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Does anyone actually like using rudder pedals?


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I had Saitek rudder pedals a while back and got fed up with them, ended up preferring just the twist joystick - which actually feels very natural to me when turning. But thinking about it further, I don't recall using rudder pedals in a real PA28, nor in a full 737 sim as feeling that great either (would have preferred twist handles on the yoke), and braking with them even worse.


Maybe it's me and I'm just uncoordinated, a typical gamer, only good with hand-eye.


Weird that for all my efforts to get the flight sim experience as real as possible, I'm happy to ditch one of the key physical movements all real pilots have to master.


AMD Ryzen 5 3600X


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I suppose that it depends on the individual. I like rudder pedals in real aircraft, but the sim pedals I've tried are not very good (perhaps the PFC pedals would be good, but I've never even seen them). The sim pedals (CH and Saitek) sit at a different angle and require a totally different foot/ankle motion/position than what real ones do, perhaps trying to accommodate car pedals, or maybe just being cheap.


When I first started flying (1969- the Chief in my sig) the pedals were a bit awkward, as is likely to be the case with most anything new, but they soon became (in most aircraft) so second nature that it's been decades since I gave them much thought.


On the other hand, I've tried the twist grips in the sim and it's not only awkward, but it's very difficult for me to make the very subtle movements (subtle pressures, actually, I don't usually think about movement as such) that are sometimes needed, and that are simple with proper pedals.


Maybe it's me and I'm just uncoordinated, a typical gamer, only good with hand-eye.

It does take some practice with pedals, especially when using the brakes, and it soon becomes second nature to slide your feet up on the toe brakes when needed, too. Heel brakes are, however, another story. On the Aeronca Chief the heel brake pedals were actually mounted on the rudder pedal, making it not too bad, but in most aircraft with heel brakes (Cub, et al) the heel brake pedals are actually mounted in a fixed position on the floor and do not move with the rudder pedals, making their use much more awkward, though the rudder pedals themselves are just fine.


On the other hand, I can't use the brakes on the CH pedals I have, since the angle is just way too awkward, so my heels rest on the floor and the balls of my feet rest on what's apparently designed to be a heel rest, so that I can get those subtle pressures when needed, leaving the braking for the "fire button" on the stick. Yes, I use a stick for everything. In real aircraft stick or yoke doesn't much matter to me (I've done a lot of both) so that in the sim I use my preference (stick), not only because it's more natural for flying than a yoke is, but also because with many sticks for the sim there are lots of assignable buttons and axes, making my sim experience almost keyboard free, with it being rare that I have to look away from the screen, whether for view changes, flaps and gear, mixture/prop, speed brakes, trim, etc. all being assigned on my Thrustmaster Warthog, slightly more things than were available on the Saitek X-36 or X-52.


Besides, none of the yokes I've tried in the sim have a smooth feel, making control a bit awkward.


Larry N.

As Skylab would say:

Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

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Hi Folks,


Yeah - I have a set of CH Pedals gathering dust in the closet - the most accurate and precise rudder control I’ve managed to get in the sim is via the micro thumb joystick on the CH Pro Throttle... It works quite well...








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I have both the CH Products yoke and pedals. I had to get used to coordination and I did that making constant circuits around my airfield and just learning. Now I think they are great. Especially if needing to crab. With the combination of yoke and pedals it makes crabbing really easy. I don't find it hard at all to brake and I use differential brakes on turns all the time.


I always wanted a yoke and pedals and I just couldn't afford them. Then one day I was at a yard sale and there they sat and I asked the guy how much. "25!," he said. I immediately took them. I thought perhaps they would be broken, but plugging them in and to my surprise they worked. In fact, FSX IDed most of the control features. I did have to set a button for reverse thrust.


Just fly several circuits around your airport and you should be able to get used to them. To me it's now second nature. And to think I used to use a game pad and I even crabbed with that thing.

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I also have the CH Pedals and Yoke. Got the pedals and yoke in 2005 and still work great. Cannot imagine flying without the pedals. I like the brake function when landing and are great for differential braking for the planes with a castor front wheel. I cannot compare to a real plane because I have never flown a real plane.


John Cottreau

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It does take some practice with pedals, especially when using the brakes, and it soon becomes second nature to slide your feet up on the toe brakes when needed, too. Heel brakes are, however, another story.


Thank goodness that no one produced flight sim rudder pedals with heel brakes. I hated them on the Piper Cubs. I was doing a wheel landing with a pretty good cross-wind in a Super Cub one time, and the rudder lost effectiveness while slowing down without the tailwheel on the ground. I was used to toe brakes and couldn't find the heel brakes in time to make a correction and ended up in a ground loop (fortunatly it was minor).


I had the CH rudder pedals and had to replace them because the brake axes kept getting stuck as brakes on. I got the new Thrustmaster rudder pedals and like them a lot with the optional heel rests removed.

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