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Interview with Winwing founder Alex Li


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Dear friends of the DCS and sim community. In my Blog (El vuelo de la Gran Avutarda) I had the pleasure to interview Alex Li, who is the product manager and founder of WINWING. Chengdu WinWing Tech Co., LTD established in March 2013, specialized in research,development, production and sale of Flight simulation training devices and provides efficient customer service around the globe. “翼胜”originated from English “ WinWing”, “Win” means win-win, and “WinWing” means “the Wings of victory”.

Alex is a busy man, but he was very kind and provided answers to my questions, including any future product plans of  WINWING. Here is the interview:

Question: Can you tell us a little about you and the company?
Alex: I don't have a particularly unique background personally. I studied mathematics and have been involved in the computer manufacturing industry for 5 years, followed by 12 years in the simulator industry. As a result, I'm not inclined to be in the public eye. Our company has been established for 10 years now, and we boast a professional team dedicated to simulator development. In our B2B business, we specialize in creating FAA FAR PART60 LEVEL5 certified flight training devices and a range of other simulators. The consumer entertainment market is just a small fraction of our overall business diversification. 
Q: How was created or what was your first idea?
A: I have actually visited Germany myself, where you will find numerous modest yet remarkably impressive companies that have stood the test of time across generations. As the first generation at WINWING, my aspiration is to emulate their enduring success story. Nonetheless, we must confront the inevitable reality that AI may ultimately supersede human pilots one day—an advancement that could potentially render simulator technology as a sunset industry.
Q: In addition, what about the people at WINWING?
A: They are a team of professional electronic, software, and hardware engineers, with the majority having served the company for over 5 years. We have assembled an exceptionally skilled production team, many of whom come from renowned manufacturing giants like Foxconn and Jabil.
Q: What was the first product launched and how has the process?
A: When it comes to serving enterprise-level clients' needs, our well-established flight training device product line encompasses renowned aircraft modules like Cessna, Diamond, Cirrus Aviation Inc., alongside others in the realm of general aviation. 
The development journey spanned over five arduous years as we relentlessly pursued perfection. Now shifting gears to cater to the broader audience seeking immersive entertainment experiences - undoubtedly - our inaugural offerings take form as Super Taurus and Orion. I vividly recall a conversation with one of my corporate client agents who said: 'Alex! The CPU technology powering the realm of flight simulation becomes woefully outdated within a mere three-year span! Yet here we find ourselves surrounded by game peripheral counterparts that stubbornly cling to relics from a decade past. Is there nothing we can do?' And so began the genesis of our pioneering duo: Super Taurus and Orion—our response to this clarion call for change. 
While these initial offerings may not lay claim to perfection, they embody our unwavering commitment to 'stay hungry, stay foolish.' We embark on an unending journey towards refining our product line while fervently endeavoring to provide enhanced flight simulation gaming peripherals with every passing year. In my view, any consumer electronic product languishing without upgrades for a decade bears the stain of ignominy.
Q: Did you research the sim market or ask enthusiast to start with your first product?
A: Undoubtedly, we undertake meticulous data research on an individual basis. Yet being at the helm as manufacturers of certified flight training devices bestows upon us a unique comprehension—deeper than that held by conventional gaming hardware entities—of pilots' genuine requirements. In my view, incorporating feedback from community influencers and seasoned flight simulation players stands as an integral component.
In retrospection, our inaugural offerings—Super Taurus and Orion—bear certain blemishes owing primarily to limited exposure among hardcore gamers coupled with suboptimal emphasis placed on refining the user interaction layer.
Q: There are some other manufacturers, what in your opinion differentiates WINWING from others?
A: We hold a strong respect for our competitors. However, if WINWING were to introduce a new product such as rudder pedals, for instance, other brands should consider discontinuing the development and production of similar products. When it comes to functionality, materials used, and performance, WINWING's offering would undoubtedly be priced at 1/2 or 2/3 compared to others in the market. At an equivalent price point, WINWING's products would surpass its competitors by two orders of magnitude in terms of performance and material quality. And our R&D team has the capacity to design 3-5 fully certified cockpit solutions each year. I have immense confidence in our competitive edge.
Q: WINWING has a good reputation when talking about quality materials and design, How was achieved this high level? Talk us a little about the design of the products and the manufacturing processes.
A: Incorporating superior materials and intricate design principles is, in our perspective, an intrinsic and indispensable prerequisite for turning ideas into reality. The methodology of design holds immense significance and necessitates absolute confidentiality. Manuel, you being an esteemed aviation authority, I surmise we share a common ground that bodes well for our discourse. 
Catering to B2B operations demands substantial investment of time in studying standards such as ICAO 9625 (International Civil Aviation Organization simulator standards), FAR Part 60 (Federal Aviation Administration simulator standards), CCAR Part 60 (Civil Aviation Administration of China simulator standards), along with numerous training syllabi and institutional benchmarks.
As expounded within the tenets enshrined by ICAO 9625, the defining attributes of training apparatus are intrinsically shaped by the very subjects encompassed within their respective syllabi. Ergo, when contriving a revolutionary flight simulation peripheral, we embark upon an intellectual expedition guided by a cogent framework:
  1. Which stage of flight instruction shall it cater to?
  2. What precise pedagogical objectives must it realize?
  3. To fulfill these objectives optimally, what caliber device performance does the aviator (user) demand?
  4. To attain this level of performance par excellence, which materials, sensors, processors ought to be judiciously employed?
I firmly believe that every user who acquires a WINWING flight simulation peripheral would exclaim: "Fantastic! Why is it that WINWING's products consistently meet my subject-specific training needs?"
I vividly recollect the joy experienced by a flight simulation enthusiast with only several dozen hours under his belt while executing aerial refueling maneuvers using Super Taurus throttle. The excellence exhibited by WINWING's products extends beyond material quality; instead, they are rooted in practical usage scenarios for flight simulation users. These factors constitute our key to invincibility!


