In Dec 2007 I spotted a link on the web for a set of replica Spitfire Controls which although not cheap looked fantastic. It took until April to talk myself into the expense, but after visiting Jon Fellows and Bill Trezise at their Simcontrol workshop in Devon, I went ahead and placed an order.
The SpitSim is of a modular construction, which allows for several optional extras. Having played around with the prototype I was now in love with idea of owning one, so it had to be the full works. The order I placed was for:
CONTROL COLUMN OPTION1
ADJUSTABLE LOAD PRODUCING ROLL AND PITCH DAMPERS FITTED
HAND WOUND AND HEAT MELTED SPADE HANDLE GRIP COVERING (AS CLOSE AS YOU CAN HAVE TO THE ORIGINAL)
FINISH PAINTED IN NEAR ORIGINAL COCKPIT COLOR
FULL COLUMN PITCH LOAD RELIEF TRIM SYSTEM
ENGINE CONTROL QUADRANT WITH THROTTLE, PROP PITCH, AND FUEL CUT OFF LEVERS (USB WIRED)
ADJUSTABLE LOAD OIL DISPLACEMENT RUDDER PEDAL MODULE (USB WIRED)
LANDING GEAR MODULE
Jon and Bill had a great deal of work on at the time completing a military contract for helicopter simulator controls, so it was Dec 2008 before I got to collect my new toy, SpitSim 007 (the seventh one built), but it was well worth the wait.
The SpitSim is a delight to use, solidly constructed with perfectly balanced flight controls.
If needed the SpitSim can be broken down into its major sections for transportation.
As supplied the SpitSim comes with a standard windows usb joystick interface (which works absolutely fine).
But after 20 years of using the Thrustmaster line of joysticks, I was going to miss Foxy and in particular the HOTAS Cougars ability to program its axes digitally as well as in analogue. So after obtaining another second hand Cougar (if you sold Cougar 1007 to me on eBay, this was it's fate), I set about a brain transplant for my new SpitSim.
And thus was bourn the "SpitSim Cougar"
Of course it's not "HOTAS" any more, but neither was the Spitfire. With the advent of the TrackIR, I don't need the Hi-Hats to look around, so each Hi-Hat breaks down to four buttons giving me a total of 32 to use. As standard the SpitSim comes with just 3 switches fitted, one on the fire button, one on the gear lever, and one on the brake lever (the brake lever I plan to convert over to an analogue axis at some stage anyway). I've added a button to the top of the Throttle lever so far (A bit temporary using just sticky tape for the moment, but it works). Eventually the other buttons will be used around my "Spitfire Cockpit" for various other switches and levers (Start Button, Booster Coil, Flap Lever, etc)
I know of one other SpitSim owner - John Nation - his review of his SpitSim can be read HERE
R.I.P. Bill Trezise
It was with great regret and sadness that I learned of the passing of Bill Trezise (from Simcontrol) - My thoughts and condolences go out to his family.
Jon Fellows (of Jon Fellows Partnership) can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for details of the SpitSim if your interested in owning one.