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Review Of Flight Simulator Lite

Review Of Flight Simulator Lite

Manufactured by Next Level Racing

By Raymond Andersen


I find the world of flight simulationto be extremely fascinating and absolutely very interesting seeing allthe new developments within both various types of software but alsocomputer hardware and especially dedicated flight simulation gear.

Today I have started a new quest and set my focus on exploring anew branch of flight simulation gear that I have not previously lookedinto - flight cockpits featuring a built-in seat together witheverything you need to mount your own hardware on to. You haveprobably seen cockpits like these before being racing cockpits forGTA or various other racecar platforms. Now you can also getcustomizable flight cockpits for the enthusiastic flight simmer, thatwill fit a great variety of your flight simulation gear and certainlylift your experience and the flight simulation immersion to a higherlevel.

This review will cover the exciting foldable 'Flight Cockpit Lite'flight cockpit created by Next Level Racing and this will be the startof a series of reviews within this very interesting segment.


Delivery And Packing

The delivery was carried out by using the international forwarderDPD, and the pack was sent from the Netherlands and to my address inDenmark. The transport time was about three business days which is goodand the delivery was made directly to my door step - the completeflight cockpit is packed into just one large box, and there were nosign of unusual hard handling.

The first thing I noticed was the weight of the box; I could easilysee that it was a large box, but still the weight surprised me - closeto 25 kilos. During unpacking of the various included items I quicklyunderstood why the box was so heavy - there are a huge number of itemsincluded and they are mostly made out of metal.

The packaging features an external transport box which is made fromgood quality, hard, stiff and thick cardboard that perfectly supportsthe various items within. Inside the transport box I found the displaybox which is also a cardboard box but made from a thinner and not sostrong cardboard quality - this box is also slightly smaller in sizeand thereby fits perfectly into the outer transport box providingperfect support.

Now opening the display box I saw two packages - one was the basicparts of the set which were already partly pre-assembled and packedwithin a thick plastic bag and cornered by high quality cardboardangle supports. The second pack was a cardboard box made from a mediumsoft cardboard quality and featured all additional parts as screws,bolts, nuts, washers but also the accessories and additional parts toadd to the basic setup. Inside this second box all parts were againpacked each within an individual wrapping to support and secure eachpart perfectly. E.g. the various brackets were packed in somethingthat looked like a thick aluminum foil with a softer material on theinside, and which absolutely was a superb packing for painted metalparts - they arrived without a scratch on any of them.

Other parts like screws, washers and bolts were packed within smallplastic zip bags and additional parts for the basic set was alsopacked in plastic bags that seemed to have been created each for aspecific part with a 100% fit.

Included in the bag was of course also an assembly/instructionmanual - this manual features a total of 30 pages where the firstsection is regarding the content of the box down to number of specificscrews and bolt etc. The second part is the assembly manual which isin English and features very good and detailed images for betterunderstanding. The last part of the manual is 'Warning' and'Assistance' and focuses on what not to do and what you need to have afocus on - this part is written in multiple languages as English,French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and several other languages.

The instruction manual is a professional made, high quality andmulti color printed manual, and even though this seat looks quitesimple to assemble I did use the manual because some of the parts Iwas a bit unfamiliar with - this I will get into later on in thereview. Overall the packaging was superb and supported the FlightSimulator Lite perfectly during transport and the unpacking.

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What Is Included In The Box

The complete material list is also a part of the manual and the setfeatures the following articles and of course a huge number of variousscrews, bolts, nuts and washers. At first I was quite surprised by thesheer number of screws and bolts included and thought... oh no... thatreally looked like a nightmare to assemble, but I quickly found outthat you only need a very few screws and nuts for the entireassembly. All the additional screws, nuts and bolts can be used tomount different 3rd party hardware on to the set, and to make it moreversatile there are included more than enough screws and bolts.Very positive indeed!

There are two adjustable metal plates that can be mounted on eachside of the flight cockpit hereby providing a good and solid base foradding various hardware controls. To support a great variety ofhardware there are also included two special made metal bracketfeaturing a huge number of drilled holes - these brackets can bemounted on top of each of the side plates.

