Honeycomb Announces Alpha Pro, Delta displays and More
Honeycomb Aeronautical made several major announcements during their presentation at FSExpo 2023, unveiling a range of new products and updates to their lineup of flight simulation hardware. Led by Founder and CEO Nicki Repenning, the company surprised the audience with exciting news about the Honeycomb Delta displays, the introduction of new accessories, and the launch of initiatives like the Flight Sim Academy.
Honeycomb Alpha Pro and Honeycomb Alpha Lite unveiled
In addition to the Delta displays, Honeycomb unveiled two updated versions of their popular yoke controller, the Honeycomb Alpha Flight Controls. The original Honeycomb Alpha yoke is being discontinued and replaced by the Honeycomb Alpha Pro and Honeycomb Alpha Lite. The Honeycomb Alpha Lite offers a cost-reduced option while maintaining the same high-quality build and feel as its predecessor. Priced at $199.99, it will be compatible with both Xbox and PC platforms. The Honeycomb Alpha Pro will be available for $299.99. It features 16,096-position hall-effect sensors and retains the layout of the existing Alpha yoke. The Alpha Pro is essentially a relaunched version of the original Honeycomb Alpha, incorporating improvements from later iterations such as the XPC. Honeycomb did not provide specific release dates for either yoke.
New Boeing and Airbus Accessories
Honeycomb also announced new accessories, including the Boeing and Airbus Flap Lever packages for the Honeycomb Bravo throttle quadrant. These packages offer accurate flap detents and levers for various Boeing and Airbus jet aircraft, with the exception of the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-10 due to unique flap configurations. Priced at $29.99, they are expected to be released within the next two to three months. Honeycomb reduced the price of the Airbus throttle pack to $49.99 when purchased with the Flap Accessory bundle.
Another notable accessory is the Honeycomb Xbox Hub, designed to connect any Honeycomb product (not already Xbox compatible) to the Xbox Series X or Series S. Priced at $39.99, the hub enables compatibility with the Logitech Throttle Quadrant and Rudder Pedals as well. No specific release date was provided for the Xbox Hub.
Honeycomb addressed the issue of finding a reliable USB hub for flight sim accessories with the introduction of the Honeycomb Powered USB Hub. This hub connects to a computer via USB-C and features six powered USB ports, ensuring sufficient power for all flight sim hardware. The hub has been extensively tested with major flight sim hardware products currently available in the market. Honeycomb did not announce a specific release date for the USB hub, but it will be priced at $49.99.
While Honeycomb made several exciting announcements, there were also disappointments regarding product delays. The Honeycomb Charlie Rudder Pedals, highly anticipated by the flight sim community, have faced yet another delay. The company attributed this delay to supplier issues with the American-made hall-effect sensors used in the pedals. Honeycomb indicated a best-case scenario of a 2-3 month delay, but a more realistic timeline suggests late 2023 or early 2024. Honeycomb emphasised that the pedals feel connected to an aircraft and that the user will be immersed due to how precise / realistic it feels. Honeycomb offered customers who pre-ordered the Charlie Rudder Pedals the option to cancel and receive a full refund or keep their pre-order and receive a free Honeycomb Aeronautical hat as an apology along with updating everyone every 2-4 weeks regarding updates.
Honeycomb Tango Foxtrot HOTAS Update
Similarly, the Honeycomb Tango Foxtrot HOTAS (Hands-On Throttle and Stick) was put on hold. The company did not provide specific details during the presentation but mentioned the decision was influenced, in part, by the post-COVID consumer electronics market crash.
New Configurable 1080p Delta Touchscreen Displays
One of the highlights of the announcement was the introduction of the Honeycomb Delta Flight Displays. These displays are a series of reconfigurable, 1080p touchscreen displays designed specifically for flight simulation. They wirelessly connect to a PC and allow users to create customizable cockpit setups using combinations of the upcoming 12" and 7" multitouch displays. Honeycomb emphasised that the Delta displays would be compatible with popular flight simulators like X-Plane, Microsoft Flight Simulator, and DCS World. Additionally, the company plans to establish a "Certified for Delta" program to ensure compatibility with third-party aircraft add-ons.
The Honeycomb Delta Flight Displays come equipped with motion sensors and rotary knobs. The motion sensor can detect movement and trigger specific functions on the displays. A demonstration was shown to help visualise how the motion sensor automatically displayed the autopilot panel of a Boeing 737 when motion was detected, and hid it when the motion stopped. The rotary knob dynamically adapts to the selected knob in the simulator, providing intuitive control.
Honeycomb collaborated with Sim Innovations, their software partner, to develop plug-and-play software for the Honeycomb Delta screens. Each display can be purchased individually and arranged according to the user's cockpit layout preferences. The 7" screen will be available for $249.99., while the 12" screen is expected to retail for $349.99.
Honeycomb Lima Flight Chair
On a positive note, the Honeycomb Lima Flight Chair, designed specifically for flight simulation, is set to ship to customers in October. The Lima chair features a flight deck-inspired design, individually-locking wheels, and Alcantara-style fabric upholstery. It will be available for purchase at $299.99.
Honeycomb Announces Flight Sim Academy
Lastly, Honeycomb introduced the Flight Sim Academy, a free educational STEM program aimed at fostering interest in aviation among children through flight simulation. Honeycomb plans to fund the program, and their goal is to establish at least 30 locations within the next five years.
The company aims to reach 400 STEM programs annually and launch over 100 new ones each year. The academy will utilise Honeycomb's products along with aviation curriculum materials from renowned organisations such as Newton, AOPA, and Gleim.
Honeycomb Partnership with Origin PC
In addition to product announcements, Honeycomb Aeronautical revealed two exciting initiatives. The company announced a partnership with Origin PC, Corsair's boutique PC brand, to offer turnkey PC solutions specifically tailored for flight simulation. These PCs will be optimised and pre-configured for flight simulators, bearing Honeycomb branding. Honeycomb did not provide specific details regarding pricing or release dates for these PC solutions.
Overall, Honeycomb Aeronautical's announcements at FSExpo 2023 showcased their commitment to innovation and delivering high-quality flight simulation hardware. With the introduction of the Honeycomb Delta displays, updates to the Honeycomb Alpha yoke, new accessories, and initiatives like the Honeycomb/Corsair partnership and Flight Sim Academy, the company continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in the world of flight simulation. Flight sim enthusiasts have much to look forward to in the coming months and years as Honeycomb strives to enhance the virtual flying experience.
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