I have printed and assembled the Huey collective head and corrected some errors, here’s the release version. Designing scale stuff is quite hard, its often too little space to fit things into. You will have to use some cable management to build this 🙂 Switches used are 3-way KN3(B)-223A-A3 (spring-loaded), KN3(B)-203A-A3 (toggle) and MTS-103 A-2 (toggle). The last one is mounted in place of a light bulb and acts as a mode switch. The thumbstick button is used for collective hold mode activation. This new feature is for those who would want to use this lever in a motion simulator, where a rubber band based tensioner will not work, or maybe for people who prefer flying with a very light tension on their collective. Basically, its an independent adaptive force trim for the collective. The latest software on GitHub fully supports this head, you can use the DCS Huey compatibility mode (which allows for proper engine start and shutdown procedures) with it.
Today there’s been an important software update, master controller firmware now supports both Huey head and twin lever (corresponding peripheral files were added as well). No DCS Huey idle stop compatibility mode for twin lever yet – will add it later.
An interesting function was added that may be useful for those who prefer flying without tensioners on the collective (or just use some kind of a motion chair!) – collective hold. It works just like an adaptive force trim mode (to disengage it, one needs to press the button and return the lever to the position where the hold mode was activated with 5% deviation), except it is an independent function and is activated (by default) with a collective head thumbstick button press.
A very short (replay) video, showing precision maneuvers in X-Plane 11 with Simchair. This is the Dreamfoil 407. Not sure what happened with the engine, all gauges were green during the flight, only noticed the smoke on landing.
There seems to be a problem with finding 6x6mm magnets, so here’s the mod for 5x5mm ones! The problem is, I can’t buy them locally, and they will probably take some time to arrive, so there’s no way I can test the holder. I think it should work fine, as all gimbals now have mechanical calibration. The resulting travel angle of the lever may differ a bit, but that difference shouldn’t be too noticeable. There are two versions: one with 5x5mm socket in an original place, and the other with a slight offset (closer to the sensor) from center. Choose whatever suits best for you!
With a lot of inspiration and love for a great machine, I’ve been able to design it in a day. The head is quite close to the original, as I managed to find most of its dimensions. Grab the dev snapshot!
I have assembled the twin lever today, everything fits very good. However, I should probably describe one minor “issue”. While building the lever, one MUST drill holes in the second engine throttle grip frame AND put screws into that holes STRICTLY BEFORE routing wires through the lever. Had to put everything apart 3 times because of that (well, at least this way I confirmed the possibility of disassembling the lever multiple times without breaking it). I also noticed, that in the dev snapshot the “collective_connector_adjustable.stl” file was oriented incorrectly. Consider turning it 90 degrees along the Z axis, or removing supports from inside of it will be very hard. Another very minor issue is with an idle stop “detent” mark, it will probably be placed 5 or 10 degrees higher. Otherwise, the dev build files are fine. Will correct this stuff in the release version, which I will post in a couple of days after some testing.
Now, let me share my feelings from the first flight with it!
Just a piece of unedited X-plane 11 flight video with Dreamfoil Bell 407, showing the beauty of an Ortho4XP photoreal scenery (and a very nice 407 :D). An autogen layer was generated on top of HD mesh v 4. Camera shaking is done with X-Camera and Headshake plugins, along with the G-Force plugin. Of course, Simchair MKIII set is used for controls, you can see how it behaves in X-Plane. This video shows what X-Plane can give us that DCS can’t.
I’ve been flying from Walla Walla (KALW) to Lemhi County (KSMN) via SALMON (LKT) VOR online in VATSIM, using vfrmap.com maps. There wasn’t any tower available at the moment, and no other aircraft in the vicinity, so I decided not to flood the Unicom channel with unnecessary messages on approach.