When Life Gives you an F-15 Throttle Grip Make a Cool Joystick

We’re not certain where [NoPleaseDont] got an F-15 Throttle Grip, but it would certainly be a waste not to make something cool out of one. The F-15 is a twin engine air superiority fighter, and in it’s niche, it is one of the most successful ever made. We imagine this makes it a popular choice in air simulators.

Equipped with his successful scrounge [NoPleaseDont] decided to build a full HOTAS, Hands On Throttle and Stick, joystick. He started by taking apart the throttle grip.  As each layer was pulled a part, we were pleased to see the reassuring infestation of quality control stamps you’d expect to find on the input of a 26million dollar machine. The pinouts were presumably taken and the handle was reassembled. After that, a lot of custom sheet metal parts, 3D prints, and clever bracketry came together to form the frame of the joystick.

Finally came the electronics. Many of the photos were too blurry to decode, but at minimum a Teensy and custom LED control board is involved. The frame got a few additional buttons and control panels added.

The resulting joystick has a great history, and more buttons than we can guess the purpose of.

21 thoughts on “When Life Gives you an F-15 Throttle Grip Make a Cool Joystick

    1. The pre-MSIP II inboard grip is fairly easy to come by, but the outboard grip is nearly impossible to find – especially the later version that swapped out the long-travel azimuth pot for the spring-loaded-to-center one.

      He’s done an excellent job on the rig – the jettison button is from an F-15 as well. It’s a shame he’ll never be able to start his engines. (He forgot the finger lifts. :) )

    1. Reddit says 98:1

      Wikipedia says: According to the Saudis, one F-15C was lost to a crash during the Gulf War in 1991. The IRAF claims this fighter was part of two F-15Cs that engaged two Iraqi MiG-25PDs, and was hit by an R-40 missile before crashing.

      https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/21l31d/til_the_mcdonnell_douglas_f15_eagle_has_an/
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_F-15_Eagle

      …then you get into debates about different airframes and out-dated electronics. In the end though… it was an F-15 and it went boom. 98:1 is still totally respectable and impressive all the same, but it’s not perfection.

      Now the F-22 on the other hand…? ::swoon::

      “All these capabilities have made the F-22 almost invincible (at least on paper). Indeed, a single Raptor during one of its first training sorties was able to kill eight F-15s in a mock air-to-air engagement, well before they could see it.”

      “during exercise Noble Edge in Alaska in June 2006, [a] few F-22s were able to down 108 adversaries with no losses, while during the 2007 edition of the same exercise, they brought their record to 144 simulated kills.”

      1. The sad thing is even if all that simulated prowess translates into real kills in a shooting war, it won’t mean squat VS an enemy force that didn’t stupidly limit *their* advanced air superiority fighter plane force to 178 copies. Even with help from the F35 and whatever else we can throw up there – going up against an enemy that could put 500+ F22 equivalents into the sky would put a real hurt on the Raptor force.

        1. It also means nothing if someone drives a truckload of C4 into your pilots’ barracks. Which is why you should let us all read your phones. You know, to keep you safe.

        2. And in about 2 decades, when any potential threat nation has the capacity to build something comparable to the F22, the 30 year old F22 should be enjoying its well earned retirement at the desert sands of AMARG.

          The Russians can’t even build more than a dozen copies of their F22ski, and its a barely more capable aircraft than the latest development marks of F15, let alone an F35 or F22. Nor can they successfully build an active terminal guidance BVR missile – the R77 has by all accounts completely failed to match the hype.

          Since the AMRAAM C came onto the scene Western aircraft have dominated the BVR fight. The only hope Russian and Chinese aircraft have is in the merge, where the F22 is reported a world beater – and they have to survive to the merge first.

          Meanwhile the Chinese can’t even design a decent engine.

        3. lol… but the thing is that there is no force currently in the world that could compete with 10 Raptors. If a country grew to the point of developing a craft that /could/ compare the Raptor plans could easily have the dust blown off and new jets rolling off the production line before they even had a halfway complete prototype. Not that even that matters because the next-gen Raptor-replacement would already be in service.

          Then you get into capable pilots. The US is so far ahead of the learning curve because the US has the funding to finance training exercises that gets pilots hundreds of hours of air time while other countries can barely finance maintenance and fuel to keep their jets on *standby*.

      1. I wanted my tax dollars to buy at least 500 Raptors, and a pot full of the Comanche helicopters. Why are we still flying the Cobra that dates back nearly 50 years? Should have put the Comanche into full production and sold off all the creaky Cobras, Super Cobras and all their variants to friendly nations.

        1. In short, no.

          The AH-1Z Viper is the only HueyCobra derivative still in service, and it’s more than capable at its task. The Commanche made big sacrifices to be survivable (as a scout aircraft, not attack) on a Cold War, Fulda Gap battlefield that just doesn’t exist anymore. It would not have been the weapon system needed on the battlefields of Afghanistan or Iraq.

        1. Education has bigger problems than cost.

          Like educators interjecting personal agendas. And college students that literally cannot read in a post high school environment.

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