P-51D Winter Promotion

We’re delighted to have another review of AuthentiKit, this time by YouTuber OverKill Simulations. See below for his video released yesterday. Of course as a patriot and a huge fan of the P-51D he reviewed our latest flight control for the Mustang, the P-51D throttle including the following features.

  • Fully working throttle, prop and mixture lever
  • Realistic detents on the mixture lever between Run and Full Rich
  • Hydraulic damping on the throttle for a real feeling of mechanical resistance
  • Hall sensors throughout for precise and accurate positioning
  • Working gunsight grip and PTT button
  • High fidelity recreation of the real control based on original drawings

We’re really rather proud of this control, especially the highly faithful recreation of the design. Community members Stiggles meticulously recreated the CAD from original drawings and great effort was made to adapt this with the minimum compromises to produce this 3D printable fully functional flight simulation control.

Let’s celebrate with a promotional price of $249 – inclusive of all parts

To celebrate this fine flight control I have spent the last month or two twisting a few arms! Firstly I persuaded our friends at SimKitSupplies to reduce their kit of hardware parts from $173 to $150 for US customers – that’s inclusive of shipping by the way as well as all the parts you need to make not just the throttle but the PC interface and all the connectors.

Secondly we are now in the fortunate position of having a growing network of AuthentiKit community members around the world who will print at “mate’s rates” for other community members who don’t (yet?) have a 3D printer. In fact this is something in itself that I think is worthy of celebration. We even have two guys in the US.

So, I’m afraid I did a little more arm twisting and have persuaded these guys to reduce their prices even more for a limited period to help us celebrate the achievement of the P-51D throttle. So the usual recommended selling price of $112 is reduced to just $99 for US customers. P&P will apply to those prices but now hopefully these lightweight printed parts shipping from someone fairly local won’t add up to much.

In total then the price for US is $150 + $99 = $249 and this promotional price will last until March 21st 2024, the first day of Spring.

To order visit simkitsupplies.com/us-shop/ and click on the P-51D Throttle Starter Kit.

You’ll be able to order the hardware immediately for fast in country shipping and put your name down for an introduction to a community approved printer in the USA who can print for you at $99+p&p

Not in the USA?

Don’t worry if you’re not in the USA as we still have a special deal for you too if you’re looking to buy the printed parts. You can order the P-51D Mustang throttle from https://www.simkitsupplies.com/shop/ as well as the Universal Hub if needed and on the order page you can enter your details for an introduction to a Community Approved Printer in your region. They have agreed to print all the parts for the P-51D throttle and the Universal Hub and mounting brackets for just £99 +p&p.

AuthentiKit Mounting System V2

This is a big milestone for AuthentiKit and something I’m very pleased to finally deliver. The new mounting system solves four key concerns which have come to light within the AuthentiKit community over the last 3+ years.

  • The mounting arms for cockpit sidewall controls could still rotate despite clamping down hard with the allen key
  • The jaws of the arms could crack due to stress over months of use
  • The rig extension A arm was sometimes a little shorter than desired
  • The flight stick VESA mount could pivot and twist when working the stick hard

The solution to this has been the mounting system V2 which is nearly all metal. Importantly the main arm sections and the pole clamp are metal so they can withstand a lot more punishment than the old system as well as resolving all the above issues.

This video explains how it works and shows a little stress testing of those metal parts.

ATK002: Rig Extension

Add on arms to extend the AuthentiKit rig

  • Manufacturer: Allcam, DMP, see below for more
  • Product ID: MDM10, see below for more

With the ATK001 primary rig you mount either a flight stick from a low down position or a set of cockpit sidewall controls (throttle, trim wheels etc) at a higher up position, but you can’t do both as the rig comes with only one arm.

This rig extension allows you to add one or more extra arms. Three arms would, for example, allow you to support a flight stick and multiple cockpit wall controls which may be at significantly different heights.

Availability of these add-on arms has proven more difficult than all-in-one monitor stands, however we have so far found options for the UK, Germany/Europe and the USA with eBay meeting the needs of other regions.

