Thrustmaster has gone full throttle with the release of the new TCA Captain Pack X. This includes the all new Airbus-inspired (and branded) joystick replica, along with a dedicated throttle module. The set seeks to fully replicate the look and feel of the stick and throttle components used in real Airbus A320neo aircraft, further pushing the envelope of realism when used in a flight sim such as Microsoft Flight Simulator.
The devices are labeled as “ergonomic replicas.” In other words, both the Airbus sidestick and throttle quadrant are described as having a good feel to them to ensure comfort throughout your sim sessions. The joystick comes with four swappable head button modules. It also includes 14 tactile switch buttons that can be remapped as desired. The new throttle quadrant sports a new thrust reverser mechanism, allowing you to initiate reversers without the need of a button press.
Other aspects such as the various dedicated landing gear, rudder trim and other features all remain true to the Airbus-inspired design. Despite the set coming as a joystick and throttle component, only one USB cable is used to connect it to your PC (Xbox Series consoles are also supported). The TCA Captain Pack X also makes use of Thrustmaster’s Ecosystem Hub app for further connectivity enhancements.
Price-wise, there are options here. For those that want the full experience, the entire TCA Captain Pack X has launched for a full $299.99 USD. This includes both the joystick and throttle components, along with the four swappable joystick head modules, a USB Type-C to Type-A cable, two SATA cables for each of the components, four connectors and one attachment rod. Additionally, there are two stickers.
The price of flight
If you’re more budget conscious, Thrustmaster is also selling the TCA Sidestick X Airbus Edition as a standalone release for $119 USD. While this ditches the throttle quadrant, it at least serves as an all-in-one package that will still give you a decent control range for use in your flight sim of choice. After all, the stick itself even has a mini throttle, so you won’t lose that functionality. What’s truly lost will be the extra buttons and axis. That said, especially for those with smaller desk setups, it’s still an overall great choice.