Thrustmaster Cougar HOTAS Joystick (USB) with Bonus IL-2 Sturmovik Software
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- Replica US. Air Force F-16 block 52 controller (Stick and Throttle)
- Full metal casing including base, handle, and 28 programmable buttons
- Adjustable resistance for throttle, afterburner, and idle detent
- Full speed USB connection delivering responses 8x faster than classical USB plugs
- Free IL-2 Sturmovik flight-simulator software included
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The most realistic flight simulation controller is here: the HOTAS Cougar, lifelike in design, lifelike in performance. This is truly "Hands on Throttle and Stick" gameplay. Based on the actual controller found in F-16 fighter aircraft, the HOTAS transports you to the furthest reaches of flight-simulation technology. From the second you grab hold of both the stick and the throttle, you notice the difference. All metal, black, and ready for business--that is the HOTAS. This controller offers up to 28 programmable buttons, multiple programmable hat switches, and adjustable resistance for the throttle, afterburner, and idle detent. These are just a few of the many features of this revolutionary stick and throttle combo. Without question, the HOTAS Cougar is the controller for true flight enthusiasts. This version of the Thrustmaster HOTAS Cougar comes bundled with a free version of the IL-2 Sturmovik flight-simulator video game.
Top customer reviews
The Thrustmaster Cougar HOTAS stands unique amidst it's peers. I Know of no other controller outfit that weighs in like this metal duo.
The Cougar is literally heavy and generously laden with function. Extensively configurable; designed for the most serious flight simulation enthusiast. Ergonomically accurate we're told, as close to the real thing without being attached to an F16 -- and all quite believably true.
The HOTAS has serious firmware, software and hardware support from a strong user base. [...] offers a terrific home for Cougar owners. Cougar's World has an admirable compliment of information, files and web links.
Into year two, the HOTAS is a disappointment; here's why:
The flight stick has moderate spring resistance in direct X-Y movement. But diagonal movement requires nearly double effort simply because resistance comes from two springs instead of one. This may seem like a logical condition but it is the first stick in my possession that it becomes an obvious issue. The added effort isn't something to complain about from a hand/arm strength perspective but very fine adjustments really become difficult under the pressure. A niggling complaint that is almost embarrassing to mention is that I have to move my hand up off the stick's hand rest ledge when engaging the primary hat switch or pickle button. A very large hand will likely not experience this, but for me, with a large-medium size hand, it is something I noticed right away and would cut the stick length by an inch if I were part of the Cougar design team. I'm not even going to mention the persistant cold metal feel of these aluminum controllers in a cool room.
Now for a valid complaint: With VERY moderate use of less than 25 hours, the potentiometers have begun to spike and lose center. Primarily the X axis but the Y is showing signs of failure as well. Just as disappointing is the free play at center that is ever growing. A sliding switch on the throttle seemed to engage strangely from the first. Initially I considered the action accurate in order to differentiate it from the other similar dogfight switch above it. As use has worn into the switch, it becomes obvious that it has been, and is becoming, more defective. It often doesn't register a right side input and hardly snaps into the right end hold position. When it does, it is barely engaged. The centering action is now almost totally gone as well, as though a spring return is going to soon resign the job.
Paint on the flight stick handle seems to have never fully dried, at least in one spot, as there is an area of soft erosion taking place where the low luster black is turning into a very flat tone with a rough, crumbling surface.
I wish I had not bought the Cougar. With it's current condition, I would have to sell it at a fraction of what I paid. Repairing it is not something I want to undertake. The pots may not be too tough but the sliding switch on the throttle looks to be very difficult to get to.
Buy the Cougar if you want a unique masterpiece for diehards. Look for something else if you don't mind plastic, mass produced, modern flight controllers.
What you need to know about the "pots going bad": They aren't - they just don't like to sit in a state of not being used for long periods of time. If you let the Cougar sit, it may develop the same issues the F-22 Pro was known for - the pots need to be sprayed out with WD-40. And POOF - any dead spot problems, spiking, etc magically vanish. And that's IF these problems develop at all. For anybody that thinks this product wasn't hammered to death during product testing, they are seriously mistaken - this product was built with heavy duty components that were expected to be put to the most harsh treatment by gamers. What it wasn't tested for, however, was the very unexpected phenomenon of not being used.
Though the springs can wear and a mechanical dead spot can develop in the middle position of the stick, the pots will still be as accurate as ever if the stick gets used enough or the pots get sprayed out with WD-40 after not being used for a long time.
Most recent customer reviews
As a long time user of TM gear, I had expected the Cougar to simply be an updated, USB interface, all metal version of the F22...Read more