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cpt.ghost24

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Does anyone here own a X55 or simular? It is off course not that realistic using a combat joystick in an airbus, but I'm just curious what owners of these HOTAS sticks think. Do they work well when flying airbuses?

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I've got the Extreme 3D Pro and I use it left-handed all the time. It's fine, I just only enable the trigger for PTT and the right-hand top button for AP disconnect and turn the rest off. We had

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Had a steering tiller printed now, spray painted it black, as well as the sidestick. Next plan is to mount them together in a box painted up li

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Bob Lyddy

I'm using both the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog & Thrustmaster T16000M ( on 2 separate PCs). Both are excellent setups with the only knock being the T16000M as it only has 1 sliding throttle so both throttles are linked. You cannot go wrong with either joystick, but agree the HOTAS is expensive, but is worth the investment.

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cpt.ghost24

hey guys just checking in on the progress for the sidestick? got a printer out here too so if anyone can finalize or g code we can do a test run and see how this goes :D

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Oh the stick issues... I'm currently using the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro and it is probably the best option as investing in any HOTAS-like thing does get you better hardware yet further away from the resemblance most of us are after. So before getting around to it and having my home (well, not really home as my SO wouldn't understand) -cockpit assembled, I'll be browsing the market for some quality molds, decommissioned parts as well as interested individuals who see potential in collaborating with EADS on certified plug-and-play hardware.

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Arto E.P. Karhu

The other thing about the airbus side stick is that it doesn't snap back into place quickly like a spring stick. I'm not sure on the exact engineering but it has a dampening effect, such as you pull it back and when you release the re-coil of the stick is dampened as it returns to the center position. If you do this with a warthog it will go back and forth slightly as it returns to the neutral position.

I don't know if there is a stick on the market that has this feature.

Bill

Airbus sidestick uses hydraulic dampers that are filled with oil. The whole unit is actually rather bulky. I figure you cannot achieve similar dampening effect quite easily without using a pair of similar dampers.

-Esa

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Kevin Hall
On 12/04/2016 at 8:22 PM, teohalfen said:

What is the maximum deflexion of the Airbus sidestick? Most home joysticks have a maximum deflection of 15 degrees, which is smaller than what I'd like...

Data I have shows the A320 sidestick moves +/- 16 deg in pitch and +/- 20 deg in roll. So 15 deg max deflection is close enough.

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Ben Lim

Since my last post I've had a chance to feel a real airbus A330 and A320 flightstick several times. 

The Logitech joystick feels *nothing* like the real deal. Yes, as the OP as pointed out there is resistance and 'stiffness' -- this doesn't change throughout the flight as confirmed with the Captain and FO I talked to.

The uploaded picture below is me having a feel of the real deal :P

 

Sidestick.jpg

Since my last post I've had a chance to feel a real airbus A330 and A320 flightstick several times. 

The Logitech joystick feels *nothing* like the real deal. Yes, as the OP as pointed out there is resistance and 'stiffness' -- this doesn't change throughout the flight as confirmed with the Captain and FO I talked to.

The uploaded picture below is me having a feel of the real deal :P

 

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Kevin Hall

The real sidestick is spring loaded with heavy damping in roll but effectively only spring loaded in pitch. You can release from full lateral deflection and watch the stick move smoothly to centre. In pitch it springs straight back. The feel can't change in flight because there is no force feedback. However when the AP is engaged a solenoid provides an extra force to break out of the neutral position (which disengages the AP of course). It's a complex mechanism and I can't see a hobby joystick replicating it fully at a reasonable price. I'd be happy with just a heavier spring force. Most gamer joysticks are far too light compared to real aircraft controls, let alone this sidestick. OK for helicopter controls though, which are much lighter and more sensitive.

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Arto E.P. Karhu

Of the off-shelf controllers, the Thrustmaster Warthog is a very reasonable choice in feel and movement, albeit it has its annoying centering detend, and it's a bit light in its springs - heavier than most PC controllers though.

