Evolution of the Console Controller – HOTAS Cougar Throttle (2002)
Simulator fans have a reputation for going to great lengths to accurately reproduce as much of a real world flight experience as possible in their homes. The HOTAS (Hands On Throttle And Stick) Cougar from Thrustmaster is typical of expensive home simulator setups. Originally retailing for $299, this throttle and flight stick combo is an accurate reproduction of those in the actual F-16 fighter. It is made of steel and features 28 buttons and multiple “hat” switches, and Thrustmaster claims it was engineered in collaboration with the US Air Force and is used in Air Force pilot training.
The factory standard accuracy of the Cougar is not enough for some sim pilots. A cottage industry of modifications and parts exists both to repair and tweak the controller to better suit pilots.
On loan from Ben Wilhelm