Thrustmaster is celebrating 30 years in the PC games controls business by launching a premium TCA (Thrustmaster Civil Aviation) product range, which is officially licensed by Airbus. It says given these controls and suitable flight sim software, gamers will be able to "experience incredibly lifelike sensations and features, and virtually step into the shoes of an airline captain".
The new controls range consists of four new officially-licensed SKUs compatible with PC (Windows 10, 8). To design these controls, Thrustmaster says it leveraged its skills, honed over decades in the business, to work with Airbus and create the following:
- TCA Sidestick Airbus Edition: £64.99 / $69.99 / €69.99 (releases 25th June)
- TCA Quadrant Airbus Edition: £89.99 / $99.99 / €99.99 (releases 24th Sept)
- TCA Quadrant Add-On Airbus Edition: to be confirmed later this year
- TCA Officer Pack Airbus Edition: £149.99 / $159.99 / €159.99 (from 24th Sept)
A recommended purchase along with any of the above controls is the TM Flying Clamp (£54.99 / $69.99 / €59.99) which is a metal constructed adaptable, non-slip system used to mount your flight sim controls, if you haven't built/bought a cockpit.
The TCA Sidestick Airbus Edition is described as an "ergonomic replica Airbus sidestick is a versatile ally for virtual pilots in all types of flight simulation." It features 12 remappable action buttons, a modular design (you can swap button modules), and other flight sim friendly features at an affordable price point.
The base of the joystick includes a thrust reverser function, as featured on commercial Airbus plans. A Z-axis controlled rudder provides a winning combination of realism and ease of use. Thrustmaster is keen to point out that the TCA Sidestick Airbus Edition features its proprietary H.E.A.R.T (HallEffect AccuRate Technology) for long service life and precision - offering a 14-bit resolution.
As a companion device for your TCA Sidestick Airbus Edition, Thrustmaster is hoping that the TCA Quadrant Airbus Edition, with its two separate thrust levers, inspired by their real counterparts, appeals. As per the real thing the throttles can be linked. Again a thrust reverser function is built into this control. H.E.A.R.T is used in this device providing up to 16-bit resolution. You can get the TCA Sidestick and Quadrant Airbus Edition together in the slightly cheaper Officer Pack.
For greater control options the new TCA offerings are compatible with Thrustmaster T.Flight Rudder Pedals (TFRP) and Thrustmaster Pendular Rudder (TPR) rudder systems. Thanks to the T.A.R.G.E.T (Thrustmaster Advanced pRogramming Graphical EdiTor) software suite users can config and program a multitude of controls and attach them via a single USB port.
Thrustmaster recommends its controls for full enjoyment of titles like Microsoft Flight Simulator (upcoming); X-Plane 11; Aerofly FS 2 Flight Simulator; DCS: Digital Combat Simulator; Ace Combat 7; Star Citizen; Elite Dangerous; War Thunder… and many more. The joystick may be good for Star Wars: Squadrons pilots too.