Happy to share with you photos and comments from a Norwegian customer who has just integrated my Spitfire Histories controls into his Spitfire MkIX sim pit.
Tore E Larsen has spent hours building a full scale replica cockpit, but until recently he flew using classic HOTAS stick and throttle controls. He has now replaced these with the following working scale Spitfire Histories controls that you can see in the photos.
Rudder and Elevator trim wheels : These are geared, especially the elevator control, to give a realistic feel and rotation scope.
Throttle quadrant unit : This unit has the Fuel Cutoff lever, the Throttle lever with bomb release button in the grip and an adjustable max take-off stop, the Airscrew Control unit and the friction wheel.
VHF Radio remote controller unit : This has seven user programmable buttons which light up LEDs when pressed, a dimmer control for night flying and a dummy mode lock switch for realism.
Control column with articulated spade grip : This includes a two way firing button (either or, or both), with safety catch (this has both mechanical and electronic locking function), brake lever and a spring loaded strut to hold the column at it’s angled rest position.
Chassis control unit : This has realistic lever mouvement with gates and includes working status indicator.
So what did Tore have to say about the controls ?
“The controllers arrived today and I`m very impressed by all the details and your constructions. This really made me interested in 3d printing, but it must have been quite a job to figure out how to do all these things and make it work. Simply amazing.”
Two days later he had just finished installing the controls but had obviously been up all night setting them up and tuning them in DCS. Here are a few extracts of what he had to say :
Now I have been flying around in the virtual skies for hours and adjusting, testing, you name it. Full motion on and in VR all the time. It was so great to find out that I can reach all those controllers and buttons in VR just by looking at them and reach out my hand. The scaling fits well with the DCS Spitfire. That radio unit is mounted a little low compared to real Spitfires, but I`m not going to change it! Feels and look perfect in VR/DCS including all the other controllers from you. Just amazing how much more fun this is and the feel of flying a Spitfire is very very strong. Now I feel this project is at the stage “you must try it to believe it”.
Well I’m just really happy to have achieved my aim of trying to accurately reproduce the feel and workload of flying an “almost” real Spitfire. I haven’t yet got my own VR set, so it’s super reassuring to hear that the reaching out and finding the appropriate control is working as what one sees in VR. A testimony that VR accurately recreates the scale and dimension of the real cockpit.