The Hands-On Throttle And Stick (HOTAS) are the primary flight controls for the F-16. They are referred to as "hands-on" since many of the common tasks the pilot needs to perform can be done using buttons and switches on the throttle and stick, which precludes the pilot from having to take his hands off the controls in combat or in other high-workload situations.
Side-Stick Controller (SSC)
|Side Stick Controller (SSC)|
|Trigger||The trigger on the SSC is a two-stage trigger (similar to many computer flight sticks including the Saitek X52). The first detent performs several functions, including starting ACMI recording. The second stage fires the aircraft's cannon.|
|Weapon Release||The weapon release switch (also called the "pickle" button) is used to fire missiles, drop bombs, and jettison stores. The exact switch usage to release the weapon depends on which weapon is being used.|
|Trim Hat||This hat switch is used to control the aircraft's trim. Pressing up/down on the switch changes the pitch trim position, and pressing left/right changes the roll trim position. Most players do not use this switch, since trim is rarely required to keep the aircraft stable. Instead, it is usually used to control the view direction.|
|Target Management Switch||See the main article for the Target Management Switch.|
|Display Management Switch||See the main article for the Display Management Switch.|
|Countermeasures Management Switch||The countermeasures management switch is used to control the various countermeasures of the aircraft, including the jammer and chaff/flares. It is not generally simulated in Falcon 4 games, since its exact operation was unknown at the time the simulator was first created.|
|Missile Step/NWS||This switch has a number of different functions depending on what mode the aircraft is in and where it is located. When the aircraft is on ground, it toggles the nose wheel steering system. If the aircraft is connected to a tanker during in-air refueling, it disconnects from the boom. If the aircraft is in A-A master mode, it is used to toggle the missile hardpoint to be used for the next launch. If the aircraft is in A-G mode, it toggles between CCRP, CCIP, and other bombing modes.|
|Pinky Switch||This switch is used to cycle the field of view for the currently selected sensor of interest. This works for many MFD pages, including the FCR, infrared/laser targeting, and the HSD.|
|Paddle Switch||This acts as a momentary disconnect for the aircraft's autopilot while it is engaged. As long as the switch is held down, the pilot will have control of the aircraft (instead of the autopilot). If the autopilot is not engaged, the switch has no effect.|
The HOTAS throttle is summarized below.
|Communications Switch||This switch is used to talk on various radio frequencies. This is not generally simulated in Falcon 4, although it is often used to toggle Teamspeak/Ventrilo communications.|
|Uncage Switch||This switch is used to "uncage" the seeker head for infrared missiles such as the AIM-9. When the seeker head is uncaged, it freely seeks targets and is not slaved to the aircraft's radar.|
|Antenna Elevation Knob||This rotary knob is used to set the elevation angle for the radar antenna. This can be used to scan different altitudes for enemy aircraft. There is generally a detent at the central position to allow the pilot to easily re-center the antenna.|
|Dogfight/Missile Override Switch||This is a three-way switch which is used to select the dogfight and missile override modes. If the switch is in the center position, neither override mode is selected.|
|Cursor Control||This joystick-type control is used to move the cursor on the FCR and HSD MFD pages. It is also used to slew the radar antenna in the ACM 30x20 mode.|
|Blackout Switch||The HOBO (hands-on blackout) switch is used to allow the pilot to control the aircraft's lighting with the HOTAS. It is generally not modeled in Falcon 4.|
These diagrams (from the F-16 MLU avionics manual) describe the functionality of the SSC and throttle while the aircraft is in an A-A master mode (A-A, DGFT, MRM).
These diagrams describe the functionality of the SSC and throttle while the aircraft is in an A-G master mode.