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A different approach

Desktop Pilot aims for realistic simulations

By Collin Callahan 

Practical flight training can be hard to achieve on desktop flight simulators like Microsoft Flight Simulator and X-Plane.


Photograph by Chris Rose.
Photograph by Chris Rose.

Most retail USB control devices are geared toward gamers; rather than emulate a specific airplane, they find a middle ground that can be adapted to a variety of situations.

Desktop Pilot takes a different approach. The company offers a line of USB control devices that replicate the switchology of Cessna aircraft, allowing simmers to more easily adapt lessons learned in the sim to an actual airplane.

Controller units replicate the throttle quadrant, ignition panel and electrical switches, flap selector, fuel selector, trim wheel, and parking brake. Every button needs to be set up with the flight simulator software but the whole process takes only a few minutes. Desktop Pilot has documentation and video walk-throughs to assist in the process. The controllers can be secured to a desktop with adhesive strips, or they can be mounted into a panel and secured with screws.

Using the controllers is an enjoyable experience that aligns closely to the in-aircraft experience. Switches flip with a satisfying click, and throttle controls slide smoothy.

Desktop Pilot expects to launch a full flight simulator with G1000 displays, rudder pedals, LCD monitors, and an adjustable seat later this year.

From $89.95

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