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Old 11-27-2010, 03:09 PM   #1
Frazer
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Exclamation Inside view of TM HOTAS Warthog



























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My findings of the TM HOTAS Warthog as an experienced formation aerobatic pilot are not quite as satisfying as I hoped for.
The first thing I noticed is that the stick is not smooth when you give very small inputs. Inputs that are of high importance for formation leaders flying loops and barrel maneuvers with wingmen 3 feet of your wing.

Self test:
Pull the stick back as slowly as you can.
You will notice "bumbs" which can subscribed as "stickiness".

So, I decided to take a look inside of the TM Warthog stick to see what coused this. It became clear to me as soon as I found out that the ball joint (cap and ball) are both of plastic (yes, plastic!) and besides that, there is a large surface of contact between the two. Even though it is all greasy inside, I think this design is not as perfect as it appears to be.

TM claims that the 3D magnetic sensor has a surgical precision of 16-bit resolution (65536 x 65536 values) and I for sure believe that, though when the technical system doesn't allow you to make small adjustments because of lack of smoothness, the high resolution is rather pointless.

I'm hoping that this "stickyness" will dissapear over time, though most likely it will not. For now, it is impossible to fly as smooth as required as formation aerobatic leader.

At this point, I hate to admid that my 150 euro X52Pro allows me to fly more precise as an formation aerobatic leader.

For the rest, the TM HOTAS Warthog looks and feels awesome.

Advice for protential buyers:
Combat pilot: adviced
Solo aerobatic pilot: adviced
Formation wingman pilot: not adviced
Formation leader: useless
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:38 PM   #2
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I'm thinking of a way to extend the stick by a metal tube of about 15 cm. Then you probably overcome the contact stickyness of the ball joint.
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:45 PM   #3
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I couldn't agree more with frazer here. Despite both the stick and throttle look and feel amazing, in praticality they are not great for precision flying. It feels like an updated/modernised cougar but with the same type of flaws that plagued its predeseccor.

they'll no doubt be a ridiculous $1000 mod made for this in the coming months
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:58 PM   #4
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Have you already bought the Warthog AS? I knew you planned to.

Anyway, when you have the ball joint without any pressure on it, it has the same type of friction as under pressure. So I think what you supposed is not the couse.
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:02 PM   #5
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Hmm is this where the TM Warthog fairy tale is starting to fall apart?

I wouldnt go as far as R1pper that it has the same flaws, because the worst flaw of the cougar were its pots and they are gone. Also precision flying with a unmodded cougar is not adviced either.

But yes it is true, if I move it very very slowly at some point it will start moving choppy instead of smooth because you have to push over the resistance of the "cap and ball".

I am not involved in precision flying like that so it is not an issue for me. Coming from stock cougar it feels like a totally different world. I just hope it will stay like it is for a couple of years and not all kinds of issues arrising in a couple of months.
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Old 11-27-2010, 05:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Frazer View Post
The first thing I noticed is that the stick is not smooth when you give very small inputs. Inputs that are of high importance for formation leaders flying loops and barrel maneuvers with wingmen 3 feet of your wing.

...

For now, it is impossible to fly as smooth as required as formation aerobatic leader.
I think that would come as a shock to Joe and the rest of the media who saw us at the E3 event. That was after just a few weeks with the Warthogs and very little time to practice in the nice SCS pits/seats.
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Old 11-27-2010, 05:46 PM   #7
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I really hoped it would be as good as all the reviews

What I don't understand is why they made the ball joint of a kind of brushy plastic. I think you can get perfect smoothness with greased metal ball bearings?
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Old 11-27-2010, 05:52 PM   #8
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I'll agree I would have preferred to see metal there. I'll bet it's a lot tougher (read: more expensive) to work with metal like that.

Personally, the biggest issue I have with the Warthog is the slew switch / microstick. Tuning in software makes it usable, but I still haven't gotten used to the feel of it.
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Old 11-27-2010, 05:54 PM   #9
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Oh this is just incredible...

Fecking TM and their corner cutting. $400+ and STILL cheaping out in manufacturing!
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Old 11-27-2010, 06:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Geskes View Post

I am not involved in precision flying like that so it is not an issue for me. Coming from stock cougar it feels like a totally different world. I just hope it will stay like it is for a couple of years and not all kinds of issues arrising in a couple of months.
Coming from a stock cougar almost everything will feel totally different. Only time will tell how well the WH does.

Precision flying is way different then combat flying. I'm sure some people won't even notice little things like that. And if they do is because they are trying to tank up, fly close to a wingman or some other small movements.
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