Whilst at FSExpo 2019, I was kindly gifted a pre-release edition of the Honeycomb Aeronautical Alpha Flight Controls Yoke to take home. I thought that I would write up a brief first look for those interested in learning more about the product. Please note that this is NOT a full review, which will be coming in the next couple of weeks just before release.
Build quality and packaging is great. Opening the box feels like I am opening something that is above its price point, almost like opening a really big iPhone box. Feels very high quality to use compared to my previous Saitek Pro Flight Yoke.
Attaching the yoke to the desk is done with a dedicated plate. This can attach to your desk either by a sticky and suction surface on the bottom of the plate or via clamps that attach to the plate and my desk. The yoke will then attach to this plate.
For the feeling of the yoke movement, the roll feels great. It twists a full 90 degrees to each side, doesn’t have a very noticeable detent and is very smooth. The pitch is a totally different feeling, it requires some force to get going and has a noticeable midpoint where it alternates from pushing the nose down to pulling the nose up. While this may be a deal breaker for some, I don’t think it will be much of an issue for commercial flying. Commercial flying doesn’t require much up and down movement past center. General aviation flyers will probably take more notice to this. With that, I definitely know if I am pulling or pushing and I don’t get confused about how much I need to trim.
The red LED lights on the front of the yoke add a unique accent to the yoke. I personally like the look of the lights, however, if you don’t, they can be switched off with the LED on/off button on the back of the unit.
The switches on the left of the unit have a very satisfying feel when flipped up or down. The trim switches on the yoke are fairly stiff and have a similar amount of force needed to a 737 trim switches (Compared to a level-D 737 I have flown before). The buttons don’t feel cheap and have a good tactile feeling.
On the back of the unit, it has a single USB-C port used with a USB-C to USB-A cable to connect to my computer and a LED on/off button. I wish it had a USB pass-through for my throttle quadrant and/or rudder pedals, however, this is a minor drawback.
Overall, the Alpha Flight Controls Yoke is a very welcome upgrade over my current Saitek yoke. There are minor downsides to the yoke such as the pitch midpoint, however, that really depends on the sort of flying you do. I will definitely consider picking up the Bravo Throttle Quadrant when it releases.
Once again, this is not a review of the unit, just a overall quick look. We will have a full review just before the release of the Honeycomb Yoke