After receiving a distress call from the ground Ghost squad, you grab the accelerator throttle to your right, anxiously increasing speed while keeping a steady hand on the plane's balance to your left, and head towards the hot zone. As you drop to near 20 feet from the ground, under fire from several tanks and a few aerial hostiles incoming, you force yourself to relax in the leather pilot seat, concentrating on the target and eliminating uncertainty from your mind. And at that moment, your cat comes in the living room and jumps up on your lap, demanding attention and bringing you back to reality.
Flight sim games are renowned for brining a real-life experience to the player, and Playseats is aiming to complete the that experience with their FlightSeat model, which they have sent to us to immerse ourselves in.
Weighing in at 53 pounds, the package containing the FlightSeat was nothing that was easily ignored, by UPS or by ourselves as we dragged it to our office. The exterior box actually contains another box that holds the product, to further protect the item from facial damage during shipping. Though the boxes were packed without any space inbetween, the cushioning is found on the individual pieces of the FlightSeat. On the bright side, we had plenty of material for a nice-sized bon fire after unpackaging.
One of the first things you'll notice about the finished product, and likely before that, is the quality Playseats has included. From the leather finish to the perfect stitching, the FlightSeat looks as good as it is comfortable. The seat itself, from a larger reviewer's perspective, is a little slim, barely fitting both the legs on the seat. It does make however feature a nice lever-adjustment, much like you'd find standard in the seat of a car, allowing one to personalize the angle of the back and even lay it down to the seat.
The middle-bar base is also a nice touch, creating a 'table' that can be used from a number of things, including support for the more complex flight sim kits. It can be a little awkward to sit in when installed, especially when your manuevering around such a sensitive area. On that note as well, take care when moving around the FlightSeat in general; I have a few bruises on my shins from running into the bases that protrude from the side of the seat.
As mentioned above, the quality of this seat does a lot for the experience, including making it a very comfortable one. It's authenticity also helps to recreate the experience of being in a cockpit, which is complete with the addition of the sim equipment it so flawlessly supports. In fact, it took me a few days to go back to using a standard office chair even to do simple things like typing. Perhaps it was just knowing that at any moment in time, I was ready to thrown down on with some aerial combat, and do it right.