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  1. #1

    Upcoming hotas gear

    In case you didn't know, there are two eastern european companies making some really nice flight controllers. They are VKB and Virpil. Each one has a variety of sticks available now, and grips/throttles coming soon. The ones that interest me are:

    The new combat stick from VKB. Just look at it!

    Virpil have a nice stick, the MongoosT50 available now. Based on a russian design.

    And the Virpil combat throttle, which is announced to be in our hands by Christmas... hopefully! Not much info on it yet, but this thread has a prototype pictured. The consumer version will have unknown switches on the body also.

    If you know of anything similar, please share it with us.

  2. #2
    looks very polished

    "161 SQN flys the AEF flag the highest"

  3. #3
    Pre-ordered the new combat grip from VKB, with base plate and extension:

    It's pricey, but looks oh so sweet. An early xmas present to myself. Starts shipping Nov 1st. Can't wait!
    I'll put up a review if people are interested.

  4. #4
    Squadron Leader
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Wow, that looks like a great piece of kit!

  5. #5
    Wow, now it seems VKB and Heatblur are doing an F-14 stick!

    So that's a new TM F18, VKB F14, Virpil T50, VKB Modern Combat Grip... and throttles being announced "soon". Spoiled for choice

    And VKB have said their throttles will be modular, so it could even be that they have grips for different aircraft on that in future.

  6. #6
    Oooh baby, check out this bad boy just announced from Virpil :>

  7. #7

    A new teaser from Virpil, which looks very much like a dedicated controller for space sims. This should be interesting for those of you into Elite/S42.
    Details coming in November. But from their comments it has twist and is made as a HOSAS type system (think a throttle on a joystick) for precise thruster control.

  8. #8
    161 Squadron Barking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Damn that gear looks great, will be interesting to see where they price it compared to the other space sim geared HOTAS' on the market.

  9. #9
    My suspicion is that it will be priced more in the direction of the warthog

    "161 SQN flys the AEF flag the highest"

  10. #10
    161 Squadron Barking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Sorry Panthro didn't clarify, was musing on the cost of the twist stick space sim joystick only.

    Sounds similar in layout to a 3d pro, albeit with more buttons and hopefully better sensors. So would be interesting to see where it sits between the 3d pro, t flight, x52 and the t16000m in terms of cost.

    Could cut them a really nice part of the market if they can get a sub $100 stick with good features and their usual build quality.

  11. #11
    yes, that would bag them quite a few sales.

    "161 SQN flys the AEF flag the highest"

  12. #12
    Sorry, but these controllers will be WAY more than 100USD. Think 300USD, and up, per controller. These are top end components, built with all metal gimbals, high quality switches/sensors, etc. VKB and Virpil have no interest in the budget market (atleast not for awhile). This gear is built to last forever.
    A dual stick, or stick and throttle setup will probably cost about 1000AUD.

    You can get it a little cheaper if you have a warthog grip you want to use, as both companies let you attach one to their base. This is a popular option for those with warthogs, as the stick gimbal in the warthog is cheap plastic.

  13. #13

    This is the new stick from Virpil, which is designed for space sims to replace a traditional throttle (HOSAS). It's described as entry level but looks like their usual high quality. (Same base as their high end sticks).
    Shipping Q1 next year. Pricing info "soon".
    It has 2 X 4way hats with push, an 8 way hat, analog stick with push, wheel with push, and dual stage trigger. Twist is optional.

    It will have more advanced grips coming after that.

  14. #14
    VKB have teased their new throttle. They are hopeless with release dates, don't believe anything they say. But once finally ready should be some quality gear:

  15. #15
    Wing Commander shuto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

  16. #16
    And a new tease of their WW2 prop throttle...
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    VKB is stepping it up!
    Last edited by Panthro; 04-01-2018 at 11:32 AM.

  17. #17
    AEF Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    needs moar buttons and anodizing

  18. #18
    Took me awhile, but I finally had time to make this review of the MCG Pro grip, and Gunfighter Pro base, from VKB.
    I'll review the base first, as this is where most people will see improvements.

    The Base:

    The base unit is called the Gunfighter Pro, and consists of the base housing containing the gimbals, springs and electronics, and the stick extension (to which the grip attaches up top). The base itself is compact, measuring 10cm square - perfect for mounting between legs. (It also comes with a large flat plate you can attach to the bottom for desktop use, but if that's what you want, just buy the Gladiator instead.)

    The construction is all metal and everything is machined beautifully. You can customise the feel of the stick pretty dramatically. The box comes with 5 different sets of springs, from #10 (light) to #50 (heavy). Each axis can have TWo springs fitted. So you can change the weight of each axis quite a bit. You also have a choice of two sets of cams. The base comes fitted with #10 cams, which are effectively linear. As you move the stick, you have NO idea if you are at centre or not. It is just perfectly smooth motion. The box also contains #30 cams, which return the stick to centre with a definite "force". Each axis also has an adjustable "damper" or friction knob. You can set it up that the stick STAYS PUT wherever you move it, if you want. Great for rotor heads!

