For about the last 5 years I’ve been doing most of my sim-flying (and really computing in general) on my laptop in my recliner next to my wife. She’s a “quality time” person (gentleman if you don’t know what I mean by this, look it up and learn, it will make your life immeasurably easier), so this was a good compromise. I’ve been flying with a Cobra M5 on the recliner arm, and it’s work reasonably well. However she has recently gotten a new job, and as such I suddenly have quite a bit more “me” time in my schedule, allowing me to use my man cave, with full HOTAS, TrackIR, etc.
I was pondering that over the years I have mostly flown center stick. For a long time this was due to joysticks being designed to be held in the hand (yes I’m that old) or at least not staying on a desk/table particularly well. Once I got a good heavy joystick that would actually stay put, I flew side stick to be able to get to the keyboard easier (this was about the time the Thrustmaster TQS hit the market, and man did I want one!), as it was integral to flight simming. When that stick died, I transitioned to stick with a twist grip and throttle, and was back to center stick, as I had to be able to work the throttle. When I finally got a HOTAS, I was primarily sidestick since I had to find a place to put the stick. However for casual flight siming (say FSX) I would often times center stick, and just use the on joystick throttle.
So what was the point of this meandering trip down memory lane? I’m going to do some pit building, and I’m trying to decide where the heck to put my stick. I don’t really have an allegiance to center stick or side stick, and I’ve never flown a center stick with an extension (also all my real flight time is something with a yoke). I’m leaning towards center stick, as it’s the actual position of most aircraft.
I’d ideally like to have my HOTAS mounted to my chair, and doing that with a center stick is a bit more of a pain. A lot of the real world ergonomic issues that effect a center vs side position also don’t apply.
So what does the MS brain trust have to say on the issue?
- Center Stick
- Side Stick