United Kingdom

In the UK your best bet and so far only option is Allcam. Uniquely in the world they will sell individual arm sections of varying lengths as well as the monitor pole clamp by itself. This saves you paying a VESA bracket that won’t get used. You can buy either directly or via eBay. I would recommend buying two each of the 19cm or 26cm arms and one pole clamp. You may also wish to purchase an additional 19cm or 26cm arm to extend the flight stick mounting as a 3 section arm is the best option.

USA

In the USA I have found one supplier for the standard 35mm pole. This is an eBay business micoco-64. If instead you are using a 1 7/8 pole then you have the option of an add on arm from EasyMountLCD.

Germany / Europe

In Germany and Europe you have the option of sourcing from Allcam in the UK and paying a little more for postage but without needing to buy parts you don’t need. You can also buy the longer 19cm or 26cm arms which are more useful. Alternatively DMP have a good option which may turn out cheaper.

Other Regions

I would recommend the Google image search technique if you’re struggling to find add on arms in other regions. Please let me know if/when you find any. Failing that Allcam is available via eBay in all regions as far as I’m aware and DMP ship to many but not all countries – try the amazon.de link above to see if they can post to you.

If you are searching for equivalents remember to look for arms that look like the image below and with a pole clamp that fits a 35mm pole.

ATK001: Primary Rig

Primary rig for attaching AuthentiKit controls to a desk

  • Manufacturer: Allcam, Mount-It, see below for more
  • Product ID: MDM11S, MI-751, see below for more

The primary mounting system for AuthentiKit controls is a monitor stand, mounted in an inverted position as shown below. This picture shows only the flight stick attached however a second arm section at a higher level is used to mount cockpit wall based flight controls.

The monitor stand needs to be of the following specification:

  • Vertical pole should ideally have a diameter of 35mm (1 3/8 inch) although 1 7/8 inch can be supported in the US
  • The arm sections should have a cross-section of 30mm x 30mm and the design of each arm section should look like this with a jaw at one end and a hole at the other allowing the arm sections to be chained together

United Kingdom

The Allcam MDM11S available from the following suppliers. It has also been called the MDM11A and in fact any one arm MDM11 or MDM10 stand from Allcam should be fine. Please note that maximum desk thickness for this clamp is 54mm. If you need a deeper clamp see the link below for a replacement pole or see the other suppliers list.

Other brands/suppliers of an identical looking monitor stand are

USA

In the USA the (apparently) exact equivalent to the MDM11S is the Mount-It MI-751 which comes with the less pretty but more functional deep desk clamp. They sell direct from their website or via a large number of resellers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg or more. I’d recommend Googling the model number and looking for the best price. Here are the two main options.

I have found no other model than the MI-751 which exactly matches the recommended 35mm (or 1 ⅜”) pole diameter and 30mm x 30mm arm cross-sections. However I have previously recommended the Mount-It MI-752 which has a 1 7/8″ pole and we have found add-on arms which are compatible with that. It is no longer the recommended option but for completeness this is the MI-752 from Mount-It. It costs more as it supports two arms however you can remove the arms from one side and use them to extend the other side.

Germany / Europe

In Germany a brand called Display Mount Pro sell a model DMP LCD352 or LCD352S either directly or via Amazon. You can also source the Allcam MDM11S in Europe via eBay. Another option is the Wasserman model.

India

In my Googling I found one other country where a different brand is selling a very similar model of monitor stand. This is the Rife brand sold via Amazon in India. The downside is that it has the 1 7/8″ pole and this has the downside that add-on arms for 1 7/8″ poles are hard to find outside the US. I include it here as sourcing options may change.