Many, if not most of, the airplanes having solely hydraulic controls lack any "force feedback", the feel is provided by centering springs and typically by reducing the ratio in the control system (not fed back to the controller by increasing the stiffness or anything!) as the speed increases. It is not exclusive to FBW things. With trimmable horizontal stabilizer the trim feel comes naturally, unless actively countered against as in Airbuses.

To dampen the motion and 'return' of the stick, Airbus uses hydraulic dampeners. That's one way to do it, some other aircraft use eddy current dampeners while some else rely solely on the mass of the controllers. The PC controllers in general just rely on friction, making them inherently somewhat imprecise: the friction is more or less constant, even if sticky, while hydraulic, eddy current and pneumatic dampeners work as functions of the rate of displacement.

-Esa

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Ben Lim
14 hours ago, kevinh said:

The real sidestick is spring loaded with heavy damping in roll but effectively only spring loaded in pitch. You can release from full lateral deflection and watch the stick move smoothly to centre. In pitch it springs straight back. The feel can't change in flight because there is no force feedback. However when the AP is engaged a solenoid provides an extra force to break out of the neutral position (which disengages the AP of course). It's a complex mechanism and I can't see a hobby joystick replicating it fully at a reasonable price. I'd be happy with just a heavier spring force. Most gamer joysticks are far too light compared to real aircraft controls, let alone this sidestick. OK for helicopter controls though, which are much lighter and more sensitive.

Kevin, some have tried to replicate it this way (ref 1st picture).

The real deal (ref 2nd picture). 

 

 

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14 hours ago, kevinh said:

The real sidestick is spring loaded with heavy damping in roll but effectively only spring loaded in pitch. You can release from full lateral deflection and watch the stick move smoothly to centre. In pitch it springs straight back. The feel can't change in flight because there is no force feedback. However when the AP is engaged a solenoid provides an extra force to break out of the neutral position (which disengages the AP of course). It's a complex mechanism and I can't see a hobby joystick replicating it fully at a reasonable price. I'd be happy with just a heavier spring force. Most gamer joysticks are far too light compared to real aircraft controls, let alone this sidestick. OK for helicopter controls though, which are much lighter and more sensitive.

Kevin, some have tried to replicate it this way (ref 1st picture).

The real deal (ref 2nd picture). 

 

 

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Bob Lyddy

Besides having the Warthog I am testing the 320 with the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro and it is very good... the right feel and pressure...have been told by some 320 pilots it is a very good approximation (for feel, force/pressures).

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Ben Lim
30 minutes ago, Bob L said:

Besides having the Warthog I am testing the 320 with the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro and it is very good... the right feel and pressure...have been told by some 320 pilots it is a very good approximation (for feel, force/pressures).

Good to hear -- I would also appreciate some further feedback about the Logitech Extreme 3D pro -- if it is a good fit I would possibly be interested in retrofitting an airbus sidestick formfactor with the 3d pro. 

There is a guide to retrofit with the logitech attack 3 here -- http://flightsystem.wix.com/airbus#!How-to-mount-a-sidestick-on-a-Logitech-Attack-3-Joystick/c1d1w/55e705f80cf20cc5249e42a1

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Kevin Hall
19 hours ago, AKar said:

Of the off-shelf controllers, the Thrustmaster Warthog is a very reasonable choice in feel and movement, albeit it has its annoying centering detend, and it's a bit light in its springs - heavier than most PC controllers though.

Many, if not most of, the airplanes having solely hydraulic controls lack any "force feedback", the feel is provided by centering springs and typically by reducing the ratio in the control system (not fed back to the controller by increasing the stiffness or anything!) as the speed increases. It is not exclusive to FBW things. With trimmable horizontal stabilizer the trim feel comes naturally, unless actively countered against as in Airbuses.

