The home cockpit — as a virtual pilot, it’s your “office.” And if your business is giving the business to the enemy for hours on end in dogfights, bombing raids, and long range missile strikes, you need your office setup to be comfortable and sturdy. Most importantly, your office suitable for air combat and not for fighting with spreadsheets and email attachments. Recently a new company from Australia called Pagnian, known mostly for their racing cockpits, has entered the simpit market with their Next Level Flight Simulator Cockpit and we were fortunate enough to get to try one out here at Saitek and share some quick thoughts with you. Continue reading
The entire Next Level cockpit setup was delivered in a variety of thick, well packed cardboard boxes. The big box on the bottom contained the seat and the pedal board while the smaller boxes on top were separate modules for the keyboard stand, monitor stand, and gaming desktop.
You’ll notice the big box also says “NEXT LEVEL RACING.” Indeed the chair itself, the floor mat, and other parts of the cockpit also say “NEXT LEVEL RACING” as these are the same units that make up their racing cockpit. It’s really just a cosmetic thing and doesn’t affect the setup or enjoyment of the cockpit from a functional standpoint but certainly it could be a concern for some. In the future Pagnian will probably make “flight”-flavored accouterments if the customers demand it.
Opening the big box we find the seat itself and a couple boxes. The seat itself is folded up and like all the other hardware pieces of the cockpit it is wrapped neatly in bubble wrap. The smaller boxes contain the pedal stand and the flight accessories module.
Once the chair is folded out and the base plates are attached, it’s really quite comfortable and should fit any size pilot. It has separate foam sections on the back with velcro so you can place them as best suits you. It also has a lever underneath to adjust your distance from your monitors.
Now let’s open up the flight accessories box. Like all the other hardware parts, the elements in this box are coated in a heavy duty glossy black powder and bubble wrapped. Certainly sturdy enough for your HOTAS or other flight sim gear. Above you can see various panels, the square ones come pre-drilled to hold your X-52 or X-52 Pro. (X-55 Rhino plates are coming soon.) Using the long bars you can set your throttle on the left and the stick on the right, or the throttle on the left and your stick in the middle. The directions are simple to follow; if you can put together an IKEA cabinet you can put together this cockpit!
And here’s how it looks all put together with a monitor, X-52 Pro, and the keyboard stand. It truly does bring your gaming experience to the “Next Level.”
There’s plenty of room on the keyboard stand for panels and FIPs as well. You can also swap out the center keyboard stand for the side swivel keyboards stand if you wish.
For more info check out the official Pagnian website. At the moment Pagnian products are sold in Europe and Australia but I am told that Pagnian is looking to be in the US market by late 2014/early 2015.
And if you want a hands on demonstration with this cockpit you may see one in the Saitek booth at AirVenture Oshkosh 2014…