It’s been a while since we’ve heard much from VKB-Sim but today they and Heatblur jointly announced a new joystick grip named simply the ‘F14 Tomcat Grip’ which will be compatible with that company’s Gunfighter joystick base. Here’s what we know!
An update on the VKB forums reports that they worked with Heatblur and specifically with Heatblur’s 3D scans of an F-14 cockpit to build an authentic grip. They tell us that the design of the grip is accurate to the millimeter. That’s impressive!
Though the grip itself is authentic to the shape and size of the F-14’s stick, the internal components are tried and tested VKB-Sim parts though there are some unique features that they revealed.
F14 Tomcat Grip features:
- Rubber inserts for a no slip firm and handy grip
- Metal ammo switch, hat, and emergency autopilot disable trigger
- Long travel soft click buttons
- Modular hat design (fully dismantleable, all buttons user replaceable)
- Ammo switch design based on contactless sensor
- DLC maneuver wheel design based on contactless sensor
- Two-step trigger design based on cam mechanism – similar to that used in real life war planes
- Lockable contactless sensor twist mechanism
- 32-bit APM controller as the brain of the grip
In particular, the two-step trigger using a cam mechanism sounds fascinating. A lockable contactless twist mechanism also ensures that people without rudder pedals can fully enjoy this system (and if you do – you can lock it out).
Pre-orders and discounts
If you’re a Heatblur DCS: F-14 owner you are apparently eligible for a 10% discount on the grip. In reverse, if you buy the grip and want to get the F-14 you can get a $10 discount on the DCS: F-14. Interesting!
Pre-orders should begin in November and the MSRP is set at $189 USD (not including the Gunfighter base or the DCS: F-14 discount) and you can find out more information from a couple of sources: