C). It feels more like a hovering space ship hanging in the sky without gravity etc. Another example with this setup is that there isn't really much momentum, once you release the forward/left/right/backward input the helicopter immediately starts slowing down as if its flying in water as opposed to air, and if you fly really fast in one direction and then instantly switch to the opposite direction, the heli starts to move in that oppposite direction before the actual tilt of the heli's main rotor is properly angled in that direction(thus feels like the main rotor isn't actually affecting directional thrust).
The way I'm used to flying helicopters in games is more like the setup in the Battlefield Series (Battlefield 2, Vietnam, DC mod for BF1942, BF Bad Company 2 etc). **This is just my personal preference for how a helicopter flies in a game and the keys used to control it **
The setup in Battlefield is closely based on the real world application of helicopter physics where the main rotor blades are used for vertical thrust(via collective throttle input) as well as directional movement(pitch and roll), and the smaller tail rotor is used to control left and right rotation(yaw) and of course counter rotation to the main rotor for stability(thus when the rear rotor gets damage/destroyed the helicopter begins spinning out of control).
The controls for the Battlefield style of flying have it setup where WASD control Throttle and YAW rotation, and the Arrow Keys(or alternately the mouse) control Pitch and Roll. So essentially there is no specific key used to define the heli's "vertical position/height", because the vertical position/height is derived from the combination of all the key inputs in relation to the heli's orientation and the world's gravity.
Battlefield Key Setup:
*W and D keys* - The throttle always defaults to the amount required for the helicopter to hover when there is no player input, while the key 'W' is used to increase the throttle to the maximum amount and the 'S' key is used to reduce the throttle to below the default amount. So for example if I get into a heli, it wouldn't take off/move at all until I press the W key to increase the throttle, and it should essentially fly upwards until I release the W key or if I start to press the S key(which would reduce throttle and the heli would begin to descend until I released the S key.
*A and D keys* - These would control the YAW for the heli (the left and right rotation). So when the player is hovering and presses 'A' the helicopter will rotate left until he releases the key or presses 'D' which would then cause the helicopter to rotate right until 'D' is released.
*Arrow keys* - The 'forward' and 'backward' arrow keys control the pitch of the helicopter, while the 'left' and 'right' arrow keys control the roll of the helicopter. For example, a player enters the helicopter and presses and holds the 'W' key for maximum throttle and thus the helicopter takes off vertically, and then the player presses and holds the forward arrow key and the helicopter will pitch its nose forward towards the ground, thus transitioning the thrust from the main rotor blades into forward momentum. The player then releases the forward arrow key when the heli is angled enough to be moving fast in the forward direction(and before he nose dives into the ground ), and the heli remains oriented at that angle until the player decides to change the pitch/roll/rotation or throttle etc. How fast the helicopter moves forward and its vertical position is a balance between the pitch of the heli and the amount of throttle being applied; if the player were to release the 'W' key so the throttle returns to the default amount and the heli is still pitched forward(nose toward the ground), the heli would begin to descend and plunge into the ground unless the player corrects the pitch by pressin the 'Down' arrow key which would then start pitching the heli backwards(nose pointing to the sky).
For the 'Left' and 'Right' arrow keys, the same principles apply, only they control the left and right roll of the heli's orientation. So if the player is hovering and presses the 'Left' arrow key, the helicopter will roll to the left(aka the heli would be angled toward its left side, so if the pilot looks out the heli to his left he would be facing more towards the ground instead of the horizon). Same idea goes for pressing the 'Right' arrow key. Essentially "Pitch" and "Roll" control the direction in which the helicopter will fly, and the balance between throttle amount and pitch/roll determines how fast the heli will fly(and the balance between the pitch/roll and throttle also determines the vertical lift of the heli, aka if its going higher or lower)
Didn't intend to write so much haha, but that's the best way I can describe everything without leaving out any details
I realize that it would probably require a huge overhaul of the whole flying setup that your heli currently uses, since it's not just a change in the input keys but also the way the heli's physics interact with eachother and the environment. If you have any questions on anything I wrote please let me know! I would seriously LOVE to see the Battlefield style setup implemented , but I fear that it might require the whole movement system of this current setup to be rewritten almost from scratch hehe, would really like to have my comanche flying like a beast!