Other Regions

I hope to add to this sourcing page as others discover more options. A good way for you to find new options is to right click on the image top right of this post and do Google Image Search (assuming you’re in Chrome browser). For now the options you have are as follows:

  • Allcam appear to sell their MDM11S model via every eBay I have tested globally. The downside is the shipping as they post from the UK
  • The Mount-It MDM11S is also available via Amazon and eBay in many different countries but again postage could be pricey
  • You could also google the LCD 352
  • Please help me find more options and I’ll list them here

AuthentiKit is three years old

I guess you could say that AuthentiKit has finally matured, at least according to the criteria of the Scots whisky industry which requires a spirit to have matured in it’s cask for at least 3 years before it has earned the name whisky.

For a short summary of the highlights of our first three years you might like to watch our retrospective video below and for those who like numbers, here are our stats at the 3 year mark.

  • 6 Aircraft types supported
  • 21 Separate flight controls
  • 28,479 Downloads
  • 1,970 Community members
  • 5 Community Approved Printers (print at mates rates for folks without a printer)

BBMF Autumn journal features AuthentiKit

We’re hugely honoured that the latest issue of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Club Journal features an article about their AuthentiKit equipped Spitfire MkIX simulator. The article describes the evolution of the simulator from a PR and STEM device to providing critical training for new and experienced Spitfire pilots in emergency procedures.

A key event for the BBMF’s newest Flying Training Device (FTD) was on April 14th this year, which was the BBMF Fighter pilot pre-season ground training day. It was a huge success and demonstrated the potential of the FTD as an ongoing training device.

The image below was taken on April 14th, showing BBMF fighter pilots Flt Lt Giles Croft (left) and Sqn Ldr Mark ‘Disco’ Discombe discuss proceedings whilst Sqn Ldr Mark Long
flies the Spitfire Flying Training Device “simulator” in the BBMF hangar, with Hurricane LF363 beyond.

If you would like to read the full article, the BBMF has kindly given permission for us to reproduce it here – click to read the full article – and if you’d like to get your hands on a physical copy why not join the Memorial Flight Club? If you join in the next few months the new member’s pack includes a copy. https://www.memorialflightclub.com/join-club

BF109 Throttle Launched

With perfect timing AuthentiKit are proud to announce the release of their BF109 throttle within days of the release of the Flying Iron Simulations BF109G for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Our throttle is compatible with both the MSFS BF109G as well as the BF109K available in DCS and also with IL2.

This is another big milestone for AuthentiKit as it is our first German warbird developed by community member Dutch with substantial support from Nadelbaum and Psjshep. It’s a fabulous, feature packed piece of kit accurately replicating the Pitch Up/Down toggle button on the throttle lever as well as the four position pump lever and governor switch. Here’s the full list of functionality.

  • Throttle lever with hydraulic damping
  • PTT button
  • Pitch control with up/down toggle switch
  • Four position pump with ball spring detents
  • Engine on/off lever
  • Governor switch
  • Uses AuthentiKit mounting system for accurate positioning
  • Hall sensors for long life and accurate response curves

The throttle uses all our latest technologies such as hydraulic damping on the throttle and ball spring detents on the pump lever and is of course a direct plug in to our familiar AuthentiKit Universal Hub, using inputs H2, H7 and H9.

Fans of the 109 and other German warbirds will be pleased to know that further controls are in the works such as trim wheels, flight stick and instrument panel controls.

Get the throttle download files free from here.

Here come the Mosquitos!

On Friday 11th we were very proud to release our first Mosquito flight control. This really is a magnificent piece of engineering and is the result of a collaboration between several community members over more than 12 months. The primary designer was Harry Armstrong ably supported by Dennis Wierzbicki who managed to set up a great relationship between AuthentiKit and AV Specs in New Zealand, a world renowned authority on the Mosquito. At the crucial stage of testing and documentation Saladin_Wolf (Discord name) stepped in to finally help get this project over the line.

A Twin Engine first for AuthentiKit

Yet again we have a project that is pushing the boundaries of the AuthentiKit modular flight control system. It’s our first dual engine unit but compatibility with our hub system is of course assured. With two inputs, the first goes to the H2 throttle input on the universal hub with no wiring changes needed and the second goes to the new H8 engine two input. We’ve now actually achieved maximum capacity for the Universal Hub Version One however in the near future we intend to increase capacity for 20 more inputs.

