So a while back, 2003 to be precise, I bought a Thrustmaster HOTAS Cougar. At the time it was something like £250.00. Not a small sum of money and let’s face it a huge extravagance but I wanted it.
In 2014 I replaced it. ELEVEN years! Eleven out of a joystick. It worked really well with virtually daily use and little maintenance. So when the Warthog HOTAS came out I was itching to buy it but couldn’t really justify it.
I talked myself into buying it eventually.
So I got the Warthog and it immediately replaced the Cougar. But the lack of resistance/back pressure messed with me for a while until I got used the difference. The Cougar has huge chunky springs. The Warthog doesn’t have quite the same resistance. It’s hard to describe but if you have tried it before, you’ll probably be nodding right now.
So after a year of flying, testing, messing and crashing Helicopters, Planes and the occasional spaceship I find myself asking how can I improve it?
Well step one is a HOTAS Extension.
This may sound a bit odd bit it makes a world of difference! By extending the length of the Joystick shaft it mean you get much more precise control over the aircraft. Now the Warthog doesn’t have mechanical potentiometers. It uses Hall Sensors so is actually incredibly accurate. The problem is the short length of the stock stick means you can’t really take advantage of that accuracy. So the solution is to increase the length of the control stick...
- Increased precision during manoeuvres, in particular, fine adjustments (when flying in formation or during aerial refuelling)
- Eliminates the need for joystick’s curvature in settings
- Lessens the effect of “snapping to center position” when moving the stick through/or close to/ central detent.
- Smaller stick’s centering force
- Extension allows installing the joystick in off-center (twisted) position. It is useful feature when joystick is placed between legs. It allows the user to rest hand more naturally on the joystick and decrease tension in wrist.