I just received my WarBRD joystick base, with Mongoose T-50 grip; and also my T-50 Throttle. Yeah, it took quite a while, but in general, the Virpil company seems able to deliver products that you might want better than the VKB company. If anything that you want is "out of stock", just like with VKB, you must apply to receive e-mail notification as soon as stock becomes available. The difference between VKB and Virpil, in my own experience, is that with VKB, bottom line, is that you'll never be able to actually get one. That means, if you get a notification from VKB that their product is available, by the time that you are able to get online and order one, it will already be too late because of the very small quantities they seem to deal in (a dozen or so per batch?).
Although Virpil did change very recently from the pre-order system to email notifications, just like VKB, the difference seems to be that you can actually acquire what you're waiting for, if you act in a timely fashion; at least that was my experience.
Regardless of all that, I was surprised that a few pilots in JG1 (Razwald, Hook, Loopy) were at least somewhat interested in at least some of the Virpil products, so I'll post some preliminary information here. I also know Vonrd had mentioned this to me in the past. I will say that I am delaying actually installing and using the equipment because I don't want to attempt all of that in the middle of an FiF campaign. However, that doesn't prevent me from setting up mechanical preferences, and planning how I will physically install the new units in a way that will most closely resemble what I have now (CH Products).
First off, basic dimensions. Of course I can now give you any dimensions you ask for, the ones that concern me most are the ones that relate to what I have right now. For example: how high will my hand be on the new stick, compared to the old stick, and what physical position will I be able to install it in (i.e. the center or fulcrum of the stick's movement, compared to my original.
For starters, the Virpil stick is obviously much higher than my original stick, plus it has a much wider "footprint". To begin with, the "footprint" is so wide because it's made for people to use as a non-attached base with only rubber feet (included) that would keep it from tipping during use. The base plate included with the "WarBRD" base does have holes in it that you could use to screw-mount the stick to your stable surface, but those holes are unnecessarily far apart since they are exactly where the rubber pads for a non-mounted installation would be. Therefore, if you want a screw-mounted desktop installation, the included base takes up far too much room, considering other hardware (mouse, keyboard, throttle) that you might want near it. Because of that, I have determined that for my own installation, I will cut down the base plate greatly and make new screw hole locations that are much further inboard.
In my opinion, the best frame of reference for how one stick feels with respect to another, is the hand rest height and position. If you can duplicate that, you can have a very similar starting point to use and compare to. By cutting down the too-wide base plate, I can position my new stick with the fulcrum of movement in exactly the same place as my old one, without having any extra base-plate sticking out beyond the edge of my mounting surface, or intruding in the areas that my mouse pad, throttle and keyboard might be. The following is a comparison between my old stick and new one, with regard to the height of the hand rest.
Original CH rest: 4-1/4 inches above the mounting surface
Virpil rest, adjusted to my preference: 7-7/8 inches above the mounting surface:
In order for me to equalize this distance, I will need to lower the new stick accordingly. To do so, I will first trim down the base plate from it's original size in the following manner (those areas outside of the ruled areas will be removed, and screw holes drilled):
Then, I will cut a hole in my keyboard tray that will match the shape of the WarBRD base as exactly as possible. Then, the stick will actually be mounted to the BOTTOM of the keyboard tray, thus lowering it. In fact, blocks of wood can be added between the bottom of the keyboard tray and the altered base, thus lowering it further. By doing this I hope to come as close as I can to achieving the original height of the stick rest, in the exact same position as the old one was.
The dimensions of the new throttle are: 9-5/8 inches deep, by 6-3/4 inches wide. The height of the highest part of the throttle handle is: 7-1/2 inches high.
The height of my original throttle quadrant was: 6-1/2 inches high.
By similarly mounting the new throttle base to the underside of the keyboard tray mounting surface, I will achieve a similar height and position, to the extent possible, as the old throttle quadrant had.
At this point, you may be asking yourself, why the heck doesn't he just use the Virpil edge-mount clamp fixtures that are specifically made for this hardware. Well, that hardware pushes the stick, and especially the throttle, well outward from the edge of the mounting surface. For me, that would mean that I would be much farther back from my screen (and therefore my TIR); also, since the mounting hardware extends well below the mounting surface (and is then adjusted up as needed), it basically has to have the stick mounted BETWEEN your legs in a center position. The throttle, being mounted on an exact same clamp with different adapter, extends much farther out than even the stick does; therefore, it basically has to be beside you instead of in front of you.
I don't like any of those compromises. If in the future I wanted to buy and use joystick extensions, I would be forced to use the lowered, center-mount hardware. However, for now I think I'll be a lot happier with a side-by-side installation on top of the edge of my keyboard tray, just like my old hardware was.
More to come when actual physical installation begins.