To dampen the motion and 'return' of the stick, Airbus uses hydraulic dampeners. That's one way to do it, some other aircraft use eddy current dampeners while some else rely solely on the mass of the controllers. The PC controllers in general just rely on friction, making them inherently somewhat imprecise: the friction is more or less constant, even if sticky, while hydraulic, eddy current and pneumatic dampeners work as functions of the rate of displacement.

-Esa

Every aircraft I know of with fully powered controls (so no natural feedback) also has a hydraulic feel unit on the yoke in pitch and on the pedals. These vary the feedback spring force according to dynamic pressure, stab position, etc. For roll, springs and damping are usually enough. The only ones I'm aware of that don't are FBW aircraft like the Airbus and the F-16. For non-FBW aircraft to have no pitch force feedback would be highly dangerous. Too easy to overstress the airframe.

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Kevin Hall
8 hours ago, OmniAtlas said:

Kevin, some have tried to replicate it this way (ref 1st picture).

The real deal (ref 2nd picture). 

 

 

No doubt, but not something commercially available for the average hobbyist on a budget which is really what I meant. The Warthog is probably the best in terms of spring feel but even that isn't in many people's budget range. I'm still using a MS Sidewinder. 8-O ;)

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Arto E.P. Karhu
9 minutes ago, kevinh said:

Every aircraft I know of with fully powered controls (so no natural feedback) also has a hydraulic feel unit on the yoke in pitch and on the pedals. These vary the feedback spring force according to dynamic pressure, stab position, etc. For roll, springs and damping are usually enough. The only ones I'm aware of that don't are FBW aircraft like the Airbus and the F-16. For non-FBW aircraft to have no pitch force feedback would be highly dangerous. Too easy to overstress the airframe.

Well, for instance and starters, A320 doesn't have in pedals. :) The rudder is of conventional, non-FBW design, using typical ratio limit system.

Several hydraulically powered airplanes don't use force feedback but authority scheduling with constant stick forces stop-to-stop. It is not dangerous in any way, and natural feel is provided as long as stick force per g remains constant via alteration of control authority. However, it may be a worthy correction that "most" of the airplanes, if we speak of airliners, may not lack those, as at least DC-10/MD-11 and 737/757/767 use something along those lines from the planes I know. :) Boeing loves those hydraulic things, those are backed up by spring centering system in their non-reversible systems.

-Esa

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Kevin Hall
42 minutes ago, AKar said:

Well, for instance and starters, A320 doesn't have in pedals. :) The rudder is of conventional, non-FBW design, using typical ratio limit system.

Several hydraulically powered airplanes don't use force feedback but authority scheduling with constant stick forces stop-to-stop. It is not dangerous in any way, and natural feel is provided as long as stick force per g remains constant via alteration of control authority. However, it may be a worthy correction that "most" of the airplanes, if we speak of airliners, may not lack those, as at least DC-10/MD-11 and 737/757/767 use something along those lines from the planes I know. :) Boeing loves those hydraulic things, those are backed up by spring centering system in their non-reversible systems.

-Esa

A rudder ratio system is an alternative solution for the rudder channel to varying feedback forces. But it wouldn't be appropriate for pitch control.

In the irreversible Boeings I'm familiar with (747, 757, 767) the relationship between elevator surface position and column doesn't vary with speed. They vary the force feedback hydraulically to maintain stick force per g. So called "Q-feel". The DC-10 has that too. The MD-11 has autostabilisation in pitch as well. To vary the pitch control authority would be unnatural to a pilot as it would be completely different to a non powered control system. The idea is to make it feel like an unpowered (or power assisted) system and give the pilot familiar cues. That includes much heavier stick forces, for a given column deflection, at high speeds.

Military aircraft are no different to airliner in this respect. Some form of force feedback proportional to Q (dynamic pressure) is essential to avoid the pilot being easily able to exceed airframe structural limits.

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Arto E.P. Karhu

Fair enough - that's how it is regularly done in airliners. :) I happen to have a rather curious collection of type-specific knowledge in this respect, it appears.

