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Ray Proudfoot

Honeycomb Yoke and Throttle news

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Honeycomb alpha in action at Sun n Fun Airshow , Lakeland, FL

Beta throttle in display only.

 

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Posted (edited)

I just came back from the Aero 2019 exhibition in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Honeycomb Aeronautical had two working Alpha yokes on display, at the Aerosoft stand. Nicki Repenning, CEO and founder of Honeycomb Aeronautical, was also attending the exhibition.

I had a chance to test the yoke for a while. Nicki said that the yokes were very close to what they would be like in series production. Following are my impressions.

The yoke had significant less friction and stiffness compared to the preproduction sample that I tested during a flightsim exhibition in November 2018 in Switzerland, which was the same as a unit on display in Cosford. To me, the yoke felt right in terms of stiffness and friction. The yoke travel however was approx. 8.5cm, but the website form FlyHoneycomb states that the yoke shaft has 6inches = 15cm of travel. Nicki confirmed that the 6inches on the website were a mistake, due to a misunderstanding from the web designers, and that meant was 6 inche extension (or something like that). Still, the 6 inches of travel has been on the website for a long time, and still is on the website.

I tested the friction following way:  I moved the yoke to pitch up and released slowly until the yoke shaft did not move anymore. Measured the position of the yoke handle relative to the main box. Repeated the same with pitch down and releasing the yoke handle slowly, and measuring position at rest position. The difference was approximately 5mm, and is a measure for the friction in the bearing system. I think this result is good, although better can be done.
I also had a chance to test a Yoko yoke on the Aerosoft stand. The friction range was approximately 8mm for 144mm of travel, that is 5 - 6% for the Yoko yoke. For the alpha yoke, friction range 5mm for a shaft travel of 85mm is also 5 - 6%.
So regarding friction, I would expect that the Alpha and the Yoko yoke would have a similar effect in the sim. Qualitatively, the difference in feel was not very big. And the Yoko yoke is much more expensive.

The yoke was attached with a clamp to a desk. So I could not test the suction pads without the clamp. Everything else is as advertised.

My conclusion from the exhibition display unit: for a marginally higher price compared to entry level yokes on the market, you get a smooth acting yoke handle with the benefit of plenty of switches which come in handy if you have no other control units available. The yoke feel would satisfy more demanding users. Decide however if the approximately 85mm of shaft travel is OK for your needs.

Quite a few people have expressed their frustration about the delay in the introduction, but I think that the wait is worth it.

 

Note: I concentrated on the effect of the mechanics of the yoke, first of all because I feel this is the most important, but also because of my personal interest and experience. 

Edited by oemlegoem
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2 hours ago, oemlegoem said:

I just came back from the Aero 2019 exhibition in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Honeycomb Aeronautical had two working Alpha yokes on display, at the Aerosoft stand. Nicki Repenning, CEO and founder of Honeycomb Aeronautical, was also attending the exhibition.

Thanks very much for the report.  Two questions:

How is the 8.5CM of yoke travel measured -- from full forward to full back, or from the yoke's center position to either full forward or to full back?

What was your impression on the accessibility of the switches? From the pictures it seems it might be awkward to reach some of them since they are 'behind' the yoke handle.

Thx,

Al

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Hi Al,

The 8.5cm travel (approximately) is from full forward to full back.

I did not pay much attention to the accessibility of the switches since it is a compromise anyway, but great to have it for this entry-level money if you don't have other controls.
On the other hand, I had a more details discussion on switch functions. I asked and was told that the trim switches are two separate switches, on each side of the yoke handle.
Hope this helps.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, oemlegoem said:

The 8.5cm travel (approximately) is from full forward to full back.

 I think that yoke travel is about the same as with the Saitek yoke. Not great, but I can live with that if all else is good.

Now I'm very interested to see what the final version of the throttle quadrant actually turns out to be, how you switch between the different configurations, etc.

Thanks,

Al

Edited by ark

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34 minutes ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

No announcement from Honeycom

Please, not again!

And now that it could have gone wrong?

I'm definitely not getting any younger, you know? 🙂

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What I find odd is there is no official announcement from Honeycomb. Just that message on the Aerosoft site. I suppose you could post a question to Aerosoft and see what they say.

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I've been wanting to upgrade from my Saitek Cessna gear for awhile now, the Alpha yoke is no longer on my list due to the compromises that have been made in terms of construction, but the bravo throttle looks like it might be just the ticket.  If it ever comes out I think I'll pick one up.  Back to the yoke: can anyone recommend a yoke that comes closest to fulfilling the vision Honeycomb originally pitched for the Alpha yoke?  i.e. high build quality at a more affordable price.  Something like the yoko is more money than I want to spend, is there anything in between?

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1 hour ago, TechguyMaxC said:

I've been wanting to upgrade from my Saitek Cessna gear for awhile now, the Alpha yoke is no longer on my list due to the compromises that have been made in terms of construction, but the bravo throttle looks like it might be just the ticket.  If it ever comes out I think I'll pick one up.  Back to the yoke: can anyone recommend a yoke that comes closest to fulfilling the vision Honeycomb originally pitched for the Alpha yoke?  i.e. high build quality at a more affordable price.  Something like the yoko is more money than I want to spend, is there anything in between?

There is some posts there about the Diagma Yoke -- It seems to be really good.....Wish this had come along before I wasted money on the ACE 737.

