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Thrustmaster TCA Sidestick Airbus Edition: The FSElite Review

Thrustmaster 2
Product Information
Developer
Thrustmaster
Purchase From
Microsoft
Price
$69.99
BUY HERE
Version Reviewed
N/A
Press Copy Provided By
Thrustmaster
SimMarket
FSElite's preferred Flight Sim vendor is SimMarket. (Why?)

As per our Community Charter, all of our reviews are free from bias, prejudice and favouritism. Don't forget, each reviewer has their own style and thoughts, although they all abide by the Review Guidelines - something I suggest you read.

Throughout the 18 years I have been using flight simulators, I have been aware of the brand Thrustmaster, one that is almost synonymous with the genre. My experience with the brand on the other hand, only started when I received the Thrustmaster TCA Sidestick Airbus Edition earlier this year. The TCA Sidestick Airbus Edition is the first in a range of products aimed at recreating the Airbus universal flight deck found in the A320 and A350 family of aircraft at an affordable price for your home simulator. I have been hands-on with the Sidestick for a few weeks now and I have enjoyed using it, but it isn’t without flaws. Join me in taking a hands-on look at both positives and negatives of the TCA Sidestick Edition from Thrustmaster. 

Unboxing

The box has a striking appearance with a mix of real-world and simulator shots along with details all about the TCA Sidestick Airbus Edition. One of the most important things that are printed on the box is the official Airbus logo to highlight the official endorsement Thrustmaster has received from the aircraft manufacturer. The box also details some more of the TCA ecosystem that will soon be available to purchase, including a throttle quadrant and additional Flap and Spoiler module towards the end of the year. Inside the box, you can find one page ‘how to’ guide, four interchangeable buttons and of course, the Sidestick itself – all tightly packed into the rather small yet compact box. The four interchangeable buttons include two black and two red buttons. Only the red button is included on the real aircraft, which is situated on the right-hand side for the captain and left for the first officer. It is used to disconnect the autopilot and to enable the input from the stick to control the aircraft. I like the fact that you can even have two red buttons or two black depending on your preference. 

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Virtual-Fly Yoko the Yoke PLUS: The FSElite Review

VIRTUAL FLY REVIEW
9.2
Building on the success of their 2013 model, the Yoko the Yoke, the new PLUS edition is the next version of the popular yoke. Virtual-Fly has been manufacturing flight simulation hardware for years, gathering feedback from commercial and entertainment customers alike. With years of refinement up their sleeves, they are back with the Yoko the Yoke PLUS. Let’s dive in
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Stay Level Avionix Model 10 Cockpit Panel: The FSElite Review

FSElite YouTube Thumbnail Tempdlate
9.3
Introduction Stay Level Avionix is a relatively new company that was founded in 2018. They offer an excellent solution to desktop cockpit panels by providing strong and easy to use panels that do not require any mounting. These panels come in a range of hardware styles and colors. They are compatible with Saitek/Logitech, Simionic and Real Sim Gear hardware, with
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Virtual-Fly V3RINO TPM: The FSElite Review

VIRTUAL FLY V3RINO TPM THROTTLE Set Featured Review
7.8
The V2RINO TPM Throttle Quadrant from Virtual-Fly is one of their more recent releases. After a range of successful products that have provided simmers and professionals with high-quality hardware, it was time to explore creating the Vernier Style throttle quadrant. It is also the most expensive flight control in their entire product range. Virtual-Flight has created an impressive feature list,
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Virtual-Fly TQ-6 Throttle Quadrant: The FSElite Review

VIRTUAL FLY Tq6 Plug Throttle Set Featured Review
9.3

Product Information
Developer
Virtual-Fly
Purchase From
Virtual-Fly
Price
€605
BUY HERE
Version Reviewed
N/A
Press Copy Provided By
Virtual-Fly
SimMarket
FSElite's preferred Flight Sim vendor is SimMarket. (Why?)

As per our Community Charter, all of our reviews are free from bias, prejudice and favouritism. Don't forget, each reviewer has their own style and thoughts, although they all abide by the Review Guidelines - something I suggest you read.

When it comes to throttle sets, there are a range of choices out there for flight simulation enthusiasts. However, I have always found that none of them really satisfy my needs for a realistic feeling or ability to customise the controls in any way. I then spoke to the guys at Virtual-Fly who understood my comments, and then were kind enough to send me a review build of their Flight Sim Throttle Quadrant: TQ6 PLUS.

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Before I go into the real detail, let me tell you what I was looking for in a product like this:

  •        Durability
  •        Accurate lever placement
  •        Ability to customise the amount of force you need to pull/push the levers
  •        Easy to attach / detach from any surface

If I had to summarise the review up right now, it would read something like: it satisfies all of my complaints about all other throttle hardware out there. For those that need a bit more detail as to why, feel free to read on below.

Inside the box you will find the TQ-6 packaged up nicely, a small installation manual (it doesn’t need more detail than what it includes) and a few clamps to get it attached to your desk. What I did notice was that the USB cable was pre-attached inside of the casing, meaning the cable attached is the cable you get. Other products I’ve used from Virtual-Fly included a separate wire so you could extend it, or replace it without it impacting the unit at all. Would have been nice to see a consistency in this regard as the 2m (or so) cable may not be suitable for everyone.

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Virtual-Fly Yoko the Yoke: The FSElite Review

VIRTUAL FLY YOKO THE YOKE Featured Review
8.4
Spanish-based flight simulator hardware developer Virtual-Fly has been producing high-quality hardware for many years, including throttles, rudder pedals and their full-cockpit sim set-ups. It’s no surprise that they have built up a huge following of loyal and supportive customers over the years. FSElite has been following the team for a while and we were delighted that they asked us to
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Virtual-Fly Ruddo Rudder Pedals: The FSElite Review

VIRTUAL FLY Ruddo Pedal Set Featured Review
7.8
Rudder pedals are an important  piece of equipment for any serious simmer. Whilst the effectiveness of a rudder axis on a joystick is okay, it’s not exactly designed for more complicated scenarios. Rudder pedals provide that extra sense of realism and control needed for serious pilots. They’re often one of the first things someone will purchase when looking for new
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Thrustmaster TPR Pedal Set: The FSElite Review

Thrustmaster Tpr Review
8.7
Over the past few years, I think it’s fair to say that we’ve seen a huge technological push within our flight simulators. Whether that is the arrival of 64-bit, PBR, or other advanced techniques we didn’t have just a few years ago. Whilst our simulators are becoming more fluid, look more realistic, and actually run better than the average powerpoint,
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