    Out of the box the #10 cams are installed, with #10 springs. This setup is so light the stick will flop around easily. True finger tip flying. If you move the stick off centre and let go, it flops around 6-7 times before loosely stopping somewhere near centre. The motion is absolutely fluid, with no sense of crossing an axis at all. But for fixed wing flight, I would pull the stick back and inadvertantly roll to one side also because I simply could not tell I was pulling to one side by accident. And when I went hands off, the stick would not be at centre, so you'd roll away and descend, or climb, which was quite annoying.

    So, I changed the cams to #30, and this changed the feel dramatically. Each axis has a definite centre. You clearly know when crossing each axis centre and the stick returns to centre when let go. My accuracy in flying improved immediately. Hands off the plane stays dead centre now. Awesome! I also put #50 springs, the heaviest, on each axis, plus an additional #30 spring on the pitch axis. It is still fairly light and easy to move the stick due to the extension providing a large lever moment, but it is very smooth and stable also.

    No matter what combination of cams and springs you go with, the base is incredibly smooth and accurate. The sensors are contact less and even the tiniest movements are picked up with precision. Flying is so much more satisfying now that even the slightest of pressures translate into aircraft response.

    The Grip:

    This is the Modern Combat Grip (MCG). There are 3 versions, I got the Pro.
    The grip is overall very good. Refer to the diagrams for details of buttons. The hats are 4 ways, including push. Two of these are actually analog mini sticks of good quality. Gripping the stick, I have to stretch a bit to reach the top buttons, but it's not bad. Using an analong mini stick as a "hat" is a little strange, but it works very reliably and you get used to it. The trigger is dual stage, but a bit "soft" for my tastes. The brake lever is analog and makes even wheel braking a breeze. There is also a second trigger that stows away, flips down into "armed" position, and you can pull as per usual for firing. Pretty cool.
    Everything can be programmed with incredible flexibility in VKBs software, but it is very complicated. You can do cool things like have buttons press or fire a macro at any point along an axis travel. For example, you can have a button press as you pull full brake lever to fire a parachute or something. Examples are coming out now, which makes it easier to deciper.
    Also, the grip can be offset with a twist (CCW), so that it is easier to grip in your right hand. You get about 15-20 degrees of twist. This makes holding it much more comfortable.

    VKB also offer the KG12 grip, a WW2 replica, and more grips are in the works. They will all work on the same base/extension.

    VKB also allow you to put Warthog grips on the Gunfighter base. Good if you want to keep the grip but get better gimbals. (Research this first, it's a bit confusing).


    The stick has the highest number of buttons/axis of any stick on the market. Coupled with the extension and super accurate base, you have all the precision you could want. The all metal construction is built to last and feels beautiful.
    The software is hard to use, but obviously super powerful for those who don't mind some puzzle work. My formation skills have already gone up a level and I'm just getting used to the stick.

    Unfortunately, VKB have some production issues. They are notorious for missing deadlines by months. It can be tedious waiting for stock. But when they do deliver, it's quality stuff. Their throttle is slated for Q3 2018. I take that to mean 2H 2019. Even so, I'll wait for it, because they make some really good stuff.


    Just checked my order note: The whole package, delivered from North America cost me $505 USD. Not cheap at all after AUD conversion. I definitely hesitated a moment when ordering lol, but I'm glad I got it. This is something I'll be using for years and it should definitely last me a good while.
    Also, you can get a MCG grip compatible with the warthog base if you want to do that. You can get an adapter that lets you put a warthog grip on a gunfighter base. Both options will save you cash if you have those parts already.

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    (The last gimbal pic is a dev version, the actual one you get is improved and nicer)
    Last edited by SneakyBastd; 19-02-2018 at 02:37 PM.

  19. #19

  20. #20

    I just saw this. Some good quality video of the stick, and talks about the dampening.
    He also shows the CH Fighterstick which is the exact stick I came from.

  21. #21
    Just some quick updates. Virpil have their space sim stick launching this month. This is not their high end stick, but it is still going to be great quality. Supposed to be an "affordable" stick, and definitely worth keeping an eye on.

    And their great looking throttle (see OP) is now in production. So that should be launching soon also.
    Important to note, the grip originally had 2 X 2 way switches. Many people thought that stupid, and requested they become 4 way hats. This has happened for the production version, which is great. However, the first release of this grip will NOT have an analog ministick. There is another version coming out "shortly" afterwards with a ministick. So I imagine most will want to wait for this one.
    Last edited by SneakyBastd; 07-03-2018 at 10:47 AM.

  22. #22
    Registered Users
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    Mar 2018
    Was starting to look for a accurate F-18 HOTAS system to replace my X-55 setup and came across this: Anyone know anything about them?

  23. #23
    161 Squadron Barking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Very high quality, VERY expensive. Know a chap who enquired after them and got a quote approaching $2000

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