Time for a new list. This months top selling and most popular flight simulator controls as it appears on Amazon.
Amazon stock a good variety of entry level flight controls. From CH products, saitek to thrustmaster. They even stock much pricier pro level flight simulator controls by GoFlight.
The good thing about top selling lists is that they very easily give you a good breakdown on what the most popular and by default what is generally considered as “great” flight simulator controls are in the market. As the saying goes, that cream rises to the top and a bestseller list is no different.
What you notice as you go down this top ranking flight simulator control list that the list contains a wide variety of flight peripherals. On the list, you can see joysticks, flight rudder pedals and even flight yokes.
Top ranking flight simulator controls
- Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals.
This is quite a surprising entry. I would have expected the top selling flight control to be a joystick. For those that are looking to buy a flight simulator rudder pedal I would actually suggest you buy the Saitek Pro Flight Combat Rudder Pedals. It has a more realistic design and metal pedals. However these little puppies will set you back $180. By comparison the all plastic Saitek pro flight rudder pedals are $100 cheaper at around $90. I can see why these rudder pedals are so popular. In fact, these are the cheapest flight rudder pedals you can buy on the market.
- Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X Flight Stick.
Not entirely an unsurprising entry. The Thrustmaster T flight is the cheapest HOTAS controller that works both on your PlayStation three and also on your PC. The best bit about this HOTAS controller is that it only sets you back a cool $50. The nearest competitor is going to cost you almost twice this. For those that are new to flight simulation or consider themselves casual flyers the Thrustmaster T flight is a perfect entry-level piece of kit.
- Saitek Pro Flight Yoke with Three-Lever Throttle.
Running third on the list is a flight yoke. Saitek have got the edge here with their pro flight yoke that even comes with a separate throttle quadrant. This throttle quadrant is worth at least $50 if purchased separately. A close competitor to the Saitek yoke would be the CH Products Eclipse Yoke listing for ~$160. The Saitek yoke proves to be a more popular option as not only does it cost around $50 less but comes with a separate throttle quadrant and a metal steel shaft on the yoke.
- Saitek X52 Flight Control System.
Another HOTAS controller, don’t make the mistake of confusing this with its bigger brother the Saitek X52 PRO. The normal Saitek X52 comes in at about $50 cheaper than its pro version and that would probably explain why it is so popular. For those that can stretch the budget, the pro version would be more worthwhile as it has much better internal mechanisms that give it a better flight experience.
- Saitek PRO Flight Switch Panel.
Saitek have released a lot of different flight panels over the last few years. The most popular seems to be the switch panel. In terms of utility, the pro flight switch panel allows you to control everything from engine start up to raising and lowering your gears. Admittedly, when I fly on Microsoft flight simulator I tend to have my planes already on auto start. This is done necessarily because I do not want to hunt for keys on a keyboard to start up my plane. If I installs a switch panel such as the one offered by Saitek I can see the value in being able to flick a couple of switches to give a much more realistic start-up procedure.
There you have it, the first flight simulator control roundup for the month of May 2012. The list contains a wide variety of entries well spread out from HOTAS to yoke, flight rudder pedals and even a switch panel.
If you were to buy every single item on that list, it would cost you around $400. With that $400 setup you have almost every single bit of kit you need to start flying any kind of plane, be it a civilian or combat. The top five list is a very good overview of the kind of things you would like to invest in as your interest in flight simulation grows.
Here is a video review of the #1 most popular item, the Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals.
If you have any opinions or have real experience with any of the listed flight simulator controls please leave a comment down below as I do read and respond to all comments.