Over time I’ve learned about all of the different ways that people interact with flight sims. For some its a cockpit setup at home with mounted panels and yoke and controls. For others its a basic stick and maybe a HOTAS setup on your desk. Some have been flying on an Xbox or Playstation controller… and making it work! So here’s where things get interesting with a new entrant in the market. Yawman and their Yawman Arrow are offering a controller like interface with controls optimized for flying. Consider myself intrigued!
Like a console controller but for flight sims?
The Arrow is a very interesting product announcement. The concept, as relayed by the company, is that this product is intended to be a go to for mobility and minimalism. Thus is comes packing a controller style form factor with the kind of arrangement that you might normally see from an Xbox or Playstation controller. While the overall form is similar, the details are very different.
From the description on the company’s website, this controller has quite the collection of controls. They include:
- Two shoulder bumper buttons
- Five button D-pad
- Five way hat switch
- Six pack of programmable buttons
- Seven programmable axes (including a trim wheel)
- “Vernier-style” sliders
Of particular note are mention of mechanically linked triggers that are intended as rudder controls.
The announcement reports that it is compatible with Microsoft Flight Simulator, Infinite Fight, X-Plane, Prepar3D, DCS World and other titles are hinted at.
It’s also worth noting that the product is being designed, manufactured, and packaged in the US.
It took me a bit of reading about this announcement before I really started to get a sense of what was being announced here. I’m a sucker for unique concepts and ideas and this one seems to be guided by some interesting ideas. Namely that flight simming is something that can be done on the go with just a laptop and a more minimal controller. Alternatively, newer entrants to simming might find the Arrow as a good way to experience sims will using a familiar and more minimalist form factor.
At the moment these are the ideas championed by the company and the premise I find extremely intriguing. Is this something that will translate into a successful product? Will it successfully carve out a niche for flight simmers? Will it work as well as they say it will across such a wide variety of aircraft types as mentioned in the press release? We’ll have to see!
2 Comments Add yours
For the past 16 years I’ve been experimenting with different ways to control my sims on a laptop while I’m on my trips. I’ve tried bolting a slider onto a gamepad and rewiring it to one of the stick axes. I’ve tried the Steam Controller. Currently I use a PS4 controller and a fairly complex Joystick Gremlin profile. They made this for someone exactly like me.
There are a few things about it that make me feel like I might still prefer my PS4 controller setup, but I’m going to try this regardless, if for no other reason than I’m glad that someone made it, and I want to support the effort.
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Never really got the idea of laptop based simming but this seems like it might be viable in combination with a cam based head tracker and a mouse. … just for very basic toggle type functionsools like it would be good for msfs but id hesitate to use it for dcs. Which may be the entire idea since it looks more like a Xbox controller than Playstation one.