updated 09:15 am EDT, Tue June 2, 2009
Logitech flight controller
At the E3 gaming expo on Tuesday Logitech announced the upcoming release of its first ever force feedback flight simulator for Windows PCs that sports authentic controls, the Flight System G940. The design of the peripheral was based on the actual control found in military and commercial planes and helicopters. There are three distinct components in the G940, including the force feedback joystick, dual throttles and rudder pedals. There are over 250 programmable button options between the two hand controls.
Compatible PC simulators include Microsoft's Flight Simulator X, IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946, Lock On: Modern Air Combat and X-Plane 9. Setting the system up is simplified, with the throttle and pedals connecting to the joystick, which then connects to a PC via its USB cable. All three components have mounting hard points for securing them onto a solid surface.
The joystick has a two-stage metal trigger, six programmable buttons, a mini-stick, an 8-way hat and three analog trim controls. The throttle control is split for multi-engine aircraft, which can be locked together for single-engine planes. The programmable buttons at the base of the throttle control illuminate in red, green or amber to indicate system status. Logitech includes 80 label inserts that fit under the button's see-through domes to indicate which custom function they represent. All customizable buttons can be set using Logitech's included gaming software.
The pedals feature a four-bar mechanism taken from current jet fighter designs and have an open frame design with rudder controls and toe brakes. The resistance of the pedals can be adjusted by a knob. To keep the base in place, it has carpet grips and heel rests.
The Logitech Flight System G940 is expected to ship in the US and Europe in September for $300.