Thrustmaster Flight Throttle brings back memories

Thrustmaster's latest Flight Throttle

Thrustmaster launched a flight throttle that brought back memories for me this week. The Thrust Master Weapon Control System Throttle is aimed at virtual pilots who enjoy flight simulator games.

This new throttle controls your speed and has buttons so you can fire a variety of weapons while you control your aircraft with a joystick in your other hand. I didn’t know they were still making these things, as the flight sim market isn’t what it used to be.

The first time I saw a throttle was in a computer rig that John Wilbur ‘Wild Bill’ Stealey showed me while flying a P-51 fighter in the World War II flight sim War Birds, way back in the 1990s. He went on a strafing run and then used his throttle to quickly pulled his aircraft up into the clouds. He was careful to gradually increase the elevation so he didn’t stall. Those were the halcyon days of flight sims.

This new one is powered by S.M.A.R.T. (Sliding Motion Advanced Rail Tracks) technology, which has a unique system of slide rails for smooth flying and high-precision speed control. The S.M.A.R.T mechanism’s resistance can be adjusted to suit all user preferences.

The Thrustmaster throttle is designed to be ergonomic. It has a thinner base, which means it enables lower wrist height and consequently better controlled and effortless natural arm and hand movements. The TWCS features five axes on the throttle, one 2-axis mini-stick, one toggle rudder with 15-degree angle and mechanical return to neutral and a rotary button.

Users can also obtain three more axes by connecting the external TFRP Rudder Pedals sold separately via their RJ12 connector (for 16-bit throttle axis = 65635 values/all other axes = 1024 values each)

The TWCS is equipped with 14 action buttons: two 4-way buttons + 3 buttons + one 2-position slider + 1 push mini-stick. It is also equipped with one 8-Point of View hat switch. The mini-stick can be used for elevation and strafing in space or for slew control. It can also be used for menu selection and validation. The presence of the rotary wheel allows users to easily validate settings or control radio antenna.

With its two M6 screw threads and four rubber footpads for perfect stability, this highly precise throttle will fit perfectly on your desk or in a cockpit. The throttle debuts this month for $80. It looks like fun, but I wish I had a great flight sim so I could play with it.



Categories: Technology

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