Honeycomb Aeronautical announces new hardware and Xbox Hub at Flight Sim Expo 2021
Updated: Mar 16, 2022
Today at Flight Sim Expo 2021, Nicki Repenning, CEO and Founder of Honeycomb Aeronautical, announced a couple of new pieces of hardware. Aside from their standard civilian-focused gear, some of these announcements are in a completely different side of
flight simulation and represent their entry into different markets.
Civilian Focused Hardware
A new series of hardware named Alpha-Bravo-Charlie (ABC) which consists of three separate pieces of gear that go together, these are: Alpha Flight Controls XPC:
Center Console for Bravo Throttle Quadrant:
Charlie Rudder Pedals:
And lastly, a civilian focused HOTAS system: Tango Foxtrot XPC.
Sigma Tau: First Entry into Military Simulation
But there was one announcement which were extremely important for Honeycomb Aeronautical, which is the announcement of their entry into military flight simulation with the Sigma Tau HOTAS. This system was only teased but some of their expectations for the product and believed that it "would have incredible functionality that has never been done. Technology used that has never been done on flight sticks, military or civilian[...]" . Honeycomb expects that the stick would be ready by Q1 2022 and the Throttle quadrant by Q2 2022, so keep an eye out for those. More information on this product will be available later this weekend.
Force Feedback Inquiry
Late in the presentation, Aaron “Ribbon-Blue” Mendoza of Skyward Flight Media asked if, “future Honeycomb military flight sim hardware products will have force feedback to provide tactile information to the pilot?”
According to Nicki Repenning, the company is working on force feedback products. However, Honeycomb’s philosophy is that everything has to be affordable. Currently the cheapest force feedback yoke on the market is around $1300 USD. Honeycomb is working to get a force feedback product into the market below $500 USD, but it is very difficult. Precision Flight Controls, now a development partner with Honeycomb Aeronautical, are leading experts in this field. Precision Flight Controls is far along and Nicki Repenning hopes that Honeycomb can announce a product “before Christmas” with a timeline for production.
Xbox Hub: Expanding Hardware Compatibility to Xbox Game Consoles
Though this blurry picture from the Alpha Flight Control XPC slide doesn't seem impressive, its maximum potential more than makes up for it. The second most interesting announcement from today's presentation was the development of an "Xbox Hub". It is described as a hub that enables players and pilots to use non-Xbox certified products on Xbox game consoles. Examples of supported products mentioned are Honeycomb Aeronautical's Bravo throttle quadrant and soon to be released Charlie rudder pedals.
Furthermore, a partnership with Logitech will also allow their USB throttle quadrants and USB rudder pedals to be compatible through the Xbox Hub and through the Alpha flight controls XPC which will then be recognizable by the game console.
Nicki Repenning explains that this partnership between the two companies was forged to bring more affordable solutions and different price levels that people can afford into the market. The result is more choices for flight simmers on game consoles as well.
Thanks for reading our coverage of Flight Sim Expo 2021 Day 1. More to come.
Article written by Aaron "Ribbon-Blue" Mendoza and Santiago "Cubeboy" Cuberos