Once again, CH pushes the realism (and geek) envelope for flight sims
It won’t do a thing to soften the “GEEK!” label slapped on hardcore flight-sim junkies, but the Throttle Quadrant will make every stick-jockey’s favorite hobby immensely more pleasurable.
So what if new flight sims are few and far between these days? Every Flight Simulator, LOMAC, and Pacific Fighters pilot will be stoked by the prospect of adding six control axes to his desktop, each of which comes with two detents and 12 buttons (for engine idle and/or brake settings).
The Quadrant integrates smoothly into the typical CH flight-control setup, which consists of the USB Fighterstick, Pro Pedals, and Pro Throttle (which the Quad can either work with or replace). Plug in all four devices and you’ll have new fewer than 350 programmable button functions—enough to keep the hardest of the hardcore busy for weeks, happily mapping out a new profile for their sim of choice (or you can just download one from www.ch-hanger.com).
Exhibiting the same rugged-but-bulky, no-frills construction of other CH gear, the Quadrant is a cinch to set up. The additional six levers provide an incredible degree of precision for controlling thrust and fuel mixtures, rendering feats such as formation flying much easier and more gratifying. If you’re flying a four-engine plane, such as a B-17 or a 707, each lever can be used to control a single engine; alternatively, you can use the levers for such things such as incremental flap or gear controls for a single-engine plane. Finally, the front-mounted switches are excellent for engine start/stop, tail-hook release, canopy open/close, and so on.
The only thing we really don’t like about the Quadrant is that physical detents are only included at the bottom range of lever motion, not at the top. These would have been useful for afterburner and war emergency power settings. Although you can add that functionality via CH’s included Program Manager utility, it’s really no substitute for a detent.
When it comes to sims, anything that makes the experience more realistic is usually worth the price, programming, and purchasing rationalizations to acquire. The Quadrant is no exception. --Steve Klett
+ Afterburner: Rugged design, easy setup, and brings incredible precision to flight-sim control options.
- Idle: No physical detents at the top of levers’ range of motion; bulky formfactor.