We already know helicopter controls are not cheap. The market is small and building high quality products in such low quantity skyrockets prices.
It’s, unfortunately, pretty much inevitable, unless perhaps if you are not interested in having a profit (thus putting food on the table in some other way) or you are willing to cut down on the little unimportant things such as quality or product support.
The bottomline is: helicopter controls will always be expensive. But the truth is that for the cyclic, you can even get away with a regular joystick.
The collective though… That’s trickier. And, let me tell you, very, very honestly: a good collective does make a difference. I have spent years using a HOTAS system but when I started using a collective, my oh my. Can’t live without it anymore.
Valhalla Controls comes to the rescue here. If you are into DIY, you may be able to come up with your own collective.
The concept behind the Valhalla Controls collective is simple. You start with a common base, which Valhalla calls “Odin”.
With Odin, you will have the basic axis, which will allow you to control the collective itself in the sim of your choice. There is no throttle axis, though. Just the collective.
From there, you can then if you want to go with the collective head of your choice. Valhalla Controls are offering you two flavors.
The “Loki Ka-50”, as you probably guessed it by the name, resembles the collective head of the Ka-50.
On the other hand, you can opt for the “Thor Kiowa” collective head. And, again unsurprisingly easy to guess, you will get something that is similar to the collective head of the… Kiowa!
Valhala Controls is not selling these directly. Instead, they are giving away, for free, the files you can use to 3D print and build your own controls.
Let me repeat that: they are giving us the files. For. Free.
There are some limitations, though. You are not allowed to sell or modify the files or any controls you make using them. Valhalla Controls is releasing these files, again, for free, but under a specific license: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). You can find more information about the license here.
Do keep the license in mind as it is very important, and we should respect Valhalla’s wishes and generosity. How cool is that?
If DIY is your thing, go ahead and pay Valhalla Controls a visit. They also have some hat switches for you to print out.
If you do happen to make your own collective let us know and send us some pics. We would love to see those!