Coming Next

Harry is actually already well progressed on more Mosquito controls and you can look foreward to the elevator trim wheel in the near future followed by flaps, rudder bias and more.

RAF choose AuthentiKit for Spitfire simulator

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) has the responsibility within the Royal Air Force of maintaining in airworthy condition some of the United Kingdom’s most precious aircraft. P7350 is one such example, described by Squadron Leader Andy Millikin in the 2018 film Spitfire as “in my opinion the most precious flying machine on the planet bar … the Apollo 11 command capsule”. In the photo shown here you can see it alongside the BBMF’s latest cockpit, a Spitfire MkIX VR simulator being tested by Cpl Rich “Boycey” Boyce.

AuthentiKit is both proud and honoured to have supported the RAF over the past few months, working with Boycey and his team to create this simulator using AuthentiKit controls. On one of my visits to RAF Coningsby, home of the BBMF, I took along Steve Walton known to many as VR Flight Sim Guy and you can see him here in the Spitfire simulator.

A pilot training aide and public demonstrator

The aim of the simulator is twofold. Initially it was to offer the public a chance to experience flying a Spitfire at BBMF airshows however once it started to take shape in the BBMF hangar it soon attracted the attention of the pilots of the RAF display team. This led to a secondary role as a training aide both for Spitfire familiarisation for new Spitfire pilots and potentially for practicing airshow flyovers.

This was a very exciting development as it created an additional imperative to ensure that everything was in exactly the right place and felt just right. Fortunately that has always been an important aspect of AuthentiKit and so the main focus of effort was then adapting the controls to fit the cockpit shell the BBMF engineers were starting with. We also added a few touches like the instrument panel that, whilst not of immense value in VR, added hugely to the sense of climbing inside a real Spitfire.

BBMF Members’ Day Launch

The simulator was unveiled to the public at the BBMF Members’ Day where Spitfire experiences were offered free to attendees. Needless to say it was extremely popular and a queue quickly formed keeping Boycey and his team flat out through the day. We also set up an AuthentiKit display alongside and I very much appreciated the help of Ian Colman (who created the AuthentiKit Tuning App) as well as YouTube influencers, Mark Duff (SimHanger) and Steve Walton in setting things up and sharing the AuthentiKit story with visitors. Also thanks to Allan Hall (holding the camera!) who initially created SimKitSupplies, a business offering kits for self assembly of AuthentiKit controls.

Left to right: Boycey, Phil Hulme (AuthentiKit Founder), Mark Duff (SimHanger), Steve Walton (VR Flight Sim Guy) and Ian Colman (AuthentiKit Tuning App developer)

RAF news article announcing the launch

RAF Reflector Gun Sight Mk II

This is a really big milestone for AuthentiKit. This amazing and highly unique flight control was entirely created by AuthentiKit community member Harry Armstrong using plugins and following the design standards of the AuthentiKit SDK.

It is a fully functional replica gun sight used in the Spitfire as well as the Mosquito Fighter Bomber as well as other WW2 RAF fighters. It allows precise setting of aircraft range and wingspan for accurate targetting.

Fully functional gunsight with dual hall sensors

This flight control is not only an accurate replica of the Mk II reflector sight but it uses high quality components including hall sensors to achieve smooth and precise control. In fact this aspect of the design was the easiest to incorporate as it uses a standard plugin from the AuthentiKit SDK. The MagHall 6803F is a very compact unit comprising a sealed bearing, hall sensor, cube magnet and nitrile bonded cork friction disk with simple crimped wire attachment.

Easy self assembly

The gunsight is easy and quick to assemble from 3D printed parts available as free download from download.authentikit.org. In addition to the two maghall units there are only ten other parts which simply need screwing together with a phillips head screwdriver.

AuthentiKit Universal Hub Compatible

If you have built any other AuthentiKit controls you will already have the Universal Hub and in order to use this gunsight you will need no additional USB cables or even circuitry. Just plug it into socket H8 of the hub.