Cougar Flight Controls by ThrustMaster

As I have mentioned in the history, it has been now a long time since I had my first joystick. Time has changed a lot, and what a relatively short time ago was the top of the hill, is now the bottom of the walley.

Until this point I was happy to have a control system, which was the F-22 FLCS, the TQS and RCS from Thrustmaster. So far the only thing that could top this system was an original part. After some researching and bidding, I finally could get an original throttle with arm. It is an A model, but at least I have it.

The FLCS is much harder to find and if you find it, prices are very high. Also after 09.11. parts are much harder to get and for a long time there have been allmost no parts available.

Well, concerning flight controls we have no problems. The quality of the Cougar (FLCS and TQS) is so good, that you can only tell the differences if you have an original part, with which you can compare it. The original switches are some harder to depress and the original little joystick for the radar cursor is also harder to move. On the Cougar this little joystick is fine, but I will have to modify it a little, just to have some more resistance when moving it. I will keep you informed, how I handeled this problem, as soon as I have done so.

Flight Control System
Throttle Quadrant System

 Flight Control System

I cannot compare the Cougarīs FLCS with an original stick, as I do not have one, but when looking at it and comparing it with pictures of the real one, you cannot tell the difference. Allthough I think, that the original switches will also be harder to move, but as mentioned before, Iīll try to solve this problem within some time. There is also a special basis under development to host the stick. This basis will use pressure-sensoring switches, so that the real movement (just some milimeters) wil be simulated. I hope to have this piece of equipment soon, and I'll keep you informed about this point also.

There are some of us that feel that the cost of the Cougar (FLCS + TQS) as well as the price for the rudder-system is too high, but when you think carefully about it, you'll to admit, that these controls are going to last very long time (I really mean VERY LONG), due to the materials used. Also they match the real parts perfectly and allow to be modified, so that they can be used in high fidelity sims. Of course you may find a nice joystick for about US $ 50,00 or even less, but allways think about what you want to achieve and have. If you are after high fidelity, I think it is reasonable to invest in this kind of equipment.

Cougar FLCS

 Throttle Quadrant System

I was really astonished when I saw the TQS of the Cougar. Until now I had only a look at this item on pictures which I found in the WEB. I must say that all the comments I had heared before are true. It is just a well designed and realistic piece of equipment. Now I can confirm this info, as I had myself the chance to compare the handle of the real throttle with the Cougar. The feeling is good, thanks to the provided friction control of the basis. I personally prefer to have some high friction, as I like to feel at which position I am, instead of swapping from mil pwr to aft. burner back and forward. So this is also a neat solution for my sim. The complete arm is now being developed, so that in a near future we will be able to install the Cougar throttle-handle onto a throttle arm, which will then provide the correct movements and steps. The idle-cut-off trigger will also be implemented shortly, so that all functions can be duplicated in the pit.

Cougar TQS

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