Thrustmaster delivers faithful Warthog Controls
- By: CM Boots-Faubert
- Posted 5th Jan 2011
Flight Sim and Flying Combat Gamers have one thing in common -- they prefer to use a Joystick when they play their games not just because it is a more natural controller scheme, but because it adds a level of realism to their gaming.
In the past few years the basic joystick has been replaced by better designed and engineered controllers that offer a selection of mappable buttons, the standard trigger and top-hat buttons, and a slider for precision throttle control, which together added to the convenience of play. That is great if you are playing Microsoft Flight Simulator and flying a classic single-engine Piper Cub, but what if you are flying the multi-engine Airbus 350, or an F/A-18 Hornet in a military combat game?
An entire host of features are present on both the commercial airliner and the military fighter/bomber that require additional switches, which usually translates into so many keyboard macros that you have to keep a note pad beside your computer to remember what buttons to press for everything from the nav and landing lights, auto pilot, trim controls, and landing gear, and don't even think about the different weapon load-outs and switching between cannon and machine gun on the modern fighter!
Wouldn't it be great if someone created a game controller that provided a full set of the most frequently used buttons, switches, and sliders, and especially a dual set of throttle controls? Even better, they could design that new controller to faithfully recreate the controls of a real fighter/bomber. Yeah, that would be cool!
H.O.T.A.S. Warthog Joystick and Throttle Controls
The blokes at Thrustmaster sat down and took a long hard look at the controls of the Fairchild Republic Thunderbolt II -- AKA the "A10 Warthog" - and then translated the controls into the H.O.T.A.S. Warthog controller package, adding in a robust suite of utilities that permit the gamer to customize button assignment and function, allowing them to create a realistic set of controls for practically any multi-engine aircraft, military or civilian!
The Dual Throttle Quadrant features a metal hand rest, realistic idle and afterburner segments, and a complete set of buttons that along with the throttles have a realistic feel to them, making them feel like the real thing.
The joystick is an exact replica of the Warthog's stick, with a detachable metal base plate for use in desktop or cockpit mode. A total of 19 action buttons in addition to the 8-way tophat button and a 5-coil spring tension system means that there are no dead spots with this joystick, allowing for precision flying and full button assignment using the T.A.R.G.E.T (Thrustmaster Advanced pRogramming Graphical EdiTor) suite to make assigning the right function to the right button a snap!
Beneath the twin-throttles is a backlit replica control panel with 15 action buttons in addition to the Trim Wheel, including multiple two and three position switches that are fully programmable using T.A.R.G.E.T.!
It should not surprise anyone to learn that the Warthog has been declared a winner of the 2011 Consumer Electronic Show Innovation Award, or that it has been adopted as the official controller by the top virtual airline flight sim groups for online play, but there you have it!
Now if I can just figure out how this ejector seat works...