The Hotas Desktop System is an upgrade for the Thrustmaster HOTAS Cougar. It replaces the Cougar's original gimbal system and pots with a completely different system that uses force sensors to measure the displacement of the joystick. The joystick barely moves replicating the displacement values of the real F-16 side stick controller. Similarly, the forces for maximum displacement are replicated although these can be reduced to suit personal preferences.
This upgrade uses as many parts of the Cougar as possible to ensure that such a high fidelity product is affordable for the flight simulator enthusiast.
The modification is available in two models:
The FSSB R1: The R1 uses industrial quality force sensors found in tests laboratories of major car manufacturers.
The FSSB R2: The R2 is for the elite as it incorporates the same sensors used for stress tests by the likes of the European Space Agency, Airbus, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority etc. These sensors are guaranteed by the aeronautics industry quality standards, and have been in use for the last 60 years or more, being redeveloped and improved continuously over that period.
An FSSB R2 modified Cougar can be differentiated by the presence of a laser engraved identification top plate with crown (see picture). The FSSB R1 has a flattened top plate.
Both models offer 4 different force settings for each axis independantly, selectable using dip switches.