It’s finally finished after so many months of development. There’s a lot of functionality packed into this one flight control unit which means it has no less than 5 input sockets in order to support.
Fully articulated land gear lever with hydraulic damping for a great tactile feel
Elevator trim wheel
Rudder trim wheel
Aileron trim wheel
Flaps lever with 6 separate detent positions: 0, 10, 20,30, 40 and 50 degrees of flaps.
All with adjustable friction and a mounting system to put everything in just the right place
As usual it is completely to scale with just minor modifications to dimensions. The only real omission is in the air section as the hot/ram air levers are missing from this version 1.
As it is to scale the most striking thing about this control is the size – as you can see below it’s a chunky piece of kit!
1:1 sync with real world/sim trim wheel rotation
By combining this flight control with the AuthentiKit tuning app you can achieve perfect synchronisation between the movement of your trim wheel and the movement in sim. For more information about the tuning app see authentikit.org/tuning/
Highly accurate source CAD
Apart from the air levers it is incredibly accurate, which is all down to the meticulous CAD work of AuthentiKit community member Stiggles who painstakingly created the source CAD for this project from original drawings.
Version 3 of the Spitfire MkIX throttle was released today. Previous upgrades represented fairly small incremental improvements but this is a major upgrade incorporating the latest technologies going into AuthentiKit flight controls.
Hydraulic damping – for a realistic feeling of resistance as power is applied
Full travel bomb release button – a new design with more resistance and more travel
Reinforced Airscrew Control lever – stronger and sturdier
Active WEP detent – the point of engagement of War Emergency Power is now much more distinctive and requires a deliberate action to engage
This version is fully compatible with the rig system from the prior version and in fact many components are unchanged, so if you’re looking to upgrade Version 2 to Version 3 it’s a fairly quick process and SimKitSupplies is selling a very low cost kit containing the extra parts – damper, ball spring detent etc
This device is used to provide detents in throttle quadrants, flap levers etc. The spec for this ball plunger is an 8mm diameter barrel. You can get these in steel and brass but the technopolymer (the ‘KD’ suffix) version is recommended to avoid excessive wear on the printed parts. For full dimensions see the link below to Berger tools and select d1=8 and KD as the material.
This is used in the Spitfire spade stick to group the wires emerging from the angle bracket and stop them sliding through any further into the body. 2mm or 2.5mm width is fine. They’re likely to be used again.
AuthentiKit is delighted to announce the release of the Spitfire chassis (or landing gear) lever. It has been a long time coming as a very functional version was being tested way back in May 2021. This control is so much the better though for the time and refinements that have happened since. Firstly the introduction of our new hydraulic damping technology has taken the tactile experience to a new level and is of course so very appropriate considering that the whole undercarriage is powered by hydraulics. Secondly, an almost disproportionate amount of development time went into the creation of an accurate hydraulic status indicator as shown below.
A journey concludes
The first Spitfire flight control, the spade grip flight stick, was released on December 5th, 2020. In many ways this new chassis lever control is the final piece of the jigsaw as we now have a comprehensive set of the primary controls for a Spitfire pilot as shown below.
Spade grip flight stick with working brake lever and dual cannon/machine gun button
Throttle quadrant with bomb drop button
Elevator trim wheel which can be calibrated for precise synchronisation with your sim
Rudder trim wheel
This is not to say that we are at the end of the line for Spitfire controls. The Spitfire Mk1A for example has a radiator lever and the Universal Hub has been designed with an input for this. For the Spitfire MkIX, which has no such lever, this input may get used for a fuel selector or coil boost/start buttons. Also, once the Universal Hub is upgraded to version 2 then many other inputs become possible.
The plan for 2022
The plan for 2022 is to mobilise the freeware developer community by publishing a series of SDKs which will make it very simple to build a wide range of replica controls by reusing the components which have been developed so far for levers/switches etc. This should hugely increase the rate of development of AuthentiKit controls. Magnetos, radios, multi-position flaps levers, trims of all sorts and many many more controls are coming your way soon and for a wide range of aircraft.
The AuthentiKit Tuning app is now launched. We plan to use the app for a range of things going forward but for now it’s primary role is to allow trim wheels to be calibrated correctly. Once you dial in the correct sensitivity the elevator trim (for example) should move in the sim at (almost) exactly the same speed of rotation as you are moving it physically. It works by converting the encoder/pulse based trim wheels into a virtual axis. You don’t need one-to-one of course as you may wish for more sensitivity or quick rotation. It’s up to you.
MSFS, DCS, IL2
When we started this project the greatest mismatch of physical to virtual seemed to occur in MSFS and that was our focus, however plenty of people have also said that there are problems in DCS and other sims and this app will work with any of them.
Not Just AuthentiKit
The issue of trim wheel synchronisation is not unique to AuthentiKit. In fact it’s a theme that is often discussed in DIY forums and has even been problematic for commercially available trim wheels. This app will work with any encoder/pulse based trim wheel so it might be useful for users of Flight Velocity Trim Wheel V1 as well as DIYers.
Download and Credits
A huge debt of thanks is owed to Ian Colman who has worked for many months on this project, often at the limits of his knowledge and experience. He tells me he learned a lot from this project but it consumed an awful lot of his time. I’m sure the entire AuthentiKit community will be very grateful Ian as it is an excellent product.
If you’re wondering, the app is free just like all other AuthentiKit downloads.
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.