All posts by w3ck3l

New Throttle inbound

As a TM T.16000 owner—I have the full set consisting of stick, throttle, and pedals—I’m very happy with it but over time, am beginning to feel some of its limitations.

I recently upgraded the stick to VKB’s Gunfighter II Modern Combat Edition and have been looking for a throttle to follow it. While I enjoy my T.16000, I’ve never been too hip on their Warthog stick and throttle. Mostly, because they’re so A-10 specific. Perfect if the A-10C is your preferred ride but, it isn’t mine and I want controls that are a bit more generic and make sense throughout the full range of the aircraft I fly.

The Warthog HOTAS has been around for a very long time and its competitors haven’t been asleep. All reports seem to indicate that the new HOTAS manufacturers are incorporating many lessons learned from the Warthog into their controls.

Unfortunately, serious combat flight sim‘rs have few options when it comes to throttles. Once we’re in the higher end of the price spectrum, the Warthog and the VirPil VPC MongoosT-50CM are really the two main choices. I went with the VirPil.

VirPil TM-50 Mongoose Throttle HOTAS

I like the number and types of buttons and switches. I like the ability to change the RGB ligting. I like the layout of the throttle handle’s buttons, dials, and hats.

Things I don’t like are the price (it’s not inexpensive) and the lack of an afterburner detent. My current TM throttle doesn’t have an AB detent, nor has any throttle I’ve ever used. So… I guess I won’t miss what I don’t have and I’ve yet to have issues with accidentally jumping into burner. That said, it’s probably a very nice feature to have. Ultimately though, this wasn’t a deal-breaker for me.

Getting ahold of VirPil’s VPC MongoosT-50CM throttle was neither easy or straightforward. VirPil doesn’t seem to be able to keep their products stocked; Just about every time I’ve been to their site, the majority of their products show as being out of stock. Compounding this is their odd approach to keeping their (potential) customers informed. They use a “restock schedule” that is broadcast from their blog, along with having several odd and very old blog posts with incorrect information.

Long story short, I waited about five months for the chance to purchase this throttle. I had to set a reminder for the date and time (in GMT) of their latest restock, then jump on the website and get my order in. I ended up doing this on my phone while drinking at the local American Legion. Glad I did too—the throttles were all sold out by the following day.

So now, just waiting. I’m assuming it’s being drop-shipped from China, like my VKB stick was. I’ll post my first impressions when it arrives.

Tool On spotify

I’ve been using Spotify (free) since… 2013 at least. Not as long as some, but a long time. I’m invested, at least in time on the platform. My SO has a premium account but I’ve never taken the time to see if I can glom onto that. The ads suck ass but, to be fair, they don’t bother me that much.

The BIG thing with Spotify, for me, has always been their lacking a few bands who I consider to be critical. A recent gift was Def Leppard’s first three albums. Rights to these albums had been tied up in a decade-long legal battle. The pop big-hair Def Leppard stuff has always been available; The good stuff, however, has not been.

Topping this list, though, has always been Tool. They’re an—dare I say—important band. I don’t know what the backstory is. I’m just happy to have Tool accessible to on Spotify, where I listen to all my other music.

Fuck yeah!

Links:

Tool Discography
Def Leppard : High ‘N’ Dry – 1981
Def Leppard: On Through the Night – 1980

Russian Su-27 Emergency Landing in Primorsky Krai

A Russian Su-27 fighter jet was forced to make an emergency landing early Wednesday morning in Primorsky Krai, Far East, Russia’s Eastern Military Press reported.

Initial findings from a special committee investigating onsite reported that while returning to Uglovaya military airport in Primorsky Krai after a night training flight, the aircraft signalled a failure in the hydraulic system of the nose landing gear during descent and the pilot subsequently decided to land. The pilot was uninjured in the incident.

During the forced landing, the Su-27 was not on fire and the aircraft was not loaded with ammunition, and could recover its technical abilities after an overhaul.

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Su-27SM3 Deploy to Baranavichy

By the end of the year 24 Su-27SM3 fighter jets will have been deployed at the Russian aviation base in Belarus.

Russian fighter jets regiment, composed of 24 Su-27SM3 fighter jets, will ensure the “Union State’s” air defense and the integrity of the air space, ITAR-TASS reports with a reference to the Commander in Chief of Russia’s air forces Viktor Bondarev.

Continue reading Su-27SM3 Deploy to Baranavichy