I am happy to announce that as of today, I have the necessary approvals needed to make and sell copies of the control stick of the Viggen, called ‘Styrspak FPL 37 Viggen’. ‘Styrspak’ is swedish for flight stick, or control stick, meaning litterally “steering lever”. FPL is the swedish military abbreviation for “Flygplan” or aircraft, and 37 is the unit number for the Viggen.
The Viggen stick is a beautiful piece of swedish industrial design and engineering. A friend of mine, who used to fly the Viggen, says it’s the most ergonomical flight stick he has ever used. I think it’s just beautiful, but I may be biased
The stick grip copies will be compatible with existing joystick bases.
I have access to an original Viggen stick, that will be the base for the copies. The original is made of metal, as will the copies. I have yet to decide between aluminium or zink.
The electronics will not be 100% copies, but rather off the shelf buttons and switches, but the tactile area of the buttons will be metal as well. I will make an effort to copy the great feel of the trigger. Squeezing the trigger feels like shooting a revolver. It’s just magnificent.
Another feature that I would like to copy is the “Knife”. The Viggen stick had a electrical motor that activated a lever that vibrated against the hand, giving feedback of an impending stall. The electrical motor will probably be sold as an add on.
First step of the process is to strip down the original stick and find out how it works. The metal body of the stick will be used to cast plastic copies that then will be “cleaned” up to repair scuff marks and other damage. The plastic copies will then be used to cast the new metal body.
I did contemplate to just make a 3D CAD model of the stick, and mill it from aluminum. But since the original is cast, and that you can actually tell from the somewhat rough surface of the stick, I thought casting copies would be the best way to stay true to the original design.
I doubt this ‘Styrspak FPL 37 Viggen’ will sell in great numbers, or that it will make me rich. In fact I’ll be happy if I just break even and cover my costs. It’s not about the money. This is a labour of love!
And before you ask, I don’t have a unit price yet, nor am I in a position to take orders. I will have to finish the prototype first.
Enjoy the pics!