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7 hours ago, TechguyMaxC said:

can anyone recommend a yoke that comes closest to fulfilling the vision Honeycomb originally pitched for the Alpha yoke?  i.e. high build quality at a more affordable price.  Something like the yoko is more money than I want to spend, is there anything in between?

Your profile doesn't say where in the world you are but here in the UK I'm keeping a close eye on Fulcrum based in Lancashire, England. Chris demonstrated a 3D version at the Cosford Flight Sim show last October and I was very impressed with it. See here for more info.

Pricing has to be determined but looks to be in the £400-500 bracket which is a lot less than the Yoko. Hall-effect sensors throughout. He has brought his pre-production version to a monthly flight sim meeting and it's looking good. He visits these forums under the name of @tutmeister if you want to contact him.

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11 hours ago, LesOReilly said:

There is some posts there about the Diagma Yoke -- It seems to be really good.....Wish this had come along before I wasted money on the ACE 737.

Thanks, I'll put the Diagma on my list. Early reports from the thread here were a bit concerning, but it sounds like they've gotten things straightened out.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

Your profile doesn't say where in the world you are but here in the UK I'm keeping a close eye on Fulcrum based in Lancashire, England. Chris demonstrated a 3D version at the Cosford Flight Sim show last October and I was very impressed with it. See here for more info.

Pricing has to be determined but looks to be in the £400-500 bracket which is a lot less than the Yoko. Hall-effect sensors throughout. He has brought his pre-production version to a monthly flight sim meeting and it's looking good. He visits these forums under the name of @tutmeister if you want to contact him.

An English-built yoke you say?

 

In all seriousness, I am keeping an eye on that one, if it's out in the next few months and doesn't suffer teething issues as the Diagma has, I may buy.

Edited by TechguyMaxC

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@TechguyMaxC, ha ha! I'll assume you're an American unless you tell me to the contrary. :smile:

I've had a play with it and it's looking good. Still in beta though.

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4 hours ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

@TechguyMaxC, ha ha! I'll assume you're an American unless you tell me to the contrary. :smile:

I've had a play with it and it's looking good. Still in beta though.

American by birth and residence, though I'm somewhat of an Anglophile.  The IT Crowd is one of my favorite shows, I also was introduced to Monty Python at the age of 12 and have been quoting the Holy Grail ever since.  Also, I am currently watching series 12 of Dr. Who (4th Doctor - 1st series) with my 5 year old son.  I've never visited merry old England though I would love to.  

I'm glad you had a chance to try the Fulcrum yoke and I hope it's out in time for me to purchase soon!

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Posted (edited)

Are you serious - a 3 inch travel from front to back ? Isn't the Saitek 5 or 6 ?

The new  Fulcrum one from Lancashire is 8 inches.

Crikey. Sorry, but 3 inch travel seems ridiculous, especially when you factor in deadzone which will eventually be required when the pots they have used, start to become noisy.

Edited by Gabe777

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13 minutes ago, Gabe777 said:

Are you serious - a 3 inch travel from front to back ? Isn't the Saitek 5 or 6 ?

No, the Saitek yoke is about 3". The Yoko is 5.75". 

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7 hours ago, Gabe777 said:

No the saitek is 3 inches in each direction.... I just measured it.

 

Well, I've been robbed - the total travel on mine, fully forward to fully back, is only about 9.5 cm (I've just measured it).

Incidentally, the Honeycomb yoke is reviewed in the latest (July/August 2019) issue of PC Pilot. The reviewer says the travel is 15 cm, which agrees with the 6 inches quoted on the website, so oemlegoem's figure of 8.5 cm comes as quite a disappointment.

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Posted (edited)

I'm super interested in the throttle unit

Hmm These guys are local and down the street from me..........Wonder if I could just "drop in" ha

Edited by n19htmare

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13 hours ago, Muklum said:

Well, I've been robbed - the total travel on mine, fully forward to fully back, is only about 9.5 cm (I've just measured it).

Incidentally, the Honeycomb yoke is reviewed in the latest (July/August 2019) issue of PC Pilot. The reviewer says the travel is 15 cm, which agrees with the 6 inches quoted on the website, so oemlegoem's figure of 8.5 cm comes as quite a disappointment.

Well that makes sense.

3 inches of travel all back to all forward woyld be absurd. A 360 controller stick has 2 inches.

With the Saitek you have to pull back quite hard holding the housing at the same time..... it loosens up. And then calibrate it ! Push hard in.

Measure the gap between the housing and the inner yoke centre at Full in, and full out. It may not be exactly 6, but it's closer to 6 than 3 !

5 or 6 is OK. Whomever said the Honeycomb was 3, was referring to "in each direction".... clearly a miscombobulation is occurring!

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Posted (edited)

Yes seems my tendency to exaggerate length has gotten the better of me...  again !

I have nearly 2 in each direction. Seems a lot more.

My bad.

 

 

Edited by Gabe777

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Update from HoneyComb:

 

Honeycomb Aeronautical Hey Guys,
We really do apologize for the delay as our websites backend is having some major issues and we are working to fix this ASAP. We will announce preorders for the Alpha Flight Controls within the next few weeks dependent on how fast we resolve the website issue.The pre-order delay will not affect yoke shipment date. we really appreciate your support and patience as we are moving as fast as we can without compromising quality.

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Always hopeful for new products but good lord, these guys look like a 2 year long train wreck. I feel sorry for them but they have a very large hole to climb out of with this release.

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