Reviewed by Robert Whitwell. I have been flying my sim using one of the original “Hotseat” flightsim chassis for many years. I was recently approached by Obutto to review their flight sim cockpit. Looking at the two designs, I was interested in this newer design for flight sim.
After checking the Obutto website I noticed that this chasis comes with a multitude of add-ons in order to be configured in many variations. Obutto generously sent me a complete set of attachments to finally end up with the “oZone” model.
The parts sent were:
- oZone gaming cockpit
- Triple Monitor Mount
- Acrylic Tabletop
- A10 Thrustmaster Flight Stick Mount
- Regular Flight Stick Mount
This will not be a comparison review of my previous flight sim cockpit/chassis but a look at the Obutto chassis based on its own merits. I will look at this system from 3 set-ups. These I will call the basic system, the fighter system and the deluxe system.
What came off the truck
I received 5 packages from the courier; the large main “basic” system and 4 smaller boxes for the ancillary pieces. Inside these boxes, all of the pieces were well packed with bubble wrap and tape. They were so well wrapped that it took me half an hour just to get everything ready to use.
Each box also contained all of the nuts, bolts, washers, and knobs to put it all together. It also came with the tools (allen key and wrench) to assemble the product. The instructions are written out, plus there is a picture of the product to assist with the assembly.
| || |
For those who are not totally mechanically inclined and end up with “spare” pieces, instructional videos for assembly are available on the Obutto website.
From start to finish it took me 3 hours to assemble the complete multi-monitor deluxe system. However, I stopped at the completion of each “system” in order to take pictures, sit in the “cockpit” and get a feel for each configuration.
| || || |
The basic system is perfect for someone starting out in flight sim. It has everything you need to get flying. I found all the hardware platforms to be ergonomically friendly and adjustable to have all of your controls comfortably within reach.
The bucket seat is identical to a car seat. It adjusts fore and aft with a release bar between your legs and a tilting lever on the left side so you can have that perfect 30 degree angle as in an F-16 or the more preferred 20 degree angle of subsequent fighters. You could even fully recline the seat to its maximum angle and have a snooze during those long overseas flights.
| || || |
Moving on and removing some hardware platforms and installing the fighter stick platforms, I soon had my Thrustmaster A10 Warthog HOTAS controllers in place and was ready to take on the enemy. There are options to configure this as a side stick controlled cockpit or a center stick configuration.
| || || |
After putting away my Thrustmaster HOTAS, I completed the task of installing the triple monitor extensions, adding the keyboard/mouse platform and the acrylic tabletop to complete the deluxe system.
The instructions for installing the acrylic tabletop listed 2 options; drill holes and attach it to the center mount platform or use Velcro (not included). This tabletop is so “beautiful” I wouldn’t want to screw things up and crack it trying to drill holes into it. I attached mine with strips of Velcro. It’s not going anywhere now.
The keyboard/mouse platform is covered with a thin neoprene coating (like a wetsuit) and is perfect to prevent slippage of the keyboard yet allows the mouse to operate smoothly without the addition of a mouse pad.
| || || |
This is my preferred setup. If you are a serious simmer, then you’re going to want all of the bells and whistles. Damn, they didn’t send me the cup holder.
This product is distributed worldwide by Main Performance PC. The cost for the oZone Gaming Cockpit (what I call the basic system) is $350. To build the “deluxe system” you can add the triple monitor extension $100; keyboard/mouse platform $90; acrylic tabletop $100; flight stick mounts $45; and that cup holder $12.
The frame is made of 2mm thick walled mild steel tubing and has a black powdered coating. For just over $600 you get a great looking, durable, multipurpose simming cockpit. I highly recommend this flight sim chassis if you’re looking to upgrade from an older system or looking for that finishing realistic touch to your simming experience.
I also use this system to play racing sims. Swap out the flight controls for a steering wheel and automotive pedals and I’m ready to race along the tarmac.