Additionally there is also one double sized metal bracket againwith a huge number of drilled holes - this metal bracket can be usedon top of the side plates or in the center of the setup tosupport a keyboard or a yoke or similar. If you would like to usethis bracket for support for a keyboard, you can also effectively usethe two smaller metal brackets with a 90 degree bend that areincluded. These smaller brackets feature an adjustable function and asoft material at the bended section to fully support a keyboardwithout using screws.

On the material list you also find a metal support arm as well as aTPR adapter. This TPR adapter you need to use if you want to mountthe famous pendular rudder pedals from Thrustmaster. Other than thesevarious items there are the sheer number of various screws, bolts,nuts and washers as previously written, together with one M3, M4 andM6 Allen key and a wrench... and of course the flight cockpititself.

All parts are made from high quality metal and painted beautifullywith a smooth and shiny black paint - the flight cockpit absolutelylooks very professional. All screws, nuts and bolts are also paintedblack to complete the flight cockpit perfectly. The various screws areall machine screws with different length, thickness and heads - hereboth for use with an Allen key or a Phillips screwdriver. You alsohave square neck bolts and countersunk screws as well as nuts bothwith and without a flange together with wingnuts. There are alsoincluded 10mm nylon spacers and some M6 fully threaded studs so youhave a huge inventory of screws, nuts, bolts etc. to mount yourhardware with.

In the box you of course also have the actual flight cockpit whichfeatures a seat made from high quality fabrics, adjustable support forthe seat both in the back and in the front together with a support forrudder pedals and keyboard/yoke.

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Assembly And Compatibility

At first it looked quite simple to assemble the flight cockpit - Imean that most parts was already pre-assembled, but to be fair I ofcourse used the instruction manual. This turned out to be a very goodidea because the set can be assembled in many different ways dependingon what you would like the setup to utilize. I wanted the set to fitmost of my hardware so that it would be supporting both flying GA, butalso when flying airliners as well as military fighters.

I started with the seat and thereafter moved on to the support forthe rudder pedals - the rudder pedal support can also be mounted intwo ways, so I had to find out what would fit my needs the best. Thestraight out solution was perfect for my set, so this was what Iassembled.

The frame is all pipes where the ends fit perfectly into each other(at one end the pipe is slightly smaller in diameter so that it willfit into another pipe). This is actually sufficient enough to hold theflight cockpit into place, but just for making it perfect all pipesthat are connected are also secured by a set of screws, washers andnuts. It did take me a while to understand how to set and how tochange the angle of the back support of the seat - this is actuallyset using a high quality fabric with a built-in Velcro that isconnected on the left side of the seat and to the left side of thecenter pipes. First I was a bit unsure if that could hold but it hastruly proven me wrong, it can easily support and hold my weightwithout any problems.

The next challenge I had was to fix the correct angle of the frontlegs of the seat. Selecting the angle was easy but getting thebuilt-in mechanism to work for me was not so easy at first. This washowever an 'error40' meaning a human error and all I had to do wasjust to read the instructions and it quickly became easy. The levercan be flipped for an open/closed position and when in the closedposition you can turn the mechanism and thereby tighten it - extremelyuser friendly as long as you remember to read the instructions.

Now I moved on to adding the support for the rudder pedals and thiswent super easy and without any issues at all. You can assemble thispart without connecting it to the rest of the setup which makes iteasier to assemble. When you have completed the assembly you can addit to the setup quite easily using two grips that are clipped on andfastened using two screws.

The rudder pedal support features two individually changeablesliders that can be locked to the support where ever you like it thebest. On top of these sliders you can mount the rudder pedals - if youare using the Thrustmaster pendular rudder pedals (the TPR) you willencounter that the drilled holes on the sliders will not fit the TPRson the back side since this is just too wide. Here you will need theTPR adapter which is included in the set. You can also mount the TPRwithout the adapter but then you cannot fixate the backside of the TPRto the back slider - it works and I have tested it but I wouldabsolutely recommend using the TPR adapter to mount the ruddersperfectly firm.

Now the set was assembled and I started adding my differentcontrols. First I wanted to test the left side bracket which featuresone of the two universal special made brackets. I have three differentthrottle systems that I wanted to test here - all from Thrustmasterand it was the dual throttle from the Warthog A10 series, the T.16000Msingle throttle slider and finally the Airbus dual throttle alsofeaturing the two side pieces. I connected the universal bracketsideways to get a wider support and this worked perfectly for allthree throttle configurations.

