I just got this custom build delivered, and I mentioned it oft-hand and Luftritter wanted to see more. So here she is: Davjack's GVL build. Uh, actually just see this post here on the IL2 forums for a couple photos and a description of the build quality. https://forum.il2stu...#comment-725685
In a nutshell, this is a very well built piece, and it was built to my specifications, and that is really satisfying, even if I made mistakes on the labels, and I did. That labeling is laser etched into the finish on the metal, but a piece of tape and a fine point pen solves any of my own mistakes. For instance, the Trim Up/Down switch is redundant, since I can use my Joystick's hat switch, but I didn't understand that when I made the design. Vitalij made exactly what I asked him to make.
There are 4 levers and 4 wheels (4 main levers, 2 wheels on the side, a wheel on the thumb position under the throttle, and a wheel/dial on the front body labeled as Oil Rad). The thumb wheel being "zoom" allows me to bind the hat switch on my stick as trim, which is realistic in DCS and also convenient. This setup gives me a full tactile setting on manual for the P-47 in IL2: Mix/Prop/Throttle/Turbo/Intercooler/OutletCowlFlaps can be each an independent piece. In fact, the rear-right wheel is dedicated for outlet cowl flaps, which are rarely used in flight for fighters. It's nice to be able to feel them, though.
Other planes are more simple. While this unit lacks a Hat Switch, the 9 buttons on the end of the throttle offer good versatility (including being used for TS and TIR management). GVL's encoders use "hat switch" logic, so you can't have both. The encoder (grey wheel) on the throttle handle adjusts gunsight range. My rear 3 encoder/buttons are labeled R1/R2/Nav like a GA aircraft stack, in prep for Deadstick. In IL2, I use those encoders for 110/Spitfire manual rads. Last note: the analogue switches are the same basic American switches that were physically used in the P-47. The whole build is metal and resin...like an original WWII aircraft. I can't overstate how nice that feels. If you've handled old equipment vs newer plastic stuff, you'll know what I mean.
I have already disassembled the main body in order to investigate making a custom "throttle gate" for WEP/Afterburners on various aircraft, and it is very fixable if anything goes wrong. Unlike a dedicated PCB build, I could replace a piece of this build using a soldering iron and basic skills. My "throttle gate" will be a simple piece of thick rubber sheet placed such that it causes slight friction at the point where the throttle lever hits Combat Power, with different sheets for different planes. Really important for Afterburners in DCS...
Overall: I love it! I can't speak to this unit vs another, but for $305 I am completely satisfied that GVL took 1 month to email with me and design a custom piece, and delivered a work of art. The only problems are my own, for some labels don't fully work with Il2 because I didnt fully understand the game, but tape and memorizing re-binds fixes all of that The unit is solid metal, nothing wiggles, and if it doesn't last a lifetime, I can fix it.
I would recommend buying a unit from Vitalij. He does sell a lot of cheaper modules that are made from the same high quality units, but have less functionality. He will also make insanely detailed 737 stacks, as you can see on page 7 of his IL2 thread. https://forum.il2stu...#comment-691937
I personally love the value from mine: it is all metal and strong resin. It was made to my spec.
You can see all sorts of what he does here: https://forum.il2stu...r-control-axes/
EDIT: And yes, this sounds like a total advertisement, but I will say that I only ever promote products that I actually use, ever, anywhere.