The flight sim helicopter market has been underserved by hardware makers over the years but that all seems to be changing as various companies start offering new gear that appeals to the helicopter enthusiasts. The newest, the VPC Hawk-60 Collective Grip has just been offered for sale. Let’s have a look!
VPC Hawk-60 Collective Grip
The latest announcement is news that VIRPIL are offering a replica of the UH-60’s cyclic grip. It’s not an officially licensed product and VIRPIL have taken some liberties with the design to make it more usable but suffice to say it looks like they have packed some features into this grip to make it useful for a variety of helicopter flight sims.
Among the feature are a single stage trigger, several hat switches, and a 3-way toggle with an ON-OFF-ON configuration.
Here’s the official feature list:
- Replica Collective Grip
- Material – Enhanced PU Plastic Construction with Metal Grip Faceplate
- Single-Stage Trigger
- 4 x 8-way Hats (+ Push) *
- 1 x 2-way Hat (+ Push)
- 1 x 3-way Toggle (ON-OFF-ON)
- 1 x Push Button with RGB Lighting
Having quite a bit of familiarity with VPC’s construction methods, this grip will very likely match some of their other products like the WarBRD grip that I’ve reviewed previously. Tough and likely to last quite a while!
The new grip has already sold out but VPC is reporting that they are often able to clear backorders in just a couple of weeks now. The grip is on sale through their webstore for €189.95.
That’s not all that VPC has been busy offering.
VPC SharKa-50 Collective Grip
Another option that’s been out for some months is the new SharKa-50 which, as the name implies, is a Ka-50 replica and very surely aimed at fans of this helicopter in DCS World. Similar to the Hawk-60, the SharKa-50 has a good collection of hat switches and one three way toggle. It also has three push buttons.
- 2 x 8-way Hats (+ Push)
- 1 x 2-way Switch (+ Push)
- 3 x 3-way Toggles (ON-OFF-ON)
- 3 x Push Buttons
This product is also back-ordered and is available through their store for €189.95.
VPC Rotor TCS and TCS Plus Base
The other hardware that VPC has been busy creating for helicopter pilots is the VPC Rotor TCS Base and VPC TCS Plus Base. Both are intended to be connected to the above grips and both come with a clutch mechanism and adjustable cams to determine the range of travel.
The Plus version adds a throttle twist axis input with engine idle button and switch restrictors which increases the functionality. It also increases the price.
There are also several mounting solutions available with VIRPIL suggesting that both their own kit or a DIY solution are possible depending on the office chair that you’d like to sacrifice to the goal of having the most realistic helicopter flying experience possible. Learn more on VIRPIL’s website.