The Blackfish is a unique plane in Arma 3. It’s a fast VTOL transport that can carry 32 passengers, vehicles, or act as a flying tank. The issue is flying it. So how do you fly a Blackfish in Arma 3?

The Blackfish is a tiltrotor fixed-wing aircraft. The large wingspan and throttle make it glide easily, but it has very slow acceleration. A throttle of around 65 will allow you to hover. 

The tiltrotor is normally automatic, it will give you a short take-off will act as a plane. The plane cannot physically lower the rotor forward while on the ground. The rotors will hit the ground otherwise, the plane will force these up if given a chance. The rotors will only go forward if you’re 20 meters above the ground and going at least 150 km/h.

Manual Tilt

Setting the tilt manually will give you a better experience. It will use the same keys as the flaps. When you hold down the “CTRL” key and use the mouse wheel, it will move up and down the rotors. 

The chart shows how the Blackfish will behave when the rotors are at 90 degrees up. If the blades are titled even a little, it doesn’t take a lot of speed to keep the Blackfish aloft.

BlackFish Throttle Chart

Armed Blackfish

When using the armed Blackfish you’ll want to use the vertical stabilizers to turn rather than pitching. Meaning, using the Q and E keys. Keep the speed as slow as possible by holding down the air brakes. The rotor should be at 45 degrees or higher. I generally keep the throttle around 20. You can push the rotors up if you need a tighter turn circle. When turning, you’ll want to point the wing at your target. The engagement range can be 300 meters to 3000 meters.

The gunners should get the range before firing anything and between each shot. This means spamming the “T” key. 

The Blackfish in Combat

Even if the Blackfish is not armed, it can add a lot to the battlefield. It has a very wide range of radar and can act as a short-range AWACS. Combined with a long-range laser designator, it can act as a good command ship.

Tactically speaking, the Armed Blackfish can operate in dangerous areas as long as there’s no heavy Anti-Air present OR enemy CAP. Depending on the gunners, the Blackfish can usually out range Anti-Air. The BlackFish is most effective when escorted by friendly airpower.

The biggest threat to the Blackfish is enemy jets and stinger (Titan) missile launchers. Enemy jets are very difficult to dodge fire from. This is why a friendly CAP is critical. Infantry Anti-Air can launch a surprise missile when the plane is in a low-energy state. In that energy state, there’s little the Blackfish can do.

The Blackfish is slow to move and a big target. Against enemy missiles fired by jets, you’ll want to ‘notch’ the missile and turn a sharp 90 degrees as it comes toward you. When it comes to ground fire, your best defense is the thrust to weight ratio. Go full throttle and point 60-80 degrees up, dumping shaft and flares as needed. The Blackfish is an easy target, but these make it significantly harder to shoot down. In a dangerous environment, a Blackfish’s best defense is going fast at a very high altitude.