Now I moved on to the right side and on this side I wanted toinclude both a throttle system as well as a flight control stick. HereI mounted the double sized universal bracket as base to gain morespace for adding controls and this indeed turned out to be a goodidea. I successfully mounted the quad throttle Boeing system fromThrustmaster (two throttle systems = six levers) on the front end of thebracket and on the back end in the right side I could now mount theBoeing F/A-18 flight control stick also from Thrustmaster. As an extrabonus I had a minor free space on the back left side of the bracketwhich fitted perfectly for my secondary mouse M705 from Logitech -this was really nice to also have a mouse support available.

I also do have from Thrustmaster the Airbus and the T.16000M flightcontrol sticks which also fit perfectly on to the universal bracketsin both the left and right side.

Setting the focus on the rudder pedals I tried two rudder pedalsboth from Thrustmaster - one was the T.16000M and the other was theTPR pendular rudder pedals. Again it was easy to mount on to thesliders and both sets of rudder pedals could be perfectly mounted.

Most of the hardware that I mounted was from Thrustmaster and theywere mounted with ease - I would certainly assume that most othersimilar hardware from other manufacturers would also be able to beused and mounted without any issues.

Now for the hardware that actually didn't mount that easily - Ihave recently acquired the Boeing yoke from Thrustmaster and this Iof course wanted to mount on the center bracket but here I got intosome challenges. The center bracket will support a yoke on a flat basebut the Boeing yoke from Thrustmaster in unfortunately not on a flatbase. The issue is the way the center bracket is mounted on to the setwith a huge tightening screw on the bottom - this is a superb solutionfor the flight cockpit and provides a sturdy and firm fixation for ayoke, however to be able to mount this yoke I had to un-mount thebracket, remove the large screw and flip the connection bracket upsidedown.

The result was a decrease of parts/volume around the centerconnection bracket which was just enough for me to slide the yokeover, and by flipping the connection bracket upside down I now had aflat surface to fixate the yoke on to using the fastening screws onthe yoke. Not easy and not the intended use, but it worked and all mygear is now proven to be compatible with this Flight Simulator Litesetup. Here I will of course recommend Next Level Racing to add a newform of bracket or support so that it will be easier to mount a yokesimilar to the TM one.


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I am a family father with small children and one thing reallycaught my attention - all the various metal brackets as well as thepipes and connections etc. all feature rounded edges meaning thatthere are no sharp edges to find on the entire set. That is a hugeplus for me!


It is always quite interesting trying out new equipment to see ifthe various products also do deliver what is promised by themanufacturer. The same applies for the Flight Simulator Lite and mytest of this flight cockpit really got a lot of focus.

At about the same time I received the 'Flight Simulator Lite'flight cockpit I also started out a tour flying around all ofNorway. This tour was 22 flights covering more than 2500 kilometersall flown in real time primarily flying GA meaning low and slow andnow using the 'Flight Simulator Lite' flight cockpit as base. That wasa lot of hours spent in the seat of this flight cockpit, so the testwas absolutely very thorough.

The 'test results' were really good - the Flight Simulator Liteabsolutely provided me with a better and greater experience of thisflight instead of just placing the yoke and throttle on my desk. Theseat is not a professional rally seat or a replica airliners seat butinstead a high quality breathable fabric seat to support the foldingfunctionality. The seat features two small built-in pillows forsupport of your lower back or maybe more accurately said, two smallfoam padding and they do make a difference on shorter flights however,flying as intensively as I did on my tour around Norway, this wasunfortunately not quite enough. I had to add an extra pillow for mylower back as well as a softer pillow to sit on, but remember this wasdue to a very large number of continuous hours more or less every dayin a two week period.

