January 4, 2002
This is the first ever interview of a new and up and coming company
that is helping to provide an even wider selection of quality cockpit devices
for the home cockpit builder. It exciting to see competition developing
in the world of the home cockpit builders because we know that competition
between companies develops higher quality and lower priced products for
the end user. Aimsworth Corporation is an offspring of Sogema International
(a manufacturer and distributor of luxury goods) and puts a lot of effort
into listening to the feedback of its customers, so feel free to send them
your suggestions and questions.
SimPits: Hi Jurgen, welcome to SimPits! For our readers who
might not know of your company, Aimsworth is a relatively new company based
in Bangkok that sells F-16 cockpit shells. Tell us about your Viper I F-16
Jurgen: Justin, new isn't exactly the right word ;)… We
have been around now for more than 16 months and are getting ready for
the 2002 releases. Aimsworth is a company formed by builders/simmers for
simmers/builders and SimPits has played an important role in our hobby.
Our team wants to support our favorite hobby and if you need some information
or want to discuss an idea, talk to us. We want to address the needs of
the builders and most parts and upgrade kits will be available separately
shortly after the launch. We hope that with this move, we can help the
cockpit builders groups in achieving their dreams a bit quicker.
We are always open for discussions or suggestions and are looking forward
to hear from you!
The VIPER I is not a re-vamped old Mk I pit, but a completely new construction.
We wanted to deliver more details, a higher accuracy with a similar price
level. As many of you know, the size of our old pits was a problem and
shipping cost's where rather high. All this issues have been addressed.
The new VIPER I basic kit will contain everything you will need to get
started: A complete shell, floor and side consoles, several versions of
center panels to choose from (Block 15/50, pre-drilled or not), two versions
of glare shields (with or without monitor support) and the new Aimsworth
ACES II seat. All this will come in one box of two cubic meters and
only 80 Kg weight. All parts are now in flat military colors and several
upgrade packages are available.
SimPits: Does the ejection seat come with the cockpit?
Jurgen: Yes! We believe that if you make the step to our
pits, you should get value for money. The seat contains a very high degree
of details and the parachute container is something we are quite proud
of (Steve "The Master" Wilson pushed us to this, thanks Steve). The
basic seat has six parts: Seat base, backrest, and parachute container
with the lead chute pack and the pitot arms. The seat is in three colors
(flat military light/dark Grey and drab Olive) and the canvas/belt parts
have structured surfaces as the real thing. We offer two upgrade packages
that contain everything from the Ejection seat handle to the full Oxygen
SimPits: Tell us about your fully programmable MFD & ICP. Is
it USB driven and how does a customer program it?
Jurgen: These are truly a big step forward I believe. We
wanted something that looks 99% real, but is easy to program and affordable.
Yes, EPIC does a wonderful job, but at a price. The Aimsworth MFD/ICP base
package will be either available as a MFD or ICP with a Control Unit.
This CU, as we called in short, is fully USB controlled. Load the
HID drivers on your PC via the CD-ROM and the fun can start. The CU will
allow you to plug in up to 4 units (at whatever mix you may want) and you
can also connect multiple CU's to your computer. This will be not only
interesting for Viper drivers, but also for the F-15/F-18 pits. Programming
is done very simple:
1. Switch the CU to programming mode,
2. Press/flip/turn your MFD/ICP/toggle/rotary button,
3. Press your keyboard assignment (single or multiple command strings,
rotary assignments, etc)
4. Switch the CU back to play mode
That's all! No difficult command language or multiple subsystems,
easy to use, flexible in programming and rather inexpensive to buy.
Even the old QuickShot units where more difficult. Want to change
some programming in flight? Easy, just follow the same procedure while
you cruising at 10000 feet, no interruption in your flight. The same easy
system will be applied to the side console CU. This CU will allow you to
choose the level of realism you want. No matter if it's 10 switches
or the full Monty.
SimPits: Right now you are working on a second F-16 cockpit the Viper
II. What will the differences be in the new cockpit from your original
Jurgen: The VIPER II is a desktop unit. Many of us do not
have the space for a full-blown pit and our VIPER II will be a solution
for them. Based on the F-16, it will allow you to use your desk and chair
to fly in a more immerse environment than your desk alone. This unit
will be inexpensive and can be upgraded with a number of options, even
with an ACES II seat if wanted. As you can imagine, detail is less
than the VIPER I, but it will have still a major measurements of the real
Viper. The whole dept of the unit will be only 70 cm, ready for even the
smallest of places to fly your favorite bird.
SimPits: Is shipping an issue with your cockpits since most of your
customers are based in Europe and the United States? What are the typical
Jurgen: We are expecting roughly half the shipping cost for a
full VIPER I. Our distributors will make it even easier for our US
and European customers. Give them a call and make an appointment or simply
drop by their showroom and give the Viper's a try. No guessing work if
you made the right decision or not. More on this a bit later as we
will announce it on our Website.
SimPits: Do you sell other types of cockpits, and if not, do you
foresee a time when you will?
Jurgen: Two to be exact: The first unit that will see the light
of the day after the VIPER II will be our Aimsworth F-15E STRIKE EAGLE.
Early 2003 a professional Military training F-16C block 50/52 version will
join our product family. The F-15E STRIKE EAGLE is again a modular
pit, which means the Pilot/WSO can fly together or in different places.
SimPits: Will you build functional side consoles as an option for
Jurgen: As an upgrade, we offer our fully CNC machined, truly
replica F-16C panels for the simmers. The panels are prepared for
switches or can be obtained from us with the switches, wired and a CU unit
or plain, so you can do things at your own pace.
All of us wait for the Cougar, Guillaume when ;)…… With the help
of Guillaume Leleve (thanks Guillaume), we where able to do a new mod base
for the Cougar stick. This will mean no more bulky metal case, but
rather something that looks like the Viper stick and base. The throttle
will undergo a few changes too: The base is hidden under the side console
and a add on lever adapter will give the throttle handle the right length
SimPits: Thank you Jurgen for your valuable time. It's been a pleasure.
Jurgen: Thank you Justin.
*Address - Aimsworth Corporation Co., Ltd.
Suite 203 C.S. Bldg.,35 Surasak Rd.
10500 Bangkok, Thailand.