The BaE Hawk for instance was the first plane I studied in some detail, having hydraulic controls. It has a conventional stabilator control with hydraulic actuation. A spring cartridge with hydraulic dampeners are used for feel, and the trim system re-centers that spring loading.

The Q feedback can be done in a way that the control response is limited while the speed increases so that the stick force per g remains constant. That approximates the natural feel of the elevator system. In a spring-loaded system, the stick displacement per g would also remain constant. That results in an inevitable compromise in between the low speed and high speed handling characteristics, or would require a modestly sophisticated control system.

-Esa

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Kevin Hall
On 21/05/2016 at 7:34 PM, AKar said:

Fair enough - that's how it is regularly done in airliners. :) I happen to have a rather curious collection of type-specific knowledge in this respect, it appears.

The BaE Hawk for instance was the first plane I studied in some detail, having hydraulic controls. It has a conventional stabilator control with hydraulic actuation. A spring cartridge with hydraulic dampeners are used for feel, and the trim system re-centers that spring loading.

The Q feedback can be done in a way that the control response is limited while the speed increases so that the stick force per g remains constant. That approximates the natural feel of the elevator system. In a spring-loaded system, the stick displacement per g would also remain constant. That results in an inevitable compromise in between the low speed and high speed handling characteristics, or would require a modestly sophisticated control system.

-Esa

The Hawk also has a bob weight which increases stick force under g load.

Doing a bit of research online it seems the L-1011 also used non-linear gearing for the longitudinal control system. Like the Hawk, the L-1011 also had an all moving tailplane so it could be that method is more suitable for aircraft with such powerful pitch controls.

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Arto E.P. Karhu

Bob weights are indeed quite common and clever way to alter the control feel in all kinds of airplanes, with both powered and un-powered controls. The BAe Hawk, being British design, is subject to all kinds of weird mechanic implementations, but it actually is surprisingly straightforward. Those who've flown it say it handles absolutely great.

Do you mean the L-1011 doesn't have any kind of separate elevator at all besides the moving tairplane? Interesting! It's an airplane I've never even seen, I believe.

-Esa

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Kevin Hall

Yes, the L-1011 pitch control is with an all moving stabilizer. There is a separate elevator surface but this is geared to stabilizer position acting in the same direction.

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Arto E.P. Karhu

Okay, that's very interesting, I can't quickly figure anything similar in an airliner. I think the F-86 had somewhat a similar pitch control scheme, but could remember wrong as well. As we know, military airplanes tend to have all-moving stabilators for a traditional elevator tends to lose its effect at high Mach numbers, and airliners use trimmable horizontal stabilizer as it is an effective trim device, but I think it's rare to have the stabilizer itself as a primary pitch control surface in an airliner.

A system that reduces the control surface's movement per stick movement as speed increases (instead of making the controls stiffer) has an advantage of retaining quite constant feel around the speed envelope, I think that's why it is used in at least quite a few military airplanes (FBW and conventional). If the system retains the big standard of airplane handling, the constant stick-force-per-g, reasonably well, in this case it also retains similar stick-displacement-per-g. For accurate flying at various airspeeds, such as formation flying and weapons delivery, I understand that is typically preferred. Of course, given that airliners for instance are generally flown in quite a different manner, I can see the benefits in making a hydraulic force feedback device into them. Of note is that the control authority of the elevator in a typical airliner is naturally reduced in comparison to the entire pitch authority (for the stabilizer, in general, won't follow the stick but the trim commands), but in a scheme using all-moving stabilator, all the control authority is there all the time, basically necessitating a control system reducing the ratio.

One can think that in an airliner, the elevator authority is a small subset of the entire airplane authority, available to us at a given trim setting. In an airplane using all-moving stabilator, we'd have our entire range at once. It makes up quite a different design consideration, and given that you noted the Tristar, I can see how these different philosophies to control feel are related perhaps via their typical uses. :)

-Esa

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Chris Hulme
On 6 June 2016 at 4:50 PM, JBU2423 said:

If anyone is looking to 3D print a captain sidestick: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1607018

Coming back to this topic after a few years! Tried to print the one that was made above however we had no luck! Just had the one from thingiverse printed! Looks great! Cost about £12 for raw materials. Going to take it to work tomorrow to compare to the real thing. Will post up some more photos but for now here's a pic of it with a gator I acquired!