Q: I recently tested the new F-15E grip and I have to say the vibration experience was awesome. Since tactile cues are essential for flying, many simmers would like to know if there are plans for force feedback implementation in older and new products.
A: I can forthrightly affirm that research and development efforts towards more force feedback joysticks and grips are well underway. In truth, we have already achieved torque closed-loop force feedback capabilities within our certified flight training devices—a technological marvel surpassing any prevailing 'open-loop' counterparts saturating today's market. Our aim remains twofold: engineering an affordable solution accessible to most flight simulation enthusiasts while upholding uncompromising precision requisite for professional training scenarios.
Currently available consumer-grade force feedback products and some ongoing demos suffer from issues such as excessive inertia, dead zones in the gearbox mechanism, and cogging effects (resulting in less smooth operation due to inherent magnetic pole switching of motors). While these products may offer features like responsiveness, vibration control, and dynamic forces, they simply cannot achieve precise manipulation. Moreover, they risk inducing erroneous muscle memory for pilots and lack practical applicability.

Q: What about the pedals. The Skywalker pictures I saw are impressive. Tell us about the plans to produce high quality WINWING stile pedals.

A: Much like I said before, with the advent of SKYWALKER's release, other competitors in the rudder pedals market should contemplate ceasing production altogether. Given its dimensions and weight characteristics, we aim to reduce purchasing costs for users by opting for sea freight shipment worldwide. This will require some time, but once all preparations are in place, it will be introduced to everyone.
Q: Regarding the fantastic PTO/PCR panels, Are there any plans to upgrade them?
A: We have taken into account the opinions of experienced players and community leaders, but we have not yet determined the precise application scenarios for the new PCR. However, we are on the verge of delivering other exciting surprises to modern fighter jet enthusiasts.
Q: Is there any plan to produce a new version of the FA18 Taurus base? Perhaps with Force Feedback?
A: Indeed, it is in our plans. However, we aspire for it to become a classic rather than a mere "trophy" or electronic waste.
Q: Are there plans to produce the whole cockpit of a specific model?
A: A whole complete cockpit requires localized services, which our over 10 years of B2B experience has taught us. Hence, we prefer to leave this opportunity to system integrators worldwide! Of course, if they are unwilling to seize this chance, I will personally step in!
Q: Can you tell us what other products are in your mind for the future?
A: I regretfully apologize for the lack of further information. However, as previously stated, WINWING is set to unveil a cornucopia of new products annually that will make all the collective offerings of our competitors pale in comparison.
Q: Are there any software plans (changes, upgrades, new functionalities) for the fantastic App SimAPP Pro?
A: We are actively seeking input from hardcore communities and users to consider redesigning SIMAPP PRO, aiming for a simpler and more user-friendly experience.
Thank you very much to Alex for taking the time to answer my questions. We as enthusiast appreciate very much the high quality products created in your company for our passion: flight simulation.
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  • 3 weeks later...

I totaly love the Super Taurus throttle. I have shopped a second base unit in case my first should break.
Would like to see more enthusiast products from winwing in the range of 900 - 1200€ but with the mentitioned material and quality advantage.

E.g. the Pedals are pretty but what I would like to see are force feedback pedals (nice for copters). Currently only Brunner Innovation offering some. 

Edited by tobaschi
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The fact you just said... "I have shopped for a second base unit in case my first should break". gives me pause to wonder about said devices. The brand new PTO2 I just got is amazing on the left-hand side and a disappointment on the right-hand side... makes the old saying Fair to Middling fit in this case...it's... So So.. LOL, hey, the Virpil CP#2 is just as weird... some really nice stuff and stuff I wonder if it will break the first time I use it. A guarded switch that doesn't latch in either direction.. why have a guard.... :doh:

As the old saying goes, a fool and his money are soon separated... we flight simmers are far worse animals... Us old.. old Dogs should know better..

Sempre Fortis

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18 hours ago, _Hoss said:

The fact you just said... "I have shopped for a second base unit in case my first should break". gives me pause to wonder about said devices. The brand new PTO2 I just got is amazing on the left-hand side and a disappointment on the right-hand side... makes the old saying Fair to Middling fit in this case...it's... So So.. LOL, hey, the Virpil CP#2 is just as weird... some really nice stuff and stuff I wonder if it will break the first time I use it. A guarded switch that doesn't latch in either direction.. why have a guard.... :doh:

As the old saying goes, a fool and his money are soon separated... we flight simmers are far worse animals... Us old.. old Dogs should know better..

I've had almost all of Winwings products since inception with not one issue. You pause to wonder regarding a statement from one person!

Ryzen 9 7950X3D - MSI MAG X670E TomaHawk MB, ASUS ROG Ryujin III 360 AIO

64gig Corsair DDR5@6000, Gigabyte GeForce RTX 4090 AORUS

Winwing Super Taurus, Orion2, TO / Combat panels, Collective with Topgun MIP

Winwing Skywalker pedals, NLR Boeing Mil Edition Simpit, Trackir

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It's probably a Thrustmaster hangover, their stuff breaks all the time. 🙂 Never had a problem with my Orion, except spring failure in finger lifts, but that's kind of hard to avoid and easily fixed with some pliers. So far works great. I'll definitely be looking at the force feedback kit once it's unveiled. Happy with my TM pedals so far (I like the pendular mechanism), but FF ones would be something else, as would an FF stick base.

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