If there was any doubt, VIRPIL has solidly laid to rest that their product offensive is in full swing as they have just announced a second generation MongoosT-50CM Throttle Control System with a series of iterative changes. Let’s have a look at the new features and talk details on this new piece of hardware.
Evolution rather than revolution
The MT-50CM TCS is an evolution of the first generation throttle and it really strikes me as VIRPIL honing their craft and making some key changes without completely reinventing the wheel.
The grip has been redesigned and that makes the largest most striking change. While I think the ergonomics on the first gen are already quite good, I have to admit that this does look even more comfortable. Located on the grip are a series of hat switches, an encoder dial, momentary push buttons, a toggle switch (new), a slider axis (which replaces the wheel), and something that is new – an analogue ministick that looks like it was pulled from VIRPIL’s Constellation Delta.
- 1 x 8-Way Hat + Push
- 3 x 4-Way Hat + Push
- 1 x 2-Way Hat + Push
- 1 x Encoder Dial
- 4 x Momentary Push Buttons
- 1 x Toggle Switch
- 1 x Slider Axis
- 1 x Analogue Ministick
That’s just the controls on the throttle grip as the body itself has plenty more:
- 9 x Buttons
- 6 x Toggle Switches (2 x Latched, 4 x Momentary)
- 1 x Mode Dial
- 2 x Axis Dials
- 3 x Encoder Dials (+ Push)
- 2 x Throttle Axes (VPC Contactless)
- 1 x Auxiliary Axis (VPC Contactless)
There’s no differences I can see here on the body so the changes appear to have been focused on the grip.
There is a downside to all of this: no throttle detents. I’m a bit disappointed to see that this product, which is pressing forward in almost every way, is taking a step back when it comes to the detents. According to VIRPIL, this is to simplify the mechanics of the throttle, and while I can understand that I do find them to be a nice feature especially in a title like DCS where the majority of aircraft do not have afterburner indicators.
Detents aside, the features on the new throttle appear to build on a very successful first generation with something that is as good as or even better than before. As you’ll see from my recent review of the first generation, the MT-50 TCS is already what I would consider to be the best individual throttle on the market and there’s a lot to like about it. It’s not perfect and it’s always good to see a company pushing to make their products the best they can be. It’s hard to tell without being hands on but if this throttle is everything the first gen is, VIRPIL will have a hit on their hands.
Restocked first gen, price and plans for second
The VIRPIL web store was restocked today with much of their line now available for purchase with just a few exceptions. The first generation throttle has been restocked and is currently available for a small discount €284.95 (regularly €299.95) which is a nice way to end the first generation’s run.
As for the second generation, VIRPIL says that they plan to have it in stock by July and that the second generation throttle will release for the hefty price of € 349.95. This does push the throttle further into premium territory – do the new features like the analog stick and the 8-way hat make the difference or is the loss of the throttle detents an issue for you? Let me know in the comments!
Regardless of any controversial changes, I think it’s great that VIRPIL continues to iterate on their products and their production. More often then not, I see their online store having stock on some major items such as the WarBRD series grips and bases. Continued efforts here can only be a good thing.