AuthentiKit Releases Spitfire MkIX Flight Stick in time for MSFS Spitfire Launch
AuthentiKit is a new Freeware community project but it is not software Freeware . It is hardware Freeware . There are many Freeware developers with great design and Blender skills and the goal of the AuthentiKit project is to empower these people with simple flight control plugins. These will enablie developers to create authentic replica Freeware flight controls for all the interesting and fun aircraft we love to fly and are not typically catered for by mainstream manufacturers. Particularly in VR it is fantastic to reach out and grab hold of a flight control that feels exactly like it looks in the headset. How do we achieve this?
Part 1 is 3D Printing. 3D printers are now cheap and many flight simmers have them. They cost about the price of a reasonable HOTAS these days and are increasingly easy to use. A 3D printer is your personal aircraft factory.
Part 2 is that AuthentiKit has spent the last two years developing a very simple system that handles all the difficult technical aspects of flight controls so that designers don’t need to worry about them. All these will be shared freely. Designers will just need to make the right shape of knobs, levers or wheels and pre-defined component plug-ins can be imported to turn these into fully working throttle quadrants, trim wheels, flap levers etc. End users can assemble by simply following a standard colour coding for wires and push fit everything together without a soldering iron or any specialist tools.
Launching with Spitfire MkIX
To kick start this new approach to flight controls, AuthentiKit has launched a spade grip flight stick which is an accurate replica of a Spitfire MkIX. The flight stick launch has been timed to coincide with the imminent launch of the Spitfire MkIX for microsoft flight simulator and AuthentiKit is grateful to Alex Kassabian at Flying Iron Simulations who developed the aircraft and gave tremendous technical support to this project over the last two years. Following the flight stick shortly will be a throttle quadrant, elevator trim wheel, landing gear and flap lever. Coming soon will be a series of videos showing developers how to use the plugin components in their own flight controls.
Community Engagement and Community Printing Service
There is now a substantial community of flight simmers who have already built the flight stick and many more who are underway. [see pictures]. An enthusiastic Discord community of almost 200 people are not only building these controls but some offer to 3D print parts for people who do not (yet) have printers. See https://authentikit.org/community-powered/
Features Of The Flight Stick
The flight stick can be printed in a range of materials from simple but strong PLA to carbon fibre reinforced filaments that would cope with anything you could throw at it! It has the following features.
- A huge +/-40 degrees of pitch and +/-30 degrees of roll to replicate the wide range of movement in a real spitfire
- Super sensitive hall sensors for very precise control
- Strong but cheap sealed bearings (designed for washing machines!) ensure smooth but reliable long term use
- Working brake lever on the spade grip to help with the Spitfire’s famously difficult ground handling
- Dual fire buttons for machine gun or cannon or middle depress for both at once - these can of course be mapped for other “non combat” purposes
- Instant plug and play compatibility for MSFS , p3d or any windows based sim
- Quick release plate and quick release socket based on cheap network cables allows the Spitfire stick to be easily unplugged and swapped for a GA flight stick
- Comes with a universal control hub that takes inputs for 10 different flight controls at once - the developer has tested this with a Robin DR400 configuration using a flight stick, throttle knob, mixture knob, trim wheel, start button, flap lever, VOR tuner, heading indicator and OBS
- Comes with a mounting system that fits to a standard VESA bracket on a monitor stand. Mount the monitor stand upside down to your desk and it will position the flight stick exactly where you need it. Strong, low cost and a 30 second task to fit and remove.
Reviews and YouTube
The developer has prepared a series of detailed assembly videos showing how to assemble the flight stick - without any specialist tools. See youtube.com/authentikit
The flight stick has been reviewed very favourably by YouTubers VR Flight Sim Guy and Grim Reapers. See: https://authentikit.org/reviews/
Simple Kits Available
All the hardware is available cheaply off Amazon and eBay but for those who would simply like a kit of everything a supplier SimKitSupplies is selling an all in one kit cheaper than most people can buy the parts individually. This does not include the 3D printed parts but they are considering it and the community printing service on Discord is available to help in the meantime.
Timing: The flight stick is available now
Contact: Phil Hulme
1.Close of parts before assembly
2.Threading fire button wires through the spade grip
3.Close up of wires attached to brake lever hall sensor showing push fit into channels with crimps
5.Parts starting to print on a 3d printer
6.Example of a community build with custom period style grip