The flightcontrols.org flight controller round up.There are a lot of flight controllers on the market and for a newbie or beginner it can be hard to find exactly what you need and where to start. To save you time, we have compiled all the flight control hardware that you can buy online and in the shops and linked them to their reviews in an easy to read round up type format.
Although there is not a whole lot of competition in this niche, there are nonetheless more and more companies willing to invest in making more products as each year rolls around. Not bad considering that the last time Microsoft Flight Simulator was updated was back in 2006 with Microsoft Flight Simulator X. Unfortunately the software does not really move as fast as the hardware does.
The main companies that are still making flight controllers for enthusiast gamers and more serious flight simmers are saitek, logitech, thrustmaster and CH products.
To help those that are new to flight simulation we thought it would help everyone if we first looked at the best way to categorize flight hardware.
The first thing is to consider what type of planes we want to fly.
- Civil aviation: Cessna, Boeing Jets, Airbus Jets, Twin Prop planes
- Combat aircraft: A10 warthog, F-16, MiGs, Jet fighters. Older fighter prop planes from WW2 era or older.
In general all the planes in category 1, will use either a flight yoke or a flight joystick. If you fly an airbus or helicopter than you will want a joystick, feel free to chose any from category 2.
Planes in category 2, especially modern day Jets all use a flight joystick together with a dedicated throttle unit ie HOTAS. (hands on throttle and stick)
Flight Controllers For Civil Aviation
Flight yokes in no particular order of preference are:
Flight Controllers For Combat Aircraft
First up a list of HOTAS flight setups
- Saitek X52 Pro
- Saitek X65F
- Logitech G940
- Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog
- CH Products fighterstick USB + CH Products Pro Throttle USB
Flight Pedals For Civil Aviation/Combat Aircraft
In addition to what ever primary flight controller you chose to purchase, be it a flight yoke or a HOTAS setup. You will also need a set of flight pedals to control the flight rudder in your plane. This is an optional purchase. Some joysticks such as the Logitech G940 come with flight pedals for example. Other Joysticks such as the Saitek x52 pro and saitek x65f have a twist function on the joystick that can be assigned as a rudder control. However, all true enthusiasts will eventually look forward to purchasing a set of dedicate flight pedals. The biggest advantage of doing this is:
- Realism. This is how planes are flown in real life and you can avoid training bad habits early with a proper setup.
- Separate left and right toe brakes. You can taxi properly with independent brakes, not possible with twist rudder joysticks or thumb pedal rudders.
Currently there are only 2 companies that offer flight pedal solutions at reasonable prices, saitek and ch products. You can of course purchase proper simulator grade pedals, however you can expect to pay double the price over the mainstream pedals listed below.