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1.
HOTAS as an acronym stands for "Hands On Throttle And Stick", basicly describing a joystick that can be connected to a PC or a console in order to deliver a maximum in realism, immersion and flexibility to the user.

What sets a HOTAS apart from an "average joystick" is that is consists of two modules that are in some way physically connected:

The "stick" and the "throttle".

Each requires the use of one hand for operation, hence the name.

The only ways of further upgrading a HOTAS system are adding control pedals and/or a head-mounted motion-tracking system.
If you're serious about flight-sims, you won't get around purchasing a HOTAS.

To date the most complete and critically acclaimed models are for a realistic(flight-sim) approach Thrustmaster's Cougar HOTAS and for a sci-fi(MechWarrior/Space-sim) approach Saitek's X52.
by Blue_Six December 07, 2004