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.
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.