Thrustmaster TCA Yoke Boeing Edition 4460209 Review – Great companion for PMDG’s 737 in Microsoft Flight Simulator

With the long-awaited release of advanced airliners for Microsoft Flight Simulator, many are looking for a good yoke controller on the market to increase their immersion, and one of the most relevant and latest options is the TCA Yoke Pack Boeing Edition for PC and Xbox from Thrustmaster.

You can buy the entire set include Yoke and the Throttle Quadrantthe yoke aloneor the Throttle quadrant alone.

This makes the system quite modular, as the yoke alone would be enough for your basic simulation needs, you can add the quadrant for better immersion and control and you could even get a second quadrant to be able to customize the thrust of four engines.

That being said, I definitely recommend pairing the set with pedals to control your rudder as it’s almost essential for immersive simulation and precise control. To test this set, I paired it with my own from Thrustmaster T-Flight rudder pedalsand they work great together.

While the yoke is officially inspired by that of a Boeing 787, it’s pretty much perfect for simulating any Boeing airplane or airliner with a control column, like Leonardo’s MD-82, Just Flights BAE 146, Aerosoft’s CRJs and Twin Otter, and plenty more.

However, since this is a Boeing-branded controller, the primary test bed for this review was PMDG’s brand new Boeing 737-700.

In fact, above you can see a video of a very challenging approach performed with the TCA Boeing Pack using the new 737-700. It’s the famous (and rare) Itami Turn in Osaka, Japan. If you want to learn more and challenge the Itami Turn yourself, you can check it out a tutorial video on how to do italthough this is specifically done using an Airbus A320 with Thrustmaster’s own TCA Airbus Edition.

The yoke is definitely the main dish of the set, and it comes with its most unique features. Most yokes that you find on the market are mounted horizontally on the controller assembly as you would see on a smaller general aviation aircraft and some business jets.

Most airliners and larger business jets typically have their yokes on a pendulum structure mounted to the floor of the flight deck (usually referred to as a control column), which offers a completely different feel than the other type of mounting.

That’s what Thrustmaster’s controller is designed to emulate, and despite the fact that the yoke’s pillar is mounted vertically on the assembly and doesn’t quite reach the floor, the feel is startlingly similar to reality.

The yoke’s tilting mechanism is powered by three springs as standard, but the set comes with a fourth that you can add as an option. I definitely recommend it as the sense of drag offered by the four spring setup is the closest compared to the effort required to control pitch on real airliners (although I’m not a professional pilot , my father was, so I’ve had enough of opportunities to put my handy hands on real yokes, albeit not in flight for obvious reasons). That being said, the room for customization is definitely welcome here.

While the shells of the assembly and yoke are plastic, they’re built on an all-metal frame, giving them an extremely solid feel that’s definitely different from the toy-like feel offered by many other controllers on the market.

This solid build combined with the pendulum motion gives the TCA Boeing Pack the most realistic and immersive feel I’ve experienced at this price point when aiming to simulate airliners and larger business jets with ground mounted control columns.

Of course, the sky is the limit with flight sim and some will go so far as to buy or build full-size alternatives or even source original OEM parts or disassembled parts, but you’ll want to spend a lot more in this case. Personally, if you want to keep the price reasonable, I don’t think you can find anything better in terms of pure touch.

The same solid resistance you’ll find in pitch action is provided by the lateral steering of the yoke, which returns to center position very naturally, just as you would expect.

The control precision that the yoke offers is also first class. As you can see in the Itami Turn video above, complex approaches that require careful coordination of pitch and aileron control are definitely facilitated by hardware like this that comes with a realistic weight, while those with a weaker build and weaker resistance will definitely encourage over-correction of your inputs.

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This is especially relevant when flying long-body aircraft like the upcoming 737-800 and 900, which require an extremely precise hand on takeoff when their tail clearance (assuming you use the correct rotation technique) is only a handful of an inch and a yoke that accommodates the Providing proper resistance and feeling solid in your hands is critical to avoiding a tailstrike.

