I’ve been playing aviation themed games and flight simulators since the 90s. Yet, rarely during that time have I spent it playing with a flight stick. Having been more of a console player during the late 90’s and 2000s meant primarily playing with a controller even though there were options available for flight sticks on video game consoles. Still, I only ever recall playing a game in the late 90s on PC called F-22 Lightning II by NovaLogic and using a PC based flight stick for that experience. Of course, I recall having a great time being able to fly the latest fighter jet designed for air superiority, the wonderful and amazing F-22, while using what was probably the first flight stick I ever owned. I poured so many hours into that game!
So, the question I ask myself is why didn’t that experience lead me to continue upgrading to newer flight sticks with all the latest flight games that have been released over the years? I’ll never know, really. However, I did eventually get my hands on a couple more flight sticks in the early 2010s – over 15 years later. I got the Pacific AV8R that came along with Damage Inc. on Xbox 360 and the X-55 HOTAS which I primarily used for War Thunder. Both of those flight sticks were fantastic as well and played wonderfully well with both games, but neither game kept me coming back for more which is why both flight sticks got retired to a shelf.
Let’s now fast forward to 2020 and the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Obviously, with my love and passion for aviation, I immediately picked it up and started exploring the new world – all by controller. Now, I had a blast over the past 3+ years playing Microsoft Flight Simulator by controller. It actually works very well. However!! I’m now learning – or being reminded of – just how accurate and overall enjoyable it is to fly with an actual flight stick.
With my passion for the world of aviation simulators and aviation inspired video games, it’s time I started taking flight sticks a lot more seriously again. As I mentioned above, the precision and accuracy you can achieve from a flight stick is superior to that of a controller and I pretty much instantly found that out again during my first few flights with the Thrustmaster TCA Sidestick – Airbus Edition.
I just recently got my hands on the Thrustmaster TCA Sidestick – Airbus Edition as my first flight stick that I’ve paired with Microsoft Flight Simulator. I also acquired the TCA Quadrant Airbus Edition and add-on to go along with the flight stick. The TCA Quadrant Airbus Edition with add-on features the throttle, flaps, airbrakes, engine controls, parking brake, trim, gear up/down, and more. So, I’m all set for a great flight experience!
The moment I had the Thrustmaster TCA Sidestick and TCA Quadrant + Add-ons set up, I immediately started to giggle just a little bit as I excitedly anticipated my first flight with this setup. The greyish/blue theme with black controls, along with the Airbus branding, simply looks sharp on both the stick and controls. Plus, the quality of the parts feels good to operate and stable to use in a desktop environment. Also, just to note, this setup can be used for both PC or Xbox Series S/X.
The other nice feature with the TCA Quadrant is that if you decide to pick up the add-on piece that contains the flaps, airbrakes, gear, etc. is that it’s easy to attach to the core throttle piece making the setup incredibly user-friendly.
Once I had everything set up and ready to go, I first decided I should just jump into some of the landing challenges with the Airbus A320 just to quickly get a feel for the flying. It honestly didn’t go so well at first and I scored pretty poorly over my first number of landing attempts. But as I kept restarting I would continue to improve as I got a better feel for the overall controls. I actually really appreciated having dedicated controls for the flaps and airbrakes too rather than just down on the d-pad with a controller.
After doing multiple landing challenges I figured it was time for a quick take off and landing. It was time for the full experience! This is when the best feeling sets in when flying with a flight stick and controls. Sitting at the start of the runway, ready for takeoff, and then pushing the actual throttle forward to get moving – it’s the best! No more boring A button on a controller to up the power, it’s all throttle forward on the Thrustmaster TCA Quadrant and ready for playing in the skies above! Let’s goooo!
I did a very quick takeoff and landing which you can see below purely to keep the video short. But I will soon have a lot more videos with full flights on my YouTube channel. This is also the first time I just floated above the runway which was a different experience. I think with a controller I was more of a Navy type of pilot…
I also had to give the flight stick and quadrant a go with the F-14D that I picked up over the holiday break. It’s just amazing how much better it is to fly with a flight stick and controls as even the Tomcat felt incredible with the Thrustmaster TCA Sidestick and Quadrant.
Overall I’m incredibly happy with the Thurstmaster TCA Sidestick Airbus Edition and TCA Quadrant + Add-on Airbus Edition. It makes flying in Microsoft Flight Simulator that much better. But, more importantly, it looks good and allows for better control over your aircraft while flying to your next location. The customizable options and quality of both the flight stick and controls make it an exciting option for your at home setup. I highly recommend it!
I will always wonder why I never picked up new flight sticks over the years for all the flight games I played growing up. However, I’m pretty sure that from this point forward I will always be flying by flight stick.
You can learn more about and purchase the Thrustmaster TCA Sidestick and Quadrant + Add-on at the links below:
Thrustmaster TCA Sidestick Airbus Edition: https://www.thrustmaster.com/en-us/products/tca-sidestick-airbus-edition/
Thrustmaster TCA Quadrant Airbus Edition: https://www.thrustmaster.com/en-us/products/tca-quadrant-airbus-edition/
Thrustmaster TCA Quadrant Add-on Airbus Edition: https://www.thrustmaster.com/en-us/products/tca-quadrant-add-on-airbus-edition/
I also want to note that this won’t be my last article featuring the Thrustmaster TCA Sidestick and Quadrant + Add-on as I will feature it in many of my flights moving forward and therefore future articles. So, keep an eye out for continuing impressions as I start doing longer flights with this setup. Also, I will be writing about more flight sticks in the future including another amazing one from Thurstmaster. Stayed tuned for that!
Please remember that you can follow me on YouTube and X to see even more flight videos in the future! Also, feel free to ask any questions you might have regarding the Thrustmaster TCA Sidestick and Quadrant + Add-on Airbus Edition!