Tail Chopper V 0.9
There are numerous variants, including the Mi-8T, which, in addition to carrying 24 troops, is armed with rockets and anti-tank guided missiles. The Mil Mi-17 export version is employed by around 20 countries; its equivalent in Russian service in the Mi-8M series. The only visible differences between the Mi-8 and Mi-17 are A) the position of the tail rotor (Mi-8 right side, Mi-17 left side), B) the shape of the exhausts (Mi-8 circular, Mi-17 oval), and C) Dust shields in front of engine air intakes for the Mi-17. Also Mi-17 has some improved armour plating for its crew. The naval Mil Mi-14 version is also derived from the Mi-8.
Tail Chopper v 0.9
The Mi-8 is constantly improving and the newest version still remains in production in 2016. However the second generation of the Mi-8 was changed to a tractor-tail rotor configuration as this configuration has increased yaw authority from the upwards advancing tail rotor blades into the downwash. The increase of the airspeed flowing over the rotor blades increases overall tail rotor effectiveness and yaw authority, whereas with the 'Pusher' tail rotor configuration the advancing rotor blade moves downwards. This decreases the airspeed across the rotor blade, reducing its overall effective yaw authority.
In principle everything that applies to real helicopters, applies also to helicopters in FlightGear. It is important to be familiar with fundamental helicopter manoeuvres. Some details are simplified in FlightGear, in particular the engine handling and some overstresses are not simulated or are without any consequence. In FlightGear it is not possible to damage a helicopter in flight.
For controlling the tail rotor you should have pedals, or at least a joystick that can twist in in a yawing motion. You may have to turn off auto-coordination, as you need full controls for the tail rotor. This can be done by adding the flag --enable-auto-coordination in either the FlightGear Qt launcher or the command line