AuthentiKit is proud to launch a new throttle quadrant for the P-40B Tomahawk making a total of three aircraft types now supported with throttle quadrant and trim wheel sets. Earlier in the year we introduced the combined elevator and rudder trim wheel set for the P-40B which sits alongside this control. This particular quadrant has something a little extra up its sleeve however which isn’t immediately obvious from the picture.
A smooth but firm resistance to movement is very important in the design of a throttle quadrant in order to give a natural realistic feeling. Particularly for a vintage or classic aircraft, the ideal is for the sim pilot to feel that they are engaging with a mechanical object and that a modest degree of effort is required. To date this has been achieved in AuthentiKit designs through the use of cork friction pads and felt friction plates. Not only are these prone to wear over time, but cork can squeak under strong pressure.
In the pursuit of flight control realism AuthentiKit has introduced a new technology to supplement the friction approach. Rotary dampers contain liquid silicon which is forced through channels as the damper is rotated. Depending on the specification the resistance can be tuned from a few grams to many kilograms. After testing a great many variants, AuthentiKit has now chosen a suitable damper design from Wixroyd in the UK which just hits the sweet spot of resistance and natural feeling throttle movement.
This damping technology is likely to make an appearance in many more AuthentiKit products. Not only is it very well suited to throttle quadrants, but the Spitfire chassis (gear) lever currently under development is being modified to accept the new damping system. You can see more about how the damper is incorporated into throttle designs in this new video.