Saitek Pro-Flight Combat Pedals
By Nigel Martin (5 March 2011)
Introduction from Saitek:
PRO FLIGHT COMBAT RUDDER PEDALS
Inspired by pedal designs found in modern fighter aircraft such as the F16 or F35, the rudder pedals are constructed from a highly robust die-cast alloy, providing durability and authenticity for the most demanding of aspiring pilots.
Independent left and right brake axis allows for greater accuracy and precision when performing braking manoeuvres. Self-cantering rudder axis works in conjunction with a user configurable dampening adjuster, allowing users to define levels of pressure required to operate rudder controls.
Connectivity: USB 2.0
Windows 7, Windows XP, XP64
and Windows Vista (all versions)
Combat style pedals - straight from modern fighters
Independent left and right brake axis rudder axis
Self cantering with adjustable damping
Adjustable pedal angle to suit all styles of flying
High quality, part metal construction for long life
Smart Technology (ST) programming software allows gamers to configure their controls to suit their style
So, Let's Have A Look...
Ever since I have owned a computer, I have had a flight simulation program tucked away somewhere, and when I think back, playing with a polygon Mustang and polygon runway on my Elonex 'cutting-edge' computer thinking that was the "bee's knees" makes me nod my head, and adorn a wry smile, frankly in amazement at how this wonderful environment we call "flight simulation" has taken quantum leaps to the current milieu of software and hardware available to enhance the flight sim experience.
With this technological move forward, we have seen many software options, that are paid for and frankly some amazing freeware for both FSX and FS2004, as far as I am concerned, the freeware developers are truly the unsung heroes and heroines, long may your art continue... We all thank you.
It has to said, some of the paid for titles are very impressive, but still I 'bark' at some obvious errors, but alas, more about this another time...
Moving onto a subject close to my heart, flight simulation hardware, this as far as I am concerned makes flight simulation 'come alive'. There are many manufacturers out there supplying the insatiable demand for realism and authenticity.
But my brethren, after trying many different samples, from a plethora of manufactures (I do not confess however, to have tired all!) from a personal perspective, I take my proverbial hat off to Saitek, who have introduced the Pro-Flight series of 'goodies'. I have in recent months reviewed some of these, to great acclaim, and every time a new innovative addition hits the streets, I wonder "what-next?!" (long may it continue...)
Of course I am delighted to witness yet another member of the Pro-Flight family, in this case the Combat Rudder Pedals.
When you order the unit, dispatch is almost instant, and when you see the post man struggling to carry the very large box to your front door, you know the pedals have arrived. Once the outer protective box is opened, you cannot help but be impressed by the box art; this is quite brilliant, which provides you with lovely graphics, and description of the contents.
Opening carefully, you are confronted by a superb inner packaging support system (you will also see with a instruction leaflet, and installation CD ROM, held firmly on a cardboard inner cover) and when you remove one half the unit is on view. I promise you, one look and you can appreciate the obvious quality. In fact they could have been unbolted from a Eurofighter and placed in the box, such is the realism, and obvious visual build quality.
When lifting out of the box, the weight is considerable, VERY STURDY, just as well, when you consider their intended use I guess... The base being of a very sturdy plastic, with aluminium pedal units. The foot angled support units, are again of a hardy plastic, but mounted on a metal plate, providing rigidity.
I purchased, from another manufacturer, a set of rudder pedals some two years ago, and they were NOT cheap, and frankly, look like a child's toy in comparison to the new Pro-Fight set.
Before setting up there are two separate angled pieces, mounted onto a metal base plate (facing the user) allowing a very gentle slope to the main pedals, easily fitted with a secure push-fit.
A very handy feature is located at the center of the base plate (green LED illuminates when power to unit) a rotary tension adjusting knob. This not only is a useful addition, but as a bonus, works incredibly well, with minute adjustments being achieved by simply rotating the knob. Obviously, you can increase and decrease the tension of the pedal if you so wish.
Eager to try out the latest acquisition, I had a glance at the instructions, popped the installation CD Rom into the computer followed the instructions, via a very generous length of cable, I put in the USB connecter into my computer. A picture popped up, as part of the installation process, of the foot pedals movement indicators, so I moved the pedals, left and right, and noticed the green bar tracking in proportion to my inputs, including the braking. All done, hit OK, and exited that window.
Before we move on, I must say, I placed the unit on the floor, (wood floor) and it stayed exactly in place. This is due to anti-slip pads on the base, which clearly work and are extremely effective, and are prefitted, so no need for double sided tape or Velcro.
I simply love the aluminium pedals, they have a typical helo knurled horizontal foot bar, with an 'open' pattern foot plate which provide the braking function. (Allowing for toe brakes function.)
A useful feature, both foot plates are pre-set to an angle of 40% rake, but you have the option of adjusting the rake to 55% or 70% rake, which ever suites you best.