Thrustmaster HOTAS Cougar: The Luxury Joystick!

Full Metal Joystick

Installing the HOTAS Cougar is easy as pie. You start with the USB drivers, including a control panel, and then go on to the Foxy Cougar Edition programming software. Then all you have to do is connect the throttle to the base of the control column, and finally, attach the column to the PC using a USB connector.

Upon initial inspection, the weight of the device is the first thing you notice. Each of the two elements weighs four kilograms (around 8 1/2 lbs) ! That’s because the Cougar is made entirely of metal, right down to the last button. The grip is perfect, but then again you’d expect nothing less from a HOTAS that faithfully reproduces the device used in USAF F-16 Block 50 fighter planes. Here are its specifications :

  • Number of axes : 7 analog axes (2 for the microstick)
  • Number of buttons : 16 (28 including directional hats)
  • Number of hat switches : 4-8 directions (one of which is recognized by Windows)
  • Processor : Internal with speeds up to 24 MHz
  • Memory : 64 kB
  • Connection : USB 1.1 Full Speed
  • Compatibility : Windows 98, ME, 2000