A year ago I had not heard of VKB-Sim but that has changed with my recent acquisition of the VKB Gladiator. For a while now we have been hearing about another product in the VKB portfolio and now we have our first look at it: Presenting the VKB Gunfighter.
So what am I looking at here?
The Gunfighter series is meant to be part of a modular system that VKB is developing. It fits into the mid-to-high range of flight sticks with an all-metal base and metal gimbals. VKB-Sim engineers also have developed force-adjustable dry clutches which allow for user adjustable friction control. The stick can be configured so that it will move and then stay in a position without the return to center spring that we’re typically used to. This actually mimics real aircraft control.
The Gunfighter has a swapable grip which comes with the same KG-12 plastic grip on the Gladiator and Gladiator Pro but with some adapters it can use the Thrustmaster Warthog, Defender Cobra M5, and its implied that there are other options out there. More on that below.
Standard equipment on the Gunfighter and Gunfighter Pro
There are two versions of the Gunfighter at the moment.
- Gunfighter base, including VKB-Sim’s next-gen, all metal gimbal with ‘dry clutches’
- Gimbal supports up to two springs per axis
- Swappable KG-12 grip (plastic)
- USB-Controller ‘BlackBox’
- Set of exchangeable cams and springs
- Set of cables
- Protective “Remove before flight” Dust Cover
Gunfighter Pro features
All of the Gunfighter’s features, plus:
A stick extension (20cm / 8”)
A smaller base-plate with pre-drilled holes (useful for center-mounting inside a simulation cockpit)
The Gunfighter Pro will be for those sim fans who build their own cockpits and having a stick extension and mountable base offer the best case scenario right out of the box.
When will it arrive and for how much?
RainMan on the 1CGS IL-2 forums has been delivering us some great details on the sticks and on pricing.
VKB-Sim is currently underway to start the production of the Gunfighter series of flight simulation controllers. Pre-ordering for all Gunfighter variants will commence at the final stage of the initial production run.Stay tuned for further VKB-Sim announcements as the Gunfighter release gets closer!
- Gunfighter: $299.00
- Gunfighter Pro: $359.00
For mid-range sticks, this is pretty typical of what you pay and arguably its a pretty good value given the range of customization potentially available.
It’s not clear to me right now but it looks like there are new avenues opening up for North American distribution and it sounds like the Gunfighter, Gunfighter Pro and other VKB-Sim products will continue to be available in North America in the future.
Other new details
There are some other details coming our way about the VKB series of controllers. In addition to the Gladiator, Gladiator Pro, Gunfighter and Gunfighter Pro, we’re also seeing some basic information is coming out for a couple of other products.
Continuing the Gunfighter series is the Gunfighter ECP is an “Enhanced Control Panel” that is apparently modular – it can be added and removed from the Gunfighter stick as necessary and presumably comes with options that can be swapped depending on the game you are playing.
Also showing up on the site is the “Kosmosima” Space Simulation Grip which is a grip change that will presumably be designed around Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen players. A great market to get into for sure.
Finally, and the one I’m most excited about personally, the VKB-Sim Throttle Control System is being teased as a companion product to the entire lineup.
All we can see of it right now is an outline.
Here are some details:
- Fully compatible with all VKB-Sim devices
- 32-bit ARM CPU
- Tunable Axes
- No Custom Drivers Required
- Save and Load Custom Profiles
- Upgrade Firmware via USB
- Works with ALL Flight-Simulators
- Built to Last
It certainly looks interesting and from what I had heard on the forums previously, this system should work well as a throttle and flight systems control for WWII aircraft primarily.
More details to come!