• Review: Thrustmaster Pendular Rudder System

    Fortunately for me there is actually little assembly required. The only things that need put in place are the pedals themselves, and that involves only two operations - one to install the pedals and another to attach the pedals to the brake sensor unit. Although my few mechanical abilities were stretched to the limit, these operations are in fact fairly simple (indeed, a normally adept person would find it a cake walk!) and it was but a matter of minutes before the unit stood before me in all of its splendor.

    Thrustmaster Rudders
    The massive pedestal unit - the heart of the system

    And splendid it is. To begin with, it is massive. It is said to weight around 15 pounds, about all I can heft with one hand. It is tall - around 13.5 inches worth at the top of the tower that supports the pendulum action, and from edge to edge it is around 21 inches wide (all measurements are my own and are approximate - cockpit builders and others interested please look at the Thrustmaster specs online). From front to back of the base plate it measures around 11.5 inches. It is mostly painted flat black, except for the pendular mechanism and the pedals themselves, which are a flat aluminum color. The pedals themselves much resemble those on a big airplane, and are of an open design, with many cutouts, presumably to either lower the weight or the wind resistance! The pedals are almost exactly as far apart as they are on a Boeing, albeit about twice as far apart as their counterparts on a Cessna. This has not proven to be a problem for me when simulating Cessnas, but if one's only actual real flight experience is in Cessnas it might feel a bit different at first. For simmers without real world experience it is probably a moot issue.

    Thrustmaster Rudders
    The assembled pedal system

    The "action", the mechanism that allows the pedals to move realistically, is a sizeable and robust looking construct of some ingenuity; indeed, robust enough that it looks like it could have come out of an airliner. The pedals are each attached to the bottom of a foot-long arm that looks like a replica of a bridge girder. This is actually an inverted L shaped affair that is attached to the tower at the top where the angle of the L is. The remainder, the short arm so to speak, extends to the rear of the unit, where push rod assemblies connect it to a "walking beam" of sorts that is attached to the rear of the tower on a bolt through its' middle. This hip-bone-connected-to-the-leg-bone arrangement works in such a way that when you push one pedal in, the arm moves to pull one end of the walking beam up. The other end of the beam then moves down, which results in moving the other rudder in the opposite direction.

    Thrustmaster Rudders
    The rear of the pedestal, showing the walking beam connection between the pedals and the scissor spring that provides
    the "feel" for the rudders

    1. flapman's Avatar
      flapman -
      Thank you for the review. I am seriously considering these as I have just bought a Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS
    1. Sporg9's Avatar
      Sporg9 -
      I saw your review recommend on the Thrustmaster Facebook page.
      However, have you checked out pedals in the same price range?
      There are quite a few, and I think they are better quality than even these Thrustmaster pedals.
      Look for MFG Crosswind (slightly cheaper), Slaw (same price but wastly better), Baur (if you can get these, otherwise check out VirPil in the future).
      I think you will find that there are a few quality offerings out there.
      In this price segment Thrustmaster faces fiercer competition than one might be aware of.
      Only disadvantage is that these pedals are from smaller manufacturers (sometimes single person), so might involve some lead time before you can get them, if they are at all available. I think the MFG are the most available ones for now.
    1. kirk66's Avatar
      kirk66 -

      MFG Crosswinds are great if you want to fly a Bf-109 - but NO aircraft made these days have that type of rudder pedal (feet ON the pedals). TPR is a much better representation of modern (or even US WW2) rudder pedals.

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