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!