If you remember your IFR training, the five key steps to a successful instrument approach, upon crossing the final approach fix or entering a hold are: TURN, TIME, TWIST, THROTTLE, TALK. In truth, there are several schools of thought on the number and order of these five imperatives, some starting with throttle, then turn, to reflect the “aviate” first sequence of important things to be done, some adding “track” at the end. Regardless, at some point you will have to twist. What? A knob. Why? Because it tunes the OBS or an HSI to the correct course. At that stage, you have probably already twisted frequencies and, if so equipped, other references, like MDA, DH and more. But many home-based sims work by using a mouse, which does not quite comply with the ‘muscle memory’, ‘do it again and again’, learning fundamental. Here comes SimInnovations, the developer of AirManager, in partnership with Simwarekits and presents you with a clever solution to this problem. Click on the item you want to change, then reach for the Knobster and twist it as you would normally do on an aircraft instrument or avionic. You can buy the Knobster as a kit in various stages of completion, or build your own from scratch.
At FSWeekend, Russ Barlow, AirManager evangelist, gave us a demo of how it works.
The Knobster looks like a nice first step towards physical control of the aircraft in an otherwise digital-based panel. Give it a try and let us know what you think!