Review: Thrustmaster Boeing Flight Controls In Depth First Impressions

Review: Thrustmaster Boeing Flight Controls In Depth First Impressions

October 4, 2021
Taylor Broad
nobody, apparently.
Copy Provided
Copy Provided

Just a few errors I wanted to, unfortunately, highlight after making this video and I didn't want to re-record portions.

> Tim at Thrustmaster, I'm really sorry for saying your name wrong. This was caught after the video was exported and on YouTube 😢

> The Throttles do come with autothrottle disconnect switches, however no TO/GA. While not realistic, I'd recommend mapping one as your TO/GA and the other as your A/T Disconnect.

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Well… You know the old saying, “If it ain’t Boeing, I’m not going.” Now that Thrustmaster has a Boeing licensed product on final approach, will that entice the Boeing fanbase to buy into the next iteration of products in the Thrustmaster Civil Aviation line?

Hot off the heels of their very successful Airbus lineup, and a long history in flight sticks geared heavily towards the military simulation market, Thrustmaster delivers a unique offering with their expansion to their lineup of flight controls.

The Yoke

Let’s get started with talking about the yoke. Traditionally with yokes in flight sim, it was a simple box with a pole sticking straight through it. However, Thrustmaster broke from convention to provide a yoke that pivots on the Y-Axis, replicating how commercial aircraft have their yokes mounted on the floor.

Trying this yoke out for the first time, I noticed that it was definitely a unique feel, and it also avoided a major problem found on traditional yokes. Desk movement.

If you’re not familiar, when you’re pulling or pushing a yoke, you’re exerting a lateral force. Thanks to this, you’ve always run the risk of an improperly or poorly mounted yoke being pulled right into your lap. I know this pain all too well when I had a CH Yoke way back in the early 2000s. Thanks to the pivot based Y-Axis, you’re not exerting any lateral forces when moving the Y-Axis forward or backward on your desk.

In addition, the yoke features an about 85 degree bank, an accoutrement of buttons and axis to work correctly with the XBox Consoles, A traditional hat switch on the left side with a thumb joystick on the right. Two triggers on each side. A landing gear two position switch, Finally, you have trim switches:

If you don’t want to get the throttle quadrant, you still have dual engine controls thanks to two sliders located at the bottom of the yoke. To my knowledge, this is one of the few flight controls with multiple designated throttles on it:

Overall, I feel that the yoke definitely separates itself from the growing yoke market in new and exciting ways.

Throttle Quadrant

Being released as a separate SKU, the throttle quadrant is the companion to the yoke, and has a few unique quirks not present in the Airbus throttles.

First and foremost, gone are the detents and built-in reverse thrust, and now you have 3 sliders along with a few labeless buttons and a center knob that’ll allow for you to control your MCP knobs.

Now, this unit does have 3 sliders. When I looked at one of the slides during the seminar from Thrustmaster’s Tim Gorham, I discovered that there was a slide with a flap lever. I therefore asked, in a stuttering fashion, about that. To which, I got out of some information that wasn’t planned on being revealed that day, in that the throttle system is ambidextrous and allows for the option of either having flaps, or a speedbrake as the 3rd slider on the throttles.

The thrust levers do have reversers, however the implementation basically makes it to where you’re going to simply pull it back as a button, vs a slider.

Pricing

Pricing has not been revealed at this point with the product. However, I have a feeling that since the product wasn’t demonstrated in front of a working computer, it’s still in development and they have yet to hit mass production. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Yoke cost around the $200 range and the throttles were in line with the existing TCA Airbus Throttles.


Overall Impressions

Overall, I felt that we received a lot of value for what Thurstmaster intends to offer. Everything felt smooth and refined. Yet again, they created new products that breathes fresh air into what used to be a stagnant market in flight controls.

The next time we’ll hear from Thrustmaster will be in early November. I expect that’s when they’ll announce final pricing, along with additional sidecar addons, or maybe something out of left field. One can hope for an Apple-esque, “One More Thing!”

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