The throttle features another coolie hat, although this one is an 8-way type selector, still another 8-way button, thumb buttons, the mode-shift toggle (Mode 1, 2, and 3), and two more programmable rotaries, one under your left thumb and one on the back of the split throttles. Again, the lack of a center detent on the rotaries makes is difficult to ascertain their position without visually looking at them, a near impossibility for the one mounted on the back of the throttles. That said though, they fall naturally under your fingers and so long as the control assignments to those rotaries are easy to manipulate without having to look at them everything will be fine. The rotaries on the throttle are in a perfect position to map more complex features such as wing sweep and thrust vectoring on aircraft such as the F-14 or Harrier respectively. The ability to manipulate those parameters while maintaining your grip on the throttle make those aerodynamic configuration changes more intuitive.
Lining the base of the throttle are eight programmable buttons that are lit with green, amber, and red lights. When you first plug in the HOTAS the buttons flash through a sequence showing off the colors but for now the buttons just glow continuously green. Support for toggling the buttons to red/amber/green/off is intended to be supported by external software either built into the game, or as a plug in. According to Logitech, in coming weeks we can expect to see support for FSX lighted button functionality such as gear and autopilot status lighting (red/green/off) as well as other features.
As an added bonus, each of the eight programmable buttons can be removed and a small cardboard cutout square identifying what function you have programmed to the button can be inserted under the plastic square. The package comes with about 100 pre-printed labels (such as “hook”, “gear”, “canopy”, etc.) or you can use the blank templates to create your own. You can retain the default markings on the inside of the buttons or if you remove the button and tap it firmly on a hard surface the mylar insert will fall out allowing you to use the preprinted labels that are included, or you can make your own using the included blank templates.
Right side view of the throttle unit.
Above left: A close-up view of the right side of the throttle showing thumb activated controls.
Above right: The back of the throttle showing buttons activated by the index finger
and axis trimmer wheel manipulated by the middle finger.
The throttle feels good in the left hand and the motion of the throttle along its axis is smooth. You feel the slightest bump of detents for both the idle and afterburner positions which is a nice touch. In the spirit of always offering up advice for future improvements I’d comment that it would be super-cool to have a throttle with detents for idle-cutoff that require you to either lift the throttles over or sideways past a gate as is the case in real aircraft. My only other complaint has to do with the ergonomics of the right side of the throttle where the base of your thumb curves over the edge of the throttle to manipulate the controls on the right side. As a big time helicopter sim guy I found the edge of the throttle to be a bit angular for tasks that require a LOT of time on the throttle (like flying helos). It’s a small nitpick to be sure, but in future versions it would be nice to see a little contour to that specific area of the throttle. It is also worth mentioning that the throttle unit can tip forward with a very aggressive forward pressure on the throttle (otherwise known as “radar power”). The point where the throttle levers enter the base is slightly forward of the center of the base unit, which gives you a bit of a lever arm when you roll them all the way forward and continue adding pressure. With a bit of practice, or some bolts, you can avoid tipping the throttle forward.
The best feature of the throttle without question is the split throttle design. You can choose to operate the dual throttles as a single unit by engaging a spring mounted pin through the both of them thus giving you a single throttle, or you can depress the spring to allow the throttles to move independently from one another. This is a fantastic feature for sims that support multiple throttle mapping (LOMAC, X-Plane, FSX, etc.). The ability to use differential thrust to control airplanes on the ground is very cool and with a bit of creativity you can also find other uses for the split throttle. For single engine fighters like Falcon 4.0: Allied Force just keep the throttles linked to provide control over the single engine. For single-engine aircraft you can assign one side to the power and the other to the prop to allow you to use both.
Spring loaded pin at the stem of the dual throttles to allow them independent or joined movement.
Throttles in the split-throttle configuration allowing control of two engines independently.
The LOMAC A-10 throttle bears a striking resemblance to the G940 throttle.
The FSX Beaver with throttle mapped to the left lever of the G940 throttle
and the prop RPM mapped to the right lever of the throttle.