• Review: TCA Officers Pack Airbus Edition

    Review: TCA Officers Pack Airbus Edition

    Created by ThrustMaster

    By Ray Andersen

    Intro

    The past decade I have seen flight simulation change greatly and seen many new home cockpit builders starting up projects of building both authentic but also dynamic or multi-purpose home cockpits to increase their flight simulation experience. To do so, you need to be able to either build your hardware yourself, which is actually becoming more and more for everyone since the prices for e.g. 3D printers and home CNC machines are getting into price ranges where a private person can also afford it, or you need to have a series of professional companies that will invest in the flight simulation community and build professional grade hardware to be purchased by the home cockpit builder.

    Today we have several professional companies who develop and produce hardware for the home cockpit builder and one of them is ThrustMaster. In this review I will cover their latest addition for the flight simulation community - the TCA Officers Pack Airbus Edition which consists of a side stick and a dual throttle quadrant that both are built as replicas of the real Airbus side stick and throttle quadrant.

    Thrustmaster TCA Officers Pack Airbus Edition

    Packaging, Delivery and Assembly

    I received the TCA Officers Pack Airbus Edition directly from ThrustMaster - the set was ordered on a Tuesday and I received the set already Thursday morning giving the packaging and transportation a total lead time of only two days. That is a really good delivery time from departure in France and to arrival in Denmark using the transport company FedEx.

    The set is packed in one box where the exterior box is designed as a heavy duty transport box and features hard and thick cardboard with an excellent support for the internal box. Inside the external hard cardboard box is the display box which fitted perfectly (dimension wise) into the external box, again for better protection. The display box is made from thin cardboard and does not support the set itself. Opening the display box I could now see the side stick and the throttle quadrant - they were both perfectly packed in a 2-piece form-shaped cardboard wrapping that was a perfect packing and shock absorbent for the transportation. Furthermore each item was also wrapped in small plastic bags to make sure that the side stick and throttle quadrant would not be scratched or similar during packing, transport or unpacking at the customer. Overall this is indeed a superb packaging that absolutely supports the set perfectly.

    When I had unpacked both the side stick and the throttle quadrant, there were actually no assembly needed to be performed - I could just plug both units into my computer and go flying right away. Of course there are ways to modify both units as you like to, but this I will get into more details later in the review.

    There are a few tools included in the set such as a mini special-shaped Phillips screwdriver which has multi-purposes and can be used on both the side stick and the throttle quadrant (the various functions will be described later), two plastic fittings that can be used to attach and extra throttle quadrant or the upcoming extra side pieces for the throttle quadrant, and finally also four standard screws colored black. For the throttle quadrant there are also included stickers to be placed on the engine starter switches - there are two sets included where both sets features the numbers 1 to 4 providing the home cockpit builder to set up a full A340/A380 throttle quadrant setup.

    For the side stick there are two additional button pieces included - when you receive the side stick you already have one red cylinder shaped button and one black orb button mounted on each side of the side stick. There are another set of each button included however these are mirrored buttons so that these can be placed on the opposite side of the side stick than the original buttons - this feature provides great versatility so that you can customize or inter-change the side stick to be for either the captains or the first officers side (left vs. right side) - or.... You can mount either both red cylinder buttons or both the black orb buttons with one on each side to create a new side stick layout.

    There are no specific manuals included in the set - here you need to visit and download the various manuals and measurement spec drawings from https://support.thrustmaster.com/. When you enter this download section you will find the following files ready for download. All files are PDF files and will just take you a few seconds to download.

    Thrustmaster TCA Officers Pack Airbus Edition

    The T16000M-FSC-cockpit-Setup.pdf is a one page technical scale sheet in A3 format providing the layout with measurements of the bottom of the side stick.

    The TCA_Quadrant Airbus_Edition_user_manual.pdf is a 379 pages technical user manual for the throttle quadrant and the features included - this is recommended to go through to get to know each function better. Don't worry - the 379 pages are because the manual is written and translated into multiple languages. Each language is about 18 pages, so this is quickly completed and provides a very nice overview of the entire throttle quadrant.

    The TCA_Sidestick_AE_User_Manual.pdf is a 160 pages technical user manual for the side stick and the features included - this is as the throttle quadrant user manual, created in multiple languages where each language is about 6 pages. Again I would recommend going through this manual for sure to be able to detect all the included features of the side stick.

    The TCA_Sidestick_Throttle_modes.pdf is a 44 pages manual that describes the throttle axis on the side stick and how to change from mode 1 to mode 2 and vise versa. This is because the throttle axis on the side stick also features a virtual button to activate the reverse thrusters - this can be set on mode 1 which is normal usage of the throttle axis meaning with a 100% movement and no virtual button; or mode 2 which has a virtual button for the remaining 17% of the lower movement. This manual is also created in multiple languages and each language is about 3 pages long.

    All manuals and technical sheets are written is a very easy-to-read way and the fact that they are all created in multiple languages, improves the success rate of informing simmers around the globe of all the awesome features that this set contains. Additional the manuals and technical sheets features perfect illustrations/images of each function, so you can easily transfer the info from the manual directly to the throttle quadrant or side stick.


    10 Comments
    1. ArnieA's Avatar
      ArnieA -
      I just bought the joystick and am still learning about it. For now I leave the throttle on full and use the keyboard. So far I like it.
    1. Big777jet's Avatar
      Big777jet -
      it does not show the product the cost? I don't understand it. How much Throttle airbus it is?

      Stuart
    1. dbauder's Avatar
      dbauder -
      I think their website says 150 British pounds.
    1. anels9's Avatar
      anels9 -
      Impossible to use in fs2004 by default, and it’s a nightmare to try and sort it out via fsuipc. Would not recommend
    1. DPboy's Avatar
      DPboy -
      Anyone tried this on FSX/SE yet ?
    1. mesocyclone's Avatar
      mesocyclone -
      I just received mine for MSFS 2020, and it is literally plug and play. You don't even have to mess with the options in the controller settings menu as the device is automatically recognized and configured for the sim. Keep in mind this is purpose-built, so it does require configuration (possibly extensive) for unrelated sims e.g. Elite Dangerous, DCS, etc. Bottom line, this is a must-have for MSFS2020.
    1. ArnieA's Avatar
      ArnieA -
      Quote Originally Posted by DPboy View Post
      Anyone tried this on FSX/SE yet ?
      I use it in FSX and it works excellent. I downloaded the driver and it was plug and play.
    1. N069NT's Avatar
      N069NT -
      This has been hard to find in stock for months and it appears that won't go away anytime soon (just like the Nvidia RTX 3000 series GPUs). Sure you can find it on Amazon by scalper scum. B&H Photo's price (US store) is $169.99 when in stock.
    1. stevezzzz's Avatar
      stevezzzz -
      Seems like this would be configurable to use in MSFS or X-Plane 11 for a DA62 cockpit setup, since it’s configurable for either left- or right-hand stick and throttle. Anyone have experience with it for this purpose?
    1. ArnieA's Avatar
      ArnieA -
      I use it as it came out of the box. I'm right handed and it is set up for co-pilot. The only thing that the spare buttons do is reverse the locations of the red and black buttons. Since you can change the assignments of these buttons I don't see an advantage to change the buttons.
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