The idea behind this flight cockpit I find to be very cool - firstof all you get a lot of value for your money meaning that you get acomplete environment setup for a low cost, but the idea of the flightcockpit to also be foldable is simply just awesome. If you are livingin an apartment or home with not that much extra space, then thisflight cockpit is a perfect solution. You can fold the cockpit toalmost fit into the box it came and additionally you don't even haveto remove your flight gear. You can quickly fold and store away theset when not in use, and when you suddenly just want to get flying, ittakes just a few moments to fold back and you are then ready foraction. However I did have to remove the Boeing yoke to be able tofold the flight cockpit all the way as shown on the intro picture, butI could also let it be and then the fold would still be possible butnot as great as without the yoke.

This feature also comes in handy if you want to use the flightcockpit at a different location - could be at a friend or a flightsimgathering for some quality flight simming or if you perhaps spend theweekends at a cottage or similar, then this Flight Simulator Liteflight cockpit is actually also portable... it's certainly heavy tolift and pack in your car, but still it's really a cool feature.

Only two simple steps are needed to fold the entire flight cockpit- first step is to detach the steering strap (Velcro support) on theleft side of the seat and release the two locking hooks found on thelower back of the seat and now the seat can be folded forward.

Second step is to unlock the uniquely designed hubs and remove thefabric support underneath the seat and now the seat can be folded overthe rudder pedals. This is quick, easy and simple and to setup theflight cockpit again you just follow this in a reversed order and youare ready for take-off.

There are a number of different adjustment possibilities bychanging the angles of the legs of the seat, but also the center bar(used for e.g. mounting a yoke) and also for your rudder pedals - youcan use this cockpit no matter if you are tall or not - the slidersfor the rudder pedals provides a fluently motion where you can lockthem at any position. Also you have the possibility to lift up the endof the rudder pedals bar, providing a slight increase from the base -some might like that but I do prefer the rudder pedals support to behorizontal.

The quality of the Flight Simulator Lite is high and in the detailsis written that the hubs can withstand a force of 150kg to ensure asolid flight position - now, I don't weight that much but I am still alarger fellow and I had no issues what so ever using this flightcockpit.

Now with all that various flight simulation gear all mounted in oneflight cockpit, I also needed a way to select which gear I wanted touse for each flight. In my setup everything is connected using USBcables, but if I just plug in all USB cables I would have a risk ofsome of the gear making issues due to overlaps in configurationetc. To overcome that issue I simply added a four-ways USB hubproviding only 4 USB entries to the computer at a time. This isperfect for my setup since if I select the stick configuration then Ineed in total just 3 slots, and if I select the yoke configuration Ineed in total 4 slots. This USB hub I have mounted beneath the leftside metal bracket for easy access so I can configure the next flightwithout leaving the flight cockpit.

I did have to remove the bracket for the keyboard support to beable to add the yoke to the flight cockpit - normally I would assumethe keyboard then could lay on top of the yoke or you would need toplace it on the floor or similar, but the Boeing yoke fromThrustmaster actually features a support on top of the yoke - thissupport is probably meant as a support for an IPad or similar, butit actually also works perfectly as a support for my wirelesskeyboard.


Now to summarize my experience with the Flight Simulator Liteflight cockpit from Next Level Racing, I found the flight cockpit tobe a superb addition to my flight simulator experiences - the flightcockpit absolutely gave me a better immersion and truly a higher levelof realism in my simulation experience.

I love the fact that I could have almost all my various flightsimulation gear mounted on the flight cockpit and everything withinthe reach of an arm's length.

The Flight Simulator Lite is a good, high quality and solid productfeaturing a metal construction for a good, sturdy and stable base witha high durability. Included are numerous metal brackets andaccessories together with lots of various screws, washers, bolts andnuts etc. all being a part of making the flight cockpit a veryversatile base for an immersive flight environment.

High quality breathable fabric for the seat provides a strong andstable seat but I would recommend more padding or adding pillows forback support as well as to sit on during longer sessions of flightsimulation.

If you want to upgrade your home flight simulator with a flightcockpit, this could very well be a perfect solution for you. A fairprice for a good quality and a superb solution of your need to storeaway the flight cockpit when not in use for whatever reason.

The Flight Simulator Lite is absolutely recommendable and I wouldlike to thank the team at Next Level Racing for also providing flightsimulation enthusiast the possibility of a professional home cockpitsolution.

Thanks Next Level Racing - keep up the great work!

Raymond Andersen

Rays Aviation

Next Level Racing:nextlevelracing.com

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