Cursor Control Devices


Cursor Control Devices or CCDs are essentially Control Panel Assemblies (CPAs) that incorporate the use of a trackball or joystick for precision cursor navigation on the aircraft’s primary flight displays. Software or Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) are used to read the status and position of the cursor and switch functions and communicates the activity through the aircraft communication network. FTG has a number of Technical Standard Order (TSO) certified designs.



  • Comprised of a round, plastic ball held within a socket comprised of sensors that detect rotation of the ball about its’ two axes.
  • Primarily used in devices that require a sensitive, accurate cursor.
  • Palm/finger rest assemblies incorporated for optimized ergonomics.

Joysticks / Force-sticks

  • Stick or control column that pivots on a base and reports the angle/direction to the unit it is controlling.
  • Typically includes directional toggle and/or throttle functions
  • Utilized in devices where space is limited, throttle feature is required, one or two-finger applications are desired, or in devices where trackballs may not be preferable.
  •  Primarily used for precision movement coordinates.
  • Optimized for pilot grip stability and ergonomics.

A basic CCD consists of:

  • Acrylic or Aluminum body/frame,
  • Paint, 
    • Basecoat (White)
    • Topcoat (Black, Gray, or Brown)
  • Circuit Card Assembly with connector,
  • Filters
  • LEDs
  • Resistors
  • Cursor Controller
    • Joystick/Force-stick
    • Trackball
  • Software / FPGA (integrated into the device)
  • Common Hardware (screws, inserts, grommets, gaskets), 
  • Clearcoat


  • Flightworthy and Simulated (trainers) Aircrafts
    • Flightworthy
      • Includes all airplanes, helicopters, or any other machines (both military and commercial) that are capable of flight.
      • Hardware developed in accordance with RTCA (Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics) DO 254
      • Software developed in accordance with RTCA DO 178
    • Non-Flightworthy
      • Platforms or Simulators that simulate a representation of an airplane, helicopter, or any other machine capable of flight for the purpose of training or presentation.
  • CCDs can easily fit into both Flightworthy and Non-Flightworthy categories.
  • The only things that separate the two are:
    • Customer specifications/requirements that enable/deem the product flightworthy
    • All flightworthy CCD components need sufficient testing and must meet requirements of certain Specifications and Standards 
  • Commercial and Military Aircraft
    • Commercial Aircraft
      • Common lighting applications
      • CCDs are built and developed to IDAL (Item Development Assurance Level) Level B or C and commercial standards in the aerospace industry
      • Used in both rotary and fixed wing environments
      • Commercial grade components can be procured and utilized for this type of CCD
    • Military Aircraft
      • Night Vision Goggle (NVG) filters commonly utilized for military applications
      • Military grade components can be procured and utilized for this type of CCD
      • Used in both rotary and fixed wing environments
    • Simulators
      • All lighting applications available
      • Loosened requirements for component procurement and specifications 
      • Usable for simulation purposes only – not flightworthy

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