The poor man’s flight simulator cockpit.

Trying to practice flying a helicopter in Flight Simulator is really hard – partly because FS is so poor at simulating a helicopter, but mostly because a standard 4-axis joystick does not ‘feel’ right.

Well, I got busy with a few bits of wood and some extra wire, and made a frame that sits on the office chair in front of the PC with the controls in all the right places! I simply took the 3rd and 3th axis control post out of the joystick, mounted them on the wood in the right places to be ‘torque pedals’ and ‘collective’, secured the remains of the joystick to the wood in front of the chair and put a bit of pipe on the handle to extend it into a ‘cyclic’ and …. woopee! With two screens on the computer so I get a decent spread of view, I can (almost) think I’m sitting in the helicopter. It’s certainly a lot better than using the joystick alone, and at least gets the brain programmed to move the right controls in the right fashion while practicing. (No, you DON’T twist the cyclic in a real helicopter to change direction!)

Pictures will be posted soon.