Before I learned (learnt?) that Microsoft was dropping WMR and I might need a new VR headset, I made some purchases on the WinWing store. Given that I still can’t seem to give up my VR experience for TrackIR, I feel that these purchases may be somewhat … unneeded?
I am going to shamelessly pull images from the WinWing store because I can’t really take better pictures.
First, I bought the F-15EX II throttle grips for my pre-existing Orio 2 throttle. I don’t have the F-15E module … yet … but I couldn’t resist the extra buttons and dials.
Then, because I didn’t have enough to bump my VR headset into when I lean forward to get a closer look at some dial or other, I bought the F-18C UFC/HUD combo to replace the CH Products MFP in the centre of my pit.
And, seeing as I was ‘losing’ my centre MFD buttons (my CH Products MFP is configured for centre MFD duty, plus buttons on the UFC to handle the number imputs, mode selections (the vertical and horizontal buttons that make an inverted T in the UFC)), I had to get an MFD (without display, because VR) to hang off the bottom of the UFC/HUD.
Giving me basically this, with the Thrustmaster MFDs in the left and right positions:
And then WinWing had to be amazing and release the F-16 ICP!
Which you can attach to the F-18C UFC with rails that let you rotate the panel over top of the UFC!
And since I had an order going, and it was Christmas, why not be a complete idiot and add in the PTO2 panel???
Cripes! I wonder about my sanity some times. Well, honestly, most times
Now, I think that I enjoy tinkering and re-configuring my flight setup more than I actually spend time in flight sims lately. And all of this impulsive flight sim setup comes from a long, convoluted line back to Falcon 4 - which I am starting to wish I had never discovered … not really
For a quick review, all of the panels are absolutely awesome … except for the PTO2.
The F-18C UFC/HUB controls are very well made, somewhat navigable with some mental training in VR. The F-16 ICP is amazing as well, though the mechanism to put in in front of the F-18C UFC puts it pretty dang close to me (I have the F-18C UFC/HUD mounted to my Virpil stick mount which puts it close enough to touch without having to reach forward, meaning that the ICP is really close). I am not sure that I would recommend having both - meaning that I would recommend either as they are both well built, sturdy and have a lot of functionality.
The MFD panel is amazing as well. It has all of the grey buttons, plus the separators between the buttons are also buttons. So, in addition to the 20 grey buttons around the edges, you get an additional 4 buttons per side, giving 9 per side or … does math quickly … 36 buttons? not counting the additional buttons for gain and such.
The F-15EX II throttle grips are great as well.
All of these are well built, solid, and feel like they will have a good, long life.
The PTO2 panel is … well, to be honest, it feels pretty cheap. The gear, hook and wing-fold toggles are nice but feel like I am going to break them if I ham-fist them at all. Like, maybe in VR these are not going to be as good as purely visual, with something like TrackIR. The ‘Select Jett’ button is soft as heck, which means that you can barely feel when it moves to, and hits, a different position. And the parking brake handle does not function as it is implied on the WinWing site: it acts as a 4 way hat switch where turning it left for right acts like a hat switch being pushed left or right, and you can pull or push it which acts like a hat switch being pushed forward or back.
I will post an updated picture of my flight setup when I get home today. I am pretty happy with it.