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.
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.
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.