It needs a AP Disc button and the trigger installing with a small micro switch and then planning to mount onto my Logitech attack joystick as previously mentioned!

image.jpeg

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MoeGhaziri
3 hours ago, Diuhh said:

And did you receive the shipping? Is it working well?

Hi Till,

Not yet received, their website is saying the following:

Important Notice!!

Orders placed between July 20th and August 22nd will NOT be shipped until August 27th. 
You will receive further notice between August 22nd and August 27th about an estimated shipping date.

Will update you once received...

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Chris Hulme

Stripped down and mounted onto a Logitech Attack 3, AP Disconnect and PTT Trigger both working. Just waiting for the glue to set then I'll take it for a spin!

 

 

2016-08-23 20.25.51.jpg

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2016-08-23 20.26.02.jpg

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Chris Hulme
19 hours ago, Jordan Chin said:

@super_dudes Is that with the model I made? Completely forgot about this thread lol.

It's the one off Thingiverse I've linked to it above.

On a side note here's a video of my stick in action

 

 

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Camille MOUCHEL
1 hour ago, super_dudes said:

It's the one off Thingiverse I've linked to it above.

On a side note here's a video of my stick in action

 

 

Where can I buy your joystick lol.

Could you do the same video with the A320-X please :D ?

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Chris Hulme
On 8/24/2016 at 7:25 PM, Cmbaviator said:

Where can I buy your joystick lol.

Could you do the same video with the A320-X please :D ?

Sadly its not for sale, and I have no plans to make any for sale as the terms of the 3D model state " DONT SELL THE PRINTS!"

I havent bought the A320-X yet, awaiting payday...but once I have I'll see what I can do!

Thinking about making a small tower for it to sit on and painting it up like the real sidestick area.

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  • 1 month later...
Chris Hulme

Had a steering tiller printed now, spray painted it black, as well as the sidestick.

Next plan is to mount them together in a box painted up like an a sidestick area

Photo%2021-10-2016%2014%2013%2040.jpg

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Antonis Kastrinakis

Slightly off-topic but has anyone tried the Saitek X55 / X56 Rhino controls with the FSL? Not exactly an A320 stick but I am intrigued by the number of assignable buttons, hats and rotaries available.

Cheers,

Tony

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Holger Tillmann

This is interesting reading on the sidestick with very valuable data:

http://www.kls2.com/cgi-bin/arcfetch?db=sci.aeronautics.airliners&id=@ohare.chicago.com>

You will see from the data that the forces differ depending on whether you move the sidestick outward or inward.

This is very difficult to replicate, and there is a reason to the fact that the sidestick is just the tip of the iceberg (the mechanics underneath are huge).

I once bought a simple but very realistic copy of the handle that I fixed to a Logitec Attack 3.

I had some time in a Level D A320 simulator, and I found the Logitec Attack 3 a very good substitute.

The copy I bought was manufactured by cockpitbau and cost me a little less than 100 Euros. I cannot find their webiste anymore, but I will contact them and ask them if they are still in business.

 

Best,

Holger

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MoeGhaziri
3 hours ago, OmniAtlas said:

In the end I decided to purchase a pair of genuine sidesticks and tillers to interface with the sim. Forces are extremely difficult to replicate. 

Ben
soarbywire.com

 

 

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How can we buy such things. Looks amazing. Congrats

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On 12/29/2016 at 6:04 PM, sva422 said:

How can we buy such things. Looks amazing. Congrats

Tear down yards. I've put up a short video -- 

I'm waiting patiently for the Professional version of the Airbus-X...hopefully not too long :)

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