In addition to the top-notch assembly quality, the yoke also features tons of knobs and additional controls. It includes two hat switches that make controlling your camera in all directions a breeze (first time I’ve ditched the extra Xbox controller I usually use for this purpose), two triggers, four trim-style switches , which can easily cover all of your trim axes, two extra buttons on the control yoke itself, a landing gear lever, two throttle-style analog sliders, and four other buttons that typically map to the standard Xbox Series X controller functions, and can be customized as you like on PC will . All of the buttons feel sturdy and have a good click, and you have plenty of options available here.

Mounting on your desk is easy and very solid thanks to two large clamping screws and it even comes with a handy tablet holder if you need an extra screen for your EFB, Navigraph or other purposes.

In the gas quadrant you have three axes at your disposal, which are modular and can be configured as you wish. The standard options available are two thrust levers, a spoiler lever and a flap lever. You can only select three of these at a time unless you have two quadrants that can be combined to control thrust from four engines alongside flaps and spoilers.

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Each thrust lever is also fitted with a reverser lever which works quite well even though the mechanics differ from those of a real Boeing airliner which is fully analogue and lets you directly control the thrust reverser from idle to full. The reverse levers in this quadrant are digital and the best configuration I’ve found for them is to pull them to toggle reverse thrust at idle (assign them to the “Hold Throttle – Reverse Thrust” shortcut) and then push the thrust levers forward to apply full reverse gear. It’s not as realistic as it could be, but I imagine analog reversing levers would have increased the quadrant’s price considerably.

The feel of the throttle quadrant assembly is a little less “premium” compared to the yoke, and there are no detents for the flaps, meaning finding the right position by feel takes some getting used to. That said, overall the Quadrant is still a pretty solid product with good construction and reasonable drag on the throttles to ensure precise control.

You also get six extra buttons and an autopilot selector that lets you control speed, course, and altitude. This is actually very useful in certain situations in Microsoft Flight Simulator. In fact, if you’re using a mouse, it’s very easy to misclick the little dials on the dashboard, or even mishandle the scroll wheel and change the camera zoom instead of your selection. This can be very cumbersome on high workload approaches where a delay in setting your selected altitude, speed or direction can easily result in less than perfect execution. I’ll be honest: before trying it I thought it was a gimmick, but now I love it.

The Quadrant comes with a solid optional metal bracket with a clamping screw that allows you to mount it to the edge of your desk, but you can also just stand it on a flat surface where it’s nice and stable thanks to eight rubber feet.

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A very welcome feature is the ability to chain yoke, throttle and even additional rudder pedals that you may have purchased separately (compatibility is guaranteed with both the T-Flight rudder pedals and the Thrustmaster Pendular Rudder) and then to one single USB to connect port on your PC. This way you avoid cable clutter and the need for multiple USB ports, which flight simulator users often have to deal with.


Finally, the Thrustmaster TCA Boeing line represents a fantastic control option if you want to simulate airliners (except for newer ones built by Airbus, for which Thrustmaster has a special sidestick option available) or any other aircraft with a control column in Microsoft Flight Simulator or even older flight simulators.

It’s definitely a fantastic companion for recently released high-fidelity aircraft like PMDG’s Boeing 737, but it’s also perfect for standard options like the 787 Dreamliner or the 747.

The impressive build quality of the rudder column, the unique pendulum mechanics simulating a real rudder column and the immersive weight of the yoke make this product an easy recommendation for this price range.

Table of Contents

advantages

  • The yoke and its construction feel extremely solid and high quality.
  • The pendulum mechanism for pitch control and the steering for aileron control feel very realistic and immersive.
  • The resistance to entering and returning to a centered position (especially with four springs) feels fantastic and very natural, ideal for precise control.
  • All the buttons, switches and triggers you need.
  • It’s basically the perfect companion for advanced aircraft like PMDG’s 737 and more.
  • The Altitude, Airspeed, and Heading selections are very useful on high workload approaches in Microsoft Flight Simulator.
  • The ability to daisy-chain all key controls helps eliminate clutter and the use of multiple USB ports.

Disadvantages

  • The throttle quadrant has a slightly less premium feel than the yoke.
  • Usually you have to decide between spoiler and flap lever if you only have one throttle quadrant.
  • The action of the reversing levers works well enough, but it’s not 100% identical to how it works in real life.

*Tester provided by manufacturer.

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